Archive for July, 2009

Try it, then I’ll tell you what’s in it.

July 31, 2009

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I made these for the first time a week ago. When I told my roommate what I wanted to make she balked. She’s  an adventurous eater, but this was just TOO weird. The fact that I made them again today proves that they’re actually REALLY GOOD.

Mayonnaise Brownies. Yes, that’s right. Chocolate goodness made with mayo. After they come out of the oven you can’t even tell. No smell, to taste.

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These are really simple and only take about 40 minutes from start to finish. I can see this as a staple for my potluck contributions. I just won’t tell people what’s in them until after they’ve tasted it.

Mayonnaise Brownies

3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup chocolate chips (melted)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 eggs (lightly beaten)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1. Stir together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl.

2. Microwave chocolate chips for 20 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until chocolate chips are melted.

3. Stir mayonnaise into melted chocolate.

4. Add eggs, sugar, chocolate, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 20 minutes.

Makes 12 cupcakes or an 8×8″ pan of brownies.

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Whole Wheat

July 30, 2009

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Post midterm relaxation, also known as bread baking, is a tasty and theraputic way to spend a lunch break. Bread can be surprisingly simple to make. Flour, water, yeast, a wee bit of sugar to feed the yeast, and a wee bit of salt for flavor. These simple ingredients can make good bread.

How to make bread with your roommate and juggle classes at the same time:

1. Combine 2 cups all purpose flour and 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast in a bowl.

2. Warm 1 3/4 cups water, 3 Tbst butter, 2 Tbst honey, and a little sugar until the butter is almost melted.

3. Pour warm water into flour, stir and add 2 cups wheat flour.

4. Turn dough onto well floured counter and knead in as much all purpouse flour as you can (we got in another 1/4 cup, but the recipe called for up to another cup).

5. Put dough back into the bowl, cover and place somewhere warm to rise.

This process takes less than 20 minutes. Unless you’re really bad at kneading, like I am, and then it might take 25 minutes. Now go to class for 2 hours. When you get back, the dough should have doubled in size.

6. Punch down the giant dough. (Not too hard!)

7. Divide the dough into as many loaves/rolls/anyshapes that you want, then cover and place back in the warm place.

This is when you go for a 40 minute run.

8. Bake loave/rolls/anyshapes for 35 minutes (this is for 2 loaves…adjust according to how many pieces you divided the dough into) in a 375F oven. (If you’re lazy and don’t preheat your oven bake your bread for a little longer.)

If you run slow, your roommate will have already started this and you can come home and be tempted to peek at the baking bread while enjoying the wafting scent of fresh b

9. The bread is done when knocking on the bottom of the loaf results in a hollow sound. (Of course, if you try to do this when the bread is still hot you’ll burn you knuckles, but it’s the best way to tell for sure if the bread is done.)

Tada! Fresh homemade bread. Good with honey, jam, Nutella, quark (this really delicious spready cheese we got at the farmer’s market), hummus, bologna, etc.

Midnight Chocolatefest

July 29, 2009

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Hobo dance parties. Something you’ll probably only see in Berkeley. Last night around 8PM a wave of lound, upbeat music floated in the window. A quick peek outside confirmed the hobo dance party. Complete with strobe lights and howling beagles. What a lovely way to spend an evening.

But alas, I was not brave enough to go outside and join the homeless merrymakers. Instead my roommate and I wandered to the kitchen to bake Banana Pineapple Bread. And dip chocolate strawberries. By the time we were done it was nearing 10PM. We decided to take some of our creations to our friendly upstairs neighbors. Surprise! We have mutual friends! (And not just the Facebook kind.) So we all consumed cupcakes and strawberries.

The bread is made mostly of fruit…so it’s healthy right?

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Banana Pineapple Bread

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon (I used an Asian 5-spice powder)

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup apple sauce

2 Tbsp oil

1 cup crushed pineapple

2 cups mashed bananas (4 medium bananas)

2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together eggs and sugar.

Add applesauce, pineapples, bananas.

Mix in vanilla.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.

Makes 12 cupcakes and an 8″ round.

Burn your fingertips pulling hot muffins out of the pan because they smell so good and you want to eat them NOW.

Or serve with homemade cherry jam. Yum.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Milk chocolate chips

Shortening (optional-1Tbsp per cup of chocolate)*

Long stem strawberries

Melt chocolate chips and shortening (if using) in  a bowl over a pot of boiling water. (Call this a bain marie or water bath or double boiler.)

Dip strawberries in melted chocolate.

Set on an aluminum lined baking sheet to set.

*Adding shortening to the chocolate will lead to a softer set and prevent the chocolate from cracking off of the strawberry when you take a bite.

Dip muffins, bread, pineapple, anything you happen to have handy in leftover chocolate.

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Ah the wonders of midterm season.

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