Last night we stole the idea for these toppings and made a mean roasted veggie and ricotta white pizza!
I spent this afternoon making this for dessert tonight! Oh, how I miss lazy days in the kitchen. New goal: once a month I’ll tackle something interesting in the culinary department during nap time or father/daughter time at the park!
Happy birthday to me! I can’t wait to dig into this tonight!
I made this for dinner tonight. Hooray for summer vegetables!
It’s been several months since I’ve posted so I figured I’d jump back on the wagon with this cake. My mom brought me a box of 50+ lemons from her new orchard (congrats!) on Monday so I’m experimenting with all sorts of ways to use them up. So far I’ve tried lemonade, lemon thyme risotto, and lemon almond cake. I might even try lemon pudding a girl’s dinner on Saturday. This recipe comes from the How to be a Domestic Goddess cookbook by Nigella Lawson. It’s probably my favorite cookbook for desserts and my go-to resource when I need to make something special. This recipe did not disappoint – and it took less than 10 minutes from the time I grabbed the ingredients to putting the pan in the oven!
Damp Lemon and Almond Cake, courtesy of Nigella Lawson
1 cup softened unsalted butter (2 sticks)
3/4 cup of sugar (I used slightly less since I had Meyer lemons which tend to be sweet.)
4 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
8 inch cake pan lined with a piece of buttered parchment
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream together butter and sugar until almost white. Add eggs one at a time, with a quarter of the flour mixed in after each one. When everything is incorporated, gently stir in ground almonds, almond extract, lemon zest, and juice.
Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check on it after 30 minutes to make sure the top isn’t burning – if it is, cover it with foil. The cake is done when a skewer comes out cleanish – “you want dampness but no battery goo”. After you remove it from the oven, let it cool for five minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack.
Nigella recommends wrapping it in a tin foil and leaving it for a few days to get it really nice and dense. Yeah right…
I’m such an idiot. I’m having to throw away the 2.5 chicken breasts in this photo because I forgot to put the plate in the fridge after it cooled last night. Good bye lunch that I was looking forward to all morning.
This was the best dish I’ve made in the slow cooker yet. It only took 2.5 hours on high and was oh so satisfying. I’ll be making it again very soon.
Slow-cooker mole chicken, courtesy of Martha Stewart
- 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12)
- Coarse salt
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
- 1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Season chicken thighs with salt and place in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. In a blender, puree tomatoes, onion, ancho and chipotle chiles, almonds, raisins, chocolate, garlic, oil, cumin, and cinnamon until smooth. Add tomato mixture to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until chicken is tender, 4 hours (or 8 hours on low). Enjoy!
Now that our condo has been taken off MLS, I can make huge messes in the kitchen again. My weapon of choice was flour and oh, did I make a mess! I made a ciabatta recipe that was more complicated than I’d bargained for, but it was worth it in the end. It was the perfect morning activity since G woke up to eat at 4am and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. 7 hours and 4 loaves of ciabatta later, I’m exhausted!
So they aren’t the prettiest loaves you’ve ever seen, but they are really chewy and tasty, especially dipped in a nice olive oil. Thanks to Leites for another fun adventure in the kitchen!
Ciabatta, courtesy of Leites
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 5 tablespoons warm milk
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons water, at room temperature (if using a food processor, use cold water)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 very full cups (17.5 ounces / 500 grams) biga, rested for 12 hours
- 3 3/4 cups (17.5 ounces / 500 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1 tablespoon (0.5 ounces / 15 grams) salt
1. If making the ciabatta in a stand mixer: Stir the yeast into the milk in a mixer bowl; let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add the water, oil, and biga and mix with the paddle until blended. Mix the flour and salt, add to the bowl, and mix for 2 to 3 minutes. Change to the dough hook and knead for 2 minutes at low speed, then 2 minutes at medium speed. Knead briefly on a well-floured surface, adding as little flour as possible, until the dough is still sticky but beginning to show evidence of being velvety, supple, springy, and moist.
If making the ciabatta in a food processor: Stir the yeast into the milk in a large bowl; let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons of cold water, the oil, and the biga and mix, squeezing the biga between your fingers to break it up. Place the flour and salt in the food processor fitted with the dough blade and pulse several times to sift the ingredients. With the machine running, pour the biga mixture through the feed tube and process until the dough comes together. Process about 45 seconds longer to knead. Finish kneading on a well-floured surface until the dough is still sticky but beginning to show signs of being velvety, supple, moist, and springy.
This is the biga.
2. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours. The dough should be full of air bubbles, very supple, elastic, and sticky.
3. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces on a well-floured surface. Roll each piece into a cylinder, then stretch each cylinder into a rectangle, pulling with your fingers to get each piece long and wide enough. It should be approximately 10 by 4 inches.
4. Generously flour 4 pieces of parchment paper placed on peels or upside-down baking sheets. Place each loaf, seam side up, on a piece of parchment. Dimple the loaves vigorously with your fingertips or knuckles so that they won’t rise too much. The dough will look heavily pockmarked, but it is very resilient, so don’t be concerned. Cover the loaves loosely with damp towels and let rise until puffy but not doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The loaves will look flat and definitely unpromising, but don’t give up; they will rise more in the oven.
*So* grateful for the tip not to give up!
5. Approximately 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC) and slide your baking stones on the center rack to heat.
6. Just before baking the ciabatta, sprinkle the stones with cornmeal. Carefully invert each loaf onto a stone. If the dough sticks a bit to the parchment, just gently work it free from the paper. If you need to, you can leave the paper and remove it 10 minutes later. Bake for a total of 20 to 25 minutes, spraying the oven three times with water in the first 10 minutes. Transfer the ciabatta loaves to wire racks to cool.