Napa Cabbage, Asian Pear and Carrot Salad

Monday, January 30, 2012

Napa Cabbage, Asian Pear & Carrot Salad

I'm guest blogging over at Kitchen Corners blog. Damaris is one of my favorite bloggers and she started off 2012 with 31 days of salads!

I made a Napa Cabbage, Asian Pear and Carrot Salad. Check it out on Kitchen Corners! ;) - mary
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Chocolate Breakfast Muffins - King Arthur Flour

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chocolate Breakfast Muffins - King Arthur Flour
Chocolate Breakfast Muffins

Chocolate for breakfast. Sign me up!

This is pretty much a cupcake without that makes it totally legit for breakfast. ;)
Chocolate Breakfast Muffins - collage 1
This recipe is super duper easy and from the fine folks at King Arthur Flour. You can throw the ingredients together in the morning and bake them while you are taking a shower. The muffin has Dutch-process cocoa and some chocolate chips for a double chocolate punch.

Chocolate Breakfast Muffins - King Arthur Flour
My friend Racheal came down with the dreaded cold... Have you had it yet? It is going around like crazy. I dropped this care package for Racheal and her cute son, Caden to get the healing started. Chocolate is medicinal, right?! Believe me, this is much better than a get well card.

Three Designing Women Stamp
Look what I bought myself for my birthday! A little stamp that says "From the Kitchen of...The Food Librarian." It's made by Three Designing Women. You can pick one up on Amazon - they mail you a blank stamp and a certificate to order the design online.

Adapted from King Arthur Flour's website

2/3 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-proces cocoa 
1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cups (9 3/8 ounces) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon espresso powder, optional (I used the espresso punches up with chocolate flavor) 
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips (I used Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips)
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) milk (I used whole milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter, melted
Optional: coarse pearl sugar, for topping (I didn't have any pearl sugar (must get some, it is so pretty on the chocolate muffin)...I used some sanding sugar instead)

Prep: Preheat oven to 400°F. Prep muffin tin (I sprayed mine with Pam with Flour spray).
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. 
2. In a large measuring cup or medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and vinegar. 
3. Add the wet ingredients, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend, just until combined. Do not overbeat.
4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin. King Arthur makes 12 muffins with big tops, but I made them a bit smaller and got 16 muffins. Sprinkle with sugar. 
5. Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes remove them from the pan, to cool on a rack.
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Quartre Quarts - French Fridays with Dorie

Friday, January 20, 2012

Quartre Quarts - French Fridays with Dorie
Quartre Quarts

I'm back! I'm back on the French Fridays with Dorie circuit! This week, the French Fridays with Dorie group made Quartre Quarts from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Around my French Table. 

Quartre Quarts - French Fridays with Dorie
It's a snacking cake with no frosting. Um, I'm sooooo there!

Quartre Quarts - French Fridays with Dorie
This is totally delicious. I just made it afternoon and am trying to save some to bring into work tomorrow! It reminds me of the Swedish Visiting Cake sans the nuts. It is light, not very sweet and goes perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea. I used vanilla (you can also use rum) so it has a great warm, vanilla taste. It's topped with just enough brown sugar to give it sweetness.

Be sure to check out my fellow French Fridays with Dorie members and see their creations!

Please note: French Fridays with Dorie will not be posting recipes. Please support Dorie and purchase the book or find it at your library.

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Any Day All-Occasion Apple Snack Cake (Flo Braker)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Any Day All-Occassion Snack Cake

I love snack cakes as much as I love Downton Abbey. I'm a bit late to the party and have been watching marathons of the first season. Oh, that are vile. And Bates and Anna? So perfect...if it weren't for that crazy pesky wife. Anyway, Miss Patmore might not make this, but you can make a quick cake any morning.

This recipe is from Flo Braker’s Baking For All Occasions - pick up the book, it is filled with lots of yummy recipes.

All Occasion Snacking Cake collage
This cake uses oil and no butter, even for the topping. Mix most of the dry ingredients together with oil and then pull out some of it. Add nuts (I used chopped walnuts from Trader Joe's) and some cinnamon to finish off the topping.

In the headnote, Flo says you can add a cup of fruit or veggies to the's very versatile. I shredded an apple (skin on).

Any Day All-Occassion Snack Cake
Any Day All-Occasion Apple Snack Cake
(adapted from Flo Braker’s Baking For All Occasions)

2 1/3 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur all-purpose unbleached flour)
3⁄4 cup sugar (150 grams)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon - divided (I used Penzy's cinnamon)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (200 grams)
3⁄4 cup vegetable oil (I used Wesson's canola oil)
(I added 1 cup shredded apple with skin on)
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts (I used Trader Joe's Walnut baking pieces)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg

Prep: Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep a 9 x 13 pan.
You don't need a KitchenAid mixer...just a couple bowls and a whisk.

1. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon into a large bowl.
2. Mix in the brown sugar with a whisk.
3. Stir in the oil. (By this point, my batter was a little dry and in crumbles - this worked out fine).
4. Crumb topping: Remove enough of the flour mixture to measure 3⁄4 cup loosely packed. Add the remaining 1 tsp cinnamon and blend well with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside.
5. To finish the cake batter, stir in the baking powder and baking soda. Add the buttermilk and egg and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
6. Stir in your added fruit or veggies (if adding). I added one shredded skin-on apple.
7. Pour the batter into pan, then sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the batter.
8. Bake for about 35 mins until toothpick comes out clean.
9. The instructions say to depan the cake after 10-15 minutes and let cool completely. However, I just left it in the pan to cool off.

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Vegan Cocoa Cake with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

Friday, January 6, 2012

Vegan Cocoa Cake
Vegan Cocoa Cake

Happy New Year! How is 2012 treating you?

I sort of missed the first half the month... sick on New Year's Eve with days of sinus infection...and a Z-Pack that killed my stomach for a couple days. Then I almost broke my 4th toe (what's that called? The "ring" toe?) yesterday hiking up a mountain. Well, you can replace "hiking up a mountain" with "in my house, moving junk around." Sigh.

Vegan Cocoa Cake collage
Why don't you start of your 2012 with some vegan cocoa cake with a light cinnamon sugar topping. I found this recipe in Hawai'i's Best Local Desserts by Jean Watanabe Hee. The fact that it's vegan isn't mentioned in the cookbook, but as I started to assemble the ingredients, I noticed it was vegan! The resulting cake is very moist. I cut it when it was still warm so the edges are all ragged...but it was still enjoyed at the library!

Vegan Cocoa Cake
Vegan Cocoa Cake
Adapted from Hawai'i's Best Local Desserts by Jean Watanabe Hee

2 1/2 cups flour (350 grams)
1 1/2 cups sugar (300 grams)
1/2 cup cocoa (40 grams Hershey's cocoa)
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup oil (I used canola oil)
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 Tablespoons vanilla
2 cups cold coffee or cold water (I used two packages of Starbucks Via. I dissolved the coffee in 1/2 cup boiling water and then added ice and cold water to get 2 cups of cold coffee)

Topping (combine together in a small bowl):
1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
3. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla and coffee/water to the bowl. Stir together with a whisk - but be sure you don't overbeat. Do not make this in a KitchenAid mixer or electric mixer - a fork or whisk are just fine. You'll see bubbles because of the reaction of the baking soda and vinegar.
4. When combined, immediately pour into the 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar topping.
5. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
6. Let cool and cut into squares.

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