Back to the Kitchen!

Hi everybody (my MILLIONS of fans :p)! I am so sorry to have abandoned my baking duties. I got caught up in moving to a new city and getting adjusted to my new life. So far, Chicago is AMAZING. I absolutely love being here. The food is so great, no matter which neighborhood you are in. There are SO many bakeries here and I hope to join the ranks one day. I have noticed that there are so many restaurants that cater to allergies here and I think that is pretty superb. Also, there are several vegan bakeries. I have been practicing my vegan baking–all of which have been vegan & non-vegan approved!  I will be posting those in the next couple of days.

I have very much missed writing on here and sharing my baking ideas/recipes with anyone who wants to read it! There will be some changes to the site coming soon, but while you wait…check back in each week for new recipes to try in your kitchen!

Up next, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting–an oldie, but goodie!!

-K

 

Salmon Stir-Fry!!

The boyfriend and I made dinner last night and decided to try something new..SALMON STIR-FRY! We love just experimenting with flavors and hope they work out. Last night was the best dinner we have EVER made and it was super duper easy.

Until the last couple of years of living alone, I never realized just how easy it is to make delicious meals. I know some of my friends still are blown away by the things we make, but they really are SO easy. I hope that these recipes help them discover their own delicious meals. All dinners I make and post should be adapted to suit what you have in your kitchen, and what flavors you like. I just hope my friends use it as a reference for how easy it really can be to make amazing meals.

To make this you will need:

  • Rice
  • 2 salmon fillets (with the skin on preferably)
  • lots of veggies (we used zucchini, squash, carrots, and red & green bell peppers)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Cayenne Seasoning
  • 2 packages of curry paste–choose whatever your favorite is!
  • 1-2 cup yogurt (depending on how you want the consistency of the curry)
For the marinade:

 

1. Lightly beat the eggs into a large bowl.
2. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce, cayenne pepper, and honey. Then, mix until well combined.
3. Clean the salmon fillets, but leave the skin on, gently score with a knife on both sides.
4. Marinade for 1-2 hours–flipping if needed.
For the rest of the meal:
1. Boil your rice–make as much as you need, we made 3-4 servings (we LOVE leftovers).
2. In a large skillet coat with olive oil, then start cooking veggies on medium low heat.
3. Put a skillet large enough for the salmon fillets on the stove and turn up to medium and allow to heat up for a few minutes, then spray non stick cooking spray, and place the fillets on it.
4. Cook the salmon for 3-4 minutes on each side. You want them to be white on the outside, but still pink in the middle (but not super shiny).  When finished they will peel away from the skin easily–just dispose of it after that.
5. While salmon is cooking, combine curry paste and yogurt in a medium bowl.
6. Add the steamed rice and curry mixture to the veggies, also add soy sauce to desired flavor (we used about 2 tbsp).
7. Fill your plate with the rice/veggies, then top with a salmon fillet.
ENJOY!!

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

I was at the store the other day and the blueberries looked SO delicious. I had to buy them and make something with them. The first thing that came to mind was muffins, but I didn’t want to make just plain blueberry muffins, so I thought to add lemon. Most stuff I make is delicious, but full of sugar. This recipe is pretty healthy and makes a GREAT breakfast. It calls for yogurt, oats, and honey as well. This was perfect because my team at work has worked so hard the last days, and this has been a hectic week (TGIF!). These are the tastiest Blueberry Lemon Muffins EVER!

What you need:

  • 1 cup of yogurt (plain or vanilla works best, but feel free to experiment with other flavors)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil (or almond oil)
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey(I prefer local…but whatever)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats (ground almost to powder–I use my coffee grinder for just a few seconds)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries

How to make them:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cupcake/muffin pan with liners, and spray with non stick spray.

2. Juice your lemon-make sure to get as much juice out of it as possible.

3. In the medium bowl, or measuring cup, combine the yogurt, egg, canola oil, vanilla, honey, and lemon juice, until well combined.

4. Grate/use a lemon zester to make lemon zest.

-If you do not have a zester, I use a handheld grater and carefully grate the exterior of the lemon. Try to avoid getting too much of the white underneath in your zest.

5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well mixed, then add the lemon zest.

6. Take 2 tbsp of the dry mixture out and toss in a bowl with the blueberries.

7. Slowly fold in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient mixture with a rubber spatula. DO NOT OVERMIX! Then, gently add the blueberries into the mixture.

8. Fill the muffin cups evenly (about 2-3 ice cream scoops full in each).

9. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until slightly golden on top, and use the toothpick test.

10. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes, then remove and put on a wire cooling rack to finish cooling!

ENJOY!!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies!

For my friend’s birthday, I decided to try making these beautiful brownies. She loves anything sweet, but she REALLY loves red velvet and cheesecake. How could combining the two be bad?! I have seen these brownies all over Pinterest and FoodGawker, so I HAD to try them.

I found a recipe I really liked over at doughmesstic.com, and adapted it.

Here’s what you need to make red velvet cheesecake brownies:

  • 10 tbsp butter
  • 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cp light brown sugar
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Red Food Coloring
  • 3/4 cp flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

For the cheesecake mixture:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cp granulated sugar
  • 1 lg egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp milk or cream (optional)

To make these pretty/yummy brownies:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 square brownie pan with parchment paper.

2. In a small saucepan melt the butter and chocolate until smooth and allow to cool.

3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, sugar. Add red food coloring until it is the red color you desire.  Slowly add the chocolate/butter mixture.

 

4. In a small bowl, sift together cocoa, salt, and flour. Next, stir this into the rest of the batter. Do not overmix. You want this to be slightly lumpy.

5. Pour the batter into the baking pan.

For the Cheesecake Mixture:

6. Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until it is smooth.

7. Add 1/2 cp sugar, egg, and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Add a tbsp of milk/cream for a creamier cheesecake.

8. Pour over the top of the brownie batter and use a knife or sharp object to push down into brownie batter and lift to swirl the two together.

9. Bake for 40 -45 minutes or until  set. Insert a knife into the middle, it should come out clean, and light brown around the edges. You want the top to jiggle a little when you wiggle it. :) Cool completely before serving, or chill in the refrigerator.

Top with strawberries for additional flavor!!

ENJOY!!

 

Cranberry Angel Food Bites + Cranberry Bourbon Glaze

For Mother’s day, I wanted to make something yummy for my lovely mother. She LOVES Angel Food Cake, so I decided to make up a recipe for it using cranberry juice.  My mom doesn’t really like whiskey, but she does like sweet treats with whiskey in them. There is only whiskey in the glaze. I wasn’t too sure if it would work or not, but it kind of did!!  I adapted a recipe I found at LifeTastesLikeFood. They were a little deformed, which is to sort of be expected when you are attempting Angel Food Cupcakes for the first time–while experimenting. I like to think of them as a tasty accident, as opposed to saying I messed up!! That is why I have titled them ‘Bites,’ not ‘Cupcakes.’ I think next time I will use more cream of tartar and make my own cranberry mixture instead of cranberry juice. This made about 24-36 cupcakes, but they were TINY.

What you will need for the ‘bites':

  • 3/4 cp confectioners sugars
  • 1 cp cake flour
  • 10 egg whites–from 10 large eggs-room temp–or cheat like I did and put in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
  • 1/4 cp cranberry juice–100% natural!!
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cp granulated sugar

For the glaze**:

  • 1 cp confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tbsp bourbon
  • 3 tbsp cranberry juice

** You might need to adjust the amounts  depending on how you want the glaze to turn out and the flavor. Feel free to adjust as desired!!

Process:

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with liners.

2. Sift flour and powder sugar and salt into medium bowl until well combined.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.

4. Add juice, vanilla, and cream of tartar. Beat on low power until it starts to get foamy, then turn up to medium speed and add sugar by the tablespoon.

5. Once all the sugar is added, increase the speed to high. Once it has ‘medium peaks’ forming, it is ready for the dry ingredients.

6. Fold in half of the flour mixture, then fold in the second half. DO NOT OVERMIX! You want this to stay as light and fluffy as possible!!

7. Spoon into cupcake liners. Fill them all the way to the top. They will not rise, so fill them as full as possible.

8. Bake for 18-22 minutes. DO NOT open your oven until the are ALMOST finished. Heating egg whites do not respond well to temperature change–which was possibly one of my problems! Live and learn :)

9. While they are in the oven, combine ingredients for glaze.

10. Let the cupcakes cool in the cupcake pan completely before drizzling glaze. If you do it while they are hot, its fine, the glaze will become shiny and might melt.

 

EAT!!!

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies

One of my favorite recipes, that I didn’t make up or alter too much is for Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies. This recipe came straight off of a Crisco box, but it is SOOO good I had to post about it. This is one of my favorite recipes to make. These are so easy to make, and so amazingly delicious!! I RARELY (very rarely) use Crisco in my recipes. Shortening just grosses me out. However, these cookies are so good that you easily forget about the Crisco. I have attempted this recipe without Crisco, but honestly, this is the BEST way to make them. This recipe is super fast and super easy. I usually have all the ingredients on hand–besides the Crisco…because like I said, I really dislike shortening.

To make these you will need:

  • 2/3 stick of Crisco Shortening
  • 1 1/2 cp brown sugar (packed firmly)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp vanila
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cp flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cp semi-sweet chocolate chips*
  • powder sugar (for dusting)

*You can totally combine different types of chips-1 cup chocolate+1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup chocolate chips+1 cup nuts, etc.

What to do with that stuff:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place foil sheets on the counter for cooling the cookies–they need the foil to keep them baking while they are cooling.

2. Combine Crisco, brown sugar, water, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat at a medium speed until creamy and well blended. Then, beat in the eggs.

3. In a medium size separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter, and beat on a slow speed until just blended.

5. Stir in chocolate chips.

6. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

7. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Cookies will appear moist, but they will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Leave them on the cookie sheet for about 4 minutes, then move them to foil. I always wait to take them off until I can scoot them around the cookie sheet without them sticking too much, or bending/breaking.

8. Dust with powder sugar to make them pretty!!

Enjoy!!

 

Most Common Cooking Mistakes

I found this on Pinterest and absolutely love it. I feel that people do make these mistakes so often and think they are just bad in the kitchen, when really no one taught them EVERYthing they need to know.

I needed to share it with all of you because I think it is phenomenal!!

http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/cooking-questions-tips-00400000064986/print-index.html

Mini Oreo Mud Pies

When I was younger, my mom used to have me make something for Christmas/Thanksgiving every year (by every year, I mean that I made something a couple of times and she made it for me from then on. Love you Mom!), and I used to make “Kristina Pie,” which was just a basic Oreo mud pie. It is the easiest pie ever made and it is pretty darn tasty as well. I also make it for Pi Day.

yummy x 3.14159265….

A friend/coworker is working her last shift ever today at UO. :( As a tradition, we make some food to send the person off right–mainly because it is hard to cry when your mouth is full of deliciousness. She requested mud pie. I wasn’t really sure how well a pie would hold up at work, so I decided to take my recipe and make mini pies. This recipe makes 24, so you really NEED two 12 cup muffin pans.

What you will need:

  • 2 Muffin Pans
  • 24 cupcake liners
  • 54 Double Stuf Oreo cookies–That is almost 2 full packs, so YES you can can eat a few during
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 boxes of chocolate pudding
  • 4 cups of cold milk
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip

How to do it:

1. Line Muffin pans

2. Use a food processor, grinder, or blender to crush up all  54 Oreos. I like mine to be bigger crumbs; not as small as coffee grounds. Put them in a medium size bowl.

You will probably have to do about 12 at a time, unless you use a blender or big food processor

3. Melt the butter and pour into the bowl of crumbs and mix until all crumbs are damp.

Don’t soak them, so if you find you need less than the entire stick for all of it to be a little damp, that is fine

4. Scoop 3 heaping spoonfuls into each cupcake liner, then firmly press them down to create the crusts (save all the leftover crumbs to use later)

Fill them about 2/3 full, then press down firmly

5. Mix the boxes of pudding with 4 cups of cold milk and whisk for about 2-3 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

SORRY my camera was getting messy/blurry

6. Put 2 spoonfuls of pudding in each crust.

7. Gently combine the remaining pudding, 1/2 of the leftover cookie crumbs, and the Cool Whip until incorporated.

8. Spoon the mixture on top of the pudding and decorate as desired. I took a whisk and pushed the Cool Whip mixture down and spun the whisk up to make a little bit of a swirl.

9. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until set.

10. Sprinkle any remaining cookie crumbs on top of the pies and ENJOY!

 

**When I make this pie full-size, I usually will bake the crust for about 10 minutes on 350, so it hardens and comes out of the pan easier. That might help with these because I found that getting them out of the muffin pans after cooling was pretty difficult. So, maybe try to throw them in the oven for about 10 minutes before adding the pudding and Cool Whip. Then, let them cool and remove them from the muffin pans, then fill them and refrigerate. :)

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins + NUTELLA!

I haven’t posted on here in a while, but don’t you worry I have a lot of sweets coming up this week!!

To start the week off right, we need to start each day with a healthy breakfast…PEANUT BUTTER+BANANA+OATMEAL muffins–I decided to double the recipe so that The Boyfriend and I could both take some to work, but I ended up with over 36 of these delicious muffins (and I am NOT mad about it).

Because I love my beautiful employees and love to see them smile, I decided to make some whipped nutella/peanut butter frosting to put on top to make them more of a dessert muffin, for those with a sweet tooth (which is practically EVERY person I know, and one of the reasons we are probably friends).

RESULT=DELICIOUS!

These are great for breakfast or for a tasty sweet snack. Also, super easy to make!!

What you need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 & 3/4 cp brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cp applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cp creamy peanut butter–I used natural peanut butter, which is a little more gooey and it work so well!!
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups milk*
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar*
  • Tub of Nutella–or however much you want to use

*You can also use buttermilk instead of milk and vinegar…it is just my cheap-o way of avoiding buying buttermilk.

TO CREATE THIS DELICIOUSNESS:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with liners, unless you don’t want to, then make sure to grease the pan!

2. *If you decided to use milk and vinegar instead of buttermilk, pour 2 tbsp of vinegar into a large liquid measuring cup and fill up to 2 cup line with milk. Let this sit for at least 5 minutes before adding.

3.  Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well blended.

4. Combine brown sugar, eggs, vanilla,and applesauce in a large bowl.

5. Slowly add the peanut butter and mix thoroughly.

6. Mash bananas in a small bowl or mash while adding to brown sugar mixture.

7. Add the buttermilk, or buttermilk substitute to the mixture and mix until everything is well combined.

8. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes. Don’t forget the toothpick method for testing to see if they are thoroughly cooked. :)

9. Let cool in the muffin pans for about 10 minutes before taking them out.

If you want to make these muffins SUPER delicious, put Nutella and peanut butter into a mixing bowl and whip on high for 5 minutes, or until lighter and fluffier.

SO GOOD! Enjoy!!

 

What should I bake?!

Hi!!! I want to know what you guys want to see on here, so suggest something you want me to bake. I will attempt to make every suggestion over the next few weeks!!

You can give me suggestions by:

  • Leaving a comment on this post
  • Go to Facebook and ‘like’ DirtyBeaters makery and bakery
  • Or send me an email at dirtybeatersbaking(at)gmail(dot)com

I hope to hear from you guys soon!!!