Monday, November 30, 2009

Cranberry Sauce

Kicking my cranberry sauce up a notch.

Cranberry Sauce

- 16 - 32 oz cranberries, washed
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1-2 cups filtered water (as needed)
- fresh skinned, sliced ginger
- dash of salt
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (as needed)
- vanilla bean, scraped from pods
- empty vanilla bean pods
- fresh cinnamon sticks
- Triple-Sec (optional)

  1. Add all ingredients together, scraping the fresh vanilla bean from the pod.
  2. Add the now-empty vanilla bean pods back into the mixture.
  3. Simmer together, until liquid is reduced, and cranberries are softened.
  4. Add in Triple-Sec (if using for sweet application).
  5. Remove and discard ginger, vanilla bean pods, and cinnamon sticks (or dry them and add to sugar for a nice aromatic scent).
  6. Enjoy!

I added vanilla beans from 5 pods, as well as 5 whole cinnamon sticks, although 2 and 2 is more than sufficient.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sweet potato chocolate chip chai bread

An original recipe! To save some time, I used a 40 oz. container of Bruce's cut yams. The yams are stored in a light syrup, so I drained the syrup, and removed some of the more fibrous pieces. I'd estimate I used between 20-30 oz. of yams. Save a little bit of the syrup in order to lighten the batter.

The melted butter for the crumble forms much larger crumbs than you would get if you used chilled cubed butter.

I also used a silicone mold with space for 6 mini loaves; since silicone is not a thermal conductor, I baked at 375 for the first 30 minutes, then 350 for the last 30, until a toothpick came out clean. YMMV, depends on the strength of your oven, mine is on the weak side.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Chai Bread

For the cake:

~ 1 x 40 oz. container of yams, drained (save a little syrup in order to lighten the batter)
- 1.5 cups white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1.5 cups vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 3 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp all spice
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- about 3 cups flour (more as necessary)
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Crumble topping:

- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 to 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1 stick melted butter

  1. Mix together yams, sugars, and oil.
  2. Add in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add in spices, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  4. Add in flour last, more as needed.
  5. Make the crumble before adding in chocolate chips. Use a whisk to stir in the melted butter to the flour/sugar base, in order to form larger crumble sizes.
  6. Add in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour into loaf pans, cover with crumble topping.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes, then turn down to 350 degrees F. The cake is fairly moist, so you might have to bake a bit longer. Test with toothpick for doneness, cover with aluminum foil if top starts to burn.
  9. Let cool on wire rack, serve with dusted confectioner's sugar.

I deem this bread most tasty!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Simple Roast Chicken

Adapted from Thomas Keller's Bouchon, except I omitted the extra slab of butter when serving and the pre-brining. Trussing is important, to ensure even cooking and shape retention.

Simple Roast Chicken

- 1 x vegetarian fed, free-range anti-biotic free chicken
- salt/pepper

  1. Wash chicken, thoroughly dry exterior and interior with paper towels.
  2. Truss with butcher's twine, let dry overnight.
  3. Salt and pepper both sides
  4. Bake at 450 degrees F for about 60-70 min.
  5. Enjoy!

Raw chicken, washed, dried, and trussed.

Fresh out of the oven, the skin remains crisp for a few minutes.

Butternut Squash Dinner Rolls

I used a recipe for Sweet Potato Sandwich Rolls of King Arthur Flour's website; I had to double the baking time to about 40 minutes. The butternut squash puree added a bit too much 'heaviness' to the roll, and also somewhat stifled the rise, so here's my modified recipe. I also added a bit of sugar to the recipe.


- 1/4 cup dry milk
- 1 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Fleischmann's Rapid Rise yeast (might want to use whole packet, ~ 2.5 tsp)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar

- 1/2 cup Butternut squash puree
- 2 Tbsp soft butter
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water

  1. First mix dry ingredients together with paddle attachment.
  2. Then add in wet ingredients.
  3. Mix with dough hook.
  4. Remove and knead by hand.
  5. Add to greased pan, cover and let sit ~ 1 hour.
  6. Shape into spherical rolls, brush with milk, sprinkle with pumpkin and sesame seeds.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

More banana bread (but with brandy)

Makes one large 5" x 10" loaf, or 2 smaller 5" x 10" loaves. The smaller loaves taste better in my opinion.

Banana Bread

- 8 ripe bananas
- about 1-1.25 cups vegetable oil, more doesn't hurt
- 1.5 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 3 Tbsp brandy
- 2 Tbsp all spice
- a bit of salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3 cups flour

  1. Mix ingredients in order, with flour added last.
  2. Add batter into greased loaf pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour, or until knife comes out clean.

Awesome brown, over-ripe bananas in background.

Cinnamon Rolls 2.0

As adapted from King Arthur Flour, they turned out very well. I added some salty almond slices on top of the glaze for a textural contrast.


- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 cup milk, more as needed (lukewarm, proof yeast)
- 3 cups AP Flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp room temperature butter

Cinnamon Filling

- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- All spice
- 2 tsp flour
- milk, soy milk, cream, etc.. to brush on dough

Cream Cheese Icing

- 4 oz. room temperature cream cheese
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar

  1. Mix dough together.
  2. Let rise for 2 hours, punch down.
  3. Roll flat, brush entire surface with milk, soymilk, cream, or whatever is on hand. This will help the cinnamon filling stick to the dough.
  4. Add cinnamon filling.
  5. Roll into a log shape.
  6. Using a serrated knife, cut slices from the log.
  7. Arrange on baking sheet, let sit overnight for 2nd cool rise.
  8. Remove from refrigerator, let warm to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Let cool 10 minutes.
  11. Brush with icing.
  12. Sprinkle with almond slices.

A batch of chocolate chip cinnamon rolls just before going into the oven.