Friday, November 25, 2011

Ben's Simple Pancakes

The kind of pancakes you can quickly throw together on a Saturday morning. There are no weird ingredients, and they are simple and easy.We probably make them 3 times a week and I would definitely consider this my go-to recipe.

Makes enough for 3 - 4

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cup milk (buttermilk if you can swing it)
1 egg
3 Tbsp butter, melted

Heat a skillet on the stove on medium heat.
Mix dry ingredients, then blend in milk and egg until just incorporated. Melt the butter and add it to the mix. Spoon out about 1/2 cup onto the skillet and wait until you begin to see tiny bubbles on the surface, then flip the pancake over with a spatula. Give it another minute or so and then remove and enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How to make Pumpkin Puree

Instructions from Allrecipes

I now live in a place where it is difficult to buy canned pumpkin. And with the holiday pumpkin pies coming up I thought I would try making my own this year instead of getting it shipped from America (it makes for a rather expensive pie).

As usual, making it from home is very easy to do and it tastes better and of course is much cheaper. So here is how to do it:

1. Choose a small pie pumpkin, not more than 3-4 pound (the smaller ones tend to be sweeter)
2. Rinse the pumpkin well, removing any dirt or debris
3. Cut the pumpkin in half. Then scoop out all the seeds and guts. Set aside seeds for baking later!
4. Then lay the pumpkin pieces face down in a baking dish and add about a cup of water.

5. Bake at 350 F for 45-60 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and can be punctured easily with a fork.
6. Remove from the oven, and let cool. At this point, the rind should just peel right off, though you may have to do a little scraping to get some of the flesh off.
7. Puree it in a food processor until smooth. Now the pumpkin is ready to be used in a pie, muffin or soup! Anything that requires pumpkin puree. If you don't need it right away, feel free to freeze it until you need it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blackberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

adapted slightly from Amanda's Cookin'

I made this last weekend and it was so incredibly good. A wonderful, moist coffee cake, plus a little soft cheese topping to make it feel just a little bit more decadent.

Cream Cheese Filling
1 8 oz package cream cheese (226 g)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 egg

Cake Batter
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, chilled (170 grams)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tsp almond extract
1 egg

1 cup blackberry preserves (any kind will probably do)
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 375 F (176 C). Either prepare a 12 cup muffin tin and a 9x9 square baking pan OR I just greased up a bundt cake pan.

Place cream cheese, sugar, flour and egg into a bowl, mix until smooth and set aside.

Combine flour and sugar together along with cinnamon and salt and cut in the butter, until you form coarse crumbs. Remove 1 cup of this mixture and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt, almond extract and 1 egg. Combine wet egg mixture with the remaining crumbs along with the baking powder and baking soda.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Then on top of that, spread a layer of cream cheese filling. On top of the cream cheese, pour out 1 cup of blackberry preserves and lastly sprinkle the 1 cup of reserved butter crumbs on top. Garnish with sliced almonds and bake for 45 minutes. The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and will be golden brown, preserves will be bubbly. Let cool before serving.