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Plum Cranberry Crumble

21 Oct

Recently we’ve been getting an abundance of plums in our CSA. I’ve kind of run out of ideas with them. Then, we received a bag of cranberries! How awesome! Except it wasn’t Thanksgiving so I couldn’t make cranberry sauce. So I came up with this crazy idea of combining them into a delicious crumble.

The verdict? My husband told me it was the best thing I had ever baked, ever.¬†Whoa. That’s pretty extreme. But I knew he was serious when a day or two later it was half gone. Hmmmmm…..

But I mean, he was on to something. Delicious brown sugar crumble on top AND on the bottom? Tender slices of sweet plums plus the tarty goodness of cranberries? Yeah, I suppose I should have just known it was going to be amazing.

Can we talk about something ELSE that is amazing besides this crumble???

Wait for it…..

I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!!! DANCE PARTY!!!!

So many of you know that I’m in grad school studying to be an elementary school teacher. Well, my original plan was to stay at my job at the insurance company I was working for until I had to start my practicum next year. Well, I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. Mainly because I felt like I was the only person in my program NOT in a school. You catch my drift?

So when my classmate and friend told me that the school she was working at was looking for an aide for a 4 year old boy with autism, I took it as a sign. I interviewed and was offered the job RIGHT after the interview. Talk about AMAZING!

So, to make a long story short, I’m into my third week at the school and I’m absolutely in love. While there are challenging days, exhausting days, new worries over just how I’m going to be able to afford to do anything anymore, there are also the days when everything goes amazing and I feel like I’m really connecting with not just my one on one, but with all the students. And I wouldn’t go back to my old job for anything. It’s nice to find something that you really click with, when you don’t feel like you are going to work everyday, but you are enjoying what you are doing!

So enough of my gushing. But you can help me celebrate by making some of this delicious Plum Cranberry Crumble!

Plum Cranberry Crumble

 

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

For the crumble:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
For the filling:
  • 3 cups thinly sliced plums
  • 1.5 cups cranberries
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice from 1 lemon
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the plums, cranberries, sugars, cornstarch, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Once it has been brought to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the sauce thickens and the cranberries start to burst, about 10 minutes.
  3. For the crumble, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until the mixture is no longer dry, but do not over mix.
  4. Pour half the crumble mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the plum/cranberry mix over the bottom crumble and use a spatula to make it even
  5. Dump the remaining crumble on top of the mixture and gently pat the crisp down.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  7. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

 

 

Plum Coffee Cake

28 Sep

Has anyone noticed the lack of posts recently? I apologize. I had been fairly good at scheduling posts a week in advance, but being out of town for the last 2 weekends have not helped.

But have no fear!! I have some delicious upcoming posts coming your way. Mostly having to do with the goodies we received in our CSA. I’m so sad that it is almost OCTOBER (where did this month go exactly?) which means our CSA will be coming to a close soon enough. Even though I love Fall, I dislike this part (and the cold) the most.

We’ve been getting a ton of plums in our CSA recently, and I’ve had to find different ways of using them other than mixing them in yogurt (although that is delicious). I decided to use up the weeks worth of plums we got by making a delicious plum coffee cake for a party we went to.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well received it was and how almost an entire sheet pan was consumed in a couple of hours! The crumble did not come out exactly like I wanted (I think I mixed it too much) but everyone still ate it up. We took a couple of leftovers home, but they were quickly devoured by my husband. Thanks for leaving me some ūüėõ

Plum Coffee Cake
As seen on The Kitchn

Ingredients

  • 8-10 small ripe plum
  • 3/4 cup butter – room temperature
  • 1.5 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder

Cinnamon Streusel

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour

Glaze

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar
Directions
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9×13 baking pan. Pit the plums by halving them, discarding the pits, and cutting them in half again. Set aside.
– In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed. Add in the eggs one at a time, waiting for the egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next one. Add the vanilla and yogurt and mix until light and fluffy
– In another bowl, sift the nutmeg, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Reduce the mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Beat until almost smooth.
– Turn the stand mixer off and use a spatula to incorporate the batter. Pour half the batter into the pan and smooth. Stick the plum quarters cut side down into the batter. Pour the remaining half of the batter over the plums and smooth it out.
– In a small bowl mix the melted butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon until crumbly (but not wet!) and sprinkle over the plums.
-Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and the top is nicely brown. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before applying glaze.

– Whisk the milk, lemon juice and sugar together until it is a thin but spreadable consistency. Drizzle over cake. Serve warm but not hot.

Lemon Angel Food Cake

2 Sep

It’s official.

I can now call myself a baker.

Why?

Because I can make Angel Food Cake.

Let’s back up a minute. About 2 years ago, before I knew what a food blogger was, before I used my Kitchen Aid mixer on a regular basis, before I actually thought¬†about what to make for dinner on a regular basis, I tried to make angel food cake.

It’s a good thing I don’t have photographic evidence.

I can’t even tell you how I made it. There’s a chance I may have used my Kitchen Aid, but I hadn’t really used it much, so I didn’t whip up my eggs enough, and I didn’t know to add the sugar to the whipped eggs gradually. There’s a chance I may have dumped all the sugar in at once.

Ooops.

Anyway, I pour the sickly contents into my bundt pan, stuck it in the oven, and hoped for the best.

I’m going to tell you right now this is not what came out.

The sugar was all crystallized, the cake barely rose, it was a little….sticky¬†(what?). I suppose it tasted alright, but I think I ended up throwing most of it away. I vowed never again to make angel food cake. Store bought from now on.

Fast forward to 2 weekends ago when I said, that’s it¬†I am going to tackle this damn angel food cake phobia.

Can you have a phobia of making angel food cake?

Anyway, I didn’t want a boring simple cake. I wanted something bright and refreshing. Since I’m obsessed with lemon, I thought it would be perfect.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. I watched my egg whites like a hawk. I added my sugar a tablespoon at a time. I oh so carefully¬†slid the mix into the pan. I folded my lemon ingredients into the egg whites like I was wiping a baby’s bottom (weird?). And I carefully placed it into my oven. And 55 minutes later, the most beautiful angel food cake, with a golden crust, came out. I patiently waited for the cake to cool, and carefully used my off set spatula to eek my cake out of it’s cocoon. I cut myself a slice and dug in. Oh, it was magical. There was plenty of lemon flavor, and it was light and airy.

I may have had two slices.

But it’s ok because angel food cake is low in calories and blah blah blah.

So I’m good.

And I’m never buying store bought angel food cake ever again. My phobia is cured.¬†HALLELUJAH!

Lemon Angel Food Cake
As seen on Fresh from the Oven

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) cake flour
  • 1.5 cups (10.5 ounces) sugar
  • 12 large egg whites, at room temperature (I used the bottled kind)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
Directions
 РAdjust oven rack to middle low position and preheat oven to 350 degrees

 РIn a small mixing bowl, whisk flour and half of sugar to combine and set aside. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites to the bowl and begin mixing on low, until the mixture starts to foam. Add the salt and cream of tarter, crank up the mixer to medium high.

 РGradually add the sugar, a couple tablespoons at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated. Put your mixer as high as it can go and mix until shiny soft peaks form (you should have a peak but then it should droop slightly). Turn down the mixer to medium and add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

 РTurn your mixer off and transfer your flour/sugar mixture to a sifter and gently sift the flour mixture onto the egg whites, about 1/4 cup at a time and fold it in using a spatula.

 РTransfer the mixture to your bundt pan or tube pan and level the top. Bang the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

 РBake in the oven for 55-60 minutes, until the top is golden.

 РIf your pan has prongs on it, invert the pan and let the cake cook completely (about 1-2 hours). If your pan does not have prongs, gently flip onto a wire rack and let the cake cool

 РOnce the cake has cooled, use a butter knife or off set spatula to gently run it over the edges of the pan (both inner and outer) being careful not to cut into the golden crust. Flip it over onto a cake stand or plate and gently shake the cake out of the pan. Try not to eat it all at once.

Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

25 Aug

So, um, I have a small confession to make…

It’s almost September and this past weekend was the first time I used my ice cream maker this summer.

I know, I know, feel free to berate and talk smack about me all you want. I mean, what kind of food blogger am I that I haven’t even so much as made homemade ice cream ONCE this summer.

Don’t worry though, it was clearly worth the wait. You see, I had a whole bushel (maybe bushel is not the word, what do you call a group of blueberries?) of ripe blueberries from our CSA that were just BEGGING to be turned into ice cream. But not just any boring kind of ice cream.

Blueberry sour cream¬†ice cream. I’ve never actually made an ice cream with sour cream in it. I’m not even sure I’ve eaten ice cream that was made with sour cream. But I am a sour cream convert. Now, I like a good old-fashioned custard based ice cream, with the golden egg yolks and the like. But it takes a lot of work. And when it’s 8PM on a Friday night and you are trying to watch the season finale of Master Chef (***SPOILER ALERT*** Really, they picked Jennifer?!? I was totally gunning for Adrian. Actually, I was pissed when Christian lost because I wanted him to win because he was repping the whole Masshole image HARD. He clearly made us all proud. But seriously, Jennifer?!?!?! Dislike. Also, end rant) you just want to be able to throw everything in a blender, then throw it into your ice cream maker, and let it do its thing. Which is exactly what happens with this ice cream.

Now the original recipe calls for heavy cream and full fat sour cream but I subbed half and half and light sour cream and it still tasted plenty creamy. I also wanted a more lemon taste, so I added a lot more lemon juice and zest, so if you really want the blueberries to pop, then scale back on the lemon. Oh, and blueberry ice cream with chocolate sauce? Best.Idea.Ever.

Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from Blissfully Delicious

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups blueberries (I used fresh)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • grated zest of 1 lemon, plus the juice (use more or less depending on how much you want the lemon flavor to come out)
  • 1.5 cups half and half
  • 1.5 cups light sour cream
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
Directions
In a medium saucepan, bring the blueberries, sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice to a boil. Stir until all the sugar has been dissolved and the berries start to burst, about 3 minutes or so.
Let the mixture cool a bit and then transfer to your blender. Blend on high until the mixture is mostly smooth, then add the half and half. Blend to combine, then add the sour cream and blend again. Taste mixture and adjust the sugar and/or lemon as necessary.
Let the mixture cool completely in the fridge. I left my mixture in the blender because who wants to do extra dishes?
Once the mixture is cool add the rum and mix. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn per your ice cream makers instructions. Freeze the ice cream for at least 2 hours before serving.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart on Local In Season

10 Jun

Hey everyone! Did you know that yesterday was National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day? Now you know! Now go on over to Local in Season where you can see my post on how to make a delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Tart using fresh and local ingredients!

The Chocolate Tarte

31 May

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend! Summer is certainly coming in with a BANG!

A few weeks ago I got the chance to check out The Chocolate Tarte which is located just outside Davis Sq with a couple of other fantastic bloggers. I don’t normally hang out around Davis Sq because I live so far away but whenever I get the chance to get out there I love it. Definitely my favorite square in Somerville.

Before consuming vast amounts of chocolate and baked good I checked out Highland Kitchen with Kathy. Oh man, was it good. Even though we didn’t order much, we still managed to not finish everything!

You know with a sign like this on the front, good things are coming. The owner, Linda Hein is a TOTAL sweetheart. You can totally tell she loves what she does. We got to sample so many delicious things, I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking.

Red velvet cake. So pretty.

Even pretty on the inside. And freaking delicious.

I heart mini cupcake. Red velvet, chocolate and WHITE velvet. Holy smokes, I would like 5000 of the white velvet cupcakes. Please and thanks.

Dark chocolate truffles. Oh. Man. So smooth. So chocolatey. Very difficult not to consume everything.

More chocolate. More love. Powdered sugar. Om nom nom.

Chocolate and rosemary tart. GENIUS. I need to combine chocolate with herbs more often.

Ice cream from SoCo Creamery. FIG ICE CREAM. OH EM GEE. Subtle, yet full of amazing flavor.

Not pictures, there were some delicious chocolates filled with such amazing things as tequila, anise, more chocolate, and lots more.

Basically, when you need or want a delicious confectionery treat, head over to the Chocolate Tarte and you will NOT be disappointed!

Chocolate Tarte on Urbanspoon
**GIVEAWAY**

Some of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook saw that I was giving away $10 worth of delivery from allmenus.com thanks to Signpost Boston by answering some trivia related to Memorial Day.¬† Well, I need to pick THREE winners so here’s one more Memorial Day Trivia Question for you. The first person to get the answer correct will win!!

Question:  What city was known to have first observed what was to become Memorial Day?

Ready.Set.GO!

Homemade Nutella Tart

10 May

At one point in time Nutella was always available in our apartment. I’m pretty sure it was a National Crisis if the Nutella jar was empty at any point. Husband loves Nutella so much he would just eat it out of the jar. With a knife. Yeah, I know, he’s weird.

Then, one day, we just….stopped. Stopped buying Nutella. I would ask Hubby if he wanted any Nutella and he would just shrug and say “Nah.” Perhaps he was trying to reduce the amount of Nutella crust surrounding his heart? Maybe.

Well, let me tell you, one bit of this homemade nutella tart and you will NEVER WANT TO BUY NUTELLA AGAIN. Partially hydrogenated oil? Pah. How about cream, butter, chocolate and ::gasp:: hazelnuts. Granted, it’s not exactly HEALTHY for you, but it’s better than the jarred stuff. Maybe. Probably. Just go with me here.

I made this Nutella tart for Easter and it was consumed so quickly I didn’t even have time to snap a picture of a slice. The crust came out a little harder than I wanted, given that once someone attempted to cut a piece of the crust it would projectile itself across the room. (This seriously happened every.single.time someone tried to cut the crust with their fork) Whoops. Let’s just say my crust technique isn’t very professional. I tend to just cram the crust into the mold and let it sort itself out.

I had a ton of nutella leftover (OM NOM) because I used an 8″ tart pan instead of the called for 10″ tart pan. Feel free to drizzle the homemade nutella on ice cream, spread it on toast, add to your milk, or just eat out of the tub. With a knife, of course.

Homemade Nutella Tart

Adapted from the Flour Bakery Cookbook

  • Your favorite tart crust – I used the one from the Flour Cookbook as well but I’m too lazy to write it all out (Be honest, you’re only looking for the Nutella part anyway)
  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 lb milk chocolate, chopped
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet on medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until dark brown and fragrant. Let cool. Set aside 16-20 hazelnuts for garnish. Pulse the remaining hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground.
In a small saucepan, combine cream and nuts and scald over medium-high heat. Do NOT bring to a boil. When the edges start to bubble, you can stop.
Remove from heat and let sit for about an hour. Then, strain the cream through a mesh sieve into a bowl or pitcher.
Place both chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl. Place over barely simmering water (or use a double boiler if you have it) and heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream until fully combined. Add the hazelnuts, salt, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Pour the mix into your baked tart shell until filled to the rim. Let the tart chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. If you’re in a pinch, place in the freezer for about an hour and you should be fine.¬† Remove from fridge about 2 hours before serving.
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