Thursday, September 16, 2010

Final Post for a While

Hi everyone!

Sorry for not giving you any kind of closure! Since I am officially back at school now, and kitchen-less, my baking adventures are much more limited. When I have the (rare) opportunity to whip something up I will try to update, but for now it's back to the books and the sheet music!

Thanks for following and I hope you'll be hearing from me soon!

As always, happy baking!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Bread!

I had the most wonderful weekend, going to the beach with some friends and relaxing in the sun, exploring the tide pools, but it's all felt very autumn-like. Hence, (yep, I'm fancy- I say hence) my craving for pumpkin did not fade. Actually- it's kind of become an unsatisfied yearning... But anyways I wanted to prove myself worthy of saying I had made real pumpkin bread the old-fashioned way (I'm usually not a strong believer in mixes)so I picked out a recipe and I can assure you- it smells exactly like thanksgiving in my house right now. Even though I usuay pass on the cinnamon too, the way it mingles with the pumpkin literally makes it irresistible.

So if any of you out there are feeling the Fall vibes as the leaves start a-changin', try this recipe and I'm sure you'll be delighted. :-)

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
(from Stephanie Gallagher)

  • 1-1/2 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves together in a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, beat pumpkin puree, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg and oil together. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring just until moistened (overmixing will cause the bread tobecome too tough). Add chocolate chips.
  3. Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Happy Baking!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hearty Celery Soup

When the autumn leaves start falling, what better recipe to cook up than homemade soup? Something about it's simplicity and heartiness just makes me fall in love. I had tons of celery in the fridge and wanted to make something that could easily be stored for future meals, and knowing that I had potatoes and onions left from earlier in the week too, made me think soup.
So here is a delicious and really simple recipe for a pureed celery soup that is certain to warm you right up on one of these cool September nights!

(Photo courtesy of The Daily Green)

Pureed Celery Soup
  • 1 pound celery
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 peeled clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Wash and cut celery into ½ - 1 inch thick pieces. (To cook evenly)
  2. Wash and peel the potato, cutting it into the same size pieces as the celery.
  3. In a large soup pot, heat the butter over a low-to-medium heat.
  4. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent.
  5. Add the wine and cook for another few minutes. (Until the wine has reduce by half)
  6. Add the vegetable stock and the potato, increasing the heat to medium-high and bringing to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the celery and potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife.
  7. Remove from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary.
  8. Return puréed soup to pot and bring to a simmer again.
  9. Season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Yields six 8-oz. servings of soup.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

With the leaves starting to fall these days and the cold windy weather we had all day, I wanted to make something comforting and simple.

And, weirdly enough I've had pumpkin on the brain this whole week. I finally got myself to Whole Foods and bought canned pumpkin! Mmm, I was so excited to see it on the shelves again. However, I sinfully bought a boxed mix for the pumpkin bread. BUT, I added real pumpkin! And chocolate chips :-) Either way, this deliciously moist and spicy bread definitely hit the spot.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
(from a mix)
  • 1 package pumpkin bread mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned organic pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the dry mix with 2 eggs and pumpkin. Stir until smooth and fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Pour batter into a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and a knife stuck in the center comes out clean.
I hope you're enjoying the tell-tale signs of fall approaching!
Happy Baking!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Yes! Another baking challenge conquered!

Earlier today I stopped by one of my favorite places to stock up for this coming year in college, Costco! I love to shop there occasionally to pick up things I wouldn't want to buy individually, like Luna Bars and contacts solution. :) However, since we have a huge tub of cream cheese in our fridge that's been left unopened my mom and I agreed we should definitely buy bagels. But, when we got to the register we found out they came in packages of 12 not 6! Now I like myself a fresh bagel, but 12??? That's a lot even for my family.

So when I got home, I came to the only natural solution- make my own bagels! And that I did. :-) Following the wonderful advice from the authors of "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day," I successfully made bagels, and definitely enjoyed them more than some store-bought ones (Sorry Costco!)

Even though I had to boil them shortly before baking them, the extra time and care was completely worth it and turned out some seriously authentic bagels. In the spirit of encouraging others to buy cookbooks, I REALLY recommend this one, as it has not failed me yet and never ceases to amaze me by creating wonderful and easy bread.

Enjoy the photos :)

Happy Baking!