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Entries in Secret Recipe Club (41)

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.

Monday
Sep302013

Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl

Chicken yakitori

September is on its way out, and with it comes another Secret Recipe Club reveal day. This month, I was assigned to Life on Food, a lovely blog written by Emily. Since fall is such a busy time for me, I'm always on the look out for simple and quick weeknight meals. Stir fry generally fits both of those requirements, which is why as soon as I saw this recipe when I was going through Emily's blog, I knew it was the one for me. This dish definitely delivered! Not only was it quick, but it was absolutely delicious, and it used ingredients that we almost always have on hand! While we used snow peas as the recipe was written, I think that just about any vegetable could have been substituted, such as broccoli or bell peppers, to suit your tastes. If you are looking for a delicious quick stir fry dish, look no further and get cooking! Thanks for the delicious recipe, Emily! 

1 cup Basmati Rice
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Mirin
3 tablespoons Sugar (I cut it down to 1.5 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
2 tablespoons Chicken Broth
3 teaspoons Peanut Oil, divided
1 pound Chicken Thighs, boneless and skinless
8 ounces Snow Peas
1 bunch Scallions, sliced

Make the rice according to package directions and set aside. Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, mirin, sugar, rice vinegar, and chicken broth in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 3 minutes; remove from heat. Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken thighs and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch strips. Return the wok to medium-high heat and add the remaining teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add the snow peas and scallions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and chicken to the wok and cook until the liquid is syrupy and the chicken is thoroughly heated, stirring frequently (about 2 minutes). Divide the rice between bowls and top with the chicken mixture. Serves 4.

SOURCE: Life on Food

 

Monday
Aug262013

Avocado Cilantro Chicken Salad

Avocado cilantro chicken salad

First of all, I want to apologize for the dark picture; I made this for dinner on a Wednesday, Joel didn't come home from sailing until 10pm, and I didn't think that it would look nearly as appetizing the next day after the avocado had time to oxidize. Now that thats out of the way...Today is the last Secret Recipe Club reveal day of the summer. Though I'm sad to see summer go, I'm looking forward to getting back to a routine once school starts. This month, I was assigned to Jaime's blog, Mom's Test Kitchen. Jaime is a wife and mom of a sweet little girl, yet she still has time to participate in (and host) several different recipe round-ups quite regularly. I don't know how on earth she has the time or energy, but I'm glad she does because she has quite the collection of great recipes on her site! I happily searched through her blog and came across this interesting twist on a classic dish. Swapping out mayo for a healthier fat like mashed avocado is definitely something I never would have thought of on my own, but it really gave the chicken salad a nice flavor and made me feel a little healthier eating it. If you are bored with traditional chicken salad, I highly recommend giving this fun twist a try. Thanks, Jaime, for showing me how to use avocado as a delicious substitute in a classic favorite!

2 cups Chicken, cooked and shredded (I used 2 small breasts)
2 tablespoons Scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon Red Onion, minced
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
1 Avocado, mashed
Pinch of Garlic Powder
Pinch of Chili Powder
Pinch of Ground Cumin
Juice from 1 Lime
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a bowl, combine the chicken, scallions, red onion, cilantro, and avocado. Squeeze the lime juice over the bowl and mix. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. 

SOURCE: Mom's Test Kitchen 

Monday
Jul292013

Honey Callah Bread

Callah

Maybe it's a product of getting older, or maybe it's because it's summer, but time just seems to be going by so much faster these days! It seems like just a few days ago, I was preparing for June's Secret Recipe Club, yet somehow here we are, at it again for July! This month, I was assigned to Baking and Creating with Avril, written by the talented Avril, of course! As my monthly ritual would have it, as soon as I got my assignment, I set aside a block of time to go through each of her recipes and try to decide which to try. I pared it down to three, a rustic peach tart, chunky monkey oatmeal cookies, or honey callah bread, all of which looked equally delicious. But, since I'm a carb lover through and through, yet I had never had callah bread, I took this as my opportunity to give it a try, and I'm so glad that I did. Three words come to mind to describe this bread-- sweet, flaky, and buttery, think croissant's cousin in bread form. Making the dough was easy, and braiding the dough was kind of therapeutic. After the second rise, the bread almost doubled in size, just as you would expect. However, what I wasn't expecting was that during the baking process, the bread seemed to almost double in size yet again! I think that when I make this bread again, I will separate the dough to make 2-3 smaller loaves to share, rather than having one giant loaf for just the two of us. Thank you Avril, for showing me how easy it is to make such a beautiful and delicious loaf of bread!

1 cup Warm Water
4 1/2 teaspoons Yeast
1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 cup Honey
1 stick Butter, at room temperature
3 Eggs
2 teaspoons Salt
4 1/2-5 cups Flour
1 Egg, beaten

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the water. Sprinkle in the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar into the water and stir to combine. Allow the ingredients to sit for 5 minutes, until they are foamy. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, honey, butter, 3 eggs, salt, and 4 1/2 cups of flour to the bowl. On the lowest speed, mix the ingredients together until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes, until the dough has become smooth and elastic. You may need to add more flour to be able to make a soft ball (I added about 1 1/2 additional cups). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand about 5 times. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides of the dough. Cover with a damp, clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free spot for 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. Gently punch down the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a 14-inch rope. Pinch the ends of the 3 ropes together and loosely braid, pinching together again at the end (I found it was easier to do this directly on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, so that you don't have to worry about lifting it and transferring it to the sheet afterwards). Place the bread on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover, and allow the dough to rest in a draft-free location until it has doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Brush the braided bread with the beaten egg and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

SOURCE: Baking and Creating with Avril

 

Monday
May272013

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Bread

 

Happy Memorial Day! I hope the weather is warm where you are, and you are outside enjoying it! We have a few outdoor home projects that we've been wanting to get done, so we are certainly taking advantage of this weather to get them done. In addition to Memorial Day, today is also Secret Recipe Club reveal day, one of my favorite days of the month! This month, I was assigned to Burnt Apple, a wonderful blog written by a busy mom of 3! While I searched the whole blog looking for recipes, as soon as I saw this one, I knew I'd be making it. For Mother's Day, my aunt hosted a brunch to also celebrate my Grandma's 80th birthday, and I was asked to bring a sweet breakfast treat. This was that breakfast treat. Everybody loved it, and it was gone in a matter of minutes! Even Joel, who isn't much of a sweet-treat lover, said he really liked this bread. I think we have found a new family favorite!

 For the Topping:
1/4 cup Oats
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Butter, cold and quartered
2 tablespoons Walnuts, finely chopped (optional; I used pecans)

In a small bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender (or your fingers, if you work fast) until the mixture is coarse. Set aside until the batter is ready.

For the Bread:
1/2 cup Oats
1 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, softened
2 Eggs (I used flax eggs)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
8 ounces Sour Cream 
Crumb Topping, recipe above
Glaze, recipe below (I omitted)

In a blender or food processor, pulse the oats until they become finely ground. Place the ground oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix until well blended. In a separate bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the yogurt and continue mixing until well incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture and blend until no large lumps remain in the batter. Pour the batter into a lightly greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the bread evenly with the topping mixture (recipe above). Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and continuing to cool on a wire rack. 

For the Glaze (I omitted)
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Milk
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle evenly over the cooled bread. 

SOURCE: Burnt Apple

 

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