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Tag Archive: winter

Pumpkin Roulade Cake

October 31, 2015 Print this page

Want a healthy (yet beautiful) dessert that doesn’t have added oils and still tastes delicious? Look no further than this pumpkin roulade cake! Shh…don’t tell anyone…there’s tofu in the filling…

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients

Prep Time 3 hr
Cooking Time 15 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 1 cake (about 12 servings)

FOR THE CAKE:

3 eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup of unrefined cane sugar

1/3 brown sugar

1 cup of pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

Pinch each of nutmeg, clove, and allspice

1/2 teaspoon of salt

FOR THE FILLING:

12 ounces of silken tofu

1/2-3/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder or cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Directions

FOR THE CAKE:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan with wax paper and nonstick cooking spray then set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Fold in the sugars, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract with a spatula until well-incorporated, then gradually fold in the flour mixture (1/2 cup at a time) until everything is combined.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake springs back when touched, about 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, dust a tea towel with confectioner’s sugar and set aside.

Once the cake is fully cooked, let it cool in the pan for five minutes, then invert onto the prepared tea towel. Peel off the wax paper and roll up the cake like a log, rolling from the short side to the long side. Put the cake wrapped in the tea towel on a cooling rack and set aside.

FOR THE FILLING:

In a high-speed blender, process together all of the ingredients for the filling. Taste and add more confectioner’s sugar, if necessary.

Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over medium until bubbling. Next, reduce the heat to low and cook until thickened, about 5-10 minutes, whisking frequently to prevent clumps from forming. Once very thick, transfer the mixture to a bowl and put in the fridge to cool completely.

TO ASSEMBLE:

When both the cake and frosting are cool, unroll the cake onto a cutting board. Using an inverted spatula, spread the filling all over the cake, leaving about an inch around the border to make sure the filling doesn’t come gushing out.

Applying gentle pressure, roll up the cake with the filling inside the same way as you did before. Give it a squeeze to seal the seam and place the cake, seam side down, on a plate or the same cutting board you just used. Put it in the fridge for at least three hours and preferably overnight.

Let sit out for 5-10 minutes to come to room temperature before eating. Dust with confectioner’s sugar or unrefined cane sugar before serving, if desired.


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Boeuf Bourguignon

February 28, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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This winter has been brutal for us Northeasterners. I think this month was the third coldest February on record, I believe? The combination of sub-zero temperatures, blustering winds, and piles and piles of snow has been hard both on the mind and the body, so I’m honestly happy to be kissing February goodbye.

Warm food has been an absolute necessity the past few weeks. And this Boeuf Bourguignon…well, it’ll pretty much comfort you through any amount of wintry precipitation.

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As a self-confessed (and sometimes obnoxious) francophile, I adore a good boeuf bourguignon, otherwise known as a delicious beef stew made with bacon, tons of carrots and pearled onions, and red wine. After seeing Julie and Julia when I was in sixth grade, I pretty much forced my dad to make the infamous dish for me, and I make a habit to order it at least once every time I visit Paris.

This was the first time I actually made the dish myself, and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the results, even though any good French chef would probably guillotine me if he discovered I used neither flour nor butter in my rendition.

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The tricks to making a really outstanding boeuf bourguignon are to use good-quality ingredients and let all of the ingredients braise for A LONG TIME. Most recipes will suggest cooking the dish for an hour and a half or so; I’d say at least two and a half hours are needed to get the beef tender and meld all of the wonderful flavors together.

Don’t fret, though! This extra time needed only means you’ll have a few more hours to laze about and breathe in the wonderful smells. And I promise that waiting will make it taste even more delicious.

I don’t want you to get intimidated by the French name–I want you to be confident and cook this dish, because it’s really not that difficult! You won’t break a sweat and your family, friends, and cats will be impressed that you can make something so chouette.

First, you chop up your bacon into not-too-big cubes…

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…crisp it up, then brown your stew meat…

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…saute the veggies for a while, then add back the bacon and beef along with broth, tomato paste, and wine…

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…and stick it where the sun don’t shine (AKA the oven) for a couple of hours before adding…*drumroll please*…

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…THE MUSHROOMS!!!!!!!!!!!! (Can you tell I like mushrooms a lot?!)

OK, there’s enough fungus among us. Onto the actual recipe.

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Boeuf Bourguignon

I am such a Francophile sometimes, especially when it comes to French food. This is a classic dish from the Burgundy region of France, and while it sounds complicated, it’s not as hard as you might think! I made a few adaptions to lighten the dish up a bit, and I promise you won’t miss any of the butter or flour. 

In the words of Julia Child, the inspiration for this recipe,”BON APPÉTIT!”

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients

Prep Time 30 min
Cooking Time 2 hr 30 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 8 servings

8 ounces of slab bacon, roughly diced (I used beef bacon, but pork is fine too)

2 1/2 – 3 lb beef stew meat, cubed into 1-inch pieces

1 lb carrots, washed well and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices

2 large onions, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup of cognac

3 cups of good red wine

3 cups of low-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 teaspoons of fresh thyme

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lb mushrooms, roughly sliced

1 lb frozen pearl onions

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder + 4 tablespoons of water

Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Heat a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot on the stovetop over medium heat, then add the diced bacon. Cook until most of the fat has been rendered and the bacon has been browned, about 10 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

Toss the stew meat with 1 teaspoon of salt and add half of the pieces to the remaining bacon fat in the Dutch oven. Cook until the beef has been browned, about 5-6 minutes, rotating the pieces once or twice to ensure even browning. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, then repeat the same process with the remaining pieces.

Pour off all but about 1-2 tablespoons of the accumulated fat and add the carrots and onions. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and saute until slightly softened and golden-brown, about 15 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Slowly pour in the cognac and red wine. Increase the heat slightly and bring to a boil. Let cook for 3-4 minutes to burn off some of the alcohol, then stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, bacon, and stew meat pieces. Bring to a boil once more, then cover the pot with a lid and place in the preheated oven.

Cook for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half an hour or so. You’re ready to move onto the next step when the beef and carrots are tender.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt, and cook until starting to brown and becoming soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

When the beef and vegetables are ready, add the mushrooms along with the frozen pearl onions. Cook on the stovetop over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons of cool water. Pour the mixture into the stew, reduce the heat to low, and stir well. If needed, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of arrowroot powder with 2 more tablespoons of cool water and add to the stew to thicken further.

Let cook over low heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with smashed potatoes, your favorite grain, or over a bed of roasted vegetables.


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What is your favorite comfort food when the weather gets super cold? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Boeuf Bourguignon

February 15, 2015 Print this page

I am such a Francophile sometimes, especially when it comes to French food. This is a classic dish from the Burgundy region of France, and while it sounds complicated, it’s not as hard as you might think! I made a few adaptions to lighten the dish up a bit, and I promise you won’t miss any of the butter or flour. 

In the words of Julia Child, the inspiration for this recipe,”BON APPÉTIT!”

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients

Prep Time 30 min
Cooking Time 2 hr 30 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 8 servings

8 ounces of slab bacon, roughly diced (I used beef bacon, but pork is fine too)

2 1/2 – 3 lb beef stew meat, cubed into 1-inch pieces

1 lb carrots, washed well and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices

2 large onions, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup of cognac

3 cups of good red wine

3 cups of low-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 teaspoons of fresh thyme

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lb mushrooms, roughly sliced

1 lb frozen pearl onions

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder + 4 tablespoons of water

Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Heat a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot on the stovetop over medium heat, then add the diced bacon. Cook until most of the fat has been rendered and the bacon has been browned, about 10 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

Toss the stew meat with 1 teaspoon of salt and add half of the pieces to the remaining bacon fat in the Dutch oven. Cook until the beef has been browned, about 5-6 minutes, rotating the pieces once or twice to ensure even browning. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, then repeat the same process with the remaining pieces.

Pour off all but about 1-2 tablespoons of the accumulated fat and add the carrots and onions. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and saute until slightly softened and golden-brown, about 15 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Slowly pour in the cognac and red wine. Increase the heat slightly and bring to a boil. Let cook for 3-4 minutes to burn off some of the alcohol, then stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, bacon, and stew meat pieces. Bring to a boil once more, then cover the pot with a lid and place in the preheated oven.

Cook for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half an hour or so. You’re ready to move onto the next step when the beef and carrots are tender.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt, and cook until starting to brown and becoming soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

When the beef and vegetables are ready, add the mushrooms along with the frozen pearl onions. Cook on the stovetop over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons of cool water. Pour the mixture into the stew, reduce the heat to low, and stir well. If needed, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of arrowroot powder with 2 more tablespoons of cool water and add to the stew to thicken further.

Let cook over low heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with smashed potatoes, your favorite grain, or over a bed of roasted vegetables.


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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti (gluten-free + vegan)

December 25, 2014 1 Comment Print this page

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Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you all have had a nice couple of days relaxing with family and friends.

After spending a grueling few weeks of non-stop homework, tests, and papers from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I am finally enjoying a reprieve in sunny St. Lucia where I have clocked more hours sunbathing in a hammock than I think I ever have before. Of course, this wonderful illusion of not having to do anything will come crashing down in a few days when I return home to the land of studying for midterms and learning about buffers for AP Chemistry, but for now, both my mind and body are in paradise.

Although I am still dreaming about the crunchy deliciousness that are these biscotti…

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I came up with these when I was trying to decide what cookies to make for my teachers this year. I wanted something fun and slightly sophisticated–no chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin here! I then arrived at biscotti, which I decided to flavor with orange and ginger for a slightly-sweet, slightly-citrusy, slightly-spicy flavor profile. With almond flour as the base and pistachios added in, these had a wonderful note of nuttiness as well.

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If you’d like to change up the taste, it’s easy with these cookies! Simply a spice or extract, a citrus fruit (or slightly-acidic fruit), and a nut, and you’re good to go. How about almond, lemon, and vanilla? Walnut, grapefruit, and star anise? Macadamia nut, pineapple, and coconut? You get the idea. Just play around with your favorites and you’ll wind up with a lovely treat. 🙂

Biscotti may sound intimidating, but no need to fear–they’re actually quite easy to make! Simply pulse together the dry ingredients…

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…add the wet ingredients, then fold in the nuts with a spatula…

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…form into a log…

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…bake until golden brown, let cool, slice, and bake again! Easy as that for a lovely treat that still maintains its fancy edge.

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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 15-20 cookies

3 cups of blanched almond flour

3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup of honey or coconut nectar (if you want it to be vegan)

3/4 cup of pistachios, chopped

The zest of 1 large orange

1/3 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice

1/3-1/2 cup of crystallized ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon several times until no clumps of almond flour remain.

Next, add in the liquid sweetener and orange juice and pulse until a sticky ball of dough forms. If the ball doesn’t hold together, add more arrowroot powder and almond flour one teaspoon at a time. If the ball seems too dry, add a little more orange juice (if you have it) or just a teaspoon or so of water. At this point, you should also taste the dough and see if it needs more sweetener or ginger–there are no eggs to worry about, so just go for it!

Remove the blade from the food processor and, using a good spatula, fold in the pistachios, orange zest, and crystallized ginger.

Scoop the dough out of the food processor and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and, using your hands, shape it into a log that’s approximately 12″ by 9″ and isn’t flat as a pancake. Use a rolling pin if you need to to flatten the top.

Bake until the log is lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool to room temperature–this will take 1 to 2 hours, and the longer the wait the better.

Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the log lengthwise (so from shorter side to shorter side) into 15-20 cookies. Turn the oven heat down to 300 degrees and place the cookies back on the baking sheet with one of the lighter sides facing up.

Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side. If the cookies begin to seriously brown, turn the oven heat down to 275 or 250 and/or flip them over a little earlier.

Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Dip in a good cup of coffee and enjoy!


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What is your favorite holiday cookie? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti

December 25, 2014 Print this page

If you like something crunchy with notes of nuts, citrus, and spice, then these cookies are for you! Don’t get intimidated by the name–biscotti just means “twice-baked.” These are a breeze to make and taste SO. GOOD. Make a bunch for the next time you have coffee with friends or would like to give a gift to someone. (Adapted from this recipe.)

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 15-20 cookies

3 cups of blanched almond flour

3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup of honey or coconut nectar (if you want it to be vegan)

3/4 cup of pistachios, chopped

The zest of 1 large orange

1/3 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice

1/3-1/2 cup of crystallized ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon several times until no clumps of almond flour remain.

Next, add in the liquid sweetener and orange juice and pulse until a sticky ball of dough forms. If the ball doesn’t hold together, add more arrowroot powder and almond flour one teaspoon at a time. If the ball seems too dry, add a little more orange juice (if you have it) or just a teaspoon or so of water. At this point, you should also taste the dough and see if it needs more sweetener or ginger–there are no eggs to worry about, so just go for it!

Remove the blade from the food processor and, using a good spatula, fold in the pistachios, orange zest, and crystallized ginger.

Scoop the dough out of the food processor and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and, using your hands, shape it into a log that’s approximately 12″ by 9″ and isn’t flat as a pancake. Use a rolling pin if you need to to flatten the top.

Bake until the log is lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool to room temperature–this will take 1 to 2 hours, and the longer the wait the better.

Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the log lengthwise (so from shorter side to shorter side) into 15-20 cookies. Turn the oven heat down to 300 degrees and place the cookies back on the baking sheet with one of the lighter sides facing up.

Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side. If the cookies begin to seriously brown, turn the oven heat down to 275 or 250 and/or flip them over a little earlier.

Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Dip in a good cup of coffee and enjoy!


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