Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Sunday, September 27, 2009

Operation Clean Out the Cabinet has begun. You know how these things go, everything that you think is silly to take with you on the big move, has to be used. Extra flour, frozen egg whites, extracts and canned whatevers... the fun stuff.

I actually have been slowing down my spending on baking and cooking things, so I'd run out of the staples just as I need to. This is kind of why I've been a little pedestrian on the baking adventures on my end... well, and the packing/planning is taking a little bit of the time toll too :)

So when times like these arise, I go to simple, old favorites. Things that don't require a recipe book for consulting, or using multiple bowls (I love using one bowl). This coffee cake comes together in about 5 minutes, once you get your fruit peeled and ready. My personal favorite is to use Apples, but we've made this with blueberries, strawberries, plums... whatever the baker or their family enjoys. Strap on your fruit imagination, it's all up to you.

Everyday 5 Minute Crumb Cake
Dr. Adam

-2 cups flour
-1 cup sugar
-1 stick butter, cold and cut into small pieces

-2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup milk (or milk alternative)
-1/2 tsp almond extract
-3-4 peeled, sliced apples (or other fruit)

Preheat your oven to 350*. Take a 13x9 pan out and grease it.

In a medium bowl, add the flour and sugar together. Mix well, and add the butter into the dry goods. Using your hands, stir this together so that fine crumbs start to form, kind of like making a pie crust dough. Don't worry too much about getting it perfect, remember this takes 5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of this crumb mix and set aside.

Now to the bowl, add the remaining ingredients except apples. Don't worry about the order or anything, just add them all, and stir well with a wooden spoon. The batter should thin up a bit, and be smooth, even, and be easily pourable.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and layer with apples or fruit of your choice. Don't overcrowd, but go with a single layer. Press the fruit down a little firmly, but don't submerge it into the batter. Top the fruit with the reserved crumb mix evenly, and you're all set.

Bake for 30-40*, or until a toothpick comes out clean. This can be served warm, but I like it room temperature, because it firms up a bit more.

I want to thank everyone for their warm wishes about my new home situation. I am very excited and anxious as you can imagine, and have quite a few things swimming around in my head. This coming weekend starts some of the moving, which will probably commence for about another week or so after that. Then, it's time for some home shopping.

Speaking of which, does anyone have any appliance advice? I'm going to need to go fridge and oven shopping. Any tips on what to really look for? Things to avoid? Let me know, thanks :)

Jammin' With It


Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2009

I don't have to explain to any fellow bloggers out there why we bake and cook. You take pictures of food? Why, yes... yes I do. It's just a passion, an excitement that shines through on a rainy Saturday, or on a super rushed weekday. We get excited to see new products show up at the market, or a really sweet deal on produce. I can't even tell you how many times I get pumped to find something cool in the discount bins. I try to stick to a food budget (try being the key word) , so when things like that pop up, I have to take advantage.

I especially like baking for bake sales or an important cause. I have to bake for others, because honestly I'd be packing on adipose tissue by the Tonka dumptruck full if I didn't. So if I can make others have a good day, while helping raise a little money, I'm all for it :)

In a few weeks a good friend of mine is doing a 3 day walk for breast cancer. She has to walk 60 miles in those days, which is remarkable... and on top of that, raise money for the cause and her sponsorship. So, what can I do to help raise money and awareness?

Cookies and cake my friends.... cookies and cake.

I already posted about the Oatmeal Cake... which was such a hit it had to be rationed so everyone could try it. (Pat myself on the back). But, I also made a cookie from Dorie Greenspan that always caught my eye... her Buttery Jam Cookies. If you've read this blog before, you know about my love for jam and fruit. Butter? Well, I'm only human, so go with that one :)

Look at the pics and guess what jam I used. You will never, ever guess in a bazillion years...

I used a little bit of my Northern Heritage on this one. Gooseberry. What's a gooseberry? If you don't know, you're missing out. They are kinda sweet, kinda sour. The only really way to know is to try it. Trust me, you'll dig 'em like Dig 'Em.

Buttery Jam Cookies
Dorie Greenspan, From My Home To Yours

-2 cups AP flour

-1 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp ground ginger

-1/4 tsp salt

-1 stick softened unsalted butter

-2/3 cup sugar

-1 large egg

-2 Tbs milk (I used sour cream)

-1/2 tsp vanilla

-1/4 cup jam (apricot, gooseberry, something chunky)

I'm going to readers digest these instructions, they come together in like 4 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375*. Line two cookie pans with silicone mats or parchment paper.

Cream the butter on medium with a mixer in a large bowl until it is pale and smooth. Add in the sugar, and beat for another minute. Add in the egg, and beat until well combined and satin looking. Proceed to add the milk and vanilla extract, and mix on medium until it just comes together. The batter will look a little curdled and weird, but that's perfectly fine. Accept it :)

Switch the mixer to low, and add the jam of your choice... mix for another minute. Slowly add the dry ingredients (watch out for flour backlash), and mix JUST so the batter comes together. IT will be super thick and a little dry. This is fine. There's not a whole lot of liquid going on in this dough.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoon fulls on to the prepared mats, and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Note*... you just want them only little brown around the edges. They might still be pale, and they might not look done, but you'll know when you press them lightly. They will be a little firm, and give only a little. If they turn golden brown... it may be too late :)

Cool on a wire rack, and you're done. The recipe says something like 40 cookies... but I always end up with less. Maybe 30ish or so.

The ginger in these bad boys really take the flavor up a level. Next time I'd go with a more traditional jam... but I like using flavors that are a little unique sometime.

Thanks for all the awesome comments on the Oatmeal Cake. I'm glad that so many of your enjoy your breakfast, and are excited to try their dessert for breakfast :)

Housing update: My closing is officially at the end of the month, and I couldn't be more excited. Sure it's hectic. Sure, it's scary giving away most your money for a down payment. But... it's worth it. Totally, totally worth it. I'll be more active on this blog once the dust settles, and after the packing, moving, cleaning, and buying... I'll have my own personal kitchen to work with. Is it ok for guys to get excited over kitchens? I think so. And if not, well I'll arm wrestle you over it. Have a good rest of the weekend buds :)

Cake For Breakfast


Posted by Adam | Posted in , , , | Posted on Sunday, September 13, 2009

Breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day. I find it increasingly difficult to go to a cute diner, have a cup of coffee, a veggie filled omelet, and some toast or potatoes, and not enjoy yourself. That's a smile on a plate, seriously. For those of you that don't like breakfast, or don't have time for it, that's too bad. I think you're missing out :)

Which bring me up to this new recipe. As a kid I ALWAYS had breakfast, and most days it was sugared up oatmeal, or these corn toasties. I know, no protein, right? Man, times change!

And sometimes, when you oversleep, you grab cake for breakfast. Yup, cake. Actually, thinking back, I don't know why I didn't sleep in more. It's like a reward for being late. Oh, you messed up? Well here's a prize for you on your way out the door :)

Now, we all know that cake is not a good breakfast choice, and don't need any specialized schooling to understand why. Lack of nutrients, blood sugar, and so on and so on. However, if you are going to eat a cake for breaking your night fast, it might as well have a little fiber...

And as for frosting in the morning? Well, um I don't have an answer for that one. Let's just say everyone should start the day off in a good mood...

Oatmeal Cake
Dr. Adam

-1 cup boiling water

-1 cup dry, quick small oats
-1 cup packed brown sugar

-1 stick unsalted butter, softened

-2 eggs

-1 tsp vanilla

-1 1/2 cups flour

-1 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp cinnamon

-Dash or two of nutmeg and salt

-1/4 cup unsalted butter

-1/2 cup sugar

-3/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Place the dry oatmeal in a bowl with boiling water, and let it sit until it is all absorbed and thick, about 20-30 minutes. Let it cool down a bit.

Preheat your oven to 350*. Take out a large 13x9 pan, and grease the bottom and sides with the butter wrapper you took off your butter.

In a large bowl, cream the stick of butter and brown sugar together, until pale brown, and then add the eggs and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Add in the cooled oatmeal, and you'll have a semi loose brown sugar oatmeal.

Now you can mix the dry ingredients together and add them, or just dump them all in one at a time. The less dirty bowls the better, so just add them in one at a time... flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Mix well, until you have a thin batter. Don't worry if it's not as thick as you'd like, that's perfectly fine.

Spread the batter out into the prepared pan, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes.
While it's cooling, change the oven to broil, and prepare the frosting.

In a small saucepan, add the butter and melt it on medium-low. Add the sugar and stir constantly so it doesn't burn, and then add the coconut. If the mixture is a little thick, add a tablespoon of milk if needed.
Top the cake with the coconut frosting, and smooth it over. Place in the oven, and broil until the topping comes out golden brown, taking care not to burn it. Remove and cool.

Yup, as you know from my past oatmeal recipes, this cake is awesome. I've always been a sheet cake man, and this combines a ton of my favorite flavors, and is nice for a September fling, if I may say so. Totally recommended once the weather cools down a bit.

Sorry I haven't been around too often. I had a wonderful wedding last weekend (not mine), and it was awesome to see old friends. You know you have some real good ones if you can pick up excatly where you left off a year ago. This housing thing is JUST about finished, and soon after, I'll have the task of moving and settling in. So basically, I'll start to have free time by Halloween... haha :) Speaking of Halloween, any good costume ideas? I need to put my thinking cap on for this one! Enjoy your football weekend, and we'll catch up soon :)