#BundtBakers: Secret Garden

4ae7b-bundtbakerspostI have been sitting on this cake for months! And that is not an exaggeration. Sue of Palatable Pastime is hosting and announced the theme of “Secret Garden” earlier this year. She defined the task by making a cake with flowers, herbs or summer vegetables. #BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

I opted for the “herbs” qualification and used up my massive amount of mint! I quickly decided on doing a mojito bundt. For Cinco de Mayo we met with some of my husband’s new coworkers at a local Mexican restaurant to celebrate their project kick-off. Neither of us are really big margarita fans and we figured we’d try the mojito instead. I had forgotten about that particular cocktail over the years. I remember first having one at my neighbors house some 6-odd years ago with some homegrown sugar cane and mint – delicious.

This recipe was the first that I photographed with my new macro lens. In addition to my obsession with photographing blood oranges, I’ve found zoomed-in photos of zest to be fascinating.

As you probably know by now, I am not a huge fan of frosting in general, but specifically on my bundt cakes. I hate covering up the intricate details of my bundt pans. This cake did need more than just powdered sugar, so I decided to create a simple lime glaze and toss in some finely chopped mint for extra measure to top these moist, boozy cakes.

I used my Bundt Duet Pan for these Mojito Bundt Cakes.

Mojito Bundt Cakes

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 C rum
  • 1 1/4 C applesauce

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • juice 1/2 lime, or to taste
  • lime zest
  • fine chopped fresh mint

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 2.5 C bundts.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add in the lime zest, mint, and rum and mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Add 1/2 of the apple sauce, mixing until combined. Repeat, ending with the dry ingredients.
  5. Divide batter between the bundt pans. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out cleanly. Allow cakes to cool in the pan before removing to a cooling rack.
  6. Make the glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar and lime juice until smooth. Fold in the lime zest and mint. Top cooled cakes with the glaze. Garnish with extra lime zest and mint, if desired.

*This recipe is modified from Kat at http://www.gooseberrymooseberry.com/2012/03/mini-mojito-cupcakes.html*

Mojito Bundt Cakes for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

Almond Lavender Bundt by The Queen of Scones

Carrot Bundt Cake with Chamomile Orange Icing by Patty’s Cake

Chocolate and Mint Cake by Baking Yummies

Ginger & Lemon Crackle Courgette Bundt Cake by Baking in Pyjamas

Elderflower and Lemon Bundt by Jane’s Adventure in Dinner

Lavender & Honey Bundt by Living the Gourmet

Lavender & Lemon Bundt Cake by I Love Bundt Cakes

Lavender Lemonade Bundt by All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

Lemon and Rosewater Cake by Palatable Pastime

Lemon Balm Bundt Cake by Magnolia Days

Lemon Zucchini Bundt with Sugared Pansies by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Roses & Lemon Bundt Cake by kidsandchic

Spiced Zucchini Bundt Cake by Making Miracles

Sweet Chocolate Feel the Beet Cake by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Vanilla Rose Bundt with Edible Flowers by Our Good Life

Yorkshire Parkin Mini Bundt by Food Lust People Love

Zucchini, Cheddar and Chive Bundt by Cookaholic Wife

CIC: Corn and Peaches

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I’m finally back with the Crazy Ingredient Challenge crew! It’s been half a year since I’ve been able to participate. While I did lose 3 months to our move across the country and lack of internet, usually I simply let it get away from me, not having enough time to pull something together. Often times the 20th of the month simply fell on another posting day for another culinary group and my ability to keep up with a double posting day is fairly lacking. But not this time!

This month’s crazy ingredient challenge was to come up with a dish combining corn and peaches. A perfect combination of summer flavors. I made sure to not only get this event written down in my planner, but also wrote down the day I’d be making the dish in my “to-do” column last week.

I’m not the biggest fan of peaches, (or so I thought) but my husband is and so I thought of him in coming up with an idea. I thought of doing something with the grill, maybe a salsa? And then all of a sudden an idea of cornbread came to me! I’m not sure where the inspiration came from, but I ran with it. I thought about grilling the peaches and then chopping them up into the dough. But let’s be honest, I don’t work the grill and I didn’t want to have to wait for Stuart to get home from work. So, “upside down cake” became the direction I went.

Peach upside down cornbread is such a fun take on the southern classic side dish. And one that makes cornbread that much better. I always find cornbread to be dry and begging for a dunk in honey or barbecue sauce. Not this one, it’s got the sweetness and moisture baked right on top of it!

Oh, and you know that side bar “or so I thought?” We’d picked up white peaches from Whole Foods instead of yellow and surprise! I found them to be amazing. Evidently I much prefer white peaches to yellow. Now I can’t wait to check the farmer’s market for some white peaches!

Peach Upside Down Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 2 C cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1 C canned creamed corn
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/3 C loosely packed brown sugar
  • 2 peaches, sliced

Steps:

  1. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and creamed corn. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix until combined.
  4. When oven is preheated remove the skillet. Carefully swirl the oil into the skillet and evenly spread out the brown sugar. Lay the sliced peaches into the skillet, covering the area. Pour cornbread batter over top.
  5. Bake 20 minutes until golden. Allow cornbread to cool in the pan 10-15 minutes. Place a large plate or cutting board on top of the skillet and turn it upside down.

*The cornbread recipe is adapted from Alton Brown at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/creamed-corn-cornbread-recipe.html*

Peach Upside Down Cornbread for #CrazyIngredientChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

SRC: Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

I had to chuckle when I received my assignment in my email this month. You see, for the past two reveals April of Angels Home Sweet Homestead was assigned my blog! For our themed barbecue/picnic reveal she made Mexican Street Corn Salad and for our traditional Group C reveal she chose Cinnamon and Honey Roasted Chickpeas. I suppose it was only fitting that I took my turn diving more deeply into April’s blog.

April’s philosophy behind her blog is fantastic. She writes:

I want to bring back a simpler way of life, where families sit down together to a home cooked meal and talk every day, growing as much of that food as possible with our own hands, and the old-fashioned art of canning that food too.

I just love that! While I can’t grow my own food – partly due to lack of yard but mostly due to lack of green thumb – I can provide home cooked meals for my family. After our 18 months in Ohio without a dining table, it was a goal for our California home to have a space dedicated to eating family dinners. Our large table fits perfectly off the kitchen (and doubles as extra counter space) and is set with two booster/highchair seats for my boys. We have finally gotten into a rhythm of dinner between 6-6:30 and I love it! Firecracker is reaching an age where he can recount the day’s activities to Daddy and I know that as the boys continue to get older, the stress of eating will give way to pure enjoyment and nurturing our relationships and bodies.

Seven recipes made their way to my secret Pinterest board from April’s blog including Fruity Breakfast Burritos, Restaurant Style Salsa, and Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad. I was going to show the list to my husband and have him decide what I’d make. But then I didn’t. Though I’m pretty sure I picked the “right” answer anyway.

While I was updating my planner this month I decided to take a peek at the food holidays for July. I was slightly surprised to see that National Pecan Pie Day isn’t in the fall, but it’s July 12th! My decision was made. April had on her blog, and a recipe that I’d saved prior, Pecan Pie Muffins.

Now, I’m not sure these qualify as a muffin. That’s why you’ll notice I renamed them cupcakes. Though I’m not sure if that’s accurate either. Muffins imply a little bit of healthiness. There’s absolutely nothing healthy about these sweet bites.I could say that pecans are a source of protein, but that’s really stretching it. I almost just called them Mini Pecan Pie Cups but without a crust I don’t think they qualify as pie.

Whatever you want to call them, they’re pretty delicious. (And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t care for pecan pie!) I ate two within an hour of them coming out of the oven – one to taste test and one as a snack during their photo shoot.

April made hers in a regular size muffin cup and got 6 of them, but I thought mini would be the way to go. I can’t have my husband taking only 3 to work, because let’s be honest, there’s no way all 6 would be leaving the house untouched. I’m glad I made them mini, too, because I don’t think I’d be able to eat an entire muffin of this dessert before my sweet tooth had enough.

Firecracker helped bake these treats, but he won’t be getting to try them – they’re simply too sticky and sweet for my 2 year old. Now I just have to send them with Stuart to work so he doesn’t see them sitting on the counter.

This recipe makes 24 mini muffins/cupcakes. I recommend baking these without liners, no greasing of the pan necessary – there’s plenty of butter in the batter. I was 2 liners short of 24 and those two cups were our favorites because the sugar gets all crispy and crusty on the edges. If you do use liners, not that they’re much easier to peel back if you allow the cupcakes to cool completely before eating.

Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 C chopped pecans
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 2/3 C butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, pecans, and flour. Mix in the butter and egg until combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly among 24 mini muffin tin cups.
  4. Bake 18 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from April at http://www.angelshomesweethomestead.com/2011/01/pecan-pie-muffins.html*

Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes for #SecretRecipeClub from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in The Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Pistachio Mint Pesto

Traditionally speaking, I’m not the biggest pesto fan. I’m of course talking about the no frills basil and pine nut version. Maybe if I made my own I’d feel differently, but whenever I order something with pesto on it at a restaurant I don’t get that bright herby punch I’m expecting. I’ve made a couple unique pestoes on the blog before, Jalapeno and Beet, and we’ve loved both of them. The jalapeno one has been made multiple times already. And come to think of it, I have beets in the fridge right now without a planned future…

But today we’re talking about a new variety of pesto. One that exceeded my expectations! I had an abundance of mint and the internet at my fingertips. I decided to give this pesto twist a try and I am oh so glad I did! I don’t often work with pistachios, in fact, I tend to forget that they even exist. I don’t know why, they’re quite delicious!

I served the pesto over pasta originally. The leftovers brightened up my sandwiches during the week for lunch – I put cooked chicken, cheddar cheese, pesto, and spinach in a pita and gave it a quick toast in the toaster oven. Perfect.

Pistachio Mint Pesto (pasta)  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Pistachio Mint Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 C shelled pistachios
  • 1 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 C fresh mint
  • 1 C fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • juice 1 large lemon

Steps:

  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

*This recipe is adapted from Denise at http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2015/09/pistachio-mint-pesto.htmlhttp://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2015/09/pistachio-mint-pesto.html*

Pistachio Mint Pesto  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Oat Waffles

As we were reaching the end of our time in Ohio my pantry ingredients kept dwindling without being replenished as was only logical. The only problem was trying to make dinner! Our go-to “no food in the house” meal is some sort of breakfast. But when you’ve depleted your supply of both whole wheat and all purpose flour you have to get creative.

My husband started getting into Alton Brown’s old show Good Eats which re-airs on Cooking Channel around that time and remembered seeing him grind up oats for waffles. We figured we’d give it a try, but upon inspection of the recipe, there was still flour involved. I still had a little bit of cake flour and decided to just go for it. We didn’t have the right amount of oats either, but our result was still a delicious waffle. Naturally, I added some cinnamon to the batter for good measure.

Out in California Good Eats airs right after the bedtime routine for the boys. The bedtime process starts with watching the “Nighttime in the Neighborhood” episode of Daniel Tiger and eating a banana. We then go brush teeth, read books, and sing songs. I hold Firecracker’s hand until he drifts off to sleep. (Now that he’s in a “big boy” bed, it’s a lot easier!) Stuart stays upstairs with Treat watching Good Eats as he (I could be talking about either of them really) drifts off to sleep.

Oat Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 C old fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 C cake flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 C buttermilk
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted

Steps:

  1. Toast oats in dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Transfer oats to a food processor and pulse until they reach the consistency of whole wheat flour.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, cake flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the try, mixing until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into a hot, greased waffle iron until golden.

*This recipe is modified from Alton Brown at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/oat-waffle-recipe.html*

Oat Waffles  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Biscuit Taco Pizza

Do you ever have those nights where you simply don’t want to make dinner? But you have all this food in the fridge from earlier in the week that you know you should eat but just don’t want to? I feel like those nights happen here quite a bit.

I’m not typically a simple reheat-the-leftovers type of person (with a few exceptions here and there). Often times leftovers get put into quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, or omelets.

And sometimes they get turned into pizzas!

But what if you don’t have a pizza crust in the fridge or any yeast (or time to let the yeast do its thing)? Well, there’s Pinterest for that! I saved this No Yeast Pizza Crust that took only 15 minutes. I figured, “Why not? What have I got to lose?”

The crust that we got reminded us more of a biscuit than a pizza, hence my post title. You could also infer that leftover taco meat and toppings were used to top the biscuity crust.I used salsa as the sauce, topped it with cooked Mexican chorizo, and Mexican blend cheese. After coming out of the oven I added some fresh chopped lettuce, tomato, and scallions.

And the best part? Firecracker was willingly eating veggies! I guess if you put it on a pizza, kids will eat it.

Biscuit Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 C flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 1/2 stick room temperature butter
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • cornmeal, for pizza peel

Steps:

  1. Place pizza stone in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Put all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix until the dough forms a ball around the hook.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Roll out to desired thickness. Transfer dough to a pizza peel dusted with corn meal. Top dough with desired toppings.
  4. Shimmy pizza onto pizza stone. Bake 10-12 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Serene at http://houseofyumm.com/no-yeast-pizza-dough/*

Biscuit Taco Pizza in 30 minutes with this yeast free dough  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Blog-iversary 3

3 yrsSew You Think You Can Cook is 3 years old!

This past year has been a whirlwind in my personal life between welcoming a second baby boy to our family and moving across the country.

Blogging-wise I have continued to grow. I have 43 more followers by e-mail and 270 more Facebook fans. I’ve become more active on Twitter and Instagram with a total following of 423 and 530, respectively.

In this fourth year I hope to find the time to delve into monetizing the blog and gaining some sponsored posts. That’s if my two busy boys allow me to do so! I did however, finally pay to own my domain name! As my “birthday gift,” take a look up at the top of your browser and you’ll notice something a little different. The “dot wordpress” is no longer there! I hope your finger memory (and mine!) adjusts quickly when you type in sewyouthinkyoucancook.com.

For Mother’s Day 2016 my husband got me a macro lens for my camera and I have enjoyed taking photos even more! I’m even breaking out the tripod these days. Now when I recreate a recipe from my blog for dinner, I try and reshoot the photos. Updated photographs can be found on Balsamic Glazed Beef Roast, Baby Baked Beef Burritos, and Sweet Potato Waffles.

I hope you’ll continue to follow along with my journey here on the internet.

It has become my tradition to share something new to me on this milestone. For my 1st year, I baked with olive oil. For my second, I made marshmallow for a cheesecake. Keeping with the sweet side of experimentation, this year I’m sharing a vegan cupcake!

Why vegan?

We have friends here in California that we knew in Ohio as well who follow a vegan lifestyle. They have a daughter who is 4, a son who is only 2 weeks younger than Firecracker, and are expecting a third child in a month-ish. We did a play date with them and Firecracker was insistent about wanting to bake cupcakes with “Emmer.” I found a recipe that didn’t require any strange ingredients (borrowing almond milk from them) or coconut. The kids did a fabulous job making these cupcakes and the dozen didn’t last long. Icing didn’t come to fruition though and instead I ended up with a glaze. But it’s a glaze that was fantastic! No one felt bummed or cheated by not having a beautiful frosting peaked top.

We will be having a joint birthday celebration for the 2 year olds next week and I’ll be remaking the cupcake base. Now to find an actual frosting – if you have a recipe for coconut free vegan frosting please share it with me in the comments!

This recipe makes 1 dozen cupcakes.

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 C flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the almond milk, olive oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix until just combined.
  3. Divide batter in cupcake tin. Bake 18-20 minutes. Allow cupcakes too cool in the pan for 1 minute before removing to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Alison at http://lovingitvegan.com/vegan-vanilla-cake/*

Vegan Maple Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 C almond milk
  • 1/2 C canola oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Using a hand mixer, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Poor over cooled cupcakes.

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Vegan Maple Glaze  Sew You Think You Can Cook