Pumpkin Beer Bread

We’re well into the holiday season, but I don’t think it’s too late for my good friend Mr. Pumpkin quite yet.  I’m still not over it.

I absolutely love making quick breads, especially when they are involving beer.  My favorite part is adding the beer and watch it foam up as it mixes with the other ingredients.  And seriously though, who doesn’t just want to add beer to everything they cook?   Continue reading

Amazingly Easy Yeast Rolls, SRC May

My sister and i are obsessed with this scene.

Oh, hello again.

It’s me… remember me?  It’s been quite a while, I know.

Life somethings just has a way of taking everything you know and are comfortable with… and flipping it upside down.  The first quarter of 2014 has been an extremely difficult one for Dave and I and our families (yes, despite the fact that we’re GETTING MARRIED!!!  OMGGGGG) and my dear little wonderful food blog has taken quite a hit.  Well… it’s freakin’ May and I’m over it!  Here I am and I am back for good.

its-gonna-be-may_0

I am pretty excited to share my first recipe in two months with you… while it may seem simple, this “amazingly easy” recipe was a big deal for me!  I have ALWAYS been too nervous to try to bake my own breads or pretzels or challah or anything that used yeast.  I am not the best at following directions and I always feared that I would totally botch whatever yeast project I started.  Well, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I decided to go “all in” and give it a shot.

Secret Recipe Club

The Secret Recipe Club is an amazing group of bloggers where every month, we are assigned a new blogger to replicate.  We get to pick ANY recipe that blogger has written about and cook it up ourselves.  We can make adjustments according to our tastes too.  All of the bloggers post their results on the same day and we all get to see who had who and more importantly, what delicious recipes were made!  The “SRC” has been an awesome resource for me and a place where I come to try new things… in this case… yeast bread!

This month, I was assigned to work on Micha’s Blog called “Cookin’ Mimi”.  I spent quite a few days browsing her site and it was SUCH a hard decision to make!  I can’t wait to try a few more recipes from her blog… (like Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Jam… omg … and now that I can bake rolls, maybe even her Onoin Cheddar Rolls)

But my decision was made… I just had to try her “amazingly easy” yeast rolls.  I was up for the challenge.  I WILL follow the directions and not mess this up.

photo 1 (2)

Well, my friends… they turned out perfectly.  I could not believe it.  And would ya guess what???  They were RIDICULOUSLY amazingly easy to make.  Success!  Now I just need to make some kind of fancy compound butter to slather them with…. nommmmmmm

Amazingly Easy Yeast Rolls (Perfect for Beginners!!!)

Recipe from:  Cooking Mimi

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

 Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 teaspoons Yeast
  • 5 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Butter, Melted

Instructions

  1. Heat milk, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan over low heat until warm (about 120 degrees), remove from heat and mix in the eggs and yeast.
  2. Place 5 cups of flour in a large lidded bowl (I listened to Micha and used my crockpot since it was big enough and had a lid). Make a well in the center and pour in the warm liquid and yeast mixture. Do not stir.
  3. Cover with the lid and let sit 20-30 minutes. Pour in the melted butter and mix well. Add flour if sticky until a soft but no longer sticky dough is formed. Knead several times (i almost missed this part!). Place back into bowl and cover again with lid. Let the dough sit for another 20-30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide dough into 12-16 pieces depending on how large you want your final roll. Shape into balls and place on baking sheet(s) cover with a damp tea towel or a greased piece of plastic wrap and let rise 20-30 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes or until done.
Just poured the hot yeast mixture into the flour.

Just poured the hot yeast mixture into the flour.

This is after the second time you let the dough sit.  (After first stirring, and after adding melted butter and extra flour)... now it's on to making rolls!

This is after the second time you let the dough sit. (After first stirring, and after adding melted butter and extra flour)… now it’s on to making rolls!

Rolls are made and ready to sit (again... !!!)

Rolls are made and ready to sit (again… !!!)

Rolls are a little bigger now and ready to bake!

Rolls are a little bigger now and ready to bake!

PERFECT!!!!!!!!

PERFECT!!!!!!!!

I cannot even tell you how happy I was that these turned out just right.  I sat in front of the oven staring at them as they slowly rose and then browned ontop.  I just couldn’t believe it!  You guys HAVE to try to make these.

A few notes:  

– I used my regular cookie sheets with nothing on them and had ZERO sticking problems.  The rolls popped right off.

-My first batch was browning quite fast, so I removed from oven at around maybe 11 minutes.  They were a little too gooey on the inside, so the next batch I let cook for about 13 minutes and they turned out much better and did not burn- but were a little more brown ontop

-Use a REALLY big bowl if you don’t have a crock.  It filled up most of the crock as it rested.

Add some butter and call it a day.

Add some butter and call it a day.

Well, now that I have come back to you and conquered the basic yeast roll… I will shut up and let you take a gander at what everyone else has made for this month’s SRC!  ENJOY!

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

I am seriously SO over all of this snow!  We have now had the third snowiest winter of all time in Philadelphia… ew ew ew ew ew!!  All last week while stuck inside because of the terrible weather, all I could think about was soup.  I was looking at recipes of soup that I’ve made before and ones that I’ve saved for a rainy day.  I didn’t even care what kind… I just really wanted soup.

And honestly, what better soup to make on a snowy day than one that cooks in a crockpot and makes your house smell all sorts of delicious?!  I decided to spend some time on Sunday making a new chili recipe with Dave.  We like to experiment and try new things, so this time around, we made a lamb chili.  It was so delish!  Stay tuned because I’ll be posting about that recipe soon 🙂

We decided to make this amazing cornbread to go along with the chili, which was a fabulous idea because it was so freakin’ easy and so yummy!

I have actually always wanted to try a baking recipe in my cast iron skillet, so this was the perfect opportunity.

This recipe is from the super popular blogger, Michelle, from Brown Eyed Baker.  This is the first recipe I’ve made from her site, and I am so excited to try others… this one was great!  Check out her blog and instagram… she has two adorable Golden Retrievers and posts so many pictures of them, I just love it!

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients:

1¼ cups Yellow Cornmeal
1¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
1½ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
1¾ cups Reduced Fat Buttermilk
1 large Egg
1/2 can Creamed Corn

4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into 4 pieces

Chives

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.  Measure your buttermilk in a large measuring cup, then add the egg and stir.  Add the buttermilk mixture and the creamed corn to the dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula until the mixtures are completely combined.  Chop or snip some chives into the batter as well if you’d like.

2.  Put the four pieces of butter in a cast iron skillet (10-12 inches) and then place the pan in the preheated oven until the butter is melted (about 3 minutes).  Remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the pan so the butter coats the bottom and partially up the sides of the pan.  Add the batter to the skillet and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.  

3.  Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the middle comes out clean.  Let cool slightly then cover the pan with a cutting board and flip, removing the cornbread.  Slice and serve warm.

Recipe Adapted from:  Brown Eyed Baker

Ready to go in the oven...

Ready to go in the oven…

all done :)

all done 🙂

I sliced mine like a pie :)

I sliced mine like a pie 🙂

 

I was literally in shock when this recipe turned out right.  I’m not very good at baking (I rarely follow instructions the right way) and could not believe how perfect this cornbread came out of the skillet!  What a relief.

The only change I would make to this recipe for next time would be to add either a little bit more sugar or kosher salt… or even jalapeños!  The good thing about cornbread is that the opportunities are endless… you can add whatever you’d like.  This cornbread was so delicious and was the perfect accompaniment to our lamb chili!

photo 5 (2)

cornbread

 

Caramelized Carrot Cake Bread : Feb SRC

I’m hoping you’re reading the title of this post and having the same reaction I did… WHATTTTT?!??!!  When I read about this recipe on my SRC partner’s blog… I was just amazed.  I don’t think I can personally ever be so creative.  What an awesome recipe.  Whoa.  I just had to try it.

After a month off, I’m back on with the Secret Recipe Club.  For those of you who haven’t checked it out before, please do!  The Secret Recipe Club (or the SRC) has been a really fun way to encourage me to try new recipes and connect with new bloggers.  Each month, everyone in the club gets an assignment to check out another blogger’s page.  We then pick ANY of their existing recipes and make them ourselves!  Then, on reveal day (today), we all post about our findings and experiences.  I have made some of my favorite recipes EVER from some of my paired blogs (check out THIS one… omg).

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I was paired with the blog:  Easily Good Eats.  It was so hard to pick just one recipe to make from this blog.  Like I said- she is so creative!  There are so many interesting recipes from different cuisines and countries around the world.  Very impressive.  I was automatically drawn to this recipe once I saw the word “Caramelized”…. I was practically drooling (as I am sure you are now too!)…  I won’t waste any more time, here is what I made:

it's as good as it looks.

it’s as good as it looks.

Caramelized Carrot Cake Bread

Makes:  1 Loaf

Ingredients:

1 cup Flour
½ cup Sugar, divided into 1/4’s 
1½ cups Carrots, peeled and grated
½ cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
2 Eggs, large
just under 1/4 cup Milk (I used 2%)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
1½ teaspoons Baking Powder
 
Directions
  1. Prepare a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add ¼ cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon of water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook on high heat until the sugar turns dark red. It will happen- I promise.  (I used a rubber spatula) Stir and don’t let it burn!
  3. Add carrots and butter.  Cook over low heat until the carrots becomes soft. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Puree the mixture (optional). Let the mixture cool completely.  *Optional to puree the mixture in a food processor- I did not*
  4. In a bowl beat ¼ cup sugar and eggs until the sugar dissolves. Add to the carrot mixture together with milk and mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture.  Don’t overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into loaf pan and bake at 350°F until done, about 30-40 minutes. A skewer inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean.

Recipe slightly adapted from: Butterscotch (Caramelized) Carrot Cake

At first, this recipe was a little more labor-intensive than what I’m used to.  First of all, I don’t really bake that much.  I also rolled my eyes when I saw how much carrot I’d have to grate.  But then I remembered, OMG, I have a food processor!  I finally was able to use our engagement gift from Dave’s parents in a new way- the grating tool!  Once I got it set up and peeled my carrots, it took literally 45 seconds.  It was the easiest thing ever, I totally recommend doing this- it will save you so much time!  Once the carrots were grated, the rest was simple.  Cook up the sugar, add the butter, carrots, and make the bread.

Lots of shredded carrots!  Thank goodness for our new food processor :)

Lots of shredded carrots! Thank goodness for our new food processor 🙂

If you were curious about what caramelizing carrots looked like...

If you were curious about what caramelizing carrots looked like…

Here is the batter with the wet ingredients and carrots

Here is the batter with the wet ingredients and carrots

I should also tell you that you should make DOUBLE this recipe.  You’re going to want to eat the whole loaf yourself, but also share one- it is one hell of an impressive recipe… show off your skills!  Next time, I’m going to double AND make a little bit of cream cheese glaze to drizzle overtop.

Finished product!  YUM!

Finished product! YUM!

Now that I’ve probably made you hungry for something sweet…

check out some of the other blogger’s recipes from this month’s SRC!