11/21/14

gingerbread crumb cake

As luck would have it, when I re-posted the crazy-famous eggnog crumb cake last week on my Facebook page, someone asked me if I had a gingerbread crumb cake.
I don't but wow, did I love the sound of that one.  Challenge accepted!
I mean why not have a little bit of buttery crumb topping with your gingerbread...right?
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I love gingerbread, but why not kick it up a notch?
A little buttery, salty crumb on top.
It's really good.  Trust me.
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Friday Links will be back and live next Friday!
I'm a little behind in life these days.
Have a wonderful weekend!

gingerbread crumb cake
print recipe

crumb topping
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
¾ ts salt
1 ts cinnamon (or any other spices you wish)
10 TB unsalted butter, melted & cooled a bit

cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 ts baking soda
¾ ts baking powder
½ ts salt
1 ts fresh ginger powder
1 ts cinnamon
¼ ts cloves
1/8 ts nutmeg
12 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup PLUS 3 TB sour cream
4 TB molasses

cook notes:
Grease up your bundt cake pan well!
Make sure to taste-test your batter before baking to see if you want more molasses flavor; I didn’t make it too strong.
The cake batter is very thick.  It might be a nice addition to add some chopped pecans to the crumb topping mixture; a hint of texture is never a bad thing.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a bundt pan with non-stick spray or grease up with butter. Set aside.
For the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, mix the sugars, salt, and flour.  Add the melted butter and stir with spatula until combined. Set aside.
For the Cake:
Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and all the spices into medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, or mixer or by hand beat the butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth.
Add in the eggs, beating until well blended after each addition.
Next add in the sour cream and molasses; mix until just blended.
Lastly add in the flour mixture in batches—I did two batches, until all is just combined. Do not overmix once the flour is added; remember lumps are good!
Pour the batter into the greased pan, spread batter evenly.  You might have to use a spoon or knife to spread mixture around evenly.
Next add on the crumb topping by dropping clumps (2-3 inch clumps) of it on to the top. Just a gentle push down on the crumbs, not too hard.
Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean (mine was done at the 37-minute mark).
Please rotate the pan halfway through baking time.
You will know cake is done when there is no more jiggle in the middle of the cake.
Once cake is cooled, remove from pan carefully and place on a large plate or cake stand.
Keep cake well covered.  Should only last 2-3 days at room temperature.


11/14/14

friday links

Happy Friday!
I can't believe it's Friday already!
This week flew by, yes, no?
I have to ask, did any try out my healthier chocolate chip cookies?
Dying to know what you thought. They are just so good, I'm curious if anyone noticed what I noticed and that they were almost exactly like regular chocolate chip cookies.
Curious.
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The light has been breathtaking on cape cod lately. I want summer to come back...
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Brand spanking new tugboat. I watched him get used to the new maneuvering in the cape cod canal the other day. Apparently the newer ones are quieter--now you know!
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Last time I took a photo like this it was 90 degrees and I almost jumped in with the others.
And now it's 35 degrees; ocean temp maybe 48-50?

around the web:

man successfully sues woman over ugly children (unreal)
school teacher wears same outfit for yearbook for 40 years
16 foods to help you sleep
mind-body therapies to ease insomnia
chocolate chip cheesecake on brownie crust
a dear friend of mine found me my most favorite video ever: more cowbell baby!
greatest moments in Boston sports history (BOSTON STRONG!)
movies & their food pairings
everything you don't know about tipping
40 ways to make creative mac & cheese
5 hearty rice dishes
wet chocolate cake + minute boil fudge frosting
sitting is unhealthy unless you're physically fit
30 simple ways to help prevent cancer
another good reason to eat avocados
bride of paraplegic vet gets surprise of her life on their wedding day (get the Kleenex out!)
laughing owl
which apples are best for cooking, baking & eating raw
wearable feedbags for humans!
peanut butter cream pie
logos with hidden messages
sweet potato casserole cupcakes!
baby block cake pops (how creative is this?)
asian portobello tacos
6 things to do today to help you grow as a blogger
surprising news about your eyes
foolproof pie crust
how do probiotics help the brain?
defending against the flu: is vaccination the best policy?
how to get more good brown fat
seasonal affective disorder: how to overcome the disorder

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Have a wonderful weekend!

11/11/14

my best (healthier) chocolate chip cookies

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I love getting emails from readers asking me to try and recreate a recipe or put a new twist on something.  A good challenge; I love a good recipe challenge.
So the query in question was, can I recreate a really good chocolate chip recipe with a healthier spin on it?
I took out the flour and replaced it with whole wheat pastry flour and some rice flour.
If you add too much whole wheat it will take on a grainy like taste, so almost 3/4 whole wheat and 1/4 white rice flour, which by the way has no taste but is an excellent binder in a cookie base.
I was given samples of KerryGold Butter to try from a dear friend who works at Whole Foods in Hyannis, MA.
Sure I've tried the butter on toast, but haven't baked with it yet.
And I'm really sorry that I hadn't as this is really tasty butter in baked goods.
It gives a nice twang? Is that the right word?  OK let's try this, if there was one product that could perfectly fit the bill on what butter tastes like it's KerryGold.
I tested these healthier cookies out on a few people asking if they tasted anything different, hated, better or whatever.  They all said: "these are really good!" "so buttery" "is there supposed to be something wrong with them?"  LOL Seriously.
No one could tell the difference. And when I told them it was made with whole wheat flour they said no way!
So there you have it.  This recipe is a keeper, if you're trying to stay away from flour these are perfect.
And do me a favor and try that KerryGold Butter; Whole Foods is always running sales on them.
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my best (healthier) chocolate chip cookies
print recipe

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/3 cup white rice flour
1 ¼ ts baking soda
1 ¼  ts baking powder
1 ts coarse salt
8 ounces unsalted KerryGold Butter, room temp
4 ounces salted KerryGold Butter, room temp
1 ¼  cups light brown sugar, not packed (loose)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 ts natural vanilla extract
4 ounces of bittersweets chocolate chips
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips

cook notes:
As I stated in the post above, I used whole wheat pastry flour and white rice flour.  You can try and use all whole wheat pastry flour but I’m certain the dough will taste grainy.  So if you can buy some white flour, they come in small packages and I promise you, you will be making these cookies again and again.  The KerryGold butter truly makes all the difference; please use it if you can.

Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Using a mixer (or by hand), cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes.  Add in eggs, and vanilla extract. Once nice and combined add in the dry mixture and mix.  By hand add in the chocolate chips, mix.  Cover bowl with plastic well, and chill a couple hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop onto parchment lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake until golden brown but still a tiny bit soft in the middle; 15-17 minutes.
The middle will be a bit soft, but once it completely cools it won’t be as gooey; it sets up really nice.
You can use a smaller cookie scoop but watch the baking times, reduce a few minutes for sure.
Makes about 30-36 cookies (I didn't count sorry!)

11/7/14

friday links

I am in love with this cookbook!
Everything so cute and easy to make in a mug!
It's the perfect gift for college foodies!
Mug Cakes by Mima Sinclair
40 speedy cakes made in the microwave
PicMonkey Collage
And since I'm such a candy junkie I am thrilled to have received this little nugget of a cookbook.
Sweet Things by Anne Rigg
A very detailed cookbook of all things chocolate, caramels (my favorite: coconut milk caramels!),
candies and marshmallows.  She even has a couple 'old school' candies like peppermint candy canes and dots (remember the paper dots, aka candy buttons?).
But seriously I would get this JUST for the coconut milk caramels!
PicMonkey Collage (1)
Have you tried this with your morning coffee/espresso? It's good....
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So my one minute day detox consisted of this. I tried and did it, but wow, that was hard.
I give major props to people who can down this daily; you deserve an ice cream!
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Do I even have to tell you how good this was?
Seriously, don't even buy them---
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Our Sagamore Bridge is still under construction! Will it never end?
Kind of a cool photo though, no?
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More rain and clouds on cape cod lately...still pretty out.
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It snowed on the cape on Sunday.
Way too early for me.
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around the web:

will continuing to run make my knees wear out faster?
typhoon Nuri set to explode into largest storm in Bering Sea
3D printable photographs let the blind see their photographs
how sugar harms your brain
10-protein power snacks
DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub
the red juice in raw red meat isn't blood
introducing The Suitsy!
DIY mason jar candles (I am in LOVE with this)
eating baked may improve your memory
estrogen products can spike your blood clot risk
scent dispenser to get people in the mood for traveling (what? I'm always in the mood to travel, who isn't?
10 household uses for borax
baked shrimp with tomatoes & feta
frustrated people who left hilarious revenge notes
Vit. D deficiency decrease brain function
thanksgiving croissants (hello)
spiced peanut butter cookies
how to make dunkaroos at home
what to do after a job interview when you're standing in a closet you thought was the exit (dying!)
around the world in thirty days (watched this 5 times)
the "kissing bugs" are spreading disease in southern USA
pumpkin salted caramel thumbprint cookies
5 life lessons people learn too late
what women need to know about deep-vein thrombosis
15 'nope places' people will risk their lives traveling to
6 steps to grow hair faster
dangers of thinning bones for men
thanksgiving dinner: planning how much to serve
DIY constellation bowls (these are cute!)
40 questions to ask yourself before you publish your next blog post
what to do with leftover Halloween candy from Jacques Torres
** and finally a wonderful set of vintage military photographs from a friend.
this is a tribute to his parents: Australian war bride & USAAF MSgt . The photos chronicle their relationship that started in1942. To learn more about their journey click here.
(I am in the middle of researching my own family history; my grandfather was one of the few survivors of the USS Franklin, and it was honor to make acquaintances with this person who has a nice jog down memory lane of his parents, their love, and their journey).

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Go Pats!
Have a wonderful weekend!

11/4/14

thai pumpkin soup (one pot easy)

Sometimes one gets at a loss for words when it comes time to write a blog post.
I mean all I can say is this soup is so good, the second time I make I am making double, freezing
half for the days when it's going to be 20 degrees--which is anytime soon on Cape Cod.
This is not my recipe, for once I decided to let someone else do the recipe for me, and that would
be Kevin over at Closet Cooking who is the soup master of the food blogging world.
He has made some of the most creative soups I've ever seen (and craved).
After you look at this recipe on his blog, go search his soup creations and you'll see exactly
what I mean.  Really good kicked-up choices for soup. Nothing plain and boring and hospital like.
This thai pumpkin is amazing;  I added in some kielbasa, you don't have too, but I know you guys
are dedicated foodies like me and will try anything flavor-wise.
And it's one pot easy too; only one pot to wash when dinner is over.
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thai pumpkin soup with kielbasa
adapted from closet cooking
print recipe

1 – 1 ½ cups chopped kielbasa, optional
1 TB red curry paste (or more)
1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin puree
2 TB fish sauce or soy sauce
2 TB brown sugar
2 TB fresh lime juice
a couple dashes of curry powder(for taste, optional)
a couple splashes of light cream, optional

cook notes:
You don’t have to add the kielbasa; I did because I love curry and kielbasa. If you’re a daring foodie you might too.
In Kevin’s original recipe, he suggests to add a bit of peanut butter to the soup. I highly suggest this too.

Heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, brown the kielbasa chunks.  When it’s browned, remove browned pieces from pan, then using same saucepan, add in the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the broth, coconut milk, pumpkin puree, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Add back in the browned kielbasa and stir.
(At the end of cooking I added in a couple dashes of curry powder and a couple splashes of light cream.  I just felt it needed it, you might not.).
Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds or chopped peanuts.


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