Happy Pi Day!

standard March 14, 2010 1 response

A blog I read called The Kitchn published a post about Pi Day on Friday, which inspired me to do some baking today, despite my lack of excitement about pie in general. My coworkers, however, are very enthusiastic pie fans, so they gave me a reason to go ahead and celebrate this fun math “holiday.”  I wanted to attempt the vinegar pie on The Kitchn‘s website, but I decided to make something a little more exciting, so I found and edited a recipe for Oatmeal-Pecan Pie. I substituted the corn syrup for maple syrup to enhance the feel of this traditional Thanksgiving food.  Happy Pi(e) Day!

Maple Pecan Pie

Saturday Brunch

standard March 13, 2010 2 responses

When I make my menu for the week, I try to have one or two “special” breakfast items to make on the weekend. But I usually run out of time and the ingredients sit in the fridge all week waiting to be made into something delicious. So this morning I decided to combine last week’s Clean Eating breakfast with this week’s Giada’s Kitchen menu. I made a pot of coffee and went to work on my Potato, Rocket, and Tomato Frittata. The only other time I had made a frittata, I cheated and baked the whole thing in a cake pan to save time and since I wasn’t sure if my non-stick skillet was oven safe. Today I decided to be adventurous and make it the right way on the stove. (I also discovered that my non-stick skillet is indeed oven safe, so I was good to go!) This was super easy and delicious-I had to add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top to hopefully entice my husband to eat the tomato and arugula (otherwise known as rocket, hence the name of the dish) despite the fact that it also mostly contained his favorite food-potatoes.

Potato, Rocket, and Tomato Frittata

Once the frittata was done (I was taking no chances doing something else while it finished cooking under the broiler), I started on Giada’s Olive Oil Muffins. This was more exciting to make – I had to substitute out her all-purpose flour and refined sugar.  My last attempt at substituting something other than whole wheat flour for all-purpose turned out not-so-good, so I decided for my first attempt at these muffins to stick with the whole wheat flour.  And since I haven’t researched other types of unrefined sugars, nor did I have anything else on hand, I used sucanat again. I hesitated on this decision because I was not sure how the molasses in the sucanat would work in an olive oil muffin. But after tasting them, I am definitely thankful I went ahead with the change. These muffins would not have had nearly as much flavor without the sucanat.  And they were definitely a perfect complement to the frittata.

Olive Oil Muffins

Olive Oil Muffins

Lightly adapted from Giada’s Kitchen by Giada DeLaurentiis.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 sp salt
  • 1 c sucanat
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tsp orange zest
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T almond milk
  • 2/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 c almonds, toasted and chopped fine
  • confectioner’s sugar (for dusting) – cinnamon would probably work wonderfully here too

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat egg, sugar, and zest until fluffy. Beat in vinegar and milk. Slowly add the oil while mixing.
  4. Add the flour mixture until just blended. Mix in almonds.
  5. Fill muffin tin to the top of each liner. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.

Since I had the house to myself all morning, I got to enjoy this delicious feast along with last week’s Project Runway and the April issue of Real Simple. Perfection!

First Baking Substitution a Success!

standard February 13, 2010 Leave a response

These are hands-down my new favorite cookie. I’ve never made them the way the recipe says, but I have a feeling I’ll never find out how good the original version is. They were that good!

Oatmeal-Cherry Cookies

Adapted from The Ski Country Cookbook by Barbara Scott-Goodman.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature*
  • 1 1/2 cups sucanat
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, baking powder, baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup tart dried cherries (any dried fruit would work)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Steps:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350.
  2.  Cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
  3.  In another bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture and beat until well blended. Stir in oatmeal, cherries, and chocolate.
  4. Drop batter by the tablespoon on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until edges are lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
  5. Remove and cool on baking racks.

I’m going to try to experiment with substituting the butter to make them even healthier next time. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

*Update: Swap Earth Balance for the butter, and 2 T chia seeds mixed with 6 T warm water for the eggs. The cookies won’t spread out on their own, so press them down a little with your fingers before baking.