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Sunday
Nov162014

Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake

Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt

My college girlfriends and I like to get together every few months to catch up. While I am lucky enough to have a job where I work with one of them, we all don’t see each other as often as we would like. Life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes. But, we were able to carve out a little time last night to meet up at my friend Jessica’s house for dinner. She has 2 little kids and it was fun to see them running around and having a good time. Of course, my friend Jenelle brought her 4 month old baby too, who we enjoyed passing around between all of us. Jess made lasagna, and we all brought the rest of the food to make a full meal. I volunteered to bring dessert. Chocolate is a safe bet so I started searching for a cake to make. I found one on my friend Amy’s Pinterest board, which was perfect because I knew she’d be there craving something chocolatey. While this bundt cake had several steps to it, and took quite a while to bake (I killed the time by listening to the Serial podcast, which I am obsessed with), the results were outstanding! The cake took a little longer than planned to cook, so it came out of the oven just as I had to leave. I inverted the pan onto my travel carrier and the cake plopped right out. I whipped up the ganache, but waited to pour it until after I got to her house, so that it wouldn’t leak out of the carrier onto my car floor mats. After dinner, we cut into the cake, which was still slightly warm. We all loved it, especially Jessica’s husband, who said that most chocolate cakes he’s had have been dry and this one was the complete opposite. Must have been the sour cream! Anyway, next time I’m in need of a slightly fancier chocolate cake, I’ll turn to this recipe because it certainly is a winner!

For the Cake
1 cup Cocoa Powder, plus more for dusting the pan
7 1/2 ounces Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup Boiling Water
2 1/4 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
20 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature (2 1/2 sticks)
2 1/2 cups Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
5 Eggs
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a bundt cake pan and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess. In a large bowl, combine the cocoa powder and the chopped chocolate. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth; set aside. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce speed to low and add the brown sugar until blended. Increase the speed back to medium and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated, then add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture a little at a time, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. When the mixture is well blended and no lumps remain, slowly pour in the chocolate mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 60-65 minutes (mine took almost 75). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool before inverting it onto a serving tray and removing the pan. 

For the Ganache
6 ounces Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped (I used chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Place the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until the mixture is melted and smooth. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down he sides. Let the cake stand for about 15 minutes, until the ganache has set. *Ganache can be made ahead of time and reheated to regain a pourable consistency. I nuked it for about 20 seconds in the microwave. 

SOURCE: Lick The Bowl Good

 

 

Monday
Oct272014

Lemon Sage Chicken

Lemon sage chicken

It’s my favorite time of the month…time for the Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This month, I was assigned to Tara’s Multicultural Table. Tara is a stay at home mom to her adorable son, and as the name suggests, her blog is a place where she writes about food from all over the globe. Tara was born in Japan and moved to Germany as a young child, before moving to the US. Her husband’s family is Filipino. With all of those cultures deeply rooted in both of their families, I would say that Tara is an expert at multicultural cooking! Flipping through the recipes in her blog prove that. She highlights recipes from every square inch of the world, which as you could imagine, made it very difficult to choose just one. While I had my eye on Galatke (Serbian Semolina Baklava), Colcannon, and Yachae Kalguksu (Korean Knife Noodle & Vegetable Soup), I chose this chicken dish because we still have plenty of sage left in the garden that I wanted to use up before winter comes. While I’m sure that we would have loved those other dishes, this lemon sage chicken was absolutely delicious! Joel declared it one of the best meals he has had in a long time. While chicken isn’t usually one of his favorites, and we are not usually ones for seconds, when he finished his plate, he said that he wished he had another! This chicken was incredibly flavorful, and quick cooking, which is perfect for weeknight meals. I’m so glad that I have plenty more sage in my garden. I foresee this meal gracing our table quite a bit more before the snow starts to fly. Thanks for the delicious meal, Tara! 

1 1/4 pounds Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
Salt and Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/3 cup Flour
2 Eggs
1 Lemon, juiced
4 Sage Leaves
1/2 cup Dry White Wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
2 tablespoons Butter
Additional Lemon Wedges, for garnish 

Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound out the chicken with a mallet until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Season both sides lightly with salt and pepper. In a rimmed plate, mix the flour with a pinch of salt. In another rimmed plate, whisk the egg and lemon juice. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Coat each piece of chicken in flour, then dip in the egg mixture to coat the entire surface. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the chicken to cook the other side and add the sage leaves. Once the chicken has cooked through, remove and set on a paper towel lined plate. Add the wine and chicken broth to the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high, stirring to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. When the liquid is reduced by half, add the butter. and cook until sightly thickened. Serve the chicken topped with the sage leaves, sauce, and lemon wedges. 

SOURCE: Tara’s Multicultural Table

Sunday
Oct262014

Stovetop Applesauce

Applesauce

Sorry for my absence. The fall is always the busiest time of year for me, and to top it all off, our family just grew by 4 feet. We got a puppy! When I’m not in the classroom or on the pool deck, I’ve been home snuggling with my pooch, not even giving cooking a second thought! But I’m back. With the swim season winding down, I’m starting to gain back some of my energy and finding my way back into the kitchen. A great recipe to start with was this stovetop applesauce. It was a great way to use up apples leftover from a recent day we spent apple picking, and the perfect way to capture the fall in my kitchen. 

15 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2/3 cup Apple Cider
1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot over medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Once softened, mash the apples with a potato masher or puree with a blender/immersion blender if you like a smoother applesauce. Refrigerate for about 4 hours before serving. Makes about 6 cups.

SOURCE: Prevention RD

Monday
Sep222014

Applesauce Oatmeal Bars

Applesauce oatmeal bars

It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This month, I was assigned to Christie’s blog, A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. Throughout the month, I’ve enjoyed looking through all 7 years of Christie’s archives! There were several recipes that I wanted to try, such as Coq au Vin, Blistered Tomato Salad with Scallops, Panna Cotta, and a slew of Macaron cookies. I will most definitely be revisiting those recipes soon, but ultimately baked oatmeal won this month. Now that fall is here, I need to switch up my cold overnight oats breakfast routine and this baked oatmeal recipe is the perfect way to do just that. Reheating a square of these bars each morning makes for a quick, easy, and filling breakfast that keeps me full until lunch. The flavors of fall are an added bonus, too. Thanks for the great recipe Christie!

3 cups Applesauce, drained
2 cups Old-Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 cup Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped (I used pecans because that is what I had)

Line a strainer with paper towels or cheesecloth. Pour the applesauce into the strainer and drain for 20 minutes (Don’t skip this step like I almost did. It’s amazing how much liquid drains out of the applesauce). In a large bowl, combine the oats, both flours, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender (or your fingers), combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press 2/3 of the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the nuts over the oats and spread the applesauce over the top. Top with the remaining oat mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. 

SOURCE: A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Sunday
Sep072014

Greek Cucumber Noodles

Cucumber noodles

I don’t have a spiralizer. While I think they are cool, I also feel like they are a fad. Plus, I don’t need another unitasker to clutter my already full cabinets. Besides, my mandoline slicer has attachments that will julienne any vegetable, which gives just about the same result that a spiralizer would. A quick pass through the mandoline produced the perfect bed of cucumber “noodles” for this summer salad, which made for a delicious dinner and a quick lunch, too. Do yourself a favor and make this before the bounty of fresh summer produce withers away. You will not be disappointed! 

2 Seedless Cucumbers
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced (I omitted)
4 tablespoons Hummus
1/2 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Julienne the cucumbers using a mandoline slicer or a spiralizer. Divide the cucumber onto plates and top with the tomatoes, olives, and onion. Spoon hummus onto the center of the noodles and sprinkle the top with feta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

SOURCE: Two Peas & Their Pod

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