Category Archives: Baking

Out in the Rain

Peach Dutch Baby

Peach Dutch Pancake

There is nothing like a good rain storm to make everything seem fresh and new and wonderful.  There is also nothing like waking up on a rainy day to the smell of peaches and cinnamon – or baking something that smells like cinnamon and peaches!  Hurricane Arthur decided to chill off the coast a few days ago and while I waited for the heavier bands to go away I decided to make my hubby a delicious (and not so nutritious) breakfast featuring fresh peaches.   I’ve had dutch babies before and while I thought I made them before apparently that was not the case – so husband was quite surprised by the fluffy breakfast item.

Out in the Rain

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Place the butter on a 10 inch tart pan and preheat in the oven.
  2. Whisk the eggs until foamy in a large bowl before adding the milk, set aside. Blend the dry ingredients together in a small bowl then quickly blend with the wet ingredients until just mixed.
  3. Toss the sliced peaches in the cinnamon and nutmeg, once the tart pan has been preheated align the peaches on the bottom. Pour the dough over top and then bake for 20-25 minutes or until the outer rim is golden brown.
  4. Remove and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/07/out-in-the-rain.html

I enjoyed mine “naked” but powdered sugar would be a great addition to this treat for those who like things on the sweeter side.   I’m sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their pit fruit challenge – and as a bonus this recipe would also work fantastically with cherries and other pit fruits.  In fact I might give a cherry version a try this weekend – regardless of weather!

Dance Magic

Peruvian Corn Pie

Peruvian Corn Pie

Nothing like a cooking challenge to get me out of my funk, and in this case it’s a cooking challenge from /52weeksofcooking featuring Peruvian cuisine.  My experience with Peruvian food is limited to one night back in middle school at the Girl Scout house Our Cabana.  While the house is in Mexico, they do regional dishes to reflect the Girl Guides/Scouts staying there and for my visit that included a night filled with Peruvian treats!  While most of them were not vegetarian friendly, something that mattered even then, there was this one corn dish that was fantastic: Pastel de Choclo.  The closest translation I got was Corn Pie, and thanks to Google it was rather easy to find a few variations of this tasty treat!   From there I just replaced the meat with some beans and increased the vegetables – which is about as easy as it gets.

Dance Magic

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup black olives, diced and pitted
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, diced
  • 2 tomatillos, diced
  • 2 cups pinto beans, presoaked
  • 1 cup black beans, presoaked
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn off the cob
  • 2 cups of your favorite cornbread recipe

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep saute dish and add the spices. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and then add the garlic and onion. Cook for an additional 7 minutes, allowing the garlic to brown and the onion to turn golden.
  2. Add the peppers, tomatoes, olives and tomatillos and continue cooking for another 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the corn and beans, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 and lightly grease a 9x9 baking dish
  4. Prepare 2 cups of your favorite cornbread recipe, pouring half in to the bottom of the baking dish. Gently pour the cooked vegetables on top, and then finish with the remaining cornbread batter.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until top is golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/05/dance-magic.html

The best part about this dish is that it changes every time I make it, primarily based on what’s in season.   It can also be easily adapted for Gluten Free or Vegan dining by using a GF or Vegan friendly cornbread recipe.   While this probably takes away from some of the authenticity of the dish, it always brings back some awesome memories – and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Bottom of the Pit

Salted Rosemary Pretzel Buns

Pretzel Buns

I’m really hoping that with this last round of snow Mother Nature is finally done with winter – I’m ready for cherry blossoms, green grass, and spring vegetables!  We had a brief glimpse of spring over the weekend, to include the sighting of a few tulips, but now the world is again covered in a white blanket.  The only positive about winter continuing is that it gives me a little more time to plot out my spring recipes, to include the conquering of a few more new-to-me vegetables.  Today’s post however is not a veggie post – it’s a post about a delicious treat that is best enjoyed while walking down the city street (or at a ball stadium).   Pretzels might not the THE street food that everyone thinks of, but when I saw the challenge on /52weeksofcooking my mind went to pretzels.  Maybe because they are one of the few vegetarian items readily available from conventional street vendors, as I was trying to avoid caving in to the temptation of recreating something from a more modern food truck.

Bottom of the Pit

Serves: Yields 6 Buns

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 cup HOT water
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Mix the yeast, sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Form a well in the middle and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil and water and slowly pour in to the well. Quickly mix all the ingredients and then kneed for 5-7 minutes on a flat surface.
  3. Lightly oil the large bowl and place the dough in the bowl, rolling the dough around to cover in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a dry/warm location for an hour, or until dough has double.
  4. Combine the baking soda and hot water in a shallow bowl or saute pan.
  5. Divide the dough in to 6 balls. Remove the balls out at time, keeping the others covered in the bowl. Roll the dough out to form a snake like shape, then twist and form a bun.
  6. Dunk in to the water/baking powder mix then place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and repeat for remaining dough. Top with the fresh rosemary and kosher salt.
  7. Place pretzels in oven and heat to 415. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/03/bottom-of-the-pit-2.html

I can easily say the hardest part of this recipe was figuring out the right way to form them.  Since that didn’t really work for me I decided to twist them in to a bun shape – which turned out fantastic.  The quick baking soda bath gave them their distinct outer shell while the bun insured the inside was soft and moist!   Now it’s back to doing an anti-snow day since rumor has it more is coming on Tuesday…

Now They Know

Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread

Apparently Mother Nature forgot to check her calender for it’s snowing in March in the Mid-Atlantic, and that’s just not right (or normal).  This is resulting in a very large number of soups in my household, and with that a lot of crusty bread for soaking up every last drop.  However one can not survive on crusty bread alone, so I decide to spice things up by adjusting one of my favorite cornbread recipes.  The first few times I made this by just topping the muffin dough with the pepper and cheese, but quickly realized that folding them in was the better option – even though it increases the risk of heavy muffins.   In my oh-so-scientific experimentation I found that adding folding in the pepper and cheese with the last bit of flour seems to keep the muffins fluffy while still insuring a mostly even distribution of the cheese and peppers.

Now They Know

Serves: Yields 12 Standard Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal (yellow or white)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and lightly grease a muffin tin.
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl create a well in the middle, then set aside. Beat together the vegetable oil, milk, and egg.
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients in to the well and quickly mix together, right before fully mixed fold in the cheese and pepper.
  4. Spoon the batter in to the pre-greased tins, filling about 3/4 of the way.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until tops are a golden brown. Allow to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes - then serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/03/now-they-know.html

These muffins are the perfect addition to a nice comforting soup, allowing you to soak up all the goodness – with just the right little kick.  For those looking for a real boost serrano peppers can easily be switched in, either seeded or as is.   Just be warned that these muffins are rather addicting, so if you serve them to guests be prepared to share the recipe!  Or risk having them call you up at dinner time asking for the recipe…