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Archive for the ‘Brunch’ Category

I’ve been hoping I’d come across a recipe to use that leftover chicken breast I had from a different recipe that was all cooked and chopped in the freezer.

So when I was doing my usual browsing on Pinterest yesterday and came across a pic that looked tasty, I was excited to see its main ingredient was 2 cups of chopped chicken!

I checked out the rest of the recipe and it seemed like it couldn’t be more simple. It was 6 ingredients and only took 30 min to bake.

Since you all know I’ve been super busy and short on time, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to finally get a blog post up.

This turned out totally delicious and I think it’s extremely kid friendly! I hope you enjoy 🙂

P.S. Sorry the color in my pictures stinks. For a more appetizing view of this recipe, click on the Food Family Finds link below.


Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Braid

Adapted from Food Family Finds

Print this recipe!

serves 5

Ingredients
2 cans Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls or 2 cans Pillsbury seamless sheet
2 cups chicken chunks, cooked
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 10-oz box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 egg yolk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, spread both cans of crescents, sealing the long edge of one sheet to the long edge of the other.

Press each of the seams to form a single layer of dough.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, cheese, broccoli and mayonnaise

Spread mixture over the center of the croissant dough evenly to create a log. It should be in a rectangle perpendicular to the seam.

Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut horizontal strips 1 inch apart down each side of the crescent dough bordering the chicken mixture.

Fold the end up and over the chicken. Then fold the dough strips over the top of the chicken mixture, alternating left and right to create a braid.

Brush the top of the braid with a beaten egg yolk.

Bake for 28 – 30 minutes until golden brown. 

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Let me tell you a little story…

Once upon a time there was a girl named Amy who was in the Daring Bakers. She saw that the challenge for this month was croissants.  She was so excited. Who doesn’t love a hot, buttery, flakey pastry in the morning. She knew Nate and his family do, so she was looking forward to giving him a delicious breakfast on the weekend.

She was a little nervous but knew if she followed the recipe that it would all be ok. Sure, they may not be the best, or prettiest croissants in all the world (and most certainly not in France), but she was pretty confident in her ability to be good at most things the first time she tries them.

Things started to go awry when she added the flour and the recipe said it should all “come together”…but it was instead a big, flaky, dry mess. She added a little more water but ended up having to knead it way more than the 8-10 times it said in the recipe,  just to get it to have some semblance of a dough ball shape to it.

Then when she went to roll it out with the butter inside, probably 1/4 of the butter squished out the side. Still, Amy was not deterred. No baking endeavor ever goes perfectly, right?

She thought of the time she left the eggs out of the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving only to remember when the pie had been in the oven for a few minutes. She remembered taking the hot pie out of the oven and pouring out the filling, adding eggs, reforming the melted dough and putting it back in the oven. And then she remembered with a smile how everyone told her it was the best pumpkin pie they’d ever eaten.

“It will all be ok,” she told herself. She wiped her sweaty brow and persevered.

Little did she know that she’d spend the next 10 hours of her life baking, and waiting, and baking and waiting, while the dough rose and slowly got formed into not such bad-looking little croissants.

“They look croissant-y enough, ” she told herelf. She stuck them in the fridge for their last rise overnight.

The next morning she couldn’t sleep. She had croissant dreams. She awoke with a start at 6:17 and knew she had to get up. She took the sheet of formed croissants out of the fridge to warm up and rise more, and preheated the oven. About an hour later she gave them a light egg wash, crossed her fingers, and shoved them in the oven.

 She peeked at them through the oven window every few minutes, making sure they were puffing up and browning nicely. Everything looked ok, or so it seemed.

The timer went off and out they came. Evenly browned and awfully cute. She let them cool a bit, snapped some obligatory photos and then broke one in half. The inside was not light and fluffy. It was doughy and dry. She thought perhaps they were just deceptive-looking croissants, so she took a bite. Dry, tough, and generally not good.

Amy was so disappointed! What did she do wrong?? She followed the recipe to a T. She pouted, she fretted, she complained to Nate, and then she moped around for the next few hours, replaying the whole thing in her head. She was mad at herself. She was angry that she had wasted a whole day to make some dry, crescent rolls. Eventually she distracted herself enough to forget it and get on with her day.

Several days later she decided to log onto the Daring Bakers forum and see if anyone else had a problem with their croissants being tough. There before her very eyes were posts saying that the recipe must be incorrect because it seemed like too much flour, and then a confirmation that the flour amount was indeed 3 times more than it should have been.

She wasn’t sure if she should cry with relief that she didn’t suck at baking, curse that she ever doubted her croissant-making abilities, or be incredibly angry that she devoted 12 hours of her life (and an entire day of her weekend) to making an incorrect recipe. I think she did all three and felt much better.

And so, when her confidence, energy, and enthusiasm are restored, Amy will attempt these delectable pastries once again, and hopefully she will triumph.

The end.

Blog-checking lines: The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

The recipe was long and detailed, but if you’d like to see a similar recipe/tutorial, visit here. I promise it has the correct amount of flour in it 😉


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For those of you who don’t know, later in this week is Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year.

The traditional food that one eats at Rosh Hashannah is honey, for a “sweet” New Year. So in honor of the holiday, I made this honey cake that my mom recommended.

Honey cakes are very often  made on Rosh Hashannah so there are a lot of recipes going around out there, but most of them are pretty average. I have to say that all the spices in this one made it really flavorful.

I can’t write too much more because this has been a long day…I got engaged!!!! What a sweet way to start off the new year!

So this short post will have to do. I hope you enjoy this, while I go admire my ring 🙂

Levana Kirschenbaum’s Honey Cake

Taken from Levana

Print this recipe!

Makes one 10-inch tube/bundt pan

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup honey (see note)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup very strong warm tea (2 tea bags steeped in 1 cup hot water)
1/2 cup ground almonds, optional
3 tablespoons sliced almonds (add only if using the ground almonds)

In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon an set aside.

In a food processor, process the eggs with the sugar, honey, and oil, just until combined. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the tea. Pulse 2 to 3 times after each addition, just to incorporate. Add the ground almonds, if desired.

Pour the batter into a greased 10-inch springform pan or tube pan. Top with the sliced almonds, if using. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Invert the cake onto a rack to cool. Turn right side up to serve.

Note: If you measure the oil for the recipe first, then use the same measuring cup to measure the honey, the honey will slide out easily.

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I’ve been on a flatbread kick lately. But not just any flatbread…flatbread that doesn’t require yeast, is quick to make, and has the delicious, doughy, flaky bread consistency.

Lucky for me I have a new food buddy who came to the rescue. I’ve recently reconnected with a friend from high school, Emily, who was living abroad in Paris for the last two years and just moved back to nyc.

It’s very exciting to have someone I can discuss food/cooking/recipes with 🙂 I have a lot of other friends who like food, but liking food and knowing how to cook it are two very different things. Emily actually has a food blog as well that has some great recipes!

So when I told Emily about my flatbread dilemma, she provided me with two recipes, both based on the Indian roti bread. I kind of combined them into one puffy, flavorful masterpiece that I highly recommend. It goes extremely well with an Indian Spiced Chicken and Butternut Squash Stew that I will be posting in the next week.


Yeast-Free Cilantro Chickpea Flatbread

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Print this recipe!

makes 8- four inch flatbreads

3/4  cup unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup (or more) plain low-fat yogurt
Olive oil (for frying)

Combine first 6 ingredients into medium bowl. Whisk to mix. Stir in cilantro.

Add yogurt and stir with fork until small clumps form. Knead mixture in bowl just until dough holds together, adding more flour or yogurt by tablespoonfuls for soft and slightly sticky dough. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead just until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into ball, then roll each dough piece out on floured surface to 4 1/2-inch round. Brush large nonstick skillet generously with olive oil; heat over medium heat.

Working in batches, add 3 dough rounds to skillet; cook until golden brown and puffed, adjusting heat to medium-high as needed to brown evenly, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer flatbreads to platter; serve warm. 

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I’ve had this recipe sitting in my blog drafts for a while now. But now that it’s September, and corn season is almost over, I figured I’d better get my butt in gear!

This, my friends, is one of the tastiest ways I’ve ever enjoyed corn. Now, I will say that I love a good ear of corn in the summer, and when it’s really good I like it simply steamed or grilled with a tad of butter and some salt. I almost hate to cut it off the cob and mix it with stuff, because then you can’t taste the delicious, sweet corn flavor.

Therefore my advice to you is to only make this when you happen to cook up some corn, nibble on it a bit, and find that it’s sub-par. This will prevent any bouts of “corn guilt.” So if you happen to have corn that’s starchy and bland, then this recipe will turn your corn disappointments around. Or, if you happen to live in a corn field and have ample corn at your disposal, then this will suit you as well.

Either way, you should definitely find a way to make this before September ends. It’s creamy, tangy, rich, fresh, and delicious and you will not be sorry…even if you happen to use the last of your good corn.


Roasted Corn with Lime, Parmesan and Chili
From food52(You can print this recipe from the food52 site :))

Serves 2

Ingredients:

3 medium ears corn
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon mayonnaise, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sour cream, at room temperature
Âź cup milk, at room temperature
Juice of 1 large lime, plus wedges for serving
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Generous pinch of cayenne

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Shuck the corn and cut the kernels from the cobs, tossing them in a bowl with the olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper.

Spread the kernels evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, scraping and turning over the kernels once or twice, until they’re tender and lightly caramelized.

Put the corn back into the bowl and stir in the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, lime juice, Parmesan and cayenne. Taste and adjust any of the flavorings, including salt and pepper, if necessary. (If the corn is at all sticky, just add some more milk.)

Serve immediately, with lime wedges, while still warm.

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While Nate was enjoying his birthday cake leftovers for days, I was feeling kind of left out on the dessert-front. It’s not that Nate wouldn’t share his leftovers with me, it’s more that I didn’t think I needed to be eating such a high calorie dessert every night…at least until I start working out regularly again 😦

But I’m the kind of person that needs a little something sweet after meals. I’m pretty sure I can thank my dad for that nasty little habit.

Anyway, I figured if I made a dessert on the heatlhy side, it would satisfy me plenty while Nate chowed down on cake.

As you know, I still have lots of cider in my fridge, so I thought I’d put it to good use. In my search for cider recipes, I came across one for Cider Poached Pears with a Yogurt sauce. I altered it slightly, based on ingredients I had available, and the result was totally delicious.

And the best part is that when Nate walked into the apartment, he said that it smelled “like cider.” What an awesome natural air freshener! And it even made it feel a little closer to fall 🙂


Cider-Poached Pears with Honey Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from Curtis Stone

Print this recipe!

Serves 8

Ingredients:

2 cups apple cider (non-alcoholic!)
2 oranges, juice (approx 1 cup), one zested and one peeled, peels reserved
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
4 pears, peeled, halved and cores removed with Parisian scoop (melon baller)
1 containter 2% Greek yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cinammon or more as desired

Preparation:

Put first 3 ingredients in large pot. Scrape seeds out of vanilla bean and add seeds and bean to pot. Bring ingredients to a boil.

Add the pears and cook at a gentle simmer for 10-20 minutes or until a paring knife inserted into the pears meets a little resistance. Cooking time will be determined by the ripeness of the pears.

Remove from heat and allow pears to cool in the poaching liquid.

Once cool, remove pears from liquid and set aside.

Return poaching liquid to medium heat and reduce to a glaze.

In small bowl, combine yogurt, honey and cinnamon.

To serve, slice the pears in quarters from top to bottom, place in the center of four serving plates, spoon over some yogurt and drizzle with glaze.

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lemons brown bananas, make banana bread!

My mom recently decided to bestow 3 extremely brown bananas on me. I suppose not everyone would appreciate such a gesture, but I was ecstatic! It’s rare for me to remember to buy bananas, and even less likely for me to have ones ripe enough for a perfect banana bread.

If you’ve ever made banana bread with yellow bananas, you’re doing it wrong. Even ones heavily mottled with brown spots aren’t quite there. The best bananas for bread have to be brown and so soft that they’re falling apart. If you happen to have bananas in this state and don’t have time to be baking banana bread, remove the peel and put them in a ziploc in the freezer until you’re ready.


Please don’t forget to peel them before you freeze them. I made this mistake once, and that’s all it took. It’s literally impossible to remove the peel, and just messy after it defrosts. Trust me.

Anyway, I wanted to make some changes to my family’s absolute favorite banana bread recipe. I’m not one to alter perfection, but I had some buttermilk leftover from making baked chicken fingers, and didn’t want it to go to waste. I also, for some unknown reason, had the idea that I wanted to throw some polenta into the recipe to give it a little crunch.

When I first took the bread out of the oven and cut myself a slice, I wasn’t sure what to think. It wasn’t the bread I was used to, and I’m not big on change.

But when I had another taste the next day, I kind of liked the subtle, crunchier texture. I mean, it’s not the recipe from childhood, but that’s ok. I can always go back to the old recipe, but I think this one might stick around for a while.


Chocolate Chip Polenta Banana Bread

Recipe by Me

Print this recipe!

Makes 1 loaf

1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup flour
1 cup polenta
1/2 cup light buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Grease bottom of a loaf pan.

Mix together sugar and egg, by hand or with mixer. Mix in bananas, butter, and buttermilk.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, polenta, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to banana mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into loaf pan.

Bake 50-60 minutes til golden, and toothpick comes out clean.

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