An excellent purple

This was delicious. A very simple ingredient list produced this wonderfully sweet (but not too), almost creamy, lovely iced dessert.

Blackberry Sorbet

I mean how can you say no to that lovely shade of pinky-purple?

Speaking of, I didn’t seem to achieve quite the same shade as Ms. Second Helpings did – I’m thinking I needed a higher berry to water ratio. Or to actually make this in berry season 🙂

Blackberry Sorbet

Original from Our Lady Of Second Helpings
Makes about 6 servings
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 20; Desserts: 1 recipe left

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and dried – if you prefer not to dry them, decrease the water a bit
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (fresh is better, bottled will do)
  1. Mix together the water and sugar in a small saucepan; heat on medium-high to a boil. Stir frequently to prevent the sugar from burning; continue cooking until the sugar dissolves. If you’re using white sugar, the liquid turn clear – if raw or brown sugar, the liquid will be brownish. This should take only a couple minutes.
  2. Add the blackberries to the syrup and bring back to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until berries soften – about 2-5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the berries through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl (for the syrup). Then mash the berries into the mesh with a spatula or the back of a spoon, until all the juice has been pressed out. Toss out the pulp and stir the lemon juice into the sugar-berry mixture.
  3. Refrigerate this mixture for at least 3 hours before preparing in an ice cream maker, according to manufacturer’s instructions. Sorbet should end up fluffy and will last in the freezer for up to a week – it will thicken/harden over that time.

All the eggs -> best French toast I’ve ever had

So let me start this off by saying that this recipe is absolutely not healthy. Especially not with the modifications we made as we went along. But so very tasty.

See a couple friends of ours had a baby. We may have mentioned this before 🙂 But we all still want to play boardgames, Shadowrun, and the other various geeky things we do together. We just… need to work around the baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule. Which will work better if Adam or I cook dinner in their kitchen whilst the baby’s sleep routine goes on. This was the first week we tried this out so, 1) breakfast for dinner, hurray! and 2) most of the prep-work the night before. Basically, just needed to slide the baking dish in the oven when we got there and off we were going. Plus, Adam and I have this bag of bread cubes in the freezer, made up of the left over heels and things of bread loaves. This is totally the type of thing we’re supposed to use them for.

This recipe completely fit all the things we wanted of it – no prep work at gaming, stuck it in the oven and didn’t need to do anything more than pull it out later, served a small crowd and was tasty.

10/10, would cook again. 🙂

I mean, it turned into dessert for dinner, but I cannot fault the protein content for that – not with an even dozen eggs in the recipe. I blame sweet things, specifically the leftover cream cheese frosting from the earlier cinnamon rolls. Seriously, the frosting portion of that recipe made about twice as much as I could pour over the rolls.

Baked Chai French Toast

Original from TheKitchn.com
Makes 12 big servings
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 21; Breakfasts: 2 recipes left

Chai Spice Mixture

  • 1 1/2 tbsp (4 1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 ground ginger
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the spice mixture ingredients; set aside.

French Toast

  • 12 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp Chai Spice Mixture
  • 1-2 tbsp butter (for greasing a 13×9 inch pan)
  • 9-10 cups (or just a really big bowl…) of cubed day-old (or more…) bread (challah if you’ve got it)

Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon-sugar mixture
    • OR 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1 1/2 tsp Chai Spice Mixture
  • pinch salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter cold and chopped into small pieces

Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese, soft
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and 4 tbsp of Chai Spice mix.
  2. Grease a 13×9″ casserole dish with the butter; layer the cubed bread in the dish and gently press down. Briefly re-whisk the liquid ingredients then pour over the bread in the pan (try to cover all the exposed bread). Cover (preferably with the pan’s lid, but plastic wrap otherwise) and refrigerated for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to 350°F. Make the topping by combining the flour, sugar-spice mixture, salt, and butter; combine until crumbly.
  4. Uncover the pan and gently press the bread down, such that some liquid begins seeping up. Spread the topping mixture evenly over the bread. Bake until the top is golden and crumbly, about 45 minutes.
  5. While the French Toast is baking, make the frosting – beat the cream cheese, milk, vanilla and sugar together. Add more powdered sugar as necessary to get the consistency you like.
  6. Once baked, allow the French Toast to cool for a few minutes. Then slice, pour as much frosting as you like over the top, and serve.

Diet Wrecker

If you’re on a diet or otherwise trying to avoid sweet-stuff, seriously, abandon ship/post now. This one contains ALL the butter. Also sugar. Lots of sugar

Still here? Awesome, let me begin gushing about these cinnamon rolls.

These are not the typical cinnamon rolls with a cinnamon-sugar mixture laced through. These have a spiced cinnamon-brown sugar mix laced in, with cardamom and coriander. I would have used the star anise called for in the original, but a) we didn’t have any left when I thought we did and b) the grocery store didn’t have any on the shelves (what the heck Wegmans, weird place to fail on me).

Very, very addictive. We had a couple friends over for a little dessert party hang out – pretty sure all four of us had at least two rolls each. Which still left an entire pan of more. This, dear readers, is why I irregularly take baked goods into work – my desk is not in the same area as where we usually leave food for everyone. Therefore, no mindless snacking. Not saying I never eat what I bring in. Just, no where near as much as I would if we kept the excess in our apartment.

Fair warning, this is a long recipe, in terms of time. There’s two different dough rises and ingredients should come to room temperature before even starting. Look elsewhere for a quick dessert, but these can be made ahead, frozen, and then finished the day you need them.

Man, I really want another cinnamon roll right now…

Spiced Sticky Rolls
(with Cream Cheese Frosting)

Original from TheKitchn.com
Makes 2 nine inch pans, ~ 24 rolls
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 24; Desserts: 2 recipes left

Dough

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, lightly warmed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tsp butter, unsalted, at room temperature (if at all possible)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp (ish) of vanilla extract (pretty sure I accidentally poured in more than a tbsp…)
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups flour

Filling

  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon OR 4 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom OR cardamom seeds
  • 1 cup brown sugar, dark
  • 1 cup/2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature

Icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/2 cup milk (or less if you like thicker icing)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, more if desired (for thicker icing)
  1. Dough:
    1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and set aside until a bit bubbly, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the milk mixture, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add 1 cup of flour at a time until the dough becomes very thick.
    2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and warm, about 7 minutes OR switch the stand mixer to a dough hook and knead until taut and smooth, about 5 minutes.
    3. Wipe out your bowl and lightly oil it. Shape the dough into a ball, place in the bowl, and then turn to get it coated with the oil. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set aside, in a warm place, to rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
  2. Filling:
    1. Grind together any whole spices you are using until fine, then mix in the pre-ground spices. Mix the spices with the brown sugar, then cream the sugar mixture into the butter.
  3. Lightly grease two 9″ cake pans or one 9×13 inch pan. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 by 24 inches. You’ll want a big work surface for this. Once rolled out, slather the butter mixture thickly across the dough, making sure to spread it nearly to the edges. Roll up along the long side of the dough, into a taut and tight roll – this works better with two people rolling the dough in sync.
  4. Cut the dough roll into 24 individual rolls – we found our sharp chef’s knife worked better than a bench scrapper. Divide the rolls among the prepared pans, then cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  5. Heat the oven to 350°F
    1. Making tonight: Bake until just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes (ours were slightly gooily underdone [still delicious!] at 18 minutes). Drizzle (or douse…) with the icing (described below) and serve warm.
    2. Making ahead: Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool. Freeze in their pans or a freezer bag. To finish, allow to thaw in the refrigerator over night and bake in the morning at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. Frost with icing (described below) and serve warm
  6. Icing:
    1. Beat the cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar together. Add more sugar as necessary to achieve your desired thickness/consistency.

First video recipe

So video recipes don’t usually work with my brain too well – the whole going back and rereading a section from 2 minutes ago ’cause  I no longer remember/trust I know what it said? Much harder with video – either you go back too far and have to watch the stuff you actually remember or don’t go back far enough. Oh well, this one was worth it 🙂

I do need to keep fiddling with it though, I’m not happy without at least some sort of ratio of water:sugar for the simple syrup.

Oh, and buy a citrus reamer. I think that’s what they’re called? One of these things. Ya leave too much juice in the lemons trying to squeeze by hand. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

Darn Good Lemonade

Original from Food52
Makes… well, how many lemons are you using?
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 29; Other: 4 recipes left

  • Turbinado sugar (tried brown sugar – was okay – use turbinado
  • Lemons
  • Water
  1. Over a bowl, rub the sugar over and into the lemons. This transfers lemon zest/oil into the sugar.
  2. Roll the lemons against a board, back and forth a couple times, to loosen up the pulp and juice inside.
  3. Slice the lemons in half. Then, using a reamer or juicer, extract the lemon juice, into your planned serving pitcher.
  4. Pour hot water (almost boiling) water into the sugar and stir until sugar dissolves, creating a simple syrup. Pour syrup into pitcher with lemon juice and stir to mix thoroughly. Serve over ice, crushed if possible.

That was easier than I expected

I’ve never (to my memory) made sugared nuts before and, given how much work I’ve done before toasting nuts thought it was gonna take around half and hour in the oven. Yeah, I’ve got issues with toasting nuts – it always feels like it takes longer than it actually does – probably ’cause I’m standing there the entire time. These sugared pecans are some of the fastest things I’ve ever made.

3 minutes to melt butter in the microwave, assembling the other ingredients meanwhile.
1-3 minutes mixing things.
10 minutes (total) in the oven.

And they are utterly addictive. Do not bring into the home of anyone on a diet. These wreck self-control. Assuming you like pecans.

Sugared Pecans

We’ve finally used the ‘candy crusher’ feature on our ice cream maker (thank you cousins!) to chop these into pieces going into some very vanilla ice cream. Adam got the good stuff – real cream.

I think they are a tiny bit too spicy and Adam loves them as is – so, again, please figure out how much cayenne pepper you want to use. I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot recently…

Oh and I am totally filing these under Desserts, not Snacks, whenever I get them copied out.

Sugared Pecans

Original from FoodFanatic.com
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 33; Snacks: 3 recipes left

  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in the microwave on low. Line a baking sheet, jelly roll pan, or other baking pan with sides (no half sheets please) with parchment paper or aluminum foil; you’ll have crispier pecans using foil.
  2. Stir together the pecans and melted butter in a medium bowl until completely coated. Add the brown sugar and stir again until you get an even coating.
  3. Transfer the pecans to the baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, stir together the white sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in the same medium bowl.
  5. Remove the pecans from the oven and return to the medium bowl. Stir until the pecans are well coated with the sugar mixture. Return to the baking pan and bake for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. Enjoy!

Yep, it worked

Lemon Sorbet

 

Looks like 18 hours in the freezer will undo any lack of cooling I inflicted 🙂 Looked like a solid block of ice when we pulled it out of the freezer, but scrapping with a spoon got the lovely fluffly sorbet you see above.

Relatively simple recipe, using ingredients usually kept in the pantry, with a strong lemony flavor? Yep, we’ll use again.

Lemon Sorbet

Original from TheKitchn
Made ~6 cups

  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Heat over medium to a boil and boil until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice and orange zest, then pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. When frozen into soft ice crystals, transfer to a storage container, cover tightly, and freeze until ready to serve.

Well, that didn’t work…yet

Proto-Lemon SorbetThat’s supposed to be lemon sorbet but it hasn’t come together / frozen yet.  I might have not let the sugar water cool long enough, before going onto the next step (ice cream maker).

We’ll see if it turns into the real thing in the freezer by the morning.

In the meanwhile, it sure tastes of lemon.