March 27, 2011

sunday brunch

Nothing beats a good late Sunday brunch.

Especially if that brunch was spontaneously composed by using up a random assortment of ingredients that were already in your fridge. 

I felt so resourceful. 

I've gotta say, I never really thought much about making quiches. When it comes to using the ever-versatile egg for breakfast, my first instincts are the obvious: scramble it, omelet it, or put it on a piece of toast. 

But this quiche was so easy. And SO good. I may be quiche-ing it more often in the future. Visions of quiches are already dancing in my head.

Asparagus, Bacon and Parmesan Quiche

4 eggs
2-3 T. heavy cream
1/4 cup onion (I used sweet)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
5 stalks of asparagus, snapped and blanched, then chopped
5 pieces of bacon, fried and chopped
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a glass pie pan, or whatever you'd like to make your quiche in.
Whisk eggs and cream together.
Add remaining ingredients.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until just golden brown.

Next up, the sweet part.  I always need a sweet part in my breakfast.
I can do sweet + savory breakfasts, or solely sweet breakfasts, but I can't do solely savory breakfasts.

These breakfast cakes don't need much of an introduction. 
They're sweet, tart, delicious, messy, perfect.
Raspberry breakfast cakes with orange glaze
(Recipe adapted from here)
Serves 2

 1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
2 T. brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, tossed in flour

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until well combined. Add in vanilla and yogurt and stir. Mix dry ingredients together and add to batter, only mixing until just combined. Fold in raspberries.
Spray 2 ramekins with non-stick spray and pour batter into them equally. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  Orange Glaze
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon milk
1/2-1 tsp grated orange zest, depending on taste
1/2-1 T. fresh squeezed orange juice, depending on taste
(I used blood oranges for this batch, but I'm sure any orange will work juuust perfectly)

Add sugar to bowl and stir in heavy cream and vanilla until mixture resembles a thick batter. Add milk and stir until smooth. Add zest and orange juice, and stir until smooth. Add more milk or orange juice until desired consistency is reached.

Nothing beats a good nap after a good late Sunday brunch.

March 25, 2011

Fantasy Friday

If you're like me, you spend an unrighteous amount of time gawking through foodgawker and drooling through tastespotting. If you're like me, you keep a running list of things to make that you could never ever possibly hope to get through. If you're like me, you exercise mainly just so that you can eat more food. But that's besides the point.

The point is, since I have this list of things to make that I could never ever possibly hope to get through, I might as well give it some air rather than keep it cooped up for only my MacBook to enjoy. Then at least I can look at the recipes and dream of the day, sometime in the year of 2064, when I shall make them. 

And maybe you'll see something here that you'd like to make, and then you can let me know when you do, and we'll be happy about it together.

Never did I think I would so badly want something as specific as a popover pan. 

I'll be honest with myself. I'm probably much too lazy to ever make these.

And, since this is turning out to be a sweet-themed post (not surprising):


Have a lovely weekend!

March 9, 2011

best blueberry muffins

Ladies and Gents.
I think I've found The One.

I do not want to part from this blueberry muffin recipe.

They are so sweet and moist with a fresh zing from the lemon.
I had one for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Ridiculous.

Of course these babies are delicious when they're fresh from the oven, but I did enjoy them more after they had cooled off a bit to room temp. The flavors came together, and all that jazz.

Blueberry Muffins
Recipe adapted from here
Makes 12 muffins
2 eggs
1/2 C. white sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup lemon flavored greek yogurt*
1-1.5 cups blueberries
Raw Turbinado sugar or other coarse sugar for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners. 
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl beat eggs, gradually add sugar while beating. Continue beating while slowly pouring in applesauce. Stir in vanilla and lemon zest.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with sour cream/yogurt. Gently fold in blueberries. Be careful not to overmix. Batter can be slightly lumpy. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups. You can fill the cups all the way to the top for a nice bakery size muffin.
  5. Sprinkle each muffin with coarse sugar.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
*I decided to use the lemon greek yogurt cause I had it, but you can use all sour cream (1 Cup) instead and I'm sure it will be just delicious.)

March 7, 2011

first post: confessions and cupcakes


I'm Esther, I'm 25 years old and obsessed with food.
(Hi, Esther)

Sometimes when I'm gushing about a new restaurant or recipe to a friend or family member, I worry that they're secretly judging me or thinking, "How sad, she really cares about food this much." So I try to hold back, sometimes. But only on the outside. I don't tell them that I find myself planning menus in my head as I go to sleep at night. 

...Okay, well I guess they know now. 
No more secrets.

So here's my food blog. It will be about food. And possibly traveling (but really still food then too).
And now, cupcakes!

Disclaimer: My photography skills/camera are severely impaired. Hope to change this.

This is a banana coconut cupcake with nutella-cream cheese frosting.

Sadly this cupcake is no more. It had to be done.

The sacrificial cupcake.

 These are really tasty. You will have eaten one before you even realized it. (case in point: I did not plan to eat that whole sacrificial cupcake. I just planned to do one bite, for the picture.)

Also, you can qualify them as breakfast cupcakes, because of the banana! (Who am I kidding, I qualify all cupcakes as breakfast cupcakes.)

Banana Coconut Cupcakes with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
(cupcake recipe adapted from here, where everything looks really super good)

1 1/2 C. A/P flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 C. mashed bananas
1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 stick unsalted butter (6 T.), softened to room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. white sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3/4 C. buttermilk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 275.
Prepare a muffin pan with muffin cups.
Optional: In a food processor, grind up coconut into smaller flakes so as not to encounter stringy coconut shreds in cupcake.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Mash bananas and combine with lemon juice in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, coconut extract, and vanilla.  Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk while mixing, until combined.
Add bananas and mix until well blended. Add shredded coconut.
Bake at 275 for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
After removing from the oven, place cupcakes in freezer for 1/2 hour.

1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup nutella
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar

Cream together butter, cream cheese, nutella, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar. Add more sugar if desired texture is not achieved.

Frost cooled cupcakes.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut.*

*To toast coconut, spread about a cup of it out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and toast it at 300, stirring often, until golden brown and crispy, approximately 6-8 minutes, depending on your desired level of crispness.