very fluffy buttermilk pancakes

I tried a new recipe for buttermilk pancakes that’s very similar to my other ones.  I was very happy with the result and so was my own personal Alex Si Hente (from the old Savarin Coffee commercial), my son Benji.  I also made them for my mother’s best friend Adele, and she enjoyed them as well, commenting that she loved my pancakes, but no others!

adapted from ohsweetbasil.com melt in your mouth buttermilk pancakes:

  • 2 cups organic King Arthur brand unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs- fresh from the farm, separated
  • 2 cups Friendship 1.5  percent fat (make sure you shake before using) 
  • 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (either salted or unsalted- I happened to use salted)  

First, melt butter in small microwave-safe dish and set aside to cool.  Put dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Measure buttermilk in pyrex glass cup measurer.  Then add egg yolk to the buttermilk.  Add melted butter and mix till well blended.

In separate glass bowl by hand with wire whisk or pharmacy online using a hand-held mixer (I did this by hand), mix egg whites till almost stiff, but not quite.

Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and fold in with canadian pharmacy rubber spatula till almost smooth- but batter still has some lumps.  Then fold in egg whites gently.

Heat non-stick griddle.  Then coat very lightly with butter. Do not let your butter brown! Scoop 1/4 cup spoonfuls onto hot griddle.   Leave alone till you have the idea that the undersides are brown, use buy modafinil a spatula and peek under.  If sufficiently browned, carefully flip with a wide spatula.  Cook till browned nicely on other side.

Serve immediately with butter and pure maple syrup.

 

Amazing, Incredible Irish Soda Bread

This is the most perfect Irish soda bread imaginable.  My son Danny’s friends couldn’t get over how great it was.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour (I use organic unbleached flour, preferably King Arthur or Whole Foods brand)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder (I use aluminum free)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, from the fridge is fine
2 eggs (1 extra large for the bread;  the other can be any size egg to be mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, half and half, or light cream for brushing on top of the bread before baking)
3/4 cup buttermilk (I usually use Friendship, which is 1.5%)
1/3 cup raisins (I try to use the most amazing raisins, which I get at Whole Foods (they are Sunview Organically Grown Black Seedless)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking powder, baking  soda, and salt. Cut butter with a knife into cubes, and add to bowl.  Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly.  Then take the raisins (if you are using the ones mentioned above, you’ll want to chop them up just a bit because they are larger than normal raisins) and add them to the flour mixture. In a small bowl, combine the one extra large egg with buttermilk and then pour into flour and butter mixture.  Fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture just until moistened.  Take a piece of waxed paper and sprinkle a little flour on it.  Dump your dough onto the paper, and sprinkle just about 1 teaspoon of flour on top of it.  Gently knead 1 or 2 times.   Knead on a well-floured surface with just 2 or three motions.  You don’t want to overwork the dough.  Grease a cookie sheet with butter, and take the dough onto the cookie sheet, and shape it into a round loaf about 10 inches in diameter.  With a knife, make a X indentation in the loaf.  Mix the Shape dough into a round loag; place on a greased baking sheet. Cut a 1/4″-deep cross in the top of the loaf. Brush egg wash over loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.  You will know the loaf is done when you put a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean.

Serve right out of oven with butter.  Or eat later and heat up in microwave or in toaster.

New Blueberry Muffins

I’ve been wanting  a muffin that’s bigger and tastes more like a bakery muffin.  This is what I came up with. They are fluffy, perfectly sweet, and a little lemony.  These take a little more effort than my original blueberry muffins, and although I do like these, I’m still stuck on my originals.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 heavy cups blueberries dusted with flour
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup sugar
  • about 1 teaspoon lemon zest (zest from maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of one lemon)
  • optional sugar for sprinkling on muffins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 385 degrees.  Put paper muffin cups in standard 12 muffin tin.  (This makes about 16 muffins though, so you’ll need 2 muffin tins.)

In large mixing bowl, put flour, powder, soda, and salt, and mix gently.  In second bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, yogurt, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.

Pour wet ingredients into dry.  Gently fold dry into wet.  When about 1/2 way folded in, add the blueberries, and continue to fold flour and berries in just until you don’t see any more flour.  Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into muffin cups.  Cups will be filled almost to the top.

Bake at 385 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Then reduce the temperature to 350.  Bake about 30-40 minutes until tops are nicely browned but not burnt, and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks.  Sprinkle with sugar after muffins come out of muffin for that professional look.

Cornbread in a Cast Iron Skillet

I’m always thinking about what I can make to bring over to my daughter’s house.  She likes me to make things that taste great but aren’t too unhealthy.  I had all the organic ingredients in the house for this, so I threw it together in no time and it was delicious.  The only problem I had was that the piece of it I brought over to my daughter’s house wasn’t big enough.  So, I’ll make it for her again next week but I’ll bring over the whole thing.

  • 2 cups organic yellow cornmeal (I used 1 1/2 cups of Arrowhead Mills and 1/2 cup of Hodgson Mills
  • 1/4 cup Whole Food organic cane sugar (lately I’ve been reducing this to a  1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder-  Rumsford aluminum free
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk  or- (I didn’t have it on hand, so I used 1 cup whole milk to which I added 1 tablespoon of white vinegar- which sat for about 30 min.)
  • 1/2 cup whole organic milk
  • 1 jumbo large egg
  • 1/2 stick salted organic butter – melted in microwave
  • 2 tablespoons butter for greasing the pan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In measuring cup, pour 1 cup whole milk as a substitute for buttermilk and add the 1 tablespoon vinegar.  Let sit out on counter for 30 min. to thicken.

Put cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt in mixing bowl.  Melt 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) in microwave.  In another measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup whole milk.  Pour into another mixing bowl.  Add the remaining 1 cup milk or buttermilk, the egg, and mix with fork. Add the melted butter and mix with fork.   Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients with rubber spatula just until everything is moistened and some of the lumps are gone.

Place pan in oven with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.  When butter is melted in pan, take pan out of oven and pour batter in.  Place on center rack of oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until slightly browned on top, bread has come off sides of pan, and toothpick comes out clean.

Serve plain or with butter.

Croissant Bread Pudding With Chocolate Chips

I recently watched an old episode of Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, and he made a luscious looking bread pudding.  I made a few changes to his recipe, and I really loved the results.  What is remarkable about this recipe is that it is so easy to make. Below is my version of his recipe.

  • 12 plain croissants (I bought mine at Costco) (let sit unwrapped for a few hours before you use them)
  • about 15 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 stick butter
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions:

Generously grease a large 10 by 13 pan- sides and bottom- with butter.  Tear croissants into 1 inch pieces- maybe about 4 or 5 pieces for each croissant.  Put all pieces in prepared dish.  Then sprinkle the chips all over.  Toss lightly with your hands or move the some of the top pieces so that some of the chips slip through. 

Prepare the custard by melted the stick of butter in the microwave in a mixing bowl large enough to eventually fit all the custard ingredients.  Let cool a few minutes or stick in the fridge to cool for about 5 minutes.  Then, add the sugar and mix.  Add the cream, and then the eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Whisk till  blended well. 

Ladle the custard mixture over the croissants and chocolate chips.  Push the croissants down lightly with your hands to submerge as best as possible in the custard.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Refrigerate until ready to bake. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake (still covered in foil) in center of oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.   Uncover and let cool for a few minutes and serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 

***If you are baking this at home and then bringing it with you, put it on a half sheet pan after it comes out of the oven, keep it covered with the foil until you serve it. 

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

I found a great recipe for chocolate chip muffins on a blog called evilshenanigans.com. I adapted the recipe and made a few changes, and the muffins were really delicious.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used organic Wegman’s plain yogurt)
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet mini chocolate chips (I used King Arthur Flour‘s bittersweet chocolate chips, which are not mini chips, but are smaller than standard chocolate chips)
1 tablespoons flour

Heat the oven to 375 F and spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray (this recipe made 30 mini muffins). In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl combine the melted butter, vanilla, orange juice, sour cream or yogurt, and eggs.In a small bowl toss together the chocolate chips with the 1 tablespoons of flour until they are well coated.Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until the dry ingredients are moist.  Add the chocolate chips and fold to incorporate.Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the center of the muffins springs back when lightly pressed, a toothpick comes out clean, and the tops are just starting to turn golden brown. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mini Pumpkin Muffins With Chocolate Chips

My very nice co-teacher in school, Doris Fisher, bakes these muffins on a regular basis for her friends and family.  Luckily for me, she brought some in to school for me to sample.  They were delicious!  These muffins are a breeze to make and they freeze beautifully, too.  Enjoy!

for the muffins:

  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 16 oz. can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or 2 if you like a more cinnamony flavor)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray mini muffin pans (recipe makes 48 mini muffins)

In large mixing bowl, blend eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla.  Whisk till nicely blended.  Then  and add everything else but the chips, mixing in just until blended with a rubber spatula.  Then add chips and fold in.  Scoop out batter into prepared pans, and bake 23-35 min till muffins are lightly browned around edges and toothpick comes out clean.

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Coffee Cake

If You Make This Old Fashioned Sour Cream Coffee Cake, You Will Be Delighted With The Outstanding Taste And Texture Of The Cake!

This was a cake my mother made at least two or three times every year. It was definitely one of my mother’s favorite cakes to bake and to eat. She got the recipe from Lorraine Klein who is my Aunt Sally’s sister-in-law. Lorraine is a wonderful lady, and through the years, I have always appreciated her good nature and sense of humor. I always look forward to having conversations with her every Mother’s Day at my Aunt Sally’s or my cousin Janie’s house. How lucky it is for me that I have been able to gather so many wonderful recipes from my mother and her contemporaries.

for the cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 2 extra large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (1/2 pint) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

for the filling:

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch tube pan well all over with butter or margarine.

for the filling: In a medium mixing bowl using a fork or spoon, mix the brown sugar, the cinnamon, and the chopped nuts by hand; set aside.

for the cake batter:

In a medium bowl, put the dry ingredients – the sifted flour, the salt, the baking powder; set aside.

Mix the sour cream with the baking soda by hand; set aside.

In large bowl of Kitchen Aid or electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium to high speed with the sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix on high speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture alternately to butter, sugar, and eggs, and vanilla mixture beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the flour in 4ths and the sour cream in 3rds. This is the part of the mixing where you don’t want to over-mix. You are really just adding these ingredients on a very low speed just to blend. Scrape down the bowl one or two times during this process to get any batter off the sides of the bowl.

Spoon 1/2 of the batter evenly on the bottom of the prepared tube pan. Then distribute about 4/5 of the filling mixture evenly all over the surface of the batter. Then spoon the remaining 1/2 of the batter over the filling, and smooth over the filling with a rubber spatula to cover the filling. Sprinkle the remaining 1/5 of filling evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake in the middle of the preheated oven 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Note: When I make this cake, I usually cut the cake into thirds, but I keep one third out for the family. Then I freeze the other two thirds of the cake. When company comes over unexpectedly, I know I always have delicious homemade sour cream coffee cake in the freezer. It defrosts in no time, and then it can be sliced and served on a pretty cake plate.

Easy To Make Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Pudding

Serve This Bread Pudding For Breakfast, Brunch, or Dessert!

I have a few recipes for bread pudding. This recipe is so easy to make, and it is delicious. Even if you don’t fancy yourself as a baker, you can definitely make this bread pudding! The taste reminds me of a really good cinnamon danish. Of course, this bread pudding isn’t low in calories, but unlike other bread pudding recipes, this recipe uses milk instead of half and half. So, it is lower in calories than some bread puddings. Yet, it still tastes sinfully rich. This dish makes a nice addition to a brunch buffet or even a dessert buffet. It really is comfort food at its best.

  • 8 – 10 1 inch thick slices of challah
  • 4 extra large or jumbo eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup of raisins, currants, or dried cranberries

Grease an oval or rectangular 8 inches by 10 inches by 2 inch baking dish.

Slice the challah into 1/2 inch thick slices. Then cube the bread into 1/2

cubes. Cut the crusts off of the slices of challah. Put the bread cubes in

the prepared dish. It’s okay if you have 2 layers of bread cubes. Sprinkle

the raisins, currants, or dried cranberries throughout and on top of the

bread. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, the milk, the vanilla, the

cinnamon, and the salt together. Ladle the custard mixture over the

bread making sure that you get the custard over all the bread uniformly.

Sprinkle the top with additional cinnamon. Cover the dish with

plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Preheat

oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered 40 to 50 minutes until a toothpick

inserted in the middle of the pudding comes out clean. Serve hot out of the

oven or at room temperature.

Note: Using challah that is a few days old is fine, because if the bread is just a little stale, it will soak up the custard even better. If you are using fresh challah, I recommend slicing it and letting it sit out on the counter for 1 or 2 hours to let it get a little stale.

French Toast Bread Pudding With Challah

This Delicious Recipe For French Toast Bread Pudding Will Warm You On A Cold Winter Morning! 

My family adores french toast. My mother, Shirley Fried, especially loves my French toast. Every once and awhile, I make a batch for her when she comes down to visit me and the kids. I love cooking for my mother, especially since she is my number 1 fan. (My father was my other number 1 fan, but tragically for me, my mother, and my children, the most wonderful man in the world, Murray Fried died 6 years ago. Anyway, I’ve cooked yummy French toast for breakfast for my family for years, and everyone loves it. I sometimes make my french toast using challah, which is an egg bread that is very similar to brioche. Many diners serve French toast made with challah because it has become quite popular. When you use challah to make your French toast, you are definitely kicking the standard recipe up a notch. Anyway, I decided that I needed to adapt my challah French toast recipe so that I could serve it at family gatherings and feed a lot of people without having to stand at the stove while my guests were over. Plus, I wanted to be able to prepare the dish in advance, and you really can’t do that with French toast. I experimented until I came up with the most amazing version of French toast bread pudding, using challah. I served it at a Chanukah party this past Sunday which was given by the wonderful Marsha Greenhouse. Marsha Greenhouse is my daughter Randi’s mother-in-law. Marsha is a warm and genuine from the heart person (a real mensch), and she hosts the best family get togethers imaginable. I love going to every party and gathering at her house. Plus, she kindly lets me cook and bake for these parties to my heart’s content. One of the dishes I made for this gathering was my challah French toast bread pudding. It was delicious! I got lots of compliments, and of course I love that! I think one of the best moments for me was when Marsha’s boyfriend, Al Berman asked me for another piece of the bread pudding. When he put a bite in his mouth he said, “Ooh, this is sooo good.” And Al knows his food. (He’s an excellent cook himself!) There is just nothing as gratifying for me as cooking and baking for people I care about. Please try this recipe. When you take a bite into this yummy challah French toast bread pudding, which truly tastes every bit as good as regular French toast, you will vow to make this again and again for your friends and family, too.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, plus extra for greasing baking dish (I like taste of butter more than margarine)
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (I actually use 2 tablespoons of Log Cabin and 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup, but I don’t think it matters which type of syrup you use)  *see note at bottom
  • 1 large loaf of challah bread (a loaf should weigh about 15 oz.)
  • 8 extra large or jumbo eggs (I used jumbo the last time, and I loved result)
  • 2 cups of light cream or half and half (I don’t notice any difference in end result)
  • 2  tablespoons sugar (optional- you may eliminate if you want to reduce sugar in recipe))
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use this but you may cut it out for a low salt diet)
  • cinnamon (McKormick) to sprinkle on top before you bake
  • optional 3/4 cup chopped pecans (tried it and liked the result, but equally good without- Just remember that many kids don’t like nuts, so if you’re making this for kids, it’s probably better to leave the nuts out!)

Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch oval or rectangular baking dish (I bought an inexpensive, beautiful white oval baking dish at IKEA). Slice the challah about 1 1/2 inches thick. Then cut the slices into pieces. They don’t all have to be exactly the same size, but they should be somewhere around 2 inches square. You definitely should use the crust- do not cut the crust off! In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low flame. Then add the brown sugar and the syrups; mix until the brown sugar is dissolved. Then pour the syrup mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place the pieces of challah in the prepared dish in one layer. Fit the pieces right up against each other, like puzzle pieces. It’s okay to squeeze them a little so they all fit.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, light cream or half and half, vanilla, salt, sugar,  cinnamon. Ladle the custard mixture over the challah evenly. Then press down with your hands very lightly on bread, so challah soaks in all the custard.  If using the pecans, sprinkle them on top, and then sprinkle with cinnamon lightly but so that there is a light sprinkling over all.  Cover the dish with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 to 4  hours or overnight. (I usually do it overnight just because it makes the job easier for me.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees – and take bread pudding out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.  If you feel you should, sprinkle just a little more cinnamon on top. Bake uncovered in the middle of the oven until puffed and golden for about 45 to 50 minutes. Serve immediately.  I make this to bring in for school breakfasts.  I bake it for about 35 minutes at home.  Then I cover it tightly to keep the heat it.  Then when I get to work, I take off the foil, and bake it for another 20 minutes or so to finish it off. 

Optional serving suggestion:  Warm up about 1/8 cup of pure maple syrup in microwave, and drizzle it over the top very lightly right before serving or just serve with extra maple syrup on the side.

You will be amazed by the result!   

Note:  The last few times I made this, I used 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup. I like to use some pure maple syrup, just because it has more maple flavor.

Note:  Just make sure that the pudding is baked through even at the center so you won’t be eating undercooked eggs.

Note:  last made on July 3, 2011- I used 9 extra large eggs as I didn’t have the jumbo, and I used a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream- and it was yummy!!!