Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Crazy-Delicious Coffee Cake

Where I grew up there was a bakery down the road with amazing coffee cake. There’s is still the best I have ever had but since I live over 400 miles away this recipe helped me bring a bit of my local bakery into my kitchen. One thing I would suggest is less salt on the topping. I definitely tasted the salt and I think the cake would be better with less salt there, otherwise it was very tasty! Perfect way to warm up a winter Sunday morning.

This recipe was adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/deluxe-coffee-cake-recipe/index.html?ic1=obinsite

Ingredients:

Topping:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cake:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing the pan, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt

Directions:

Topping: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Stir to blend and then stir in butter. The topping should form sandy clumps. Break it into smaller clumps when you sprinkle it on the baking sheet. Refrigerate while you start cake recipe.

Cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with butter. 

Cream the butter and granulated sugar together until light yellow and smooth, 5 to 8 minutes either with a whisk or with your mixer (I was excited because I got to use my kitchenaid stand mixer again!!).  Add the eggs, one at a time, while still beating until they are thoroughly mixed in.

Remove the topping from the refrigerator to let it come to room temperature prior to baking.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and yogurt together until smooth. Add some sour cream mixture, then flour mixture and continue alternating this while mixing until both mixtures are fully mixed together. Spread the batter evenly in the greased baking pan. Sprinkle the topping over the cake. Once the topping has been fully sprinkled over the cake bake it for 40 – 50 minutes. Allow it to cool and then dig in! Don’t forget to make your favorite cup of coffee to complement the delicious cake you just made.

 

Advertisements

Beer Pretzels

I’ve been pinning pretzel recipes on pinterest for a while now but never got around to trying them, then a friend passed me Taste of Home magazine and there was another pretzel recipe staring me down. I decided that the end of fall called for some homemade soft pretzels (and beer) so we could celebrate raking our final leaves in true fall fashion. The pretzels turned out very tasty, and they were EVEN more delicious on the second day when the soft pretzels were reheated. The recipe seems a bit daunting since it is long but the end result was tasty, so I’d say it’s worth the work!

Recipe was adapted from “Soft Beer Pretzels” page 71, Taste of Home Magazine September/October 2013.

Ingredients

1 bottle amber beer, or nonalcoholic beer
1/2 oz active dry yeast (1 packet if you buy them in packet form)
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 – 4 1/2 cups Flour
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
Coarse salt

Directions:

Heat bear to 110 – 115 in a small pan and then remove from heat. Stir in yeast until dissolved.

In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, 1 – 1/2 tsp of salt, yeast mixture and 3 cups of flour. Beat (medium speed) until smooth and then stir in flour until the mixture becomes a soft dough (it will be sticky!).

Turn dough down on a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place in greased bowl (turn the dough over once to grease the top), cover with saran-wrap and let sit in a warm place until it has doubled – about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425 F.

Punch dough down and turn on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 balls and roll each ball into a 14″ rope. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape.

In a dutch oven bring water and baking soda to a boil. Drop pretzels in two at a time and cook for 30 seconds. Drain the pretzels on a paper towel. Place the pretzels on a baking sheet (either use grease or parchment paper to “line” the sheet). Whisk egg and water in a small bowl and then brush that over each pretzel on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pop them in the oven.

Bake pretzels 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!! Again, reheated on day 2 (for about 15 seconds in the microwave) will also yield very delicious pretzels!

Calzones: Pizza’s Favorite Cousin!

I am Italian, it’s evident in the amount of pasta on hand, at all times, in my pantry as well as my meal choices. If it were up to me I’d likely have some version of pasta every single meal (yes, even breakfast), so finding italian recipes that are quick, easy and tasty are something I’m always on the lookout for. We love making homemade pizza but making the same recipes week after week can get a little boring, which is why we decided to really branch out (not) and try out our calzone making skills. It was a success! The calzone was plentiful, tasty and easy! It is a recipe we will deifnitely be using in the future!! I would imagine that for kids making mini-calzones would be a fun project since they get to really pick and choose their fillings and shape the calzone, so if you have children around this could be a fun way to make dinner more engaging and interactive…Calzone, Creative Crops

Ingredients:

1 lb pizza dough
1 cup ricotta cheese, drained
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp italian seasoning (we used a garlic, oregano and parsley combo)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
Mix-ins: pepperoni, sausage, veggies, etc
Handful of cornmeal

** Heated marinara/pizza sauce for dipping

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven and pizza stone to 450 F. Mix ricotta, mozarella, garlic, seasonings and mix-ins in a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste (optional). Have a cornmeal coated area ready for your dough. Roll out your pizza dough over the cornmeal to form a circle and spread your mix-in and cheese mixture covering only 1 side of the dough and make sure to leave some of the edge available so you can seal up the calzone.

Fold the un-covered half of the dough over the mix-ins and cheese and ensure the ends meet. Your calzone/dough should be in the shape of a semi-circle now. Pinch the edges/crust togeter to seal them and use a fork to get the ‘crinkled’ look as you continue sealing them together.

Brush the calzone with olive oil, cut a few small slits in the top, like you would a pie, to allow steam to escape and move it onto your pizza stone for baking! I always make sure there is cornmeal on my pizza stone so that my pizza and calzones in this case don’t stick, so if you haven’t added a thin layer of cornmeal to your pizza stone during the heating process add a bit now before adding your calzone on top of it. Calzones are quick to bake and only need about 10 – 15 minutes depending on their size. You know your calzone is done when it is a golden brown color and is considerably larger than when you placed it in the oven.

Once the calzone has had a few moments to cool and not burn your mouth, dig in! We love dipping ours in pizza sauce, so I usually heat that up while the calzone is cooking. You can add some pizza sauce inside your calzone with your mix-in and cheese combinations if you’d like too.

The combinations of what you can stuff inside the calzone are pretty endless. Have a fun dinner and let everyone go to town creating the calzone of their dreams!

Slammin’ ‘Slaw

Two weeks ago we had a threat of snow, today it is supposed to climb to the low 80s, so I’m taking this is as a sign that we are skipping spring and heading into Summer – I’ll take it! Since it’s my version of summer here are two slaw recipes that are out of this world! They’re a great compliment to pulled-pork, burgers, or anything else that involves your grill and al fresco dining. As with many of my recipes they’re pretty easy to make and don’t require too much time. If you’re in a pinch time-wise you can use those handy bags of coleslaw mix in the lettuce section of the food store instead of shredding cabbage at home yourself (we have recently received cabbage in our awesome crop-share, but on the weeks we don’t we absolutely cheat using this!).

Carolina Slaw

Adapted from this recipe

IngredientsCreative Crops Coleslaw Homemade Recipe

– 1 large head of finely shredded cabbage
– 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
– 2 grated carrots
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 2/3 cup vegetable oil
– 1 tsp dry mustard
– 1 tsp celery seed
– 1 cup cider vinegar

Directions

Combine cabbage, onion and carrots in a large bowl. In a small pan over medium heat combine the sugar, salt, oil, mustard, celery seed and cider vinegar and bring to a boil. Simmer these ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and then pour over the veggies and toss well.Creative Crops Coleslaw Homemade Recipe

This is best served chilled, so after everything is done move it to the fridge until it is really chilled, and then dig in!

 

Asian Slaw

Adapted from Food Network’s recipe

Ingredients

– 1 bunch of trimmed and thinly sliced scallions
– ** shortcut alert!!** 2, 16 oz bags of coleslaw mix, OR 1 head green, 1 head red cabbage shredded
–  1 thinly sliced small, red onion
– 1/4 cup soy sauce
– 1/4 cup lemon juice
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
– 2 tbsp white vinegar
– 2 tbsp brown sugar
– 2 tbsp sesame oil
– 2 tsp sesame seeds
– 1 tsp salt
– pinch of ground black pepper

Directions

Food Network directed us to rough up the scallions a bit so the layers of the scallion whites separated. When I first read this I felt like I wasn’t reading English – what did this mean? It was pretty simple – use your fingers to roll the scallions around a bit, it sounded harder than it was, thankfully!

Combine the coleslaw mix, or shredded cabbages, red onion and scallions in a large bowl. To make the dressing, in a small bowl  combine all of the remaining ingredients together until well blended together. Pour over the cabbage and veggie mixture. Food Network suggests serving this within 1 hour of adding the dressing to avoid wilted cabbage. We dressed it all at once, then ate it for the next 2 – 3 days and didn’t find that it lost flavor or got too soggy, but it may just be personal preference. CreativeCrops Asian Slaw

Happy Grilling!

Asparagus Chicken a la Pinterest

I’m not sure about any of you guys but I LOVE pinterest. The amount of time I spend ‘pinning’ is definitely bordering the unhealthy… I have finally started getting around to really trying out the various recipes I have pinned. To date, this is one of our favorite pinned recipes! It’s easy to make on a weeknight, cooks very quickly and fresh asparagus is just so incredibly tasty! The pin was to this recipe, which we adapted pretty heavily…

Ingredientscreativecrops asparagus chicken

– chicken cutlets – pounded thin
– 1 bunch of asparagus
– 1 tsp olive oil (we used our garlic infused olive oil)
– Cheese – we’ve used both mozzarella & Gruyère on different occasions, both were tasty!
– pinch of salt
– pinch of pepper
– panko bread crumbs (regular bread crumbs will do as well!)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Sautee the asparagus in the olive oil until bright green in color, then set aside. Line your creativecrops asparagus chickenbaking dish with either non-stick cooking spray, a bit of olive oil, or a small pinch of butter to prevent the chicken from sticking.

Season your chicken with salt and pepper, and lay the breasts out. Arrange the asparagus in the middle of each chicken breast – we usually averaged about 2 – 3 stalks of asparagus per chicken. Spring the cheese on top of the asparagus inside each chicken, then roll the chicken around the asparagus. Place them all seam side down in the backing dish. Spring the bread crumbs on top of the chicken and put it all in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until chicken is safe to eat (internal temp of 160 – 165 F). Since the chicken is sliced and pounded so thin the oven cooking time should be very minimal overall.

creativecrops asparagus chicken

Martha’s Weeknight Shrimp Jambalaya

My husband loves spicy food, anything with a good kick he automatically moves to his favorite food list. I’m not as into the spicy overtones in food and tend to get overwhelmed by spice quickly. We were in the hunt for a recipe that had some spice, but not too much AND was easy for a weeknight when we forgot to defrost meat which is how we stumbled upon Martha’s Shrimp Jambalaya. Since I’m not Martha I, of course, modified her recipe to fit our flavors and worked based off of her reviews online. Below is our version of Martha’s Shrimp Jambalaya. It wasn’t too spicy for me and my husband added some extra spice to his own dish to better suite his palate. It was quick and easy to make, required no defrosting of anything and contained ingredients we generally alwasy have handy in our kitchen. Definitely a great recipe to add to the weeknight rotation!

creative crops recipe, shrimp jambalayaIngredients

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
8 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 pound medium shrimp (about 30), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
2 cups water

Directionscreative crops recipe, shrimp jambalaya

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally while it cooks until onion starts softening which will take about 5 minutes. Stir in paprika; cook about 1 minute (Martha suggests until it is fragrant).

Add tomatoes, rice, and water to skillet; cover, and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked and has absorbed all water, about 15 minutes. Add shrimp and cook, covered about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper, as desired. Garnish the dishes with your scallions before serving!

Shrimp Jambalaya creative crops

Burnt Broccoli (&Cauliflower too!)

It was a chilly Saturday night and our table was animatedly chatting in the cozy and warm Italian restaurant in DC when suddenly our waiter appeared with our appetizer – steamed broccoli! We love gathering at this restaurant whenever we are all in town and always order the steamed broccoli as an appetizer. But this time, a strange thing happened – we started discussing burned broccoli. I had never heard of such a thing but I was certainly interested! Our dear friend, Anthony, had my complete attention as he explained that his wife makes this delicious treat very easily all the time and that cooking the broccoli this way creates a more unique, sweeter flavor from the broccoli. My mom added that she does this same thing with cauliflower too. How did I never hear about this?! We couldn’t wait to try it out! On Monday evening I pulled out all the ingredients and we are hooked! The broccoli and cauliflower crisped up so nicely and the flavor was a bit sweeter. This is such a great side-dish when I don’t feel like steaming the veggies, and it was so easy! I hope you try these out and like them – if not send them my way!!

creative crops burnt broccoliIngredients

1 bunch broccoli & cauliflower
4 tbsp olive oil
large pinch of panko breadcrumbs
salt & pepper

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 F (if its grilling season word on the street is that you can grill it too!). Toss your broccoli and cauliflower with the olive oil, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. Lay out the broccoli and cauliflower on a parchment lined baking sheet (or unlined for messier cleanup). Place it in the over for about 20 – 30 minutes until the broccoli looks well-cooked and crispy.

The hardest part about this dish? Not eating it all before you serve the rest of the meal! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do! Enjoy!!

burnt Broccoli creative crops

%d bloggers like this: