News from Baking for Good
  1. Recipe available here. Or just skip the mess and order them here. :)

  2. Love love love this DIY winter party idea. MIXIE STICKS: flavored hot cocoa mix-ins! (via http://tradewindtiaras.blogspot.com)

  3. Pizza!

    apple pie, recipe courtesy of Martha

  4. We think Indian pudding deserves a comeback. Try it for yourself. 

  5. Autumn vegetable galette. Recipe here

  6. A few leftover rum balls from our collaboration with MilkMade Ice Cream. Read all about it and snag the recipe here! 

  7. Green Gazpacho Recipe

    Cold cucumber soup doesn’t sound all that appetizing, does it? So call it cucumber gazpacho! This recipe, inspired by Running with Tweezers, is super easy and really hits the spot on a hot summer evening. It can also be made vegan if you leave out the yogurt. The avocado gives it a nice creamy texture. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

    P.S. that’s a grilled fig, caramelized onion, and goat cheese pizza on the side, in case you were wondering. :)

    Ingredients

    • 1 large cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 1 ripe avocado, pit and skin discarded
    • 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
    • zest and juice of one lemon
    • 1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Greek yogurt and/or mint leaves for garnish, optional

    Directions

    Combine the cucumber through mint leaves in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

    Transfer the soup to a large bowl or pitcher and refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and/or garnish with mint leaves if you’d like. Enjoy!

    Serves 3-4.

  8. Quick as a whip sorbet recipes

    Making sorbet from scratch has to be one of the most rewarding summer cooking experiences. It’s so easy and the results are awesome. Cuisinart ice cream makers can be found for less than $40 online.

    Here are two quick recipes we whipped up this weekend.

    Strawberry Lemonade Mint Sorbet

    1. In a blender, combine 6 cups sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar, zest of a lemon, 5 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint until pureed. 
    2. Refrigerate until cold, 30 minutes or more.
    3. Pour puree into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.
    4. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 3-4 hours, then serve.

    Cantaloupe Basil Sorbet

    1. Peel and seed a 2 lb ripe cantaloupe. Roughly chop the melon and place pieces in a blender.
    2. Add 1/3 cup sugar, zest and juice of one lime, and 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil. Blend until smooth.
    3. Refrigerate until cold, 30 minutes or more.
    4. Pour puree into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.
    5. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 3-4 hours, then serve.

    How easy is that? 

    Last week, as Emily was gearing up to go to China for a long-deserved vacation, I decided to cook up a simple version of Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  Lettuce wraps make a quick and healthy tasting dish with any leftovers you have.  I hope you discover many interesting meals wrapping it up!

    Enjoy,
    May

    Simple and Easy Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    Ingredients:

    • chicken (I used 6 tenderloin pieces), any kind will work
    • 6 cloves of garlic
    • chunk of fresh ginger
    • water chestnuts (about half a can)
    • bamboo shoots (about half a can)
    • fresh bean sprouts 
    • scallions
    • one lettuce head
    • dipping sauces: plum sauce, oyster sauce (sriracha sauce is also great)
    • seasoning: salt, pepper, ground ginger, cayenne
    • sesame oil

    Cooking Directions:

    1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces then marinate in ziploc bag (drizzle of sesame oil, pinches of salt and pepper, ground ginger, cayenne).
    2. Prep other ingredients by chopping up your garlic cloves, ginger, and scallions, and slicing your water chestnuts into dime-sized pieces.   
    3. Heat your pan to medium heat and add sesame oil into pan.  Then add chopped garlic and ginger first to get out their flavoring.
    4. Add chicken.
    5. When chicken is mostly cooked, add water chestnuts and bamboo shoots.
    6. When water chestnuts and bamboo shoots are mostly cooked, add bean sprouts and scallions.
    7. Stir well then set aside to cool. Transfer to serving bowl.

    Assembly:

    1. Prepare lettuce head for wraps*; about 8 sheets should accomodate this portion.
    2. Grab a piece of lettuce, and line the inside with your sauce. Add cooked contents and top with fresh bean sprouts.
    3. Fold it up, dip in more sauce, and enjoy.

    *Quick tip: You can peel off easy pieces of lettuce wrap by pounding the core of the lettuce head against a hard surface and popping the core out.  Then peel the top layers off carefully to get beautiful layers of lettuce.  

    And that’s a wrap!

    Today is 3/14. HAPPY PI DAY!

    Even if you haven’t found the area of a circle since high school, “Pi Day” is still a great excuse for baking a couple of pies. This year I decided to bake a sweet and a savory pie. The sweet one is a Martha Stewart apple pie (recipe here), and I added a festive twist by interspersing a few shamrock cutouts with my flower cutouts. The recipe is a little time-consuming, but the result is very pretty!

    The savory pie is roasted root vegetable with a rosemary crust. It was a big hit at dinner, and it was all we could do to resist eating the whole thing in one sitting. You can substitute in other vegetables according to your tastes.

    Roasted Root Vegetable Pie with Rosemary Crust

    Ingredients

    • 1 3/8 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
    • 3 large beets, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • fresh ricotta, optional
    • grated parmesan, optional
    • olive oil, salt, pepper

    Directions

    1. Pulse flour, salt, and rosemary in a food processor. Add butter, and pulse until coarse crumbs form, about 10 seconds.
    2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream just until dough holds together and is not wet or sticky, no longer than 30 seconds.
    3. Form dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. 
    4. While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 400F. Toss the chopped root vegetables (don’t include the mushrooms or leeks) in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place these vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet.
    5. Roast the vegetables at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
    6. While the root veggies are roasting, heat 2 Tbl olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute, stirring occassionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute for another 5 minutes, until both the leeks and mushrooms are soft. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    7. Remove your chilled dough from the refrigerator and have a 9” pie plate at the ready. To make rolling it out easy: lightly flour a sheet of plastic wrap, place the dough on the plastic wrap, sprinkly it with a little more flour, and then top it with another layer of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a (roughly) 10” round. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and flip the dough over into the pie plate, then remove the remaining layer of plastic wrap. Gently press the dough into the pan, crimping the overhanging dough to form a pretty edge. Return the pan to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
    8. In a small bowl, stir together the egg with the milk. Set aside.
    9. Once your pan is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Spread the mushroom filling evenly into the bottom of the pan, then top with the roasted root vegetables. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the vegetables.
    10. Bake your pie for 20 minutes at 400, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the liquid has set. 10 minutes before it’s done baking, you can dollop the pie with ricotta and sprinkle with grated parmesan if you would like, then return it to the oven to finish baking.

    Serve warm and enjoy!

    Mama Matsuo’s Potato and Onion Miso Soup

    Things you need:

    • Cutting board/knife
    • Pot/Serving spoon
    • Spoon (2)

    Ingredients:

    • potato
    • onion
    • scallions
    • miso paste
    • Other possible ingredients: tofu, seaweed, clams, ramen noodles—really anything!

    Directions:

    1. Boil a pot of cold water (as much soup as you want for your meal)
    2. Peel the potato. Cut the potato and onions to preferred shape and size. My personal preference is to cut the onion into crescent shapes and potato into sticks (just how my mom used to make it!)
    3. Once the water is boiling, add potato and onions into pot and bring down to low/med heat.  Let the soup simmer until veggies are cooked, about 20 minutes.
    4. While the soup is simmering, wash scallions in cold water, and cut them up for garnish.
    5. After the veggies are cooked, spoon up a dollop of miso paste.  I usually get a bigger spoon to scoop up the miso, then use a smaller spoon to break down the glob in the soup.  Make sure it dissolves all the way. Adjust the taste of the miso soup by adding as little or as much paste as you want. Stir well so the miso is evenly distributed.
    6. Serve it up! Don’t forget to garnish your soup with the scallions. YUM!
    • Quick tip #1: Even though using hot water may boil faster, using COLD water MAY be safer to use than hot water.  To heat up the water in tap, the water must pass through a heating system that can contaminate the water; especially if your plumbing is old—be careful!
       
    • Quick tip #2: It’s always better to wash vegetables and fruit in cold water because it shocks them and makes them crisper!