Tag Archives: ina garten

Saved The Best For Crisp

While making the raspberry jam from the previous post with some of the mushier berries, I couldn’t wait to make this crisp from Ina Garten’s recipe with the perfect berries.  Alas, I opened up the fridge and no butter.  Each of Ina Garten’s and Paula Deen’s recipes begin with butter, so a trip to the store was needed before I could begin, but the outcome was well worth the wait.

You could make this vegan with Earth Balance sticks pretty easily.  I like to over bake the crisp just a little so it’s super crunchy.  It can be baked ahead of time and reheated but who in the world has the willpower to let a hot fruit crisp hangout for future consumption?  Not this girl.

For your immediate consumption, I give you a modified version of Ina’s Peach and Raspberry Crisp, modified for the raspberry lover.

  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 pints raspberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish.

Combine in a large bowl, add the orange zest, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the raspberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour.   Pour this mixture into the baking dish and smooth the top.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of the raspberries. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until warm.

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Eat Cake. Press Tofu. Juice Lemons. Make Buttermilk.

One of my gal pals celebrated a birthday last week and NO ONE made her a cake.  This is basically a crime.  Ina Garten would have been be pissed; hence, I dropped everything and made some Barefoot Contessa cupcakes.  Fear not, while the cupcake recipe DOES start with nearly 2 sticks of butter, for dinner I made Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry which basically cancels out the butter!  Eat up!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature (I never have this on hand, so I “made” buttermilk using 1 cup skim milk and 1 T lemon juice-it really does work)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Peanut Butter Icing, recipe follows

Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended.

Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Peanut Butter Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

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I have a lot of friends that hate working with tofu because it’s “too spongy” or too this, or too that…I create extra, extra firm and combat spongy, with a very scientific pressing technique that I have perfected in my kitchen, you can see it in the first few photos post cupcake in the slideshow.  Hint: it involves a cast iron grill pan.  Very complex.

For the record, the birthday girl hated the stir-fry, but learned that she loves chickpeas.  One small victory.  I on the other hand decided this is one my fave Heidi Swanson recipes.  Different strokes.

Lemony Chickpea Stir-Fry

  • Recipe from 101cookbooks.com
  • 2 tablespoon ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 1 small onion or a couple shallots, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned is fine, if you don’t want to cook up a pot of dried chickpeas)
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1 cup of chopped kale
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon

Heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee/olive oil In a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in a big pinch of salt, the onion, and chickpeas. Saute until the chickpeas are deeply golden and crusty. Stir in the tofu and cook just until the tofu is heated through, just a minute or so. Stir in the kale and cook for one minute more. Remove everything from the skillet onto a large plate and set aside. In the same skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of ghee/olive oil, add the zucchini and saute until it starts to take on a bit of color, two or three minutes. Add the chickpea mixture back to the skillet, and remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, taste, and season with a bit more salt if needed. Turn out onto a platter and serve family style.

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Vegan MoFo!

Confession:  I ate out tonight.  Worse yet, tomorrow I begin noshing at Restaurant Week GR, which means, the next 10 days will have more dining out than I care to admit to…however, in honor of November 2, Election Day FINALLY being behind us, I give you a recipe I will be making at some point in the next few days, as I have already baked off the potatoes in prep for it:  Baked Potato Soup. What’s the correlation to Election Day?  Well, I came across this YouTube clip of the humble potato and its rise to fame in 1992 when then VP Dan Quayle was schooled by a 6th-grader in how to spell the singular of potatoe, er, I mean potato.  Soup’s on!

Baked Potato Soup

2 T EVOO
1/4 of a large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 baking potatoes (about 2-1/2 lbs.)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 oz.)
6 cups milk (reduced fat if you prefer, or plain soy if vegan)
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided (use reduced fat if you prefer or soy if vegan)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream (for garnish, omit if you prefer)
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
6 faux-bacon slices, cooked and crumbled or other meat sub that has a smoky bite to it.  I used Morningstar Ground Sausage Crumbles in a pinch tonight.
Cracked black pepper (optional)

*adapted from Cooking Light, Rachael Ray and anon on the Interwebs

Ten Pounds Of Blueberries, Is About Seven Too Many

First, I need a stand alone freezer.  If anyone has one in good working order for cheap or even free, please contact me at once.  Yes, I’m checking Craig’s List.

Sometimes being a vegetarian leads you to a little bit of panic in the summer when you remember that you basically survive the winter on frozen fruits you stuffed away yourself in June/July/August, squash, squash, potatoes and more squash.  You can see the dilemma.  No variety for FRESH foods here in the midwest in say, February.  I’m a master at creating nothing from squash, but even I get desperate and get into the pizza cunundrum every so often if I don’t have enough frozen goods squirreled away.  So, on Saturday, I was convinced that what was necessary to make it through winter, was ten (10) pounds of blueberries – Mr. Wonderful doesn’t even think this is crazy, yet-he’s a delight isn’t he?!  So the first thing I bake, is Ina Garten’s Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins to keep Mr. Wonderful from hating which will be, seven (7) pounds of frozen blueberries packed in convenient 2 c serving sizes in quart bags, blocking the way of 1) the ice packs for the beer cooler and 2) the skinny cow ice cream bars.  Blueberry pancakes anyone?

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