deb + pumpkin doughnut muffins

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So date may be a stretch of the word, but it wasn’t as snappy to write “the evening I listened to Deb Perlman talk about her book and then stood in line for two hours so that I could meet her, have her sign my book, take a photo with her and give her a pumpkin doughnut muffin” on the photo. But needless to say, it was pretty much the greatest moment ever and it means I can cross #13 off the bucket list. Have I mentioned that it was awesome and she was great. Amy and I had a blast, of course ran into people that we knew (hi Erin!) and my foot isn’t too much worse for wear. But really, I feel like I just had a mini life victory, I also like that I’m setting my life victory moments on a manageable scale.

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And of course, cause I am me, I decided to bring Deb my newest baking obsession…the pumpkin doughnut muffin. Since I have taunted people on instagram and twitter for the past two weeks about their goodness, I figured it would be a great time to give up the photos and recipe. They are amazing. Run, don’t walk, to make these. I’ve made them twice now and I really can’t get enough of them.

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Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
taken from Martha Stewart
Prep Time 20 mins, Total Time 1 hour, Yields 12 muffins

For The Batter
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

For The Sugar Coating
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups.

Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.

Just because, some of my Smitten Kitchen Favs on Throwing Cake:
Homesick Texan’s Carnitas
Ranch Rugelach
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Buttermilk Ice Cream
Blueberry Crumb Bars

foodie friday: homemade pesto

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We have an out of control basil plant in our backyard. It’s pretty impressive because I generally kill every plant in sight. But the basil, greek oregano, and mint…oh they are thriving. The other day we noticed that the basil was going to seed and, well, the plant was about 18″ to 24″ tall. It was time to hack away at the plant and whip up two pints of pesto. A 20 minute project later and we got two pints of pesto out of it, one for the fridge and one for the freezer, so great!

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Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
taken from Simply Recipes

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese**
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Special equipment needed: A food processor (if you’re in DC, I may loan you mine)

1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

**note: if you are planning to freeze the pesto, leave out the cheese as it doesn’t freeze well. You can add it in before use.

must make || haloumi cheese

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There is a day when you wake up and you think, oh my gosh I need a better blog structure. And then you hit a road block. That is kinda the way it’s been in the Kitchen of Throwing Cake. My creative brain went on sabbatical without telling me. So, to coax it back I give you (what I hope to be a regular feature), my current favorite recipe from the internets.

Haloumi Cheese.

So yummy, so Greek, and so perfect as a snack pre-summer BBQ. You can serve it on thinly sliced bread or pita (which can also go on the grill) and then sprinkle it with either dill or oregano. So simple, and so impressive. Adding this onto my giant “must make” list.

Grilled Haloumi Cheese & Lemon
From Melissa Roberts  c/o Gourmet Magazine, June 2007

2 lemons
1/2 lb Haloumi cheese
1 large garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (3/4-inch-thick) slices peasant or country-style bread
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderately high heat.

Cut 8 thin slices from lemons, then squeeze enough juice from remainder to measure 2 tablespoons and put in a bowl.

Halve cheese diagonally, then cut each triangle, cut side down, into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt using side of a large heavy knife, then add to lemon juice. Whisk in salt and sugar until dissolved, then add 1/4 cup oil, whisking until combined.

Separately toss lemon slices and cheese each with 1/2 tablespoon dressing.

Brush both sides of bread with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Grill bread, cheese, and lemon slices on grill rack, covered, turning over once (use a metal spatula to scrape under cheese to loosen before turning), until bread is toasted (2 to 3 minutes total), grill marks appear on cheese (3 to 4 minutes total), and lemons begin to wilt (4 to 6 minutes total).

Whisk dill into remaining dressing. Divide bread among 4 small plates and top with cheese and lemon slices. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

COOKS’ NOTE: If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, bread, lemon, and cheese can be cooked in a hot oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderate heat.

Photograph: Romulo Yanes

featured on The Goods!

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Every now and then all you want is a hearty salad. And in my household, that comes in the form of the warm steak salad. It is a thing of legend, and in all honestly, it changes a wee bit every time I make it.

So when I was asked to create a salad recipe to showcase one of uncommongoods newest serving items, a wheelbarrow, I knew it was time to perfect the warm, hearty salad that I’ve been improvising on for years. And so I went for it, and the end result was pretty amazing. It can be served sans meet (as the recipe states) or feel free to serve with grilled steak, chicken or salmon. You can even add in a few other veggie options (broccoli, peppers, etc) as your heart desires.

More then that, it was really fun to photograph.

 

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You can find my debut/recipe on The Goods at blog.uncommongoods.com

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foodie friday: butternut squash & arugula salad

Given the number of dessert and mac recipes I post, pin and dream about, I figured now is a good time to tell the world that I actually like fruits and veggies.

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And this, is about the yummiest salad ever. Yes, I know it’s a salad that requires a recipe, which I am normally anti, but this is so delicious that I couldn’t wait to share.

Since I was already making butternut squash soup, I thought why now throw an extra one in the oven and make this awesome salad (recipe care of my aunt in CA). It is a prefect balance of sweet and savory, with the butternut squash, pepitas, goat cheese and arugula. And there are bits you can make ahead, but really, it’s actually quite simple to pull together.

And did I mention, it’s super yummy.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad

for the Butternut Squash
1 ¼ lb butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeds removed
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

for the Roasted Pepitas
1/3 cup pepitas
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp  melted unsalted butter

for the Salad
1/3 cup walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 ½ oz blue or goat cheese
1/2 lb arugula
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut squash into 2-inch long pieces, about 1/4 inch think. Toss squash with butter and salt and pepper in a baking pan. Cover pan with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes, until fork tender.

Toss pepitas, brown sugar, salt, cayenne and butter together. Place the seed in one layer on a shallow baking pan in the middle of the oven and toast till golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.*

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Crumble cheese into bowl, then add arugula. Gentle toss in warm squash and sprinkle with toasted seeds.

*Note: the pepitas can be made in advance, however, as a warning given how yummy they are, you may not be able to stop from munching on them.