Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Martha's Macncheese

The recipe is originally from Martha Stewart, but I got the recipe from the lady at Smitten Kitchen. I made this for some of my friends after a long day of skiing. It was a blast but we were ready for some warm food. Oh and do you notice some of the green in the macncheese picture? It's because I sent Nick to get the supplies. I asked for macaroni and he came back with 3 different types of pasta--none of them was macaroni. I chose the mixed pasta wheels (hence the green) instead of the egg noodles or farfalle. He tried.

Nick and I are getting ready to leave tomorrow (not really, I spent the day reading and baking cakes) so we'll be as unprepared as we usually are! My mom still can't get over the fact that we're only bringing carry-ons with us for 4 months. She keeps trying to sneak more stuff into my Vera Bradley. Oh well, tomorrow we fly to LA for a couple days.

The recipe serves lots of people!

6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
5 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne powder (I like spicy food)
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Gruyere (we even used the creamy version and it worked)
1 lb macaroni or any other pasta, really

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. You could also just use 2 smaller casserole dishes.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it bubbles. Whisk in the flour gradually. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then pour in the milk gradually. Whisk constantly so the mixture stays smooth until the milk comes to a slight simmer and begins to thicken. This will take about 15 minutes. Just be patient or make your sisters do it like I did.
While this is happening bring a pot of salted water to a boil and boil the pasta for 3 minutes. Strain the pasta, then pour into greased baking pan.
Take saucepan off heat. Add the spices, salt, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir gently to mix together.
Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta and mix to distribute the cheese mixture evenly. Sprinkle with the rest of the shredded cheeses (add some breadcrumbs and extra butter on top if desired) and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Feta & Chive Biscuits

You wouldn't think that I'd be in the mood for fluffy buttery biscuits after the amount of cookies I've been downing these days, but I was - and these biscuits are, not surprisingly, amazing. They're very easy to make and perfectly flavorful. I do think it's time to eat some salad now, though. But I also made a banana upside-down cake for later!

Feta & Chive Biscuits
Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold & cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp cold water
3/4 cup sour cream, cold
1/3 cup chopped chives
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 egg, beaten for the egg wash
topping: coarse sea salt, cracked black pepper, smoky paprika

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

This is probably one of my favorite gnocchi recipes. It's super simple to make. I first made the gnocchi with a bunch of friends during a gnocchi making party I hosted. We made a lot of gnocchi that night (ricotta, sweet potato, and russet potato) with various topping (tomato sauce, brown butter sage, and olive oil). The recipe is from The Skinny Fork.

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 large egg
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch salt

For the brown butter:
1/2 stick butter
7-9 fresh sage leaves
1 pinch salt

Pumpkin Doughnuts

I made these last week for no apparent reason. Just because the recipe looked so good and I had a lot of pumpkin to use (as usual). The recipe is from a blog called Tessa Domestic Diva.

1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chia meal mixed w/ 2 tablespoons hot water or 1 egg
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Grease 2-3 baking pans and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, egg or chia, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Mix the flour into the wet ingredients until a sticky dough forms.
3. Place dough inside a large ziploc bag. Cut a hole in one corner of the bag and pipe some dough into a doughnut shape onto the greased baking pans. Slightly overlap the ends of the dough. I actually made my hole too small so I had to make like 3 circles on top of each other to get reasonably sized doughnuts.

4. If you want cinnamon sugar doughnuts, mix 1 tbsp cinnamon plus 3 tbsp raw cane sugar and sprinkle over doughnuts.
5. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until firm. Let rest for a few minutes, the place on wire racks to cool. For chocolate drizzle, melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips and add 1 tsp coconut oil. For glaze mix 1/3 cup powdered sugar with 1 tsp coconut oil and 1-2 tsp almond milk.

Cranberry Apple Tart

Before you make this tart, I just have to warn you-- it's amazing and it'll be gone before you know it! Also don't heat it up before serving. Hehe. I served it at Thanksgiving dinner for my cousin Julian's birthday and it turned into mush. Still delicious though. The recipe is from My New Roots!!! Oh and SURPRISE it's vegan and gluten free! 

For the crust:
1 cup rolled oats 
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla 
1/2 tsp sea salt
75 g whole buckwheat flour (scant 1/2 cup)
For the filling:
1 apple, sliced thin
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup maple syrup 
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
6 Tbsp. orange juice 
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla 
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
zest of 1 orange

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pumpkin Roll

Thanksgiving is not a huge deal for my family. We actually used to spend it in Mexico, but these last couple of years we've been sitting down to an actual Thanksgiving meal. The first time I turkey or stuffing was in high school when we would go to my friend Amanda's house after Thanksgiving and eat all of her mom's leftovers. Gradually my family is learning to make the staple American dishes with some Vietnamese food thrown in (this year we finished up our dinner with my aunt's pho) Pumpkin roll is one of our favorites. It's my job to make it every year, and my sisters also pitch in to help. We use the Libby's pumpkin roll recipe.

  • powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beet Apple Gingerbread

Hello! My name is Catherine and I am new to Pittsburgh Kitchen.  I am originally from the same part of Pittsburgh as Laura, although I only just met her last year. We enjoyed cooking and sharing recipes while we worked together, so she invited me to contribute.  A few months ago, I moved to a small city in Russia.  I write my own blog with some recipes and reflections about living abroad, but I’ll post here whenever a recipe makes me particularly nostalgic.

This recipe is my beet redemption.  Before I left for Russia, we had a dinner party at Laura’s house and I tried to make beet pancakes that utterly failed.  This beet cake is an adaptation and amalgam of about a half dozen zucchini and carrot cake recipes.

  • 1 1/2 cups of grated apples and beets (1 small-medium beet, peeled and grated and 2 small apples, peeled, cored and grated)
  • 2 cups flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 3/4 c oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger (I made my own candied ginger using Alton Brown's recipe)


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