Category Food and Recipes

Cider-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Fall Vegetables

It’s officially oven season!

As the temperatures drop, sheet pan dinners like this one make regular appearances in our kitchen.

I love sheet pan recipes because you can simply throw all your ingredients onto a sheet pan (ok, don’t throw, you want your food arranged in a single layer so it bakes evenly, but you get the idea) and pop it in the oven. No need to wrangle multiple pots and pans on the stove and in the oven to prepare a complete meal. That’s the beauty of recipes like these.

Cider-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Fall Vegetables

As far as roasted chicken recipes go, this one might be our new favorite, not to mention totally seasonally appropriate. We used an assortment of tools from OXO to make it happen, including bakeware, tongs, basting brush, peeler, thermometer and chef’s knife.

I swear, I’m not exaggerating when I say that half of our kitchen is OXO, which is why it was a no-brainer when they asked if we wanted to partner to share some fall roasting recipes with you. But seriously, all of OXO’s products are so well designed and just gosh darn functional, not to mention comfortable to use. Other kitchen tools just don’t compare.

Cider-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Fall Vegetables

This chicken packs a flavorful punch in the form of an apple cider glaze, made from fresh apple cider simmered with garlic and spices until thick and sweet.

Let’s just clarify now and get it out of the way: use apple cider, NOT apple cider vinegar. That’s an entirely different beast and I don’t think you’ll be pleased with the results. (You’d be surprised how often such a mistake is made).

We used an unfiltered honeycrisp apple cider, but you can use your favorite (non-alcoholic) apple cider or unfiltered apple juice. In fact, fresh cider is basically defined as raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process so they are technically the same thing. If your cider is already spiced, you might want to leave the cinnamon out of the glaze.

When cooked down, the natural sugars in the cider will caramelize, creating a super sweet and sticky glaze. And when I say reduce I really mean it: you’ll start with 1 1/2 cups of liquid and end up with a scant 1/3 cup, just enough to brush onto your chicken breasts and a little leftover to drizzle on your veggies.

To peel or not to peel: Types of Winter Squash

When it comes to varieties of winter squash, there are so many varieties out there you might start going cross eyed. For this recipe we used delicata and honeynut, but acorn squash would be another good option (although peeling acorn squash is a tricky task indeed). That’s one of the reasons I love delicata squash, the tender skin doesn’t require peeling. Honeynut squash is a new-to-me variety that’s basically a smaller, sweeter butternut, is a perfect sweet compliment to the cider glaze. It does need to be peeled (but armed with a super sharp, ergonomic peeler, you’ll have naked squash in no time!)

Peeling Honeynut squash before roasting

Cider-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Fall Vegetables

Apple Cider Glaze Recipe for roasted chicken breasts and fall vegetables.

The sugary glaze will burn, so we only brush it on the chicken during the last 5-7 minutes of baking (tip: use a silicone basting brush like this one for easy application and even easier cleanup). A sugary glaze is the quickest way to ruin a good cookie sheet, so don’t make the mistake of putting it on too early.

Cider-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Fall Vegetables

Speaking of cookie sheets, for sheet pan meals like this one a thick, evenly-conducting pan is essential, and a quality non-stick surface will ensure that any burnt or caramelized bits will be easy to scrub off. A thinner sheet pan will develop hot spots, whereas a quality cookie sheet bakes evenly so the food on the edges is cooked just as much as the middle. OXO’s non-stick metal bakeware has a microtextured pattern to improve nonstick capabilities and improve airflow for even baking. It’s really some of the nicest bakeware I’ve ever used.

Cider-Glazed Chicken Breasts with Fall Vegetables

As we’ve mentioned before, starting with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts is key to moist and juicy chicken, and this recipe is no different. You simply won’t get the same flavorful results from a boneless breast. Not to mention they’re usually significantly cheaper. (Cheaper and more flavorful? That’s what I call a win win!)

Chicken breasts should read 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the meat, that is how you know they are cooked through.

Since chicken breasts vary so much in size, you can’t rely solely on the cook time outlined in a recipe, be it mine or Martha’s. Instead, the only authority you should trust when it comes to cooking chicken is your thermometer (you do have a reliable thermometer, don’t you?)

If you can find them, smaller breasts (around 8 to 10 ounces each) work better for this recipe; larger ones may take upwards of 40 to 50 minutes to cook, at which point the veggies will be mush. If your breasts are on the larger side, I’d recommend starting your chicken first by itself, then add the veggies to the pan after 10 to 15 minutes.

Start checking the temperature of the meat after about 30 minutes. When the breasts hit 150 degrees in the thickest part of the meat, brush on your glaze, then pop it back in the oven for 5 to 7 more minutes or until the glaze is golden and the thickest part of the breast reads 165 degrees F. That’s the only way you’ll know that your chicken is truly done (and not overdone at that).

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional, leave out if your cider is spiced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 small (10-12 ounce) bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 medium or 2 small winter squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled (if necessary), halved, seeds scooped out, and sliced into 3/4-inch thick slices.
  • 1 small red onion, cut into wedges
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a half sheet pan by brushing lightly with olive oil.
  2. In a saucepan, combine apple cider, garlic, cinnamon, thyme, sage and salt and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the glaze is noticeably thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup. This will take about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rub chicken breasts all over with a few tablespoons of olive oil all over chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on sheet pan with a few inches of space between them.
  4. In a bowl, toss sliced squash and onions with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss to evenly coat, then spread onto baking sheet, arranging in a single layer in spaces around chicken breasts. (Note that if your chicken breasts are on the large side, you should give them 10 to 15 minutes in the oven on their own, then add the vegetables to prevent overcooking).
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until chicken breasts read an internal temperature of about 150-155 degrees F. Brush with cider glaze, then return to the oven for 5 to 7 minutes more or until glaze is browned and chicken reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the meat.
  6. Transfer chicken and vegetables to plates and serve with remaining cider glaze on the side.

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Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My grandma’s nutty sour cream coffee cake recipe is perfection. Or should have been perfection, if I had just made it the way that she said to.

When I pulled this recipe out of her recipe box I still had sweet potato crumb cake on the brain, and decided I wanted to add an equally delightful crumb topping to this recipe (because a coffee cake always has a crumb topping, right?)

Wrong.

It sunk. The crumb topping I mean. Sunk right to the bottom of the cake where it pooled in pockets of molten brown sugar. It was still tasty, actually, but it wasn’t what I was going for and certainly wasn’t very pretty.

Not one to quit, I made it again, this time following grandma’s instructions (other than adding the apples, of course. Call me a rebel if you must).

Nutty Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Honeycrisp Apples and Pecans

And you know what? If I had just followed the dang recipe the first time, I would have been rewarded with a delightfully crispy top. The simple act of sprinkling a generous amount of sugar on top of the batter transforms into a thin layer of papery crispness that, dare I say it, is even better than a crumb topping.

Lesson learned: don’t f*** with grandma’s recipes.

My favorite Coffee Cake recipe, with sour cream, apples, pecans and cinnamon sugar.

But, Lindsay! You said you added apples, so clearly you still messed with the recipe.

I know, I know. I never learn, do I?

Still, I feel that my addition of apples is one change grandma would approve of (for years she had an apple tree in her front yard, so I’m betting she probably made a variation like this herself at one point).

What kind of apples should you use? That’s a loaded question. I used honeycrisp apples, which are my favorite eating apples and translate beautifully into baking recipes. You definitely want a crisp apple that holds up well to heat, but it’s up to you whether you like sweeter apples like honeycrisp or more tart ones like Granny Smith. Either would work beautifully here.

Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe, perfect for fall baking!

When it comes to cake pans, I used a 9-inch round by 3-inch deep pan with a removable bottom for easy removal. Same concept as a springform pan but with better quality metal and no leakage whatsoever. Whatever you do, DO NOT use a standard 2-inch deep pan or you will likely spilleth over. Or, if you do, don’t fill it all the way. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake: Before & After

If you don’t have a deep 9-inch round pan, a standard 9-inch square pan will also work, as the same size square holds more batter, volume-wise, than a 9-inch round pan (yay geometry!) Just don’t fill your pan more than 2/3 way full to avoid overflow (the apples add a good amount of volume, almost too much for this size pan, so you may want to leave a little out just in case). Your bake time will also be slightly less to account for the thinner depth.

Not sure if it was my switch to a round vs square pan, but I did have to adjust my baking time, 15 minutes more than the original. Use your judgement: at 35 minutes my cake was still jiggly in the middle, clearly not done. You’ll know it’s done when the top is golden and crispy and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.

Crispy on top, sweet and tender in the middle, you'll love this perfect apple coffee cake recipe!

Of course, I added apples, but you can certainly remove them and go for a straight up sour cream coffee cake. It’s a keeper!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cup (7.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups diced)

For topping:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round by 3-inch deep cake pan (preferably with a removable bottom) or 9-inch square cake pan; line bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Mix baking soda in with sour cream; mix baking powder and salt in with flour until evenly incorporated.
  4. Alternate adding half of sour cream to batter, followed by half of dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then repeat with remaining sour cream and flour until just incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract, then fold in apples until evenly distributed. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Spread half of the batter into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with half of sugar mixture and half of chopped nuts; gently swirl a few strokes through the batter with a knife. Top with remaining batter, then sprinkle with remaining sugar and nuts and swirl once again.
  6. Bake for about 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. If using a 9-inch square pan or a smaller pan (hopefully you didn’t put all the batter in there) your cake will likely be done sooner, so start checking after 30-35 minutes.
  7. Place pan on a wire rack to cool. Run a knife around the edge to release, then remove from pan and cool completely. Cake will keep, covered in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.

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Parmesan Puffs

Another gem from Grandma’s recipe box…

This one would make a perfect party snack.

Not that we actually threw a party or anything (just who do you think we are?) and yet, we had no trouble devouring the whole batch on our own.

When I first pulled this recipe from the shoe box, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. “Parmesan Puff” could mean so many different things. Would it be like a cheese puff? Or more like a cracker?

With no picture to go off of, I simply had to make them and see for myself.

(And yes, that tin indeed says chocolat chaud. The recipe said to store the cooled puffs in “tightly covered tins” but the only suitable container I could find was this French hot chocolate tin, which, incidentally, was exactly the right size to hold a row of cheesy rectangles. How’s that for ingenuity?)

Grandma's party appetizer recipe: Parmesan Puffs

Ultimately, the puffs fall somewhere between a savory puff pastry and a cheese cracker (think a thicker, softer cheez-it, essentially). With buttery, flaky layers and a slightly crispy bottom not unlike the crispy browned bits from an overzelous grilled cheese.

Surprising, really, how a puff-pastry like dough can come from butter, cream cheese, flour, and grated parmesan. It’s not what I expected at all, but, needless to say, I was pleased as punch with the final result.

Parmesan Puffs: Before & After Baking

Wanting to be true to Grandma’s recipe as much as possible, I followed her elegantly scripted instructions exactly, cutting my puffs into perfect 1-inch-wide by 3-inch-long rectangles (what, you don’t keep a ruler in the kitchen?) but you could also have some fun with cookie cutters here too. Although, keep in mind that any scraps, while they can be re-rolled and re-cut, won’t be quite as puffed or flaky as the first roll out (they are sort of like biscuits in that regard).

Parmesan Puff Pastry Crackers

I couldn’t decide between paprika or poppy seeds to be sprinkled on top (the recipe mentioned both as options), so I did a half of each. I opted to use smoked paprika too instead of sweet, figuring the extra smokiness and mature flavor couldn’t hurt (smoked paprika perhaps being one of our favorite and most-used spices… I rarely use the regular variety).

Brushing Parmesan Puffs with egg wash before baking

How to Make Parmesan Puffs Recipe

This recipe calls for grated parmesan. Not shredded… grated. The powdery stuff (you know what I’m talking about). I personally don’t love the kind that comes in the green can (tastes like soap), but Trader Joe’s has a great alternative: same classic grated texture, but slightly higher quality cheese.

You can also make your own grated parmesan by placing chunks of parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulsing until very finely ground. You’ll need about 9 ounces of cheese to yield 2 cups of grated cheese.

Parmesan Puffs with Paprkia and Poppy Seeds

I’m also excited to try making pecorino puffs (because where Parmesan is good, Pecorino is better, at least in our house). I also think any similarly hard cheese would work here; not sure about softer ones like cheddar, which might not have the same result. I’m intrigued enough to try it, though! Or, better yet, swapping the cream cheese for goat cheese? That sounds downright fabulous to me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (9 ounces) grated parmesan
  • 2 cups (8.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for brushing
  • poppy seeds and/or paprika, for topping

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine parmesan, flour, pepper and cayenne and mix until evenly incorporated.
  2. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add parmesan mixture and work in with your fingers until it forms a round ball of soft dough.
  3. Divide dough into two pieces and roll into balls; flatten slightly. Wrap tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight until firm. (You can also freeze the dough for use at a later time).
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Let dough return to cool room temperature for about 20 minutes before rolling out. Keep one dough disc in the fridge while you roll out the other.
  5. On a lightly floured surface or between two layers of waxed paper roll into an oblong 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 1-by-3-inch strips. Arrange on parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving 1/2 inch of space between them. Brush with lightly beaten egg; sprinkle with paprika or poppy seeds if desired.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown on the bottoms. Cool on wire racks before storing in an airtight container for up to 5 days (recrisp slightly in a 375 degree oven, if desired).

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Fig Rosé Jam

Figs make some of my favorite preserves, and this recipe is no exception.

I’ve been planning it since last fall when I received a glut of figs from the California Fig Advisory Board. While I made use of most of them, some went in the freezer for later use. (I peeled, chopped, and mashed them first so they’d be jam-ready in a jiffy.)

In the tasting notes that accompanied the 4 unique fig varieties, it mentioned Sierra figs having a creamy center and sweet and mild flavor like a Riesling. That got me thinking about figs and wine, which ultimately led to this gem of a jam. Yes, I used rosé instead of Riesling, but you can’t deny that rosé is having its moment right now, so why not turn it into a jam?

Chunky green fig jam with Rosé

Much like my peach rosé popsicles from earlier this summer, rosé proves to be a perfect pairing for fruit, be it frozen or jammed and canned. The rosé flavor is subtle but noticeable, and compliments the sweetened fig beautifully. I’d recommend looking for a wine that mentions notes of red fruit or even figs on the label for a truly perfect pairing (and yes, you can use white wine here instead of rosé if you like!)

Fig Rosé Jam and FREE Printable Canning Labels

I used green Sierra figs in my jam, but you can use whatever variety of fig you happen to have on hand, just know that the color of the jam will change accordingly (as pretty as it is in the bottle, the rosé doesn’t actually affect the color of the jam much at all). Dark mission or brown turkey figs will produce a ruby red jam, and pink-centered tiger figs will produce a blush pink jam.

Whatever variety you use, if the skins are particularly thick (as is the case with most green figs), I recommend peeling the figs first. Basically, if the skins are thick enough that you can peel it, you should. The result will be a much finer-textured jam than if you left the skins whole.

Fig Rosé Jam Canning Recipe

Like any good wine, this jam would be stellar on crackers with a nice aged cheddar or fresh goat cheese.

Or, better yet, spread on bread and top with cheese for the ultimate grown-up grilled cheese.

Talk about seriously delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds figs (skins removed if thick), chopped and mashed (about 3 cups mashed)
  • 1 cup rosé wine
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons calcium water* (included with the pectin)

Directions:

  1. To prepare figs, remove stems and coarsely chop. If your figs are particularly thick skinned (some varieties are) you might want to peel them first. Totally optional, and not easy by any means, but your final jam will be smoother as a result. Mash fruit in a bowl or saucepan using a potato masher.
  2. Fill a large stock pot or canning pot 2/3 full with water; place a rack of some sort in the bottom and place over medium-high heat. Wash/sterilize your jars and submerge in water bath as it heats. The pot should be just about boiling by the time the jam is ready to go. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together sugar and pectin until evenly distributed.
  4. Combine mashed figs with wine in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes or until figs are soft and start to lose their shape. Add lemon juice and calcium water and bring to a full rolling boil. Add sugar and pectin, stirring vigorously until completely dissolved. Continue to stir until jam returns to a full boil, which shouldn’t take more than 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Ladle jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads. Screw on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.

* Calcium powder to make calcium water is included with the Pomona’s brand pectin. If you are substituting another pectin brand/type, please follow the instructions inside your pectin package, paying attention to the process and the proportion of fruit to sugar required by that type of pectin (different kinds of pectin will require different amounts of sugar to properly set).

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Bonus Printable Labels

Since my jam didn’t turn out very pink (I had visions of a perfect shade of blush pink… alas, green figs are not the way to achieve such a color) so I wanted a touch of pink in the labels to compensate. These pretty in pink labels perfectly compliment the honey-colored jam.

Fig Rosé Jam Recipe and FREE downloadable jam labels!

To use, simply download the file and print onto white label paper, cut out the shapes, and apply directly to the (canned and cooled) jars. You can also print onto cardstock and punch out holes to use as hang tags.

The rectangle labels are designed to perfectly fit these 6oz oval hex jars, but they’d also work on smooth-sided mason jars or lids as well. Front and back labels included with space to fill in the made/opened dates and batch number.

The downloadable PDF file contains 6 front/back labels per page.

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Potato & Rosemary Focaccia Bread

It’s a beautiful sunny day in the picturesque city of Vernazza, on the Ligurian coast of Italy in an area known as Cinque Terre (or Five Lands). We’ve just gotten off the train that meanders between the five towns along the steep ocean cliffs. We’re walking down, steeply, our knees nearly buckling on the worn cobblestone streets. We’re hungry, desperately so, and spot a small, nondescript bakery on our right.

The smell alone is enough to drive your stomach to madness. Once inside that door we knew we were not leaving without at least one slice of the golden focaccia bread that is piled high in the glass cases in front of us, topped with everything from cheese to fresh anchovies to potatoes.

We carefully choose a slice topped with thin slices of potato and fresh rosemary. We continue to walk down the steep streets towards the sea, folding back the waxed paper that enshrouds our snack and filling our mouths with this yeasty slice of magic, never wanting to leave.

Now, 7 years later, the memory of that place, the feel of the cobbles underneath my shoes as vivid in my memory as the yeasty flavor of the bread on my tongue. Perhaps, taste memory is why I remember this moment above so many others from that trip. Perhaps, such a memory simply wouldn’t be without it.

Food has a way of doing that, you know.

Our stomachs often lead our travels and, as it turns out, help us remember them too.

The Best Homemade Focaccia Recipe - Light and tender and flavorful!

Anyway, back to the bread.

I’m actually surprised, given at how strong that memory is to me, that I haven’t tried to recreate it until now. Maybe I was intimidated, not confident that I could recreate such magic with simple flour and yeast.

Potato & Rosemary Focaccia Bread: Before and after baking

Authentic focaccia bread is a revelation: light, airy, yeasty, and not overly oily despite the amount of olive oil that goes into making it.

It took us a few tries to get it right; our first attempts being little more than pan-sized breadsticks, too dense and chewy and crunchy around the edges to be considered good focaccia.

As it turns out, the secret is the Italian-style 00 flour. Like the Udon noodles we made a few months ago, the texture of 00 flour simply can’t be matched by all purpose. The super finely milled flour produces a light and airy focaccia that is simply divine. That said, you can use all-purpose flour as well, your final product will just be a little bit denser. Either way, this is a great opportunity to get out your new kitchen scale, since the two kinds of flour are not identical in terms of weight to volume. Stick with weight, and you’ll be fine either way.

Homemade Focaccia Recipe with Rosemary and Multi-colored potatoes

Focaccia is the perfect yeasty canvas to let your culinary imagination run wild.

We’ve opted to recreate the potato-and-rosemary vision of our memory, but you could also top this bread with pitted kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, anchovies, or freshly shaved parmesan cheese. Or go pure, with just a brushing of olive oil and a sprinkle of flake sea salt.

Potato & Rosemary Focaccia Bread Recipe

The dough itself is quite easy, needing only 5 ingredients plus water. You’ll want to give yourself at least 3 hours to make it, as the double-rest period is essential to the fluffy texture. That said, while it might take 3 hours, the actual ‘active’ time you’ll be on your feed is far, far less. Maybe 30 minutes at most, especially if you have a stand mixer to help you along.

The recipe is written for a quarter sheet pan, but you can certainly double it for a half sheet pan too.

Get the full recipe on the Kitchenthusiast blog »

This recipe was created in partnership with KitchenAid®. All opinions are my own. Be sure to share your take on this recipes on Instagram using #ForTheMaking for a chance to be featured on the @KitchenAidUSA account!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water (90-100 degrees F)
  • 2 cups (9.5 ounces) 00 flour or an equivalent weight of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed for preparation
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 ounces small multicolored potatoes, thinly sliced
  • fresh rosemary, leaves removed from stem
  • coarse flake sea salt, for finishing

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk yeast into lukewarm water until dissolved and frothy (if your yeast doesn’t fully dissolve or get frothy, that means it is dead; throw it out and get fresh yeast).
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, olive oil, and honey. Add yeast and mix with the paddle attachment until just incorporated; add salt, then switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for 5 minutes or until smooth and still slightly tacky. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice, forming dough into a smooth ball.
  3. Pour a glug or two of olive oil into the mixing bowl and roll dough ball in the oil until coated. Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes until noticeably puffed.
  4. Generously oil a non-stick quarter sheet pan. Turn out dough onto pan and press out into a rectangle. Fold in half lengthwise, then fold in half crosswise, then fold in half once more to form a rectangle. Turn 90º so long side of rectangle is parallel to the long side of the sheet pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Get the full recipe on the Kitchenthusiast blog »

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Clips & Quips: Get Healthy Edition

Is it fall yet, is it, is it?

Desmond wants to know.

(He also knows you’re hiding cookies behind that screen of yours… he can smell them.)

Today is technically the first day of fall, so why am I still blasting AC in the office? We had a nice fall preview a few weeks ago (thanks to the remnants of the hurricanes, no doubt), but lately it’s been as hot as if we were in the middle of July. I’m ready for cooler temps already! Preferably without the accompanying hurricane, mmkay?

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably noticed we’ve done a lot of traveling over the last 6 months. First Japan, then Italy, then Colorado to visit family, California to visit the other family, and Columbus, Ohio for a bit of a fun blogger retreat (post coming soon!) Traveling is fun, sure, but it’s also stressful. I’m actually looking forward to a few months without any travel, when I can hunker down and get into a calm, un-stressful routine.

(As usual, there are affiliate/referral links in this post, and if you purchase I’ll receive a small percentage in return. Thanks in advance for supporting me… and my Amazon shopping habit!)

Taylor and I don’t eat terribly unhealthy, necessarily, but our diet is definitely heavy on the carbs and cheese. Lately we’ve been trying to improve our breakfast and lunch routine, and are finding it rather hard to consistently come up with new/quick/interesting lunch ideas that aren’t based on a foundation of carbs. Our go-to grilled cheese/quesadilla lunches of yore are history, but we can only do so many salads before it starts to get old. I would love to hear your favorite lunch ideas!

Snacks too. I’ve realized my body needs to eat something every 3-4 hours. If I wait too long to eat I get shaky, lightheaded, and lightly nauseous (and subsequently slamming a granola bar or something just makes me even more queasy). I’ll usually do protein bars in between breakfast and lunch, but it’s hard not to go for the cookies in the afternoon. Tell me, what are your favorite grab-and-go afternoon snacks?

My fiddle leaf fig (lovingly named Fergus) is finally putting out new growth! I started feeding him some liquid plant food a few months ago, and I think he’s liking the sustenance. He’s always been pretty happy in his sunny corner of the living room, but I’m excited that he’s finally turning over a new leaf!

Since the last Quips post I’ve also acquired a few more plants, bringing my total count up nearly 20. How many houseplants is too many houseplants, would you say?

Currently reading Sourdough by Robin Sloan, and it’s making me want to dive into breadmaking until I’m neck deep in sticky, yeasty goodness. This goes contrary to our whole trying to eat healthier thing, doesn’t it? Or maybe I’ll make it a rule that the only bread we can eat has to be homemade.

My latest cookbook finds include this gorgeous book on regional Mexican cuisine (seriously, one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t NOT buy it). Yes, I most definitely judge books by their covers. Guilty as charged. Case in point: I totally bought this nacho cookbook for its stunning cover (though the inside is beautifully designed as well, and I’m secretly giddy that the Bastion nachos recipe is in it… my favorite nachos, ever!) I’m also seriously loving the Bravetart cookbook (it’s the source of the perfect homemade Oreo recipe I posted last week). My cousin lent me this book which I am surprisingly excited about (since I don’t normally read nonfiction). It’s all about the history of how we cook and eat and the tools we’ve developed solely for that purpose. Intriguing!

I’m very excited to be taking a ceramics class this semester at a local art school that offers community education courses. I know I’m not going to make any masterpieces my first go at it, but I’m hoping to get at least a few new prop dishes out of the 9 week course. My assignment this week, other than acquiring the basic tools digging out my grungiest clothes, is to bring in some ‘textures’ to impress in the clay. I think it’d be cool to play with food textures: think plates embossed with cheerios, spaghetti bowls, and coffee bean mugs. Needless to say I’m already having fun with it. 🙂

Who here is into Enneagram? At Ali’s encouragement I took the test (twice, just to be sure) and came out as a 9. Basically the indecisive one who will do anything to avoid conflict at all costs. Pretty much me to a T. Taylor’s a 9 too, no surprise there (and maybe why we’re such a chill couple, lol). I look forward to diving into this whole Enneagram thing more deeply, find out more about who I truly am.

And with those deep thoughts… that concludes this edition of Clips & Quips: random thoughts and finds from the depths of my mind.

Have a great weekend!

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Chocolate Sea Salt Protein Bars

I need snacks. I can’t physically make it from breakfast to lunch without one. Maybe that means I’m eating the wrong thing for breakfast, or maybe it’s just my body, but I have to eat every 3-4 hours otherwise I feel queasy and shaky.

So I’ve been buying bars. Energy bars in every size and shape and flavor. Some are better than others, but they all have one thing in common: they are expensive. And often full of sugar and other shtuff that I don’t necessarily want to be eating.

The RX bars are some of my favorites, namely the chocolate sea salt flavor. I figured, since the recipe is written right there on the package, why not try a homemade version?

These are the result.

Homemade Protein Bars: Paleo, gluten-free, refined-sugar free, and no-bake!

They’re not identical to the original, I find the flavor much nuttier with a slightly grittier texture not unlike almond butter. So I won’t call them a copycat recipe, but rather ‘inspired by’ the RX brand. The ingredients are the same, the nutrition is pretty darn similar (according to my calculations these might actually have a bit more protein per bar, 14 grams worth) but I assume because of the limits of home equipment, I’m not able to get the same smooth, dense consistency as the commercial ones.

Homemade Chocolate Sea Salt RX Bars Recipe

You’ll find these bars much softer, which I like (since they won’t rip out your husband’s temporary fillings… oops). But the softer texture does mean they need to be refrigerated, which means they are better for at-home snacking and not the kind of the you want to pack in your purse for a long, hot day outside.

Homemade Energy Bars Recipe: Nutty Chocolate and Sea Salt

I found a food processor worked best here, first grinding the nuts to almost the consistency of almond butter, then adding the dates (my attempts to do this in a blender were less than successful, it’s simply too thick).

I added cocoa powder for flavor and topped the bars with a sprinkle of sea salt and some cocoa nibs for crunch. I also think shredded coconut would be a nice addition, or maybe some dried fruit or dark chocolate chunks.

Homemade RX Bars Recipe - Copycat Chocolate Sea Salt Flavor

Dates, Nuts, and Cocoa combine with natural egg white protein for a delicious and energy-packed bar!

While not vegan, these bars are paleo and gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free (all the sugar and sweetness here comes from the dates).

I used egg white protein powder (actual egg whites would add too much liquid and result in a too-soft consistency). I like the Trader Joe’s brand, but any unflavored egg white protein powder should work here. I can’t say what would happen if you used another type of protein powder; I feel the egg white protein gives the bars much of their structure and substance, without it the bars might not hold their shape.

(If you’re at Trader Joe’s anyway picking up protein powder, be sure you check out their pitted Deglet Noor dates in the nut/dried fruit section. They are seriously the best value for the money and a huge time-saver being that they are already pitted.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole almonds, plus more for topping if desired
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup egg white protein powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons water, as needed
  • cacao nibs, for topping
  • flake sea salt, for topping

Directions:

  1. Combine almonds and cashews in a food processor. Process on high until nuts are finely ground and begin to turn into butter, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add dates, a few at a time, and process until well incorporated, then add egg white powder, cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of water and process until mixture forms a crumbly dough. You should be able to pinch some of the mixture between your fingers and have it hold its shape. If it is still crunbly, add another tablespoon or two of water (this will depend mainly on how dry/soft your dates are).
  3. Pour into an 8-by-8-inch baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Press firmly (use a tart tamper if you have one, or the base of a sturdy glass or flat-bottomed measuring cup) to press into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. The more you can compact the mixture the more sturdy they will be.
  4. Sprinkle with chopped almonds, cacao nibs, and sea salt; press toppings into dough.
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Remove bars from pan and cut into 8 bars. Wrap individually in waxed paper and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month (in an airtight bag).

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Kitchen Essentials: Tools Every Kitchen Should Have

I often get asked about my essential kitchen tools: the things we absolutely couldn’t cook without. Now that’s not an easy task: we’ve got a lot of things in our kitchen… how on earth will I ever narrow them down? But, if you look closer, there are things we use, and then things we use on a regular basis (and there are probably some things we never use that we need to purge, but that’s another issue altogether). It’s the items that are constantly in and out of the dishwasher, the items that have migrated to the most accessible shelves and drawers where they’re easiest to grab. If you look for those items, well, it’s pretty easy to see what gets used the most often around here.

These are our kitchen essentials.

I plan to follow up this post with a more specific Baking Essentials and even Pantry Essentials (and maybe even a Blogger Essentials?) but for now, we’ll just focus on the basics.

Use this post as a foundation to build your own well stocked kitchen. It’s also a great gift guide, if, perhaps, maybe you know a newlywed couple or a graduate just getting settled in their first apartment or a take-out-reliant friend who wants to learn to cook… this is a great place to start!

Disclaimer: while this post is not sponsored and no brands have paid to be included here, many of these products were received as part of past/present brand partnerships. That said, should our kitchen be reduced to rubble today, we wouldn’t hesitate to buy them again ourselves tomorrow. Meaning, everything on this list is something we own and love and use on a regular, if not daily, basis. There are also affiliate links in this post, FYI. And if you’re reading this post in RSS or email you might want to click through to the post page for easy clickable links to every item on this list!

Kitchen Essentials: Small Appliances

Small Appliances

Stand Mixer –  I use my KitchenAid® Artisan Stand Mixer regularly for all things baking, but also the array of attachments that can extend its functionality even further. I had my old lime green mixer for 12 years and it was still going strong when I passed it on to a neighbor (I’ll admit, I just wanted a new color… isn’t that cobalt blue gorgeous??) If you’re short on space, the new Mini mixer is adorable, and perfect for mixing single batches of cookies or pizza dough.

Mini Food Processor – I adore this mini food processor from KitchenAid: it’s cheap and lightweight and ultra efficient for small batches of pesto, and just big enough to grind a batch of vanilla wafers for pie crust. Not to mention adorable. I think I’ve used my full size food processor maybe twice since I got this, which shows you just how rarely you really need a full size food processor.

Blender – We use our Vitamix 5200 Blender every day for smoothies in the morning and homemade nut milk each week. I love the Vitamix because it is powerful and most importantly, light (since we store it in a lower cabinet and need to pull it out every day). If you have the space to keep a blender out on your counter all the time, KitchenAid’s Pro Line and High Performance Series blenders are superb (and much nicer looking), with an equal if not more powerful motor. (Keep your eyes peeled, I’ll be giving one of these away on Instagram in the coming weeks!)

Slow Cooker – I’d say a slow cooker is essential if you have the space for it (which, before last year, we definitely didn’t, and we managed just fine). That said, now that we have one, we love it, especially in the winter when we can cook up a hearty stew and enjoy the fragrant scents of it cooking wafting up to the office all day. We have a KitchenAid® Slow Cooker and love it!

Rice Cooker – Ok this one is a new addition, and one of those things that if you have the space for it, and cook rice on a regular basis (or maybe you want to cook more rice but struggle with getting it right) it’s a worthwhile gadget to have. We splurged for the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker. It’s basically a giant Tomagatchi that cooks perfect rice and sings when it’s done… well worth the money in my opinion. lol.

Air Popper – This Hot Air Popper was one of the most unexpectedly useful wedding gifts we received, and it’s still going strong 8 years later. We love to toss our freshly popped corn with a bit of melted butter or olive oil and fine sea salt. Mmmm!

Cookware & Bakeware

Dutch Oven – I bought this Le Creuset 5 1/2 Quart Dutch Oven for my birthday nearly 8 years ago when I wanted to jump on the no-knead-bread train. Granted it’s a bit grubby on the inside from years of constant use, but this pan is our go-to for not only bread but also soups, stews, and braises.

Cast Iron Skillet – For perfect steaks, roast chicken, skillet cookies, and more. The 10″ Lodge Skillet is probably the most versatile, though if you have space, the smaller sizes are perfect for skillet cookies. 🙂

Large Nonstick Skillet – I won this 12″ Anolon Nonstick Pan at a conference probably 5 years ago, and it is probably the one we reach for the most often for everyday cooking (and even after near-daily use it’s still in great shape). It the perfect size and shape for stir fries and sautees, risotto and pasta dishes: the flat bottom and taller, rounded sides a perfect for those times you need something in between a skillet and a saucepan (which is pretty much all the time). The skillet on its own doesn’t come with a lid, but if you buy the full set, it does (and we use the lid regularly so I’d recommend it!)

Half Sheet Pans – Not just for baking! We regularly use our sheet pans to roast chicken breasts, fish, and vegetables, as well as bake up biscuits and breads. We’ve got a set of KitchenAid pans and King Arthur pans for baking, as well as some cheap restaurant-grade aluminum ones for messier jobs where I don’t want to gum up my nice pans.

Quarter Sheet Pans – For smaller baking jobs, I love having a quarter sheet pan handy. KitchenAid has a great set that includes both a half and a quarter sheet pan, though you’ll likely find yourself wanting two of each if you do any considerable cooking or baking.

Pizza Stone – If you want to make crispy, restaurant quality pizza at home, a pizza stone is essential. We also use it for homemade pita bread! Ours (Old Stone Oven brand) was a wedding gift 8 years ago. It’s well used and nearly black at this point, but it still bakes beautifully crispy crusts.

Kitchen Essentials: Mix, Measure & Store

Mix, Measure, & Store

Liquid Measuring Cups – At the very least, get the 2 Cup Pyrex. But I’d highly recommend a 1 cup and a 4 cup as well (I actually prefer Anchor’s 4 cup, which I use regularly in my jam-making escapades, as it has a more defined pour spout that’s less prone to dribbles).

Plunger Measuring Cups – I love these things for measuring sticky, goopy ingredients like honey and peanut butter. We have a set we got years ago from the Alton Brown gift shop, but OXO has a similar product in 1 and 2 cup sizes.

Mini Beakers – You have liquid measuring cups for large quantities, why not small too? These OXO® Mini Beakers are fun and functional, perfect for measuring vanilla extract, lemon juice, milk and more. Also, cocktails!

Kitchen Scale – I’ve waxed poetic about kitchen scales before, and I’d say having one is most definitely essential. This OXO® Good Grips Scale one is our go-to and weights up to 11 pounds, but any scale that accurately measures ounces and grams is perfectly acceptable.

Triple Timer – When one timer simply isn’t enough…. this Triple Timer from OXO has 3 counters, so it’s perfect for when you are multitasking. I also often use it for recipe development, as I’m baking, I’ll start one timer on a countdown and one counting up, so if I have to put something back in the oven for a few more minutes, I’ll have a final count of just how long it baked.

Instant-Read Thermometer – I got this Thermoworks Thermopen® for Taylor a few years ago for Valentine’s day (can you say, romantic?) and it’s the quickest, most accurate thermometer we’ve ever used, be it for meat, chocolate, or caramel. A good thermometer is worth its weight in gold!

Pyrex Mixing Bowls – This set of 3 Pyrex mixing bowls is a favorite around here, especially because they come with lids too (so they’re perfect for mixing and storing!)

Glass Storage Containers – Speaking of food storage, a few years ago we tossed all our plastic containers and bought a few sets of these Anchor® TrueSeal glass storage containers with silicone lids. We’ve only had to throw out one lid (we, uh, left something for a bit too long in the fridge and unfortunately there were spots on the inside of the lid that just wouldn’t come out) but the rest have held up beautifully after hundreds of uses with no odor or residue.

Plastic Soup Containers – These deli food containers are the best. They’re dirt cheap, freezer safe, and so practical in situations where glass is just too cumbersome, like freezer storage of soups. We also use them regularly to soak our nuts for homemade nut milk.

Kitchen Essentials: Gadgets & Tools

Gadgets & Tools

Ultimate Spatula – These Ultimate Spatulas from GIR are my absolute favorite spatulas. I own a half dozen of them, both in the regular size as well as a few skinny and mini sizes. I love that they are completely silicone, which means no grime gets stuck where the handle meets the head. The silicone grip also makes it no slip and extremely comfortable to hold and use.

Little Whisk – I’ve got a lot of whisks, but this 9″ whisk from OXO is the one I reach for the most, whether I’m whisking together dry ingredients for cake or mixing up a small batch of salad dressing, it’s the perfect size for just about anything.

Cookie Scoops – I use these scoops regularly for baking. The largest size is the perfect for portioning cupcakes, the middle size ideal for chocolate chip cookies, and the small size for truffles and smaller drop cookies. Mine are Pampered Chef, but OXO also has a set with more comfortable grips.

Tongs – One or more sets of tons is certainly essential to any modern kitchen. We’ve got a few different kinds and sizes, including nylon, silicone, and metal heads, as well as large and smaller sizes. They’re all good for different purposes, and you might have your own personal preferences. Luckily, there are plenty of options available.

Fine Mesh Sieve – Fine mesh sieves are indispensable for straining everything from homemade jelly to rinsing rice to straining the cooked egg bits from homemade ice cream base. A 6″ sieve is the most practical size, but I also have a 3″ and a 8″ for various purposes. Despite the fact I use it so regularly, I can never (NEVER) spell ‘sieve’ right on the first try. Seive. Sieve. I before E… I before E…

Pepper Mill – Freshly ground pepper is essential to cooking. We love our matte blue Peugeot pepper mill (I can’t seem to find the same style/color available), but there are a number of less expensive options out there too. Just make sure it is adjustable (meaning you can choose your grind size). Skip the salt mill though in lieu of a salt cellar filled with kosher salt.

Salt Cellar – A la Alton Brown, this salt cellar sits by our stove and we keep it constantly full of kosher salt for easy pinching and seasoning as we cook. (Also, kosher salt should probably be included on this list too as it is most definitely a kitchen essential!) I can’t figure out the exact brand/model of ours (we’ve probably had it for 10 years), but there are lots of options on Amazon.

Little Salad Spinner – This smaller-sized salad spinner from OXO works great and takes up minimal space in our cabinet. We like the smaller size for our two-person household, but they also have a larger size is your a big salad person. We also use this spinner for, wait for it: grated potatoes! If you’re making hash browns or latkes, having dry potatoes is key to a crispy finish. Simply line the salad spinner with paper towels and spin your potatoes dry.

Chef/Paring Knife – Any functional kitchen needs good, sharp knives. While you probably don’t need a full 20-pice set, a good chef’s knife and a paring knife are essential. For chef’s knifes, I love KitchenAid’s 6-inch Chef Knife and the petty knife from New West Knifeworks. Both are smaller than the standard 8-inch chef’s knife and thus much more functional for my small hands. This is a very personal choice, as everyone’s hands and chopping styles are different: I’d suggest going somewhere where you can actually hold the knives in your hand and see what feels best to you.

***

Of course, this is just the beginning (I had to keep this post to a reasonable length), but it’s a good place to start.

What are your essential kitchen tools?

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Sweet Potato Crumb Cake with Pecan Cinnamon Swirl

Cake or bread? That is the ultimate question.

Technically, this is a sweet potato quick bread. Think banana bread, but with sweet potato instead of banana (in fact, I used my own banana bread recipe as a jumping off point, if that gives you any indication of the overall texture). But once I added the sweet, crunchy topping, I couldn’t quite bring myself to call it crumb bread. That just sounds silly. So crumb cake it is.

But don’t be deceived… just because it’s called cake doesn’t mean it’s not perfectly acceptable to eat for breakfast.

Sweet Potato Crumb Cake with Pecan Cinnamon Swirl

Bands of caramelized cinnamon sugar swirled through an impeccably tender cake, ever so slightly crisp on the outside and luxuriously moist in the center. And the topping! If you’re someone who appreciates textural contrast when you eat, the crumb topping is going to be your new favorite thing: a light sugary crunch that practically melts in your mouth, perfectly punctuating an already stellar flavor experience.

It’s certainly not winning any beauty contests, but what this bread lacks in looks it makes up for in flavor and personality (and we all know that’s what truly seals the deal in the end).

The first time I tested this recipe, I made the mistake of assuming the presence of canned sweet potato in the pantry, without actually looking. Alas, sometimes I get it in my head that I have something, when in reality it might have been 8 months since I’d last seen it there… or even longer.

Not wanting to waste the day, I nuked a few sweet potatoes we had lying around, then scooped out the soft flesh and pureed it in a food processor to make my own puree.

Interestingly enough, the significantly lower moisture content of the homemade puree varied the baking time by a full 15 minutes. In fact, I royally screwed up my second attempt (which used canned sweet potato) by baking it for the same amount of time as the first loaf, only to discover upon slicing it that it was practically raw in the middle.

The recipe below is written for canned sweet potato puree. If you should go so far as to make your own puree, start checking for doneness after about 45/50 minutes and go from there. Luckily, this cake is so inherently moist that you’d be hard pressed to overbake it (so long as the crumb topping doesn’t start getting noticeably dark), so, when in doubt, bake it a few minutes longer.

Cinnamon Swirl Sweet Potato Pecan Crumb Cake Recipe

An interesting note about the crumb: if you were to melt the butter and add it to the sugar/flour mixture, your crumb would hold its shape and be much crunchier overall, more like a crisp cookie. Despite aesthetics, Taylor strongly preferred the crumb that was made with cold butter and prepared like a pie crust. It melted into itself a bit more when it baked, but it gave the bread a nice light sugary crunch. You can do either here depending on your preference.

Cinnamon Swirl Sweet Potato Pecan Crumb Cake (cat photobomb!)

(Sgt. Pepper on the other hand, doesn’t really care if the crumb is made with cold vs melted butter, he just wants a lick either way.)

Cinnamon Swirl Sweet Potato Pecan Crumb Cake - Cake or bread, you decide.

And before I get 20 bajillion comments asking… yes! You could certainly used canned pumpkin in place of the sweet potato. You could also make this recipe without the swirl and/or the crumb topping, and you’d have a good solid sweet potato bread in your recipe arsenal.

But that wouldn’t be much fun, now, would it?

Ingredients:

For Swirl/Topping:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided

For Cake:

  • 2 cups (8.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan; press and 8-inch wide strip of parchment paper into bottom of pan so it lines the bottom and long edges, leaving two overhangs on either side.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Divide mixture in half and set one half aside (this will create the cinnamon sugar swirl inside the cake).
  3. Add cold butter cubes to the other half of cinnamon sugar mixture. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry cutter until pieces of butter are no larger than a pea. Add 1/4 cup of pecans and work into mixture with your fingers (reserve remaining pecans) until it clumps together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together sweet potato and eggs until evenly incorporated. Whisk in sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
  6. Add sweet potato mixture and melted butter to dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated and no dry ingredients remain.
  7. Spoon about 1/3 of the batter into bottom of prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon sugar mixture and half of reserved pecans. Spoon another 1/3 of batter on top, followed by remaining cinnamon sugar and pecans. Spread remaining batter on top, spreading it into a smooth layer. Sprinkle with refrigerated crumb mixture, breaking it up into pea-sized pieces and keeping the bulk of the crumb mixture 1/2-inch from the edge of the pan (it will spread as it bakes).
  8. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until crumb topping and corners are starting to darken and a toothpick inserted in the deepest part of the bread comes out clean.
  9. Place pan on a wire rack to allow bread to cool completely, 1 to 2 hours. Run a thin knife along the short edges (where there is no parchment), and then use the parchment overhang as handles to gently lift the loaf out of the pan. If it is still warm, let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Did you make this recipe?

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Greek-style roast fish

Since it authoritatively feels like craving for Spring, I am promptly suspecting Summer. One of my most loved dinners is an entire fish, roast and splashed in lemony olive oil and oregano. For reasons unknown, it appears to be hard to re-make outside of Greece. in spite of the fact that I am continually attempting. Two things I have learned: you need to get Greek olive oil, and you need to get Greek oregano. (This is not kidding business) Until it is sufficiently warm to barbecue, I jump at the chance to cook the fish on the stove, and quickly fresh it under the grill to get a touch of scorch.

You need to salt your fish well, everywhere throughout the skin and inside the hole, and when it falls off the flame broil or stove, put it in a serving dish and pour the La thole mono (olive oil and lemon) over it while the fish is as yet hot. When you are purchasing the entire fish, you can request that the fishmonger cleans it, leaving the head and tail on, however deboning the fish. If you need to be truly credible, then leave the fish in place and experience the way toward deboning it yourself, after it’s cooked.

Roast Whole Fish  

Serves 4 

Four entire fish, for example, Porgies or Branzino cleaned of scales, head, and tail in place.

  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Greek oregano

Ingredients

  • Five little potatoes (around 400g), cleaned and cut into wedges
  • One onion, divided and cut
  • Two garlic cloves, generally cleaved
  • ½ tsp dried oregano or ½ tbsp cleaved crisp oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lemon, cut into wedges
  • Two substantial tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • Two new skinless pollock filets (around 200g)
  • small, modest bunch parsley, generally cleaved
Strategy 
  1. Heat furnace to 200C or 180C fan or gas 6. Tip the potatoes, onion, garlic, oregano and olive oil into a roasting tin, season, then combines with your fingers to cover all in the oil. Cook for 15 mins, turn everything over and prepare for 15 mins more.
  2. Add the lemon and tomatoes, and dish for 10 mins, then top with the fish filets and cook for 10 mins more. Present with parsley scattered over.
Pre-warm to 400

Sprinkle some olive oil on a preparing sheet, sufficiently only to liberally cover it.

Rub the fish with a touch of olive oil and clean it with salt, pepper as well as oregano on both sides.

Broil in the stove for 25 minutes if it is a little fish, (for example, the Porgy) as well as for 35 if it is a Branzino.

Turn on the oven and place the fish straightforwardly under the warmth hotspot for 1 minute, or until the skin is bubbly and fresh on one side.

Whisk the greater part of the elements for the latholemono and pour over the cooked fish.

Generally, this is presented with bubbled greens, dressed with olive oil and lemon.

Don’t you simply adore making simple dishes particularly after such a difficult day at work! Well so do we! What’s more, he’s one from The Good Food Magazine! Simple!!