Livin' in the Kitchen

Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Street Art and Pumpkin Pie

In Pie, Uncategorized on June 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I’m going to sound like my mother right here, but I can’t believe how fast I’ve grown up. I miss my babysitter Gina, and the Mac and Cheese she so willingly made me every single day of third grade summer. I miss the days I read over summer for enjoyment, instead of for assignments. But most of all I miss creativity being encouraged. Which is why, yesterday, I busted out the scissors, construction paper and sharpies and then proceeded to do the only socially acceptable thing a teenage girl with scissors and construction paper can do: street art.

We left everything up: A cluster of balloons taped to a blank wall downtown, a lightbulb in a thought bubble high on a bookshelf in the library, under a rusted green bridge next to colorful jagged graffitti- someone else’s art. Sometime someone will end up taking the art down. But before they do, I hope they smile. 

Life and food are directly linked. One could not exsist without the other. If the best kind of fun is a simple kind of fun, then what if the key to baking is simplicity, too? 

Pumpkin Pie

Crust Recipe
allrecipes.com

(I doubled this recipe, so if you’re only going to do the bottom crust, use this recipe. But if you want to make a pumkin or design on the top of the pie, you can double it!)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water

1.In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
2.Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Pie
You can take a person and dress them different. You can put different makeup on them, a wig even. You can have them change the way they talk or the way they walk. But at the core, they’ll always be the same person. And if you’re taking all this time trying to compress who that person is, then their true flavors can’t shine through. The point is, let pumpkin pie be what it is. It’s one of the very few you-can’t-mess-with-it foods in the culinary world.

However, if you have a burning desire to do something different with pumpkin pie, do it with the whipped cream. I kid you not. It’s super easy, and there are so many things you can do with whipped cream. And not just for pumpkin pie! You can add spices while you’re whipping the cream. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve read you can infuse the cream with a simple syrup that you’ve boiled down with fruit puree after straining. The possibilities are endless! In the end, though, the whipped cream should make the simple star of the dish shine even brighter.

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Hard Boiled Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies? I think yes.

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2011 at 4:57 am

You never think that the seed you planted as a child could possibly be the towering willow tree that stands planted in your parent’s front yard. You don’t hold your child’s tiny hand inside your own, but think that that same hand will one day be embracing yours. The smallest moments are the ones that people want to pay a million dollars to go back to and enjoy.

I never thought that a hard boiled egg could turn a usual cookie into such a light, fluffy, wonderful treat. Nor did I ever think that a hard boiled egg could act so similar to its raw self. Seeds grow into tress, children gradually step into a new roll of being an adult, and a regular liquid egg turns solid at the hand of a bubbling pot of water. But at the end of the day, nothing is too different from the place it started.

 

Hard Boiled Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slightly adapted from thegirlwhoateeverything
2 3/4 cups flour
1 cup butter (2 sticks), cut into small chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced finely
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350F
In a food processor, mix the butter (cut into cubes) and flour until in crumb-like form
Add the sugars, salt, baking soda, and vanilla. Pulse together.
Throw in the boiled eggs (I chopped mine up a little first) and pulse until mixture comes together.
Stir the chocolate chips in by hand (I’d say, try milk chocolate if you have it).
Roll into balls and bake 13-15 minutes.

I’m going to our cabin for a couple weeks, so if I don’t post, I’m swimming or catching frogs!

Food flowers and Sugar Cookie Flowers

In Cookies on June 12, 2011 at 3:31 am

I figure everyone needs a few more flowers in their lives…

Particularly edible flowers…

When I say everyone, I mean everyone. Which is why, when my 9 year old brother’s best friend slept over and we baked something (like we always do when he’s over) we made roses out of frosting! Put the color in the hands of 9 year old boys and the product turns out to be blue roses.

Sugar Cookies
Recipe slightly adapted from i am baker
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups Sugar
3 whole Eggs
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoons Almond Extract
4 cups all-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
Preheat oven to 350F
Whip the butter and sugar together. Slowly add the eggs, then the extracts. Sift and mix the dry ingredients together.
Roll out between parchment paper and allow to harden in the fridge for an hour or more.
Cut out the cookies in their desired shapes, bake for 6-8 minutes, no longer!

Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon milk
Ice onto cookies and allow to harden.

Frosting
Slightly adapted from i am baker
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup butter
5 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons neon blue coloring (or any food coloring desired)
Whip the butter and confectioners sugar then slowly add milk and vanilla.
Add food coloring and pipe away!

These were a hit for the sleepover and so simple! 9 year old boys have short attention spans, so it was nice that they could walk away for an hour to play videogames, which let me clean up too. Then they came back to finish the cookies.

Sinfully good White Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies

In Cookies on June 4, 2011 at 4:29 am

I like to think that I’m my own boss, and my parents are there for guidance when it’s needed. It’s a teenager thing, I guess. Yesterday afternoon my mom left for soccer games and said no baking exotic things, just chocolate chip cookies.

This is where the BMOB *being my own boss* comes in handy. See, I took that guidance and decided that I would definitely follow half of it: White Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies.  These are sinfully good. Try them out, you won’t be disappointed. 

White Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies
2 sticks salted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 small package stove-cooked powder vanilla pudding
2 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, unbleached
1 cup sweetened shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups white chocolate chips
3 squares almond bark

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Cream together the butter and sugars for about 2 minutes or until smooth with sugars
Slowly add eggs and extracts, beat on medium, scrape, and then beat until incorporated
Add the dry ingredients minus coconut, chips, and almond bark-and slowly mix until just incorporated
Mix the coconut in with a wooden spoon, then mix in white chocolate chips with a wooden spoon, roll into inch balls
Cut the almond bark up into pieces, some small than others, and sprinkle it on to of the rolled out balls
Bake for 12-14 minutes, they’ll look underdone when they come out, if so, cool on the baking sheet.


Enjoy!