Homemade Caesar Salad

October 10, 2010 at 1:24 am (baking, cooking)

I am still around! Still baking, still taking pictures of said baking. But I moved (um, a month ago), and it took a while to find the phone cord. You know how it is.

Homemade dressing and croutons are probably more work than they’re necessarily worth, honestly. At least under normal circumstances. But if you really want to impress someone, or if you’re procrastinating on your readings, these are just the thing.

The croutons I just made up (after reading an eHow, I think — they’re really very simple), and the dressing is from The Pioneer Woman.

For the croutons, you’ll need:
a food processor (or really buff whisking arms)
olive oil
bread
garlic (I’ve used roasted garlic before, and that was super delicious, but unfortunately have no pictures)
salt
parmesan (or Romano, if that’s what you’ve got)
rosemary
…whatever else you like on your croutons.

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It’s best if the bread is stale beforehand, but I couldn’t help myself and sliced up perfectly good, fresh French bread. May the French forgive me.

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These make for pretty big croutons.

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Now, dump all the ingredients into your food processor. I would estimate I used 2/3 cup olive oil, a solid pinch of salt and rosemary, a bunch of cheese, and probably five cloves of garlic. I am a garlic fiend.

Whir it all together. Preferably during daylight hours, so that you don’t tick off the guy living below you.

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Dump it all in a bowl with your bread squares, and toss well. You want every bit of bread to have a decent helping of the oil mixture.

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Yum.

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Spread them out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Trust me on the foil.

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Bake them at a very low temperature, about 250F, for a very long time, until they’re completely dried out and look as glorious as this.

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As for the dressing!

You’ll need:
a food processor (for real this time; a blender would also do the job)
several cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of mustard
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
juice from half a lemon
half a cup of olive oil
half a cup of parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

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Pretend you cleaned your food processor between the croutons and this, and dump all your ingredients in there.

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It will not look like Caesar dressing from a bottle. This will worry you.

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Then you will stick your finger in to taste it, and then the weird white bottled stuff will worry you.

Wash your only bowl, chop up some Romaine, and live happily ever after.

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Homemade Pizza

June 27, 2010 at 12:32 am (baking)

I live in downtown Toronto, so I’m not about to go outside to get pizza. Luckily, I have this!

You’ll need:
4 cups of flour
1.5 teaspoons of dry yeast
1.5 cups warm water
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup of olive oil
pinch of sugar
herbs to taste

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Proof your yeast with the pinch of sugar in the warm (not too hot, not too cold) water. Combine the flour and salt, plus whatever herbs you want (I used oregano, basil, and a little rosemary), then mix in the olive oil. Once the yeast has sat for about ten minutes, mix it in. Knead until it forms a very sticky dough.

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Oil a bowl, transfer the dough to that bowl, turn the dough to coat, cover it in plastic wrap, and stick it in your fridge. Give it at least 24 hours; a few days is even better.

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Once you’re ready to eat it, pull out HALF of the dough (this recipe makes two pizzas) and stretch it until it’s as thin as you like.

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Pile on the toppings.

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Bake at 350 until the crust is golden and crispy.

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Printable:
You’ll need:
4 cups of flour
1.5 teaspoons of dry yeast
1.5 cups warm water
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup of olive oil
pinch of sugar
herbs to taste

Proof your yeast with the pinch of sugar in the warm (not too hot, not too cold) water. Combine the flour, salt, and herbs, then mix in the olive oil. Once the yeast has sat for about ten minutes, mix it in. Knead until it forms a very sticky dough. Oil a bowl, transfer the dough to that bowl, turn the dough to coat, cover it in plastic wrap, and stick it in your fridge. Give it at least 24 hours; a few days is even better.

Once you’re ready to eat it, pull out HALF of the dough (this recipe makes two pizzas) and stretch it until it’s as thin as you like. Pile on the toppings and bake at 350 until the crust is golden and crispy.

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Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

June 9, 2010 at 11:23 pm (baking)

Originally from Smitten Kitchen.

This cake is great for afternoon tea…or, you know, all the time. Yum.

You’ll need:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries

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I didn’t have unsalted butter, so I used salted and reduced the amount of salt I added. I also didn’t have buttermilk, so I put about a tablespoon of lemon juice in my half-cup of regular milk. By the time I needed it, it was all curdled and disgusting-looking, which is exactly what you want. (If you don’t have lemon juice, you can also use vinegar.) And finally, if you have nice plump fresh raspberries, use those, but if you, like me, have sad little raspberries that were hidden under the good ones by dishonest fruit stand owners…this is as good a way as any to use them up!

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Get a 9-inch round cake pan ready in whichever method you prefer.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in one bowl. In a larger bowl, cream the butter with the 2/3 cup of sugar.

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Add vanilla, lemon zest, and egg.

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Add flour in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk.

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Smooth the batter into the pan and sprinkle raspberries over everything. (They’ll sink, I promise.) Sprinkle the 1.5 tablespoons of sugar over that. (I’m not kidding, either. The sugar sprinkle is crucial.)

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Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Printable:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Get a 9-inch round cake pan ready in whichever method you prefer.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in one bowl. In a larger bowl, cream the butter with the 2/3 cup of sugar.

Add vanilla, lemon zest, and egg.

Add flour in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk.

Smooth the batter into the pan and sprinkle raspberries over everything. (They’ll sink, I promise.) Sprinkle the 1.5 tablespoons of sugar over that. (I’m not kidding, either. The sugar sprinkle is crucial.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Chocolate Yogurt Loaf Cake

June 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm (baking)

Originally from here.

I make this cake at least twice a month. It’s delicious, and chocolatey, and easy (presuming you don’t mind getting some dishes dirty).

You will need:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt


Not pictured: water, because it’s boring; and salt, because I forgot.

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

If you have a small, wobbly table, inherited from the previous tenants, keep an eye on your eggs, or else you will end up with this sad situation.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy and resembles wet sand.

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Beat in egg and egg white.

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In a small bowl, whisk together water, cocoa powder, vanilla and yogurt until mixture is smooth. It’ll look a little gross at this stage.

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We now have our three major players, which will be added in installments.

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Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar and butter, then half of the yogurt mixture, then another 1/3 of the flour mixture. Stir in remaining yogurt and remaining flour, stirring only until no streaks of flour remain.

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Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.

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Bake for 55-60 minutes. Decide to put off washing the dishes, and catch up on The Office instead.

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Drool.

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Consume.

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Die happy.

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