Friday, March 24, 2017

Irish Soda Bread


According to Ancestry DNA that's how much Irish DNA I have in me. Now, my great-grandfather came to America directly from Ireland, but as you can see while I grew up celebrating Irish heritage when you break it down to genes I'm only a whopping 8%. This has become particularly funny because a few years before I had this knowledge, I decided to get three shamrocks tattooed on my right wrist. So now I say that my wrist accounts for my 8% Irish heritage.

But this won't deter me from making Irish Soda Bread every year. Growing up I thought there was something extra special in the ingredients. Soda bread?! Is there Sprite or club soda in it?! Spoiler Alert: No! It's just that the leavening agent is baking soda. There's your soda. But it does have raisins in it and 4 tablespoons of sugar which makes this a tad sweet that pairs perfectly with cold fresh butter. I typically would have this with tea or coffee as a snack, and not as a bread with dinner but you can do what you want.

- 4 cups flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup raisins

1. Heat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment, I just greased the bottom of my pan so the bread won't stick.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt with an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low until the butter is combined.

3. Lightly beat the egg in the buttermilk and with the mixer on low speed pour into flour mixture. Mix the raisins in a tablespoon of flour and add into the dough.

4. Flour your counter-top and your hands. Dump the dough on the flour and lightly knead a few times until you get a round loaf. It will be very sticky at first so make sure you have enough flour so it doesn't stick to your hands.

5. Place the loaf onto the baking sheet and cut an 'X' into the top with a serrated knife. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.

Source: Barefoot Contessa

Monday, March 6, 2017

Chocolate Snacking Cake

Did you catch the name of this cake?

It's not birthday cake, not special occasion cake, not retirement part cake. Just snacking cake. So that means the only purpose this decadent dark chocolate cake serves is to be there when a snacking craving hits. This is supposed to be served cold, the frosting is dense, more fudge-like than frosting.

-3/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
-3/4 cup flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-3/4 cup butter, room temperature
-1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream

-1 cup heavy cream
-6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1/3 cup dark cocoa powder

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Grease your baking pan. Original recipe calls for a 7 1/2 and 11 1/12 pan, but I used an 8" round pan. Whatever you use, just adjust your baking time depending on the thickness of the batter.

3. Combine the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed and add in the flour mixture alternating with the sour cream, starting and ending with flour.

5. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake 45 minutes, until knife comes out smoother. Again, if you use a larger pan you'll reduce the cook time.

6. Make the frosting by heating the cream in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add the chocolate and let stand for 10 minutes then stir until smooth and melted. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa and stir until smooth. I actually needed to add more of both of these, the frosting was too runny for some reason. Once you've reached the desired consistency spread onto a cooked cake. Store in the fridge and serve cold.

Source: The View from Great Island

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like crunchy cookies, you'll want to skip this recipe. This isn't for you. But, if you like soft, melt in your mouth totally chocolatey chocolate chip cookies, then these are just up your alley.

I'm very particular with my chocolate chip cookies. If they're too crunchy, airy, or not enough chocolate they'll head straight to the "fail" category. They need the prefect density, just enough butter to keep them moist, and each bite needs to contain a mouthful of chocolate chips. This is the only recipe I've used for the past several years, and I'm happy to say it will continue to be my "go-to" for chocolate chip cookies. Enjoy!

-3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 
-3/4 cup  packed brown sugar 
-1/4 cup granulated sugar 
-1 egg 
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
-2 cups all purpose flour 
-2 teaspoons cornstarch 
-1 teaspoon baking soda 
-1/2 teaspoon  salt 
-1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cream together butter and white sugar until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3.  Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in brown sugar, then stir in chocolate chips.
4.  Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes, I only needed 9 minutes for mine)
5.  Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.  

Source: Apple a Day

Friday, February 17, 2017

Strawberry Coffee Cake Mini Muffins

I love little treats that are the perfect pairing to my morning cup of coffee. I didn't want a big ole muffin, which is just an excuse to eat a cupcake for breakfast. The strawberries keep these little guys fresh and light, and who doesn't love the smell of freshly baking brown sugar and cinnamon streusel in the morning?!

- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped strawberries (make sure they're small since these are going in mini muffins!)

- 1/4 butter, melted
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 350. Either line the mini muffin pan with paper liners or grease very well.

2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg and vanilla.

3. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding this mixture and the milk to the butter bowl. Stir until everything is combined. Lastly, stir in the strawberries. Spoon batter into muffin tins.

4. Combine all the topping ingredients. Sprinkle generously over muffins and then bake for 15 minutes.

Source: The Comfort of Cooking

Friday, February 10, 2017

Pico de Gallo

As I sit here the day after we were pummeled by a foot a snow I'm reminiscing about our honeymoon to Riviera Maya a few months ago. Noshing on pico de gallo poolside, sipping a stiff margarita, and soaking up entirely too much sun.

I could eat this stuff everyday. Super fresh, zesty from the lime, and just enough heat from the red onions and jalapenos. I highly recommend enjoying this with authentic Mexican tortilla chips and a stiff margarita or three.

- 5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 large red onion, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro chopped finely
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 of a large line, juiced
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix the tomatoes, red onions, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic together. Add the lime juice, and salt in pepper. Stir to coat.

That's it!

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

No Bake Cookie Dough Bites

Now you can enjoy cookie dough without that whole salmonella risk thing.

Although, I have to say, as paranoid as I am of getting a foodborne illness I've never once worried about eating raw cookie dough or brownie batter. Not ummm, like I do it all that often.

- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. In a bowl mix the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Slowly stir in the flour and white sugar and mix until it reaches cookie dough consistency. I've had to use my hands towards the end in a kneading fashion. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Form 1 inch balls and place them on the wax paper pan and freeze for 15-30 minutes.

2. Over a double boiler melt the 2 cups of chocolate chips. Dip the cookie dough balls in the chocolate until completely covered then place back on the wax paper. Place back in the freezer until hardened. Feel free to add toppings like sprinkles, sea salt, cookie crumbs or nuts!

Source: I Heart Naptime


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Lemon Raspberry Scones

If you're busy in the morning like we are in our house, you probably need a yummy grab n' go breakfast. These lemon raspberry scones are the perfect combination of sweet, lemony, crumbly goodness that pair perfectly with your morning coffee!

- 1 stick butter, cold
- 2 cups flour
-  1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large lemon, zested
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
- parchment paper

- 1/2 large lemon, juiced
- 1 cup powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 425. Cut butter into 1/4 pieces and keep cold in the refrigerator.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Add the butter and work in with your hands until the mixture resembles a course meal (this takes a few minutes and a good amount of elbow grease). Add in the frozen raspberries, stir,then drizzle in the heavy cream. Stir until the dough clumps together.

3. Place the dough on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Shape the dough into a 7-8 inch square that's about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into little triangles. Bake 15 minutes.

4. To make the glaze, combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar. Make to taste, adding more sugar or lemon juice until desired consistency and taste is reached. Make sure scones are cooled when you glaze.

Source: Flour Arrangement