A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Buttermilk Cranberry Scones November 17, 2010

Filed under: baking,breads,breakfast — frappqueen @ 4:59 pm
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I don’t have much experience making scones, aside from the really delicious ones courtesy of Nurse Liz, but those are easy as they take cream and not incorporating bits of butter. BUT! I was in the mood and I’d had this recipe bookmarked in my internet browser for like a zillion years so I figured, why not give it a try? I have to say, it was really simple to do and the results were delicious! I only changed the recipe slightly in that I added orange zest instead of lemon zest since that’s what I had at home, but things like that are relatively interchangeable anyway. Citrus always makes things better in my opinion!  Give them a try! They come out light yet kind of flaky and not too sweet, just the way scones ought to be in my opinon!

Buttermilk Cranberry Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped fine  I added a bit more as I like a lot of stuff in my scones)
finely grated zest from one small lemon (about 2 teaspoons) (you can use zest from an orange too!)
heavy cream (optional, for brushing tops of scones)

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.  Add butter chunks and toss lightly with flour; place bowl in fridge.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and lemon zest; place bowl in fridge.  Measure out and chop the cranberries; set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly spray with cooking spray; set aside. Lightly dust a counter top with flour.  Pour a little bit of heavy cream in a bowl and have a pastry brush handy.
Remove bowls of flour and buttermilk from fridge.  Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender or rub together with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries and stir to combine.   Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until the mixture clumps together.
Dump mixture out onto floured counter top and, with floured hands, gather into a ball and knead once or twice to combine everything.  Pat into a circle about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 8 slices, like a pie, or cut with biscuit or cookie cutters into whatever shape you prefer.  Put scones on lined baking sheet and brush lightly with heavy cream (optional).
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to cooling rack. Try not to eat them all in one sitting!!
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Peachy Pecan Pie! September 2, 2010

Filed under: baking — frappqueen @ 4:40 pm
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I LOVE peach pie. It is one of the things I look forward to most during the summer. Usually my mom bakes me one, or I make it, and we both make a simple recipe with just some sugar and cinnamon and flour and plop it in a ready made pie crust. Easy, and delicious! However, I saw this recipe in my Bon Appetite  magazine and had to give it a try….it is my new favorite recipe! It doesn’t take too much longer and the streusel topping is simply amazing.

Deep-Dish Peach Pie with Pecan Streusel Topping (from Bon  Appetit)

streusel topping

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced

3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

crust

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced

1/3 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, frozen, diced

3 1/2 tablespoons (or more) ice water

filling

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

3 3/4 to 4 pounds peaches, peeled with vegetable peeler, halved, pitted, cut into 1-inch wedges

Method:

streusel topping

Stir flour, oats, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until mixture holds together in moist clumps. Mix in pecans. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

crust

Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor 5 seconds. Add butter and shortening. Using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles very coarse meal. Drizzle 3 1/2 tablespoons water over. Blend until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap; chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. If necessary, soften dough slightly at room temperature before rolling out.
Roll out dough on floured work surface to 14-inch round; transfer to 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Cut off all but 1/2 inch overhang. Fold overhang in; crimp edge. Chill crust.

filling

Stir sugar and next 4 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in lemon juice, then peaches; toss. Let stand at least 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Set rack at lowest position in oven. Slide foil-lined baking sheet under rack onto oven floor (to catch any drips). Preheat oven to 400°F. Spoon filling into crust. Scatter topping over, breaking up large clumps.
Bake pie 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 350°F; bake until juices bubble thickly and topping is golden, covering edges with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour. Cool on rack at least 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Nutella Molten Lava Cakes August 22, 2010

Filed under: baking,dessert — frappqueen @ 6:13 pm
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Just looking at that picture makes you want to give it a try, doesn’t it? Well, if that isn’t enough encouragement, guess what? They were really easy to make and not at all scary! A few weeks ago Jen came over and we watched the first airing of Masterchef…remember how we auditioned and never got any further than that? Well, we had a party to watch what we didn’t get  to be on. Jen made amazing beef wellington (to be blogged next time) and I made these for dessert! Mike got to benefit from the party by eating everything and putting the dishes in the dishwasher!

I got this one through a google search, and the blogger who wrote it I think made up the recipe, which is pretty impressive. I could never really be on any of these shows for that reason…I can improvise like, a tad, but not enough that if you just told me to make something I could do it. But anyway, here is the recipe and then my own notes on what I had to do to make it work for me!

Chocolate Nutella Molten Lava Cake (courtesy of bellalimento.com)

6 oz of bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I used Ghiardelli)
4 tbsp of Nutella
6 tbsp of Flour
11 tbsp of Unsalted Butter (I used salted cuz its what I had)
3 whole eggs + 3 additional egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar + 2 add. tbsp
1/4 cup of chopped Hazelnuts ( I toasted mine for a few minutes on a tray in the toaster oven–delicious!)

Method:

Place your butter & chocolate chips into a double boiler & allow to melt completely over the steaming water.  (I don’t really know if a double boiler is an actual thing, but I just put on a big pot with some almost boiling water and then put a glass bowl fitted over it, added the chocolate and stirred–worked like a charm!) Stir frequently. WHILE the chocolate butter is melting. Place the eggs & sugar into the bowl of your mixer. With the whisk attachment mix on medium-high speed until they become light & thick (about 8-9 mins). When light & thick add the flour & mix together. SLOWLY & GRADUALLY pour the chocolate/butter mixture into the egg mixture. Mixing on low until well combined & develops a glossy sheen (about 5-6 mins).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. WHILE the mixture is finishing it’s final mixing (turning glossy) GENEROUSLY spray 4 small ramekins with cooking spray. If your ramekins are for some reason insanely small, like mine, you might need more than four.  Just sayin’.  When the batter is finished it’s time to assemble:

Place your sprayed ramekins onto a cooking tray. Ladle batter HALFWAY up the side of each ramekin. Then, spoon 1 tbsp of Nutella into each ramekin. Finish ladling remainder of batter into each ramekin (do not overfill). Bake ramekins for 1o-14 mins until outside is solid and top appears to be soft (but NOT jiggly)

WHILE cakes are cooking, chop your walnuts and spread on a small tray that fits in your toaster oven or regular oven. Bake at 300 degrees for like 3 mins. WATCH THEM OR THEY WILL BURN AND BE NASTY.  When nuts look a tad brown, they are ready to take out of the toaster/oven. When cakes are ready CAREFULLY remove them from oven, place a plate on top of each one and quickly invert it. With a kitchen towel remove the ramekin, cake should fall right out.  Loosen all around with a knife if they don’t come out easily. Garnish with nuts. Serve immediately and wash down with a big glass of milk. It’s the only way. Really.

 

Zucchini Bread! July 29, 2010

Filed under: baking,breads,eat your vegetables — frappqueen @ 8:16 am
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Man, who knew blogging could be so difficult?! I had taken a few pictures with my awful point and shoot camera last week, and when, in my sleepy pregnant haze, I went to insert the memory card into my computer, I MISSED and put it in the cd spot instead! It has been trapped there for the past week, but finally, with the help of tiny tweezers and a screwdriver, my husband has rescued the memory card! yay!

Now you can see my delicious recipe for zucchini bread. It is really easy to make, particularly if you have a food processor with a shredding blade. It is also super delicious and filling. Yum!

This recipe actually comes from good ol’ Paula Deen on the foodnetwork.com website. It has great restraint for Paula, I don’t think it has any butter in it, though there is definitely some oil!

Zucchini Bread

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini**
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

**to grate the zucchini, you can totally break your back and fingers and use one of those hand held grater things, but I always scrub my knuckles on them. I just chop my zucchini up into like 4 wedges, add the grating attachment to my food processor, and plop the zucchini in there! Done in seconds!

 

Blubbery Muffins!! June 6, 2010

Filed under: baking,breads,breakfast — frappqueen @ 10:54 am
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Okay, so they are Blueberry muffins, but Mike and I have a secret: we really really like the kid’s tv show ICarly. I know, its a show for 8 year olds, but have you seen it? It is hysterical! At any rate, one episode they get lots of cash for selling faulty sneakers and Sam hires a chef who makes Blueberry Muffins for her everyday, but calls them Blubbery, cuz she has an accent and…okay, well, maybe you had to be there, but whatever, that’s what we call them now too!!

In my 10th week of pregnancy or so (I’m almost up to week 17, whoo hoo!) I began craving, NEEDING blueberry muffins. I wanted homemade ones though, not crap from Dunkin Donuts! No sir! Also, I was finally feeling well enough to stomach cooking, so I was in dire need of baking!! I found this recipe via our dear friend Martha S. and it is divine. In fact, I think I have baked them about 4 times since! The muffins taste best the day you make them, but keep decently well in a plastic bag all week. I often bake a batch on Sunday and then eat one every morning around 10am for my second breakfast. I eat every hour these days, what can I say?! Give them a try, they are surprisingly easy, healthy, and awesome!

Blueberry Muffins (from Martha Stewart)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan *
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside*. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Working over the bowl, toss blueberries in a fine sieve with about 1 1/2 teaspoons flour mixture to lightly coat; set aside the flour mixture and the blueberries.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add milk, beating until just combined. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. If desired, in a small bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup sugar and nutmeg. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top of muffin batter.

Bake, rotating pan halfway though, until muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn muffins on their sides in their cups, and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

* I am always afraid to just bake stuff right in the muffin tin, so I didn’t. Instead of buttering the tins, I just used good ol’ paper liners. Works every time!