orange & olive oil cake

Orange & Olive Oil Cake

it’s somehow well into february
2017 has been the slowest & quickest passing of time.

today,
6 years ago,
i met 2 incredible humans.
just over a month ago
we lost an incredible human.

everything else aside,
we have much to celebrate,
and so we will.

Orange & Olive Oil Cake

orange & olive oil cake
adapted from the splendid table

*note: the recipe calls for the use of a 9″ springfoam pan and a bake for up to 42 min. i grabbed our 8″ pan from the pantry & our oven runs hot so we took it out early and it was just right. a crust forms and it creates a perfect contrast with the soft interior. this is a great accompaniment to morning coffee, 3pm tea or after dinner nosh.

**note: cover well & will keep in fridge for a week.

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
scant 1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
zest of 2 oranges
2/3 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel
powdered sugar, optional, for dusting

preheat oven to 375°F. line an 8″ cake pan with parchment paper. set aside.

in mixing bowl add alllllll the ingredients, except for the powdered sugar, and mix through. (that’s what i did) however, if you want to be correct: dry ingredients first, then add the wet stuff one at a time. mix with a spatula until all the dry streaks are gone.

pour into prepared pan. bake for 38 minutes.

cool for 20 minutes, then flip out of pan onto wire rack to cool completely.

sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, slice and serve.

BAM!

Orange & Olive Oil Cake

3 years ago: 2 flavors of pull apart bread
2 years ago: savory sticky rice
1 year ago: red wine poached pears

kefir biscuits

Kefir Biscuits

the month of december always kicks my ass
the holidays
birthdays
l i f e
on saturday,
when the light in the condo was hazy,
PBS on TV,
and we were debating on if we should
turn the heat on, finally,
dw & i spent the midday making biscuits.
first with lactose free half/half,
then with kefir,
eventually declaring the latter being the better,
and we brought them to share
for a pre-holiday gathering,
because,
it being the season of giving
and sharing,
a time when we need both so dearly.

i know in recent weeks
my posts have been somber in tone,
a realistic reflection of how i’ve been feeling of late.
i talk,
with indignation,
about how things are,
how i perceive them to be.
words, despite what a particular elected official says,
are important,
but equally so,
so are actions.
you’ll notice on the sidebar links
to organizations that i believe in.
donate
volunteer
participate

Kefir Biscuits

kefir biscuits
adapted from local milk

*note: the first time we made this, i used ghee + regular AP flour + homemade buttermilk and they turned out divine. this time ’round we used what was on hand: sprouted spelt flour and it did not rise as fluffily as before, but still turned out delightful, taste-wise.

250 grams sprouted spelt flour, i use one degree
1 TBL baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
56 grams cold unsalted lactose free butter, cut into dice, i use green valley
230 grams whole milk kefir yogurt, i use green valley

preheat oven to 425F. prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.

whisk together the dry ingredients.

add the diced butter to the flour mixture, and using your fingers cut the butter until it’s crumbled to pea-sized.

pour in the kefir milk, stir until no more dry streaks. don’t get overzealous. it shouldn’t be dry, but it’ll still be kinda wet and you’ll freak out, and you’ll be right to freak out. carry on though.

flour work surface and pour the shaggy mess onto it. flour the top of dough and pat it into a rectangle until it’s about an inch thick.

fold the rectangle, rotate dough and gently roll out with a pin.

fold, rotate, and roll out again. be gentle.

fold, rotate, and roll out again. be gentle.

aim for an inch thick.

using square cookie cutter, press down and cut out the biscuits. place on prepared baking sheet, close to each other, as they apparently help with the rising.

bake for 10 minutes, until brown & fluffy.

serve, warm, with assortment of toppings: jam, butter, or honey.

BAM!

Kefir Biscuits

3 years ago: pumpkin challah chips
2 years ago: chocolate chip pb cookies, vegan & gf
1 year ago: chocolate espresso dacquoise – lactose free

brownie cookies

Brownie Cookie

Brownie Cookie

Brownie Cookie

happy thanksgiving week, friends.
i am grateful for you all.

we’re unplugging for about 2 weeks –
traveling
eating
family-ing
movie-ing

speaking of which,
we saw loving recently.
not so long ago,
dw + i would not have been able to marry.
i am thankful for this couple.

this bears repeating,
i am thankful for you all.
be safe.

brownie cookies
adapted from mel’s kitchen who adapted it from urban bakes

note: i made these full on dairy doom since they are being shipped out to a sweet family who don’t have dietary restrictions. when i make these again, i will either use softened coconut oil or with lactose-free butter.
note*: i ended up with 39 cookies

brownie cookie dough:
1 stick + 2 TBL of butter, room temp
5 oz brown sugar
5 oz sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 1/4 oz white whole wheat flour
1.5 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

chocolate chip cookie dough:
1 stick + 2 TBL of butter, room temp
5 oz sugar
5 oz brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
10 3/4 oz whilte whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
super generous handfuls of chocolate chips

for both sets of cookies, making each separately but using the same method:

in a bowl add the dry ingredients, whisk them together. set aside.

in mixing bowl, cream the butter with the granulated sugar and brown brown sugar until creamy and smooth. add in the egg and egg yolk, and vanilla; beat until well incorporated. add in the dry ingredients until just combined and no dry streaks are left (and the chips are evenly mixed).

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

roll out the dough, aim for teaspoon sized balls. we weighed out the brownie dough at 1/2 oz and chocolate chip dough at just a smidge heavier.

smush two differing balls together. sometimes i rolled them together and other times i pressed them and formed a fat disk. the cookies spread so don’t go too crazy flattening them.

bake for 7 minutes.

cool completely.

BAM!

Brownie Cookie

3 years ago: mango pomegranate guacamole
2 years ago: garlic panna cott + curried root vegetable soup
1 year ago: only one thing last year, vegan carrot cake

curried broccoli & cheese soup

Curried Broccoli & Cheese Soup

it’s been an emotional week –
i would be remiss to not mention
the historic shit show that is happening
in American politics right now.
i’ve cried more in the last 6 days than i care to admit
i’ve broken up with people on facebook
i spent the first 24 hours gathering grace,
the next 24 hours cowering,
and now i’m ready to tread out to the deep end.

as the late rufus scrimgeour said:
These are dark times, there is no denying.
Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today.
But I say this to our citizenry:
We, ever your servants,
will continue to defend your liberty
and repel the forces that seek to take it from you!
Your Ministry remains, strong.
(Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling)

stretch in the direction of kindness,
forgiveness, emotional bravery.
be a warrior for love.
(dear sugar, Cheryl Strayed)

Curried Broccoli & Cheese Soup

curried broccoli & cheese soup
serves 2 for a week of lunches

note: the curry flavor is subtle, green curry can be spicy and the coconut milk and cheese tempers it, leaving a rather pleasant heat. you can up the amount if you want, i found that 2 TBL was enough.

healthy splash of olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup spelt flour
2 cups veggie stock
1 can of full fat coconut milk
2 TBL green curry paste, i’ve been using this brand and it’s spicy AF, i like this brand too.
4 cups broccoli florets + stems
2 large carrots, match-sticked
salt/pepper to taste
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese, we use cabot extra sharp cus it clear states that it’s lactose free

in a pot, heat up about 1-2 TBL of olive oil. saute the onions until translucent, with generous pinch of salt/pepper. at this point, you can remove the onions or you can be lazy like me and just push them to the side of the pan. drizzle in a healthy glug of more olive oil, about 3-4 TBL worth and then sprinkle in the spelt flour. you’re aiming to make a roux, so make sure that all the flour is incorporated in the fat. if you aren’t diligent about whisking/stirring it, it’ll get brown, which is fine but the color of your soup will be darker, the taste will be fine though. either way, make sure you fully incorporate the flour with the oil and it’s thick/pasty. add in the stock and coconut milk, as well as the green curry paste. whisk to incorporate the roux and the curry paste together. bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium and add in the broccoli, carrots and garlic. simmer til the vegs are tender, anywhere from 15-20 minutes. the soup will be thick, it can be thinned with a bit of water/stock if necessary. add in the grated cheese and stir through.

ladle into bowls and top with extra cheese if you’re feeling fancy.

BAM!

Curried Broccoli & Cheese Soup

3 years ago: blueberry jam danishes
2 years ago: chickpea & sausage stew (using the same props!)(my style has not changed much)
1 year ago: only one thing last year, vegan carrot cake

sephardic challah with whole spices

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

even though i have a netflix list
of shows/movies queued up
i spend an inordinate amount of time
rifling through the various offerings.
same with HBO Go, Amazon
and don’t get me started on my
to-read books pile.
maybe it’s a fear of missing out,
or that non-committal habit of
having something already but
still seeking something better,
i don’t know,
i just know that when i finally do
settle on something,
my mind is pretty made up,
even if i took 30 minutes to get to that conclusion.

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

in the case of this challah,
i’ve been on an on/off again search
for the ultimate recipe.
i’ve pinned plenty of options,
with private promises of attempting them
and then perfecting them.
i took a baking break during the warmer months,
and when i went looking at my
queued list,
none grabbed my attention.
back to the drawing board.
it took awhile,
but this came along
and i knew i had to make it,
mind made up.

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

sephardic challah with whole spices
adapted from the NY Times
makes 2 loaves

*note: my oven must run hot, or it’s the convection thing, but the loaves became dark around the 10-15 min mark so i would tent with foil for remaining bake time.
*note: toasting and then grinding them would be an excellent way to impart the spices without having to bite into them whole. i don’t mind the whole spices but that’s just me.

scant cup of raisins, soaked in warm water, drained well
4 TBL sesame seeds, divided
1 TBL caraway seeds
1 TBL coriander seeds
1 TBL cumin seeds
1 TBL black sesame seeds
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
5 cups/600 grams bread flour, more for dusting
1/2 TBL cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp/30 grams olive oil, more for rising bowl
75 grams honey (to taste, i was aiming for 50 grams and got a little heavy handed)
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup warm water, more as needed
1/2 TBL kosher salt
2 egg yolks + 1 TBL water for glaze/brush

in a pan, toast 1 TBL of sesame, caraway, coriander, cumin and black sesame seeds over medium heat until toasty-smelling. set aside and cool.
in a small bowl, combine yeast with 2 TBL warm water and ignore while it blooms. if it doesn’t, chuck it and get new yeast.

using stand mixer with dough hook, combine the flour with cinnamon, olive oil, honey, eggs and warm water. mix until a soft dough forms. on this particular day, the weather was kinda dry so i did add about 1-2 TBL of water to the dough to make it softer/pliable.

add in the salt and toasted seeds until the dough is smooth. it’s going to take awhile, about 5-10 minutes. original recipe says to add mix in the raisins then. what i did was i poured the dough onto the lightly dusted counter and gently kneaded the raisins in. it was a smidge sticky but you know, deal with it. transfer to large oiled bow. cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.

line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. set aside.

turn dough onto lightly dusted counter and press down gently to deflate. divide dough in two and rest for 5 minutes.

roll each piece of dough into 18″ long rope and rest for another 5 minutes. then go back and roll into 32″ rope.

take one of the ropes from one end form the dough into a coil, tucking the end under.

repeat for the other rope.

transfer coils onto prepared cookie sheets and cover with large bowl. ignore for 1 hour, until the loaves have doubled in size.

about 30 minutes in, preheat oven to 400F.

whisk the egg yolks with 1 TBL of water. brush the egg wash over the loaves and let stand uncovered while oven warms.

brush with egg wash again and sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds.

if you’re able, bake both loaves side by side, for 30 minutes. i baked them one by one.

transfer loaves to rack and cool before serving/slicing.

can be consumed as is, but i liked it best when slathered with veg butter and drizzled with a bit of honey.

BAM!

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

3 years ago: butternut squash & pearl barley risotto, lactose free
2 years ago: inside out peanut butter cups – vegan, gluten free
1 year ago: i didn’t do shit last year