Pinterest Recipe Challenge #2

#2 PEPPERONI & CHEESE STUFFED BREAD ROLLS

This one looked so good on my Pinterest board and was just calling out my name…begging to be recreated right here in my kitchen. And guess what, guess what?! They are just as good as they look.

You can find the pin from my Pinterest board here. The recipe is originally posted on a very interesting home cooking blog.

pepperoni bites

These gooey cheesy pepperoni bites were love at first bite. The best part is they are SO easy and quick to make. I love them even more because i have these ingredients in my kitchen all the time.

INGREDIENTS I USED:

- bread slices (quantity depends on how many rolls you want to make)

- slices of pepperoni (3 per slice)

- strips/slices of cheddar or mozarella cheese

- garlic powder to sprinkle

- bread crumbs

- 1 beaten egg

- 1 tblsp butter for frying/toasting

DIRECTIONS I FOLLOWED: 

1. Cut off the bread crusts.

2. Using a rolling pin, flatten the bread slices. That makes it easier to roll them up.

3. Arrange 3 slices of pepperoni across the middle of each bread and top with a slice of cheese.

4. Now carefully and tightly roll it.

5. Brush it all around with the beaten egg

6. Roll into the bread crumbs and pat to secure.

7. Heat and grease a frying pan with a tablespoon or less of butter. and fry up the rolls in it. Make sure the heat is not too high, just enough to get a nice toasty golden crumb and melt the cheese. Mmmm, perfect!

8. Once they are warm enough to handle, slice them into bite size pieces and serve!

My Verdict:

This is definitely a keeper. Yayy!

It can be served as an ideal appetizer, party food, and can be added to kid’s lunch boxes. And it’s got me thinking of all the variations i can make from this. Next time I’m thinking to add a filling of chicken + mushroom + cheese OR spinach + chicken + cheese. Tons of options, so go ahead make your own version of these bread roll bites.

Bon appetit!

 

Pinterest Recipe Challenge #1

#1 RED VELVET CAKE

Hey there! So this self imposed recipe challenge has finally begun, woohoo! I wanted the first one to be something special. A reason to celebrate (and eat cake of course). And what could have been better than celebrating a birthday!

Last week it was my brothers last bachelor birthday before he tied the knot :) and that was just the perfect excuse for me to bake a cake.

So what did i choose? A red velvet cakeThis first recipe i tried out from my Pinterest board was originally posted on globetrotterdiaries.com. Really like the blog itself featuring a whole lotta good looking, mouthwatering food from around the world.

The plan was to follow the recipe to the tee to see how it goes, but i admit i was kinda reluctant and a teeny bit scared JUST BECAUSE it was going to be a birthday cake and i didn’t want anything to go wrong.

But read on and hear me out and my experience with this recipe.

INGREDIENTS I USED:

- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

- 1 tsp of salt

NOTE: the original recipe calls for 2 tsp, which i thought would be way too much so didnt take a chance there. Plus if you are using salted butter, you better cut down the salt then.

- 2 tsp of baking powder

- 1/4 tsp of baking soda

- 1/4 cup cocoa powder

- 1 1/2 oz red food coloring

- 1 cup of butter, softened

- 2 cups of sugar

- 3 large eggs, at room temperature

- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

- 1 cup of buttermilk

Frosting:
- 225 grams of butter, softened but not melting
- 24 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 cups of icing sugar, sifted

NOTE: Now for me the amount listed in this recipe made frosting that would probably be enough for 2 cakes. Next time i would definitely make half of this to frost one 9″ layered cake.

DIRECTIONS I FOLLOWED: 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 9-inch cake pans with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and red food coloring together until it turns into a thick maroon paste.

3. Using an electric mixer beat the butter for about 30 seconds until it is creamy.  Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating for about 15 seconds and scrapping the sides down in between.  Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add in the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture until the egg is incorporated before adding the next.  Add the red food coloring and cocoa paste and mix until the it is evenly incorporated and scrape down sides if necessary.

4. Add the flour mixture in thirds alternating with half of the buttermilk.  Beat just until it is incorporated.  Be careful not to overmix the batter, because it will make your cake tougher.

5. Divide the batter between the two pans and using a spatula even and flatten out the batter as much as possible.  Place the pans in the oven on the middle rack.  Cook for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through cooking.

6. Allow the pans to cool on a rack for 10 minutes and carefully move a small knife around the sides of the pan to ensure your cake isn’t sticking to the sides.  Invert the cakes and remove parchment paper.  Be careful that your cake doesn’t break or tear, otherwise it will make frosting the cake a pain as the exposed red crumbs will get caught in your frosting.

Directions for the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for about 30 seconds until creamy.  Add the cream cheese and beat until evenly incorporated.  Add a third of the sugar and start up your mixer but on a very slow speed until all the sugar is absorbed. Repeat until all the sugar is incorporated into the frosting.

To assemble the Cake:

1. When your cakes are completely cooled, use a serrated knife and trim the rounded tops of both cakes so it is flat. Place one cake on the bottom, with the flat un-trimmed side face-up.

2. Put a big dollop of frosting in the center and using a flat spatula (or something similarly long and flat) push the frosting towards the edge of the circle creating a even layer of frosting.  Place the second cake, trimmed side down on the frosting.  Add another big dollop of frosting on the top and working outwards, frost a layer on the top.  Continue to frost the side of the cake by adding and spreading the frosting around with your spatula.

*If you get some red crumbs into your white frosting, do an initial layer of frosting and put the cake into the refrigerator until the frosting hardens.  Then add another layer over the first one and your red crumbs will be covered.

SAD NOTE: All sounds good right? no problemo!  But no, here is the moment where i was about to curl up in a corner and cry. Yup, believe it or not but i messed up this part of the cake. The MOST important part! ugghh. So i started beating the butter, added the cream cheese and everything seemed fine. The texture was nice and smooth. And then i started adding sugar. And it started splitting :( and in the hope that all will be well, i added all of the sugar gradually but it was a mess. Truly a heart sinking moment. So in a panic i just threw the whole thing into the freezer and crossed my fingers. After about 30-45 mins the consistency was okayish. I was able to spread it over the cake without it melting away. But it wasn’t as pristine as i had imagined. It was just enough for it to survive. SIGH!

So frosted the cake with as much enthusiasm i could muster, sprinkled the top with chocolate shavings and let it sit in the fridge until it was time to serve.

Not the prettiest slice of cake, but that's all i could save before the entire cake was gobbled up!

Not the prettiest slice of cake, but that’s all i could save before the entire cake was gobbled up!

birthday boy

So is it a yay? yes it was a YAY recipe because everyone loved it!

My Verdict:

Preparing the cake batter and baking it was all smooth sailing. It turned out pretty good just as i had imagined. The cake was melt in the mouth kind with the cream cheese frosting to compliment it. I did manage to mess up the frosting but still it tasted just fine.

Being true to myself i know i will be trying out other red velvet cake recipes until i settle down on the most loved one :) And also must figure out the deepest darkest secrets of perfect frosting!

 

 

Game on!

I love to bake and cook from scratch. All that homemade goodness is aah… just pure bliss. Although it can be time consuming and challenging, especially with my kiddies running wild, but i love it. I love it all! Even this horrid, hot humid weather nowadays cant keep me away from my oven. But really, the rewards of my labor of love are all truly worth the effort.

Plus i definitely love to try out new recipes posted by the more experienced and amazingly creative bloggers out there. And i certainly love reading their stories and recipes, but a voice at the back of my head keeps pulling me back from trying out anything and everything for the fear of ‘what if it doesn’t turn out right?’…but hey voice! I’m stronger than you think.

Wondering what am i going on about?!

Now is the time to confess. Im addicted to Pinterest. I cant stop gawking at those absolutely beautiful food photos that keep appearing on my screen. They are seriously jaw dropping material. So i have this recipe board over there where I stash all my collection to try out for later. And that later is NOW. I have over 200 pins so far and I’m going to pick the 20 most appealing pins that I’m going to recreate. By recreating I mean to follow the recipe from the pin to the tee. Then lets see if that recipe is a yay or a nay!

So yes, It’s a challenge alright! Yeah, go on throw me that curve ball. Im all warmed up and readddyyyyy to roll-that-dough!  I’m actually feeling like im doing something right. Something that makes me feel all excited and good inside :D Simply put, Im challenging myself to recreate in my kitchen those delicious looking recipes on my Pinterest Board.

Link to my Pinterest Board: http://www.pinterest.com/myfoodielife/my-recipe-stash/

 

 

Brownie Cheesecake

What really tests my patience (besides my kiddo) is a cheesecake setting in my refrigerator. I like to leave it in there overnight, so when i wake up the next morning i have a beautiful chilled dessert to look forward to, and of course  my morning caffeine fix…very very important. Although I wonder why the first cup always tastes better? hmm. Well I’m sure there’s some chemistry there and I’m definitely not a scientific person.

Anyway let’s just keep talking about the velvety, smooth, tangy, and OH so sweet brownie cheesecake that i just attempted! This was an experimental combination for me, which im relieved didn’t turn out to be a disaster. But Im sure it can be better. The only thing i will change next time is to make the brownie base layer thinner…so it would be more cheesecake, less brownie. Still a delightful treat! Take a look…

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This no-bake cheesecake recipe is by far the easiest and fail proof recipe. For the base you can use any of your favorite brownie recipe. Please read on for my step by step process:

STEP 1: Make a simple brownie batter according to the recipe you are following. Bake in a springform pan. Set aside to cool completely.

STEP 2: Prepare the no-bake cheesecake batter.

INGREDIENTS: 

500 grams cream cheese (room temperature)

1 1/4 cup condensed milk

1/4 cup + 2 tblsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla essence

DIRECTIONS:

1. Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth.

2. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

3. Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice until all is nice and smooth.

STEP 3: Slice/tort the brownie into a 1″ or ideally half inch layer. Place it back into the pan. This is now your cheesecake base.

note: I found it helpful to line the cake pan with wax paper before pouring the cheesecake batter in. It was much easier and neater when i took the chilled cake out. 

STEP 4: Pour the cheesecake batter onto this brownie base. Even it out with a spatula.

STEP 5: Cover with cling film and let it set and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

STEP 6: Next morning carefully take the cake out of the pan. For the top layer i simply blitzed the remaining brownie cake that i had in a food processor along with some toasted almonds. Then simply sprinkle on top of the cake and slice away!

Banana Crumb Muffins

A light & fluffy banana muffin with a delicious cinnamon and brown sugar streusel topping! Trust me, they’re a perfect start to a day. The cinnamon and brown sugar topping is really what makes these rather ordinary banana muffins stand out. The crunch from the topping with the softness of the cake makes these a winner.

In fact all banana baked goodies are my favorite and easiest way of putting those dying bananas to good use. And I’m sure it passes as a healthy treat…it has fruit in it right?! :)

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

For the Crumb top:

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon butter, room temperature but not too soft.
  • 2 tablespoon of your favorite chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375°F or about 190°C. And then lightly grease a muffin tray or line them up with paper cups.
  2. Take a large bowl and then mix together 1 ½ cups flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Next, stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture.
  3. Mix together into a batter. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups.
  4. For the topping whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nuts (if using) in a mixing bowl.
    Add the butter and use your fingers to rub into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is well incorporated.
  5. Now sprinkle this streusel topping over the muffins.
  6. Place the muffin tray into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center to check if they’re ready.
  7. cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

 NOTE:

- Keep at room temperature.

- Best consumed the same day.

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Banana Walnut Bread

I need a good happy vacation (who doesn’t right!) *sigh* craaavvvvving!

Lately i have been wandering down the memory lane a lot and lingering there longer than i should. But that’s the best source of entertainment right now considering my sleepy, cranky, numb and moody state of mind. And of course, baking! That’s my ultimate savior. 

So if you’ve had and like banana breads, you should be ecstatic to be reading this :) This bread that i baked was initially inspired by the Starbucks Banana Walnut Bread. Yes, initially. Why? well, because when i started looking around for a recipe similar to Starbucks one, i found 2 recipes that seemed authentic enough, but guess what?! they were both totally different, but claimed to taste just like Starbucks. So i actually ended up making it a third way (that’s what usually happens with me) taking a bit of this and a bit of that until it made the most sense to me. And Eureka! I now have the most light, soft and aromatic banana walnut bread to indulge in.

IMG_1336

IMG_1344

Oh and this time around i wanted to try making this without using any electrical equipment just to see the difference and also because I was too lazy to get the mixer out. So did all the mixing by hand and really, the result was no different. It baked beautifully.

Go ahead, you need to try this.

p.s, I’m not claiming this to be exactly a Starbucks version, but its more than good enough for me…until i can go on that much wanted vacation and experience the aromatic soothing coffee shop goodies…till then, this will do just fine :)

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tblsp sour cream

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup walnuts

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 180c.

2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in salt. Set aside.

3. In another mixing bowl, add both the sugars and oil. Mix together using a hand whisk. Add in egg and vanilla essence. Mix again.

4. Mash the bananas with a fork.

5. Now , add the bananas and sour cream and give it a good mix again.

6. Now using a spatula, mix in the dry ingredients a little at a time. in 3 batches preferably. Add in the walnuts at the end too, saving some for the top of the bread.

7. Mix the batter together lightly until just incorporated. Do not over mix.

8. Pour the batter into a lined and greased baking pan. Bake for 45-60 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

9. Let it cool in the pan completely before taking it out.

Plus point: kids love it too. At least mine did :) he couldn’t even wait till it was completely cool and gobbled up a warm slice of yummy banana walnut bread. Well, now i know what to give him for lunch!

Happy Baking.

IMG_1350

Creamy Potato Soup

I don’t particularly love winters, nor do i hate them. I have mixed feelings. There are days when i don’t feel like getting out of bed all day (yeah, like that can ever happen…sigh!) but that’s not how life works right? So i grab a cuppa joe (or many) and it keeps me going. All last week, besides craving caffeine, i was craving some comforting hot potato soup.

Off to the kitchen! making the soup is actually quite simple and easy but takes a lot of patience. Basically, you just chop things up and throw them in a pot. Then let it simmer away. I didn’t have a prepared broth before hand, so i first made the chicken broth and then loaded it with veggies and potatoes. And all things yummy.

This potato soup is thick, sumptuous and heart warming. It’s comfort food at its best, and don’t even bother figuring out the calorie count. Just enjoy the warmth and richness. For me soups are definitely the nicest part of winter!

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CREAMY POTATO SOUP

Adapted this recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cooks

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tblsp butter + 1 tblsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tblsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the butter and oil. Add in garlic and diced onion. Saute just enough to soften the onions up a bit, dont let them get any color.
  2. Add in the carrots and potatoes. Pour in the chicken broth and let it come to a boil.
  3. Let it simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft.
  4. whisk together the flour and milk and add to the soup. mix well and let it simmer for another 5 mintues. Turn of the heat, let soup cool slightly before blending it in a food processor/blender.
  5. Blend 3/4 of the soup to a smooth texture. Pour back into the pan.
  6. Now add seasoning and taste.
  7. Heat it back up and stir in the cream and cheese. Mix until all is well combines.
  8. serve hot garnished with green onions, crispy fried sausage/chicken bits, shredded cheese or croutons.

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