Monday, May 31, 2010


pizza made with trader joe's whole wheat pizza crust, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and homemade tomato sauce. (i have absolutely no memory of how i cooked this pizza. i'm guessing 10 minutes at 375? anything from 350-400 should work, and just bake until cheese is brown and bubbly.) my (improvised) homemade tomato sauce: saute 2 cloves of minced garlic in a little olive oil. when garlic is light brown, add 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes in their juices, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, and a generous sprinkle of italian seasoning (i also added some fresh rosemary). simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in sliced fresh basil (or just put the basil on top of your pizza), salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of sugar.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

strawberry shortcakes...

...are deliciousand even more so when they're chocolate.
from Bon Appetit
you can clearly see that our biscuits are way flatter than the one in the Bon Appetit picture. they were more like slightly fluffy cookies, perhaps because we made 7 biscuits instead of 6. oh well, they still tasted good. i suppose they were extra-short cakes =)

* 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup chilled whipping cream
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


* 2 pounds small strawberries, hulled, quartered (about 3 1/2 cups)
* 8 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided
* 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
* 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
* 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
* Pinch of salt
* 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
* 1/2 cup chilled sour cream


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat cream and vanilla in medium bowl until firm peaks form. Stir cream into flour mixture until moist clumps form. Transfer mixture to lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough forms ball, about 10 turns. Pat dough out to 3/4-inch thickness. Using 3-inch cutter, cut out biscuits. Gather dough, pat out again, and cut out total of 6 biscuits. Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet.
Bake biscuits until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Stir strawberries, 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, and next 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
Using electric mixer, beat chilled whipping cream, sour cream, and remaining 2 tablespoons powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Place 1 biscuit on each of 6 plates. Place large spoonful of berries with juices atop biscuits. Top with whipped cream. Pass remaining berries alongside.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

pecan and sunflower seed biscotti

i'm not sure exactly what to call these. they're kind of like biscotti, but not as sweet, and not quite the same texture. they'd be a great dessert crumbled over vanilla ice cream, but they're also good in milk with your cereal, or plain as an afternoon snack. mine came out more like granola bars, but we'll go with biscotti, since they were adapted from 101 cookbook's nut and seed biscotti recipe.
pecan and sunflower seed biscotti makes about 20 cookies, although mine were crumbly, so it was more like 15 nicely shaped cookies plus lots of misshapen bits and crumbs. still delicious!
*1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
*1 1/3 cup pecan pieces
*2/3 cup sunflower seeds
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*2 eggs
*2/3 cup honey
*1/4 cup olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a bread pan with butter or oil (the original recipe said to line with parchment paper as well, but i didn't have any and it worked fine, although it was a little hard to get the dough out of the pan after baking).
2. Combine flour, nuts, seeds, and salt in a bowl. stir.
3. Whisk together eggs and honey in another bowl. add to dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Put dough in pan and press down with your fingers until its nice and compact. bake for about 45 minutes.
5. remove loaf from pan (you'll need to run your knife around the edges of the loaf) and cut into thin slices. place slices on a baking sheet and brush with about half of the oil.
6. bake at 425 degrees F for 3-4 minutes. remove from oven, flip each slice, brush with the rest of the oil, and bake for 5 more minutes, or until crisp.

Monday, May 17, 2010

baked french toast

have i ever told you how much i LOVE french toast? despite this, i almost never make it, and the few times I have, its never been as good as what you get at most diners (although i also love diners, and the atmosphere can make sub-par french toast delicious. my favorite french toast was when rita and i went to the java house for lunch one day, and made friends with the old man who worked there, who came over and chided us for not putting enough syrup on our toast, then proceeded to douse the toast in about 5 pounds of syrup).

so for our belated mother's day brunch, after much debate, we decided on french toast, but knew we had to step it up.
not only is this recipe super simple and delicious, its baked so you can all enjoy brunch together instead of making each slice of toast to order.

baked french toast serves 6 adapted from smitten kitchen
*1 loaf challah
*3 cups milk (we used fat free)
*3 eggs
*3 Tablespoons sugar, plus about 1 teaspoon extra for sprinkling on top
*1/2 teaspoon salt
* about 2 teaspoons cinnamon
*pecans (about 1 large handful)
*raisins (about 1 large handful)
*1 banana, sliced (optional)
1. grease a baking dish.
2. slice challah into 1 inch pieces. arrange in baking dish, packing tightly. you can also layer if necessary.
3. sprinkle pecans and raisins on top. you can also put the pecans and raisins between layers if you want. i recommend squishing them between the slices of bread.
3. whisk together milk, eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl. pour over bread.
4. sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over everything.
5. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
6. bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. add slices of banana on top and bake for 10 more minutes.
7. cut, serve, and enjoy! we served ours with more sliced banana, strawberries, pecans, powdered sugar, and syrup.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


somehow we made it through finals, sad goodbyes, and a cross-country flight, and we are home for summer break! we'll just be hanging out in sf for the summer, except for a short trip to portland and seattle. hopefully the hanging out in sf will include jobs for both of us, although that is currently looking unlikely. if anyone knows of a good summer job for someone studying psych, nutrition, and irish, please let me know =)

"we have no food in the house", my dad warned me as we hauled massive suitcases up the stairs. which, in fact, meant that our fridge and pantry were full of food. "Feta! Avocado! Sun-dried tomatoes!", Rita and i cried excitedly while preparing lunch today. You have to understand, the contents of our fridge at school is usually frozen peas, 1 jar of peanut butter, and milk.
mache with sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, sliced strawberries, chopped avocado, and feta.
the cats liked it too.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Naan Pizza

We have just a few days til we go back home now, and we're desperately trying to get rid of the the food in the fridge before we leave. This has resulted in some pretty random meals (one night recently my dinner was some plain couscous, several slices of cheese, and spinach with salad dressing), but this particular meal turned out great.

we spread some tomato sauce on a frozen piece of naan, topped it with some peas and grated cheddar, and baked it until the cheese melted, about 10 minutes at 400 degrees fahrenheit.