fat bottom

fat bottom

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

coffee and chocolate... again!!

if you know me by now, you know what a huge fan of chocolate and coffee i am... i mean, i'm a SUPER huge fan... so i was so pleased when my awesome neighbor laura asked me to make her some of these babies for a dinner party she was having... and i didn't want to disappoint her, since she was having some very important guests from the coast guard there... so i put on my baking shoes and got right down to business...
the cake is my favorite chocolate cake recipe... it's so simple, it has has the perfect amount of chocolate flavor, it's unbelievably moist (oh, and by the way, i HATE the word "moist" (EWW!)... but it works in describing this cake recipe), and it's just awesome! try it, i'm telling you... you will not be disappointed!
the butter cream was infused with some coffee liqueur and some finely ground espresso beans... and it was totally amazing... and for the finale i topped them with some homemade salt caramel, dark chocolate shavings, and some yummy sea salt...

happy baking everyone!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

fudgy, salty... yummy!

first off... i'm kinda psyched about my pictures for this post... i used my hubbys snazzy camera all by myself, and kudos to me... but now on to business...
when i asked the hubs what he wanted for his fathers day treat (hey! get your mind out of the gutter! ha ha!)... he said so matter of factly... brownies... salt fudge brownies to be exact... and since i haven't made brownies in quite a while (well, that's a lie... i made brownies a week or so ago, but i dropped them... ) so needless to say i was kinda excited to bake these puppies up... again... but this time, have them actually make it to dessert...

a few weeks ago, i came across this recipe at "Bake or Break" and i knew i HAD to try it... and man oh' man... these were amazing... i'm not a fan of cakey brownies... i like my brownies on the fudgy more underdone side... and these were just that... super fudgy... not overly chocolaty... and BONUS! the sea salt... i love sweet and salty treats... these were a big hit with the hubs too... of course he smothered his in ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and guittard chocolate sprinkles... me... i'm more simple... a shot of espresso, or a glass of red wine with the brownie... and i'm a happy camper...

so if you're in the mood for an awesome chocolaty treat... bake a batch of these up... soo goooooooood!

fudgy seasalt brownies

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 ozs. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt

1. preheat oven to 350° and line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, letting the excess hang over the edges and lightly butter the foil
2. melt butter and chocolate on low heat on the stovetop in a saucepan or in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. remove from heat or microwave
3. one at a time, whisk in cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour
4. pour into prepared pan, and sprinkle salt over top of batter, then using a butter knife, swirl salt into brownie batter
5. bake for 30-35 minutes, until edges are set and center is a bit soft, a toothpick inserted in the center should come out with a little batter coating it
6. cool at room temperature for an hour, then cool in refrigerator for an hour or until firm

happy baking everyone!

homemade pizza!

i am about to admit something to you... i, like every new yorker am a pizza snob... shocking i know... ha ha... trouble is i don't live in new york anymore... here in the southern most part of new jersey it's very hard to find a good NY style pizza, or bagels for that matter (but that's another story)... and i would starve before i order dominos or pizza hut... but luckily for me there are a few pizza places down here that are owned by former new yorkers... so whoo hoo for that...
but since we don't like to order out a lot, we probably make homemade pizza at least once every 2 weeks... and why not... it's simple, doesn't take a whole lot of time to prepare, it's delicious, and you can jazz it up just about any way you want... we always end up making 2 pies, one for jack, who's a plain cheese man, and one for the grown-ups... usually covered in veggies and maybe even some goat cheese... you know, the kind of pizza a 4 year old would gag at...
we usually use a pizza dough recipe from a better homes and gardens cookbook... but this time i went with a recipe from "smitten kitchen"... and i was very satisfied with the results... not to mention my dad bought me this "pizza stone"... i put that in quotes because it is in fact a piece of tile... you see the big guy is an avid cook, he loooooves the culinary arts... so he read somewhere that a ordinary ol' tile you can purchase at any ol' hardware store is just as good, and even better then a pizza stone... and so far so good... so thanks pops!!
now that the dough was ready, it was time to decorate it... i used some of my homemade marinara (no canned stuff here!), some spinach that was sauteed with garlic and oil, some very ripe jersey tomatoes (hurray for the farmers market!), and some fresh mozzarella... damn it was looking fine... then i popped that beauty in the oven and baked it to crispy bubbly perfection...
it was delicious...

happy baking everyone!

Friday, June 11, 2010

a bit on the so-called healthier side...

so, you may have heard me mention once or twice that my hubs is always asking for baked goods that are more on the lighter, healthier side... so, like a good wifey i try and please... you know, like how he wanted a peach cobbler for his birthday and he got a cake, and a blueberry- strawberry galette instead... you can see how accommodating i am to his needs... ha ha... :)
so... as i was saying... he was craving something tasty yet healthy... so since i had some perfectly ripe bananas and a surplus of brown sugar hanging about i decided to make banana-oat crunch muffins... with a crumb topping... the result was a tasty blend of moist banana bread with a cinnamon-nutmeg oat crunch, with hidden pockets of brown sugar... it was awesome...
i used a banana cupcake/muffin recipe i always use, except i got a bit fancy... i made a blend of quick rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, melted butter, and flour (i don't have an exact measurement for you, because i just eyeballed it to my own liking) to make the crumb topping, but i also folded some of it into the muffin itself... every bite was just yummy...
i don't know if you'd call it "healthy" but i guess if it's not smothered in frosting and gooey caramel, it's as healthy as it gets around here... :)

happy and healthy baking everyone!