Sunday, November 30, 2014
Okay, so you probably realize that this is my second post for this month's Secret Recipe Club. But, when I found out earlier tonight that we were going to have an orphan, I just couldn't stand by and do nothing. Especially when it comes to a great blogger like Anna over at her site, Cheese with Noodles.
Do you know that Anna lives in Alaska? I can't imagine how cold it must be there during the wintertime, but I'm sure that her house is nice and cozy as she spends time with her family, crochets, paints, and, of course, cooks delicious food. I would have loved to make her Baked Mice (aka mini meatloaves made in the shape of mice - sooo cute). Her Cinnamon Pancakes with Cream Cheese Icing also looked very tempting. But, unfortunately, I had no milk in the house. Plus, I also wanted to try and get the post up tonight.
So, I decided to go with her Triple Peanut Butter Cookies. Besides, my sister has been begging me to make some cookies so this was a win-win situation. I just happened to have all the ingredients to make them, though as far as the peanut butter cups go, I could only find six mini ones in my pantry. Note to self: keep the pantry stocked with Reeses peanut butter cups. I added some chocolate chips to make up for the difference.
Anna described these cookies as "soft, thick, and super peanut buttery." And, you know what? She was 100% right! You'll need a big glass of milk to go with these. I am so glad that I had the chance to scope out Anna's blog and try her cookies. My sister will thank me. As for me, I say a big thank you to Anna!
Triple Peanut Butter Cookies (from Cheese with Noodles)
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. peanut butter chips
3/4 c. chopped peanut butter cups
Cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour and baking soda until well combined. Mix in the peanut butter chips and peanut butter cups. Form the dough into small balls and bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes (mine took 12 minutes).
'Tis the season! I absolutely love this time of year when Christmastime is coming. Time to decorate, spend time with family, and, if you're a fellow food blogger, then you know it's also time to start baking with flavors like peppermint and gingerbread. And that's exactly the reason why I decided to choose Easily Good Eats' Armenian Gingerbread Cake for this month's Secret Recipe Club assignment.
In case you didn't know, the Secret Recipe Club is a super fun group. Each month, we get assigned to someone else's blog, get to choose a recipe from it, and then post about it. It's a great way to get to know some new foodie friends and try some amazing dishes. Some of my absolute favorite, make again and again, recipes have come from this group.
For this month, I got assigned to Easily Good Eats. I was amazed to find out that we both have something in common - i.e. a background in law. Of course, she also enjoys cooking and baking for family and friends. In browsing through her blog, I still have my eye on her Swedish Almond Cake, and her Thousand Layer Chocolate Cake.
But, I am still incredibly glad that I chose the Armenian Gingerbread Cake. The neat thing is that it actually has TWO layers to it. The bottom layer is a crust of crumbs, made from the same cake mixture, and the other half is the cake itself. In making it, I did make one mistake. I think I got a little too excited and added the spices into the first half before I realized it. So, I "fixed" the mistake by adding more spices into the top cake batter layer.
In my opinion, though, you can never have too much spice, so it actually all worked out because that crust was so incredibly good. I could and did eat some of it all by itself. Paired with the cake, you've got a combination that can't be beat. I loved the contrast in textures and the taste was sweet and spicy, but not overpowering in the slightest. I highly recommend waiting until the next day to eat this cake. I know, I know, difficult. But, the flavors will intensify if you let the cake sit for a while and it will be worth the wait. Mmmm, it already smells and tastes like Christmas in my house!
Armenian Gingerbread Cake (adapted from Easily Good Eats)
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. ginger powder
1 Tbsp. molasses (I used dark corn syrup)
3/4 c. milk (I used half Greek yogurt + half water)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it has the texture of breadcrumbs. Press half the mixture into a 9-inch round baking pan (about 2 1/2 cups of the mixture).
Combine the egg, milk, corn syrup, baking soda, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. ginger powder. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into the pan on top of the crust mixture and bake at 350F for 40-45 min., or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Andrea's blog, "Adventures in All Things Food." In actuality, I imagine that Andrea's life itself is full of adventures. Not only does she have three lovely children, but she's raising them on her a farm. That means that she picks her own food, fresher than any supermarket's, preserves it, and provides her family with delicious things to last them the whole winter. In addition, she loves the fact that she's able to also provide her children with "a memorable childhood." While I'm sure it's a lot of work, from the look of the family pictures on her blog, it looks like they also make the work a lot of fun.
After looking through all her wonderful recipes, I originally wanted to make her Chocolate Brioche. However, since I needed dinner more than I needed bread, I ended up making her Thai Grilled Chicken Patties. I'm a big fan of Asian food and they sounded so flavorful what with the inclusion of jalapenos, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Not to mention, Andrea added some grated zucchini and carrots which gives a nice boost of veggies to up the healthy factor. I did make several changes to the recipe. First, I used ground turkey instead of ground chicken since that's what was available in my supermarket. Then, I formed the mixture into meatballs instead of patties. Finally, since I don't have a grill, I just baked them in my oven.
I admit, that I did leave out the fish sauce in these since I just didn't have any and was reluctant to buy a bottle of it just for this recipe. However, these meatballs were still really flavorful and I loved how the jalapeno and ginger shone in these. Dipping them into sweet chili sauce as Andrea recommended was also a nice touch. After enjoying these for dinner one night, I gladly ate the rest as leftovers the following night.
Thanks Andrea for your delicious recipe!
Thai Inspired Chicken Meatballs (adapted from Adventures in All Things Food)
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey meat
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. zucchini, grated and drained
1 carrot, grated
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp. lime zest
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (I omitted this)
1 large egg
1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
sweet chili dipping sauce
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Form into meatballs and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 350F for 20-25 min. until cooked through. Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce.