Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Basil Mayonnaise

I love Ina Garten. She always has such great recipes. This is a great spread for BLTs, it really compliments the garden fresh tomatoes used on the sandwiches! I'm sure it would go great with other sandwich combinations as well.

Basil Mayonnaise
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

1 cup mayonnaise
10-15 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced

  • Whisk together all of the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Baked" Brownies

Under a week to go until I start my Fall semester classes. It's going to be a lot of work juggling work, classes and homework but I think I can do it. Hopefully I'll still be able to blog some yummy recipes every once in a while. I honestly love blogging about everything I cook, it's become a fun hobby.

I love baking, even if I don't do it that often at home. I currently work at a bakery making breads and desserts, such as cookies, cakes for our grilled desserts and stuff like that. I've been thinking about brownies lately though. One of the things I find important is that some form of coffee or espresso is incorporated into them. I think that it really helps compliment the chocolate. Also, I love dark chocolate so it's basically what I like to use in my baked goods when chocolate is involved. The original recipe didn't call for nuts of any kind, but I just can't help but want to add them. You can use hazelnuts, walnuts or even almonds {all best when toasted}.

"Baked" Brownies
Recipe adapted from Baked

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
5 ounces dark chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Butter an 8x8 inch baking pan and coat with flour.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder; set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, combine butter and espresso powder. Heat on low and stir until butter has melted. Add chocolate, and stir constantly until mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in both sugars until combined. Let cool slightly.
  • Whisk the eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture and keep moving the batter around until combined and no longer grainy-looking. Add the flour mixture to batter and stir just until combined. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a just a few moist crumbs attached {28 to 30 minutes}. Let cool completely before serving.



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Salmon Salad BLAT Melt

This little concoction is to die for, it's kind of a mash-up of my salmon salad sandwich {replacing the feta with cheddar} and a BLAT {bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato}. It actually reminds me of the wasabi-glazed salmon blt I made a couple of months ago. That's when I learned that I loved salmon and bacon together.

Salmon Salad BLAT Melt

sourdough bread, sliced
cheddar cheese, sliced
bacon, cooked
tomato, sliced

  • In a pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Put cheddar cheese slices on one side and place into the pan to let melt and toast the bread. Once melted, take out and toast the other slice of bread.
  • To the slice of bread with the melted cheese, add the bacon, salmon salad, avocado, tomato, spouts and lettuce. Top with the other toasted piece of bread.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Zucchini Bread

Nick came into town and brought some zucchini from his parents garden with him. While he was here we went to the Hogle Zoo and Brewvies, a place to see a flick and grab delicious food and beer. But back to the bread, seeing as I haven't made zucchini bread in almost over a year, it seemed like it was time. Originally, this recipe uses cinnamon, but I decided to try something different. A dear friend of mine gave me a box of baking spices from Penzeys Spices a few years ago and I haven't used them to their full potential {mainly because I don't bake a ton at home, usually just at work}. I used their vanilla extract as well. The pumpkin pie spice is a mix of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, mace and cloves... let me just say that it smells like Christmas!

Zucchini Bread
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, grated
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and frothy. Mix in the sugar and oil. Add the vanilla and zucchini.
  • Combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the egg mixture. Mix until just combined, making sure not to over mixed. Add in the walnuts and mix lightly
  • Pour the batter into 2 greased loaf pans.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until done.