french yogurt cake

 

No, I have not forgotten about no rhyme or raisins – I’ve just been a slacker in the actual blogging process.  I have been cooking and baking and taking photos though so I do have a few things lined up. Hopefully I can find more time to sit down and write!

I found this gem of a recipe in the latest Bon Appetit magazine.  It was the Travel Issue, which always makes me want to take my entire life savings, travel to Europe, and just eat, eat, eat.

Now when it comes to desserts I’m usually not a huge fan of lemony flavored things, so I can’t really explain what made me decide to make this.  All I can say is that despite my preference for chocolate, this dessert still hit the spot! I also think it would make a nice, sweet breakfast as well.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used non-fat)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease and flour an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl until sugar feels moist.  Whisk the yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract into the sugar mixture.  Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly into the loaf pan.  Bake for 50-55 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

                                                         

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

How I eat it: With some fruit and lavender whipped cream

(Now that I’m posting I realize that I unfortunately have no photos of the cake with the fruit & cream – it would have made your mouth water!)

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gooey chocolate chip cookie bars

After so much talk about eating healthy, its only natural to crave some sweet chocolatey goodness.  The thing is though, that I have absolutely no will power when it comes to desserts.  If I crave it, I MUST make it.  I will literally go to the grocery store in my pajamas at 9 o’clock at night if we have run out of butter and I’ve decided I need to bake cookies. I make diets an extremely difficult task for my family.

These gooey chocolate chip cookie bars are a recent favorite of mine.  I made them for Christmas a few months ago and they were a hit.  This recipe is a wonderful twist on the simple chocolate chip cookie.  You still use a basic cookie dough, but instead of adding chocolate chips you melt them down with some sweetened condensed milk and its like a giant permanently gooey chocolate chip in the middle of your cookie! Another great thing about these is that they last a while (I’d say about a week or so) without losing that fresh-baked texture.

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour with the oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a larger bowl, beat the butter and both sugars until creamy. Add the egg followed by the egg yolk and vanilla, beating well between additions. Beat in the dry ingredients.

Then, in a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk over low heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat when smooth and thickened and stir in vanilla extract.

Press half the dough into the baking dish. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the dough and spread evenly.  Top with small dollops of the remaining cookie dough.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Let cool before cutting into bars.

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

How I eat it: How else but accompanied with a nice glass of milk!?

summer fruit crostata

If you haven’t yet deduced from my blog thus far, I am a huge fan of fresh produce.  Although I am usually chocolaty dessert person, I do like baking pies and crisps and crostatas and such with fresh seasonal fruits. I made this crostata for the first time last summer and it is one of my favorites fruity recipes. The best thing about it is that you can use the basic shell and crumbly topping and fill it with any fruits that are in season!  I’m thinking some apples, cranberries, and cinnamon may be nice in the autumn…

I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten who is my favorite Food Network star.  Her food always utilizes fresh ingredients and is entirely homemade – two of my main criteria when I go recipe-hunting.

I took over 50 pictures when baking the crostata, so I am going to try a bit of a new format with the recipe portion of this post.  I liked putting the ingredients and instructions in a table and inserting it as an image so it would be printable, but in this case I think that seeing the pictures at each stage of the baking may be nice.

Summer Fruit Crostata

Ingredients

For the pastry:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced

3 tbsp. ice water

 

For the filling: 

1 lb. firm ripe peaches, peeled and cut in wedges

½ lb. firm ripe nectarines, peeled and cut in wedges

½ pint fresh blueberries

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

¼ tsp. grated orange zest

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice

 

For the crumb topping:

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ tsp. kosher salt

4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced


Method

For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine.  Ad the butter and toss with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour mixture.  Pulse until the butter is the size of peas.  With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a flat disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

                                           

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a baking sheet.

For the filling, mix the peaches, nectarines, and blueberries with the flour, sugar, orange zest, and orange juice.

Place the mixed fruit on the dough circle, leaving a 1-inch border.

For the topping, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Add the butter and rub with your fingers until it starts to hold together.  Sprinkle evenly over the fruit.

Gently fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge.  Press the pleats with the prongs of a fork if you desire.

Bake the crostata for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender. Let the crostata cool for 5 minutes, then use 2 large spatulas to transfer it to a wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature. (Although, I’m a little strange and I also like it cold right out of the fridge too.)

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

How I eat it: fresh out of the oven with a tall glass of milk.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the format!

an ironic first recipe

Welcome to my blog! I am excited to have finally gotten up the courage to create this wordpress account and start writing! The reason I say “courage” is because I was actually really nervous to begin this little endeavor.  Every time I would throw around the idea of starting a food blog, my family and my boyfriend, Mike, were so supportive and encouraging.  They thought it was a great idea, but I still had my reservations.  It’s always been the same for me: I get really excited to start a project, but then it does not turn out as well as I had hoped.  I did not want this to be the case for my blog.  However, I then came to the realization that this new project of mine will have no chance to be what I want it to be if I do not make it at all! So here I am writing this first entry in my blog: “no rhyme or raisins”.

Why “no rhyme or raisins”?  I must give the title credit to my family. During my stage of anxiety of not being able to make my blog exactly what I desired it to be, I was completely stuck on what to name it.  I had almost everyone I knew trying to help me brainstorm and I was creating crazy lists of random words to describe myself and my taste in food.

Then, this past Sunday night, I was sitting around with my family after my grandfather’s 90th birthday party (!) and it happened.  My cousin Rachel and I had made bread pudding and I happened to get handed a piece with just a ton of raisins in it.  As you may have guessed from the title, I do not like raisins.  Just their texture and their taste and how they can hide all over the place so that you accidentally eat them –ick! Anyway, I naturally started picking out all of the raisins from my piece of bread pudding and by the time they were all removed there was just three little squares of the bread left on my plate.  I declared to my family how much I hate raisins.  My mom then excitedly suggested that my blog be called “no raisins”, like “no reasons”.  My aunt then added on: “how about no rhyme or raisins!?”, like “no rhyme or reason”.

In all of two seconds, the name grew on me.  I immediately texted Mike, whom I have discussed my previously imaginary blog with so much, and he confirmed my decision by responding with an enthusiastic text that it was perfect! So here it is, there is no rhyme to my posts and no raisins in my recipes… well, except maybe this bread pudding one that I am about to share with you.  Had I ever made this recipe by myself, I would omit the raisins, but my family claims it adds something.  It does add something: more work for me, picking each and every raisin out, before I can enjoy the bread pudding!

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes via my lovely cousin Rachel.

How I eat it: light on the raisins, heavy on the bourbon sauce =)

I apologize that my first post does not have a picture to go along with the recipe, but the bread pudding was gobbled up before I realized that this absolutely had to be the first recipe on my blog since it was such a major contributor to my title! Anyway, please enjoy!