Category Archives: baking

Bite of Seattle 2013 & Olympic Sculpture Park, plus some Chihuly

This weekend is the bite of Seattle. Naturally this means I’m quite excited and had to partake in the festivities. Twice. Once on Friday and once on Saturday. I highly recommend going to the Bite of Seattle, or any other “bite” type activity you have in your area, as it’s a great way to enjoy a variety of foods from the area at a reasonable price. In my case I went to “the alley“, which is the event’s largest fundraiser, donating the money to Food Lifeline, a local charity. The menu is different on all 3 days, so I posted a link to it above (“the alley” link) but I’ll explain as I show you the food below. But first, the Space Needle. You can also see the fountain spraying water below the Space Needle, which is a fun attraction especially for children as they try to run away before they get wet.

needle and fountain

Friday:

friday food

From the yellow rice, clockwise, and then the middle:

Far-Eats: Tender chicken morsels simmered in an aromatic sauce with herbs & spices then slowly baked with basmati rice until flavors blend
Dahlia Lounge: Ginger pork salad with blueberries, mint and chilies
O’Asian Kitchen and Lounge: Baked Barbecue Pork Pastry
Purple Cafe: Summer Quinoa Salad
Din Tai Fung: Veggie & pork wonton with spicy sauce
Yippie-Pie-Yay: Peach-Bourbon Hand Pie
Belltown Pub: Chicken & Seafood Gumbo

I really liked everything, except for the Belltown Pub’s gumbo. However, if you like extremely smoky flavors, you might have liked it. My favorite was the Dahlia Lounge’s ginger pork – it was amazing. Another favorite was the wonton from Din Tai Fung. Fortunately, the wonton was served on both days that I visited.

Saturday:

saturday foods

From the bun, clockwise:

Local 360: Root beer glazed pork belly
Palace Kitchen: Slow cooked brisket, blueberry BBQ, sweet corn pudding & blueberry pickles
O’Asian Kitchen and Lounge: Baked Barbecue Pork Pastry
PinkaBella Cupcakes: Root beer float cupcake
Din Tai Fung: Veggie & pork wonton with spicy sauce
Shanik: Roasted spiced eggplant, squash & tomatoes with crispy wheat flatbread
Salty’s on Alki: Fresh Oregon BayShrimp Cocktail with marinated local vegetable slaw finished with a house-made cocktail

The brisket was amazing, (and of course blueberries are my favorite food) and the shrimp cocktail and spiced veggies on flatbread were respectively fresh and nicely seasoned. The root beer float cupcake was delicious, though very heavy on the frosting, to the point that it fell over in my corn. But it was still good!

After we left the bite we walked around the area, and ended up at the Olympic sculpture park where there were a few interesting pieces that I hadn’t seen before, and a few I think I just haven’t taken a close look at before. We also wandered by a new Chihuly piece which was visible from the walkway. They reminded me of Dr. Suess flowers.

Metal tree!

metal tree!

Eyeball chair! As demonstrated by lady with stroller.

eyeball chair

The infamous naked fountain, though the other figure is obscured by water.

fountain

I’m told that this sculpture is fashioned after an old-timey eraser with a brush on the end. I thought it was some kind of sea creature…

eraser art

Temporary art installation:

the roofroofing

And the flowers.

dr suess

fun times in suessland

Post and photos by: Melissa

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Asiago garlic bread (loaf)

Since I had already tried making asiago bagels I decided to do something different this time, and bake a loaf of asiago cheese bread. I chose to add garlic to mine because that’s always a winning combination. The recipe calls for optional rosemary, which I think would be a great choice too. It should be noted that this recipe takes SO long for the dough to be ready to bake ~3 to 3.5 hours, with steps in between wait times. But let me just tell you that it was so worth it. This bread is light, cheesy and flavorful. It would’ve been crispier if I could’ve baked it a little longer but you may know by now that I get very paranoid about burning my baked goods.

Ingredients:

3-3.5 cups of bread flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 package dry active yeast
1.25 cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons of rosemary or thyme (optional) and/or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1.25 cups asiago cheese or other firm cheese, cubed (swiss, gruyere, etc.)
Cooking spray (like Pam)

Recipe:

1. In a large bowl, combine 1.5 cups flour, the sugar and yeast and mix. Add the 1.25 cups of warm water (about 120 degrees Fahrenheit) and stir until all combined into a ball. Let stand about 1 hour, until bubbly.

first

bubbly

2. Stir in the oil, rosemary (or other herb/garlic) and salt with a wooden spoon. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is soft, easily leaves sides of bowl, and is easily handled. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 15 minutes.

handle that

3. Sprinkle flour on flat surface (counter or cutting board) and place dough. Knead the dough, pulling toward you, pressing away with your palm and rotating 1/4 each time between pressing. Sprinkle more flour if the dough sticks. Knead in 1 cup of the cheese. Spray a bowl with the cooking spray and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover and let rise 45-60 minutes, until about doubled in size.

cheesy

poof cheese

shiny

4. Deflate your dough with your fist. Spray a cookie sheet with the cooking spray. Gently form your dough into a football shape, about 12 inches long. Coat loaf with flour. Let rise in a warm place, covered, another 45-60 minutes until about doubled in size.

dough ready!

5. Place an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan halfway filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven. Heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Sprinkle or spray your loaf with water and sprinkle desired amount of flour. Cut a line in the middle of your bread lengthwise about 1/2 inch deep and fill with remaining cheese.

full of cheese

7. Place in oven on middle rack, above the water-filled pan’s rack. Bake about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake another 20-25 minutes, until browned and cheesy. At your own risk, bake a bit longer to get it really crusty. I was unable to do so, but this bread is still delicious and will get harder if left on the counter.

yum

8. Enjoy! Experiment with your own combination of spices, cheese, garlic, onions, whatever! I think this is a versatile recipe that you can easily customize. 🙂

cheese holes!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Pizza dough (totally from scratch!)

If you’re a long-time blog reader (are there any of you out there?) you’ll know that the first summer of this blog’s existence we made grilled pizzas from scratch. But this is going to be like the one I made with store-bought dough, except I made it myself. 🙂

This post will include the recipe for the dough I made (which makes enough dough for 2 medium pizzas) and the finished result of each pizza. The recipe claims this will make dough for 4 pizzas, but seriously unless you’re feeding children I’d say it makes 2 medium pizzas unless you like the crust super thin and then maybe it could make 4, but they won’t be substantial.

I used this recipe for the pizza dough, but used 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of bread flour instead of 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Keep reading to see my results!

Ingredients:

1 package of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(desired pizza sauce, cheese, & toppings!)

Recipe:

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.

yeasty

2. Combine the flour and the salt in another bowl.  Add the oil, yeast mixture, and remaining 3/4 cup of warm water and combine until it forms a dough ball. Turn out onto a flat surface and knead 2-3 minutes until smooth and firm.

dough ball

3. Cover dough with a clean, damp towel and let rise for about 2 hours. Divide into 2 equal dough balls and knead these 4-5 times each until smooth. Place under towel and again let rest for about an hour.

stored

covered

risen

4. Roll out your dough on a greased pizza pan, or press dough for a thicker crust.

pizza rolled

5. Top with sauce, cheese and toppings! Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (may take more or less time depending on thickness and toppings, and desired crispness of crust.)

pizza~

And here is my second pizza.

meaty

Dough will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days. If you’d like to freeze it, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store this way for up to a week.

Post & photos by: Melissa


Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Somehow this post got erased, even though I wrote it before. No matter, I’ll write it again..

It started off with something to the effect of a rant about how almond poppyseed muffins and mixes aren’t available here, so I had to make my own. Lemon poppyseed isn’t the same. So I went through a few recipes and decided on this one with a few modifications. I also halved it to make 12 instead of 24 because 24 muffins would be so many.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups flour
1.25 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
~1/2 cup vegetable oil (this suggests much more oil, but I think that makes it too oily)
~1.5 eggs (as close as you can get)
1 teaspoon almond extract (or more)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or more)
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (or more, to your preferred amount)

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line your muffin pan. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

all the dry stuff

 

2. Add your milk, eggs, oil and extracts to preference. Add more for more flavorful muffins. Stir to combine.

mixxxxxxed

 

3. Stir in your poppy seeds.

poppies

 

4. Fill muffin pan carefully and bake for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Mine took about 27 minutes.

batter

 

baked

 

5. Enjoy! These are so easy to make. 😀

muffinnssssss

 

Post & photos by: Melissa


Another macaron recipe (raspberry buttercream)

Today I attempted another macaron recipe that I found through one of my favorite youtubers. Honestly, though, I need to work on my piping skills. I even bought a piping bag! I am just not great at it. A few of these looked really pretty (I thought) but I do not prefer this recipe to my last attempt, other than the way the cookies looked…

I baked these for 40 minutes, despite the fact that her recipe says 20 minutes, because last time some of my shells were hollow and that is likely due to undercooking. These didn’t burn, but I would say they were a little sharper/crunchier than I would have liked and while they were not hollow, they weren’t correctly chewy. Sigh. But, enjoy my illustrations and click on the recipe above if you’d like to see Entertaining With Beth’s recipe, which I followed (without the cream of tartar.) My food coloring also didn’t come out as pretty as I’d hoped and the cookies were essentially brown.

pretty meringue

cookies not piped well

the cookies

squiiiiish

nom nom

Some were really messed up since I piped them poorly… Il’l even show you that.

eek

That front one is a beast. But the top one is lovely. Anyway, they still taste good, but not as good as the ones from the last recipe (only difference is this one calls for more powdered sugar.) I would recommend following the last recipe, though these did turn out pretty.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Apple Crisp

My roommate had a large quantity of apples leftover that she said she wouldn’t be able to finish and asked if I wanted some. Naturally, I decided to bake something. I found a few apple crisp recipes online and some muffin/cupcake recipes in a book I had, but I decided to go with a crisp because I already had all the ingredients. Here’s the recipe I used with some adjustments.

Ingedients:

5 cups sliced apples (about 3 medium apples)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick, room temperature)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar

Recipe:

1. Place sliced apples (chopped relatively the same size, shape doesn’t matter) in bottom of 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.

chopped apples

2. Add half the cinnamon, half the nutmeg, and half of the vanilla. Pour the water over the apples (though I recommend using slightly less than the listed amount. Mine was a little goopy.)

with the spices

3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. (This will be easiest if your butter is room temperature.)

apart

together

4. Add the rest of the vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon to flour mixture and distribute evenly over the apples. Spread the brown sugar evenly over the top.

ready to bake

5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Check and bake in 5-10 minute increments until crust is browned (but not burned) and apples are tender. Mine took about an hour and ten minutes total, but I don’t want you to take my word for it and burn your crisp! Carefully remove from oven and enjoy! This is great with vanilla ice cream.

remove and enjoy

Post & Photos by: Melissa


Pizza!

So I made a pizza with a pre-made dough ball from Publix. And it turned out so much better than I even thought was possible! The best part is that they were recently buy one get one free, so I have another in my freezer to use soon. Just thought I would share that with you.

this is the frozen one

So, I took the pizza dough, after letting it rest on the counter for an hour, and with floured hands, pressed it down into a circle-shape on a Pam-ed pizza sheet.

totally a circle

I then used some pasta sauce that contains sausage and garlic (though yours doesn’t have to!), which I had previously heated on the stove to make it thicker because I didn’t see pizza sauce at the store, and spread that on top of my pizza crust. I also added spices to the sauce while I was cooking it on the stovetop. I topped this with grated mozzarella cheese and then sliced mushrooms and basil.

looking gooooood

I placed the pizza in my 400 degree Fahrenheit oven and baked for 25 minutes (though I ended up checking it at 10, 20, and 25 minutes.)

tah-dah

It turned out beautifully and tasted great!

nom nom

This was so easy and a great way to make your own pizza/choose whatever you’d like to have on it for not a lot of money. The pizza dough was BOGO (as mentioned above) and only $2.69 regular price. The crust wasn’t soggy at all, it was very firm throughout and I feel like even with just cheese this would’ve been great. 🙂

Post and photos by: Melissa