Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Cookies!

Today my mama and I made several different types of cookies for Christmas: Thumbprint Cookies, Fairy Drops (no, I have no idea why they are called that) and Oatmeal Crispies. The Thumbprint cookies have always been a holiday treat in my family, we made the Oatmeal Crispies for my niece who cannot have eggs, and I don't know where the Fairy Drops came from, but they have a cool name.

Thumbprint cookies (no nuts)

Fairy Drops topped with sprinkles and sugar & crushed candy canes

Oatmeal Crispies dough...the first cookies I've ever made in a pot over the stove

Completed cookies while still baking

Holiday spread

Recipes after the jump...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Return from hiatus with a childhood favorite

Between moving and having my computer die, I have been M.I.A. from here longer than I was expecting. However, with my return I would like to share with you my absolute favorite thing (and pretty much the only form of veggies I would voluntarily eat) as a child. Serbian Spinach Casserole is warm, comforting and delicious. It pairs nicely with ham for a holiday meal or makes a good vegetarian main dish. It also keeps well and is tasty both hot and cold. As a bonus…it’s super simple!

Serbian Spinach-Cheese Casserole

What you need…
2 one-pint cartons cottage cheese (I use low-fat)
6 eggs
6 tablespoons flour
1/8 lb. salted butter in coarse pieces
1 block cheddar cheese (I use low-fat), grated
1 package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
What to do…
Mix all together in a large bowl. Bake in well-greased baking dish at 325 degrees for one hour. 
Yummy :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

I can’t believe it got to be so late in the fall before I got the chance to make pumpkin bread. Like many of the recipes on here, this was my first attempt at pumpkin bread so I didn’t modify this recipe, from, very much. I did add more pumpkin (it comes in 29oz cans and didn’t want to waste any) but left everything else the same. It resulted in pretty tasty pumpkin bread with a deliciously gooey center that tasted just like pumpkin pie. Happy fall!

What you need…
  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
What to do…
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick baking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

The flavors of fall

Oil and water

Finished product

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Self-Frosting Nutella Cupcakes

Nutella is pretty much amazing. And making this recipe may or may not have been an excuse to buy myself some Nutella. These cupcakes look super cool and taste delicious. I highly recommend to anyone looking for something to satisfy their Nutella fix.

Recipe from Home Cooking Rocks

What you need…

140 g. of butter (that’s a little less than 2/3 cup), softened to room temperature
3/4 c. white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. of vanilla
1-3/4 c. of all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
9-12 (depeding on the size of your cupcake pan) heaping tsps. of Nutella

What to do...

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. First, you need to have all your ingredients at room temperature, including the eggs and the Nutella. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Place the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. With a wire whisk or a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together. Just keep beating until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix. The mixture may appear lumpy at first, but keep right on mixing until you have a smooth batter. Note that the batter will be heavy and hardly pourable. Stir in the vanilla. Meanwhile, line the muffin pan with paper cups. Use an ice cream scoop (very practical) to fill the pans until about 3/4 full. Top with a heaping teaspoonful of Nutella. Take a toothpick, dip into the unbaked cupcake until the tip hits the bottom of the pan.Using a scooping motion, swirl the Nutella with the batter so that some of the batter comes up on top of the Nutella. Bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven for exactly 20 minutes.

Love me some Nutella

Batter with dollops of deliciousness

After swirling the batter over the Nutella

Post-baking. The roommates have already attacked the pan

My roommates excited to try the result!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quick Stovetop Chili

It's been a hectic week here so I haven't had the time or energy to spend in the kitchen. However, last week I did manage to make some healthy chili, modified from Ellie Krieger. As I mentioned before, I sometimes have to force myself to eat veggies, so I decided to double the amount of carrots and red bell peppers in the chili, in order to up the nutritional value. This is also a good way to incorporate more protein in my diet, with the extra lean ground beef and variety of beans. Pour over whole grain spaghetti and top with lowfat cheddar cheese to make a complete meal!

What you need...
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced (2 cups)
  • 4 carrots, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotles
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
What to do…
Heat the oil in large pot or over moderate heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the ground beef; raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink. Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes. Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Great Cookie Extravaganza

Last Monday I had the day off so I decided to make a ton of cookies. Because I felt like it. Cookies aren't usually my favorite thing to bake but I thoroughly enjoyed them. None of the recipes are mine but I've made them all previously and they're pretty delish.

The original inspiration for cookie day was these molasses spice cookies...they taste like fall!

Ready to go into the oven

They smell divine

I actually take half of the dough of these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and put raisins in them to make a half batch of Oatmeal Raisin cookies and half of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip to add some variety. I also add about 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to add extra flavor.

Dough with chocolate chips

Dough with raisins

Oatmeal raisin in the background, oatmeal chocolate chip in the foreground

My final variety for the day was a classic Chocolate Chip. I made these extra chocolatey by using 3 cups of chocolate chips rather than 2. I was pleased with the way they turned out.


All 4 varieties bagged up, labeled and ready to go to my company softball game

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Peach-Browned Butter Pie

Since summer is on its way out and fresh summer fruit will not be around anymore (yes, I am a tad late but Berkeley Bowl had peaches so it was ok) I decided to make something that would allow me to savor the last bit of summer flavors. I for some reason lost my lemons in my refrigerator, so I ended up using orange peel. I would defiantly recommend using the lemon, as I think it would brighten up the flavors a bit. I also ended up using 3 good sized peaches, because to me fruity desserts should actually be fruity. If I were to make this pie again, I would use fewer eggs in the browned butter mixture for a better texture (in my humble opinion). Also, I totally used a pre-made pie crust since this is only my second fruit pie ever. I think I would make this pie again when yummy summery fruit comes back in season.

Peach-Browned Butter Pie (from Ultimate Desserts Magazine 2010)

What you need…

  • Single Pie Crust (you can either use a pre-made or make your own…I used pre-made)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches (2 medium)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

What to do…

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • For streusel topping, in a food processor combine ½ cup flour, oats, ¼ cup almonds, 2 tbs. granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ¾ tsp. nutmeg, and ¼ tsp. salt. Process until mixture resembles course crumbs.
  • In a small saucepan heat ¾ cup butter over medium-low heat until melted. Continue heating until butter turns a light golden brown. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup flour, vanilla, and ¼ tsp. salt. Whisk in browned butter; set aside.
  • In a large bowl toss together peaches, ½ cup almonds (optional), lemon peel, and ¼ tsp. nutmeg. Transfer mixture to pastry shell. Pour browned butter mixture over peach mixture. Top with streusel topping.
  • Place pie on baking sheet. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until filling is set and golden. Cool on wire rack.

Melting then browning the butter

Streusel topping

Boiling the peaches for easy skin removal

Skinned peaches


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Healthy Yummy Mac n Cheese

It's a bit ironic that my first food post isn't dessert but sometimes I have to eat real food too. Despite my love of all things involving sugar and butter (or perhaps because of it), when I make food for meals, I tend to cook as healthy as possible (and delish, of course). Since I love mac n cheese and I have issues incorporating enough veggies in my diet, this recipe does double duty. Although there is much more squash in it than cheese, the cheese flavor is really what shines in this dish. I usually make a big batch and then take it to work to make sure I'm eating balanced during the day. So, without further ado...
Healthy Yummy Mac N Cheese (modified from Ellie Krieger)
What you need…
  • Cooking spray
  • ~1 1/2 lbs. whole wheat rotelle pasta
  • 2 (12oz) packages frozen squash
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • ~6oz extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
  • ~4oz low fat Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
What to do…
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, Jack cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.
Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.

The milk and squash mixture (pot circa 1970)


Topping mixture

Finished product

Friday, October 1, 2010


Welcome to Bombshell Baking! I discovered my passion for baking (and occasionally, cooking) a few years ago and decided to chronicle my adventures in the kitchen in this blog. Since making food is so new to me, this is a huge learning experience. Much of what I make I've never made before and, although I don't always succeed, I try to make at least one new recipe a week. I am hoping eventually to start a dessert catering business, so that will be depicted on here as well. I hope you enjoy the process and recipes as much as I do!

<3 The Bombshell Baker