Baking at Work

bakeryI bake in an open kitchen at work. I am the only chef in a sea of people who do post production. People flock to the kitchen as soon as they hear the sound of my mixer or the smell of something baking. If they happen to linger, I’m not shy to put them to work. Hold this, mix that, chop please! It’s a family environment and I love it.

(Blurry photo taken when coworker stole my camera)

(Blurry photo taken when coworker stole my camera)

IMG_9705My two favorite ways to use sad spotted bananas is making banana bread and freezing them for smoothies. Lately this banana bread with jam in the middle and a coconut nutty crumble on top has been making a regular appearance. It requires a little more time and a little more patience, but it’s so worth it. I tried coconut sugar this time with a little coconut oil and I really enjoyed it. IMG_9707If you don’t follow me on Instagram yet, please do! You can find me at www.instagram.com/jacquilyninthekitchen and tons of photos of food and adventures!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

Banana Bread with Raspberry Jam and Coconut Macadamia Nut Crumble

Adapted from Cooking Light Classic Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup coconut sugar

6 tbsp butter, softened

2 tbsp coconut oil, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed really ripe bananas

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup raspberry jam

1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts

1/4 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf pan. Measure all flour, salt and baking soda into a bowl, whisk and set aside. Combine nuts and coconut in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream butter, coconut oil, sugar and coconut sugar until well combined (at least 1 minute). Add one egg at a time and beat well. Combine the yogurt, vanilla and mashed banana. Add this to the wet mixture and mix well.
  3. Next add the flour to the wet mixture and beat on low speed until the flour disappears.
  4. Measure half of the dough into the loaf pan and spread all of the jam down the center of the pan. Add the remaining dough on top, making sure it covers all the jam. Sprinkle the coconut crumble all over the pan and gently pat down.
  5. Create a tinfoil tent for the loaf pan that will cover the whole pan. Pinch it in the center to create a tent and cut a few holes to ventilate. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake covered for 30 minutes. Pull out uncover and bake an additional 30-40 minutes, checking part way through. If the crumble is getting too brown, cover gently with tinfoil until finished baking. Check the dough right under the crumble with a toothpick. Bread is done when it comes out mostly clean. Cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting. I recommend cutting with a serrated knife.

 


Quick Roasted Carrots

Roasted Carrot Blog 1It was a bright and chilly morning when I woke up in Rome. I was sharing a room and an apartment with 11 other girls. I was taking risks (hello shaving the side of my head spontaneously), I was learning, I was growing, I was becoming even more of an adult. And my adult self felt inclined to get out of bed, go to the train station, look up inexpensive tickets, buy a ticket and explore somewhere new on my own. This was by far one of my favorite days I spent abroad. While the train was gliding through the countryside, I sat patiently waiting and reading. This has stayed with me for years and I often return to this passage.

“For the first time in my life i saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth-that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impact: the salvation of man is through love and in love”

– Viktor E. Frankl

Roasted Carrot Blog

Quick Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:

6 large carrots, washed, both ends trimmed

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil

Pinch of salt and pepper

Pinch of paprika

Pinch of cumin

1/4 cup of hummus to garnish (optional)

Roasted almonds to garnish (optional)

Fresh herbs to garnish (optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut carrots into chunk of about 2-3″. Cut the thicker end pieces into half lengthwise.

3. In a medium bowl, toss carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin, making sure all carrots are coated well.

4. Place carrots cut side down on parchment paper and cook for 15 minutes or until they are tender and caramelized.

5. Let cool for 10 minutes and plate with hummus, almonds and fresh herbs if you desire.


Asian Pear Bowl w/ honey and hazelnuts

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetHere is my truth. The truth is that when I think about my blog, I think it is this wonderful reflection of the way I eat, beautifully documented, several photos to show off each angle of the dish with lots of natural light bursting through the window and effortlessly making my food look Pinterest-worthy. But real life is more complicated. The winter is hard. The days are short. I work full time and take iPhone snapshots of what I make in the kitchen while at work. I try to carve out time on the weekends to make, create, photograph, write and document. But I also value spending time with Daniel and my friends, getting OUT of the kitchen and LIVING. It takes hours upon hours to pull off a perfect food post. And food blogging has become crazy popular with tons of people dedicating their time to make an awesome food blog. Congrats to you if this describes you. I am still trying to figure out the balance for myself. Right now I know that I want this space to be more reflective of the way I eat day to day (even if that means some iPhone snapshots, not totally styled pictures), my experiments in the kitchen at work and home, the lessons I have learned and continue to learn, and what currently inspires me.

So cheers to 2015 and I hope you want to celebrate good food and learn a lot with me in the new year!

Asian Pear Bowl w/ honey and hazelnuts: serves 1

Ingredients:

1 cup greek yogurt + 2 tbs milk of your choice (optional. But I like to thin out greek yogurt just a little)

2 tsp honey

1 ripe asian pear, chopped (discard the core)

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbs hazelnuts, chopped

1/4 cup rolled oats

Directions:

1. Mix the yogurt and milk in a small bowl until creamy. Mix in 1 tsp honey.

2. In a medium bowl (you are going to eat out of this), Layer the chopped pear on the bottom, then spoon the yogurt over the pear.

3. Sprinkle the cinnamon, hazelnuts and oats over the yogurt and then drizzle with the remaining 1 tsp of honey.

4. Then make a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!


Easy Chocolate Peppermint & Marshmallow Bark

peppermintbark6It’s that time of year, so I’m just rolling with it. Yes, I’m still eating my fruits and vegetables, but in the dessert department, I have kind of thrown caution to the wind. Because I don’t feel like depriving myself during this fun, jolly time of year. I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate, so my peppermint bark is just solid chocolate. There are only 3 ingredients and it comes together in no time. I highly recommend it for a holiday party or just to nibble at home in your pajamas. peppermintbark1peppermintbark2peppermintbark3There is something so satisfying about melting chocolate and swirling it around. And the peppermint candies and marshmallows make it feel so festive! peppermintbark4peppermintbark5You can box this up all pretty, put some ribbon on it, maybe a bow, and call it a day. Boom. Hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Chocolate Peppermint & Marshmallow Bark

Ingredients:

12 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

20 round peppermint candies

1 cup mini marshmallows

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Crush the peppermint candies any way you would like. I chopped mine with a sharp knife. Set aside.

3. Put chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds at a time and stir in between. I did 3 rounds of 30 seconds. Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and then smooth out onto the parchment paper in a thin layer.

4. Sprinkle marshmallows and crushed peppermint candy on top of melted chocolate. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer, break apart by hand and enjoy!

 


Roasted Garlic Dressing + Lentil Salad

garlic dressingJust to prove that I actually do eat salads at work in between the buttery scones and chocolate….

Most of the time I just put olive oil and balsamic vinegar on my salads and call it a day. But I also see the benefit in making different salad dressings and not getting bored. This week I had a lot of leftover garlic, so I wanted to use it up before it went bad. I was also craving a healthy, crunchy and filling salad that day. garlic dressing2

Roasted Garlic Dressing + Lentil Salad

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

2 whole heads of garlic, tops cut off to expose each clove

1/2 cup + a few teaspoons of olive oil, separated

salt & pepper

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup water

2 Tbs of apple cider vinegar

For the salad:

2 cups cooked lentils (I like to cheat and buy cooked lentils at Trader Joe’s)

1 1/2 cups raw broccoli florets, chopped

1 cup raw shredded carrots

1/3 cup roasted garlic dressing + more depending on how heavily dressed you like it

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the cut tops of the garlic and rub it into each clove, keeping the whole head intact. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top and wrap each head in a piece of tinfoil, completely covering it. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool and pull out each clove with a fork or knife and set aside. Discard all the garlic skins.

2. In a blender put the water, 1/2 cup of olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, pinch of salt and pepper, apple cider vinegar and all of the garlic cloves. Blend until creamy. About 30 seconds- 1 minute. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

3. If you want to make the salad, toss the lentils, broccoli and carrots in a large bowl with the dressing. I like to eat this salad as is or over a bed of mixed greens with a side of grilled bread :).


Earl Grey Poached Pears w/ Whiskey Pecans & Maple Whipped Cream

Poached PearI’m on a Halloween sugar high. Whoops! I made an indecent amount of dessert today for the office. But we had kids come by to trick or treat and I can admit, I got jealous. Kids get to have all the fun. SO….. I remedied the situation by making a ton of popcorn balls, rice krispy treats and dirt chocolate pudding cups with oreos and gummy worms. Oh and some spiked apple cider! I feel better. Less envious of the kids and more content with warm apple cider and chocolate pudding in my belly. Now I’m just waiting for the evening festivities! Daniel is dressing up as Freddie Mercury and I waited until the last minute to come up with something, so my co-worker fashioned me a mask and black beanie so I can be a burglar. Poached Pearclose upMy mom asked me this morning if I was excited for tonight, whether I had a costume and if it was one of those “sexy costumes you wear in your 20s because you can get away with it (kind of) costume”. I laughed pretty hard. Truth is, I have no desire to go in some skin tight or skin baring-going to be freezing all night costume. I would rather be bundled up, warm and cozy. Just saying. So this pear recipe came out of need to make something for clients at work, but I had minimal ingredients on hand and decided to improvise a recipe. It turned out pretty well and I for one, am kind of obsessed with these pears. They are light and delicate while offering so much flavor.Poached pear verticalIt is definitely the kind of dessert I would make for a dinner party and would be great for the upcoming holidays! I hope you take as much enjoyment in making these as I did. Happy Halloween!!!

Earl Grey Poached Pears w/ Whiskey Pecans & Maple Whipped Cream: serves 6

Ingredients:

For the pears:

2 cups 2% milk

3 cups water

1 cinnamon stick

4 earl grey tea bags, label or paper removed

3 medium Bartlett or d’anjou pears, cut in half, do not remove core yet.

For the pecans:

2 tbs butter

1 ½ shots whiskey

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tbs maple syrup

1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

For the whipped cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tbs maple syrup

Pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Bring milk, water, tea bags and cinnamon stick to a simmer over medium low heat (do not allow to boil) in a large saucepan. Place pears cut side down and make sure they are mostly submerged in liquid (if not, add more water and milk in equal proportions). Keep at a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out easily and pears are tender.
  2. While the pears are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Melt the butter, brown sugar and whiskey together over medium heat. Stir frequently as it begins to caramelize. Lower the heat and cook for a few more minutes. Turn off the heat and put the pecans in the pan, making sure to coat them well. Dump the pecans onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and break apart nuts if they are stuck together.
  3. Remove the pears from the liquid and place on a plate lined with parchment paper. Put the pears in the freezer for 15 minutes to cool down. Remove from freezer and take out the core (leave the stem) and make sure to keep the sides of the pear in tact. Return to freezer for a few more minutes.
  4. To make the whipped cream, pour cream in a large bowl and use a whisk attachment of either a hand mixer or stand mixer. Mix on high until the cream begins to thicken, then add maple syrup and cinnamon. Continue to mix until the cream is thick and stiff peaks form when you pull the whisk attachment out of the cream.
  5. To assemble: remove pears from freezer and place on a serving plate, dollop a big spoonful of whipped cream in the center of the pear, place a few pecans on top and on the sides and sprinkle with cinnamon.