theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Apple Bread May 4, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Dessert,Fruit,Snack — theboxexperiment @ 9:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This recipe is amazingly good and amazingly unhealthy. It’s a recipe that I brought with me from home, though Mom doesn’t have it so I’m not sure where I originally found it. You shouldn’t mess too much with the ingredients in baking recipes like you can with cooking recipes, baking is more about chemistry than cooking it. So this post is the original recipe in all its unhealthy glory. As I made the bread tonight I adjusted the measurements of the sugar and the oil to make it slightly healthier, if it turns out just as good I will update with a “better-for-you” recipe.

Note: this will make 2 loaves.

Ingredients

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 c. fine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. vegetable oil**
  • 2 peeled, cored, and chopped apples (I always use 3 but it’s a lot of apple.)
**A good replacement for oil in any baking recipe is applesauce. It can be replaced in a 1:1 ratio with the oil. Ex: the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, you can sub in 1 cup of applesauce. In baking oil helps to keep the muffins/cake/bread moist, from what I understand applesauce will keep the moistness without leaving an apple-y taste.
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. If needed oil bread pan (don’t do this on non-stick pans!!)
  3. Mix the dry (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon) ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Mix the wet (sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil) ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir till joined.
  6. Add the chopped apples and mix until just combined.
  7. Spoon into bread pan.
  8. Cook for 60 mins (1 hr).
  9. Enjoy!!
UPDATE: I used 1.5 c of sugar and 3/4 c. of vegetable oil + 1/2 c. of water and it is fantastic!!!
Advertisements
 

Indian Potatoes March 5, 2011

This recipe was adopted from “5 Spices, 50 Dishes,” by Ruta Kahate; a fantastic Indian cookbook. These could go well as either a side for dinner or as breakfast potatoes. You can make them 2 different ways, first as smashed potatoes and second quartered and crispy.

Ingredients

  • ~2 1/4 lbs of potatoes (either russet or red), boiled (and peeled if you prefer crispy potatoes)
  • 6 tbls of canola oil (we use less generally, probably around 4 tbls)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps coriander (or, if you have them 3 tbls coriander seeds, coarsely crushed)
  • if you really are craving spicy potatoes: 2 medium Serrano chiles, cut lengthwise in quarters (we’ve never done this)

Steps for Smashed (steps by JEM)

  1. Dice the boiled potatoes.
  2. In a large pot on high heat add oil (4 tbls) and cumin seeds.
  3. When the pan gets hot add the potatoes.
  4. Add all the other spices.
  5. Stir to coat/combine.
  6. Cook for about 5 mins, stirring continuously (this will help continue breaking down potatoes so they are smashed without the act of smashing).
  7. Enjoy

Steps for Crispy Potatoes (from the cookbook)

  1. Slice the potatoes lengthwise into quarters. Then cut them crosswise into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Heat the oil (6 tbls) in a large work over high heat.
  3. When the oil begins to smoke, add the cumin seeds. This will cause sputtering so be careful!
  4. After the seeds stop sputtering, add the chiles (optional)
  5. When they are well toasted, add the turmeric and briefly stir.
  6. Add the potatoes and salt.
  7. Toss well, cover, and leave on medium-high heat until the potatoes are slightly toasted, about 4 mins.
  8. Uncover and add the coriander seeds and toss well again.
  9. Continue to heat uncovered, tossing occasionally until the potatoes are crusty and well browned, about 6-8 minutes.
  10. Serve warm.
  11. Enjoy
 

Snow Day and 6 Ready to Go Bananas January 27, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Dessert,Fruit — theboxexperiment @ 9:02 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

…sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Wonderfully, DC had its first snow day today and just in time for my birthday! I brought tons of work home to do but instead JEM went out to a birthday lunch and then I did some serious baking.

My baking from scratch recipe list is pretty limited but I can make a mean apple pie, banana bread, and Uncle Pete’s Dessert (a pudding-y goodness concoction that is all together awful for you but sooo good). We had 6 bananas that were about to turn into compost so I searched and found these recipes on For the Love of Cooking.net.

Banana Cinnamon Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of mashed bananas, about 3 small bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pull out a non-stick baking sheet (or a sticky one and coat with Pam)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla
  4. Continue to beat until the mixture is well combined.
  5. Mash the bananas in a bowl with the baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. (This gives the cookies their lift.)
  6. Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture.
  7. Mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  8. Add to the butter and banana mixture then stir until just mixed.
  9. Drop by the spoonful onto the cookie sheet.
  10. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
  11. Let cool on wire racks.
  12. Mangia.

Like I’ve said, I’ve never really done baking from scratch. All the cookies I’ve done are Tollhouse and generally the pre-made stuff that you just need to drop onto a cookies sheet. I ALWAYS over cook them and they come out flat and crunchy. These are exactly the opposite, fluffy and moist–SO good.

Banana, Blueberry, Lemon Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest, divided
  • 3 tbsp sugar

**Mentally replace the baking soda w/ baking powder 🙂

Steps

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat a muffin tray with cooking spray.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest together in a small bowl.
  4. Beat together the bananas, eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, lemon juice, and vanilla until well blended. (Probably easier if you have an electric blender, I don’t but it worked just as well to do it by hand.)
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients until just mixed.
  6. Carefully add 1 cup of blueberries and gently mix together.
  7. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries evenly over the tops of each muffin (push them down a bit).
  9. Combine the sugar and remaining tablespoon of lemon zest together and sprinkle evenly on top of each muffin.
  10. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a knife (or toothpick) comes out clean.
  11. Let cook on a wire rack.
  12. Consume