Happy Easter!

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Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter!  We had a great Easter brunch filled with Easter borscht, crostini’s, baked eggs, asparagus and of course hard boiled eggs (you can see my classic rainbow one below). Oh and how could I forget, after all that brunch we had smoked ribs, brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes. I made a poppyseed cake for dessert.  I know I always say the cakes are amazing but this was literally one of the tastiest cakes I have ever made.  With that said it was also the ugliest.  I had issues with it sticking to the pan for one cake and the other I decided to cut in half and it was just to delicate for that. This is your warning…viewers discretion is advised for the cake picture.  If this is your first time visiting my site, please don’t judge my baking/cooking/traveling abilities by this cake.

Recipes

Prosciutto and Avocado Crostini

Green Eggs and Bacon

Easter Borscht

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

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Good Luck Pretzel’s

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Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had an amazing time welcoming 2013 last night.  I found a recipe for a German new year’s pretzel that is supposed to bring good luck throughout the year.  We used the pretzel loaf for French toast this morning— fingers crossed we ate enough.

German New year’s Pretzel from America’s Test Kitchen

Makes 2 large loaves

Dough

1 cup whole milk

3 large eggs

1/3 cup warmed water (110 Degrees)

4 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled

6-6 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 1/2 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast

2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground mace (I used nutmeg)

1 large egg for eggwash

Glaze

1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

pinch salt

1. For the dough: Whisk milk, eggs, water, and melted butter together in liquid measuring cup.  Combine 6 cups flour, granulated sugar, yeast, salt, and mace in stand mixer fitted with dough hook.  With mixer on low speed, slowly add milk mixture and let dough come together, about 2 minutes.

2. Increase mixer speed to medium-low and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  If after 4 minutes dough seems very sticky, add remaining 1/2 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until dough clears sides of bowl but sticks to bottom.

3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball.  Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4.  Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  Turn doug hout onto lightly floured counter, divide into two equal pieces, and cover with greased plastic.  Roll one piece of dough into 36-inch rope, about 1 1/4 inches thick, then transfer to prepared baking sheet and shape into large pretzel following photos.  Repeat with remaining piece of dough.

5.  cover pretzels with greased plastic and let rise in warm place until nearly doubled in size and dough barely springs back when poked with knuckle, 45-75 minutes.

6.  Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush pretzels with egg mixture and bake until deep golden brown and centers of pretzels register 200 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking.  Let pretzels cool on baking sheets for 15 minutes.

7.  For the glaze: whisk confectioners’ sugar, milk, almond extract (if using ), and salt together in bowl.  Brush glaze evenly over warm pretzels. Transfer glazed pretzels to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

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Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

With my schedule being so busy lately Sunday is the only time I can find time to bake. This past weekend my roommates were out of town so I had the apartment to myself.  So yes some moments were lonely but when I woke up Sunday with a kitchen to myself, I was in my happy place.  On the menu this weekend was pumpkin muffins.  Light, fluffy and muffiny goodness is the only way to describe them.

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

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Denver and Pumpkin

I have officially been in Denver now for two weeks and one day.  I’m loving living in a town with the mountains so close and have been enjoying them on the two weekends I’ve been here.  Looking at the leaves changing from a mountain top is pretty extraordinary.  As a welcome to Denver post I decided to tie it in with a welcome to fall post.  I love, repeat, love cooking anything with pumpkin in it.  This weekend I made a pumpkin swirl bread.  It’s a play on Pepperridge Farm’s Pumpkin Spice bread. You can find this bread on the shelves for a limited time, but in case you can’t…try making it.  This bread was such a hit at the breakfast table.  The best part about it is that its not too sweet; it has just the right amount.  Kick off the fall season with this bread—maybe even at a tailgate!

Swirled Pumpkin Bread

The only thing I changed in this recipe was using golden raisins versus regular one. And I only did this to keep the colors fally.

Don’t have a rolling pin? No problem!

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Happy Eggs Benedict Day!

I may love Saint Patty’s Day and Halloween but I think I may have found my new favorite holiday…National Eggs Benedict Day!  Today is Eggs Benedict Day and must not be missed. So go get your hollandaise and poaching pants on and whip up the most delicious breakfast dish known to man kind!

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Kate and Leopold on Toast


I get so excited when I sit down to watch TV for the evening and a good movie comes on because it can be a hit or miss. You either have perfect timing and it’s a good movie, or it is a fabulous movie and there is only 30 minuets left so its just a tease, or the worst alternative it’s a stupid unbearable movie. One of my favorite movies to come on at random is The Wedding Date, if you have not seen this movie don’t wait for it to come on the TV go out and rent it now.

The other night Kate and Leopold came on and I forgot just how much I love this movie. It has Hugh Jackman and Meg Ryan so obviously it would be good but it has a cute love story and I of course automatically love it.

I’m one of those people who’s cravings change with every scene and every meal the characters eat throughout the film. Leopold serves Kate toast with mascarpone cheese and strawberries one morning and I’ve been so envious of her since I first saw that toast. When I first saw the movie I thought it must have been a really exquisite toast because of the mascarpone, which I had no idea what it actually was. Now that I’ve been exposed to The Food Network, in college, I know what that is and when I saw this scene I knew I didn’t have to be envious anymore. Yes, I still need to find a way to get Leopold, which involves figuring out time travel, getting someone to follow me back into the future after I get to the past and the hardest of all jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge…luckily making this toast is easier.

Kate and Leopold Toast

Bread of your choice- 10 Grain is a suggestion.  Toast bread, let it cool then smear on mascarpone and top with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of honey.

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