Saturday, September 8, 2012

Apple Cinnamon muffins

It has been too long.....

Since I baked,
Since I took photographs,
Since I was creative...

It seems once school starts I can't seem to find enough time to let my creativity out and I have phases where all I want to do is bake, read, or do some random DIY's. Currently my roommate and I want to make an herb garden somewhere in our apartment...not that I am sure where considering we have so much stuff. With this new semester and finally having a job, my schedule seems to be so busy and even doing simple things such as baking and hanging with friends seems to put me behind. I don't even want to think about how stressed I will be tomorrow since I didn't study last night and apparently I'm not planning to study this morning.

On a better not. The weather this morning was just perfect. I can finally start to feel fall coming and I am already thinking of all the lovely smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I can finally start to cuddle up in my bed and open up a good book to read with my windows open. I think one of the best things is when it is a cool day like today with all the windows open and you can just feel the breeze.

With fall on the way I was in the mood for something warm and comforting. The special thing about these muffins is that they happen to be kind of my own. I don't know on what level you can really call a recipe your own but I was still happy that I finally branched out. I started off with this basic recipe and then went from there.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins


1 tbs baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 white sugar
1/2 brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter 
1/2 cup milk
1 apple finely sliced (or desired size)

Preheat oven to 350.

Add baking powder, flour, and spices together in a bowl. 

In a separate bowl add sugar and butter and beat until well mixed. Add the two eggs, mix, then add the milk and mix until creamy. Put the apples bits into the creamed mixture and stir until evenly spread throughout. Add the dry ingredients to the creamy and stir softly until completely mixed.

Spray muffin pan with cooking spray or use liners. Add mixture to each muffin pan and bake for about 13 minutes. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer is slowly coming to an end. I only have about a week before I leave on my big trip and wont be able to see my boyfriend until Christmas. I am remarkably sad. It is going to be one of the hardest things I have ever been through and I am not looking forward to it. Another thing that is slowly coming is college and the daunting problem of becoming lost in The Ohio States giant landscape. Bid me good luck because I will need it.

College also brings me to the sad realization that I will not be able to cook until Christmas and cook I shall. I will gain a lot of weight simply because I'll be baking so much and "testing" my creation.

I now bring you doughnuts.

Yes, I said doughnuts. One of the many things I have on my list to make. I was nervous, I don't even know if I did them correctly, and I was like a watchful dog once these little doughnuts hit the oil. The verdict ended in my friends enjoying them so I would like to say it was a success. My personal opinion is that some were a little dry, especially my first ones. Other than that it turned out great and in all reality was not too difficult.

Chocolate Doughnut Holes


  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or buttermilk
  • 3 tbs butter, melted and cooled a bit
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For Glaze

  • 8 oz powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs milk
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Put flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk eggs, sugar, sour cream, and butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until incorporated. Chill batter for about an hour.

When it is thick enough to handle, make round balls of batter, generously using flour so they do not stick.

Heat oil to about 375 degrees.

Add the holes to the oil but do not over crowd the pan. I rotated them quite often so they were cooked the same through out. It is difficult to tell when they are done since they are dark colored already but use your best judgment and you may have to experiment a little. Do not leave them in over two minutes or they may become to dry.

Take them out and put them on a paper towel lined plate. Let cool. Continue to cook the rest of the holes but make sure the temperature is 375 before you add them again.

For the doughnut glaze simply add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together and whisk until smooth.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Here I am again. I know, I am absolutely all over the place when it comes to updating this blog but may I blame it on being a teenager? Or maybe that I am busy? Excuses, excuses, they don't really work but we all do try, don't we?

I will tell you about my day. First, I got sushi and it was awesome actually the word awesome doesn't even explain it. I think my waist size my just do the trick, will that do? I also spent practically the whole day with my boyfriend in which I was overwhelmed by his extreme cuteness.

The day gets better, really it does! I went to something that was actually quite interesting, which was a RAD class that the local police station is promoting. I learned that you should keep your bushes trimmed so that you can see someone behind them and I learned that you should always check your car before you get in, not to mention locking the doors. I learned things that are common sense and things we hear over and over again but we hardly take them into account. The common "it won't happen to me" scenario will probably replay in your minds a hundreds of times once it actually does happen. Basically stay smart and know your surroundings.

My next subject is revolved around these beautiful gnocchi. Ok, so many of them are not really that beautiful but they tasted incredibly good. Just take my word on it and try it. They seem like they would be difficult and time consuming but they are really not that bad.


  • 1 lb 2 oz floury potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbs Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup flour

Boil the potatoes until just tender. Let cool and remove peel and mash. Mix in the egg yolk and Parmesan cheese also add salt and pepper to your liking (1/4 tsp of salt recommended).

Slowly add flour until it becomes sticky and doughy. Knead for about five minutes, adding flour if necessary.

Divide into four and take one piece and roll into a long snake like shape. Cover the rest until ready. The dough should be 2 cm thick. Cut into pieces, adding fork indents. Put on parchment paper. Repeat with other three pieces of dough.

When ready to cook boil water and add gnocchi until they float to the top. Remove then serve!

You can add any dressing you would like such as pesto or marinara. I used marinara with lots of Parmesan cheese! Yum!

The recipe is courtesy of the book Home style Low-Fat by Bay Books

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I went biking today for about a little over an hour and I have to admit I am quite ashamed of the results. I am no longer in shape, not that I was in much shape but I could say I was a little. My father who is coming up to fifty was not breathing heavy while I found myself a little out of breath. In my defense I can at least say that I was a tad bit dehydrated, which consisted of me becoming dizzy, nauseated, and extremely tired. To say the least I was a wimp.

My next goal is to attempt to limit my refined sugar intake because I have been tired none stop it seems and I want to try anything to help me gain more energy. This is going to be a tough battle because everything has refined sugar in it. EVERYTHING. Like I said I am only going to try to limit it as best I can. This is a true challenge.

My picture above resembles broccoli with rice, which is basically what it is. I simply cooked a cup of rice and added broccoli and asparagus. Of course I had to add something a little more than that! Sooo I drenched it with Soy Sauce. One of the amazing things in this world! That and teriyaki of course. Those Asians they knew exactly what they were doing.

Bring on the Asian food!

I love chopsticks too! Such a neat invention and will come very handy for my sushi excursion (I hope that is the right word, I mean you know what I meant right?) tomorrow! I cannot wait. Spicy tuna and eel here I come!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It is interesting all the different blogs that are out there. Why do we make these blogs to share with thousands of people information about our everyday lives? It really is a question to think about because it doesn't make that much sense. Does it make us feel more important? Or does it simply help us through any problems by writing them down and sharing them, like a little bubble that is trapped but finally is able to burst when written down. I have decided that maybe I should start really writing down what I think and expressing my emotions every once in awhile. Who knows it might make me feel better, not that I really have any trouble with feeling good but a little bit relief could be found.

I will start by saying that I want to be a runner. I will next state that I am not a runner, not by any means in the sense I want to be. Another thing I must confess, which I am sure you have noticed, I am not the best with grammar so I do apologize for that.

Recipes will still be here. Trust me, I cook way too much for there not to be. I don't expect there to be many people reading about my life or my experiences but I want to see what writing them down will do.

Any way back to the running. So, I went running, already tired from the day, and ended up only running for twenty lousy minutes. Trust me, these twenty minutes good hardly be considered running but none of the less I am counting them. What makes a person get up or even walk out the door and step outside into usually either blazing hot or freezing cold weather and run? It really is a mystery to me.

I get bored.

Yes, I said it. I get so bored when I run. I have my music blasting away, I am trying to think, and I am looking (sadly not very well considering things are slightly blurry) at the things around me, yet I am bored.

What can I do? I want to be healthy but I just do not like exercising.

And now that I stated how I want to be healthy, I am going to go take a shower and eat some ice cream.

Yes, my logic is faulty and quite confusing but then again I just love food. It's a fault, I'm working on it just not very well. Can you tell?

Monday, August 2, 2010

This tart was decadent, rich and beyond amazing. For really the first time I can say I adapted a recipe and sort of made it my own. Well not really adapted it. I couldn't give myself any credit for that. I simply took a recipe for a tart used the recipe for the pastry and chocolate ganache then took a recipe for chocolate mousse and used that as the filling. The results were perfect. Such a rich dessert that milk is almost needed but in a good way because who doesn't love chocolate?

This was my first attempt at a tart so the crust ended up being a little sticky and I had some trouble getting the tart off the plate. All and all though it was pretty easy.

Sadly I was a little rushed on time and just took some simply snap shots. I wish I could have really taken my time and find a better piece to picture too because the last part I had cut off didn't slice so easily.

This tart really was easy to make and was so incredibly good.

Not to mention you have some chocolate mousse left over to eat right out of the bowl and this is gooooood mousse.

Chocolate Mousse Tart


For chocolate dough
  • 8 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbs of confectioners sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder

For chocolate mousse

  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 tbs butter (3 oz)
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping c ream
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For chocolate ganache

  • 3 1/2 oz chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

To make the dough cream the butter and confectioners sugar until combined. Add egg yolks and vanilla, beat until mixed in and smooth. Stir in the flour and cocoa powder until combined. Put dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out until it is a little larger than your tart pan. Shape dough into your tart pan letting the dough rise up the sides. Don't worry if it falls apart just reshape it and mold the dough back into the part that has fallen apart. Chill the tart for 30 min.

Prick the tart with a fork and line with parchment paper. Add pie weights or dried beans on top. Cook the tart for about 15 min then remove parchment paper and cook until it looks dry, about 5 to 10 min.

To make the mousse melt the chocolate and butter over over a bowl that is on top of a sauce pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth.

In a small bowl beat egg yolks with a mixer until thick enough for ribbons to form when poured. Whisk together the egg yolks and melted chocolate.

In another bowl beat cream until stiff peaks form. Then in another bowl beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form.

Fold the whipped cream and egg whites into chocolate mixture a little at a time.

Once the tart is cooled transfer the mousse into the tart shell until it fills close to the top. Use your best judgment on amount but remember we still must add the ganache.

Let sit in the fridge until the mousse is firm. Put plastic wrap over the tart while it chills

To make the chocolate ganache heat the cream in a sauce pan. Once thoroughly heated but not boiling, pour over chocolate. Let sit for a min or so to let the chocolate melt then mix until smooth. Pour the ganache over the mousse. Chill until ganache is set.

Then serve your decadent chocolate tart!

Don't forget that milk.

You'll need it.

The dough and the ganache is courtesy of Lottie and Doof.

The mousse recipe is courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I finally did it. I tackled the quiche and to my great surprise it turned out great! My mom loved it and it looked super pretty! Can you tell?

The only thing that gave me troubles was the crust. When I was rolling it out it was a little bit crumbly and didn't get quite big enough to go up the whole side of the tart pan but other than that this was super easy to make!

Spinach Quiche


For crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 oz cold unsalted butter
  • 3 tbs ice water

For inside

  • 3 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 3 eggs
  • 10 oz package frozen spinach thawed
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper

To make the dough you simply run the flour, salt, and butter through a food processor until crumbly. Add the water slowly until mixture begins to hold together. I used my hand and that will also work out just fine too.

Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or freeze until needed.

To finish the quiche roll out the dough until big enough to be put in tart pan and cover the sides or there is a nice overhang. Cut off any extra scraps along the side of tart pan.

Preheat the oven to 425.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth and gradually beat in the half and half and eggs. Mix in remaining ingredients and pour mixture into prepared tart pan. Bake until crust is golden and filling is set, which will be about 25 minutes. Let cool, then serve!

This recipe is courtesy of SmittenKitchen.