The Cheesecake Addiction

My Life in Food

Archive for the tag “baking”

Beer + Bread 4ever

Hello, dear friends!

Long has it been since I’ve written about the goings on in our kitchen, but upon perusing the interweb I found a recipe this afternoon that immediately made me jump for joy, run to the kitchen, bake, and blog.

Ladies and gentleman, I give to you what is sure to be a Morrell-Dunn-Rankin Family Favorite: Beer Bread.

Yes, yes, you heard right. Your favorite carbs can come together in one gloriously quick hour. AND you only need 5 ingredients!

3 1/2 cups self rising flour, 12oz beer (any kind), 3 TBL sugar, 1 beaten egg, and 3 TBL melted butter.

3 1/2 cups self rising flour, 12oz beer (any kind), 3 TBS sugar, 1 beaten egg, and 3 TBS melted butter.

But, kids, if you’re like me and are without self rising flour, simply ADD: 1 TBS baking powder and 1 tsp of salt. Voila.

Add sugar to flour.

Add sugar to flour.

And then the beer (I used an old Christmas Ale) and the egg.

And then the beer (I used an old Christmas Ale) and the egg.

Mix well, and pop into a loaf pan (or a round cake pan if you are also like me in that you turned your rusty loaf pan into a flour pot this past summer).

Bake a 350 for 50 minutes…

When your hoppy bread comes out of the toasty oven, brush the melted butter on top, and pop back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

When your hoppy bread comes out of the toasty oven, brush the melted butter on top, and pop back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

…um…this is the melted butter. Later, for dinner, I added chopped garlic to this and brushed it over NAAN bread.

…um…this is the melted butter. Later, for dinner, I added chopped garlic to this and brushed it over NAAN bread.

When your bread has cooled, lovingly cut yourself a slice.

Mmmmyummy

Mmmmyummy

And if you’re goal in life is to emulate me entirely, you’re going to have to spread nutella on most of your bread-goods (or your Thin Mint cookies).

IMG_1862Nutella on beer bread? Absolutely!

And that’s all she wrote on beer bread. Life goes on as usual over here. CDR and I continue on our health kick (Nutella aside) and I’m happy to report we’ve been doing very well. I believe the current household weight loss count is at slightly over 11 pounds! Woohoo!

Another Nutella highlight from this past month: Banana Nutella Swirl muffins.

 

Don't act like you're not impressed!

Don’t act like you’re not impressed!

And that’s all for now, and I do promise to write soon!

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Damn Cookies You Ever Did Taste

Oh Hai There,

Yesterday SUCKED. It could only be fixed by my world moderately famous chocolate chip/PB chip cookies.

CDR and I spent a wonderful week at Lake Tahoe with my family. But I’ll get there in a second–the cookies came from a harsh snap back into reality and after a day of fretting and tears (SPOILER: Real Estate can be just as tough as theater), there was nothing to do, but turn on Law and Order: Criminal Intent, finish making the bedroom curtains, and bake the shit out of these cookies.

SIDE BAR: I love you, episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, in which the Dramaturge kills the actor. You were swell, and why didn’t Goren and Eames ever do it?!

But I digress.

This recipe starts with half a cup each of butter and shortening. An no. To make these cookies properly, you MAY NOT substitute the shortening for more butter. You will still get a good cookie, but you will not get THIS cookie.

Any hoozle:

1/2 c butter, 1/2 c shortening, 1 c brown sugar, and 1/2 c granulated sugar creamed together. Add two eggs, and a satisfying amount of therapeutic vanilla (1-2 tsp). Beat till light and creamy.

1 tsp of baking soda, plus 2 1/4 c AP flour goes in next!

Stir in 3/4 c peanut butter chips and 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips—or half and half.

Bake by the teaspoonful for 11 min at 375.

Try not to eat all of the dough!

Try not to eat all of the dough!

Yes, they’ll be gooey. No, they don’t need more time in the oven.

Yep, these babies are perfect just the way they are.

Yep, these babies are perfect just the way they are.

IMG_1492

Eat. Indulge. Let your troubles melt away in the warm gooey chocolatey goodness.

As for me, I’m busy pretending that I’m still in the mountains.

Morning, Sunshine!

Morning, Sunshine!

IMG_1454

Love is…skiing!

Love is…skiing!

Toodles.

 

 

 

CAKE. And ALL the feels.

I halved the recipe*

I halved the recipe*

I made cake last night.

Chocolate cake. Real good chocolate cake.

Still, not as good as my standard recipe but hella tasty and cray-cray easy.

Sidebar: I deserve mad props for even attempting to post this, given my current bout of extreme nausea. Thankfully, I’m back at the doctor on Wednesday and fingers crossed, I’ll be on my way to new information. But seriously, I’m so frickin tired of feeling nauseous.

But right, I made cake. I got some new cocoa powder from Trader Joe’s and saw the recipe on the back of the box. I cut it in half (no WAY can CDR and I eat THAT much cake) and away I went.

First, I greased and floured (with flour AND cocoa powder) a spring form pan. Recipe just called for a round cake pan, but I figured with the spring form I wouldn’t have to deal with pan removal.greasedpan

I put all ingredients in the KitchenAid (and ok, CDR–you were right…I DO use it a lot, it IS totally worth the cost, and I LOVE it) and mixed it all up.

I added some coffee to the batter, too.

I added some coffee to the batter, too.

Then I poured the batter into the pan, gave it a little shake (to release air bubbles), and popped it in the 350 degree oven for 50 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).

Ooooh, girl.

Ooooh, girl.

A frosting trick I learned to keep the cake from “crumbing” (crumbs infest the frosting) is to brush a simple syrup over the cake. I opted for a cinnamon simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water and two cinnamon sticks boiled until sugar is dissolved and simmered until syrup gets syrupy) and just brushed it all over.

Finished with a light layer of chocolate frosting and some strawberries on top.

Boyfriend approved!

Boyfriend approved!

Delectable.

And those typical feels keep on coming. Yesterday was pretty awesome. I had an easy open house and came home to a quiet apartment which I cleaned and then proceeded to annihilate with cake stuff.

I think I’m in total Cape withdrawal, however. I’m missing the ocean and the inspiration. I’m a little out of sorts, being back–but hey, lez be real I’ve BEEN out of sorts. Combination of twenty-something woes, a constantly nauseated body, and well…YOU know. Same ol’, same ol’. Maybe it is a little bit of a run-away syndrome, but being back on the Cape–it was like my soul had come home to rest. From a physical standpoint- my body hadn’t felt that great in so long. And mentally–oh sweet relief!

*Time out…voice lesson.

*Time in.

So, I just had a voice lesson, as stated an hour and a half ago (see above). I sang For Good, from Wicked because for one: it’s maybe the most tolerable Schwartz song ever and for two: it’s time to start singing the healing songs. The “bright side” songs. The ACTUAL sorting through it songs–not the bitter ones (although I do rock a mean Carrie Underwood).

This is the part where I acknowledge that everything happens for a reason. The Universe and synchronicity work in mysterious ways and from every relationship there is a lesson to be learned.

What did I learn here? Well, I’ve learned a lot about myself. That’s a given and a stated. I’d like very much to say that despite everything, I’m able to trust like I could before–but that’s not true. I’ve learned caution. I operate now under the assumption that in dealing with men, you should be cautious (and might I add CDR is a blessing and takes this all like a champ) because they are capable of anything.

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

I’ve been changed. I can’t un-know what I do, or go back in time. I’ll always be hurt by this, but I can be comforted by knowing I learned something–many things about myself. And maybe that’s why this had to happen? I learned about myself. My strength, my weaknesses, my fears, my love, my power. I learned that I lean towards a manic-pixie-dream-girl trope, and I learned how to use that for good rather than for…less good.

“I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are lead to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you.”

Who knows why any of it happened? In one moment, everything changed and we both behaved in ways acceptable only in high school or reality television. But we learned. Or at least, I did.

I wonder what he learned?

“It is incredibly clear to me that what happened was meant to happen.” I wonder if he knows why?

Can’t blame a girl for trying.

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Rehearsal Cupcake!

It just takes some time but, little girl, in the middle of the ride–everything, everything will be just fine. Everything, everything will be alright…

Damn, people! I’m really not one to brag, but not only did I knock these cupcakes out of the park…I did it with a broiler–again. Good news–oven’s getting fixed today. Yesterday, I was really at a point where I needed a “win” so the fact that I had to broil these cupcakes and still managed to make them tasty and all around successful—well, it was really good for me. So allow me to celebrate: HELL YES!

They were actually pretty easy to make. First, I just made a small batch of chocolate chip cookie dough (use mini chocolate chips), and then scooped them out by the small teaspoonful and plopped them onto a cookie sheet and I froze them for about an hour.

For the cake mixture–I just used a yellow cake mix. It was fine, foodies. Calm down. Get the oven as close to 350 as the broiler can (or if your oven isn’t ridiculous–preheat it to 350). Fill your cupcake liners 1/2 way and plop a little ball of frozen cookie dough right on top. Bake until done (tough to say when using a broiler…it took about 15 minutes). Note: You’ll be baking just until the cake is done (an inserted toothpick should come out clean). The cookie dough will not cook all the way. When they were cool, they were slathered with chocolate frosting and flower sprinkles (we were celebrating 4 cast birthdays). You can find the full recipe here. And oh my gosh–so worth it. Look how yummy:

Delectable.

So, Wednesday was tough. It involved a very tough (though temporary) goodbye–which we all know, I am just terrible at. Two days later, I feel a bit more stable–but certainly, I’m still riding the Heartbreak Rollercoaster. Before rehearsal that on Wednesday, Geoff took me into the school’s chapel, and we did a bit of meditation and he said some things that really stuck with me–and helped me get through the day. Meditation is all about the breath–clearing your head and just focusing on the breath. Well, obviously there wasn’t any head clearing that happened–but there were several moments of peace–so, good!

I learned: The heart is so important; it pumps blood–it is vital–but the breath is just as important. In fact, right now, I need to let my breath be in control. It is so easy to let the heartache get stuck in your chest (we all know that physical pain I’m talking about), so for now, I just need to keep breathing. In particularly difficult moments, deepen the breath. Also, laughter is the most explosive–and most powerful–form of breath. I need to keep breathing, and try to laugh. I need to take my own stage management advice: laugh when I want to cry.

Lastly, I learned to take a mantra of love. If there’s a lot of heartache, there’s gotta be a lot of love, right? So, what if I picture that love emanating from me and channel it into other, more positive–more plausible–things and people. Don’t stop loving. Love more. And as always, bake through the pain.

I had one other win last night:

Yeah. I drove AND ate sushi at the same time. Champ? Me.

This isn’t easy, kids. But I’m trying to be positive. And I’m going to keep breathing. And I won’t stop loving.

I have this breath, and I hold it tight.

And I keep it in my chest, with all my might.

And pray to God this breath will last

As it pushes past my lips as I…GASP.

 

Flourless Chocolate BROILED Cake

On a “No Day But Today” note, today is the future day—the day Doc set the DeLorean to. Is today the start of the future? Maybe.

Oh the woes of a finicky oven. I gotta say, though–I did pretty well. Sure…cake came out a little bit scorched on one side (just a little bit), but all in all–decadent goodness. It would be delicious with a raspberry sauce on top…and obviously with some whipped cream, but it stands on it’s own.

If your oven works, then preheat it to 350. Otherwise, kick the broiler on. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan. I also sprinkled the bottom of the pan with some sea salt.In a double boiler melt one stick of butter and 4 ounces of chopped, unsweetened baking chocolate. Stir in 1 1/4 cup of sugar, whisk in 3 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne, and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Put it in the pan-pan in the oven, just offset of the broiler. If you have an oven thermometer, see what it says. The broiler actually got my oven to 350, so when that happened I turned the broiler off and just let the cake cook in the residual heat. It takes about twenty minutes.  And:

Photo quality is so-so, but I promise it was really yummy.

So here we are. Here I am, five minutes after being told by someone in my support system that I brought all of this (this pain, situation, etc) on myself. Kick me while I’m down, right? One chapter ends, another begins. While trying to traverse the canyons of my heart, I’m reminded of the little silver string that connects people together. And Drops of Jupiter has come on the radio far too many times lately for me not to believe in that string…or in this synchronicity storm. So, when I’m lonely, I’ll give that string a tug. Tug back?

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star? One without a permanent scar? And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

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