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Showing posts from October, 2012

honey buns

Will you be my honey bun? ;)


Last year during musical auditions, I listened to my friend Tessa practice the song Honey Bun from South Pacific.  I tried my hardest to pay attention to her singing...I swear! But all I could think about were buns covered in honey. (I'm so weak!).


Thanks to Sandy (aka "Frankenstorm"), I actually had time to satisfy the honey bun craving that has been tormenting me since last year.  These little buns are absolute perfection.


They are crisp and crusty on the outside, but extremely light and airy on the inside.  Due to their light texture, it is possible to down about five of these in one sitting (not like I know anything about that...).  And what really takes these little buns to the next level is the honey butter glaze.


I didn't merely "brush" these with glaze like the recipe suggested. Oh no, sir. I full-on dunked these into a piping hot bowl of butter and honey. Oh baby.


These were the perfect thing to munch on while drinking …

everyday vita: the calm before the storm

There's a storm a-brewin'. I can feel it in my bones...
(not actually, but I'm jealous of the people who can.)
This is supposed to be the storm of the century, "Frankenstorm," the Stormpocolypse.
I couldn't be more excited.


I don't have to take my Chinese test tomorrow, I don't have to change out of my red flannel pajama pants, I don't have to pick out an outfit...

Tomorrow I plan on spending about 5 hours on Pinterest, and I won't feel bad about it because hey, there's no school!  Maybe I'll bake some honey buns, because I'll actually have time for the yeast to rise.

This morning, I made rye flour crepes for my mom and me.  I love the nutty flavor that the rye gives them.  My favorite way to eat these is with a big squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar.  It reminds me of Paris.



Then I spent a little while reading Othello (see, I wasn't totally unproductive despite the storm!).


Sitting by the window, listening to rai…

recipe showdown: apple pie

Last year when we went to my grandma's house for Thanksgiving, I made Grandma Ople's famous apple pie and it was a huge hit.  But I have never believed the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" So I invented my own saying.

"Even if you think it's the best, try everything else to make sure that it really is the best. Only then can you earn bragging rights."   -- Erica

Pretty profound right? That's basically  the philosophy of Recipe Showdown, and why I encourage you guys to challenge me to try your recipes.  The quixotic task of finding the perfect recipe is never-ending, but the process is delicious.


As soon as the leaves begin turn orange, I start thinking about Thanksgiving.  Stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, mashed potatoes, and the essential assortment of pies.  Chocolate pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, boysenberry pie, and my personal favorite, apple pie. 

This year, I want to make sure that I make the best apple pie yet.  I saw …

custard cornbread

When the air gets chilly, there is nothing I love more than a big, steamy bowl of my mom's soup.  She makes ratatouille, chili, and minestrone. But my all time favorite is her butternut squash soup.  It is delicious on its own, but it's absolutely perfect with a big wedge of custard-y cornbread on the side.

It's kind of a funny story how I found this recipe.  I was perusing the internet, the usual suspects (i.e. Pinterest and Foodgawker), and saw something strange, almost disgusting, and oh-so intriguing.  It was called spider cake. (perfect for Halloween right?!)
A cake with spiders in it? God I hope not!
A spider shaped cake? A spider shaped cake? Won't that be hard to get out of the pan?
Soon enough, I found out that this cake has absolutely nothing to do with spiders. Whew. Because I am completely arachnophobic.
It's actually a delicious cornbread with a lovely, custard filling.  Crumbly, buttery, and with a super-crisp outside.  Exactly how cornbread should be…

apple pie ice cream

You may be under the impression that I have boundless energy.  Decorating pumpkins, taking endless pictures of leaves, and churning my own butter in my spare time.  Confession, I'm one of the laziest people I know.


Here is why.  When an apple pie craving strikes, the thought of cutting myself a slice, walking to the freezer, finding the vanilla ice cream under all of the frozen fruit, searching every single drawer in the kitchen for the ice cream scoop, warming the slice in the microwave for an entire minute and a half, and scooping the ice cream is way too complicated.  I usually end up eating the pie cold. With my hands. And that's no fun.

That's why I invented this little concoction, apple pie ice cream.  This recipe does not require an ice cream maker.  Mainly because I am too lazy to order one. But boy is this stuff good.  Apples sauteed in butter, graham cracker crumbs, and homemade caramel sauce make this ice cream taste just like apple pie.

Funny how I'm total…

everyday vita: boo

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a relaxing Sunday!
This past week was pretty busy for me.  I had to take the PSAT on Wednesday. The worst part about standardized tests isn't reading about the agriculture of the ancient Mayans, locating the misplaced modifiers or (trying) to remember the distance formula.  The worst part is the "personal information sheet." I spent about 5 minutes alone trying to remember my school's address (before realizing that it was written on the white board).  But oh well. At least we got an hour and a half for lunch after that ordeal.

Since it was a stressful week, I needed plenty of butter, sugar, and other shenanigans to distract me from all of the work I was supposed to be doing.  Let me tell you about them. 

1) I made a chevron pumpkin when I was supposed to be studying vectors. Isn't it pretty?

 2) I went for a nice 4-mile run yesterday. I told myself I would think about my early modern European history reading while I ran…

oreo cheesecake brownies

We have already established that cream cheese brownies are an absolute must-have in the repertoire of any baker (especially when that baker is often called upon to supply high school bake sales and fundraisers).  But what would happen when you throw a box of Oreos into the batter?

Amazing things, I tell you.

Imagine a big wedge of the Cheesecake Factory's Oreo Cheesecake that you can hold in your hand.  Sure, it's not the classiest thing to ever come out of my oven... but who cares.  Warm one (or two) up in the microwave, top with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, and enjoy a filthy good treat. 

With love,
Erica

Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped Oreo cookies Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides…

apple pancake rings

Yesterday after school, I bought 30 gala apples at the grocery store. 30 APPLES!  I nearly broke my back trying to carry them all home.  But my efforts payed off when I made these apple pancake rings. 

Why so many apples? I am in the process of doing a new recipe showdown -- searching for the best apple pie ever (just in time for Thanksgiving!).  But alas, I needed something to do with all of the extra apples.  I have a couple exciting ideas -- including some apple pie ice cream... but that's for another day. Today, we're talking about apple pancake rings!

These are a great way to use up this seasons bounty of apples. Plus, they are a bit healthier (and may I add tastier?) than regular pancakes.  If you are ambitious and would like to use your own recipe for pancake batter, go right ahead (just make it a bit thicker than usual so that it sticks to the apple slices).  These are so yummy though, I use premade mix *gasp!* to get these drowned in maple syrup ASAP.

In addition t…

soft salted caramels (no corn syrup!)

Holiday season is quickly hurdling our way.  It seems like just yesterday I was sitting by the poolside eating frozen watermelon cubes and trying not to bake in the sun.  However, today, I am knee-deep in homework with a dire craving for baked goods (particularly Christmas cookies and anything caramel-y).  Instead of starting my history paper, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start building my holiday inventory #procrastibaking.  From November to January, the area surrounding my house permanently smells like butter and sugar, chocolate chips are shipped by the pound to my doorstep, and my Kitchen Aid's busy whipping up egg whites like it's nobody's business.  I must have plenty of cookies, toffees and other goodies stashed away at all times. It makes me feel secure.  What would happen if I was caught off guard without a cookie in store?  I don't know, but I don't want to find out.  Just like squirrels start hoarding nuts around this time or year,…

recipe showdown: cinnamon rolls

I like big buns and I cannot lie.  I would choose a warm, gooey, buttery cinnamon bun over chocolate cake any day.  Since they are always the star of the brunch table, they better be good.


This may have been my favorite experiment yet.  What would I rather do on a Monday night than play with pounds of butter, sweet brown sugar, and huge blocks of cream cheese? Um, nothing. 


Even hours after these magical buns came out of the oven, my entire house smelled like that heavenly corner of the food court near Cinnabon.  The aroma is so distinct, sweet, buttery -- just the smell of Cinnabon can catch me halfway across the mall.




maple glazed cinnamon buns clone of a cinnabon description This recipe was developed by none other than Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman.It has a unique, maple coffee icing. I have made these buns in the past and finished almost the entire tray singlehandedly. This recipe has over 4500 five-star ratings on All Recipes, and is said to taste even better than t…