When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Veggie Side Dish Dinner September 5, 2013

Filed under: Side Dishes,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 4:01 pm
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Being an Omnivore, every once in awhile I have crazy cravings for just vegetables. The plan was to go to the Farmer’s Market to pick up some seasonal veggies and just cook them up. All in all I was shooting for a veggie side dish dinner. Unfortunately, we were not able to make it to the Farmer’s Market because I worked a late shift the night before and needed some sleep. It is next to impossible to sleep in because I have 2 daughters (2 years old and 4 months old). So I am usually tired in general.

Our garden finally produced some vegetables in the form of an insane amount of green beans and peppers. Granted we could have had tomatoes but the squirrels have decided to have parties in our yard and eat all of them, right before harvest (sad face). Mike pickled the jalapeños and I sautéed the green beans up with some mushrooms, garlic, and white wine. I did run to the store to pick up some red cabbage and apples because I was craving the red cabbage we had in Germany.

I made some modifications to the recipe in Joy of Cooking to the Braised Red Cabbage and Apples. Most notably I did not use bacon fat, instead I sautéed everything up with olive oil. I also replaced the honey in the recipe with maple syrup. I am sure you could also replace the honey with agave syrup.
This weekend we are definitely going to the Farmers Market, so I will remember to take pictures of all the lovely produce.



Tuesdays With Dorie: French Apple Tart January 22, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Baking With Julia,Tarts,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 3:32 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie is being hosted by Gaye of Laws of the Kitchen. She is hosted the recipe for the French Apple Tart which is located on pages 379-381 in Baking With Julia.

I actually made this Tart for dessert last night and it turned out great. I had some left over pie dough already portioned out in the freezer, so that made this recipe a little bit quicker for me to accomplish. For the filling, instead of baking the apples in the oven I decided to cook everything in a pot on the stove and it turned out perfectly fine. It actually reduced the amount of dishes that I had to wash since I cooked and mashed the apples in one pot. To make the taste of the apple filling a little bit more flavorful I used 1 tsp of cinnamon instead of just a pinch.

The tart reminded me of a nice slice of apple pie, and both Mike and I enjoyed it. I would definitely be willing to make this tart again. Especially, when I really want an apple pie that I know will turn out great.



Tuesdays With Dorie/Vegan MoFo: Vegan Apple Nut Muffin Cake October 4, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Quick Breads,Tuesdays With Dorie,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 11:10 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Katrina of Baking and Boys.  She picked Dorie’s Apple Nut Muffin Cake which is located on page 37 in Baking:From My Home to Yours.  Since this month is Vegan MoFo aka Vegan Month of Food, all of my post for October will be Vegan.  If I am given a recipe that is not vegan than I will make it vegan to abide by the rules, which I did for this recipe.

I am also going to be posting more this month because I have realized I have been neglecting my blog.  It will surprise you to know that I have already baked/cooked up a few vegan things already and now I just need to find time to sneak away from the baby to type them up 🙂

This cake turned out wonderful.  No one would be able to tell that it was vegan.  It was very moist because of the apples and the texture reminded me of a banana walnut cake without the banana flavor.  I would definitely make this again.  The changes to the recipe that I made were very easy, and actually made for a healthier version of the cake since I used vegetable oil instead of butter.  I took a few hints from the Ladies over at Post Punk Kitchen via Vegan with a Vengeance to make this recipe Vegan and it was perfect.

You can find the original recipe on Katrina’s blog, Baking and Boys.

Below is the vegan version that turned out FANTASTIC!!!

Vegan Apple Nut Muffin Cake

1/2 cup rice milk

1/2 cup apple juice

1 tbsp ground Flax Seed mixed with 3 tbsp water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pecan extract (I didn’t want to dig the almond extract out)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1  3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into small dice

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup dried figs, diced (I was out of raisins so I opted for figs)

Getting ready:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Use an 8-inch square silicone pan, or oil an 8-inch square baking pan.  Put the pan on a baking sheet.

Whisk together the rice milk, cider, ground flax seed with water, vanilla and pecan extracts, oil, and vinegar.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt to combine thoroughly.  Toss in the brown sugar, making sure there aren’t any lumps by running it through your fingers, then add the oats and whisk the dry ingredients a few more times to mix.  Switch to a large rubber spatula and stir in the liquid ingredients, stirring just until everything is moistened—as with muffins, less mixing is better than more.  Gently stir in the apple, nuts and figs, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for a couple of minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and unmolding the cake; invert and cool until warm, or to room temperature.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Brown Sugar Bundt Cake May 10, 2011

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Peggy from Pantry Revisited.  She picked Dorie’s Brown Sugar Bundt Cake which is located on page 179 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I actually made this  for my Baby Shower that was on May 8th and it turned out fantastic.  I decided to use Granny Smith Apples instead of Pears, Golden Raisins instead of prunes, and I substituted 1/2 of the flour for whole white wheat flour.  I did these substitutions because they were the items that I had on hand and I didn’t want to have to make an extra trip to the grocery store.  I actually made a good amount of the food for my shower, so I wanted to make sure that this one thing didn’t put me behind on everything else.

The recipe actually came together very easily and it baked up in no time at all.  I followed Dorie’s directions on buttering/flouring the bundt pan, and the cake turned out perfectly.  I usually just use a cooking spray and I end up with some stickage but the last few times buttering/flouring made everything turn out great.  So I guess that teaches me that sometimes I need to follow directions 🙂

The picture is a little off because I forgot to take a picture of the cake before we took it to the shower, so this was the leftovers which I am still munching on.  The cake is still moist and yummy after being baked a few days ago 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie October 27, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Pie,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:53 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Emily of Sandmuffin.  She picked Dorie’s All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie which is located on pages 300-302 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Yes, I know today isn’t Tuesdays.

I have been taking part in procrastination station with regard to all my baking.  Today, I realized I hadn’t done my Daring Bakers either, so that is also in process.  Along with making a cherry cheesecake for one of Mike’s co-workers for their friends birthday.  For the cheesecake, I just stuck with a Dorie recipe and did her Tall and Creamy Cheesecake (Previous Post).  I added a little bit of lemon zest to the base of the batter, baked it up, and then made a cherry topping.  The cheesecake sans topping is in the freezer firming up so that I can slice it 🙂

In between making the cheesecake, I made the pie crust and kept it refrigerated.  Once the cheesecake was finally out of the oven, I went to finishing up the apple pie.  For this recipe, I actually only made 1/6 of the recipe which makes two perfectly sized mini pies.    While mixing the ingredients together for the filling, I discovered that I had either misplaced my tapioca or actually used all of it and never realized it.  So I went to my old pie standby, cornstarch.

The pies baked up in 40 minutes and as you will see from the picture of Mike, they slipped perfectly out of the ramekin and turned into a hand held apple pie 🙂  I had a couple of bites of Mike’s and the pie was great, and now I can say I have actually made a really good Apple Pie which has been a goal for me for a long time.

Thank you Dorie and thank you Emily for picking this recipe.

As a side note, Dorie’s Birthday was on the 24th and I completely missed it.  So Happy Late Birthday Dorie.  I hope you had a great one 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Double Apple Bundt Cake October 6, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 6:11 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Lynne of Honey Muffin.  Lynne picked Dorie’s Double Apple Bundt Cake, which is located on pages 184-815 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I started writing this yesterday, took pictures and everything.  Then I feel asleep on the couch.  So I did do this on Tuesday, I am just a slacker and love me some sleep 🙂

I really loved this recipe.  I ended up using the Apple Butter that I canned last month for the Daring Cooks Challenge, and it turned out fantastic.  I did leave out the pecans, which is a huge shock because I love nuts.  I actually didn’t have any on hand and figured Mike would eat more of the cake without the nuts.  He has this weird relationship with nuts, most of the time it is a bad one but every once in awhile they can be friends 🙂

The flavors of the cake were spot on, and reminded me why I love fall/autumn.  The cake was moist, and the lemon icing gave it just enough tartness to compliment the apples.  I am sure I will be making this again in the near future 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Tarte Fine September 28, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 3:43 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Leslie of Lethally Delicious.  She picked Dorie’s Tart Fine which is located on pages 315 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  The recipe was simple and straight to the point.  All it really involved was puff pastry and apples, which I happened to have some homemade puff pastry in the freezer so this was right up my ally this week.

But of course, like always I procrastinated.  At this moment I am trying to finish decorating sugar cookies for the Daring Bakers’ Challenge and making this Tart, so I am thanking my lucky stars that the recipe was so simple 🙂

It turned out pretty and it was yummy.  I big thanks goes out to Leslie for picking this.

Just a heads up, French Fridays With Dorie (FFwD) starts this week and we are starting with Gougeres.  I can’t wait 🙂