Posts Tagged ‘nutmeg’

UrMom’s Banh Mi

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

This recipe is all about the carrots… The kind pulled fresh out of the ground, sweet and crunchy and carroty. I think I love garden carrots as much as I love garden tomatoes!

I’ve wanted to make a version of this sandwich all season long… It has been in the “Spring/Summer Want-to-Make” pile ever since I drooled over it week after week during a show about food trucks on the Food Network.

I knew there was something special about the flavors in this sandwich, and I correctly figured if it could be made in a food truck it could be made in my kitchen!

Sad to say, the banh mi truck did not win, (nor did the food truck from Austin…). The winning truck was from New York, and they made killer burgers, which now that I think about it actually seems kinda boring compared to a few bites of this sandwich!

Gather Up:
3 cups shredded garden carrots
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
Pinch kosher salt
1/3 cup shoyu soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons garam masala, recipe follows
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1.5 pounds thin pork loin chops
6 soft rolls
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro
Jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced circles
Fresh limes

About 2 hours before serving prepare the pickled carrots. Whisk the sugar, vinegar and salt until dissolved. Add the carrots, cover and refrigerate.

About 1 hour before serving, combine the soy sauce, sugar, garam masala, black pepper and garlic. Pour over the chops, seal and marinate in the refrigerator.

Heat a heavy pan over medium high heat and oil lightly. Take the pork chops out of the marinade and place in pan, being careful not to crowd the chops. No meat should be touching, so do this step in 2 batches.

Cook on each side about 2 minutes; each chop should be a caramel brown color. Remove to carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Slice the chops into thin strips. Lightly toast the buns.

To assemble sandwich, spread mayonnaise over bottom of bun. Pile a layer of pickled carrots, then a layer of cucumber slices, then some sprigs of cilantro. Add a generous amount of pork strips, thin slices of jalapeno and a big squeeze of lime juice over the whole thing!

Garam Masala (This is totally worth making and keeping on hand!)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground fennel seed
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix well, using a spice grinder if some of your spices are still in seed form. Store in a tightly closed container and use at will!

Recipe inspired by Texas carrots and adapted from Banh Mi Wrap

Buttermilk Cakes with Spiced Vanilla Icing

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

I am a huge fan of buttermilk! It all started with a fantastic buttermilk pancake recipe that I still make to this day from one of my mom’s cookbooks. (Said book is a Betty Crocker from the 1950’s with ink drawings…super retro!) Back then I didn’t try to analyze why they tasted so good, I only knew that pancakes with buttermilk were WAY better than ones without…

But I did start trying every recipe that called for buttermilk, especially when desserts were involved. It was kind of my secret weapon – it made everything taste good! I have since discovered the joy of things like buttermilk biscuits, buttermilk fried chicken, buttermilk salad dressing, buttermilk marinades, the list goes on and on… In other words, I am pretty much never without it.

If you love to bake you probably have some on hand right now too! Who can argue with its tangy flavor, sort of a cross between melted butter and sour cream. And even though it is thick and creamy, it is low in fat. Enough said.

Another favorite baking trick of mine is to take a whole cake and break it down into manageable tidbits. Then it becomes not such a commitment… Then it becomes easier to give a bit of it away… Then its dietary intimidation is reduced down to a few bites of fun! And who doesn’t want a few bites of fun?

These little buttermilk cakes are super yummy and the icing is good on just about anything! (And if you are feeling daring, a bundt pan will work just as well…)

Gather Up:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups flour
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup buttermilk
2 cups cooked butternut squash puree

For the Icing:
2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons buttermilk, approximately
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup crystallized ginger, ground to dust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour muffin pans for 12 cakes.

In a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar on medium until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the oil and beat another 15 seconds.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.

Add the vinegar and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Add half of the flour, the baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg, mixing on low until just combined.

Add half of the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk.

Fold the squash into the batter and spoon into muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20-30 minutes.

Cool in the pans for 15 minutes then turn onto cooling racks. When completely cool, prepare the icing.

To make the icing whisk the sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, nutmeg and salt until smooth, adding a little more sugar or a little more buttermilk to get an icing that is pourable but still quite thick.

Pour the icing back and forth in ribbons on the cakes. Sprinkle with a light dusting of ground crystallized ginger. Let the icing set about 45 minutes.

Recipe from Fine Cooking, December 2008

Eggnog Cake with Almond Crust

Friday, December 24th, 2010

At long last, Christmas is upon us! At our house we look forward to the Christmas season every year: the tree, the lights, the decorations, the baking, the hustle and bustle…we LOVE Christmas. There’s a joyful energy in the air for the whole month. It’s magical.

But Christmas can be a little bit like planning a wedding. (An analogy that is top of mind for me this year.) You get caught up in the details – the parties, the shopping, getting your house ready – and you forget to pause and remember what the day is really all about. In the wedding analogy, this means focusing on the marriage rather than the accompanying party. On Christmas this means remembering what we’re really celebrating – the first half of that word: Christ. He’s the sole reason for the hope and joy that Christmas encompasses. He was the perfect gift. In fact, He’s the only gift that really matters.

So this Christmas, amid the unwrapping and eggnog and cookies, we hope you have a minute to  stop and reflect on the real reason for the day. We’ll be doing the same. And…we’ll be munching on this…

This eggnog cake is the perfect last-minute dessert. (Perfect for a last-minute post! Did this week get away from anyone else?!) It is super easy, super moist and the almond crust negates the need for glazing. We make this cake every year…usually at the last minute!

Although we have baked lots of eggnog goodies this cake is one we keep coming back to. It uses lots of eggnog, and the rum-infused batter is to-die-for good! Seasonal, homemade, fast. Perfect.

P.S. It uses a yellow cake mix. Please don’t judge, (or better yet, please don’t tell!)

You can think of this post as our little Christmas card and know that we’re sending prayers and love and best wishes from our family to yours for a blessed, happy, joyful Christmas! Merry Christmas!!

Gather Up:
3 tablespoons softened butter
½ cup sliced almonds
1 package yellow cake mix
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1 ½ cup eggnog
¼ cup melted butter
2 tablespoons dark rum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously grease a bundt pan with 3 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle the almonds against the sides and bottom of the pan. Do not skimp on the butter – it will form the almond crust around the cake.

In an electric mixer combine the cake mix, nutmeg, eggs, eggnog, melted butter and rum. Beat until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 45 – 50 minutes.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto rack and cool completely.

Love…Nancy, Ellen and Robin

Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Monday, December 6th, 2010

First and foremost, THANK YOU. Seriously. Thank you so much to all of you who voted for us in the Austin Blogger Awards. It meant so much to us that you all were willing to take the time to cast a vote on our behalf. Really. You made our whole week! We didn’t win, but that’s not really what this is all about anyways. I work in social media, so I know that “community” is what’s really important. Sometimes that seems like flip consulting speak, but last week I saw that it’s actually very real. It has been so fun to get to know all of you over the course of the last 8 months or so, and we’re so very thankful to be a part of such a great community of people. So really, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And now for one of the magical recipes we promised as tangible thanks…

It was a very Martha Stewart kind of weekend at our house, and if Martha has taught me one thing, it’s that there are not enough hours in the day. I mean really. How does the woman manage to sugar pears, string popcorn, create tissue-paper poinsettias and cook a holiday feast in less than 24 hours?! SHE’S the Christmas miracle! (I’m kidding. I know that she’s not the REAL Christmas miracle, but her stamina is amazing nonetheless.)

All this to say…we had grandiose plans this weekend. Those plans involved decorating our gorgeous Frasier Fir, putting up the Snow Village and unloading the other 18 boxes of Christmas décor, but what you’re looking at on this blog post is about the extent of what we actually accomplished. But, we promised you magical recipes, and we were going to deliver.

Oh – and what’s that in the background of our picture? Just some fun dessert-inspired Christmas décor. That candy cake is probably one of the best craft projects I’ve ever embarked on – I LOVE that thing. It’s so cute and so festive. And the bonus is…you have to buy LOTS of candy. LOTS of leftovers. (To clarify – this is not a Martha craft. This is pure Ellen Reynolds…with a little inspiration from the former Candylicious in Houston.)

But don’t let the candy cake distract you. The real star of this post is Martha’s Chocolate Ginger Cookies. Like all things Martha, they’re a tad time consuming, but they are SO worth it in the end. The ginger flavor isn’t overwhelming at all – it adds just a bit of spice, which is offset perfectly by the addition of cocoa and chocolate chips. The baking sugar adds sweetness and crunch. These are by far our favorite Christmas cookies, and they’re also the best. If you’re going to make one “blow you away, never forget about it for the rest of your life” cookie recipe, this is it. Seriously, these cookies will change your holiday season.

Gather Up:
7 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, pulverized or 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons boiling water
¼ cup white sparkling sugar

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and crystallized ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add the brown sugar, and beat until combined. Add molasses, and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. Beat half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Beat in the baking soda mixture, then the remaining half of the flour mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Turn dough out onto a piece of wax paper. Pat the dough out to about 1-inch thick, seal with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in sparkling sugar.

Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 9-11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies and is from an old Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Texas Pecan Cake with Butter Pecan Glaze

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Updated (again): We’ve been nominated in the Austin Blogger Awards in two categories – Best New Blog and Best Food Blog for Recipes! We’re very excited and we would love to ask for your votes! Voting runs through 5pm CST on Friday, 12/3…soooo…if you like what you see here, please go here to vote. We’ll come up with some magical recipes to say thank you! :)

When I stop to think about what I was doing at this time last year, it’s kind of crazy. Lots of things have changed. For starters, I wasn’t engaged: I wasn’t planning a wedding, dress shopping or signing up for premarital counseling. Needless to say, the past few months have been very exciting!

But, my personal life isn’t the only thing that has changed. Last year at this time, my work life was completely different, too. Our organization was smaller at the time, and I was in a corporate support role rather than the client-facing consulting role I’m in today. At about this exact time, I was probably addressing hundreds of holiday cards. A task that I in no way loathed. I’ll say it now, and I’ll probably say it again…I LOVE Christmas. It is my favorite holiday, and I am always beside myself for the whole month of December. I could hand-address holiday cards all day without complaining. (And I did.)

So although I love the position I’m in now, I’ve been secretly wishing I could contribute *something* to my company’s holiday planning. And then my boss emailed me. As it turns out, our holiday card this year will be an electronic cookbook featuring a seasonal recipe from each of the cities where we have an office, and he asked if I would like to submit one of my personal faves. Ummmm, YES. Yes I would.

I wanted to pick a recipe that is true to Austin and the Texas Hill Country. This cake is perfect because it just so happens that Texas’ state tree is the Pecan Tree. We’re usually right on Georgia’s heels for the top-producing pecan state. An average crop in Texas yields 60 million pounds!

The cake batter is made with local, homegrown butternut squash and seasonal spices, but Texas pecans are the real star of this dessert. Both the cake batter and the glaze are chock-full of them. They’re part of the 2lb. bag of “fresh crop” I picked up in Fredericksburg a couple weeks ago, and when they’re toasted, the flavor is unrivaled.

Gather Up:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ cups roasted and pureed butternut squash
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup freshly grated coconut
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped

For the Butter Pecan Glaze:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup cream + 1 tablespoon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a bundt pan.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In an electric mixer beat the butter at medium high speed until light and creamy, scraping down the bowl often.

Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, again scraping down the bowl often.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in the butternut squash and the vanilla until combined.

Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until just blended.

Remove from mixer and fold in coconut and pecans.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the sides of the cake have just started to pull away from the pan.

Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack and cool completely.

To make the glaze, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan until bubbling. Add the pecans and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Mix in the brown sugar and the cream. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Cook and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool until thickened. Drizzle over the cake.

Welcome to Like Mother Like gal, stay at home mom, college student. Just 3 girls who love to eat and are dedicated to doing it the old-fashioned way! Plan, shop, cook, bake, clean, sleep, repeat. Hope you enjoy - we are so glad you are here!
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