Posts Tagged ‘baking’
Over the holidays there was a lot, A LOT, of baking and cooking over here – family here from out of town, friends coming over, gifting. Well, breakfast around here can get monotonous so I tried this one morning for my peeps. A recipe from Costco inspired me. Easy prep and yummy! I think it’d be a delicious brunch item… but I’d double the recipe if you have a bunch of adults around the table.
Ham and Egg Cups (serves 6)
12 slices of ham (medium thickness)
1/2 cup softened or whipped cream cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. dried basil or parsley
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 chopped cherry or grape tomatoes (optional, my kids don’t like tomatoes so much)
Preheat oven to 400 deg. Prep 12-cup regular muffin pan with spray/oil/butter. Place each slice of ham in each cup forming to fit. It’s okay if the ham sticks out. Smear some cream cheese in the ham cups, evenly dividing among the cups.
Now prep the eggs… I say 4 to 6 eggs because you might want your cup more egg-y. I cracked 4 eggs in a glass measuring cup, whisked and then added enough milk to make just about 2 cups of liquid. I brought out our immersion blender and whipped it all frothy. Add the salt and herbs. Pour mixture evenly into the ham cups. Top with cheese (and tomato).
Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Check center with a toothpick. Should come out clean. Take out of oven and let set for a few minutes. Serve hot, warm.
When my husband works late, or is out with the guys, my daughter will ask if I can make this for dinner. Like it’s her “mom-kids night” favorite? It’s cute to hear her say, “Ooh, chicken braid…” This time she helped put it together. Easy, so easy to make when you have some leftover chicken and broccoli. You could even use a bag of frozen broccoli (it comes in 12 oz. bag – perfect amount). Just thaw in the microwave. Just know, it’s not an original recipe but one that’s been changed to satisfy my family. I’m sure you can find countless recipes online, but here’s mine – a simple meal, easy brunch pot-luck dish… or even an appetizer. Use up leftover chicken, leftover broccoli… I bet it’d be tasty with an Italian spin of spinach and mozzarella! Let me know if you try it out!
Chicken Broccoli Braid (inspired by original Pampered Chef recipe)
Minutes to Prepare: 20
Minutes to Cook: 20-25
Number of Servings: 8-10
½ cup (4 ounces) shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, four cheese blend, mild cheddar)
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dry oregano (Could use dill but my hubby doesn’t like dill too much)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or chopped (I had a bit less, 1-1/2 cup seemed to be okay)
1-1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 packages (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium to large mixing bowl, add cheese, mayonnaise, herbs and salt. Mix well. Incorporate chicken, broccoli and garlic to mixture. Set the bowl aside while you prepare the dough. Unroll crescent rolls – do not separate. Place both packages of rolls on a large cookie sheet side by side. Press seams together to form one long sheet of dough. Along outer side of dough, along each of two opposite sides, cut 1-inch strips from center toward end. Add filling down the center of between the strips. Don’t worry if it looks like a mountain…
Braid construction: Lift strips of dough, one at a time, at slight angle. Strips will meet in the center across chicken mixture. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends up to seal at end of braid. Brush with egg wash. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Who knew that it’s been over a month since the last post? No one but my family and a few close friends read this blog anyway… so, it’s okay, right? No, no. I know friends out there are reading. I’m sorry I’ve been away. I always seem to let too much time pass between posts in the summer months. With the kids and husband home, every day is an adventure – except when outside feels like a sauna and we hunker down in our basement and play video games and ping pong. (Not very into the pool scene. I don’t buy pool passes. No chance to break even.)
Since I last posted…
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to cook with some Irish beer. I really wanted to try making something with a stout other than Guinness, and ended up with Murphy’s Irish Stout based on a recommendation from our local liquor store. It’s dark, smooth, coffee-ish, sweeter than Guinness (if you’re into sweet). Made me want to eat some chocolate… seemed like dessert was in order!
Here’s my take on an Irish stout coffee cake – it’s dense and moist, not like a birthday cake. The recipe below is exactly what you see in the picture. My daughter helped mix the gooey batter. She had some choice words about what it looked like. You can only imagine what a ten-year old might say. My finished cake lacked a little sweetness, but there was good malty flavor. I’m probably going to make it again next weekend, and will add 1/2 cup of sugar and a streusel topping. I think a little crunch on top would add some nice texture and sweetness. I’ll let you know how that goes.
The stout cake definitely went well with my morning coffee (good morning to you too), and it goes well with after-dinner coffee or drinks too. Well, it’s not that light so maybe hold off a little while after dinner. And, the Bailey’s Irish Cream icing – yum. When it came time to taste, my trusty assistant had a couple bites – no icing – and was done. Note: The cake may not be for the younger palate.
If you bake this, I’d love to hear how it turns out!
Irish Stout Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chips and Bailey’s Icing
1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
1-1/2 c. stout beer, Murphy’s or Guinness
1 cup rolled oats, not quick cooking
2-1/4 cup sifted white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chocolate chips
For Bailey’s Icing
4 tbsp. confectioners sugar
1 to 2 tsp Bailey’s Irish Cream
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick spray or butter and flour, set pan aside. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, turn off heat and slowly pour the stout beer in the butter, whisking gently until the beer and butter are combined. It will foam slightly. Next, add the oatmeal and stir. Set this mixture aside while you prepare the cake batter.
In large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cocoa powder. In another bowl (medium size), mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. Add beaten eggs to sugar and salt. Take the stout and butter mixture from earlier and add to the egg-sugar mixture. Stir well. Now combine the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until dry ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be thick. Lastly, fold in the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. (Tip: Lightly coat chocolate chips with your flour mixture (ahead of time) before adding to the batter. This helps the chips stay suspended in the batter when baking. They won’t fall to the bottom of the cake.)
Pour batter into your prepped springform pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, until cake springs back upon a light touch, or toothpick check in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely. Dust with confectioners/powdered sugar and drizzle Bailey’s icing (optional).
For the icing: Combine sugar and 1 tsp. Irish cream. Add more liquor, 1/2 tsp. at a time, until consistency is like thick syrup and can easily be drizzled with a spoon or fork.
Another recipe you might like: Irish Soda Bread
Recovering from twelve delicious varieties…
I love Irish Soda Bread. Of course, it tends to get a lot of press at St. Patrick’s Day, but why not make it or eat it any time? Need an excuse? June 20 marks the eve of summer solstice, or longest day of the year for the northern hemisphere, where lots of festivals, fairs and concerts occur in Ireland (leftover from Pagan days) and Europe, for that matter. The dates change yearly, but is usually around June 20-22.
The recipe I make at home turns out all rustic looking, which is very different from a lot of Asian baked goods I’ve had. At the bakery the Chinese baked buns (bao or pao) and Filipino buns are typically these beautiful golden brown, rounded hills lined up on a tray.
But, I love me a rustic bread anytime… the displays at Corner Bakery and Panera Bread are enough to make me want to carbo-load.
Irish Soda Bread recipe
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 c melted butter
- 3/4 c milk with 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (let this mixture sit for a few minutes) OR 3/4 c buttermilk
- 1/2 c raisins or currants
Preheat oven to 425. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the wet ingredients. Mix until ingredients are just combined; don’t overmix. It’s okay to look lumpy. Fold in the raisins or currants. Transfer dough to baking sheet. Dough should hold its shape, but you can form your bread loaf how you want. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, turn down to 375 for 20-25 minutes (or until toothpick inserted at center comes out clean). Remove and cool completely.
My daughter told me it tasted store-bought. I guess that meant she liked it! Maybe next year, I can make a corresponding craft? Anyone out there make or bake anything to celebrate summer?
Happy Father’s Day to all tomorrow! I’ll be back next week with crafty tales!