Dutch Baby With Lemon Curd and Berries

Dutch Baby With Lemon Curd and Berries

Lately I’ve been really loving these Dutch Babies!  You might be wondering what exactly is a Dutch Baby.  No, I’m not referring to those adorable blond haired blue eyed cuties one would expect to see in Amsterdam, I’m talking about these yummy dessert or breakfast pancake like creations topped which sweet or savory morsels of goodness.

A Dutch Baby is sort of a cross between a pancake, a crepe, and a popover.  And before you can ask it did not originate in the Netherlands, in fact there is nothing “Dutch” about it.  It is also called a German Pancake and in Germany is called an Apfelpfannkuchen and was originally served as 3 small pancakes with lemon squeezed on it and then sprinkled with sugar.  Somehow it evolved into larger sized pancakes.

But back to the name, the story goes that a Seattle diner called Manca’s Cafe back in the 1900s to the1950s served the German Pancake called Deutche Pancake (Deutche is the German word for well German).  The owner’s name was Victor Manca, and his young granddaughter could not pronounce Deutche, instead she called it Dutch.  And so the Americanized German Pancake was born!

However it got its name it’s still a delicious addition to breakfast, lunch, or even dinner; remember you can top it with just about anything.  I’m not a big pancake fan, but I do love crepes; unfortunately I seldom make them at home because I really don’t like standing at the stove frying either one, I find it tedious.  That’s why I love a Dutch Baby!  It’s not fried, it’s baked!  Now that’s something I can definitely get behind!.

Seriously Dutch Babies are super easy to make, you just mix the ingredients together, pour the batter in a cast iron skillet, pop it in the oven and in less than half an hour your Dutch Baby is ready to be topped and served!  Easy peasy nice and breezy!

I’m sharing this simple Dutch Baby recipe today.  I topped my Dutch Baby with lemon curd and fresh berries, it made a great dessert!  You can top it the same way; sprinkle it with powdered sugar; spread it with jam; or even top it with ham and cheese for a nice savory lunch or dinner.  In short just top it anyway you want!

Now this recipe makes a large Dutch Baby, I made it in a 10″ skillet.  You can adjust the recipe to suit your needs or if you like you can split the batter between two 5″ skillets and have personal pan Dutch Babies that each person can top the way they want.  If you’re making the large version just slice it up into wedges like you would a cake to serve.

 

 

Dutch Baby With Lemon Curd and Berries
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Dutch Baby With Lemon Curd and Berries
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place eggs, flour, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest into a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Place butter in a cast iron skillet or any type of heavy skillet and place it in the oven until butter has melted.
  3. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20 minutes until the edges have puffed up and the pancake is golden brown
  4. Lower oven temperature to 300 and bake another 5 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and spread with lemon curd, top with fresh berries, and sprinkle powered sugar over all.
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French Toast for Valentine’s Day Breakfast

French Toast for Valentine’s Day Breakfast

Contrary to it’s name French Toast did not originate in France.  In fact it originated long before France was even a country.

French Toast is basically made with stale bread dipped in an egg and milk mixture then fried up for a tasty meal.  Being that bread, eggs, and milk have been staples since they started to prepare bread in some form it makes sense that it’s been around for centuries.  And of course back in the day people weren’t wasteful so turning stale bread into a meal using basic ingredients that were readily available makes sense too.

The first mention of a similar dish dates back to a cookbook attributed to Apicius back in 4th. Century Rome.  It was then called Pan Dulcis, or sweet bread, and made pretty much how we make it today.  The dish spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, specially the practice of using stale bread.  In France it was known then as it is now as Pain Perdu which literally means Lost Bread.  It is known by this name in Belgium, New Orleans, and other places where the French had some sort of presence.  We call it French Toast for the similar reason we call fried strips of potatoes French Fries; simply because it was popularized in America by French immigrants.

french toast

French Toast has become a staple on diner and coffee shop menus.  In fact it is one of my favorite breakfast foods mainly because not only is it easy to make and very tasty, I almost always have all the ingredients in my kitchen!

Now there are many fancy variations of this humble dish like the Crème Brûlée French Toast I make on Christmas mornings. Now that requires a bit more fussing.  But the basic French Toast recipe is so easy that you can make it even on weekday mornings, or at the very least on weekends.

This year Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday so I know cooking breakfast is pretty much not on the top of your priority list.  But wouldn’t it be super sweet to wake up just 15 minutes earlier this Valentine’s Day and surprise your sweetheart with a stack of French Toast?

Garnished with fresh fruit, powdered sugar, or whipped cream can dress up this humble dish and make it look like you’ve been up for hours preparing it!  So go ahead, wake up your Valentine with the cinnamony aroma of fresh made French Toast!  The kids’ will love them too!  Here’s my recipe!

Ingredients:

3 Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Milk

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Tsp Cinnamon

1 Tsp Vanilla

6-8 Pieces Bread – any type will do, you can use day old or fresh, whatever you have on hand.

Butter

Syrup

Garnishes like fresh fruit, powdered sugar, whipped cream, etc.

Directions:

Beat eggs in a shallow bowl.

Add milk and sugar and stir well.

Stir in cinnamon and vanilla.

Melt butter in a frying pan.

Dip both sides of each piece of bread in egg mixture.

Place bread in frying pan and cook until both sides turn golden brown.

Place French Toast on serving dish and garnish any way you want.

You can place butter, syrup, and garnishes on the table so everyone can serve themselves.

 

 

 

 

french toast
French Toast
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french toast
French Toast
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl. .
  2. Add milk and sugar and stir well.
  3. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla.
  4. Melt butter in a frying pan.
  5. Dip both sides of each piece of bread in egg mixture.
  6. Place bread in frying pan and cook until both sides turn golden brown.
  7. Place French Toast on serving dish and garnish any way you want. You can place butter, syrup, and garnishes on the table so everyone can serve themselves
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Sweet Potato Pie – Old Fashioned Comfort Food

Every year at Thanksgsweet potato pieiving I like to try something new to add to our Thanksgiving dinner menu.  If we like it then it becomes a permanent addition to our traditional meal.

This year my grandson Dion and I decided to try our had at a Southern Thanksgiving meal staple, Sweet Potato Pie.  I’ve never actually had Sweet Potato Pie, but Dion loves it.  He says it’s his favorite pie, specially the way his grandmother from Atlanta makes it.

Sweet Potato Pie is a Southern specialty that can be served instead of or beside the traditional Pumpkin Pie which graces just about everyone’s Thanksgiving dessert table.

So we searched online for a Sweet Potato Pie recipe; we found hundreds!  Each one touting that it was the best of course.  Well we experimented with a couple of different recipes and relied on Dion’s recollections of watching his Southern grandma make her pies.  In the end by tweaking and patching several recipes together we ended up with our own version which turned out quite nicely if I do say so myself.

We’ll share our version of Sweet Potato Pie below, but before we do here are a few things we learned along the way.  It might help you out and save you from making the same mistakes we made.

  1.  Use fresh yams!  Not canned yams preserved in sweet syrup!  Don’t get me started on this, just ask yourself, would your granny use canned yams?  I doubt it!
  2. Use Large RED Yams.  Not white yams, or purple yams, or Okinawan sweet potato.  Just plain old Red Yams!  And before you ask, yes there are many varieties of yams and sweet potatoes in the markets.  So don’t get fancy, keep it simple, RED Yams.
  3. Bake your yams DO NOT boil them!  This saves you from peeling and chopping raw yams.  BTW have you ever tried peeling and chopping raw yams or sweet potatoes?  No?  Well let me tell you peeling and chopping wood might just be easier!  Most importantly baked yams make a better pie filling, it’s not mushy or watery like boiled yams can be.  And you can bake yams for your Sweet Potato Pie up to a week before you actually make your pie.  Still not convinced or it sounds too tedious?  Remember even though it takes an hour to bake the yams it’s actually a hands off hour so you can do something else like making applesauce, doing laundry, or relaxing in the tub.
  4. Baking yams – Place 3 large yams (you wash them first of course) on a parchment covered baking sheet and pop them in a 375° oven.  Bake for 1 hour then remove from oven.  If you are using it to make Sweet Potato Pie right away peel off the skin and mash the yams to make 2 cups of mashed yams then follow the rest of the recipe to make the pie.  If you baked the yams in advance you can either mash it then store the mashed yams in the fridge in an airtight container or place the whole unpeeled yams in a ziplock and refrigerate until you’re ready to mash them for your Sweet Potato Pie.
  5. Just like Pumpkin and pecan pies, a Sweet Potato Pie is considered a custard pie; hence it must have some form of milk or cream.  There are recipes out there that call for milk, cream, or half-and-half; but since it’s a truly Southern specialty you should use canned evaporated milk.  That’s what they used in the Southern states.  Trust me on this you’ll end up with a creamier and smoother Sweet Potato Pie when you use canned evaporated milk.
  6. When you bake your pie pay close attention to the timer.  Test pie before removing from oven.  First nudge the pie – the center of the pie should be slightly softer than the rest of the pie so that it jiggles a bit when nudged.  Then insert a knife or a toothpick at the center – it should come out clean but moist.
  7. Let baked pie stand for about 30 minutes before cutting it.  This will firm it up so sliced don’t fall apart.  Better yet refrigerate the pie overnight then remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving so it warms up to room temperature.  I like my custard pies cool I feel it brings out the sweetness.

Having said that here’s our recipe:

Ingredients:

2 Large Red Yams – Baked & Mashed to yield 3 cups (see tips for baking instructions)

1  Cup butter – softened

4  Cups Sugar

1 Can Evaporated Milk 12oz.

1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

6  eggs – beaten

1 1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon

2 Unbaked deep dish pie shells – homemade or frozen

Proceedure:

Mix together first 4 ingredients until well blended.

Stir in Vanilla, Eggs, and Cinnamon.

Pour filling into unbaked pie shells.

Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour or until filling is set and/or tester comes out clean but moist.

Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Garnish and serve with whipped cream if desired.

 

Sweet Potato Pie
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Sweet Potato Pie
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix together first 4 ingredients until well blended.
  2. Stir in Vanilla, Eggs, and Cinnamon.
  3. Pour filling into unbaked pie shells.
  4. Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour or until filling is set and/or tester comes out clean but moist.
  5. Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  6. Garnish and serve with whipped cream if desired.
Recipe Notes

Baking yams - Place 3 large yams (you wash them first of course) on a parchment covered baking sheet and pop them in a 375° oven.  Bake for 1 hour then remove from oven.  If you are using it to make Sweet Potato Pie right away peel off the skin and mash the yams to make 2 cups of mashed yams then follow the rest of the recipe to make the pie.  If you baked the yams in advance you can either mash it then store the mashed yams in the fridge in an airtight container or place the whole unpeeled yams in a ziplock and refrigerate until you're ready to mash them for your Sweet Potato Pie.

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The Best Homemade Applesauce

The Best Homemade Applesauce

ApplesauceThanksgiving is next week.  I started my annual holiday cooking routine last this week.  From now until the New Year yummy aromas will be coming from my kitchen!  The annual game of cat and mouse will begin; family members sneaking tastes of pies, cookies, and candies while I try to keep them hidden.  Last year my son and husband went thru a couple of pecan pies a couple of days before Thanksgiving, luckily I made 6 pies!

The first thing I make every year is my homemade applesauce which we use instead of cranberry sauce.  It goes great with roast turkey and the Prime Rib roast we make for Christmas.  Sealed in mason jars or even just stored in the fridge and the sauce will last thru the holidays.

Over the years I’ve tried different types of apples to make my sauce.  You never quite realize just how many types of apples there are until you start shopping for them.  I’ve used Fuji, Mackintosh, Delicious, Gala, and Granny Smith apples just to name a few I’ve tried.  I’ve discovered that the best applesauce is made by using different types of apples.  Yes each apple variety has its own unique flavor and texture so mixing them up makes for a  tastier and more robust sauce.

My family will only eat my homemade applesauce, no store bought sauce for them.  Even my grandson, Dion, who absolutely will not touch store bought sauce, even as an infant, loves my sauce.  It’s sweet and laced with lots of cinnamon.  Dion says he likes it because it has a nice texture, not the strained baby food like texture the ones from the store have.  It’s a bit chunky, but not too chunky, even the twins, Harper and Sadi, love it!  By the way the cinnamon can be optional!  My grandson Devon has recently declared that he dislikes cinnamon (this declaration boggles my mind as he still loves cinnamon rolls) so before I add the cinnamon I set aside a small portion just for him.

The applesauce is easy to make, just a bit time consuming.  That’s why I make it well ahead of time.
This allows it to chill, we feel applesauce should be served cold.  Here’s my recipe, it will make 2 pint size jars or 1 quart size jar.

Ingredients:

2 Red Delicious Apples

2 Golden Delicious Apples

2 Gala or Mackintosh Apples

2 Granny Smith Apples

2 cups sugar (add more if you want it sweeter or less if you don’t want it so sweet)

6+ Cups Water

1 tbls. ground cinnamon (you can adjust this to suit your taste)

Directions:

1.  Fill a large pot about half way with water.

2.  Wash and peel apples, then cut into bite size chunks about 1/2″ big

3.  Place apple pieces in pot of water.  Add more water if needed to cover the apples.  The top layer will float a bit.

4.  Add sugar and stir.

5.  Cook on stove over medium heat until water has been absorbed.  Stir occasionally to keep bottom from burning.  As it cooks and softens you can mash the chunks a bit with the spoon used to stir.  The sauce will start turning brownish.  If it starts to bubble reduce heat.  This process takes about 2-3 hours.

6.  When the apples have all liquified and water evaporated remove pot from heat.

7.  Stir in cinnamon.

8.  Seal in mason jars according to canning instructions or allow to cool then transfer to sealed containers and store in refrigerator.  Even If you seal it in jars you should store it in the fridge so it will be cool when served.

You can serve this as a snack, or with roast turkey or beef, and pork chops.  It’s really yummy!

The Best Homemade Applesauce
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Homemade applesauce goes great with roast turkey and the Prime Rib roast we make for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sealed in mason jars or even just stored in the fridge and the sauce will last thru the holidays.
Servings Prep Time
2 Pints 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 - 3 Hours 2 - 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
2 Pints 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 - 3 Hours 2 - 3 Hours
The Best Homemade Applesauce
Print Recipe
Homemade applesauce goes great with roast turkey and the Prime Rib roast we make for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sealed in mason jars or even just stored in the fridge and the sauce will last thru the holidays.
Servings Prep Time
2 Pints 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 - 3 Hours 2 - 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
2 Pints 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 - 3 Hours 2 - 3 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Pints
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot about half way with water. This is why I put 6+ cups of water in the ingredients. You can adjust it to fill your pot.
  2. Wash and peel apples, then cut into bite size chunks about 1/2" big
  3. Place apple pieces in pot of water. Add more water if needed to cover the apples. The top layer will float a bit.
  4. Add sugar and stir.
  5. Cook on stove over medium heat until water has been absorbed. Stir occasionally to keep bottom from burning. As it cooks and softens you can mash the chunks a bit with the spoon used to stir. The sauce will start turning brownish. If it starts to bubble reduce heat. This process takes about 2-3 hours.
  6. When the apples have all liquified and water evaporated remove pot from heat.
  7. Stir in cinnamon.
  8. Seal in mason jars according to canning instructions or allow to cool then transfer to sealed containers and store in refrigerator. Even If you seal it in jars you should store it in the fridge so it will be cool when served.
Recipe Notes

You can also make this applesauce in a crockpot.  Just dump all the ingredients, except the cinnamon, into the pot.  Cook for about 6 hours, add cinnamon, and place in storage containers.

If you do make it in the crockpot don't leave it much longer than 6 hours, overcooking will turn it into apple butter.  That's good too!

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Steamed Chicken Adobo Buns – Adobong Siopao

Steamed Chicken Adobo Buns – Adobong Siopao

siopaoThe steamed or baked asian bun.  What exactly is it.  Well Filipinos call it “Siopao”, in China it’s called a “Bao”, and in Hawaii we call it “Manapua”.  These names all refer to the same thing.  That soft spongy ball of dough filled with a variety of fillings like sweet char siu pork, chicken curry, Chinese sausage, or sweet black bean paste; then steamed or baked to perfection.

Siopao, Bao, Manapua, or whatever you want to call it is a family favorite.  It can be an appetizer, a snack, lunch, dinner, or dessert.  It all depends on what it’s filled with.  It’s the perfect picnic food.  Easy to pack and very easy to eat.  Don’t forget it’s delicious too!

In Hawaii and all over Asia these steamed or baked buns are sold out of food trucks, in restaurants, and even at neighborhood convenience stores like 7Eleven.  Everyone has their own favorite place where they’ll swear make the best buns.  In Hawaii my all time favorite is the Aiea Manapua & Snack Shop, this little hole in the wall joint  that has been serving the most amazing char sui and shoyu chicken manapuas for years.

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But in some places siopao or baos are not so easily found and there fore you may have to make it at home whenever you’ve got a yen for some.  Or sometimes you just want a unique filling that they don’t sell in the stores.  That’s why we have this tried and true Siopao recipe that we use to make homemade steamed buns.  In this recipe I will fill it with another Filipino favorite, chicken adobo.

You can use the my Chicken Adobo recipe just substitute boneless chicken thighs instead of bone in chicken parts.   Or you can fill it with Pork Adobo, it’s the same recipe as the chicken but uses pork butt instead of chicken.  Or you can fill it with your favorite meat or veggies.  Really the recipe for the bun is the same regardless of the filling you choose to use.  Click here for chicken adobo recipe.

So today I’m sharing the recipe for the steamed bun dough.  You can fill it with anything you want.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup warm water

1 packet active dry yeast

2 tbs. sugar

1 1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup sugar

4 1/2 – 5 cups flour

3 tbs. oil

1 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

Place the 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl or measuring cup

Add dry yeast packet and 2 tbs. sugar

Do not stir just swish it around so the yeast is wet and the sugar disolves

Set aside for about 10 minutes or until it is frothy

Place the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, but do not add all the flour.  Start with about 4 cups, you can add the remaining flour as you knead to get the correct dough consistency.  You may not need all the flour.

Add the activated yeast mix and mix well to form a medium soft dough.  Add remaining flour in small increments until you achieve the correct consistency.

Knead the dough by hand or with an electric mixer using the dough hook attachment.  Knead until the dough is very smooth and elastic.

Turn into and oiled mixing bowl.  Roll the dough in the bowl to cover with oil.

Cover with plastic film and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.

Punch out excess air and divide into about 24 balls.

Flatten each ball into a flat circle on a lightly floured surface.  Flatten dough to about 1/4″ thick.

siopaoPlace a heaping tablespoonful of filling in the center of the flat dough then draw edges towards the center and crimp or twist closed.

Place each ball on a small square of parchment paper, crimped side down and let rest until it doubles in size.

Be patient because properly risen dough will turn into light and fluffy buns!

When dough is properly risen steam each bun on high heat for 15 – 20 minutes.

Serve warm or cold.  Store left over buns in the fridge in zip lock bags.  To reheat either re-steam or cover with a damp paper towel and heat in the


siopao
Chicken Adobo Siopao
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siopao
Chicken Adobo Siopao
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Ingredients
Yeast Starter
Dough
Servings:
Instructions
Yeast Starter
  1. Place the 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl or measuring cup Add dry yeast packet and 2 tbs. sugar Do not stir just swish it around so the yeast is wet and the sugar disolves Set aside for about 10 minutes or until it is frothy
Dough
  1. Place the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, but do not add all the flour.  Start with about 4 cups, you can add the remaining flour as you knead to get the correct dough consistency.  You may not need all the flour. 
  2. Add the activated yeast mix and mix well to form a medium soft dough.  Add remaining flour in small increments until you achieve the correct consistency.
  3. Knead the dough by hand or with an electric mixer using the dough hook attachment.  Knead until the dough is very smooth and elastic.
  4. Turn into and oiled mixing bowl.  Roll the dough in the bowl to cover with oil.
  5. Cover with plastic film and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.
  6. Punch out excess air and divide into about 24 balls.
  7. Flatten each ball into a flat circle on a lightly floured surface.  Flatten dough to about 1/4" thick.
  8. Place a heaping tablespoonful of filling in the center of the flat dough then draw edges towards the center and crimp or twist closed.
  9. Place each ball on a small square of parchment paper, crimped side down and let rest until it doubles in size.
  10. Be patient because properly risen dough will turn into light and fluffy buns!
  11. When dough is properly risen steam each bun on high heat for 15 - 20 minutes.
  12. Serve warm or cold.  Store left over buns in the fridge in zip lock bags.  To reheat either re-steam or cover with a damp paper towel and heat in the 
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