3.22.2014

Super Easy Pad Thai

Fast, easy and delicious is what fits the bill these days. While I truly love pouring myself into an extravagant dish, these day, ain't nobody got time for that! That's why I was so excited (and hesitant) about this dish. I love some pad thai, but I only ever made it one other time and it took a bunch of crazy ingredients and way too much time and I assumed that's what it took to get an awesome pad thai. I was wrong. This recipe is ridiculously easy and even more tasty, I threw in some chicken I had already prepped by simply poaching it, and boom, dinner. Enjoy!


Super Easy Pad Thai  (Print Me)

Ingredients:
7 ounces pad Thai noodles (rice noodles)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon sriracha
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 heaping Tablespoon peanut butter, microwaved until just melted
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 cup cilantro
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
Optional: cooked meat of your choice

Directions:Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the noodles, let sit roughly 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain and rinse under cool water.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium. Crack the eggs and scramble until set, 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, lime juice, canola oil, brown sugar, and peanut butter whisking until combined.

Back in the large skillet, combine the noodles, Thai dressing, bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, cilantro, scallions and meet if using. Toss until combined and serve garnished with peanuts.

Source: Tablespoon via BevCooks

1.29.2014

French Toast

When I worked retail, Sunday turned into just another day that I worked. Now, Sunday is again one of my favorite days. There's just something about getting to sleep in a little and making a big 'ol Sunday brunch that brings a huge smile to my face. It doesn't hurt if I get to have a mimosa, or two with that brunch too. 
I made this french toast a couple of weekends ago and it was perfect, nice and custard like in the middle without being soggy or dry. The orange zest gives it a little something fresh, and the spices are just enough to warm the recipe up. I used some challah bread but any thick cut, dense bread will do. And like most Sunday brunches, this one is served best with a side of bacon and a mimosa. Enjoy!



Challah French Toast  (Print Me)


Ingredients:
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon honey/agave nectar
1 large loaf challah, brioche, or thick sliced bread
Unsalted butter
Olive oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 250ºF to hold your cooked toast.

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk/half-and-half, and all the seasonings. Slice the bread into ~3/4-inch thick slices. Soak slices in the egg mixture for 5 minutes, turning once.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large saute pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it's all cooked. Serve hot with maple syrup, or your topping of choice.

Slightly adapted from: Ina Garten

1.19.2014

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado & Cumin-Lime Dressing

I've been on quite the hiatis lately! Between my husband returning from deployment, the holidays, and another semester starting things have been pretty crazy around my house. I return to you with this healthy quinoa salad, it comes together pretty quick which is important for me right now and it makes a pretty big batch so it's great to snack on during the week.


I've got some things in the works so hopefully I can get on a more regular schedule and post more often. Any new recipes you are loving lately?


Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado and Cumin-Lime Dressing  (Print Me)

Ingredients:

1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 Tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
1 3/4 cup water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, chopped into chunks
handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks
small handful cilantro, diced
2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt, to taste

Directions:

Warm the olive/coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the rinsed quinoa and toast for about 2-3 minutes until it starts smelling nutty and lovely. Add water, stir once, cover, and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare other ingredients. Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, oil, cumin, and salt. Whisk and adjust seasoning as necessary.

When the quinoa has finished cooking, remove it from heat and fluff with a fork. Add black beans and toss to warm them through. Let the quinoa cool for about five minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients, including the dressing, and mix. Adjust seasoning if necessary, serve room temp or refrigerate and serve chilled.

10.11.2013

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Perhaps you were here yesterday, if so, then I'll just tell you.. told you so! These cupcakes are unapologetically fall, and maybe that's why I'm kinda in love. They start with brown butter, I mean, why wouldn't they. And they end with salted caramel, again, duh. And everything in between.. ohhh the in between. These are a dense, moist, spiced pumpkiny cake with a sweet and salty just carmeley enough frosting. They are the perfect representation of the deliciousness that is fall baking, so what are you waiting for?!



Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting  (Print Me)
Yield: 15 regular or ~48 mini cupcakes


Ingredients:

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Salted Caramel Frosting:

Salted Caramel Sauce:
2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes

Frosting:
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce

Directions:

To make the brown butter pumpkin cupcakes preheat your oven to 325º F. Line muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, skim foam from top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, and brown butter. Add the flour mixture, and whisk until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, start checking at about 20 minutes for regular sized or ~12 minutes for minis. Transfer pans to a wire cooling rack and cool completely before removing cupcakes.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the salted caramel frosting. Start by getting your ingredients ready, when you start you have to pay close attention so you don't burn the caramel. To begin, heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking it. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking as it continues to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking and simply swirl the pan to move the sugar around.

Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Watch the pan very closely, this is where it is easy to burn the caramel. You want the caramel to reach 350º F (if you are new to making caramel, you'll want a thermometer).

As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter (it will bubble up). Whisk until butter is melted. Once melted, remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. The caramel will bubble up a lot as you add the cream so make sure you add it slow. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the fleur de sel or sea salt flakes.

Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature. Reserve 1/2 cup (plus more to drizzle if you wish) for the icing and store the rest in the refrigerator (it will keep for about a month).

Now it's time to make the frosting. Start by beating the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated. Turn off the mixer, and then add the salted caramel sauce. Beat frosting on low to combine, and then increase to medium-high and beat until airy and thoroughly mixed (about 2 minutes).

Frost the cooled pumpkin cupcakes with the salted caramel frosting and and drizzle cupcakes with extra salted caramel sauce, if desired.

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

10.10.2013

Salted Caramel Sauce

The weather turned a little unexpectedly cold this week after a very warm weekend, and it set my pumpkin fever into over drive. Why are we talking about pumpkin on a recipe for caramel you say? Oh, you'll see. Lets just say tomorrow there might be a caramel pumpkin suprise just for you. But this amazing caramel sauce could be used in so many ways, drizzle it on your ice cream or over your pumpkin spice latte, or just eat it with a spoon, I don't judge. 


Salted Caramel Sauce  (Print Me)

Directions:
2 cups granulated sugar
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon fleur de sel or sea salt flakes

Ingredients:

Start by getting your ingredients ready, when you start you have to pay close attention so you don't burn the caramel. To begin, heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking it. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking as it continues to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking and simply swirl the pan to move the sugar around.

Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Watch the pan very closely, this is where it is easy to burn the caramel. You want the caramel to reach 350º F (if you are new to making caramel, you'll want a thermometer).

As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter (it will bubble up). Whisk until butter is melted. Once melted, remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. The caramel will bubble up a lot as you add the cream so make sure you add it slow. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the fleur de sel or sea salt flakes.

Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature. Store the salted caramel sauce in the refrigerator, it will keep for about a month.

9.22.2013

Homemade Vanilla Extract {and Bourbon Vanilla Extract}

The year is drawing to a close yet again, I know it's only September but Christmas is right around the corner! That has me thinking of Christmas baking and gifts and gave me a gentle kick in the butt that it is time to start making vanilla extract again. This is probably the easiest "recipe" ever, the hardest part is just getting the supplies. I will tell you I ordered my vanilla beans online from Beanilla (no, they aren't giving me stuff or paying me, that's just who I use), the turn around time is quick and the beans are way cheaper then you will find at even the big box stores. Traditionally I use vodka (you will want a higher quality alcohol, but no need to break the bank) but this year I also made a small amount with bourbon. Not only is this great for all your holiday cooking, but it's a super cute and easy addition to gift baskets! Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I can start thinking of all the yummy things I am going to add this to!



Homemade Vanilla Extract  (Print Me)

Ingredients:
Mason jar/glass jar
1 cup vodka (bourbon or rum work well also)
3 vanilla beans

Directions:
Carefully cut vanilla beans open lengthwise, you will need 3 beans per 1 cup of alcohol. Place beans and alcohol in jar and seal tightly. Shake jar and place in dark cool place for at least 2 months before using, shaking well every once in a while and before using.

9.12.2013

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes

Yes, this is real life.. Don't refresh your screen, this recipe really is what it seems.  Today marks the 3 year blogaversary of See Brooke Cook, and this is my gift to you, my wonderful readers. Now, I wish I could have made some and had them hand delivered to each and every one of you, but like I said this is real life. However, I did make these for one of my most amazing and bestest friends, Rosa and they got her official stamp of approval along with mine and my sister's. The cake is rich and moist, and the icing is light with a beautiful red tint from the wine. Now, I will tell you the wine flavor is not predominate (which is why I made a chocolate wine sauce too) but it is brought out nicely when enjoyed with a glass of vino. Don't be scared when you look at the recipe below, it looks like a lot but they really come together quick and are so worth any effort they take. 
Thank you again, my dear readers, for giving me a little spot of my own in the midst of the craziness that makes up the internet, here's to another year! Cheers! 



Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes  (Print Me

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk (2% or higher works best)
2 Tablespoons red wine
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Icing:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons red wine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Red Wine Chocolate Sauce:
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup light corn syrup

Directions:

Cupcakes:
Start by preheating your oven to 350º F. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, powder and salt. Set aside and prepare a cupcake tin with liners.

In a bowl, whisk egg, oil and sugar together until smooth and no lumps remain. Add melted butter, wine and vanilla mixing until combined. Add half of the dry ingredients, stirring to combine then add the milk, and finally the remaining flour mixture. Stir until batter is smooth then fold in the chocolate. Divide batter in each cup until 3/4 way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, letting cool completely before frosting.

Icing:
Beat butter in the bowl of stand mixer until smooth and creamy (a full 2 minutes). Add in powdered sugar gradually (~1/2 cup at a time) with the mixer on low speed, slowly increasing the speed until it's combined. Add in the vanilla extract and wine, then beat on medium-high speed for 5-6 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides if needed, until thick and fluffy.

Chocolate Sauce:
In a small pan heat wine until simmering, reduce the heat just a little and continue to cook for 10-12 minutes until the wine reduces (there should be less than 1 cup, and it will get a little thicker and darker). Remove from heat and add the chocolate and corn syrup whisking until smooth. Let sauce cool slightly before serving, refrigerate any left over.


Source: Cupcakes from How Sweet It Is, chocolate sauce from Food Coma