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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Monthly Archives: July 2014

The weather today has been nothing short of gloomy.  With harsh thunderstorms last night, the temperature today has tapered off drastically, and grey clouds have been hanging in the sky ever since.  In an attempt to bring some color to the lifeless conditions outside, I did what I do best: cook up something colorful.  This salad is so delicious, and definitely packs a substantial crunch.

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Thai Crunch Salad – Jennifer Segal of Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients

For the Thai Peanut Dressing

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

For the Salad

  • 4 cups chopped Napa cabbage or shredded coleslaw mix (I like to toss in a little shredded red cabbage for color)
  • 1 cup prepared shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients except for the cilantro in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add the cilantro and blend for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy.

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For those of you who don’t know, I just spent the past five weeks at my TFA Institute in Chicago, which means many grueling days of lectures, long nights spent lesson planning, and more cafeteria food than I could stomach.  However, I was so surprised that in spite of the hard work and less-than-ideal living conditions, my institute experience ended up surpassing my expectations in many ways.  Over the course of the past five weeks, I made so many incredible friendships and was so proud of the strides that my 26 “zesty” 6th graders made.  Now that I’m home, I’ve decided to celebrate (in BHTB fashion, of course) with homemade Hot Fudge Cream Puffs.  Yum!

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Cream Puffs: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

3/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

4 large eggs

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

2) Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan, heat until the butter has melted, and bring to a rolling boil.

3) Remove the pan from the heat, and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously.

4) Return the pan to the burner and cook over medium heat, stirring all the while, until the mixture smooths out and follows the spoon around the pan; this should take less than a minute.

5) Remove the pan from the heat, and let the mixture cool for 5 to 10 minutes. It’ll still feel hot, but you should be able to hold a finger in it for a few seconds. 

6) Transfer the mixture to a mixer, and beat in the eggs one at a time; it’ll look curdled at first, but when you add the last egg it should become smooth. Beat for at least 2 minutes after adding the last egg.

7) Using a generously filled tablespoon cookie scoop, or a level muffin scoop, drop the thick batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 3- to 4-tablespoon mounds. Space the mounds about 3″ apart, to allow for expansion. 

8) Bake the pastries for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until pastries are a medium golden brown. Don’t open the oven door while the pastries are baking.

9) Remove the pastries from the oven. Make a small slit in the top of each, and return them to the oven for 5 minutes, to allow the steam to escape. Place them on a rack to cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, split each in half to make top and bottom pieces; splitting and exposing the centers to air will help keep them from becoming soggy.

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