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    October 26, 2010

    Okay, so this is easier than it looks. The blogging, I mean.

    It's been too long. I won't waste your time with my boring excuses. I'll just get to it.

    13 days ago, it was my friend Alyssa's birthday. We are in skewl together, and I made her some brownies. Not too toot my own horn, but they ruled!

    alyssa1

    Yes, that is pink sparkely icing. Yes, she just turned 26.

    I used this recipe here: King Arthur Fudge Brownies

    I'm warning you, lots o' butter. But good, so so good.

    Happy Birthday Alyssa!

    alyssa2

    September 28, 2010

    To Streusel or Not to Streusel?

    I love fall. L-O-V-E fall.

    I came to the conclusion this morning that I like New England more than I've realized in the past. It's hot today, and humid. And I hate it.

    But last week was the lovely fall weather that I'm looking for. So I picked up some fresh figs and hazlenuts, and I got this idea for some muffins. To my surprise, they were very good!

    muffin

    I didn't take any pictures of the muffins out of the pans, oops. And notice how the topping looks a little bumpy? ...I'll explain...

    Here's what you start off with (sort of):

    ingred

    Instead of the baking soda, you'd need white flour. And of course, you'd also need milk, eggs and butter. Oh ya, and white sugar too. So, in reality, this picture is wholly inaccurate. What an amateur!

    Let's forget that ever happened. You need to get the figs and orange juice going first. So, just chop off the stem end of the fig.

    fig

    That looks like it hurt. I think he's okay though.

    Next, just a rough chop on the figs is good. I had about 10 figs, which gave me 1.5 cups (more or less if you desire. I'd suggest more!)

    fig2

    The light is not ideal in these photos. It was late, sorry!

    Combine your chopped figs with the OJ in a small to medium pot on the stovetop. Simmer, uncovered for about 15 min. Do keep an eye on these bad boys, stir every couple minutes or so.

    fig3

    In the meantime, let's make the batter!!! ...Too excited? Oops.

    Cream the butter, both sugars, and the applesauce together. Yes, the applesauce.

    batter1

    Then, it's gonna look a lil' sumptin' like this:

    batter2

    Next, you would add the milk and 2 eggs. But since I'm me, I added all the dry ingredients. Luckily, it did not end up to be a world catastrophe, but just in case, you should add the milk and eggs here.

    Here are the dry ingredients added:

    batter3

    Aaand the eggs and milk went in here. But don't worry, be happy! Even the batter says so.

    batter4

    Here is me stirring with my eyes closed. Do NOT try this at home, people.

    batter5

    Since it doesn't take long to mix the batter up, your figs should be all set at this point too.

    batter6

    This would be a radical jam also. Fresh bread + this = heaven.

    Add the fig/orange mixture to the batter. Pour in greased muffins tins and let 'em do work!

    So next would be the hazelnut streusel. I like the muffins both ways. If you are eating these guys strictly for breakfast (not recommended), you could probably skip the streusel. If you eat baked goods at all times of day and night (like moi), the streusel might be good. Either way, your call. It's still yummy.

    Rough chop on the hazlenuts, a little bit of flour, brown sugar and a couple tablespoons of butter. How can you go wrong?!

    I'll give you my final amounts used for my muffins, but I feel like this is something that's a little free-for-all. You can add or subtract things for your personal taste. If you like sweet things, make it like me!

    batter7

    Mix it up!

    You should also put it on the top of your muffins before they go into the oven.

    I didn't do that either, but it turned out just fine. I had a bad day, okay?!?!?

    I made some with streusel and some without. Both were great!

    batter8

    Fig and Orange Muffins

    ¼ cup melted butter (1/2 stick)

    ¼ cup applesauce**

    ½ cup granulated sugar

    ½ cup packed brown sugar

    2 large eggs

    ½ cup milk

    1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

    1 cup King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 ½ cups chopped fresh figs

    ½ cup orange juice

    Recipe is based kinda sorta on this guy.

    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Rough chop figs and add them to a medium sauce pan. Mix in orange juice and heat on low heat on the stove top. Simmer for approximately 15 min. until most of the liquid has evaporated.

    Meanwhile, combine butter, applesauce and both sugars with hand (or counter) mixer. Then add milk and eggs and blend again.

    Add in all of the dry ingredients. Mix well. Then, stir in fig and orange mixture

    Pour muffin mixture into greased and floured (important!) muffin pans.

    **Applesauce Disclaimer: I like the moistness that the applesauce adds to the muffin. Some people do not like the denser texture that it gives. If this isn't your thang, replace the applesauce with butter! Live your life!

    Hazelnut Streusel

    1/2 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts

    2 Tbsp. Butter

    2 Tbsp. AP flour

    1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed!)

    Recipe roughly based on this one.

    Sprinkle streusel over each muffin BEFORE putting it in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    September 17, 2010

    More baking posts will be coming, I promise. But for now, since I am too busy, I'm just going to share a recipe that I wish I made.

    These ravioli come from a great blog that I've just started following, A Cozy Kitchen.

    ACozyKitchen

    The recipe is "Sweet Potato Ravioli with Pecans and Herb Brown Butter Sauce". Super yummy, super fall. I can't wait to try them! Visit here for the deets!

    September 12, 2010

    Strawberry-Peach Chocolate Brownie Trifle

    I'll admit it, I didn't put too much work into this dessert. But I had some strawberries and peaches hanging around and wanted to use them in a dessert.

    I first sliced up the fruit that I had and mixed it with only about 2 TBSP. of sugar and let it sit for a couple hours.

    I made brownies from a mix, and they were OK by themselves and luckily for me, they were awesome with the rest of this stuff.

    The big secret to this dessert is the homemade chocolate whipped cream. Still super easy, but it's great.

    Cocoa Whipped Cream

    Ingredients:

    1 pint heavy cream

    1 tsp. vanilla

    1/4c. cocoa powder

    1/8c. powdered sugar

    Beat the heavy cream with either a stand mixer or a hand mixer (that's all I gots), until it starts to stand up a bit. Next you just add in the remaining ingredients and beat until you get stiff peaks.

    Just be a bit careful, once you had the dry ingredients, the whipped cream stiffens up quickly. It's easy to over-do it!

    Then to make the trifle, I just layered brownies, fruit, whipped cream. Repeat.

    trifle

    And just for kicks, a dramatic up-close shot of the fruit. FTW.

    fruit