chocolate_cardamom_baked_doughnuts plums Sweet_Plum_Glaze Chocolate_Baked_Cardamom_Doughnuts baked_doughnuts_sweet_plum_glaze Chocolate_Baked_Doughnuts_Plum_Glaze sweet_plum_glaze_doughnuts Hey guys! I spent the weekend in Seattle to help host an engagement party for my best friend from college. It was a quick, 48 hour turn around sort of trip, but it was wonderful and the sun came out just for the event! It was held at her parents home, who have the most spectacular view of the Puget Sound. I had asked an old friend of mine, who designs paper goods for a living, to create a custom banner for the event and she pretty much blew it out of the park…way beyond our expectations! Overall it was a lovely day, the bride and groom were thrilled and I got to spend some much needed ‘catch up’ time with my girl. It was a super quick but wonderful trip.

Before leaving for Seattle I found myself stress baking quite a bit. With a number of upcoming weddings and pre-wedding events to participate in and attend, sorting out the details for a trip to Paris that the boyfriend and I are taking next month, keeping track of recipe deadlines for clients that are quickly approaching, and getting the apartment cleaned up for out of town guests that are arriving this week, I’ve been a little stressed out…it’s mostly fun stress, but stress nonetheless. I’ve been turning to yoga and baking to help my anxiousness (baking + yoga = balance) and its been really great. Even with the hot weather we’ve been experiencing, the sweet smell of baked goods in the oven, has sort of been acting as my “calming candles”…is that weird? Probably.

Anyway, these doughnuts in particular have been in my oven all week long. I can’t stop making them. I love them. They’re rich and chocolatey with a pleasant hint of cardamom and finished with a sweet plum glaze. In general, I love the combination of chocolate, coffee (which is in the batter), cardamom, and sweet plum. I think the richness of the chocolate and coffee compliment the earthy/spicy flavor of cardamom and then I LOVE how the sweetness of the plum sort of balances everything out. Plus, it’s stone fruit season and plums are plentiful and ripe! So if you’re looking for a way to fill your home with the sweet scent of freshly baked goods or you’re a stress baker like myself I think you should make these doughnuts…simple and delicious! Enjoy! xx, Jenny

Chocolate and Cardamom Bake Doughnuts with Sweet Plum Glaze
Makes 20

Ingredients:
doughnuts:
2 cups bread flour
1 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup strong brewed black coffee, cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cooled
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup melted dark chocolate chips, cooled
plum glaze:
1 red plum, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
garnish:
white sprinkles

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Place flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
3. Pour buttermilk coffee, eggs, butter, vinegar, and vanilla into another mixing bowl and whisk together.
4. Pour the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture and stir until fully mixed. Fold in melted chocolate until just combined.
5. Lightly grease a couple baked doughnut pans and pour batter into a piping bag or gallon sized re-closeable bag and pipe batter into the doughnut molds, filling 3/4 of the way up.
6. Bake the doughnuts for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a doughnut.
7. Remove from molds and transfer doughnuts onto a cooling rack and allow doughnuts to cool completely.
8. For glaze: Place plum and 2 1/2 tablespoons water into a small pot and simmer. Once plum softens, 6 to 8 minutes, remove from heat and roughly mash with the back of a fork. Allow plum to cool, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and add milk. Pulse mixture until smooth; leave motor running, while adding sugar, until glaze is fully incorporated and smooth. Pour glaze into a mixing bowl.
9. To assemble: Submerge doughnuts in the glaze, one at a time, until completely covered. Remove doughnut and gently shaking off any excess glaze and place onto a cooling rack. Finish with a sprinkle of nonperils and allow glaze to dry, about 20 minutes. Serve.

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Chocolate Cardamom Doughnuts with a Sweet Plum Glaze

August 18, 2014  /   /   //  9 Comments

Pickled Mushrooms Mushrooms for Pickled Mushrooms Pickled Mushrooms brine Pickled Mushrooms recipe Pickled Mushroom crostini Hey Guys! Today we have some super quick and easy pickled mushrooms! I really love pickled anything, in this case the combination of the spicy brine paired with the soft mushrooms…so good! You can put these pickled mushrooms on almost anything; they’re fantastic paired with dishes like roasted branzino, in sandwiches, stirred into soups, or even piled onto hot dogs! Although I will say, I often find myself just standing over the kitchen counter with a jar of these guys and a fork and eating them straight from the jar, but whatever right? Eat them how you want!

The only important thing to remember is that these guys take about a day to fully absorb and develop the flavors of the tasty brine. Also, if you prefer a sweeter (more bread and butter like) pickled product, I recommend adding an extra tablespoon or so of sugar, because these mushrooms are quite sour (just how I like them!) These guys can also definitely be canned using the simple water bath method which will make them last a decent while longer. Pickling is such a great method of preservation and also creates such delicious explosions of flavor. I urge you guys to get into the kitchen and make a batch of these little guys…AND to really play around with the spices within the brine to suit your taste. Sometimes I like to add crushed fennel or cumin seeds for an even more intense flavor…just a thought! Enjoy! xx, Jenny

Pickled Mushrooms
Serves 5 to 6

Ingredients:
3 heaping cups of wild mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 serrano pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
brine:
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons raw or granulated sugar
12 black peppercorns
10 coriander seeds
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 (1-inch) lemon rinds
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup water

Directions:
1. Gently toss mushrooms into a bowl until well mixed. Fill two sterilized (16 ounce) jars with mushrooms about 3/4 of the way up and top each jar with two thyme sprigs and 1/4 of the sliced Serrano, if using. Set aside.
2. Place the remaining ingredients into a small pot and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and carefully pour the liquid over the mushroom mixture until each jar is almost full.
3. Tightly seal each jar and refrigerate. Pickled mushrooms should be ready in a day or two and will keep for about 2 months.

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Pickled Mushrooms

August 13, 2014  /   /   //  10 Comments

Snack Mix Snack Mix spices Snack Mix ingredients Snack Mix recipe Chocking warning for you on this one. I seriously can inhale this stuff like it’s nobody’s business. When I eat junk food I totally go for the munchies mix. I assume everyone else will agree that the pretzels are stupid, and just ruin the mix. The pretzels are filler and we all know it. Yet, I still kind of like them. So in our version, our pretzels are goldfish so it’s not as much of a filler in this situation as just a different texture. This is kind of complex snack mix in that we have a lot of ingredients, but I think sometimes you just have to go for it knowing the results are worth it. I recommend justifying it by just making more and more snack mix and then eating it. This is seriously our best ever snack mix, and it’s just as wonderful as you can imagine. Just be careful, as I have learned it’s called “snack” mix for a reason, and you should still attempt to eat real food.
♥ Teri

Our Best Ever Snack Mix
Makes 8 cups

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups checkered squares rice cereal (such as rice Chex cereal)
1 1/2 cups checkered squares wheat cereal (such as wheat Chex cereal)
1 1/2 cups puffed corn cereal (such as Kix cereal)
1 1/2 cups white cheddar cheese square crackers (such as white cheddar Cheez-It)
1 cup oyster crackers
1 cup lightly salted and roasted cashews
1 cup whole grain O’s cereal (such as Cheerios)
1 cup pretzel sticks or fish (such as pretzel Goldfish)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 250˚F.
2. Place first 8 ingredients into a large mixing bowl and gently toss together.
3. In a small mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients.
4. Pour butter mixture over snack mixture and fold together until fully incorporated.
5. Divide and spread mixture between two sheet pans, into a single layer and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hr and 20 minutes, stirring each pan every 20 minutes.
6. Remove sheet pans from oven and allow mixture to cool completely. Serve or store in airtight containers and keep in a cool, dry place. Snack mix will stay fresh for about 2 weeks.

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Snack Mix

August 11, 2014  /   /   //  15 Comments

cantaloupe_ginger_ice_Cream cantaloupe ginger ice_cream_maker salted_cantaloupe_ginger_ice_Cream ginger_cantaloupe_ice_Cream Hi Guys! While we were in Aspen earlier this summer, at the Food & Wine Classic we experienced a variety of fun and interesting bites, but there were a few bites in particular that really stuck out in my mind and this salted cantaloupe and ginger ice cream was definitely one of them, which was made by Steve’s Ice Cream in Brooklyn. It sort of reminded me of an orange julius (orange creamsicle shake sort of thing) but so much lighter and more refreshing. The combination of the creamy ice cream base, sweet cantaloupe and sharp/spicy ginger is like a party for your taste buds, especially with the hint of salt that shines through at the end.

While these days I absolutely love cantaloupe and enjoy eating it by the spoonful, straight out of the seeded half, I looked at cantaloupe like it was a lesser fruit back in the day, oh you know…back when I was a bratty, adolescent girl (shame on me, I know). The reason for this was because back then the only time I really found myself eating cantaloupe was when I had a “side of fruit salad” option with my meal. Why are so many “standard” fruit salads so sad looking? They’re always loaded with giant chunks of cantaloupe and honey dew and then finished up with a couple grapes, a halved strawberry or two and if you’re really lucky, you get a piece of kiwi or a single blueberry mixed in. Because of this I always considered melons to be “filler fruit”. It wasn’t until I started experiencing cantaloupe in different ways, like with a strip of prosciutto wrapped around it or shaved and tossed in a simple mixed greens salad, that I started to really grow an appreciation for cantaloupe and other melons in all their simple, sweet glory.

Our version is fairly simple as you start with a basic vanilla ice cream base and a simple fresh cantaloupe juice and eventually combine the two together to yield a deliciously light, but creamy treat. Just make sure you don’t mix the two together before beginning to churn your ice cream. It’s important to allow the vanilla cream base to churn and freeze up a little on its own before incorporating the cantaloupe mixture. I just found that this helps to achieve a creamy end product instead of a slightly icy one that crumbles (which is no good)…I’m sure there’s a fancy scientific explanation for this…something about the PH levels? maybe?..but that sort of info is in the food science territory I’d rather not poke my nose around.

I really hope some of you guys dabble around with this ice cream. It’s so unexpectedly delicious, sweet, smooth, and creamy. Enjoy! xx, Jenny

Salted Cantaloupe and Ginger Ice Cream
Makes 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredients:
vanilla ice cream base:
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and lightly smashed with the side of a knife
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or caviar from 1 vanilla bean

1 heaping cup diced cantaloupe
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Directions:
1. For ice cream base: Pour cream, milk and ginger into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat or until mixture is scalding.
2. Beat together yolks and sugar until mixture becomes thick and turns a pale yellow.
3. Pour 1/2 cup of the scaling cream mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk to prevent scrambling. Pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cream and milk, and stir together.
4. Turn the heat down to low and stir continuously until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Stir in the vanilla extract and strain through a fine sieve or if using a vanilla bean, strain first then stir in caviar.
6. Pour ice cream base into a bowl and place over an ice bath and set side until completely cooled. Remove from ice bath, cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or until base has chilled.
7. Place cantaloupe and milk into a blender well and blend until smooth. Strain mixture and stir in sea salt.
8. To make ice cream: Pour ice cream base into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers directions. Mix/freeze base for about 15 minutes, once mixture begins to thicken/freeze (with the motor running) pour in the salted cantaloupe mixture directly into the churning ice cream until fully incorporated. Allow the ice cream to continue churning until the desired consistency had been achieved.
9. Serve immediately or store in an airtight, freezer proof container. Ice cream with store in the freezer for up to 1 month.

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Salted Cantaloupe and Ginger Ice Cream

August 8, 2014  /   /   //  16 Comments