Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blue Razzleberry Pie for National Blueberry Pie Day

Blue Razzleberry Pie 4-27-13

Today is National Blueberry Pie Day!  The wonderful folks at Driscoll's recently sent me $15 worth of coupons for their delicious berries to celebrate the day.  Thanks, Driscoll’s!

A couple issues came up.  I couldn’t find Driscoll’s blueberries around here.  I tried a few places.  I was really bummed.  But I do have blueberries from last year in my freezer so I used those and in honor of Driscoll’s berries, I did (much more easily) find their raspberries and blackberries at my local grocery store.  SO, I decided to make a mostly blueberry pie and threw in some raspberries and blackberries.  Thus the reason I’m calling my pie a Blue Razzleberry Pie.  Clever, I know.  I can’t help it. ;)


Look at all the berry-goodness!  I set out to find just the pie recipe I wanted to make and settled on this one I found at Bon Appetit Magazine website.  I wanted to have a streusel topped pie and this fit the bill.  But friends, can I just tell you how frustrating it is when I make a pie crust and follow directions exactly and STILL have crust that shrinks while it’s baking.  Sigh.  I’m going to figure this out.  Maybe it’s a Utah/higher altitude issue.   Irks me to no end though when I prebake a crust and it’s shrinks.  I think I’m going to not prebake a crust and see if it helps.  I know, some think I’ll then have a soggy crust, but I’ve never had that happen.  If you see all that juice in the bowl of macerating berries, I didn’t put it all in the pie.  I knew since the blueberries had been frozen that it was too much. 

Shrunken pie crust

Isn’t that purty?  Not.

But I carried on and put the berries in the pie and the streusel on top and baked it.  The Bon Appetit recipe said to bake it for one hour and 15 minutes, checking it after 30 minutes to see if the crust is getting too brown and if so to cover it with foil.  I thought the crust looked just right, so I did cover it loosely with foil.  Set the timer for another 30 minutes.  I peeked in on it after about 15 and it looked great.  By the time the second 30 minutes were up, the entire bottom of the crust was swimming in a blue-purple blueberry goo.  SIGH!  I can’t tell you how upset that makes me. 

Blue Razzleberry Pie 3

I found solace in knowing that the pie would still taste great.  It just wasn’t going to win any pie contests for beauty.  ;)  I knew to be careful with how much I filled the crust since it shrunk in a few places in the prebake.  Didn’t help.  What really tanned my hide is that it still had 15 more minutes bake time according to the recipe.  I took it out at one hour and didn’t let it bubble away all over for another fifteen.

I was right.  The pie is very good.  Love the extra hit of raspberry and blackberry, but it’s definitely a blueberry pie.  Thanks again for the berries, Driscoll's (Facebook page).  Check it out and like them on Facebook and find the link to their website above.  They have lots of great recipes posted.  Should have looked there first, duh! Since I wanted a streusel topped pie, I just Googled it and got Bon Appetit.  Sometimes, my brain is not firing on all cylinders.  In my own defense, I did follow the Bon Appetit recipe directions exactly and still had a shrunken prebaked crust.

Blue Razzleberry Pie 4

Bake on!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Snickerdoodle Poppers from Oh, Bite It and a Rant About Stealing From Food Blogs

Snickerdoodle Poppers at Baking and Boys!

So, a couple weeks ago I saw these fun, delicious looking Snickerdoodle Poppers on Facebook.  Kevin saw me looking at them and said they looked like something he would like.  But there was a problem—they were on Facebook and not being posted correctly.  You see, people keep tagging and sharing photos and recipes they like from sources that are NOT the ones who created the recipes.  As a food blogger, this is very annoying.  I know that all food bloggers feel this way.  It is just like stealing!  It is wrong.  There are MANY Facebook pages out there that just go around putting photos and recipes on THEIR page and getting people to “like” them and share them.  You see, what that does is gives them the credit and leaves it so the persons who actually created the recipe and took the photos don’t get any credit for them.  Neither do they get people coming to blogs, which more often than not are the sources for the recipes and photos.  People either don’t care or just don’t have a clue that that is stopping bloggers from making money.  MANY food bloggers do this for a living.  It is their income.

PLEASE, please stop liking and sharing recipes that don’t have links to where the recipes come from!  When I saw the Snickerdoodle Poppers and the horrible Facebook page that was stealing it and getting people to like it on their page, I did a quick Google search of the photo and right away found the real source for the recipe and photo.  I actually commented to a few of my friends who I saw “liking” this recipe that they were doing it wrong and not giving credit to the correct source.  Really, photos should not have the actual recipe ON Facebook.  They should just have the link to where you can go find the photo, which are often food blogs.  Help out food bloggers and stop “liking” and sharing anything with whole recipes posted on Facebook.  I don’t know of ANY food bloggers who actually put recipes on their Facebook pages.  So if you see recipes, they are pretty much being stolen and used improperly.

If you do see a recipe on Facebook that you like and want to save, do a quick, easy search for it and you’ll find it—most likely every time!  Please stop giving the wrong people credit and income that don’t deserve it.  It has become quite the epidemic on Facebook lately.  And if you couldn’t tell, I think it’s really annoying.  I haven’t even found something from my own blog stolen yet, but I consider every food blogger out there, whether I know them or not, my friends and colleagues.  We look out for each other.  I know you’d do the same for your family, friends and colleagues.

Snickerdoodle Poppers filled with Vanilla Cream at Baking and Boys!

With my little rant over, I want to share these Snickerdoodle Poppers with you.  The true and real source for these is from Amy at the blog, Oh, Bite It.  Talk about a delicious blog!

You see how I’ve left the link for you for her recipe?  Yeah, that’s how it should be done.  Now, if I would have changed some things in the recipe, I would reprint it with my changes, but still let you know where I got the inspiration for the recipe, giving her proper credit and making sure my readers know that.  Oh, whoops, got back on my little rant there.  Sorry.  All this stealing that has been going on—really irks me.  It doesn’t just happen on Facebook.  It has been running rampant on Pinterest and Instagram AND on blogs.  Too many don’t give credit to their sources.  And many actually steal photos and just copy and paste entire recipes word for word and even worse—entire posts.  Little ol’ me has even had all my posts stolen and copied and pasted right on to another blog.  (Got that all taken care of.)  Just give a little credit where credit is due!

I didn’t change her recipe.  And it is awesome.  She uses Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits for her poppers.  They make terrific donut holes!  After turning the biscuits in to rounds like donut holes, they are fried.

The making of Snickerdoodle Poppers at Baking and Boys!

Fried food doesn’t happen very often at our house, but the boys love donuts and the like.

Frying Snickerdoodle Poppers at Baking and Boys!

The only thing I did do different with the recipe is the cream filling.  Amy just uses some vanilla pudding.  I kicked it up a bit, because when Kevin saw these, he mentioned that he would like them better if that was just whipped cream or something.  (He doesn’t care for pudding, especially vanilla.) 

I remembered a vanilla cream pudding mixture I made for some Boston Cream Whoopie Pies a while back and decided to make that for these poppers.  It’s a little like making a custard and a little like a vanilla flavored whipped cream.  And it’s SO good.  I actually only injected about 8 of the poppers with the cream and left the majority of them as-is.  I knew the boys would like them better that way.  Though I will admit, I loved the one I ate with the cream inside!  I got the recipe and idea for this vanilla cream from Kristan at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.  The recipe is on the link to her blog.

You just mix a package of vanilla pudding mix in with one cup of milk and a cup of whipped cream.  It whips into a nice, thick custardy-cream.  Since I didn’t use very much in the poppers, I have most of it left and will be putting it to use soon!

Snickerdoodle Poppers at Baking and Boys!

These were gone in a flash at our house.  Scott, my 14 year old, definitely ate MORE than his fair share of them and said he would have eaten them all if he didn’t have to share.

Thanks, Amy and Kristan!  I hope the Facebook (and other sources of online media) stealing is a passing fad and goes away quickly!  If everyone did their part…….

Monday, April 15, 2013

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies with Crystallized Ginger—Group B Secret Recipe Club

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies with Crystallized Ginger

I couldn’t help it.  When I heard that someone in Group B of the Secret Recipe Club was going to be an orphan, with no one posting something from her blog, I had to do something about it.  Never fear though, because whenever that happens and it is announced on the SRC Facebook page, there are many volunteers in line to jump in and help—every time.  The Secret Recipe Club really is a great group of people.  I’m in Group A and there are four different groups.  Betcha can’t guess what the other groups are named? ;)

I almost had a knock down, drag out fight with Kirstin from Loving Life to get this orphan, then we compromised and both made something!  Nothing wrong with showing double the love for another blogger.  So I got busy and found something to make from Jane’s blog, Jane's Adventures in Dinner and you’ll never guess what I made?  Oh wait, there is a picture of them right there.  Okay, are you surprised, I made cookies?  I have a little secret, since this IS the Secret Recipe Club.  Every time I get an assignment, the first thing I look for on a blog is cookies.  Then, I look at all desserts.  THEN I look at the rest, the savory food.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE “real” food and actually eat lots of healthy food.  I have just found that I enjoy baking more than cooking.  It’s more fun to share baked goods.  I also can’t seem to take decent pictures of savory food to save my life.  AND, when I made something that will be for dinner, the family wants it right then and there.  They hate when I make them wait for photos first. ;) 

After a quick search through the cookies and desserts on Jane’s blog, I settled on some that she actually just posted a few weeks ago.  These Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies were super easy and delicious!  Not only do they have coconut added but a surprise ingredient as well—crystallized ginger.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies with crystallized ginger

I only made half a batch of the cookies because I thought my boys would turn up their noses at the ginger and not eat them.  I was wrong.  They are going fast and Taylor in particular loves them.   GREAT cookie!  I made a few minor changes to Jane’s recipe.  I added some salt as I used unsalted butter and she didn’t have salt in her recipe.  I also added more chocolate chips than it called for—because, I’m a rebel, plain and simple.  And I added a little more flour than she did, but that is more because of our high altitude and I didn’t want the cookies to be flat.  They were not at all!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies with Crystallized Ginger, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Jane at Jane's Adventures in Dinner

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1  1/2 cups (180 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 ounces dark chocolate chips (about 2/3 cups)

1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped finely

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (Jane’s recipe baked at 350 degrees.)  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cream together the butter and sugars in an electric mixer.  Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and cream until light and fluffy.  Scrape sides of bowl again.  Add all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.  Stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and ginger.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies w/crystal ginger 4-15-13

These are were great!  Thanks, Jane.  Thanks, Group B.  Thanks Secret Recipe Club!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Almond Lovers’ Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Lover's Chocolate Chip Cookies--Picky Palate 3-26-13

A couple days ago, I received a cookbook in the mail that I’d won on Dawn’s blog, vanilla sugar.  (Thanks, Dawn!)  The cookbook is a new one from another food blogger, Jenny Flake from Picky Palate.  I’ve been reading Jenny’s blog just as long as any other—over five years!  I’ve always been a fan of hers as she spent time competing on different challenges on Food Network and creating lots of delicious recipes for her blog.  Her new book is aptly named The Picky Palate Cookbook.  It’s full of lots of great recipes for the pickiest eaters in your family.  She has three boys and I have four.  We have plenty in common, especially with the picky eaters part!


After Dawn told me I won Jenny’s book, I remembered that a year or so ago I’d seen some cookies she posted on her blog and wanted to make them.  The cookies have almond paste in them.  I had actually bought some almond paste a few months ago when I saw it in the baking aisle and remembered I wanted to make Jenny’s cookies.  They are full of almond paste and sliced almonds.  I think they’d be good with some added almond extract, too.  I JUST thought of that.   I made the cookies a couple days before the book arrived.  I really liked them and so did the boys!

You should get Jenny’s book, The Picky Palate Cookbook as it is full of easy meals and desserts to make for your family.  I was so happy to see when I got the book that it has the recipe for the Almond Lovers' Chocolate Chip Cookies in it!  I’ve provided you the link here, as the recipe is also on her blog.  Check it out.  I’m leaving you the recipe here as I made them, because I did made some adjustments for high altitude baking, which include less sugars and an adjustment in leaveners as well as more flour.

Almond Lovers' Chocolate Chip Cookies 3Almond Lovers’ Chocolate Chip Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Jenny at Picky Palate

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

10 tablespoons (125 grams) granulated sugar

10 tablespoons (137.5 grams) light brown sugar

3 ounces almond paste (like Odense Pure Almond Paste brand)

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoons almond extract (optional)

3 cups (360 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (Picky Palate recipe is 350 degrees F)  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the almond paste in crumbled pieces until all combined.  Scrape sides of bowl.  Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract (if using) until all combined.  Scrape sides of bowl again.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and whisk together to sift.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, then the chocolate chips and almond.  Mix just until combined.  Scoop cookie dough onto baking sheets spacing them about 2 inches apart.  Bake for about 12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

3-26-13I still have half the almond paste (it comes in 6 ounce tubes), so I’ll be making these again soon and can’t wait to add the almond extract.  I love the flavor almond extract gives to baked goods.

I’m excited to try other dishes from Jenny’s cookbook.


Monday, April 08, 2013

Guiltless Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting—Secret Recipe Club

SRC--Guiltless Carrot Cupcake

Nope, feeling no guilt here.  But doesn’t that cupcake look decadent and delicious.  I know you’re dying to sink your teeth into it.  I was.

Guiltless Carrot Cupcake 2

These cupcakes are low in fat and have a brown sugar I made with natural cane sugar and molasses in them.  They are also made with whole wheat flour, unsweetened applesauce and a carrot puree (instead of grated carrots).  I decided to make these for some of the Easter desserts we had with family when I saw them on my assigned Secret Recipe Club blog this month.  I was assigned Miranda’s blog, Biting Life.  I had not heard of her blog before and enjoyed looking through it.  Besides lots of yummy recipes, she also blogs about reviews on books she’s read, and all the things going on in her life. 

She made these Guiltless Carrot Cupcakes and used Splenda for the sugar substitute.  I decided to use cane sugar, which I also used for the brown sugar in the recipe and made my own brown sugar with cane sugar and molasses.  I love doing that!

Homemade brown sugar with cane sugar and molasses 3-30-13

I just took half a cup of cane sugar and added 1/2 teaspoon of molasses to it and kept mashing it together with a fork until it was all combined and looked just like brown sugar!  You can also do that with regular granulated sugar.  If you’d like a dark brown sugar, add a little more molasses.  The recipe also only had egg whites and instead of breaking open three eggs, I used some powdered egg whites that I have a couple big cans of and need to use more often.  The egg powder is just mixed with warm water and whisked until it is the consistency of egg whites.  Love it!  I have never been able to tell a difference and have even used it for some meringue cookies!  It’s perfect for times when I don’t want to have egg yolks with no use and I hate just throwing them away.  Also in Miranda’s recipe, it calls for regular skim milk, but I decided to use lowfat buttermilk.  So the only fat in the actual cupcakes is from the little bit of lowfat buttermilk.  You really wouldn’t even know they are so low in fat.  Especially after you top them with a cream cheese frosting—that of course, I made a little lower in fat with the 1/3 less fat cream cheese, just a little butter, and skim milk. 

Yep, I am calling these pretty guiltless!

Guiltless Carrot Cupcakes--April SRC 3-03-13

I was happy with how these baked.  I wasn’t sure since they have so many different ingredients from regular cupcakes.  Then I was a little worried that they would also stick to the cupcake liners.  But after they were totally cool, they came off the papers great!

Guiltless Carrot Cupcpakes 3-03-13 (April SRC)

Guiltless Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Miranda at Biting Life

1  1/4 cup (150 grams) whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3 egg whites (I used powdered egg whites)

1/2 cup brown sugar (I used homemade with cane sugar and molasses)

1/4 cup cane sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 cup plain unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cupcake pan with paper liners (or spray the pan with cooking spray if you aren’t using paper liners).

Boil carrots in saucepan with water covering them for about 10 minutes, until tender.  Remove from heat and drain.  Put the carrot in the bowl a food processor and pulse to mash the carrots into a puree.  Let sit while you prepare the rest of the cupcake mixture.

Combine in a bowl the whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Whisk to sift together.  Stir together in a separate bowl the egg whites, sugars, and vanilla. 

Add the applesauce and buttermilk to the carrot puree and pulse to combine.  Add the carrot mixture to the egg white mixture and whisk together until all combined.  Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined.   

With an ice cream scoop, fill each cup with batter.  Bake for 20-30 minutes (I forgot to write down how long they baked, probably around 25 minutes.)  Remove from oven and let cool in cupcake pan for a few minutes.  Then move each cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.  Pipe frosting on to cupcakes.  Makes 12.

Less Guilt Cream Cheese Frosting, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter

2 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

2-3 cups powdered sugar

2-3 tablespoons skim milk

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese.  Beat until smooth.  Add the vanilla, salt and powdered sugar.  Start the mixer and add a tablespoon of milk at a time until frosting is desired consistency.  You can start with just two cups of powdered sugar and add more if you’d like. 

Guiltless Carrot Cupcakes 3-31-13


Warm Raspberry Chocolate Pudding Cake and Sweet Potato Falafel—Secret Recipe Club

Warm Raspberry Chocolate Pudding Cake 4-7-13

This cake is delicious!  I chose to make this cake I found on my Secret Recipe Club blog for today.  I had Isabelle’s blog, Crumb, which is such a wonderful blog.  SO many great recipes to try and delicious looking pictures!  I love Isabelle’s quick run down about herself—“I'm a 30-something coffee-chugging, booty-shaking, bargain-shopping, cookbook-collecting, photo-snapping, trucker-swearing, farmers-market-loving self-taught cook with a Boy and two cats to feed.”  She lives in Toronto, Canada and works in the telecom industry.  She could totally pull it off as a real chef!  I was lucky enough to fill-in last minute and do a post for Isabelle’s blog back in 2011 when she would have been an orphan.  I made some delicious Granola and Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins then.  I’ve since found a recipe for granola that I usually turn to and make, but after looking back that I wrote Isabelle’s was one of the best granolas I’ve ever made/tasted, I will be making it again.  I love granola!

Looking through all her recipes and once again, I had a hard time deciding what to make.  And as usual, I couldn’t decide on just one.  So I made two.  It’s only fitting for me to start out with dessert first though.  I made her Warm Raspberry Chocolate Pudding Cake.  Just as I started out this post, let me say it again—this was delicious!  I don’t know if you’ve had chocolate pudding cake before, but it’s super easy to make.  You think it’s strange as you follow the recipe with a thick, brownie-like batter put in the bottom of the pan, then a boiling hot liquid with cocoa and sugar in it poured over the top.  You wonder if it will really bake into a cake—but darn it all, it does, and ends up with a warm, gooey pudding on the bottom. 

I LOVE the combination of chocolate and raspberries, it’s one of my favorite combinations.  When I saw Isabelle had a version of this cake that included raspberries, I knew I needed to make it.  Luckily I had some frozen raspberries in the freezer.  I WISH raspberries were in season right now because some fresh ones on the plate with this dessert would have been perfect.  It was still worth it without the little fresh berries on the side.  I made the cake and was really happy with how it looked as it came out of the oven.

Warm Raspberry Chocolate Pudding Cake 4-7-13

Almost couldn’t wait to dig in to it until after dinner!  To make this a chocolate-raspberry dessert, a simple raspberry coulis is made and poured over the thick brownie-cake layer, before the hot liquid is added.  So you can’t see it, but there is great raspberry flavor hiding in there!  Since I didn’t have any fresh raspberries, this definitely needed something on top and I’m not sure I’ve ever had chocolate pudding cake without ice cream, so naturally this got some vanilla ice cream on top.

Raspberry Chocolate Pudding Cake

I was still sad about  not having any fresh raspberries and then I thought some more raspberry coulis drizzled over the ice cream would be really good.  But I didn’t have any more coulis already made—so I got some raspberry jam out of the fridge and heated it up a bit, then drizzled that over the top.  Delicious!  (Go drool over the first photo in this post again!)

Here’s the link for Isabelle’s recipe again—I didn’t change a thing!  Warm Raspberry Chocolate Pudding Cake

While fishing through all her recipes, I ran across her Homemade Sweet Potato Falafel and realized I had everything to make them for dinner.  We love falafel.  Kevin has even been to Israel where he still says they make the “real” thing and he’s never had any quite like the authentic ones in Israel.  I keep trying different recipes.  I’m not really trying to make some JUST like he remembers.  I just like trying different kinds.  I LOVE sweet potatoes, so when I saw Isabelle’s recipe for falafel with sweet potato added, I was set on trying it.  Go check out her recipe.  She filled her falafel wraps with a tahini sauce, hummus, a tabbouleh salad AND the falafel.  I really want to make all those components sometime.  For this meal, I went simple and just made the tahini sauce and falafel patties.  Easy and delicious!  Kevin knew when he saw the falafel there was something different about them, they looked more orange.  But he didn’t say anything and I didn’t tell him until after dinner that they had sweet potato in them.  He liked them okay.  I loved them.  The boys ate them, too.  Okay, Sam wouldn’t even try them.  I knew he wouldn’t.  He’s still my picky youngest.  ;)

Falafels 4-7-13

I changed a few simple things in Isabelle’s recipe, but go check out hers with the tabbouleh salad recipes and hummus!  (Link above.)

Sweet Potato Falafel with Yogurt Sauce, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Crumb (

Yogurt Sauce--

1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon tahini oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Whisk together all four ingredients in a small bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sweet Potato Falafel--

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 cloves garlic

15.5 ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo bean), drained and rinsed

1 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about 1 large sweet potato)

3-4 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

Canola oil, for frying falafel

Put the cilantro, parsley and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until nicely chopped.  Add the chickpeas and pulse until coarsely ground.  Add the already cooked, mashed sweet potato and pulse to combine, just don’t pulse it too much in the food processor.  You can also remove the mixture from the food processor to a bowl and stir in the sweet potato.  Then add the flour, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt.  Once it is all combined, heat some oil in a large skillet (enough to cover the bottom of the whole pan).  Form patties using about 2 tablespoons of the mixture for each.  You should get 12-14 patties.  Fry the patties over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and crisp.  Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with paper towel.

For finished falafel pitas--

Whole wheat pitas

Shredded lettuce

Thinly sliced tomatoes

Thinly sliced cucumber

Sliced dill pickles

When all the patties are finished and the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and pickles are prepared, assemble the pitas starting with some of the yogurt sauce.  Let each person decide what vegetables to put in theirs.  Put two falafel in each half-pita.

Sweet Potato Falafel PitasThe falafel are a little fragile as the sweet potato makes them softer.  You can add a little more flour to make them really hold together.  I loved the tender crunch on the outside and the soft inside!

Sweet Potato Falafels 4-7-13 (SRC from Crumb Blog)

Sweet potato falafel frying action shot. ;)



Thursday, April 04, 2013

Raspberry Streusel Dessert Bars

Raspberry Streusel Dessert Bars 3-26-13

These Raspberry Streusel Dessert Bars were fantastically delicious!  They are perfectly buttery with just the right sweetness and a bit of tartness from the raspberry jam.  I made them last week for book group after seeing them on my friend, Amanda blog, Amanda's Cookin'.  She made them with a combination of raspberry jam and cherry jam.  The only reason I only used raspberry was because I didn’t have any cherry jam. 

I have since bought some and am ready to make these bars again.  They were so good.  A couple of the ladies at book group were eating them and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over how good they were.  These bars could be called “Better Than……Dessert Bars” because the “Oh my goodness” eyes-rolled-to-back-of-head looks I was getting while we tried discussing our book for the month, Memoirs of a Geisha and watching the movie were just that---“better than…..” you know.  One of the ladies eating a bar started with the “Oh my’s” and told another, “You just wait until you try them, you’ll see.”  When the other finally had one, she reacted the same way.  It was pretty funny.

I will say, they are definitely SO good.  Make them.  You’ll see.  You’ll want to take them somewhere where others will help you eat them or give them away, because if you don’t, you’ll end up eating far more of them than you intended!

I made them pretty close to Amanda’s recipe, but did make a few little changes, besides the jam. 

Raspberry Streusel Dessert Bars, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Amanda’s Cookin’ Cherry Berry Streusel Dessert Bars

2  1/2 cups (300 grams) unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 cup (320 grams) raspberry jam*


1 cup (110 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with non-stick foil (or spray pan with cooking spray).  In bowl of food processor, add the flour, salt, and sugar.  Pulse to combine.  Add the almond extract, vanilla, and cubed, cold butter.  Pulse until coarse crumbs are formed.  It will seem “dry”, but put 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down evenly.  Reserve the rest of the crumb mixture.  Spread the jam over the bottom crust in the pan.  Sprinkle evenly with the remaining crumbs and press down slightly (all of the jam will not be covered completely).  Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.  Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.

For the icing, combine the powdered sugar, almond extract, and melted butter.  Begin stirring and add one tablespoon of milk at a time until desired consistency to drizzle over the bars.  Cut the bars in to individual squares, then drizzle icing over each.  Let set for a while until it hardens slightly.

*If you don’t like the seeds in the jam, and don’t have seedless jam, you can heat the jam slightly, then push it through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

Raspberry Streusel Dessert Bars (Amanda's Cookin') 3-26-13

These are perfect for taking to any kind of function as they travel well, the icing dries nicely so they could even be stacked, and they will be loved by everyone!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Rustic Potato Loaves—Tuesdays With Dorie, Baking With Julia

Rustic Potato Loaves--TWD 4-1-13

I made the Rustic Potato Loaves for Tuesdays With Dorie, Baking With Julia and took one of them to a neighbor I helped with dinner. 

This was definitely “rustic” since the potato skins are left on the potatoes that are used in making the dough.  I actually peeled the potatoes about 3/4 of the way and I kind of wish I would have peeled them all completely.  I thought the little pieces of “gray” skin that were flecked throughout the dough wasn’t very pretty.  The bread did end up tasting fine, so that’s good!

I followed the recipe instructions exactly and knew also that the shaping of the dough would be a little strange with the seam of the dough on the top.  I had a feeling it would open up on the top a bit while it baked.  And it did.  But it was still good with a nice crust and tender inside. 

Rustic Potato Loaves 2

If I made this bread again, I’d definitely go for less rustic and peel the potatoes and I’d shape the loaves differently.  The cooked potatoes are also beat in the mixer as well as the dough, which really gave my mixer a workout.  Sometimes “kneading” bread in a stand mixer is a little rough.  It made it through, but sure worked the bowl in to sticking to the stand like the dickens.

Rustic Potato Loaves 3

Our host with the recipe this week is Dawn at Simply Sweet. Check out her bread that she so creatively stuffed with cheese, bacon and green onions, just like a baked potato!