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I'm a runner with a baking habit.  I'm constantly on the lookout for awesome desserts, freezer friendly recipes to pack in the lunchbox, and quick dinner ideas.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Deviled Eggs

Picture the scene.  It's Memorial Day and I'm planning to make guac for a party.  Head into the grocery store and find nothing but rock hard avocados.  It's time for Plan B. Ok, what can I whip up that will be just as popular as guac?  Aha, deviled eggs.  Brilliant.  Look up a few recipes on my phone, come up with the consensus on an ingredient list, and head home.  And then I remember that as much as I love eating them, I hate making deviled eggs.  I always get the timing wrong on boiling them, ending up either too hard or too soft.  And I have bad luck with peeling them, scared for life by the time I made a batch of 18 and spent hours picking off shells piece by piece.  I knew that I needed to find a rock solid recipe to back up my endeavors.

Luckily I had recently picked up a copy of Chrissy Tiegen's Cravings, for what I assumed would be pure food porn purposes.  The recipe for Secretly Spicy Deviled Eggs caught my eye.  I knew that my intended audience wouldn't go for spicy, secret or otherwise, so the Sriracha and jalapenos were omitted, leaving the classic deviled eggs that I was looking for.   I followed the directions to the letter and came away with a perfect batch of deviled eggs.




Ingredients
(Adapted from Chrissy Teigen's Cravings)
  • one dozen large or jumbo eggs
  • Salt for boiling
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pickle relish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika for garnish (optional)
Method

Begin by placing six eggs in a pot and filing with enough water to cover the eggs by at least an inch.  I made a dozen eggs in two pots.

Add a tablespoon of salt, heat to high, and cover.

Let the pots come to a boil, then turn off the heat and let sit for 9 minutes (I had jumbo sized eggs, and the yolks were a little underdone, though not fatal to the recipe.  After further experiments, I determined that 11 minutes was a solid cooking time for jumbo eggs).

In the meantime, fill a bowl with ice and water.

 Measure out the mayo, mustard, and pickle relish.

Remove the eggs from the pans and place into the ice bath and let them chill for five minutes.

Now the hard part.  I rinsed each egg after peeling to make sure that no shell fragments remained.

Slice the eggs in half and slip out the yolks.

Mix the yolks with the mayo, mustard, relish, and a dash of salt and pepper. 

Fill the eggs using the method of your choice - star tip if you're feeling fancy, plain ol' spoon if you're not.


Sprinkle lightly with paprika and party on.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sweet Potato Hash

I have sweet potato guilt.  I know they are off the charts healthy, they are beautiful, they are delicious, they are easy to prepare...but in spite of good intentions, they rarely make it onto my shopping list.  I spent months dreaming up a super veggie breakfast. 

Like all of my go-to weekday breakfasts, this can be made ahead of time, with leftovers kept either in the fridge or freezer.   It's filling enough to last through the long hours between my morning workout and lunch.  Lots of color (orange potatoes, purple onion and green peppers), lots of protein (veggie sausage and eggs), and lots of taste from all of the above.



Ingredients
Yield: 3-4 servings
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • a few leaves fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 sausage patties
  • eggs for serving

Method


Peel the sweet potatoes


Slice n'dice


Chop the green pepper

And the onion

And the garlic

If you have some, run out into the garden a grab a few leaves of sage.


Microwave the potatoes for a few minutes.  I used the potato setting for six minutes.

Heat the olive oil to medium and add the onion, green pepper, and a little salt.  Cook for a few minutes to soften.

Add the sweet potatoes with a little more salt and cook for 10 minutes covered, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the cumin and paprika.  Cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fully softened.

Prepare the sausage.  I used Morningstar Farms because I was looking for a lighter touch, but wouldn't be opposed to using the real thing.

Dice the sausage

Chop the sage.

Stir everything in.

Top with eggs and serve.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Bananas aren't just for banana bread.  They make a fantastic cake, nestled under a blanket of cream cheese frosting and topped with fun sprinkles.



Ingredients
Yield: one 9" layer cake
Recipe from Lauren's Latest

  • For the cake:

    •  cups (approx 3) overripe bananas
    • ½ cup (2 sticks) butter
    • 1¼ cups sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¾ cup buttermilk (or 3 tablespoons powdered buttermilk and ¾ cup water)
  • For the frosting:
    • 10 oz cream cheese
    • ½ cup (2 sticks) butter
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 lb powdered sugar
    • optional but too fun to pass up: nonpareils for topping

 Ingredients

Back when we made banana bread I talked about my banana management strategy.  I stockpile overripe bananas in the freezer until I get the urge to bake.  We use overripe bananas because they are sweeter than ripe bananas.  Granted, they are ugly, but this is the first step of a journey to a beautiful place.

 Extract 1¼ cups of banana.  I ran these guys through the blender to fully liquefy them.

Combine the dry ingredients and measure out the buttermilk.  I'm using powdered buttermilk, so I added the mix to the flour and have a water chaser on the side.


Start mixing.  First cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes, and then add the eggs and vanilla.  Follow up with the banana.


Stir in half of the flour mixture and follow with half of the buttermilk.

Add the 2nd half of each, stirring until just combined.

Divide the batter between two greased cake pans.

Slide them into a 350° F oven.

Bake for 25 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test.

Let them cook in the pans for about 10 minutes, and then flip the cakes out.


Let the cake cool fully before frosting.  That was the limit of my baking time for the day, so I wrapped the layers and stored them in the fridge until the next day.

For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together to form a base, then add the powdered sugar and mix for a few minutes to fluff. 

Add the vanilla and beat until smooth.

Add a protective framework of waxed paper to the plate.

 Set the bottom layer on the plate and load up with frosting.

Smooth into an even layer.

Top with the 2nd layer.

Spackle the crack and start to build up a thin layer of frosting on the sides.

Continue by adding a thin layer to the top before piling on the rest of the frosting and smoothing.

Time to have some fun...

Slide the waxed paper pieces off the plate.

And eat 'er up.