Tag Archives: cinnamon

Pinterest Challenge: Homemade Almond Butter

25 Feb


Back again with a new Pinterest Challenge! This time, I’m joining forces with the lovely Sherry Petersik and Katie Bower, who are co-hosting their quarterly Pinterest Challenge on both of their respective blogs.

The challenge? To stop pinning and start doing / cooking / baking / crafting — or, in their case, to make / decorate some aspect of their homes, since they both write DIY / decorating-based blogs.

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Nothing Says “I Love You” like Animal Protein and Cheesecake

24 Feb

Yup. You read that right.
Now, normally — as you folks well know — I’m very into pursuing a healthy diet. Whole grains, fruits & veggies, lean meats, occasional indulgences, the works. However, there are some inevitable conflicts with this on the calendar.
1. Thanksgiving. Rules? Shmules.
2. Christmas. See Thanksgiving. Especially when hors d’oeuvres and pie are involved.
3. My birthday — if you can’t indulge on your Day of Birth, when can you, eh?
4. Valentine’s Day.

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When Is a Cookie Not a Cookie? Vegan Baking, Part Two

20 Feb

latejan.2013 007

A recent conversation between The History Teacher and myself:

Me: Hi boyfriend. Want to try a dairy-free, sugar-free, egg-free cookie?

THT: Let me get this straight. If it looks like a cookie, but has nothing in common with a cookie … then, I think it ceases to be a cookie.

Ha! If he only knew. 🙂

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Pinterest Challenge: 3 Minute Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

31 Jan

pintlogoTime for another Pinterest Challenge! I feel like I’ve been pinning away lately without testing too many recipes. (Can you identify? I hope so!) This time, I thought I’d finally whip up one of those pinned recipes and let you lovely readers know how it turned out. This post could be subtitled, “Here’s what happens when GKG gets a hankering for something sweet, but has no energy to bake a batch of sweet somethings.”

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Fluffy, Tasty, Griddle-y? The History Teacher’s Family Pancakes

26 Oct

First, before I address those pancakes — and trust me, my dears, I WILL address those pancakes — I have to point out something so hilarious and wonderful that I just can’t keep it to myself. Apparently, to celebrate the upcoming release of the first film in the new “Hobbit” trilogy (inner nerd-girl says “Yessss!”), Denny’s is putting together a Middle Earth Menu.  In case you’ve ever wondered what was actually on the Second Breakfast or Elevensies menu (C’mon, you know you’ve thought about noshing on lunch with some hobbits whenever you get the mid-morning munchies.), mystery solved. #dennysforthefirsttime?

Image sourced from l-o-t-r.tumblr.com. “I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.”

And now, back to the breakfast goods! This week, I’m serving up some breakfast for dinner in my good ol’ galley kitchen for The History Teacher and myself, and THT has a family pancake recipe that just can’t be beat. (Except by my mom’s, especially for nostalgic value. Sorry, baby!) For your viewing and eating pleasure, here are some delicious pancakes whose ingredients and directions are so simple, you’d be crazy not to give ’em a try. (Even for dinner!)

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Pinterest Challenge: Pumpkin Poppers

19 Sep

It’s getting chilly in the mornings, the crunchy leaves are rustling in cool breezes, and I’m in the mood for my “You’ve Got Mail” bouquet of sharpened pencils. What’s that spell, kids? F-A-L-L!

But seriously, lovely friends, it’s almost autumn, my favorite time of year. I’ll admit that I love doing fall activities like apple-picking or sweater-wearing (hey, that’s totally an activity), watching the weather change, and partaking of everything else that comes with the season. My favorite aspect by far, though? (And that says a lot, now that Sam Adams is putting out their fall seasonal brew-packs. Come to mama, Octoberfest.)

Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.

Pumpkin! (And all of its accompanying spices — allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon)

In the spirit of my favorite gourd — which can successfully be added to pies, coffee (thanks, Starbucks, for bringing back liquid crack your best seasonal latte), chili, tarts, and more — I came across this pin for Pumpkin Poppers, from the lovely Haley at Just the Little Things. Here’s the original, drool-inducing picture in all of its fall-flavor glory:

Is it appropriate to say “hubba hubba” to an inanimate dessert?

Yeah … this recipe had to happen. Thus, this weekend, I popped into my neighborhood Giant Grocery and grabbed (then promptly paid for — sheesh, guys) my first (of hopefully many) cans of pumpkin to make the recipe. After successfully baking a batch, and distributing them to my coworkers in an attempt not to slide into morbid obesity at the hands (er … cinnamon-sugar-sprinkles?) of these bad boys, here’s my verdict:

4.5 out of 5 Pinterest Ps.

Holy canolli, Batman, these bad boys were delicious. The recipe was easy to follow, and the result turned out almost identical to the original pinned one. Hurrah! Here are mine:

“Nommy nommy nom nom nom.” — the Pumpkin Poppers.

The moist, pumpkin-flavored cake centers were covered in a light layer of cinnamon sugar (adhered with melted butter — no way something this tasty could be totally healthy!), and the flavor combination of spices, pumpkin and fluffy cake was fabulous. When I brought these to work, they vanished by about 9:30 a.m. When I left a few at home, 4 may or may not have simultaneously disappeared immediately after baking. Huh. Mystery.

The stars of the show! (Well, aside from the sugar. There’s quite a bit of that.)

Pumpkin Poppers — adapted from Just the Little Things. Makes 24-ish mini-muffin-sized bites.

You’ll need:

  • 1 3/4  cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves [NOTE: you can substitute the previous 4 ingredients with 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, as well)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin (for instructions for roasting your own, check Psych in the Kitchen’s post here)
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the coating:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray a mini-muffin tin.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a small bowl and lightly mix until well-combined.
  • In a larger bowl, combine oil / applesauce, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk.  Slowly add dry ingredients mixture and whisk / mix with a fork until just combined.  (Overmixing = not so tasty baked goods.) Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, fill mini muffin tins until nearly full and bake 10-12 minutes. 

  • For coating, melt butter in small bowl (45 sec – 1 min on high in the microwave should do it).  Mix cinnamon and sugar in a separate  bowl.  After the pumpkin poppers cool for a few minutes, dip each one in melted butter; then, roll them in the sugar mixture (a la snickerdoodles) and set aside on a serving dish / cooling rack until ready to serve.

Steps for dunking and sugaring your poppers: One, lightly “dunk” in butter until all sides are coated.

Step two: “Stir” the poppers in cinnamon sugar. And avoid getting your non-hand-model hands photographed.

Step Three: Admire your handiwork, and try to avoid eating each popper as soon as you’re finished.

Variation: If you’re lacking a mini-muffin tin, bake the mixture in full-size muffin tins at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes, topped with a quick “streusel” topping of 1-2 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp cold butter (cut into flour with 2 knives or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs), 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, 1-2 tsp brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

Aww yeah. These are also weirdly delicious with peanut butter.

Are you folks fans of fall cuisine? Are you pumpkin people, or do you prefer other flavors of the season? Have your Pinned recipes been successfully attempted, or are you mostly pinning-and-forgetting? (Like we all do — myself included!)

Pintrest Challenge: Braided Cinnamon Coffee Cake

26 Jul

Like many of you, I’m kind of maniacally mildly obsessed with Pinterest. According to something I saw at D.C.’s Newseum recently, Pinterest has shot up in popularity since it first began in 2010, to the point where it’s the 3rd most popular social networking site on the web. Sharing links among friends, colleagues & friendly strangers + great pictures = success! Who knew?

But in the spirit of John and Sherry’s (and Katie Bower’s) recent challenge on Young House Love, I’ve decided to stop Pinning and start DOING – taking on a series of mini Pinterest Challenges for myself! This will be the first in a few­ posts where I take recipes I’ve pinned in the virtual world and try them out in my real life kitchen. Pinterest has so many creative and helpful ideas for a budding chef – time to see how well they hold up!

Also, I’ll be rating each recipe on a scale of 1 to 5 Pinterest P’s.  5 Pinterest P’s means the recipe is easy to follow, tasty, and actually resembles the original pinned photo. 1 Pinterest P? Let’s just say it probably turned out like this:

Image sourced from the hilarious www.pinterestfail.com. Oy vey.

My first challenge? Braided Cinnamon Coffee Cake originally pinned from Totally Love It. A quick yeast bread-turned-cinnamon-roll, this coffee cake looked like a delicious addition to the History Teacher’s birthday brunch earlier this month. Here’s my final version:

Swirly cinnamon goodness.

Verdict? 3 out of 5 Pinterest P’s.

The recipe directions were occasionally a bit vague, and I definitely should have added more butter, but the end result was flaky and sweet. Not a bad addition to breakfast! I’ve rewritten the recipe below, with a few minor adjustments in clarity. Next time you have a breakfast or brunch to host, try this out!

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake, adapted from Pinterest / Totally Love It – serves 8

You’ll need:

For the dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 and ÂĽ tsps. Active dry yeast or 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/8 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp sugar

For the cinnamon-sugar filling:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 4-5 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon

Here’s what you do:

  • Mix yeast and sugar with milk; let it sit for 5 minutes, or the yeast bubbles.

Bubbling yeast. Mmm. Bread-to-be.

  • Add beaten egg yolk, melted butter, flour and salt. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes, finally shaping it into a ball.

  • Place ball of dough in a large, greased / sprayed bowl, then cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Dust work surface with flour, and roll dough out to a round, flat disk (kind of like a pie crust) with a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
  • Spread the ÂĽ cup softened butter across dough round; then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar.
  • Roll up dough like a jelly roll; using a knife, cut log in half length-wise.

  • Twist the two halves together, keeping the open layers exposed to the top. Pinch the ends together (forming a wreath-like shape), then transfer to a baking tray (buttered or covered with cookie sheet).

  • Top with extra dollop of butter and sprinkle with more sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes – make sure to reduce temp to 350 degrees F after 5-10 minutes to ensure it won’t burn – or until the top is golden brown.
  • Top finished cake with a simple glaze of confectioner’s sugar and milk, top with extra cinnamon sugar, or eat as is.

 And there you have it! As I mentioned earlier, I’d add a bit more butter to the mix, as well as that final glaze on top (maybe with some more cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg dashed into the mix). Happy Pinning — and doing / cooking / experimenting!