Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chocolate and Cream Cheese Cupcakes

I baked these for my coworkers last week and they were a big hit. c/o the Joy
Makes 24.

8 oz cream cheese
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease cupcake tin or use paper liners. Beat cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar and the egg until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients and add in the wet ingredients. Stir. Fill cupcake moulds halfway. Drop in a big dollop of the cream cheese mixture to each. Bake for 20-ish minutes. Eat as soon as possible.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Polenta lasagna with swiss chard and mushrooms

Last night I made a lasagna for a gluten-free friend, so used rounds of polenta instead of regular lasagna noodles. I adapted elements of this recipe for the fillings. These quantities made a moderately generous four servings for hungry people.

Polenta Lasagna with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms

500 gr tube of polenta (or make your own, let it set), sliced thinly
Jar of tomato sauce (or make your own)
2/3 cup finely chopped onions
2 minced cloves of garlic, separated
8 oz of cremini mushrooms
2 bunches of swiss chard, stemmed and cored
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
1/4 tsp nutmet
olive oil
8 oz ricotta
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375F.

Blanche swiss chard in boiling water for one minute. Drain and squeeze out all the liquid, then chop up. Sauté onions, one minced clove of garlic, and chilli peppers in olive oil until soft. Add swiss chard, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat up more oil in a heavy pan, add mushrooms and last clove of garlic. Sauté for about 10 minutes, or until mushrooms have browned, dried up, released, and reabsorbed their liquids. Season with a dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper.

In a casserole dish, put down a slop of tomato sauce, then put down a layer of polenta. Put in half the mushrooms, half the swiss chard, a few dollops of ricotta, a sprinkling of parmesan, and tomato sauce. Repeat. Put on a final layer of polenta, top with tomato sauce, ricotta, and parmesan.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes with tinfoil covering it. Take off the tinfoil and bake for another ten minutes.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Scones for dinner

Today was a blah day. The first bright spot came at 5PM when I went to queer salsa class at U of T. I'm learning to lead! No more getting thrown around by oafish dudes! Or, as one of the salsa class coordinators said today when I tried to explain my reasons for wanting to lead: "yeah! you gotta control your girls!" We'll see.

The second bright spot came at 8PM when I decided to make tea and scones for dinner. Not savoury scones. Sweet scones with jam. And now I share them with you, my loves. xox

Sweet and speedy scones

2 cups (9 oz) all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten gently
1 tsp vanilla
sugar for sprinkling

Heat oven to 400F. Mix dry ingredients and the butter to a coarse meal (with two knives, a food processor, whatever). Stir in wet ingredients - it will be a pretty wet dough. Divide in 4. Roll each ball on a floured surface and flatten to 3/4'' circles. The centre should be slightly higher than the rim. Cut into quarters and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes.

Infinite variations are possible! Just add whatever's in your fridge to the completed dough. My coworker made jalapeno-cheddar, tomato-goat cheese-herb, white chocolate-something, and a chocolately one last week and they were all delicious. If you're going savoury, I would add a bit less sugar to the dough.