The Newbie Cook
- 17,896 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
I came up with this when I was thinking of recipes for our company’s Health Food Cookbook. Chocolate lava cake doesn’t exactly strike one as being healthy but what is a cookbook without at least one chocolate recipe?
I did try to make this as low calorie as possible. Also, even if its calorie content is about the same as regular vegetable oil, canola oil is low in saturated fat and has high-level cholesterol-lowering fats.
This is husband approved and is a nice not-so-guilty snack for me.
This is based on a brilliant recipe I found on Chocolate Covered Katie.
This was inspired by Subway’s flatizza. Besides, someone has to use the pita bread that we have sitting in the fridge after I got over my fish taco phase.
My husband loves this dish. He asks me to make it often and I’m happy to oblige because it’s (1) easy, (2) quick, and (3) quite healthy even with the cheese. I do try to cut down on the cheese by putting much less on “my half” of the pizza. This has almost all of my favorite vegetables, which makes me very happy. 🙂
You can modify this recipe according to your preference — change the vegetables or add some meats like ham, pepperoni or crispy bacon bits.
I do need to mention the pizza stone. I bought this for baking bread but I also noticed that this pita pizza is a lot crispier and better if I use the stone over a regular pan. But the stone is not a must have, a regular pan is fine.
We had a surplus of fruits in the house and I didn’t think that I could eat everything within two days. I initially wanted to make a rerun of the plum cake since my first effort crashed and burned so spectacularly. But we didn’t just have plums, we also had gobs of blueberries.
So what can I make that would accommodate a variety of fruits? Hmmm… cobbler?
What’s ironic is that I’ve never eaten cobbler before so I cannot compare my end product to others. I have to rely solely on taste and the opinions of those who eat it. I’ve also heard of peach blueberry cobbler but I don’t remember seeing a recipe with plums in it. But since this blog is all about experimentation, then why not try?
I did the cardinal sin of tweaking a recipe of a dish that I’ve never made before, which is why I was quite anxious while it was in the oven. What if it turns out badly? Then I would have wasted a boatload of fruits. This is the last thing I want to do since my mom made sure that we would be forever cautious of wasting food considering all the starving children in third world countries.
Luckily, it seems to have turned out well. Just according to my taste, I think I’ve done a pretty good job for a maiden effort. 🙂 Can it be improved? Probably. I want to make it healthier and experiment with wheat flour, maybe use other fruits. But for now, I’m quite pleased with the results.
Happy Valentines Day, everyone!
Who can resist a warm, fruity snack in the middle of winter? No one. Besides, I need to do something with the blueberries sitting in the fridge since I’ve been dreaming about them for the past two nights.
I didn’t want to bake a huge cake since my husband isn’t really an eater. (Tip for brides-to-be: grill your fiances about their eating habits because there is nothing more horrible than having a husband who eats less than you do.)
I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen and tweaked a few things like adding a bit more zest and loads and loads of butter. This cake is so buttery that it’s useless to stress about calories. Just remember that everything is good in moderation and that we all need to spoil ourselves once in a while. 🙂
It’s also very easy to make and doesn’t take long to prep and bake. I usually like this with my afternoon coffee or tea but it’s also good for breakfast if you want to deviate from your usual muffin or pancakes. Hey, they do say that it’s healthier to eat most of your carbs in the morning for an early pop of energy plus you’ll have the whole day to burn it.
It’s always handy to have a go-to recipe for banana muffins since we always seem to have a few bananas that everyone forgets to eat and are in danger of becoming overripe. In my case, it’s this one.
I thought it was about time to try a new recipe. I found one from All Recipes that had an unusual ingredient: mayonnaise. I’m used to seeing yogurt or even sour cream in the list for banana muffin recipes but never mayonnaise. Plus this recipe had no eggs or butter so I was intrigued. Besides, I ran out of yogurt. Heh.
I was feeling experimental so I thought it would be funny to combine a couple of koffee kake Tastykakes with the extra dough. For those who are not familiar with the brand, Tastykakes are various baked goods produced in Pennsylvania and are primarily found in the East Coast of the US. I very rarely eat store-bought baked goods but these cupcakes are dangerously addictive. My favorites are the cream-filled chocolate and buttercream cupcakes. I love them so much that I could eat 6 in one sitting! I’m in the process of trying to avoid them since they go straight to my thighs. *sigh*
Chris thinks that I wasted two perfectly good Tastykakes. But I thought it came out lovely. Hmph.
This is based on the banana cake recipe here, just modified to make it more moist and suitable for little cups. I love crunchy cinnamon sugar-topped muffins and I took the opportunity to use it here. It’s very easy to prepare so this is something that you can bake with your kids.
This simple but yummy muffin is appropriate for breakfast, snacks, picnics, children’s parties and the occasional guilty midnight snack.
Recipe afer the jump. Enjoy. 🙂
I had two tubs of strawberry yogurt that would go bad if I don’t eat it soon. Unfortunately, I left my bag of all-purpose flour in the other apartment and the only thing left is whole wheat flour, which isn’t nutritionally bad but whole wheat is not exactly known for its smooth, moist properties in cakes.
So I tried to look for a whole wheat yogurt cake recipe that I could work with. Luckily, there’s always Food.com. I changed a few things since I wanted to make it healthier and avoid butter altogether.
I’m a little scared of bundt pans. There’s always a possibility that, no matter how much you grease the insides, the pan would traitorously eat the top parts of the cake, leaving a hot mess on your plate that even powdered sugar could not hide. However, one of the reviews mentioned that the center of the cake tended to be a little wet so I was determined to use a bundt pan to avoid smooshy centers.
Thankfully, my bundt pan behaved. This is the third time I’ve used it and it has not failed me so far. Good bundt pan, yes you are. *pats*
As for the cake, my fears were unfounded. I was afraid that I would have a dry, unpalatable cake. Instead, it ended up being dense, moist, and yummy–you could really taste the yogurt and the whole wheat gave it texture that prevented it from being boring.
This is a cake that is best eaten as breakfast or a snack with coffee or tea. Plus the apartment smells heavenly. *inhales*
Note: If you don’t want the chocolate flavor, just follow the recipe as it is without the cocoa powder. I actually prefer it without the chocolate as it brings out the taste of the yogurt more.
I can’t believe it’s been six weeks since I posted. It must be my lazy gene at work. I’ve tried a lot of new recipes since the last post but, being Ms. Forgetful, didn’t always have my camera with me so I was only able to document a few. And one of those precious few is the apple cinnamon cake. 🙂
It’s Smitten Kitchen’s mom’s apple cake. But I added a lot of cinnamon and lessened the sugar to suit my taste. I also used yellowish-red gala apples because by the time I realized that there were small green apples that’s probably excellent for baking, I already had the gala apples weighed and priced. Another example of the lazy gene at work.
I left the apples unpeeled so I just washed them thoroughly. My aunts always told me that the nutrients are close to the peeling. And it tastes sweeter the way it is.
Instead of sifting the dry ingredients, which would take forever and a day, I used a whisk to mix them all together. I got that tip from Serious Eats. Besides, I don’t have a sifter. 😉
One creates four layers: dough, apples, dough, then apples. Please use a tube pan for this cake, just like Smitten Kitchen did. It’s actually the second time for me to make this and I used a regular square pan the first time when I made it for my girlfriends. It took a long time to bake and, even when the sides were already crunchy, the center was still uncooked. It was then that the usefulness of a tube pan dawned on me.
It hasn’t even been baked but it already looks beautiful. I did use too many apples for my cake. I also had a smallish tube pan and the dough ran over as it was baking. Put a baking tray under the pan like I did to prevent messing up your oven. (Chewing on the crunchy, fallen bits was also fun.)
I brought this cake home to Apartment #1 where my parents and siblings are currently staying. The kids liked it, so did the adults. I set aside a few slices to bring to work before The Terminator (aka Jiko, the younger brother) finishes everything. Luckily, Tita Edith and Layali both liked it. I guess this is one cake that I am going to make again.
Be careful with slicing and serving because the cake can get crumbly. It’s also a bit heavy for dessert and is probably more suited as a snack with your favorite coffee or tea.
For last night’s potluck, I had to think of something that wouldn’t require me to go out and buy ingredients. The first thing I thought of was cinnamon. I had lots of cinnamon! I browsed through recipes of various cinnamon rolls and breads but due to my previous efforts, I knew that any sort of bread would take forever and a day.
I needed something quick because I only had a few hours. Plus, I was distracted by The Walking Dead as I was trying to find time to watch all 5 episodes in one afternoon on top of all the stuff I had to do. Yep, zombies. Very appetizing.
It’s my first time to try out a recipe from King Arthur Flour. It requires lots of oats on the streusel topping, which was a big selling point for me. (I LOVE oats!) The muffins require 3-4 layers and I’m sure this first effort was a bit messy as the supposed creamy filling just managed to make it look marbled. I opted against a sugar drizzle since the streusel was already loaded with brown sugar. I also used chopped walnuts instead of pecans.
I used paper liners at first but the muffins ended up looking untidy. Pieces crumbled away and the the paper kept on separating from the muffin. Results were much better with a lightly-greased muffin pan. The muffins didn’t stick to the pan and I had no problem taking each one out. The caramel will ooze over the top of the muffins so place a baking sheet beneath your muffin pan to avoid drips.
The muffin is sturdier than I expected. It’s a solid snack and is more appropriate for brunch or teatime than as a dessert. But that didn’t stop Dad from finishing two right after lunch.
Is it yummy? Yes. But it’s not too sweet either. If you’re hoping for sugar overload, better pour confectionery sugar drizzle over it. I like it as it is and it tastes great with Japanese green tea. Thanks for the tea, Cris. 😀
My friend, Kim, a first-time baker who wants to learn how to cook, joined me last Wednesday in Apartment #2’s kitchen. We chose to make caramel apple bread instead of the originally-planned pumpkin cinnamon rolls because I forgot to buy any pumpkins. Donna Currie has a lip-smacking recipe in SE’s Bread Baking and it didn’t look too complicated (er… hopefully).
We made a few minor mistakes like peeling and grating the apples before they were supposed to be mixed into the dough, which made them turn brown very fast. The biggest mistake was putting twice the amount of apples into the dough. By the time we realized that half was supposed to go into the filling it was too late. My bad! It was me who was reading the recipe. *headesks*
Me: Um, Kim… @_@ I think half of that was supposed to go into the filling.
Kim: Oh no! ^o^
Me: No wonder it’s so wet.
The wet dough refused to rise. It was just my third try at making bread so I didn’t yet understand the physics between yeast and dough yet so we wasted a lot of fruitless hours waiting for it to rise. In the end, we just added a lot of flour. We even called a friend (Jovett) and asked for more flour.
We didn’t have a fancy stand mixer so we kneaded it pioneer woman style: with our (very clean) hands. By this time, we had enough dough for 3 loaves of bread so I made extra filling. As usual, we had to use a substitute for an ingredient. In this case, we couldn’t find dulce de leche so we used commercial condensed milk instead.
To kill time while the dough was rising, we watched movies in Jovett’s apartment. We might as well since we already stole her flour and some of her apples. But we were nice and helped her cook dinner. 🙂
Kim was afraid that the bread would be a total failure. But after an hour of baking, I took the bread out of the oven, ran back to Jovett’s apartment with one loaf and two oven mitts (ignoring weird looks from the girls at the poolside) and sat down to have a late but very filling dinner with the girls.
It was certainly a nice, quiet night. And, yes, the bread turned out very well. The 6 hours of kneading, waiting, mixing, more waiting and more kneading did pay off! We even had enough to bring to Kim’s mom and my dad.