Tip O’ the Week

*Tips that are NEAT-tO know!*

Keep the crunch in your lettuce!

Prep your lettuce for maximum longevity in the fridge. First, rinse and dry your lettuce. For your Romaine, you can leave the core on and the bunches in tact if small. For Iceberg, cut off the end and separate the leaves into handful size bunches. Next, tear off two paper towels for each bunch. Get them thoroughly wet with cold water and gently wring them out.

Roll each bunch in the paper towels. Stack them in a freezer sized Ziplock bag. Close the “zipper” almost all the way, leaving about an inch open. Suck the air out through the hole and close it. (I like to do this b/c squeezing the air out can bruise your lettuce.) Ta-dah! Your lettuce will stay fresh for weeks!

August 29, 2010. Tags: , , , . Tip O' the Week. 6 comments.

The Almighty Yogurt Cake

I am very excited about this next entry as I have finally nailed down this recipe AND this will be the first recipe with the new printable version of the recipe below it! Yay!

So for the past 6 months or so, I have been trying different yogurt cake recipes. I found myself pretty disappointed in many for different reasons. The first, from a very popular cooking blog, was way to dense for my taste. The second, from a french cookbook, too greasy. The third, too crumbly. I ate my way through each of them with a furrowed brow and decided to stop trying these recipes as a whole. I began to take bits and pieces from many and make adjustments according to my picky little taste buds and my taste buds have declared:

We finally have a winner.

This yogurt cake is everything I want in a yogurt cake. It is tangy, very moist but not oily or wet, dense yet airy but still not as light as regular cake, sweet, but not too sweet. The greatest thing about yogurt cake is it is sort of a base like a muffin recipe. It is amazing as is or with all different combinations of fruits and juices your heart desires. This recipe incorporates the flavors I was obsessing over after feeling very inspired by my honeymoon. It calls for coconut oil. If you have never used coconut oil before, you may be pleasantly surprised. I use coconut oil for my cast iron skillets as it does not go rancid. It is also very good for your skin as well as your health. It is slightly pricey but a little goes a long way and I have decided I really like to have it around the house for all these things. I recommend giving it a try.

The other wonderful thing about yogurt cake…?

You can eat it for breakfast.
What other cake can you actually eat for breakfast without feeling like you need to hide in a dark corner so no one calls you fatty fat fatso
? None that I know of.

It is wonderful in the morning with coffee and a little fresh fruit OR as a dessert with a little whipped cream and a compote. The only thing about yogurt cake is it should NOT be eaten hot or warm and it is best the next morning. After it has cooled, store wrapped in plastic wrap.

One last note about this recipe; If you make this, I believe you will realize after the first slice, you should have doubled the recipe and made 2 loaves. Consider yourself warned.

So without further ado:

Lime in the Coconut Yogurt Cake with Mango Compote

(skill level:pretty dang easy)

You will need:
1 cup whole milk unsweetened yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup coconut oil plus 2 Tbs for pan prep
zest of one lime
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tbs light Rum (this recipe works completely fine if this is omitted)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour plus some for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat to 350. Grease and flour an 8”x4” ish (regular size) loaf pan. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In one large bowl, mix sugar, almond extract, rum and oils. Add juices, and zest and mix well. Whisk in yogurt.

Next, whisk in one egg at a time. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes then remove from pan and allow to cool further on cooling rack.
I really like this just plain for breakfast or with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a couple blueberries. For a more dressed up version for tea or after dinner, add the mango compote.

♥♥♥

For mango compote:

(skill level: it only SOUNDS fancy)

4 large, ripe mangos
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
Skin and cut mangos into chunks. Slice vanilla bean down the center and gently pry open. In a medium saucepan, combine half the mango chunks and all other ingredients. Cook over low heat about 8 minutes or until mangos begin to fall apart. Put a lid on and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove lid and vanilla bean. Scrape vanilla seeds into mixture. Stir in the other half of the mango chunks. This is good served warm or cold!

Print honeymoon yogurt cake

August 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Recipes. 3 comments.

Oo La La

So you may notice a few changes to the site here and I want to explain a bit.

Now, you will see there are a few options at the end of each post.
They are share options. Now you can share a post with someone else more easily. If you know someone who was JUST looking for a good cookie recipe, you can hit the email button and immediately share the Marry Me (Martha) cookies post with them. As you may see, there are also ways to share to Facebook and Twitter as well. I’m hoping this will make it easier for my awesome fans to share with their awesome friends things they might like.

There is also a print button. Please preview BEFORE you print as a lot of times, these blogs aren’t interpreted properly. You may not be printing what you want to be printing but keep reading.

Bigger news: I will soon be adding a “Print this Recipe” option. This will show you a simplified type version of the recipe that is in the post without the photographs and extras because I know that at the moment, you have to copy everything by hand or else print the entry with photos included.
I am hoping this will make it easier for people to actually try some of the recipes I post.

There is also a “like” button. This could really help me understand what types of posts and information people are really enjoying and learning from so I can do more.

We finally got a scanner so I will be sharing some serious treasures with you soon as well. I’m also hoping to add a nice photo header soon.

Thanks for all your support!

August 25, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Marry Me (Martha)! Cookies

I was lucky enough to be handed the secret recipe behind the soft and delicious Oatmeal Raisin Cookies I so loved as a child. My Nana used to make these for me and she got the recipe from her sister, Martha. My (great) Aunt Martha.

I made a few adjustments and began to make them at a diner I worked at and within a week, received 3 marriage proposals!
Seriously. O.K. So it turns out they weren’t very serious about getting married but they were serious about loving those cookies so I renamed them Marry Me (Martha) cookies!

I also made some of these for a family of friends that were all the way across the country and hear they traveled real well.

You will need:

1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 C white sugar
1 C light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 C flour (all purpose)
2 C oatmeal (not instant!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 C raisins

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Put flour, oatmeal, soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl and stir well. Set aside.

Cream together the butter, shortening the two sugars, molasses and vanilla mixing well.  Stir in eggs.
Add in the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time, mixing in well.  Add raisins last and stir in well.  With a large spoon, scoop out cookie dough and light flatten the center with a fork.
Bake about 10 to 14 minutes.  Transfer cookies to brown paper to cool.  A large brown grocery sack cut open and spread on your counter top or table is ideal for absorbing some of the oil and cooling the cookies.  Store in covered container.

August 22, 2010. Tags: , , , . Recipes. 3 comments.

Slicing and Dicing

And now for another installment of:

Things you need to know but are too embarrassed to ask

If you don’t know the difference between chopping and mincing, your salad may turn out more like salsa. It’s really very simple. You’re basically just cutting each size in half after slicing.

Slice

Rough Chop-usually for something that will be processed further.

Chop-even sized squares

A piece that has been chopped, cut in half, is now diced:

Diced

And a piece that is diced, cut in half (or half again) is minced.

Minced

Here’s a recap!



August 21, 2010. Tags: , , , . Cooking tips, Too Embarassed to Ask. 5 comments.

For The Past 2 Weeks…

So I have been a bit preoccupied. Here are some of my excuses.

We left...

My creation

we arrived...

we conquered.

And in exactly 2 weeks time, we have unpacked completely as well as put everything in it’s rightful place.

finished!

…er…O.K., except for that bud light box with books in it. And yes, this is just the office, but the rest of the house is actually is just as good of shape. How do I do it you ask? I’m incredibly impatient, anxious and have a very tolerant and helpful husband. I’m also determined and very well organized.

Today, I got to experience the incredible Dane County Farmers’ Market which happens to be the largest producer only market in the country. What’s even better? It’s every single weekend all year long minus Christmas.

Our Take?

2 cucumbers, 2 red onions, 2 sweet onions, 2 zucchini, 5 heirloom tomatoes, 1 pint raspberries, 1 bunch lettuce, 1 large bunch cilantro, 1 large string chilies, 7 heads garlic, large pint of plums, peach/jalapeno jelly, strawberry/raspberry jelly, cherry jelly, lavender plant, peppermint plant, and Kentucky Colonel Mint AKA Mojito mint plant….

for a grand total of…

$55

With 3 jars of jelly and 3 plants! Can you believe that?! We are going to buy all of our fruits and veggies for each week from here from now on. It’s a lovely little walk to the capitol;only about 15 minutes.

I have quite a few other things that have been distracting me and I’ll let you in on those pretty soon.

August 21, 2010. Me and Mine. 6 comments.

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