Back baby! Nutella Gelato – you know it was worth the wait…

December 3, 2011

Hello my dearest friends!  I’m sooo soooo sorry I’ve been gone so long!   Life simply got away from me… you know how things get.  I’m happy to report I’m back on the East coast, in the middle of my third year of medical school, and loving every minute of it!  Oregon, all the relaxation, the new perspective (and naturally all the food LMM and I indulged in together) have left me refreshed and ready to tackle this beast they call medschool again!

But then, you’re not here to read about medschool.  Let’s be honest.  You read the words “nutella gelato” and your jaw hit the floor and your salivary glands went into over-drive.  It’s ok, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.  It happened to me too…

Yes yes, I know – my last entry was about nutella too, but come on, who doesn’t love it?  Besides, this is a first for me.  Despite my deep love of kitchen gadgets (you should see my Christmas list…) this is the first time I’ve had my hands on an ice cream maker :) You see, it would appear I attract foodies where ever I go, and I’ve recently befriended the fabulous Stephanie – who is quite awesome for a myriad of reasons, only one of which is her possession of an ice cream maker.

I always get nervous when I strike out into a new area of deliciousness.  How could what I make possibly live up to expectations?  Well let me tell you, this slightly modified recipe from Giada De Laurentiis came through… deliciously rich and smooth, it’s enough to make a girl swoon :)  So enjoy, and I promise to come back soon with lots of tastiness!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)

Directions

In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla and hazelnut spread until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze.

Nutella Cookie Do Crumble

April 5, 2011

So I know I promised all of you my grandmother’s meat loaf recipe, and don’t worry, that’s coming too, but I can post that any time…  Today I have the unique pleasure of posting a new recipe of mine, dedicated to a very special someone.  A very special someone who has, up until today, been known to the world as Cookie Do.

One of my very best friends in the whole world is pregnant, and as her last name is Do, the little one inside’s nick name, has been “Cookie Do”… way way way too many cute puns to be had there.  Today she and her husband found out that it’s a boy!  This wonderfully gooey cookie bar is dedicated to one Mister James William Do, with all the love and adoration in my heart :)

 

Nutella Cookie Do Crumble

3/4 c. butter

1/2 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 egg

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

dash of salt

2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. nutella

1)  Heat oven to 350°F.

2)  In large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

3)  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff).

4)  Stir in chocolate chips.

5)  Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of an 8X8 baking dish.

6)  Spread with nutella.

7)  crumble the rest of the dough on top.

8) Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

9)  Coo over James William.

 


Easiest Chocolate Mousse Ever!

April 1, 2011

Hellooooo my dearest readers!  I’m so sorry I’ve been gone – I’ve been baking recently, but for some reason just not motivated to post here.  But never fear – I’m back :D  After a brief respite, Wednesday night dinners have returned, and with them my creative cooking juices.  Last night I had the pleasure of not only cooking for the family, but for a lovely guest as well (I just love cooking for people who like food :)).

The meatloaf I made (my grandmother’s recipe) which will be posted later this week was followed by, as the title of this post implies, the easiest chocolate mousse ever.

I stumbled across this recipe first as a filling for cream puffs, but it wasn’t long before I started making it for dessert all on its own!  Two ingredients – that’s right, only two, and done in less than five minutes, this stuff is dangerous.  In fact I’m sure the waistline police will be outside my house within moments of me posting this recipe, but it has to be done!  Enjoy!

Easiest Chocolate Mousse

1 small box chocolate flavored instant pudding mix

2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream

1)  Combine ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl and beat until mixture comes into stiff peaks.

2)  Serve with fresh fruit (strawberries are great this time of year) and enjoy :)

PS – for your viewing pleasure:

Super Bowl Cupcakes

February 9, 2011

 

These cupcakes are crowd pleasers.  Plain and simple.  Whip a batch up, and watch them disappear.  So moist and delicious, even non-beer drinkers will gobble these down. If you make them for a party like I did, you may get random people coming up to you offering to have your children… erm… just fair warning. I mean, what would you expect when mixing alcohol and chocolate? In the words of one of my favorite people ever: “Yes. Just yes.” There’s not much else to say about that :)

<3 Betty

*Original recipe found here:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Irish-Car-Bomb-Cupcakes/

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:
1/2 cup Guinness
1/2 cup butter
1/2  cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup sour cream
For the Frosting
1.5 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoons Baileys (or other liquor of your choice – all I had on hand was Kahlua and it turned out fabulously)
For the drizzle:
1/2 c. semisweet chocolat chips
1Tbsp good irish whiskey

1)  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2)  Set aside butter for frosting so it’s room temp when you’re ready to frost cupcakes.

3)  Grease muffin tin well or line with muffin cups.

4)  In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

5)  Add sour cream and egg and mix well (don’t worry, it’ll still be dry).

6)  Melt butter for cupcakes and add cocoa and Guinness, stirring well.

7)  Add chocolate mixture to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

8)  Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.

9)  Bake 17 minutes.

10)  Cool completely in muffin tins

11)  Mix all ingredients for frosting until smooth and creamy

12)  Frost liberally.

13)  Melt chocolate in microwave and stir in whiskey until smooth.  Use a piping bag or a sandwich bag with a whole cut into the corner to drizzle cupcakes.

14)  Devour.

Portlandia Muffins

February 6, 2011

There’s quite a stir going on about a new television show based (in parody) off Portland.  I have received a plethora of messages from friends around the country directing me to the show.  It should be no surprise then that instead of finishing my property reading at a reasonable hour, I am now still awake after midnight thinking about Vanna White’s successful suit against Samsung for “infringing on her likeness.”  By this, I mean that Samsung’s commercial depicting a robot in front of a Wheel of Fortune game offended Ms. White’s sensibilities.  The robot was merely wearing a wig, dress, and some jewelry, but given its placement in the ad, it evoked Ms. White’s image in the public’s eye.  This image, she argued, was her property.  Sad to say, the 9th Circuit of Appeals actually upheld a judgment against Samsung.  This case has a worthy analogy with Portlandia.  That is, I imagine no good Portlander would sue the show’s writers for evoking our likeness.  We understand a good gag for the sake of entertainment, and we know a good sketch when we see one.

Orange Chocolate-Chip Muffins

1 cup milk

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup sour cream

2 eggs

2 sticks unsalted butter

3 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

zest of one orange

1/2 cup chocolate chips

 

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put cupcake liners in two muffin tins.

2)  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and butter.  Whisk ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

3) In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Mix the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, until just incorporated.

4) Fold in the orange zest and the chocolate chips.

5) Fill the muffin cups 1/2-3/4 of the way to the rim.  Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the hot tins as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

Tuna Noodle Casserole

January 28, 2011

There’s something about comfort food that’s just so… comfortable.  We all have favorites.  My  mom’s comfort food is brown rice.  I have a friend who eats hot-cocoa mix dry from the pouch, and another who practically lives on muffins (I’ll give you one guess who :P).  Now, I’ve got my fair share of comfort foods – as you might have guessed anything pumpkin or pumpkin are both way up there on the list.

For a savory comfort food however, there are few foods that beat my family’s tuna noodle casserole.  Seriously.  This stuff just about ran through my veins my first year of medical school.  Try it and enjoy :)

1 box pasta – cooked according to directions

1 bag peas – cooked according to directions

8-10 slices white american cheese

4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp butter

a splash of milk

2 regular sized cans or 1 family sized can tuna in water

salt and pepper to taste

To make everything come out perfectly:

1)  Put water on for pasta

2) Cook peas according to directions in large, microwave safe bowl (big enough for the final product).

3) When water is boiling, start pasta and cook according to directions.

4) When peas are done, strain into colander and set aside.

5)  In same bowl, place cheeses, butter and milk.  Microwave  in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until cheese sauce is smooth and creamy.

6) Add peas and tuna(drained).

7) Drain pasta in same colander as peas.

8) Mix all ingredients together and season to taste.

**Note – for the dorm room version:

1) Prepare easy-mac according to microwave directions, adding a handful of peas before microwaving, and stir in tuna when done. :)

Legal Super Power Pancakes

January 19, 2011

Most of last semester’s grades are in, and I am feeling pretty good.   For the next few weekends, I am free to dance around in pjs until noon, singing “Ooh La La,” and “Dog Days are Over.”  It doesn’t matter how ridiculous this looks because I officially conquered Constitutional Law and my transcript says so.  Since this law school thing seems to be working out, I will comment on my desired Legal Super Power.  My mentor, Alison, shared that if she had a legal super power, she would want the power of specific performance.  That is, whenever she had a client deserving of a certain court-ordered act, she would have the power to make it happen. ( e.g. *Boom* here’s your boat back.  Have a nice life.)  As for me, I would want the power of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure number 11– sanctions for harassing or frivolous litigation.  How great would it be to be able to lay down an instant smackdown on all the frivolous lawsuits? How many problems in the justice system could be solved by eliminating ridiculous civil suits in the federal system?  It’s a happy thought deserving of a really incredible brunch.  And what does every legal superheroine need?  Pancakes—lots and lots of pancakes.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 ½ cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 ¼ cup milk
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup chocolate chips

1)      Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2)      Add the butter, milk, egg, and vanilla.  Mix until just combined without large lumps.

3)      Heat a flat non-stick griddle to 350 degrees, or heat a large frying pan to medium.  (If using a frying pan, use a little extra butter to prevent sticking.) Scoop a scant ¼ cup batter for each pancake.  Sprinkle over with chocolate chips.

4)      Flip pancakes to cook each side evenly, until golden brown.

5)      Serve hot.  I like maple syrup.

 

Pumpkin French Toast

January 10, 2011

My cousin Thomas and I have something in common (more than our last name and dads with terrible senses of humor…)  We love breakfast – pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles… it’s all oh so delicious.  Over Christmas break, Thomas was home from college, and managed to open my eyes to yet another facet of that wonderful, and oh so important first meal of the day – french toast!

In my past experiences, french toast had always been a soggy, chewy thing, only redeemable if stuffed with something delicious.  Thomas, however has made me see the light… light and airy, fluffy and delicious… I think it may be my new favorite breakfast food.

Now, you all know me… I can’t help but try to improve on other peoples’ recipes, or make things my own variation on a theme (exhibit A: eggs in bread bowls).  Now, in the last entry I shared with you a good recipe for pumpkin bread, but it yields two whole loafs…. which is a lot of pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin bread…. french toast…. pumpkin bread… french toast…. LIGHT BULB!

Enjoy :)

2 eggs

a few tablespoons (or a healthy splash) milk/half and half (I’ve never measured, but according to Thomas, this should be enough to lighten the color of the mixture from that of scrambled eggs, but by no means should the mixture be white

a splash of vanilla to taste

1)  Mix egg, milk, and vanilla in a shallow bowl

2)  Heat skillet with a Tbsp. of butter over medium heat until the butter starts to sizzle.

3)  Quickly douse both sides of a slice of pumpkin bread in the egg mixture without dilly dallying ( If you let it soak too long, you’ll have to cook it longer and it will be icky.  That’s right.  Icky.)

4)  Cook doused pumpkin bread 2-4 minutes on each side just until browned.

5)  Enjoy as is – no syrup needed (although some powdered sugar would probably make it pretty for guests)

Smiling New Years Pumpkin Bread

January 2, 2011

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of sharing so many good recipes with you.  I love talking and thinking about food.  And I love sharing that love with others.  But I have a secret you see… on this blog you only see my successes, the things I cook that make me go “yummmm” and antsy to share the recipe with others.  Like anyone who’s spent a decent amount of time experimenting in the kitchen however, I’ve had my fair share of failures.  I’ve burnt things.  I’ve had recipes end in disaster, and ultimately – I’m sad to say – in the garbage.

This loaf of pumpkin bread was nearly one of those disasters.  Bake 30-40 minutes the recipe said.  Long story short, after 40 minutes I took the loaf out, confident that it should be done, only to cut into a bread shell, filled with batter…  Back into the oven for fifteen minutes they went… still not done.  I think it cooked for about an hour total, but to be completely honest, I couldn’t tell you.

If you look carefully at the bread, you’ll see a smiling artifact – welcoming you to the New Year.  Despite the lack of clarity in terms of cook time, this pumpkin bread came out beautifully :)

 

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly bean
  • 16 ounces canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 2 9 by 5 loaf pans.

Stir together sugar and oil. Stir in eggs and pumpkin.

Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.

Blend dry ingredients and water into wet mixture, alternating.

Divide batter between two loaf pans.

Bake for well… probably about 50 minutes, but until the cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.

Pumpkin Fritters

December 31, 2010

It’s the holidays, and as you guys may have realized, I’ve been a little MIA… sorry :(  With all the wrapping and shipping and traveling involved, Just Call Me Betty has fallen down my priority list (in fact LMM has definitely being pulling all the weight around here…) But never fear!  I have returned!  And with such a delicious recipe for all of you too :)

I got the pleasant surprise of LMM coming to spend New Years with me, and am totally on a pumpkin kick :)  Today, I present to you these fabulous pumpkin fritters, I made them to go with a red curry chicken dish I made, but if you like pumpkin… they’d be good with just about anything.

Soon to come:  pumpkin bread, pumpkin french toast, orange slices and more.

Pumpkin Fritters

one 15 oz. can of pumpkin

1/2 c. flour

1 egg

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

a few Tbsp of olive oil to cook in

1) In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly.

2) Heat oil or butter in skillet and drop spoonfuls of batter in the pan.  Proceed to cook like pancakes,

3) Drain on a paper towel covered plate.


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