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Entries in Secret Recipe Club (25)

Monday
Mar312014

Greek Yogurt Everything Bagels

Everything bagels

For Secret Recipe Club this month, I was assigned to The Spiffy Cookie, written by Erin. Erin has a PhD in Microbiology, so she is not only a spiffy cookie, but a smart cookie too! When reading her “about” page, I felt an instant connection when I saw that she thinks peanut butter and chocolate is the best combination! Also, for a good chunk of time, she lived right down the 90 from where I’m from, so we’re practically neighbors! Although I only made one recipe from her blog, head over to see all of the other delicious things she makes! 

We’re carb people. A toasted bagel in the morning is great, especially when it is used for a breakfast sandwich. Everything bagels are our favorite, but I prefer to only eat them on the weekends since onion and garlic breath is no bueno! Joel and I have tried making bagels once before, but they ended up as flat as a pancake, so store bought has been the way to go for us. Until now.  Although I found many delicious sounding recipes, as soon as I saw Erin’s recipe for Greek Yogurt Everything Bagels, I knew it was high-time for us to try our hand at homemade bagels again. Everything about these bagels was great. They were easy to make and delicious to eat, especially with an egg and some bacon between them! I’m so glad I finally gave homemade bagels another try. Thanks for the great recipe, Erin!

2 cups Bread Flour
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour, divided
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Warm Water
2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
12 cups Water
1 tablespoon Baking Soda
3 tablespoons Everything Bagel Mix

In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, 1 cup of the whole wheat flour, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Whisk together and let sit for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly foamy. Add the yogurt to the bowl and mix, then slowly add the flour mixture, alternating between slow and medium speeds as you add the flour. Mix for 5 minutes, or until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky after 5 minutes, add the remaining whole wheat flour 1-2 tablespoons at a time (I ended up using about 2-3 additional tablespoons). Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl that has been lightly greased. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Remove the risen dough and punch it down. Divide it into 8 equal pieces. Press your finger through the center of the ball to form it into a bagel shape; repeat with remaining dough balls. Place them on a lightly greased pan and allow them to rest until risen but not doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Bring 12 cups of water to a boil in a large pot, then add the baking soda. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal. In batches, boil the bagels for 1 minute per side. Remove them from the water and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with the Everything Bagel Mix topping. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pan, lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the bagels are a light golden brown. 

*I was out of parchment, so I baked my bagels on a stoneware baking sheet. After the 10 minutes in the oven, the bottoms were soggy from the residual boiling water. I transferred them to a metal baking sheet and baked them again for another 5 minutes. When I try this recipe again, I plan to either use the metal baking sheet right away, or put the bagels on a baking sheet to dry off a bit after boiling, then transfer them to another that has been lined with parchment to bake. 

SOURCE: The Spiffy Cookie

 

Monday
Feb242014

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut butter pie

I can’t believe that it is already the end of February. Somehow, I have the feeling that 2014 is going to fly. With the end of the month comes Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This past month, I was assigned to Nicole’s blog, I Am A Honey Bee. I absolutely enjoyed every second of searching through Nicole’s blog, reading about the food she cooks, her scrapbooking, her travels, and her family, including her super cute Boston Terrier and her sweet little baby daughter. Boston is one of my favorite cities, so I enjoyed her posts that explored the New England area. I also enjoyed her scrapbook posts, as I have scrapbooked for quite some time (though I’ve fallen away recently). Every recipe that Nicole posted sounded like something I’d make in my own kitchen. I couldn’t help but think as I read through her posts that if I lived in the Boston area, we’d be fast friends! After narrowing my choices down to about 2 dozen recipes, I finally settled on this peanut butter pie, thanks to a little help from my brother. His birthday was mid-month and my mom had us all over for dinner. As I do every year, I volunteered to bring dessert. I don’t know why I bother asking Michael what he wants me to make, because every year he responds by saying “anything with Oreo or peanut butter flavor”. Perfect! This recipe made more filling than needed for the pie, which would have been perfect to make individual pies, but I chose to eat it by spooning it onto the leftover Oreos from the crust. Thanks Nicole, for helping me to join my brother’s two favorite flavors into one delicious birthday pie. I had a great time getting to know you this month! 

8 ounces Oreos (about half a package)
4 tablespoons Butter, melted
4 ounces Chocolate Chips or Finely Chopped Chocolate (I used dark)
1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped
1 cup Heavy Cream
8 ounces Cream Cheese
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 can (14 ounces) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice 

Process the cookies in a food processor until crumbs are formed. Dump the cookie crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter; mix well. Firmly press the cookie crumb mixture into a 9” pie plate. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the cookie crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the chocolate and place the pie plate in the fridge to firm while preparing the filling. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Place the whipped cream into the fridge to chill. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until well combined. Add the condensed milk and beat until incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and beat until smooth. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling with a rubber spatula until blended. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Pour the filling into the pie plate and most the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with additional peanuts or chocolate, if desired. Refrigerate for until 3 hours before serving.

SOURCE: I Am A Honey Bee

Monday
Jan272014

Whole Wheat Mountain Bread

 

Whole wheat mountain bread

After a long break for the holidays, Secret Recipe Club is back up and running. This month, I was assigned to Vintage Kitchen Notes, a blog written by Paula from Buenos Aires, Argentina! Paula is not only incredibly talented in the kitchen, but also in the textiles department, making gorgeous handmade textiles such as placemats, pillow cases, and more! When looking through Paula’s recipe archives, I was having trouble deciding on the perfect dish to make. So many of her recipes are things that we would enjoy, but when it came down to it, I chose this bread recipe because, well, we like bread! While the process is quite lengthy (4.5-5.5 hours), I found the process to be relaxing and incredibly worth the time. Not only did it make my house smell amazing while cooking, but I ended up with 2 whole loaves of delicious bread! This bread is hearty enough for sandwiches, and also perfect for toasting or just snacking! I had planned to put one loaf in the freezer for later use, but we ended up going through both of them before I even had the chance! Thanks, Paula for the delicious recipe!

For the Sponge:
1/2 cup Cold Water
1/4 cup Cornmeal
3/4 cup Boiling Water
1 3/4 teaspoons Dry Yeast
1/4 cup Honey, divided
1/4 cup Warm Water (105-115 degrees F)
4 tablespoons Dry Milk Powder
1/4 cup Wheat Bran
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, put the cold water and cornmeal. Whisk and let stand 5 minutes. Add boiling water while whisking and let stand another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water with one teaspoon of honey. Stir to dissolve. Let stand a few minutes until foamy. To the bowl of the cornmeal mixture, add the remaining honey along with the dry milk powder, wheat bran, and wheat flour. Add the yeast mixture, mix well with a wooden spoon, cover with plastic wrap, and let it double and be bubbly, about 1 hour. When the sponge has doubled, continue with the dough recipe below.

For the Dough:
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sesame Seed, ground
1 tablespoon Flax Seed, ground (I used ground flax meal)
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2-2 1/4 cups Bread Flour
Additional Cornmeal and Wheat Bran for sprinkling

Gently stir the sponge down with a wooden spoon. Attach the bowl to the stand mixer and add the oil, salt, sesame seed, flax, and whole wheat flour. Attache the dough hook and mix on low speed, adding the bread flour 1/2 cup at a time. When you have added 1 1/2 cups of flour, knead the dough for a minute or two at medium-low speed. Continue to add the bread flour by the tablespoon until the dough is soft but still a bit sticky, and clears the sides of the bowl. It should not be batter-like, but not stiff either. You may need 1/4-1/2 cup more bread flour than stated above. The total kneading time should be 5-7 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and turn to coat all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 2-3 hours. Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. It should be much less sticky than before. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each one into as tight a ball as possible, then roll them in wheat bran to coat completely. Sprinkle cornmeal onto a baking sheet, then transfer the dough onto the sheet. Cover with a  clean towel and let the dough rise once more until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes-1 hour.  About 20 minutes before baking the bread, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the bread is ready to bake, remove the towel from the baking sheet and place it in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped with your fingers. Turn the baking sheet about halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Transfer the bread to wire racks to cool. Bread can be frozen wrapped in foil/plastic and placed in a freezer bag for at least 1 month. 

SOURCE: Vintage Kitchen Notes

Monday
Nov252013

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Apple cinnamon granola

It’s the end of the month again, and that means it’s time for Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This past month, I was assigned to Erin’s blog, Table for Seven. As the title suggests, Erin is a busy mom with many mouths to feed. Being as busy that she is, the fact that she finds the time to make delicious looking food for her family and post about it regularly inspires me. I only have 2 mouths to feed, and yet we have been eating take-out way too much for our own good lately, resulting in minimal blog posting! Anyway, as per the usual, when I was assigned to her blog, I looked through from start to finish looking for recipes that sounded good. That is where I ran into a problem…they ALL did! I ultimately chose this granola for two reasons; one being that we like granola very much, and two being the fact that it was cooked in the crockpot intrigued me. I will say that it was super simple to throw together, and the result was a number of delicious breakfasts…and a few handfuls thrown in for a snack! Thanks for a great recipe, Erin!

3 1/2 cups Oats
1 cup Almonds
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
3/4 cup Applesauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Honey
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 cup Dried Apples, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce, oil, honey, and vanilla. Pour the liquid over the oat mixture and stir to coat evenly. Pour the mixture into a crockpot, cover (but vent a bit), and cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring frequently. Let the granola cool completely, then stir in the dried apples. (*Cooking the granola in the crockpot resulted in a slightly softer granola than we are used to. I did end up putting the granola into the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees to crisp up a bit.)

SOURCE: Table for Seven

Monday
Oct282013

Soft Pretzels

Pretzels

October came and went in the blink of an eye, and now it’s time for Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This past month, I was assigned to food.baby.life.  which is written by Susan, a business owner and mum of 3 who lives in Australia. Her newest bundle of joy, a 3rd boy, was just welcomed to the world last week!! Congratulations Susan!! As I was reading through her blog, so many of her recipes looked absolutely amazing! I saved about a dozen and started paring down from there. Scotch Eggs were at the top of the list for a while, mostly because I was intrigued, since they aren’t something you see often around here. But, in the end, these pretzels won because homemade soft pretzels are something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now that I just haven’t been able to justify making, so SRC seemed to give me the perfect reason to finally make them! This recipe was incredibly easy to follow and it produced some pretty delicious pretzels. Paired with a bottle of beer, they were the perfect “Oktoberfest” treat! Since there are only 2 of us, and I made these pretzels on a random night when nobody else would be over, I froze the rest for future use.

1 1/2 cups Warm Water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
4 1/2 cups Flour
2 tablespoons Butter, melted
Vegetable Oil
10 cups Water
2/3 cup Baking Soda
1 Egg Yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon Water
Toppings of Choice, optional (pretzel salt, cinnamon sugar, etc)

Combine the water, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. When the mixture starts to foam, after about 5 minutes, add the flour and butter. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the ingredients have combined, then increase to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, about 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and oil the bowl with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees;  line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush them with oil, then set aside. Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large pot. Turn the dough out onto a greased surface and cut into 8 pieces (I actually made 12 medium-sized pretzels instead of 8 big ones). Roll each piece into a long rope. To form the pretzels, make a U shape with the dough, then cross the two sides over one another and press the ends into the bottom of the U. Place the pretzels onto the baking prepared baking sheets and repeat with the remaining dough. Place the pretzels one by one into the boiling water mixture for 30 seconds each. Carefully remove the pretzel from the water and return it to the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the pretzels with the egg mixture and sprinkle with any additional salt or flavored toppings. Bake the pretzels for 12-14 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Transfer the pretzels to a rack to cool for about 5 minutes before serving. 

*Flash freeze any remaining pretzels on a cookie sheet, then place them into a freezer bag. To re-heat, either microwave for a minute or bake at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes.

SOURCE: food.baby.life.