Blueberry Crumb Cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake

This was a perfect dessert to a girls night at my house. SO GOOD. My husband had 2 pieces…
From one of my favorite sites Smitten Kitchen.

Topping:
5 tablespoons (40 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup, 2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine
Pinch of salt

Cake:
2 cups minus 1 tablespoon (i.e. 1 3/4 cups + 3 tablespoons or 240 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup, 2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint (2 to 2 2/3 cups, 12 to 16 ounces fresh blueberries, clean and dry
1/2 cup milk, whole is ideal, any kind should work
1/2 cup (55 grams) walnuts, chopped medium fine (optional)

Heat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch round baking pan (with at least 2″ sides) and dust it lightly with flour. 

Prepare the topping by mixing the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt, then cutting the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and zest together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture until just combined, followed by 1/2 the milk; repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk, finishing with the dry mixture. The batter will be very stiff, but don’t fret. Fold blueberries into cake batter until evenly distributed.

Scoop cake batter into prepared pan and smooth so that it is flat. If using walnuts, scatter them on top. Sprinkle with prepared streusel. Bake in heated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out batter-free. You can let the cake cool complete in the pan on a rack.

Do ahead: Cake keeps covered with plastic or foil at room temperature for three days. If longer, it might be best to keep it in the fridge. It gets more moist each day.

Blueberry Peach Crumble

Blueberry Peach Crumble

Peaches and blueberries are a favorite combination in our house. Thanks to my sister in law (and Harry and David)! This was a perfect Sunday afternoon treat (this would be good for breakfast, too). Adapted from pastryandbeyond.

Ingredients

Crust and Crumbles

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup and 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Peach Filling

  • 1 cup peaches, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 8 inch square oven-proof dish and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, about 2 inches of overhang on each side.
  • Mix the peaches and blueberries with lemon juice and then with the almond extract. Next, toss with cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.  
  • Mix the flour, rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt well in a medium bowl. Then add the melted butter and stir with a spoon or spatula.
  • Place ⅔ of the mixture into an oven-proof dish that is lined with parchment paper.  Use your hands or a spoon to spread the mixture evenly.
  • Next, cover the crust with the peach mixture but leave the excess liquid in the bowl. You may want to use this liquid later if there is too much left. (You can place that liquid into a small pan, and when the mixture thickens you can remove it from the heat and drizzle the sauce on top of the baked bars. ) 
  • Sprinkle the remaining dough over the peaches. If you like you can make some big crumble pieces by squeezing crumble mixture in your hand before sprinkling. Use your fingertips to press to the crumbles so they can stick to peaches. 
  • Bake for 33-35 minutes until the top becomes golden brown and the crumbles are crunchy. Let it cool at room temperature for almost 1 hour. Then keep in the fridge for extra 1,5 hours until it is completely cool so you can have nicely cut bars.

Labneh

Labneh

This is my new favorite thing. I had never had it before but was inspired after my friend Vivi told me it was one or HER favorite things. Oh my! SO. GOOD. Labneh is a soft Middle Eastern cheese made from strained yogurt. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and it’s really versatile. Serve it as a dip with good-quality olive oil and za’atar. This recipe is from loveandlemons. I served with homemade pita but it would be great with crackers, veggies, on pizza….

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • heaping 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and salt.
  • Scoop the mixture onto a layer of cheesecloth (or 2 layers, depending on the thickness of your yogurt). Bring the edges of the cheesecloth together, tie it around a wooden spoon, and place the spoon across the top of a medium bowl so that the labneh hangs in the center but does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Chill overnight.
  • Remove the labneh from the cheese cloth. Transfer to bowl and serve as a spread with desired toppings and veggies, pita, or crackers for dipping. It can also be dolloped, like soft goat cheese, onto salads, pizza, or flatbread.

toppings & serving options

  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Z’atar spice mix (I found at Trader Joe’s)
Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Salad

Ingredients

It has been a long time since my last post! It has been so hot lately this seemed like a great idea for dinner. I could eat the dressing with a spoon out of the bowl!! I adapted it from a post from Creme de la Crumb. I did not know I was going to post until after it was all together so not many photos – but please try this.

Salad

  • 1 cup chopped green leaf lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped kale – or 1 additional cup other lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped green cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • ½ cup edamame (optional)
  • 1 carrot – grated
  • 2 bell peppers – I used red and yellow
  • 1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken ( used left over grilled chicken, sliced)
  •  ½ cup wonton strips and/or crunchy noodles
  • 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts or sliced almonds (optional)

Peanut Dressing

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar ( I used Mirin)
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger (I used a frozen cube)
  • splash of fish sauce 
  • 2-3 tablespoons water – as needed, to thin

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine lettuce, kale, cabbage, green onions, edamame, cilantro, carrots, bell peppers, chicken, and wonton strips. 
  • In a food processor or blender combine all dressing ingredients and pulse 20-30 seconds. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin, as needed. Pour over salad and toss just before serving. 

Notes

  • Don’t dress this salad until right before you’re going to eat it or it will run the risk of getting soggy too quickly. 
  • The dressing will keep in the mason jar for up to a week. Be sure to shake or whisk before using to combine any settled ingredients. 
  • Slice the cabbage into very thin pieces so that you can eat it without cutting your salad. 
  • Carrot matchsticks work well in this Thai salad but you could also use carrot dices or thin sliced rounds. 
Chocolate Hearts

Chocolate Hearts

You can also make these with any kind of cookie cutter but since today is Valentine’s day… These are crisp, densely chocolate cookies. I don’t like iced cookies so I sprinkled with fine caster sugar. Adapted from Sally’s Baking Recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (or dutch process), plus more as needed for rolling and work surface
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • super fine sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be soft. If the dough seems too soft and sticky for rolling, add 1 more Tablespoon of flour.
  4. Chill the dough for at least an hour.
  5. Roll the dough: Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Dust 2 large pieces of parchment paper or 2 silicone baking mats with cocoa powder (or flour). Place a dough half on each. With a rolling pin lightly dusted with cocoa powder (or flour), roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use more cocoa powder/flour if the dough seems too sticky. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
  6. Preheat oven & shape cookies: Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Carefully remove the top dough piece from the refrigerator. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough, using more cocoa powder or flour to lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin, and continue cutting the dough until all is used. Work quickly so the dough doesn’t become too warm or soft. If it does, stop what you’re doing and place any unused dough back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to stiffen up again. Repeat cutting into shapes with 2nd half of dough. (Note: It doesn’t seem like a lot of dough, but you get a lot of cookies from the dough scraps you re-roll.)
  7. Bake & cool: Arrange shaped cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until edges are set. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
Brazilian Cheese Bread

Brazilian Cheese Bread

These are quick to make and addicting!!!! From the blog Simply Recipes. This is very similar to a popover in consistency. They are best served warm from the oven. I served them alongside Beef Bourguignon
on Christmas Eve.

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup (packed, about 66 grams) grated cheese, your preference (see recipe note)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)

Instructions

  1. Pour into mini-muffin tin: Pour batter into prepared mini-muffin tin, not quite to the top; leave about 1/8 inch from the top.
  2. Bake: Bake at 400°F in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and nicely browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes.
  3. Pour into mini-muffin tin: Pour batter into prepared mini-muffin tin, not quite to the top; leave about 1/8 inch from the top.
  4. Bake: Bake at 400°F in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and nicely browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes

Eat while warm!

Note that Brazilian cheese bread is very chewy, a lot like Japanese mochi.

Bonus Recipe

1 kg tapioca flour [polvilho azedo]
1 kg potato, cooked in water and mashed
250 ml milk at room temperature
250 ml vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 queso fresco or panela grated [1 pound]
6 free range eggs

Put the tapioca flour in a bowl. Add the potato still hot using a potato masher. Add salt. Mix very well using your hands. Add milk and continue working the dough with your hands. Add vegetable oil. Continue working. Add the grated cheese, and at last the eggs. Add 1 teaspoon of anise seeds for a special touch. The dough needs to get very silky and be moldable. If it is breaking, add one more egg. Make little round breads, and bake at 450oF for 20 minutes. The dough can be frozen.

Pear Gallete

Pear Gallete

This was a wonderful dessert for my Christmas Eve party. This was adapted from a recipe from Bluebowlrecipies.com. I am not overly fond of super sweet desserts so I left off the salted caramel sauce but if you want the full recipe visit the site.

Prep Time 25 minutes  Cook Time 30 minutes   Dough Chill Time 45 minutes   Servings 8 slices

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 TBSP granulated or cane sugar

8 TBSP salted butter, cold, cut into chunks

3/4 tsp salt

3-5 TBSP cold water

1/4 cup full-fat sour cream

For the Pear Filling

4 medium pears, thinly sliced

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the galette crust: In a medium/large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut the cold butter into chunks and add to the bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, until the pieces of butter are pea-sized. Add the cold water and the sour cream, and start gently mixing it into the dough with a fork. Once the mixture starts to resemble a dough, use your hands to gently work it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly into a thick disc of dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes. 

Make the filling: While the dough chills, gently stir together all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl.

Roll the crust: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Get out a large round pizza pan or a large cookie sheet and line with parchment paper. 

Flour the counter and the rolling pin and remove the dough from the fridge. Take off the plastic wrap. Begin rolling out the dough, gently, turning continuously so it doesn’t stick to the counter. Be patient and gently here – we’re not trying to stretch the dough all the way out in a few passes of the rolling pin! That leads to tougher dough, and cracking of the dough. 

Once the dough is about 12-14 inches in diameter, gently roll it onto the rolling pin and transfer it onto the prepared baking sheet. (See note)

Assemble: Lay the pears on the dough, leaving 2 inches around the outer edge. I made three circles, starting with the outside edge and working my way to the center.  Fold the edges of the crust up over the filling, working in small sections. This is a rustic dessert – it doesn’t have to look perfect!

Bake: Beat an egg in a small dish and add a splash of milk. Brush it over the pie crust and then sprinkle the crust with coarse/raw sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and sounds solid/crisp when tapped (it shouldn’t be soft).

Big Apple Crumb Cake

Big Apple Crumb Cake

This is wonderful!!!! Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen- one of my favorite blogs. I cut down on the amount of sugar and left off the powdered sugar because I don’t like overly sweet desserts. I used honeycrisp and golden delicious and substituted Greek yogurt for sour cream. I did not use all the crumb either but was a personal call. This was wonderful the next day, I just warmed a little in the oven. I made this for my mom’s birthday and she LOVED it.

Apples

  • 1 pound apples (3 medium or 2 large), peeled if you wish, cored, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Crumbs

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Cake

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven: To 325°F (165°C). Lightly coat an 8-inch square or 9-inch cake pan with butter or nonstick spray. For extra security, line it with parchment paper.

Prepare apples: Toss apples with lemon juice, then cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Make crumbs: Whisk butter, sugars, cinnamon, and salt together until evenly mixed. Add flour and mix until it disappears. It’s going to be very thick; set it it aside.

Make cake: Beat butter with sugar until lightened and fluffy. Add egg, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until combined. Sprinkle surface of batter with with baking powder and salt, and beat well to combine. Add flour and mix only until it disappears.

Assemble: Scrape batter into prepared cake pan and smooth it flat. Arrange apples on cake, slightly overlapped. I usually fit all but 2 wedges; those are cook’s snacks. Pour any cinnamon-apple juices in bottom of bowl over apples. Sprinkle crumbs over apple slices. For bigger crumbs, squeeze the crumbs into small fistfuls and break these up into a couple bigger chunks over the cake.

Bake: Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the apples doesn’t hit any crisp spots and if you look closely, you’ll see juices bubbling around some apples, about 50 to 55 minutes. 

Cool to room temperature, if you can bear it, before cutting into squares or wedges. Dust generously with powdered sugar.

Cake keeps at room temperature loosely covered (in an airtight container, the crumbs eventually soften) for 3 days or in the fridge, well-wrapped, for 6 days.

Asian Chicken and Rice Soup

Asian Chicken and Rice Soup

This came together quickly on a Friday night after a long day of work. You can make it spicy as you want by altering the chili paste or omit for a non spicy version. This was adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day.

2 cups chicken broth
1 Cup coconut milk
8 oz shredded chicken
2 cups
1 tsp ginger (I used the frozen cubes)
1 Cup cooked rice, brown or white ( used Trader joe’s frozen)
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 Cup orange juice
1 tsp chili paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 cups enoki mushrooms or quartered button mushrooms ( used the button mushrooms)
1/2 cup oyster mushrooms

In a large sauce pan, combine the broth, coconut milk, orange zest and juice, fish sauce and chili paste. Place over medium high heat bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. The soup will be slightly foamy.

Sauté the mushrooms until browned and add to the broth.

Add the cooked rice and remove from heat.


Goat Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas

Goat Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas

I am REALLY behind on food blogs. On a recent trip to Santa Fe I fell in love with the cuisine (again) and I picked up a Santa Fe Cooking School cookbook. I can’t wait to make some of the recipes. After adapting this recipe I made some home made corn tortillas (next blog) and I will be making this again! I made this batch with corn tortillas I bought from a Mexican market but home made is a game changer. I have a tortilla press on my Christmas list. I did not make my own green sauce but used a brand I found in the store so it made this a quick and wonderful meal, even on a weeknight. This can be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken.

Ingredients

6 corn tortillas
1 small package (4-6 oz) Goat cheese – depending on how cheesy you want
8 oz package of Mexican shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, asadero) or more
8 oz shredded chicken
1 Jar of green enchilada sauce
sliced avocado

Preheat oven to 350

In a mixing bowl, combine 3/4 of the goat cheese, chicken and 3/4 of the shredded cheeses.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pyrex dish. Pour half the jar of green enchilada sauce into the baking dish and spread evenly on bottom.

Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Place a corn tortilla in the pan and heat about one minute, Turn and heat for about another 30 seconds.

Fill the warm tortilla with the cheese mixture about half a cup down the middle. Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Cover with the remaining green sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese and goat cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese is bubbly and melting. About 25 minutes.

I served with sliced avocado, cornbread and a green salad