Recipe 61: Broccoli & Spinach Cheese Quiche


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A quiche is essentially an egg pie with a flaky pastry crust. Adding in cheese and sauteed vegetables makes it a nice meal and the tastiest leftovers. Quiche freeze easy, so this recipe is actually makes 2 full quiche, so halve-it if you only want one…

Some recipe notes before we proceed:

  • The veggies are sauteed before use to ensure that the liquid that they naturally release is already mostly cooked off. If you don’t cook your veg before adding it to the quiche, it can result in a runny filling and extended baking time.
  • Store-bought crust can be substituted in for this recipe, but I prefer the flakiness and nutritional content of a home-made one.

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Recipe 60: Perfect Cinnamon Rolls


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I have this long-standing rule in my home that if I want something that is unhealthy, I can have it, but I have to make it myself. Often, the most unhealthy things tend to take the longest to make. So if my desire for a treat overwhelms my laziness to make it, then I make the concession of allowing myself to enjoy the fruits of my labor, hehe. This desire was for a giant, gooey cinnamon roll that rivals that of Cinnabon.

The results were perfect.

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Recipe 43: Sweet Potato Bread


Sweet potato bread is basically an excuse to eat pound cake. It’s dense and rich, but has a whole lot of sweet potato in it, so you don’t feel as bad about eating half a loaf. Much like banana bread, this recipe relies on a nice slow cooking time which results in a sweet crust and a dense crumb. Dusted with powdered sugar or just straight-up, this is a keeper.

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Recipe 28: Homemade “Pop Tarts”


Now we’re cooking! For those who have never seen/tasted a pop tart, they are essentially a miniature pie that has been flattened and shaped into a rectangle that fits perfectly in a toaster. They typically come par-cooked in packages of two “tarts” and they are one of my childhood guilty pleasures. Why not make them at home?!

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Recipe 19: Oatmeal Bran Muffins


Oatmeal Bran Muffins!

This recipe is for those mornings when I’m out of bed and on the road in a about 5 minutes flat and realize when I get there that I didn’t even grab breakfast. The same mornings that I begrudgingly buy some crap barista muffin when I know that I could have baked the same thing for a fraction of the cost (and fat). Yep. Here’s to those mornings.

These muffins have a dense, moist texture that hold well even when frozen. Pop one in the microwave in the morning and head out the door with breakfast in hand. They’re easy (literally, mix and bake) and they’re one of those items that fills your house with such a warm, “home sweet home” smell.

Bye the way….Scroll to the end for a bonus video!

Recipe 19: Oatmeal Bran Muffins

Note: I tried making these with actual rolled oats inside and they turned out a bit dry, so if you plan on including some, make sure you swap out an equal volume of the wheat bran, which seems just as absorbent, and hydrate the two together.

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups wheat bran
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Proces:

First thing you want to do is preheat your oven to 375F. Then, grab your bran and put it into a bowl with the buttermilk, mixing until evenly distributed. You’re going to let this hydrate the bran for 10 minutes. It will be like cereal that’s been left too long in the milk, but it’s important.

Next, grab your muffin tin and line it with either folded parchment paper (as I had to use in the absence of muffin cups) or muffin cups. Sift together your dry ingredients and add your wet ingredients and the bran mixture. Mix roughly with a wooden spoon until just combined and add to the muffin tin. Top with a swirl of honey and some rolled oats for a pretty finish.

Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Enjoy!

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BONUS!!

So a while back I decided to launch a Youtube account and this was my first recipe. Nervous and making all kinds of mistakes (like forgetting to buy muffin cups), if you need a laugh, enjoy! (Take pity!! :D)

Recipe 15: Crêpes


Savory crêpes!

Crêpes are one of my favorite things to make. They’re easy, use few ingredients, and don’t require much technique and still, the results are so pretty. Here I’m making savory crêpes, if you want to convert it to sweet crêpes, instead of 1/2 tsp salt, only at 1/8 tsp and then add 3 tbsp sugar to the batter.

There is a large variety of fillings which lean more towards sauces and spreads. My favorite filling is cream cheese and raspberry chipotle sauce. Trust me, it’s heavenly.

The only thing that may be tough about this recipe is making sure you have the right temperature and the right cooking surface. I use a cast iron crêpe pan, but I’ve seen these done on nonstick surfaces as well.

Recipe 15: Crêpes

Note: This recipe is taken from Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary edition. (pp. 649)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt

**best to have all your ingredients at room temperature before adding the melted butter. This way it won’t separate out into butter globules.

Process:

Make sure everything is a room temperature and mix together until smooth. Then, cover with plastic wrap and press the plastic down to the surface of the mix so that a skin doesn’t form and let rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. If you’re making this ahead and plan to refrigerate, make sure the batter is at room temperature before you start pouring your crêpes, it makes a huge difference in how they stick to your pan.

After the 30 minutes are up, lightly grease your crêpe pan with butter and heat on medium-low heat. Pick up your pan and hold it at a slight angle. You’re going to pour 1/4 cup of your batter and rotate the pan (away from the flame) so that the batter can evenly coat it. If there are pockets, don’t worry, they add character. This takes a little practice, so no worries if you don’t get it right off the bat. That, and the first crêpe or two will suck because the pan isn’t hot enough or you’ll be trouble shooting the cooking time.

Once you have it poured, the edges will start to curl away from the sides of the pan. At this point, you can flip the crêpe or peel it up with your fingertips and flip it that way. If it’s too soft, give it a bit more time. After you flip the crêpe, the cooking time on that side will be about half of the initial side, so get ready to transfer it to a plate. Slide your crêpe onto the plate and pour your next one.

This recipe yields about 12 crêpes. Enjoy!

Recipe 14: Cinnamon Rolls


These rolls are a little intense, but holy crap are they good.

I’ll start off with this: These cinnamon rolls use a yeasted dough for the roll, so give yourself some extra time for a rise of 1.5 hrs on top of the rest of the preparation and baking time. You can make and construct the rolls the night before and refridgerate until the next morning just fine, but if you’re looking for something quick, this isn’t it. What this recipe is is quite delicious and well worth the time. These rolls come out sweet and full of cinnamon with a center worth fighting over. So roll up your sleeves and get ready for a great classic.

Recipe 14: Cinnamon Rolls

Notes: This recipe is adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 75th edition. This book is my cooking bible. Thanks mom. <3

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water (105-115F)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet if you’re using those)
  • 1/2 cup and 2 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour (you’ll add them at separate times)
  • 1/3cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Filling:

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar plus extra for sprinkling on the dough (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup butter plus extra for brushing the dough.
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Icing (optional)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons hot water (until desired consistency reached)

Process:

Since the only limiting factor in this prep is to make the dough, make sure you have your butter softened for it well in advance (just set the block out a couple hours before). Mix your yeast and the water (at 105-115F) and let it activate for 5 minutes. This is evident by little patches of bubbles forming here and there. No worries if you aren’t getting those, some yeast is slower.

Mix the initial 1/2 cup of flour, sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt and then add the the rest of the flour one cup at a time. When it’s a smooth, non sticky dough (after about 7 minutes of kneading with a mixer on low (use dough hooks), and then add your butter slowly. Knead until smooth again, and then place into a large greased bowl , cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 1.5 hrs until doubled. In the meantime, prepare your battle stations.

Before you start the construction:

The general premise of a cinnamon roll is to roll your dough out thin to a 16″x12″ rectangle. Considering that a piece of paper is 8.5″x11″, you can estimate from there on the size. Then you butter, add your brown sugar and cinnamon, and roll up and slice so that you get the pretty spiraled pastry rounds. You then set them into a greased baking dish (I use glass lined with parchment paper). You make a syrup for these that gets poured on top before you bake them. Then you bake them for 30 minutes at 350F, remove from the oven, cool 5 minutes, and invert over a foil-lined, rimmed baking pan. This keeps the syrup that cooked down to the bottom of the dish on top of the rolls, which is why the icing is optional.

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Now, to make  your syrup, add the butter, brown sugar, and honey to a sauce pan and cook over medium until the solution is boiling. Remove from heat and cool slightly. If you wanted to incorporate nuts into your rolls, this is where you’d add them.

Press your dough out with a light hand. Oil/butter your hands to prevent sticking, and you can roll this out on a greased cookie sheet to make sure it doesn’t stick to the surface. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to spread a thin layer of melted butter on the dough, then sprinkle your brown sugar and cinnamon (I love cinnamon, so I used much more for this than it calls for), and starting with the long side, roll it up.

Slice in half, then slice the halves in half, and then slice those four pieces in half each to yield 8 pieces and arrange them cut side down in your baking dish.  Pour your syrup evenly over them. Cook for 30 minutes and then remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before you invert over a foil-lined baking pan.

Enjoy!! I promise these are worth the work!!