Sunday Breakfast

I don’t know what your ideal Sunday looks like, but mine includes watching drinking coffee, watching Sunday Morning, a little knitting, reading the Sunday New York Times, and eating some sort of delicious treat. That’s where these doughnuts come in. I posted them in my Friday roundup, only to realize late Saturday night that I had no powdered sugar on hand. No bother! Instead I consulted this recipe and combined the two. Cinnamon has been a huge craving through this whole pregnancy, and waking up to the first nips of fall in the air demanded it’s spicy sweetness. The brown butter gives added depth and balances out the sugar coating. Besides, Joy and Tracy are great friends, and uniting their recipes is something cooking and baking is all about, sharing, adapting, and enjoying.  Even the Bear, aka pickiest eater ever, enjoyed a few bites.

P1020837

P1020839

The doughnuts are lightly sweet, but the real sweetness comes from the coating. Here are some instructions on how to brown butter. Don’t have buttermilk? Just combine 1/2C whole milk with 1 1/2T distilled white vinegar. Let it sit while you combine the other ingredients and it will be clabbered when it’s time to mix the wet stuff. I browned all the butter at once and divided it.  2T for the doughnuts, and 4T for the coating. You may want to round up to 7T to make sure you have exactly 6T in the end, but I found that to be unnecessary.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts with Brown Butter (adapted slightly from Joy the Baker and Shutterbean) makes 6

Doughnuts:

1C all purpose flour

3/4t baking powder

1/4t baking soda

1/2t salt

1/2t ground cinnamon

1/4t freshly grated nutmeg

1/3C sugar

1 lg egg

1/2C buttermilk

6T butter, browned and cooled, divided (see note above)

1t vanilla extract

Coating:

1/2C sugar

1t cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Lightly grease a 6 doughnut pan.

2) In a small pot brown all the butter and allow to cool slightly.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Set aside.

4) Whisk together egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and 2T of the browned butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined.

5) Fill the doughnut pan with the batter (I just use a regular spoon for this). You want the well to be about 3/4 full.

6) While the doughnuts bake, whisk together cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

7) Bake doughnuts for 10-12 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan a few minutes before removing. Once out of the pan brush remainder of butter on doughnuts and coat with cinnamon sugar mixture.

8) Enjoy warm.

P1020845

Advertisements

Adventures in Jam

P1020791Last year I bought lots of berries at the farmers’ market and made a few different jams only to throw them all out when we moved. By throw out I mean pry solid masses of pureed sugary fruit from the jar, an act that was both frustrating and liberating. Washington had a very dry summer last year so the fruit lacked water, compounded with my lack of skill and experience I was doomed from the start it seemed. Kitchen failures, they happen to us all.  So while I was frustrated by the solid mass of fruit that could’ve substituted for industrial strength bonding agent, I was ok with saying goodbye to it and moving on. One of my goals this year was to become a more diverse canner. I wanted to move beyond jams and cucumber pickles and try out new recipes and methods.

So while I went on to make marmalades, fruit butters, salsas, fruit pickles, and double batches of cucumber pickles, I found myself still shying away from jams. After all, they are temperamental beasts, but also berries are stinking expensive around here, and farmers only seems to sell them in small quantities. But let’s remember, I want to be a more diverse canner, so berries might not be the direction I want to take this year. Instead, I was really excited to find some slightly bruised tomatoes for a steal last week and quickly snatched up 5 lbs. The tomato jam from Marisa McClellan’s book Food in Jars, has always sounded appealing to me. Sweet, savory, with a bit of heat, it sounded like something right up DB’s and my alley.

P1020786

My tomatoes were extra watery, it actually took me about 4 hours to get them to cook down to a jam like consistency instead of the two recommended in the book. I also only got half the recipe’s yield, 2 pints instead of 4 (which is plenty for us). The important thing here was even when I could see that things were coming out exactly as written I was able to identify the issue and continue on. It took a while, but eventually the jam went from bright, summery red to a gorgeous dark burgundy. The ginger, cinnamon, and cloves made the house smell heavenly so I was kind of ok with the extra cooking time. Last year I probably would’ve hoped the jam would set in the jar, canned in too early, and had 4 jars of runny mess. I’m proud of my patience (even though it totally cut into nap time). After conquering this jam, I can confidently check off meeting my canning goal from the list this year. Over the next year I want to experiment more and start coming up with my own concoctions.

P1020789

Have you learned from any kitchen fails recently?

xo, S.

Kitchen Roundup

After being on the road for a few weeks, one of the best things about getting to our new house has been settling into our new kitchen. It has a lot more functional counterspace than our last place, the oven works properly, and there’s more storage (through I’m still figuring out the best way to lay everything out). Since becoming a more diverse canner is one of my goals this I’ve been busy visiting local farmers markets and trying all manner of new pickles, jams, and salsas. I also bought a new sourdough starter from King Arthur flour and have so far tried my hand at pretzels, waffles, and english muffins. Not everything has been a success (just now I burned some of the english muffins…oops), but after a month of not really cooking at all these past few weeks have been a welcome change of pace.

P1020645

Santa Rosa plums, red plums, and pluots getting ready to be jammed

Plums were on sale at the commissary so I also made plum muffins from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Plums were on sale at the commissary so I also made plum muffins from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

DB started on some Creme de Menthe

DB started on some Creme de Menthe

Almond meal (leftover from making almond milk)

Almond meal (leftover from making almond milk)

Asparagus, Tomato, and Arugula Frittata

I spent this past week in Oregon on an exercise with my unit. Since we had long hours and were in the middle of nowhere, food options were limited to fast food or Dennys. I’m not really sure which is worse, but I definitely consumed more french fries in the past week than I had in the past 6 months combined and I felt so gross by the time I got home. I wanted and needed vegetables in the worst way. Fortunately, DB and I took the Bear for a visit to a local farm right before I left and bought a bundle of asparagus. It managed to survive the week and was so delicious in what I would like to call my detox frittata. Vegetables are really they key here with the eggs and cheese serving more to bind it all together than play center stage. Feel free to play with whatever seasonal greens you have available, and add some bacon if you want something a bit heartier.

P1010834

 

Asparagus, Tomato, and Arugula Frittata

 

(adapted from Simply Recipes)

  • 2T unsalted butter
  • 1/3C minced shallots (1 med shallot, or half a medium onion)
  • 1/2t fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4t coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 lb asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut  into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 1 big handful of arugula (about 1-1/2 C)
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1C shredded Gruyere cheese (or cheese of choice)

– Heat butter into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, arugula, salt and pepper. Stir until arugula is wilted and all ingredients are evenly mixed, about 2-3 minutes

 Pour in eggs and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 2 minutes.

 Sprinkle cheese over eggs and put in oven under broiler until cheese is melted and browned, about 4-6 minutes. Carefully remove from oven, and remove frittata from frying pan. Cut into 4 wedges and serve immediately.

Serves 4

P1010840

Kitchen Round-Up

It’s been a while since I spent any real time in the kitchen. Usually, there’s a mad cacophony of plates and pans, flours and sugars, herbs and spices, kitchen things and more kitchen things. But I took a break for a couple months, kept things super simple, ate a few store bought rotisserie chickens. It was a good break. It gave me time to acquire a few new cookbooks, go through quite a pile of magazines, and return to my kitchen inspired and ready to get back into the homemade.

Here’s how it went:

Maple meringues

Maple meringues made with left over egg whites from an ice cream fail

Hazelnut butter! Great on toast or in sandwiches with preserves.

Hazelnut butter! Great on toast or in sandwiches with preserves.

Cherry almond baked oatmeal. Delicious, but still tweaking the recipe for this one.

Cherry almond baked oatmeal. Delicious, but still tweaking the recipe for this one.

 

Life changing bread. I don't know that it's been life changing for me, but it was a good way to use up lots of nuts and seeds. It's filling and makes great toast as promised.

Life changing bread. I don’t know that it’s been life changing for me, but it was a good way to use up lots of nuts and seeds. It’s filling and makes great toast as promised.

Basil infused olive oil. I love having this on hand for homemade pizza and pesto.

Basil infused olive oil. I love having this on hand for homemade pizza and pesto.

Oh look! Pesto! Spinach, almonds, pine nuts,  with the basil oil. The Bear even enjoyed a bit of this.

Oh look! Pesto! Spinach, almonds, pine nuts, with the basil oil. The Bear even enjoyed a bit of this.

Brown sugar pound cake. I can't speak for the final product just yet, but the batter tasted amazing. (batter is calorie free...right?)

Brown sugar pound cake. I can’t speak for the final product just yet, but the batter tasted amazing. (batter is calorie free…right?)

 

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Maple Hazelnut Butter

P1010657Listen, before you say “Oh, you had hazelnuts? Why didn’t you make Nutella?!” I’d like to point out that hazelnuts aren’t just for making Nutella, they are far more versatile than that. In fact, yesterday I made both bread and this nut butter with them, and I don’t miss the chocolate at all. They’ve also become much easier to find. I bought these at Trader Joe’s. In the PNW they’re available in the fall, though I recommend you buy them already shelled.

If you haven’t tried it before, nut butter is super easy to make and endlessly adaptable to your tastes and dietary needs. Here I added cinnamon for a little spice and just a tablespoon of maple syrup for a hint of sweetness. I think it would be great with honey too, and maybe a pinch of nutmeg or ginger. Whatever you decide, make it up, slather it on your favorite toast or muffin and enjoy the fruits of your labor.P1010651

Cinnamon Maple Hazelnut Butter (adapted from My New Roots and Food in Jars)

Makes approx 2 cups

Note: If you decide to use more maple syrup you may want to dial back the amount of oil you use as it will effect the consistency)

2 1/2 C shelled hazelnuts

4T sunflower oil (or other neutral oil such as Safflower) + more as needed

1T maple syrup

3t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F

1) Spread hazelnuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes. Nuts should be fragrant and golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes then rub with a kitchen towel to help loosen skins

2) Remove as much of the skin as you can and put nuts in bowl of food processor. Grind until nuts are coarse crumbs (approx 3 minutes)

3) With processor on, add oil 1 T at a time until butter reaches desired consistency (it should be spreadable, but not too greasy. For me it was 4T +1t)

4) Add maple syrup and cinnamon, process until fully incorporated

5) Transfer to jar and store in fridge

P1010652

 

 

 

Tomato Lager Soup

P1010533Every once in a while, I wonder if I miss living in a city. Then I go visit a city and realize I don’t miss it at all. There was a time when I was living in Philadelphia, and I thought I would live there forever because I loved it so much. Then life happened. I knew there was more out there, and felt suffocated in the city. So I ran off and joined the Navy, and met DB, and we got married, and had the Bear, and now we in live in a small, remote place, and it’s great. Except for one thing. I miss the food. Philadelphia is an amazing food town, and I miss having access to all its deliciousness. In fact, the food is probably the only thing I really miss. (Ok, seriously, friends, I miss yous too, but you’re people, not things, and we always miss the people in our lives when we are far apart from one another)

P1010536

This soup is the brainchild of chef Scott Schroeder of South Philly Tap Room, once a stone’s throw from my apartment and scene of my first date with DB. He had oysters, I had this soup. I love this soup. Previously, I tried to recreate it here, and it was good, but it wasn’t THE soup. It reminded me of home, but it didn’t take me there. So I was pretty excited when I visited with my mom last spring and found this in the paper. The soup! And it’s easy! Made with pantry staples! Perfection. I used to hate tomato soup, but this what tomato soup is supposed to be. Rich, warm, with a little bit of texture and a hint of heat.

P1010539

Tomato Lager Soup (adapted from the South Philly Tap Room)

This is comfort food, it’s not meant to be light or diet friendly. Don’t skimp on the butter. If you want to go the traditional route use Yuengling which should be widely available. I use our home-brewed lager, but when we’re out of that I opt for the Trader Joe’s Vienna Style Lager. Finally, whatever you do, use whole peeled tomatoes and not diced or crushed, I tried this once and it didn’t achieve the desired effect. This makes about 8 cups and will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. 

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 jalapeño, including seeds, chopped (optional)

18oz (1 1/2 bottles) lager beer (see note)

1 Can (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes in juice

1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

1/2 cup diced onion

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter until and brown slightly (you want it to be a deep gold, not tan)

2. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Saute until slightly softened, 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the lager and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes then remove from heat.

4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Place soup back on medium heat and add the diced fresh tomatoes and diced onion, cook about 3more minutes. (if you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer soup in batches to food processor or blender to puree)

5. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. (Alternatively, once it’s pureed (before adding the fresh vegetables) allow to cool and freeze until ready to use. Defrost and then add the fresh vegetables when reheating)