Monthly Archives: September 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

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Happy fall everybody! You know what that means… it’s pumpkin season!

We’ve been really busy with school, etc., but fear not, we haven’t stopped dreaming up culinary delights to share with you. Inspired by all things pumpkin this fall, we’ve decided to share some pumpkin spice cream cheese. It’s super easy and delicious and will make you feel like loving fall… even if the thermostat in your fifth period classroom is still registering at 87 degrees. True stuff, I wish Mother Nature would just make up her mind and act like fall.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
Makes about 1/2 cup

2 oz (about 4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Dash of salt

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat on low speed until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use, then spread on a lightly toasted bagel.

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Grilled Cheese Weekend: The Brie Berry Bombshell

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So balsamic vinegar, strawberries, and brie walk onto a griddle….

And, paired with some yummy bread, they make a delicious and unconventional grilled cheese sandwich.

Weird, right? Did you ever think of putting strawberries and cheese in between two slices of bread? No? We didn’t either, until brie was found in my refrigerator (along with many, many other weird cheeses) and The Flavor Bible proclaimed that it went well with strawberries. Which happen to go well with balsamic vinegar.

Kind of a strange but hugely satisfying combination.

The Brie Berry Bombshell (The B3)

To prepare, just combine a couple sliced strawberries with about a half teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Adjust the vinegar to taste.
Spread brie cheese on a slice of buttered bread. To with the balsamic strawberries and sandwich between a second slice of buttered bread.
Cook on a griddle for a couple minutes on each side, until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is sizzling and melt-y. Enjoy!

We hope you enjoyed Grilled Cheese Weekend and are feeling extra cheesy right now. If you decide these are too creative or delicious-looking for you, there’s always the classic grilled cheese: gooey American cheese in between two golden brown slices of buttered white bread. Simple deliciousness. Don’t worry, we won’t judge.

Grilled Cheese Weekend: The Fig, Prosciutto ‘n’ Cheese

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Do you know how to spell “prosciutto”?

No? We don’t either (thanks spellcheck!) But that’s ok. You can still use this fancy pig in your sandwiches.

The Fig, Prosciutto ‘n’ Cheese: Layer dried figs, prosciutto, and brie in between two slices of buttered bread. Grill. Eat. Yum.

We also tried this with goat cheese, and came to the conclusion that either brie or goat cheese is delicious. Fresh figs would probably better than dried, but those were the only kind we had in the fridge.

Grilled Cheese Weekend: The Gouda Baconator

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Oh hey there. I bet the extremely professional and classy title of this post caught your eye. For good reason, my friends! This is because it is Grilled Cheese Weekend, a weekend where Caty and I will be posting a different fancypants grilled cheese recipe EVERY SINGLE DAY. That’s 3 fabulous grilled cheese recipes in 3 days. Can you take the excitement? If so, read on.

Caty and I had a lovely afternoon listening to the radio and experimenting with the many cheeses in her refrigerator. (I did not know that it was possible for a family of four to need that many different kinds.) We eventually settled on three separate and delicious sandwiches, the first of which is called The Gouda Baconator. It is absolutely delicious. Who knew that little fried bits of bacon, gouda cheese, and apple butter could taste so good together on a sandwich? Pros of TGB: bacon. (Need I say more?) Also, the gouda/apple combo plus the meat gives a nice smoky flavor to the sandwich. Cons: Gouda is not especially given to melting, so if you’re the kinda person who loves a good stretchy, melty mozzarella you may want to substitute in a different type of cheese. Other than that: it’s the perfect autumnal snack.

Stay tuned for more griddle goodness tomorrow!

The Gouda Baconator: Assemble hearty bread + Gouda cheese + crumbled bacon +apple butter. Sizzle on a buttered griddle until golden brown. Eat immediately.


Double Chocolate Banana Bread

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What’s better than doing calculus homework?

Oh wait, that was a terrible question. Anything is better than doing calculus homework, especially eating copious amounts of double chocolate chip banana bread.

I won’t tell you the backstory of why we had frozen and defrosted this loaf of banana bread because it’s probably really irrelevant and Georgia did not seem to be enthralled.

ANYWAY.

My mom has been making this recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook for years, as evidenced by page 248 and 249 being stained with what I think is a mixture of cocoa powder and creamed butter and sugar. Oh, and the binding is broken. This basic banana bread recipe is well-loved. But before you accuse me of posting something neither Georgia nor I made, I’m quickly going to add that I made this loaf, and a second loaf of regular banana bread (which was sent off to college with my brother). I’m a chocoholic. So is Georgia. And chocolate and banana are clearly made for one another.

As stated before, the original recipe is a basic, regular banana bread–no frills, except for some walnuts. Because almost anything is better with chocolate, I like to add cocoa powder and chocolate chips. I like mini chocolate chips, for no specific reason other than they’re really cute. And they look nice when placed on top of the loaf just before baking.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups whole-wheat or whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large, ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/4 cup mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 4 x 3 inch loaf pan, or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition.
  3. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture and stir well.
  4.  Fold in mashed bananas, vanilla, and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (or more!) Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

If you make this, be prepared to consume the entire loaf, seriously. Unless you have some insane amount of self-control when it comes to food, especially chocolatey food.

Thank goodness bananas and chocolate are healthy!

Empire Delicious Party

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Hello all! Just here to inform you about our first food-blog-related job offer, a serving/photographing gig for Leslie Banker, an extremely lovely woman who hosted a party for the launch of her new design-related website, Empire Delicious (http://www.empiredelicious.com) last Saturday. Despite the inclement weather (coughcoughIrenecough), the party was quite fun and lively.

Caty and I helped out by setting up, prepping some extremely delightful hors d’oeuvres, and taking pictures of the festivities, food and such. We thought we’d share some of the pictures with you guys. Be sure to check out Empire Delicious, where you can buy cute  cocktail kits, which include napkins that say “Cheers!” and other fun accessories for entertaining.

Thanks for reading. Peace.

P.S. As school has started, Caty and I might not be posting QUITE as often, but never fear… our undying love for eating–I mean, our adoration for this food blog– has not diminished in the slightest, and we fully intend on continuing it throughout the year!

Pre-Irene

Simple but delicious- Buttered white bread topped with smoked salmon and fresh chives

Pâté is fancy, especially if it's on tiny toasts. And strawberries are cute.

Spanakopita: If you can't pronnounce it, just say, "Would you like some spinach turnovers?"

An Empire Delicious cocktail kit!

Coconut Cupcakes

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Hey, guess what?

We hit 1,000 views! (We think it’s kind of a big deal..) Thank you, everyone, for your support! We love you!

To celebrate this blogging milestone, we made coconut cupcakes. We topped some with the traditional shredded coconut, and others with rainbow sugar, because rainbow sugar (or sprinkles) = a party.


We used Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa) coconut cupcakes recipe. Georgia’s been dying to try them. I’m glad she suggested it, because they were sooo delicious.

As per usual, we made a couple adaptations, just because we’re too lazy excited to make sure we have all the ingredients on-hand before cooking. We didn’t have any almond extract, because someone put the empty bottle back in the pantry–in the box. Deceiving, right? Or maybe it just evaporated. Yeah, we’ll say it evaporated. Don’t want to point any fingers at the family now, do we?

We also used powdered buttermilk culture in place of liquid buttermilk. This is probably one of my favorite ingredients. No, just kidding, that’s really weird. But it’s seriously awesome for baking because it doesn’t spoil as fast as liquid buttermilk, which can turn into butter or something gross if you forget it’s in your fridge.

For food styling’s sake, we baked half the batch in colored silicon baking cups, and arranged them in rainbow order. We learned ROYGBIV in middle school science together. I consider it one of the most important things we’ve learned in school. It’s so useful for arranging cupcakes, drawing rainbows, and organizing your closet. (What, who said that?! Who organizes the clothes their closet by color..?)

We only made half a batch and ended up with plenty of cupcakes. We even had enough leftover batter to make some mini cupcakes. Really, what’s cuter than mini cupcakes?

If you like coconut and cupcakes, then make these. Right now. They would probably be even more delicious with toasted coconut on top. Yummmm.

Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 4 tablespoons/1 envelope powdered buttermilk and 1 cup water)
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bow, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. With an electric mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after each addition to incorporate. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (and powdered buttermilk, if using). In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk (or water, if using powdered), beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined–don’t overmix! Fold in 7 ounces of the coconut, reserving the rest for the frosting.
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or silicon baking cups and fill with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a baking rack and cool completely. If you’re eager to eat cupcakes, freeze them for a little while.
  5. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. With an electric mixer on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut or rainbow sugar.