The Dish on Toast

This time last year, I was opting out of $4 toast from The Mill in San Francisco. Since then, the toast craze has exploded nationwide, and people are making ridiculous, delicious, or both, pieces of art on a slice of bread. Granted, the toast at the Mill is mostly $4 for the bread itself (Josey Baker), as the toppings consisted of Nutella and cinnamon sugar. But Bon Appétit made the toast trend their cover story in January. Truly, what’s better than adding a fun combo of foods you’d eat alone onto a crispy slice of toast? Especially when you’ve made the bread yourself! If you didn’t though, that’s cool. Read on for party-starting, trendingly on fleek toast.

Little spin on what seems to be a classic: ricotta and honey, plus some lemon zest for fun.
Everything is better with lemon zest.
Another classic: lox/smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Sprinkle some form of dill for a good time.
Inspired by Bon Appétit: smushed avocado, thinly sliced cucumber (peeler!)
with lemon zest, and red pepper flake. And salt, somewhere!

Green Juice, AKA Purple Smoothie


      I’m not gonna lie, the idea of a juice cleanse has crossed my mind a few times. But in recent past I’ve lacked patience, funds, and willingness to not eat food for more than two days. I still know very little about these juice cleanses, and that may or may not change. I do know that I could probably make my own nutritious, vitamin-filled…beverages. And the results could be similar. I took on the challenge of making a green juice smoothie not taste like you’re drinking vegetables, even though you are. My sweet tooth simply would not have this. The result was half decent, for extreme improvisation and no prior research. Here is your start-to-the-week energizer.


For two-ish servings in a blender:

Cucumber: not a particularly gnarly green veggie (it’s a fruit anyway but shh).
I sliced about half and threw it in.

Kale! The super green super food. I could maybe eat this stuff raw in a hurry. In it goes!
It, referring to two leaves stripped from the thick bottom part of the stem.

Half an avocado for a creamy texture. Probably not included in your juice cleanse.
Disclaimer: putting avocado in your smoothie will cause browning
and impulses to throw out smoothie (don’t do it).

Juice from half a lemon for a good kick (won’t prevent browning).

Not pictured: half a cup of blueberries – THIS tricks your brain into thinking you’re
having a fruit smoothie. Also some yogurt, maybe 2/3 cup or your choice, and honey, to taste.
Blend it up, good to go. Make sure you store in a container that you can shake.

And it doesn’t taste like salad! It totally pulls off summer fruit beverage.
This smoothie makes for a good snack if you’re feeling “hungry”, or morning breakfast.
p.s – that’s about twice what I’ll drink in a sitting.

Happy healthing!

Christmas Bread

Happy holidays! We’re reaching the end of the year already? I’ve finished school, which hopefully means I will be living in the kitchen, learning all sorts of exciting things, and documenting them. Stay tuned for new developments with this new time on my hands. In the meantime, enjoy the first steps: my first EVER solo bread loaf! It came out pretty great! Just in time for New Years; dig out your scale and flour and try your hand at some yourself.
Randomly selected ingredients/add-ins from the local co-op:
Dried apricots, dried cranberries, golden raisins and walnuts!
This picture was an accident, but I thought it looked better than what I was going for.

Essentials: Water & yeast, flour, and Ratio by Michael Ruhlman:
how to make anything from bread to sausage to soup with a simple ratio for each,
just add nuts/pepper/cheese etc.

No dough hooks or paddles necessary! Just add the water, 
grab a wooden spoon and mix until you’ve got a dough.
Heyy check out my mom’s photography skills! Apparently you’re supposed to knead for 10 minutes; you can add your particulars halfway through this. I’m still working on the kneading thing…my
dough was kinda dense but that also may have been the pastry flour I was using…oops.

  Woot feast your eyes on the jam-packed super-bread. Only four ingredients,
apart from the fruit and nuts. If you think you’ve added too much and bits
are falling out, fret not! It will all be okay.
Voilà! Despite the different lighting, it did not take too long to make this bread,
just some waiting. All worth it! Now we have a yummy bread chock-full of
nutritious things! It still looked kinda foldy before I threw it in the oven so it was dense but
IT’S COOL, still tasted great.

This is what the dining room table looked like by Christmas morning. Turkey? Nah,
cookies. And bread. Stay tuned for cookie recipes shortly! In the meantime, enjoy the leftovers of the holidays before your resolutions kick in.

Dried Fruit and Nut Bread
Adapted from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
20 oz bread flour
12 oz warm water
1 packet or teaspoon active yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups of your choice of dried fruit and nuts
1 cup water and cast-iron skillet for steam

Put your mixing bowl on the scale, zero it out, and measure out the flour. If you have a stand mixer, you add the rest of the ingredients, zeroing as necessary. With no mixer, get a second bowl and measure out the water using the same process, and add the yeast and salt. Add this to the flour and combine with a wooden spoon.

Once you get a homogenous mixture, take out the dough and knead it on a floured surface for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Halfway through, gradually fold in your fruit and nuts. After kneading, place the dough back in the bowl, greased and/or floured, and let sit until double in size (an hourish).

Take the dough out and knead again to get rid of excess gas, or punch it down, then let it sit again for 10-15 minutes. You can then shape the dough into a boule by rolling it on the counter until it is a round ball. Place it on a ceramic surface or pan and let sit one more time for an hour. You can also refrigerate the dough at this time for up to a day, allowing it to come to room temperature for 2 hours before baking. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and put a cast-iron skillet on a rack to heat up for steam during baking.

Take the boule and cute an x, pound sign or any other pattern you want at the top to allow the dough to expand in the oven. Pour the cup of water into the skillet to create steam in the oven. This process helps to create a thick, crisp bread crust. Do it: it’s important and impressive! Bake the dough at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, and then at 375 degrees for another 45 minutes or so. When the bread is done, it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Cut and enjoy naked or with anything on top!

Shout out to my mom for helping with the lighting 😀

Pumpkin Cake

Check out this pumpkin cake I made in the middle of January! Worth the off-season timing.
Eggs, sugar butter
Add the pumpkin
Dry ingredients…
Voila!

Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Spice Cake (With Honey Cream Cheese Frosting)

Ingredients

  • For the Cake

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice (or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon each allspice and cloves)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin puree
  • For the Honey Frosting

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
    • 1 bar (8 ounces) regular (or reduced-fat) cream cheese, very soft
    • 1/4 cup honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, butter, and pumpkin puree until combined. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix gently until smooth.
  3. Turn batter into prepared pan, and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake 10 minutes in pan, then turn out of pan, and cool completely, right side up, on a rack.
  4. Make Honey Frosting: In a medium bowl, whisk butter, cream cheese, and honey until smooth.
  5. Spread top of cooled cake with honey frosting. Cut cake into squares to serve.

Cook’s Note

You can also use a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan: Increase baking time by 25 to 30 minutes (tent loaf with foil if it browns too quickly).

Found here

Home Sweet Cheese

Plain and simple: How to make legitimate grilled cheese in under 30 minutes, from my family’s kitchen to yours.
Go find:
A large loaf of Ciabatta bread
Olive oil
A large tomato
Salt
Twoishmaybe cups of any cheese of your preference (Jarlsberg though…), shredded
Any additions of your choice, i.e. olives, capers, green onions (lol), chicken
STEP ONE: Cut the bread however you want, but you should probably cut large pieces in the width you’d like, then cut that in half, so that the crust is at the bottom.
STEP TWO: Drizzle olive oil on the bread.

STEP THREE: Cut the tomato into thin slices and place on bread. Salt. After the tomatoes you can add your own stuff, so they’re in between the tomato and the cheese. Then add as much cheese as you want. It may look like you really piled it on, but I’ll just say that once it’s melted, it’s not as cheesy as it looked before.

STEP FOUR: Put the bread on a baking sheet and place on the top shelf of the oven, on broil (which does in fact mean only the top burner’s on). Keep the oven door ajar, and watch for the cheese to melt and brown in spots – don’t go too far, this won’t take more than 10 minutes.
STEP FIVE: Let cool, eat, repeat.
Original recipe can be found…oh wait! Right here.
So that’s how much cheese was put on to get what’s melted in the top photo

What To Do With Quinoa

I guess there are a lot of things, but stuffing peppers is a good way to go. With Colleen’s quinoa, Kelly’s olive oil and pineapple, and Jonathan’s supervision, a late night dinner was served. I think the pictures say the rest…

Pinto beans, carrots, onions, heck throw in some pineapple

Rollin’ Roulade

     Happy New Year! My Frame-By-Frame baking cookbook struck again with its slightly inconvenient recipe for a roulade, which I guess can mean anything rolled up, likely edible (and not to be confused with the musical technique). Originally a coffee walnut roulade, the sticky outcome of Iris and my efforts was more of a spice-cream cheese roulade. All the better, though! This was definitely a new experience for the two of us, having to beat egg whites…and their yolks, with an electric mixer. After adding all the baking spices in the cupboards, almond & vanilla extract in place of the coffee extract, and the typical dry ingredients, we poured the mixture (not much of a dough) onto a baking sheet and moved it to the oven while we worked on the filling. Lacking necessary/most ingredients for the classic icing swirl, we opted for a cream cheese frosting instead, using only cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract. The most important part of the process was likely the patience possessed while we waited for the roulade to cool in its ultimate rolled shape right after it came out of the oven. You see, if you let it cool flat and then spread the icing, when you come to roll the whole thing up, it will tragically and literally rip to shreds. There’s little else more frustrating than having your baked good come out looking wonky because you couldn’t wait long enough. Moral of this episode isss: restrain thyself; your occipital lobe will thank you for it.

3.5 eggs and countless minutes later, we have this

Folded, not stirred (bahah wow…)

Looks….uh

The moment of truth
Look at that aesthetically pleasing confection


Coffee and Walnut Roulade
From Frame by Frame Baking by Love Food
Serves 6

Ingredients
Butter or oil, for greasing
3 eggs
1 egg white
1/2 cup superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp coffee extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
Roughly chopped walnuts, to decorate

Filling
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus extra, sifted for dusting
1 tbsp coffee liqueur

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F/200°C. Grease a 13×8.5 inch jelly roll pan and line with nonstick parchment paper (any baking sheet will do, though the paper is important).
  2. Place the eggs, egg white, and sugar in a bowl over a pan of very hot water. Whisk with an electric mixer until pale and thick enough to leave a trail (completely stiff is unnecessary).
  3. Whisk in the coffee extract, then fold in the flour and finely chopped walnuts lightly with a metal spoon.
  4.  Spoon into the pan, spreading evenly. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and firm.
  5. Sprinkle a sheet of parchment paper with superfine sugar (that might have helped, but we didn’t do it). Turn out the roulade onto the paper and peel off the lining paper. Trim the edges (oops).
  6. Quickly roll up the sponge from one short side, with the paper inside. Cool completely (try hard).
  7. For the filling, place the cream, sugar, and liqueur in a bowl and whisk until the mixture begins to hold its shape.
  8. Carefully unroll the roulade, remove the paper and spread the cream over. Roll up carefully

Serve the roulade dusted with confectioner’s sugar and topped with roughly chopped walnuts.  <!– @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in