Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Star Of Breakfast

The best gifts show someone how much you love, not how much you spend.
Love is in the details.

Merry Christmas!

The Star of Breakfast:
Using cookie cutter, cut star shape out of center of bread. Toast the cut out star. Place bread slice into a well buttered skillet on medium heat. Once one side is golden, flip over toast and crack egg into center of star. Cover and cook until egg white is firm. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with toasted star.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

5 Minute Fritter

Today I was in the mood for a little gluttony, a little soul comforting goodness that would cure me of my winter blues. This 5 minute fritter fit the bill. I peeled, cored and sliced one small fuji apple, yielding 4 perfect rings. A quick dip in a light batter and into the oil they dropped. Almost as quickly as they went in, they began to turn a gorgeous golden brown. A minute or two on each side was all they required to achieve that crispy fried exterior. The batter puffed like a pillow surrounding the apple and the fruit inside was warm and juicy. The taste was somewhere between a donut and an apple dumpling, two of my childhood favorites. With each bite, that warm feeling of nostalgia poured over me. Topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, these sinful little devils were the perfect dose of guilty pleasure I was looking for. Oh, sweet sweet joy!

Fritter Batter:
1/2 C flour
1/2 C almond milk
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP butter - melted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg

In a mixing bowl, beat egg. Mix in milk and butter. Add sugar, baking powder, salt, and flour and stir to create batter. Peel, core and slice apple into rings. Dip each apple ring into batter and then drop into hot canola oil. Fry until golden brown on each side... about 2 minutes each side. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Baking Confession...

I would love to say that I bake everything from scratch, but that is not even remotely true. Scratch baking intimidates me. I am a person who likes to "wing it" in the kitchen and that does not fly in the world of edible chemistry. Baking requires discipline. Measuring is important, recipes are important, exact temperatures are important. If something is off by even half a teaspoon, the whole thing could flop. I personally can not succeed within those parameters, therefore, I cheat. When I get the urge to bake, I bust out the store bought pie crusts, the puff pastry sheets, or a boxed cake mix and improvise from there. At least I know my limitations. My favorite example of how to church up a cheap store bought item is this twist on Jiffy cornbread. With a few simple additions, the inexpensive boxed mix is transformed into a spicy, delicious treat. Imagine this tasty little number snuggled up next to a steaming bowl of chili on a cold winter's day. We can't all be professional chefs, but we all gotta eat.

Spicy Cheddar Corn Muffins:

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 C half and half (box calls for milk, I used half and half)
1/4 C diced red pepper
1/4 C diced poblano pepper
1/2 C grated sharp cheddar
1/2 C white sweet corn
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix contents of box with 1 egg and the half and half. Add in all the peppers, corn, pepper flakes and cheese and mix thoroughly. Scoop into greased muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes.