Posts tagged ‘nutmeg’

January 7, 2012

3-Minute Banana Bread or Carrot Cake (Single-serving)

by horseradishsauce

First post-Iraq post!

Today is one of those days where I was planning to go to the gym earlier so I didn’t make lunch—but then I ate a bunch of gummy bears and shopped for furniture online and now it’s 1310 and I need to go buy a mattress. Well, now I want food before I go shopping. I am also procrastinating because I hate shopping for anything.

I went into my kitchen and spotted a brown, overripe banana. If I hadn’t eaten all my oatmeal, I would make oatmeal with a banana and walnuts. Instead, I decided to make a banana and walnut mash of goodness. But no, wait! How about banana bread?! Banana bread it is.

I know everyone’s been posting microwave single-serving desserts for a while now. I think it’s funny everyone “just” discovered that you can make baked things in the microwave. Perhaps they were never up late procrastinating  studying for finals.

This is a quick, sloppy banana bread recipe for the lazy or those in a hurry.

What you need:

  • 1 very ripe banana
  • a handful of walnuts (shelled of course. Unless you like to eat the shells.)
  • about 2 1/2 tblsp whole wheat flour
  • maybe 1/4 tsp baking soda or less.
  • about 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • two dashes of nutmeg
  • two dashes of allspice
  • about 1/2 cup of water
  • a bowl
  • a fork
  • a microwave

Peel the banana. Put it in the bowl and mash it up. Crumble the walnuts and put them in. Add the dry ingredients. Pour in enough water to make it a little wetter than cookie dough and more viscous than normal banana bread batter.

Cook it in the microwave for 2 minutes. It will be sticky at that point, but I like my banana bread sticky, so I went no further.

Now it’s time to buy a mattress.

I've been eating oatmeal in this bowl for the past 5 days without washing it. Mmmm

It may not look particularly appetizing--but it's a single serving. Nobody's judging your skillz here.

P.S. I made carrot cake the next day.

5-Minute Carrot Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots
  • 3 tblsp Whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tblsp molasses
  • 1 tblsp honey
  • about 1/2 cup water
  • a handful of walnuts, crumbled

Shred the carrots. Mix the dry ingredients. Mix in the water, molasses and honey. Mix in the carrots and walnuts. Cook for 3 minutes. Consume.

 

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August 8, 2011

Summer Blackberry Cornmeal Cake

by cillefish

This moist summer cake balances rich sour cream with cornbread’s grainy goodness — the result is fresh, summery, and sweet, but avoids the dense cakiness of winter treats. Adapted from this recipe by Matt’s mom.

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg*
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon for skillet
  • 2 containers fresh blackberries (5.6 ounces each), or 11.2 ounces frozen, thawed, and drained (about 2 1/2 to 3 cups)

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter; pour over flour mixture, whisking to combine.

In a 10-inch skillet (preferably cast-iron; a large square stoneware or pyrex dish also works), heat remaining tablespoon butter in the oven until melted and skillet is hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Pour batter into skillet; scatter blackberries on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Bake, with a baking sheet on rack below (to catch any drips), until top is a toasty gold color, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly, about 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen; cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Excellent with vanilla ice cream.

*Matt’s mom tells me she grinds fresh nutmeg into the dry ingredients until it looks right — I’ve never seen that in action, so 1/4 tsp seemed a reasonable guess based on other recipes I know that use nutmeg.

September 6, 2010

Cranberry-Walnut Apple Bagels (and tips for better bagel dough)

by cillefish

*
I made some more homemade bagels (recipe here), this time adding:

  • 1 smallish (fuji-sized) Gala apple, cored, peeled** and minced
  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped up a bit
  • 1/3-1/2 cup walnuts, chopped up so the largest bits are about 1/2- to whole-peppercorn size, max.
  • most of a 1/4 tsp measure of each: cardamom and ground powdered/dried ginger.
  • 5 or so good strokes on the nutmeg-grater of fresh nutmeg, or a SMALL pinch of the pre-ground stuff (but you should get a nutmeg grater and do it yourself because the flavor is WAY better)

These are SO GOOD with butter and honey on them. Great on their own, too; the spices are barely-there, which is good; you could add more if you want, but I think they’ll be a bit obtrusive if you push it.

I came across a few recipes that added a little bit of sugar to the boiling water, so I tried that. The sugar perhaps helps give the bagels a bit more of that slightly-shiny, crusty outside, but the effect wasn’t extremely noticeable.

Notes and Tips on the Dough

I was thinking the extra ingredients would require me to add more water than the 1 1/4 cup I used last time, but I think because the apple and cranberry both carry some moisture (the nuts do, too), it actually requires LESS. I threw in the whole 1 1/2 cup of warm water, and it was way too much. I had to add in almost a half cup of flour, plus maybe 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil to get things back to a relatively-ok consistency.

My issues with the dough this time around reminded me that if you don’t know what good bagel dough is SUPPOSED to look like, getting it right can be a little tricky if you’re used to making other breadlike things that tend to be spongier. My instinct is always to make the bagel dough too wet. RESIST.

It is too wet if it’s sticking to your hands, and way too wet if it’s wanting to STAY stuck to your hands or develop a buildup on them, and makes noisy sucking sounds when you pull your knuckles out of it as you knead. It should barely be a little stick-ish, but should have a polite attitude about it: “you know I’d like to stick to your hands, but I’m too well-bred to do that, and because I’m such a good dough, you can knead me quickly and assertively, and I won’t even stick to your Pyrex bowl.”

Good bagel dough should be dense and stretchy:

…and definitely more dry than sticky, and barely a little shiny once it’s been kneaded fully:

* The photo at the top is of someone else’s cranberry-only homemade bagels, but they look pretty close to mine (mine were a little pinker because of the bit of spices and because the walnuts darkened the flour a bit). Mine got eaten up too fast for me to photograph.

** I peel it with a knife and eat the peel because it’s good for me, and because my landlord stopped letting us put greenwaste in his garden.

September 3, 2010

Apple Pie: Crust Variations and the Best Filling

by horseradishsauce

This is my favorite apple pie recipe. I haven’t tried the cheddar crust yet, but hopefully next time I will make it. By the way, if you want to make the crust vegan, use crisco. I tried it with the only vegan margarine I could find (most of them use whey), and it came out…I don’t know how to describe it, but suffice to say the rest of us tried to convince the vegan to eat the “face pies” instead (the ones made with ingredients that came from things with faces, of course).

So here’s the crust recipe I like, a variation that’s supposedly awesome, the cheddar crust, and a delicious filling recipe I found somewhere online:

Isabelle’s Crust (stolen from Mamma, stolen from Grandmaman, stolen from Crisco)

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter/shortening
  • 3 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 1 egg

Doubled version:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups cold butter/shortening
  • 5 to 12 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 1 egg

Combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until it’s crumbly. Toss with cold water until it’s doughy enough to roll.
Clean your counter, you nasty person. Now flour the surface and put the dough (formed into a ball) on the flour, and dust the top with flour. If you’ve got a rolling pin, flour that and roll out the crust. I used a bowl with a smooth bottom all through college and that worked fine. The palm of your hand will also work. Done? Excellent. Put it in the tin. Add the filling, then pull the extra bits of dough over the top of the filling. Prick some holes in the top of the crust. Beat the egg and brush it over the crust. If you didn’t beat the egg thoroughly, there will be the clumps of the albumen that will like to sink into the recesses of the pie. If you leave them there, they will bake into oddly chewy sections of dough, which I don’t like.

Supposedly the Best Pie Crust

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups shortening or butter, in chunks
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

Combine flour, salt, and sugar. In a small bowl whisk together the water, egg, and vinegar.
Cut butter into dough until large crumbs form.
Add egg mixture, stirring as little as possible until the dough starts to form a ball. Form dough into a ball while working it as little as possible. Dough may be somewhat sticky. Place on a piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Chill for at least an hour. Roll or use as normal. 1/4 of ball will make one crust – bottom or top.
(This dough is very soft. Roll on a well-floured surface and dust with flour as needed while rolling.)
If baking by itself for a no-bake pie, prick the crust all over – even on the sides – with a fork. This will allow the steam to release instead of it puffing up. Bake in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crimped edges are turning golden. Cool compeltely if using a cold filling.

Cheddar Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup (6 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 tablespoons water

Heat oven to 425F. Combine flour & salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle with water while mixing lightly with a fork; form into ball. Divide dough in half. Roll one part to 11″ circle on lightly floured surface. Place in 9″ pie plate. Add filling. Roll out remainder of dough to 11″ circle; place over apples. Seal edges of crust & flute. Cut slits in top of pastry. Bake at 425F, 35 minutes.

Apple Pie Filling

  • 6 large apples
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • probably about 4 tablespoons teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter — cut into bits
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Toss with lemon juice and zest. Mix sugar, flour, and spices. Toss with apples to coat.
Roll half of dough into a round and fit into a 9″ pie pan.Fill shell with apple mixture. Dot top with butter. Roll remaining dough into a round large enough to cover top of apples. Place carefully over apple filling and crimp edges of crusts together. Make slits in top crust to vent. Mix teaspoon of sugar with dash of cinnamon. Brush top of crust with milk and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 20-30 minutes.
Note: even though you think the crust will burn by leaving it in that long, it shouldn’t. The apples will continue to cook and the crust will be the same as if you’d taken it out when it first turned golden. People always ask me whether I cooked the apples first before putting it in the crust :).