Sunday, September 30, 2012

Parmesan-Herb Biscuits


Parmesan-Herb Biscuits

Adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe



2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1 Tbs. baking Powder

1 1/4 tsp. kosher Salt

2 tsp. Sugar

8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder

2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf Parsley

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. Buttermilk

2 Tbs. unsalted Butter, melted (for brushing)



To make the biscuits: In a large bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, the baking powder, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until pea-size crumbs form, then use your fingers to smear the butter into flat disks. Stir in the cheese, chives and parsley. Stir in the buttermilk until the dough just comes together.


Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll out into a 9 1/2-by-11-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, rotate 90 degrees and roll out into the same-size rectangle. Fold again into thirds, rotate 90 degrees and roll out into a 7-by-9 1/2-inch rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Using a floured 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits. Gather up the scraps, reroll the dough and cut out more biscuits. You should have 13 biscuits.


Preheat an oven to 425ºF.


Arrange the biscuits on a greased baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Transfer to the oven and bake until the biscuits are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a biscuit comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.


Friday, September 28, 2012

32 Weeks..and a Finished Nursery.(from a couple weeks ago)

I am actually just about 34 weeks now, but here are some photos from a few weeks ago of our finished nursery, and some recent belly pics from 32 weeks.

Due to unforeseen events, we were admitted to the hospital the Wednesday after these were taken for pre-term labor, and spent 5 days there trying to get my labor stopped. I am happy to report that I am resting, the babies are healthy, and I will be on bedrest until I deliver.

On the upside-the hubby finished our nursery, and I must say it's totally awesome! Our jungle themed ideas really came together. Especially once our mural was up. Check out some of the photos below:

Since I am on bedrest, I am trying to catch up on some blogging (yes, I have been a bad, bad girl), since I can no longer cook. I will however be posting some of the recent recipes I have cooked that I have been saving up.

The goal is to get to at least 35 weeks, but 37 would be preferable. We toured the NICU before discharging from the hospital, and frankly, it scared the hell out of us. We wouldn't want the babies to suffer unnecessarily, or have to deal with feeding, or breathing issues, just to name a few. So for now I am completely focused on hibernating and incubating these babies, until they decide they are ready to meet the world. We are so excited!!!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lemon-Almond Sugar Cookies


Lemon-Almond Sugar Cookies

*makes 4 dozen-1 tablespoon cookies



2 cups granulated Sugar

Zest of two large Lemons

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon Almond extract

1 tablespoon Lemon extract

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon Baking powder

½ teaspoon Baking soda

3 ¼ cups All-purpose Flour

½ cup powdered Sugar



I adapted this from a Slow Roasted Italian recipe (I only changed a couple minor things), but found that the increase in lemon flavor was simply spectacular.


Preheat oven 350°F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.


In the bowl of a stand mixer or an electric mixer combine sugar and lemon zest, until sugar is coated in lemon.


Add butter, cream until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes.  Add almond extract, lemon extract and eggs.  Mix until combined.  Scrape sides down as needed.  Add salt, powder, soda and flour.  Mix until combined.  Scrape sides of bowl as necessary.


Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Scoop 1 tablespoon portions of dough and roll into a ball.  Roll in powdered sugar until coated.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.  I made 12 per sheet, but you could easily fit 18.


I baked mine for 14 minutes, but the recommended time is only 9-11 minutes. We live in a higher altitude, so I attributed that to the longer cooking time. Make sure once you remove from the cookie sheet you allow to cool on a cookie rack, then sprinkle with more powdered sugar.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Carrot-Coconut-Pineapple Spice CupCakes

Carrot-Coconut-Pineapple Spice CupCakes
with Rummy Cream Cheese Icing

CupCake Ingredients:

1 cup chopped Dates

3/4 pound raw Carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)

½ cup crushed canned Pineapple tidbits

2 cups All-purpose Flour

1 cup shredded Coconut

1 teaspoon Baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground Nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground Ginger

4 large eggs

1 & ¼ cup granulated white Sugar

½ cup brown Sugar

1 tablespoon Vanilla

1 cup unsalted Butter (2 sticks)

2 teaspoons Rum extract


Rummy-Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted Butter, room temperature (1 stick)

8 ounces  Cream cheese, room temperature

2 ½ cups confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

3 teaspoons dark Rum, or rum extract

1 teaspoon ground Nutmeg

Heavy cream to desired thickness (1 teaspoon at a time)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper. 


Peel and finely grate the carrots. Chop dates in food processor. Drain juice from pineapple tidbits and set aside. Toast coconut until golden brown.


In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.


In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the rum and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots, pineapple, coconut and dates.  


Evenly divide the batter into 2 cupcakes pans, totaling 24 cupcakes, each lined with a cupcake liner. Bake approx. 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 


Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Rummy-Cream Cheese Frosting:

In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, just until blended with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth.  Beat in the vanilla extract, rum, and nutmeg. Gradually add whole cream until you reach the desired consistency and thickness. Pipe into cupcakes.