Greek Yogurt Cake:

yogurtcake1I’m not the biggest ‘cake’ fan in the world, probably because I’m too busy counting all the calories and fat with each bite I take. To be fair, I actually do like cake, I just don’t like the fact that cake goes straight to my butt. Greek yogurt cake, with half the sugar and fat (and no butter!), cake butt problem solved! Funny thing about baking without butter is that it has a much longer counter life. If you use butter when baking 24 hours is about as long as it can last without drastically changing the flavor and consistency. Using oil however, gives you 3-5 days easy.

Confession: So, guess what happened? Part of the reason I made this cake was for the longer counter life, and the thing was GONE in about 2 hours. Not all by me mind you, but still. Gotta be a record. Nothing better than when an awesome healthy cake speaks for itself. Did I mention that this takes about 7 minutes to mix all together, and no mixer? Wow, how else can I advertise how awesome this is? Need one more reason? Ok, fine. Once you frost it, it slowly starts to seep into the cake, giving it the perfect gooey cake bite.

Aghh, now I need cake. What’s your favorite cake???!

Greek Yogurt Cake with Maple Frosting 

2 containers of Greek Yogurt (I used one vanilla and one honey Oikos)

2/3 cup olive oil

1 1/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a springform pan with a non stick spray and set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients until well mixed. Add the rest of the ingredients on the list until there are no more lumps. Pour into your greased pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Maple Frosting

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 cup powdered sugar

2 drops of vanilla

Mix together and drizzle over the cake once the cake as fully cooled.

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Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocochipcrisp1So I’m more of a cakey-cookie eater myself. But, Cakes, is not. Crispy on the outside, little chewy on the inside (and preferably store in the freezer) is how he takes his. It’s a Sunday and I’ve been out-of-town for work for the last week. I need some kitchen time. I banished him to the basement to watch football so the upstairs would be alllllll mine! TV muted, lappy-toppy propped in its place on the breakfast bar, Pandora/Swedish House Mafia Station: ON, volume cranked.

Wiggle, wiggle, rock.

Mixer powered up, oven preheated, butter and eggs ready at room temp. Oh man, have I been missing this for the last week. 30 minutes later, crispy-chewy chocolate chip cookies, thanks to Curvy Carrot. I didn’t alter this recipe much, but I’ll post the little changes I did make. She is a fantastic cook and blogger, check her out.

You’ll notice the pic of the x3 stacker below…I was snapping photos and just barely caught a glimpse of Cakes attempting to sneak out of the kitchen with something in his hand. I hollered at him to come back in the room, what do I see? He was using the stack-n-eat method for quicker inhalation. Idiot.

Clearly I didn’t have to beg him too hard to try them, let alone consume half the batch just after cooling.chocochipcrisp2

Crispy-Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick of butter, softened

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of light karo syrup

1 1/2 cups flour, spooned

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp milk

1 cup mini semi-sweet chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 375

2. In mixer, mix your butter,sugars,and karo for about a minute on medium speed.

3. Mix your flour mixture together in a separate bowl with a whisk.

4. Add your egg yolk, vanilla, and milk into the butter mixture until well mixed. It will start to get a little fluffy at this point.

5. Slowly add in your flour mixture just until mixed in.

6. Add choco chips but mix by hand with a spatula.

7. Line your pans with parchment paper and scoop a tbsp per cookie.

8. Bake for 10 minutes.

Soft Pretzel

pretzels1So I’ve never been a soft pretzel or Auntie Anne’s lover. Cakes on the other hand…claims to be a connoisseur. After battling thru an upper respiratory infection and all that nasty sickness going around, I decided to make pretzels. He’s been asking for these since probably the summer…and I just haven’t found the gumption to make something I’m not a fan of (selfish).

These fall in the category of, stupid easy. For someone who doesn’t mind step-filled recipes and a little complication, I sure do seem to find ones that are a breeze, as long as you don’t have problem killing your least three times in a row (confession?? Ugh, No one will over think proofing yeast like I do.)

I have to admit, I probably should have gone the extra mile and made a sauce…but I didn’t. A project for the next time due the fact that he looked like I ran over the family pet with a car when I didn’t make any ‘cheese sauce/mess/disaster/concoction’. Noted… make sauce.

There are a bakers dozen of ‘Copycat’ Auntie Anne’s recipe’ but it’s all the same ingredients. When it involves yeast, and there aren’t a lot of fancy flavors mixed in….it is what it is. Save the fun flavors and fancy parts for some homemade dipping sauce (I’m on it).

Soft Pretzels

1 cup of milk
1 packet active-dry yeast
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp of melted butter
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
 
To Dip:
1/4 cup baking sode
1 1/2 cups of warm water
 
1. Warm milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds, want it to be around 110 degrees. Stir in the yeast and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Add the butter and sugar.
2. Add in the flour a few tbsp at a time and need in the stand mixer for about 8 minutes or until the dough starts becoming elastic.
3. In a greased bowl, place in your dough, covered in a warm place for an hour. (I usuallly warm the oven to 150 and shut it off when I put the dough in)
4. After an hour, or until dough has double in size, punch down the dough, and preheat oven to 450. Seperate the dough into 8 even sized chunks.
5. On a flat surface, roll out each chunk with both your palms out to make it thin and long. DO NOT FLOUR YOUR SURFACE or it won’t roll out. You need to work quickly and keep a towel over whatever dough you’re not working with to keep moist.
6. Combine your warm water and soda, form each dough straw into a pretzel shape then set it on a slotted spatula and dip into the mixture. By placing it on the spatula it makes it easier to dip them and keep the shape of your pretzel.
7. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 8 minutes or until browned. Once you pull them out I melted more butter and painted it on and topped with course sea salt.

Roasted Red Potatoes: New Years Resolution

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I could go back and look, but I’m not gonna. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a post about actual….food. December Sweet Treats had me hooked and is slowly releasing me, slowly. Getting away from prepackaged, pre-seasoned, boxed, and prepared meals/sides of any type is my New Years Resolution, yay for being realistic! (Confession) I wish everyone that was at the gym today that will disappear in the next 30 days would adopt similar realistic goals instead of ones that they won’t keep, or at least that are inconvenience to my daily workouts.

Although I always believe in having a backup in a situation such rainy or snowed-in day, but 99% of what I’m trying to have is fresh produce or at least frozen veggies at the minimum. One great thing about potatoes is you can buy them and you don’t have to use them the same day, or even the same week. Guess what great thing number two is? They’re stupid easy.

Honey:  Because I normally use honey as my main flavor agent here, and I haven’t had any in the house…in months I had to make a back-up plan. Since when did they start charging your first-born child for 8oz of honey?? I think $11 bucks seems a little excessive. Plus, whenever I buy honey, I make bad-for-you-treats and it flies out of my pantry. As all best recipes are, simple, sweet, and savory. This one isn’t any different!

Sweet and Savory Roasted Reds         Yield 4

apprx 10 red potatoes
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp grapeseed oil (you can substitute whatever you have for this, I just happen to keep grapeseed and sunflower on hand)
1 tbsp grainy Dijion mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 of a green pepper, sliced
1/4 of an onion, sliced
1 tsp parsley
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
 
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Sliced each potato in half, then each half into quarters. Slice your onion and pepper as well, toss all these into a dish or bowl.
3. Add in your oil, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, salt (and pepper) into the bowl. Mix well, then place onto a pan lined with parchment paper. Try to make sure you get even spacing between all the potatoes, this will allow them to cook more evenly and to be crisp not mooshy.
4. Cook for 20 min. Here is where I pull them out of the oven for a minute and do a taste-test. Here you can add more s/p as needed (want an extra flavor? add Lawrys or crushed red pepper here) then pop them back in the oven for another 10 minutes then top with parsley.
 

German Rose Pie (German Apple Pie)

GermanRosePie2Welcome 2013! What a better way to kick off a new blogging year but with a pretty pie! I’ve made many fruit pies over the last couple of years, but I love apple the most. It’s simple, it’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s just perfect. It’s an all generation love pie, and it’s beautiful. Over Christmas this year, my Dad, and my future Father-In-Law love apple pie, so what better way to appease the two big kahunas for family dinner?! 🙂

I would never recommend using a pre-made crust, I don’t condone fake food….How you can be OK with fake/over=processed when the real thing is so easy and soooo much better. Bah. Pie rant over. Make the real deal. Totally worth the flaky, buttery, delicious.

German Rose Pie (Apple Pie)

Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter
1 tsp of vanilla
4-6 tbs of cold water
Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Cut the cold butter into square cubes then cut into the flour. Once the butter has broken down into pea size, add the vanilla, then ice water.
Roll out your pastry to go 2” past the pie plate rim. Trim the edges so it’s an even overhang all around, then fold in the edges and flute the edges.
*If you have problems transferring the dough to the pie plate, I find it helpful to flour the dough and then fold it in half, this way it doesn’t have a chance to rip, and makes for a flawless transfer.
Filling:
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 shakes of cloves
5-6 Granny Smith Apples (peeled and sliced)
1 cup half-half (or heavy cream)
Combine flour, sugar, and spices into a small bowl and blend. Place 3 tbsp of the mixture into the base of the pie crust. Arrange the apples in a full layer on the base, then sprinkle with another layer (apprx a tbsp) of the sugar blend. As you progress, move in each arrangement of apples so it starts to form pretty layers, bringing it in a half inch or so at a time. Once you have just a few apples left, arrange the final layer into a circle that resembles the layers of a rose. Pour cream over the top of all the filling.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until the crust starts to turn golden brown. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for about 55 minutes or until apples become tender.

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