Monday, February 28, 2011

Full of Dessert Tricks These Days

My sweet tooth is way out of control right now.

I made Wannabe Chef's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus today, and I wanted to let you know that it's good.
No dippers, just eating it with a spoon.


Friday, February 25, 2011

A Crafty Way to Eat Pie for Dinner

I need to begin this post with a story.

This week I had the nicest surprise when I woke up. My day begins with diaper changes and nursing, and as I sat there with Lyla I received a text message from my Mom. She had driven by my house 30 minutes earlier (dropping off Dad at SFO for a flight to Atlanta) and had left a package on my doorstep. When I went to retrieve it, I found lunch. Not just any lunch, the leftovers from her dinner the night before that had me very excited: pureed broccoli and cheese soup (new recipe from Cook's Illustrated- amazing!) and some breakfast apple pie from Marion Cunningham's Breakfast Book. I thought about this lunch all morning and barely managed to not eat all of both in one sitting.

The breakfast apple pie had less sugar and was baked in a cheddar crust. It was wonderful, and gone too fast. I'll do almost anything for apple pie, so naturally I was wishing for more.
That's where these apple cheddar calzones came from. The flavors of apple pie with sharpy cheesy cheddar and a wholesome crust make it pretty suitable for the dinner table.

Apple Cheddar Calzones
makes 3 largish calzones

1/2 batch whole wheat pizza dough
2 Granny Smith Apples (tart), peeled and diced
2 Pink Lady Apples (sweet), peeled and diced
1 Tbs butter
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

Mix pizza dough in the bread machine, then divide into three balls and lay on a floured surface and drape with a wet towel. (Alternatively, you can use storebough dough and prepare to the package's directions). Add the butter to a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the diced apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes until the apples are soft. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roll out first ball of dough and place 1/3 of the apples on half of the dough. Top with 1/3 of the grated cheese. Fold dough over the top and pinch the ends together to seal. Place on a baking sheet and cut 4 slits in the top of the calzone with a knife. Repeat with the second and third balls of dough and the rest of the filling.

Bake for about 20 minutes until the crusts are golden brown and bubbly. Allow to cool a few minutes before slicing in half and serving.

It's just like eating pie for dinner. And leftovers make excellent breakfast.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sudden Urge to Bake

It's rainy and freezing out for the nth day in a row. And President's Day, so Ray is home with Lyla and I. Besides a quick trip to Babies R Us and Whole Foods, I'm staying indoors. I don't mind since I'm an introverted homebody whose daughter likes to nap in her swing for several hours in the afternoon.

But Ray gets stir crazy, so he headed out to Costco for batteries, stamps, and this frozen ravioli he loves that I think smells pretty foul. Despite the desire to lose the last 10 baby LBs, while he was gone I decided to bake. A quick search through bookmarked recipes brought me to one of the favorites, Joy the Baker. I'm actually making two of hers today: dinner tonight, and her Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

I had all the ingredients, and my own peanut butter obsession has recently spread to the rest of my house. I bet Lyla loves it too since she gets it through me every day. After making a nice big mess of my kitchen (measuring cups and utensils and crumbs next to the Bumbo seat, burp cloth, and Chan Pie Gnon teether aka Gnomie),

I placed the loaf pan in the oven and sat down to enjoy the fantastic peanut butter and banana aroma.

Hopefully the smell doesn't wake the little one up.


I followed Joy's recipe exactly. For the recipe, please visit her blog.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Disguise

These are cookie dough balls disguised as domes. I'm telling you.

These spheres of gooey smooshy batter and chocolate have been roaming the internet and I've been bookmarking them left right and center. We're having a dinner party tomorrow so the perfect excuse to try them out.

But mine didn't turn out. The dreaded spreading occured and most of mine are more like a regular cookie than a ball of dough. I followed directions to refrigerate the dough for at least 20 minutes, but the hand rolling does warm them up so a longer refrigeration would help them stay in shape.

Fortunately this failure still yields a perfectly tasty cookie.

Now the question of how crazy I am to be hosting a dinner party with a 3-month-old that has random meltdowns in the evening?
Maybe you can answer that for me.