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Category Archives: Muffins/Bread

Chocolate Strawberry Mascarpone Grilled Cheese

Back in January I was contacted by the fine people at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.  They wanted to know if I would be interested in coming up with an original grilled cheese for “National Grilled Cheese Month” and the Wisconsin Cheese Talk blog.  How could I say no? Grilled cheese is one of my favorite foods. Whether it be savory or sweet I’m down! In fact last year I remade The Bianca grilled cheese I saw on their website.  So I put on my thinking cap and decided to go the sweet route. In the end I came up with the most delicious dessert grilled cheese EVER – Chocolate Strawberry Mascarpone Grilled Cheese. To see the recipe please click here.

I’m sending this post over to Lisa for Sweets for Saturday.

Coconut Oil Poundcake with Almonds and Lime Zest


One Year Ago: Roasted Asparagus
Two Years Ago: Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Fingerling Potato Pizza

Alright ladies and gentleman. I want your opinion. Coconut oil – the devil in oil form or not as horrible as once thought?  I have been doing a lot of reading lately I’m leaning towards “not as horrible as once thought.”  Here is my thought on the matter. In moderation it’s not horrible for you. Yes it’s high in saturated fat BUT according to Melissa Clark of the New York Times “The main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid. Lauric acid increases levels of good HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, and bad LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, in the blood, but is not thought to negatively affect the overall ratio of the two.”

Even though that sounds really scientific (not generally my area of interest) I do in fact find it very interesting. At this point in my life I would rather eat a natural fat over anything processed.  I have been on a lot of crazy diets in my life and some of them rely heavily on processed foods. I take away fat and sub in carbohydrates. Not good. Especially for me. Without getting overly personal I have a metabolic/endocrine disorder which make me insulin resistant, infertile and sometimes feel crazy. I’m not labeled diabetic but my body does have issues with insulin. Which makes me stay fat. Which sucks. So here is my point. I need to get healthier. Which I have been doing BUT I want to go even farther. No more chemical filled processed products. If I need fiber I will eat apples, not chow down on Fiber One Bars.

I do honestly think this will be a positive change in my life. Baby steps and small changes are the right way to take things to make a healthier future.  I’m still hooked on the white flour but sugar but I’m working on cutting them out.

Now to get back to coconut oil…what do you think?  Since it’s considered “natural” can it be lumped into the category of “in moderation it’s fine” – like butter, lard and beef tallow. Thoughts? If you want to read one of the articles I read about coconut oil you can click here.

Alright, lets finally get to the food part of this blog 🙂 I bought some extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil and gave it a try in a delicious pound cake recipe. Coconut oil is solid so you do have to melt it before you can put it in the recipe. I just measured out a solid 1/2 cup, put it in a small sauce pan and melted it on the stove. After it melted I set it aside and let it cool down while I continued with the recipe. When mixed all together it smelled amazing. I’m officially in love with the smell of coconut oil…so good! I made four mini loaves and they turned out perfectly. They were moist, flavorful and delicious. If you’re pro coconut oil I would recommend giving this recipe a try. It’s a nice little treat 🙂

Coconut Oil Poundcake with Almonds and Lime Zest:

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil

3/4 cup milk

3 large eggs

Zest of 1 lime

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt.

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or a 4 mini loaf pan.

2. To make the topping, stir together the almonds, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl.

3. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan. Pour it into a large bowl and whisk in the remaining sugar, milk, eggs and lime zest.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to combine. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes or 40 minutes for the mini loaves.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan. Cool completely before serving.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Source: New York Times

White Chocolate & Sour Cherry Scones

One Year Ago: Lemon Lemon Loaf
Two Years Ago: Pecan Tart

My heart is heavy. When I think about all the family and people in Japan it makes me want to cry. It’s hard to look at the pictures and feel anything but sadness. It’s at times like this I’m grateful for what I have.  I spend to much time complaining about the little things in life instead of truly enjoying it. I would like to think we are all guilty of this. It shouldn’t take a disaster to remind us what we have in life.  Sadly, it usually does. If you are in a position in your life where you can give please think about donating to the Red Cross. Please help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  You can click here to be taken to the donation site.

I’m not really into posting today but I didn’t want to not post either.  I’m going to share a simple scone recipe I made last weekend. It’s easy, delicious and perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast.  You should make this for your loved ones….just because 🙂

White Chocolate & Sour Cherry Scones:

1 large egg
a scant 1/2 cup (115 ml) cream, whole, or low-fat milk
1 1/3 cup (170 g) flour
1/3 cup (45 g) buckwheat flour (I used almond flour instead)
1/3 cup (45 g) cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/3 cup (65 g) sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 cup (140 g) white chocolate chunks
1/2 (60 g) coarsely-chopped dried sour cherries

1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon milk
coarse (or granulated) sugar for dredging the scones

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

1. In a small bowl, stir together the egg with the milk or cream.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, buckwheat, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. Using a pastry cutter, work in the cold butter until the pieces are about the size of corn kernels. (You could use an electric mixer or food processor instead.)

4. Add the egg mixture, stirring with a spatula, until the dough is moistened, then stir in the white chocolate bits and sour cherries.

5. On a lightly-floured surface, pat the dough into an 8-inch (20 cm) round. If it’s too wet and is very sticky, knead in a spoonful or two of flour on the countertop.

(The originally recipe called for 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk and cream, and my dough was very sticky, which may be the original intent, but I found it hard to work with. Slightly less than 1/2 cup, (115 ml) seemed right. Good thing making scones isn’t rocket science!)

6. Use a pastry scraper to divide the dough into eight wedges.

7. Brush the tops of each wedge with the a glaze made by stirring the egg yolk with the teaspoon of milk together with a fork. Dip the top of each scone in small bowl of coarse or regular sugar so they’re generously coated, then set each one right-side up on the baking sheet, evenly-spaced apart.

8. Bake the scones for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Source: David Lebovitz

Panettone Bread Pudding

Hi everyone 🙂  I’ve been hit with a cold AGAIN so I apologize for my lack of posting. I’m getting really sick of getting sick. Sigh…..

Now. Onto the bread pudding.  I had a whole loaf of panettone bread in my pantry just dying to be used. Have you ever had panettone before? It’s delicious! It’s a sweet bread filled with candied orange, lemon zest and raisins. Perfect with coffee, tea or warm wine….yum!  The bread pudding keeps the delicious flavors of the panettone but adds the delicious texture of bread pudding…what more could you ask for?

Enjoy!!!

Panettone Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Syrup:

Cinnamon Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Bread Pudding:
Butter
1 (1-pound) loaf panettone bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups sugar

To make the syrup:

Combine 1 cup of water and brown sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil until the syrup reduces to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and cinnamon. Keep the syrup warm. (The syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Re-warm before serving.)

To make the bread pudding:

Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange the bread cubes in prepared dish.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to blend. Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge. Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.

Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm Cinnamon Syrup, and serve.

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

All Through The Year Cheer Halloween Submissions! (And a recipe for Crumble Topped Pumpkin Bread)

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

Hi everyone 🙂 It’s that time again! Faith and I have opened the MckLinky on our joint blog All Through The Year Cheer for our Halloween event. If you are not familiar with this event let me fill you in 🙂 You can submit as many recipes that you feel are inspired by Halloween. In return all we ask is that you link back to the All Through the Year Cheer page. The MckLinky will be open for submissions until Wednesday October 27th 2010 9pm EST.  On October 28th I will post a roundup of all the delicious entries and announce the winner!

Don’t be shy! Come and enter 🙂

Also I have posted a delicious recipe for Crumble Topped Pumpkin Bread! Click here to check it out!

The Bianca Dessert Grilled Cheese

One Year Ago: Orange Cream Cheese Frosting and Marzipan Carrots

Is this really a grilled cheese? I guess so. It sorta reminds me of french toast too. In fact as I just typed that I realized as a french toast this would be awesome. I’m going to try that next time 🙂 Now because this sandwich is made of mascarpone, dulce de leche and raspberry preserves it definitely falls into the dessert category. Well it might fall in the sweet breakfast category too 🙂 Wanna know how it taste….awesome! It’s sweet but the mascarpone cuts the sweetness and creates a perfect balance. The recipe called for a cinnamon raisin bread which I used but the bread I bought also had pecans. The nuts added a nice crunch which I thought really rounded out the dessert. Enjoy!!!

The Bianca:
1 can dulce de leche
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese – room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons butter – room temperature
8 slices cinnamon raisin bread
4 tablespoons raspberry preserves
Whipped cream for garnish – optional
Fresh red raspberries for garnish – optional

Warm dulche de leche so it becomes spreadable.

Mix mascarpone with vanilla and stir to lighten cheese so it becomes spreadable.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Butter bread slices on one side; place in pan, butter-side down, and grill until golden brown and crisp. Remove from pan and spread 4 slices (unbuttered side) with 1 tablespoon raspberry preserves, 2 tablespoons mascarpone and 1 tablespoon dulce de leche. Top with one piece of toasted bread, buttered and grilled side up. If desired top with more dulce de leche, whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Source:Grilled Cheese Academy

Strawberry Shortcake

One Year Ago: Milky Way Tart

Mmmm strawberries. I couldn’t resist picking up a big package when I saw these beauties on sale. Seriously I bought five pounds for only $2.99.  I thought that seemed pretty reasonable. To be honest they were good too. Not the sweetest strawberries I have ever had but still tasty.  I ate a few pounds and then decided I would make shortcake with the rest. Now here is the thing.  Growing up we ate shortcake all the time. It was a summer staple. BUT my idea of shortcake is a bit different than real shortcake. My mom would usually buy the little flat sponge cake rounds, macerate some strawberries in sugar and then mix them with strawberry flavored filling….pour on top of the little rounds and ta da you have strawberry shortcake.  Don’t get me wrong I love this dessert, it reminds me of my childhood, but  I wanted to try something a little more traditional. I searched epicurious and settled on a recipe that had good ratings and reviews. The little biscuits were easy to make and turned out tasty. Mr. Nutmeg Nanny and I both thought they were a little dense compared to what we were used to (me sponge cake, him bisquick) but still delicious. They were flaky and tender. A perfect little pastry to top with sweetened strawberries and fresh whipped cream…yum!

I say if you have five pounds of strawberries sitting in your fridge you should give this a try. It’s delicious and makes for some pretty pictures too 🙂 Enjoy!!!

Strawberry Shortcakes:

Strawberries:
4 pints strawberries –  lightly rinsed, hulled and halved
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
6 shortcakes (see recipe below), for serving
6 whole strawberries, for garnish

Shortcakes:
2 cups self-rising flour
2 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

For the shortcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet.

2. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.

3. Add the butter. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, rub it into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the milk until a very soft dough is formed. Do not overwork.

4. Drop the dough in 6 equal portions onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly pat the dough into rounds—3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter—and lightly brush the tops with the cream.

5. Bake the shortcakes in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Strawberries:
1. Place strawberries in a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and sugar, then gently toss with a rubber spatula. Let rest for 1 1/2 to 2 hours for juices to develop.

2. Just before serving, whip cream with 1 Tbsp sugar until it holds soft peaks.

3. To serve, slice off the top third of each shortcake. Place the bottoms on 6 dessert plates and top with 1/3 cup of the prepared berries and juice, plus a spoonful of whipped cream. Cover with the top. Spoon over more berries and juice, then dollop with whipped cream. Garnish each with a whole berry and drizzle with any remaining juice.

Source: Epicurious