January 2, 2015 § Leave a comment
After one year of blogging, I’ve moved to a new domain! You can find me now at doughing-it-right.com.
You can subscribe to the new blog by going to the homepage and entering your e-mail in the left sidebar.
Thank you SO much for all of your views, kind words, and support over this past year. It means so, so much to me and without you I wouldn’t have made this move. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
See you over at the new site!
December 22, 2014 § Leave a comment
I recently concluded my first ever shrimp-sitting stint, during which I was entrusted with the care of my roommate’s beloved pet shrimps, Timmy and Tammy. Me and animals are generally not the bestest of buds, so admittedly there was a small dose of anxiety involved in this process. But let it be known that neither of those suckers died under my care, and to that I say BOOYAH. Pretty shrimp-pressive if I do say so myself.
Besides that (arguably the greatest feat of my winter break so far), I have been busy catching up with old friends, hiking with my dad, and running wild and reckless and free (in the kitchen). I wasn’t really planning on making anything today, but a voice whispered to me that it is hot chocolate season and I have yet to consume a single mug of the stuff. So homemade hot cocoa it was.
Though Swiss Miss instant hot cocoa packets hold sentimental value, I decided to make my own version from scratch using almond milk. The process is super easy! Just take milk, cocoa powder, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg and warm it over the stove for a few minutes. The result is creamy and chocolatey, slightly earthier and not as overwhelmingly sweet as your instant hot cocoa mix. I recommend making some to sip on while buried under piles and piles of blankets.
On a side note, I am looking at these photos and all I can do is lament that I did not turn this recipe into a hot chocolate ICE CREAM FLOAT. Swirly pools of vanilla bean ice cream melting into a steaming sea of bittersweet chocolate liquid…how did this not occur to me?? Whipped cream is a perfectly acceptable alternative, but please do yourself a favor and scoop in a dollop of ice cream if you can. I shall live vicariously.
Almond Milk Hot Chocolate
Makes 2-3 servings
2 and 1/2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
Warm the almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat for several minutes. Stir in cocoa powder, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg and heat until frothy and steamy, making sure to stir occasionally.
Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and cinnamon.
December 19, 2014 § 2 Comments
Revamping my old post for these muffins because quite honestly, the pictures were making my eyes bleed. So ta-da! New pictures, courtesy of a camera that I have nooo idea how to use. HELP.
While we’re on the topic of revisiting things of the past, I will mention that today I went back to visit my newly renovated high school for the first time since graduating. It was odd. Same faces, whole new building. It was hard to feel nostalgic about a place I barely recognized, but mostly I felt like a freshman all over again asking people for directions around the school (Although it hasn’t been that long since I was mistaken for a high school freshman…last year a fellow senior asked me if I was a freshman but we don’t have to talk about that).
Apart from the weirdness of it all, it was so so good to see people again. Smiles and hugs and warm feelings all around.
I made these muffins because the four forsaken bananas on our kitchen counter weren’t receiving any love. My family is pretty picky about bananas, so after a certain number of brown spots appear they sit around indefinitely. As self-appointed head of the banana rescue squad, I knew some banana muffins were in order.
These muffins are the perfect texture – not too airy, but not quite as dense as banana bread. They’re sweet, yet hearty enough to be considered breakfast food. As always, the crumb topping is optional but highly recommended. I sprinkled on some coconut and crushed pecans, but feel free to top with other nuts, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, etc.
They can be made in less than an hour, so they make for a perfect breakfast when served warm! Besides, they have bananas so it’s basically a serving of fruit amirite??
Banana Crumb Muffins
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
Makes 12 muffins
1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large overripe bananas (or 3 small ones), mashed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the crumb topping:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
shredded coconut (for topping)
chopped nuts (for topping)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease one muffin pan or line with muffin papers.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to combine bananas, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix well, until smooth and only small chunks remain.
Slowly add the banana mixture to the flour, mixing with a fork or whisk until just combined. Spoon into muffin tins, about 2/3 of the way full.
Now make the crumb topping. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the muffin batter. Add any other toppings such as nuts, coconut, or chocolate chips.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes, and then lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 12-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and the centers are set. Don’t overbake! You don’t want them to turn out dry.
Remove from oven and let them cool in the pans for 5-7 minutes before carefully removing to cool on a wire rack.
These can be stored in an airtight container for two days. I made mine the night before and they were still just as good the next day.
December 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
Finals week looms overhead in all its ominous splendor, and all I want to do is shop for dorm-sized Christmas trees and eat entire boxes of s’mores pop tarts. If you’re with me on this please stop by my room later and we can commiserate, byopt style (bring-your-own-pop-tarts).
In the meantime, here’s an apple pie to get you through this next week. This is currently my favorite dessert, and here’s why: The thing about pies is that they’re meant to be eaten with others. A batch of cookies can be consumed all alone while you bawl your eyes out watching The Notebook. Ice cream is not willingly shared, as demonstrated by the invention of pint-sized cartons. And cupcakes are actually better eaten in solitude, as to hide all of the awkward facial expressions you make in order to avoid getting frosting up your noise.
Not so with pies.
Nobody ever bakes a pie with the intention of eating it all alone. In fact, it feels almost immoral to think of singlehandedly cleaning out the dish with a fork. No, pies are made to be baked and shared, brought to social gatherings and congregated around at the end of a good meal. A pie is meant to be surrounded by all of your favorite faces, and that is why this apple pie – warm and cinnamony, crust latticed with love and sprinkled with sugar – was the most fitting choice to bring to our very first Friendsgiving.
Seeing high school friends after our first semester apart made my heart explode with happiness. We sat on Anna’s bed with pie and apple cider and caught each other up on life. Even with all the new stories to share, as the saying goes, it was as if nothing had changed. I don’t know how I ever got so lucky with these friends but I am so so so grateful!
This recipe, slightly adapted from A Cozy Kitchen, is hands-down the best apple pie recipe I have ever tried. Thanksgiving or not, make this pie and gather up some of your favorite people to share it with.
Classic Apple Pie
For the pie crust:
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen for 30-60 minutes beforehand
3/4 cups ice water
For the filling:
Juice from 1 lemon
3-4 apples of your favorite kind, peeled and cored
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Raw sugar (for topping)
Make the pie crust:
Use a box grater to grate the frozen butter into small pieces. If the butter starts getting too soft, place back in the freezer for a few minutes. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Dump the grated butter into the mixture and work quickly to combine it with your hands. The mixture should be somewhat dry and have pea-sized chunks.
Slowly, add around half of the ice water. Combine with your hands. The mixture should be shaggy. Now keep adding water little by little, just until the dough comes together. Take care not to add too much water. Without handling the dough too much, knead a few more times until the dough is cohesive and dump onto a lightly floured countertop. Form a ball and divide in half to form two discs. They should be roughly 1 and 1/2 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
Make the filling:
In a large bowl, add the lemon juice. Cut the peeled apples in half and slice thinly, tossing them in the lemon juice immediately. Add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, making sure to coat the apple slices evenly.
Putting it all together:
Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on the countertop and sprinkle lightly with flour. Remove one disc from the refrigerator and roll out evenly into a 13-inch circle, making sure to lift it periodically to avoid sticking. Wrap the dough over a rolling pin to transfer it to a pie dish. Fit the dough around the bottom and edges of the dish. Trim the edges so there is about 1/2 inch overhang. Save those scraps! Transfer the dish to the refrigerator and remove the second disc.
Repeat the process to roll out second disc. Use a knife or pastry scraper to slice the circle into 1-2 inch strips for the lattice. Re-roll scraps and cut more strips until you have enough to cover the surface of the pie. If the butter starts melting and dough becomes too soft, just let it chill in the freezer for a few minutes and continue.
Remove pie dish from the refrigerator and pour in the apple filling. You can layer the apples neatly or just pour it in however you like. Create a lattice pattern with the strips of dough. This is much easier than it seems! If you need guidance, here’s a helpful picture. I start by laying two strips perpendicular across the center of the pie and adding pieces from there, folding back strips when necessary. Leave about half an inch between pieces. Seal the edges.
Trim the edges and crimp your crust as desired. If you have enough dough left over, try braiding the crust or making a fancy-pants design.
Whisk together egg and heavy cream, and brush liberally over the entire pie. Sprinkle generously with raw sugar. Stick the pie in the freezer while the oven preheats to 400 degrees F.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top crust appears slightly brown. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the pie is golden and the house smells so good you think you will die if you leave the pie in there any longer. (If any parts of the crust start getting too dark, cover those parts with foil and continue baking.)
Allow the pie to cool for an hour, or as long as you can stand, before slicing and serving warm with a scoop of ice cream.
November 29, 2014 § 4 Comments
Honestly I’ve been dying to post a new recipe just so I could show off the newest addition to my kitchen wardrobe:
I almost melted into a happy puddle of tears and snot when my friend gave me this apron for my birthday. When I finally had the opportunity to bake this weekend, I knew that a gift such as this required the ultimate recipe for its inauguration – and as my friend cautioned, “you can only break your apron’s baking-ginity once.”
Thus, with a convicted heart and an electric mixer in hand, I decided to tackle my most formidable challenger: yeast, in the form of nutella babka.
Yeast is not a fan of me. You might remember my yeast-phobia, which is not without good reason – soft pretzels that were more school-cafeteria than Auntie-Anne’s, Hawaiian bread that never actually rose, cinnamon rolls that kind of tasted like bacteria (if that’s possible??) – no matter how hard I tried to make it work between us, my efforts were for naught.
But that nutella babka recipe had been taunting me ever since I first heard nutella babka was even a thing, and besides, I couldn’t pass up a challenge.
So I gave it a try. And it turns out that yeast is not as frightening of a creature as I thought! It still makes me a little jittery and I can’t help feeling like I’m doing something wrong, but by some miracle things worked out okay this time. I want to say it was all due to my kitchen prowess and baker’s intuition, or that yeast has turned around and changed its feelings about me, but who am I kidding…it was the apron. Nevermore will I bake without this sacred garment.
Oh, and I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I’m a bit late, but there will be an apple pie post sometime this week :)
Lots and lots of love,