• Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake

    So it’s been a while!! Almost 3 months exactly…yikes. I have to say, cooking for fun just isn’t as easy or possible when you only go to the grocery store once a week, and I have found myself feeling really unmotivated to experiment. But! Now that summer is here, and open-air farmstands are open, I’m starting to feel better and miss the feeling of baking something “just because”. Embarrassingly enough, I baked and shot this cake back in MAY, thinking that I would feel like writing about it way sooner than this, but hey, better late than never! Taken from this New York Times Cooking recipe by Yossy Arefi, this cake is the perfect summery dessert, moist and light, but with SO much fresh strawberry flavor.

    A few notes on this- when reading the recipe on NYT, a 16 cup bundt pan is mentioned as the recommended size. I have never seen a 16 cup bundt pan, nor do I own one. I don’t even know what size mine is, but I suggest using what you have, and simply fill the pan 3/4 of the way full. That way you don’t have to worry about the pan overflowing in the oven, and you still have a beautiful looking cake, with some leftover batter (put it in muffin tins maybe??). Also, this recipe very specifically says whole milk yogurt, not Greek yogurt. Because I am a dummy, I read this too quick and specifically got greek yogurt instead. Fear not! If that is all you can find, measure out 1 cup of greek yogurt and fill the rest of the 1/4 cup with whole milk. This will thin it out enough and add a nice tang. Finally, this goes without saying, but try to find the freshest strawberries possible, and do NOT under ANY circumstances, use anything but fresh lemon juice. But I’m sure you already knew that.

    Okay! Before we get started, you know what time it is! Since I have left my “Things To Be Happy About” book in my apartment, I’ll make these ones up from scratch today, here goes!
    ONE. Taking all your downtime at home and turning it into something productive.
    TWO. Finally seeing a friend after months apart.
    THREE. Settling into a work from home routine.
    FOUR. Writing down five things you’re grateful for each day.
    FIVE. Wearing your mask outside, because you care about the safety of the people around you 🙂

    Let’s bake!

    Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake Ingredients
    (adapted from NYT Cooking)

    1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (plus more for greasing the pan)
    3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting the pan)
    1½ tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp baking soda
    1¼ tsp kosher salt
    1¾ cups granulated white sugar
    1 tsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
    3 eggs
    1¼ cups whole milk yogurt (or 1 cup greek yogurt + ¼ cup whole milk)
    ¼ cup lemon juice
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2¾ cups (~1 pound) fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped into pieces


    Fresh Strawberry Glaze Ingredients

    ¼ cup fresh strawberries
    2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice


    Steps

    Move one rack to the center of the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees F. Generously butter and flour your bundt pan, making sure every crevice is covered.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder + soda, and salt. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer (or separate bowl with electric mixer), combine together the butter and sugar until uniform. Add the lemon zest, and beat this mixture until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.

    Turn the mixer down to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition and scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla, then mix on medium speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled at this point, I promise it fixes itself once the flour is added!

    At this point, carefully add in all the flour mixture at once, and mix on low speed until almost fully combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, stir around the sides and bottom to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.

    Take a ½ cup of the batter from the bowl and drop it, a tablespoon at a time, around the bottom of the prepared pan, until almost fully covered, smoothing out as you go. This will make sure that the strawberries don’t all sink to the bottom and stick.

    Add the chopped strawberries to the rest of the batter and mix until even. The batter will be quite thick! Spoon evenly into the pan and smooth out the top. Remember, if you’re using a bundt pan smaller that the 16-cup, only fill the pan about ¾ of the way full to prevent overflowing. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

    Bake the cake until the top is golden and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. It should be about 70 minutes, but I would start checking around 1 hour. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.

    To make the glaze: in a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the strawberries until smooth. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to start. The glaze should be quite thick, but still pourable. If it seems too thin, add some confectioner’s sugar, if it’s too thick, add the extra teaspoon (or more) of lemon juice.

    Place the cake (still on the cooling rack) onto a rimmed baking sheet and pour the glaze evenly over the whole thing, catching all the excess drips on the baking sheet. Let it set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

    xoxoxoxD

    Looking for more summery fruit desserts? Look here, here, and here!

  • Cinnamon Ice Cream

    Soooo this all started because of a little show called Gourmet Makes. You know it? I hope so. If you don’t, it’s a Bon Appetit YouTube series where Claire Saffitz of the BA Test Kitchen reverse engineers different popular candies and snacks, to make them less processed and even tastier. Last week’s episode? Gourmet Ben and Jerry’s! She tried a series of flavors like pistachio, cherry garcia, and coffee chip, and by the end of the episode I wanted ice cream more than I’ve ever wanted it before. But, since it was almost 11:30 at night and all stores were closed, I had literally no choice but to order an ice cream machine on Amazon. I don’t make the rules, that’s reasonable, right?

    You know what’s so great about making ice cream? Once you have a good base recipe, you can play around with it any way you like, steeping the cream with different aromatics, swirling jams or chocolate into the mixture while it churns, you name it! I myself can’t wait for summer corn season, so I can make a blueberry jam swirl with a sweet corn base.

    But today’s recipe is inspired by a gelato that I used to eat (almost) every single day while studying abroad. The Gelateria was called Edoardo, and I would get the same two scoops in every cup- honey poppyseed, and cinnamon. When I tell you I still think about that cinnamon gelato at least once a day, I’m not lying. Now I know this is ice cream and not gelato and they are slightly different, the flavor is just as good. Real cinnamon is such a delicate, warming flavor, and when combined with a thick, vanilla custard, you will never want to eat another flavor. So naturally, instead of doing any Super Bowl related anything on Sunday, I made ice cream! And watched Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for the third time! A weekend well spent if you ask me.

    Anyway, before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!
    ONE. Remembering a memory that had been foggy for so long.
    TWO. The Notes app on your phone holding all your random thoughts.
    THREE. Wearing your favorite outfit and feeling the confidence boost.
    FOUR. Remembering your reusable bag for a trip to the store.
    FIVE. Taking a risk that pays off.

    Let’s do this! Beware the brain freeze!

    Ingredients

    6 egg yolks
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup whole milk
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla bean, sliced in half)
    1/8 tsp fine sea salt

    Steps

    Add all the egg yolks to a medium bowl. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar until combined. In a saucepan, heat together the cream, milk, cinnamon sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste (or split vanilla bean). Simmer this mixture until the sugar dissolves and remove from the heat.

    Whisking constantly, drizzle about a third of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, then transfer these tempered egg yolks to the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Return the pot to medium heat and cook slowly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Allow the cinnamon and vanilla to steep for 30 minutes at room temperature before straining.

    Cover the strained custard and chill for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.

    Churn the custard in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturers instructions. Once completed, it can be eaten immediately as soft serve, or store in the freezer for scoopable ice cream. Congratulations, you’ve made ice cream!! I’m gonna go eat some for dinner.

    xoxoxoxo

    Looking for more weekend projects? Look no further than here and here!

  • New York Times Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric

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    THE STEEEEEEW. Okay, I am so far behind on this stew I know it came out so long ago now, I just never got around to trying it out. You better believe that now I’m kicking myself because I can’t imagine a life without this. It takes less than an hour to come together, and is somehow light and refreshing while simultaneously the perfect filling Fall stew. I know, I don’t get it either, it’s a beautiful contradiction. For those who maybe have a social life and don’t follow food people as obsessively as I do, here’s the lowdown. This stew recipe from Alison Roman came out ages ago to an explosive following. Everywhere I turned, it seemed people were talking about “The Stew”. At some point, a particularly scathing review was posted and claimed that the reason so many people liked the stew was because no one was actually following the recipe, to which Alison Roman replied that the recipe is whatever we want it to be. First of all, I love that. Second of all, whoever wrote that article was WAY off base. And THIRD of all, I followed this recipe exactly and have not even 1 regret. NOT ONE. In conclusion, who’s to say.

    I have to admit, I really love recipes that give you options for putting your own spin on it. So much of how I learned to cook involved tweaking recipes that I already knew. And, while I support anyone who wants to change this around, I stuck pretty closely to the recipe. The base of this stew is simple- garlic, ginger, onion, red pepper flakes, and *duh* chickpeas. Turmeric gives it this gorgeous color, and the coconut milk is smooth and silky. Stir in some kale towards the end, top with a generous swoop of yogurt and a toasted pita and eat with rice. Boom, your new favorite meal.

    Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!!
    ONE. Supermarket free samples.
    TWO. Pumpkin waffles and cinnamon syrup.
    THREE. The first tree that starts to turn for Fall.
    FOUR. Connecting with a stranger’s dog on the street.
    FIVE. Getting a seat on a crowded subway.

    Let’s cook!!

    New York Times Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric

    I finally took on this insanely popular stew and my god, it lived up to the hype. Somehow both light and also filling, I cannot wait to make this stew once a week forever.
    Prep Time 15 mins
    Cook Time 45 mins
    Total Time 1 hr
    Course Dinner, Main Course
    Servings 4 people

    Ingredients
      

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 [2-inch] piece ginger; peeled and minced
    • tsp ground turmeric
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 2 [15-oz] cans chickpeas; drained and rinsed
    • 2 [15 oz] cans full-fat coconut milk
    • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    • 1 bunch kale; stems removed and torn into pieces
    • Mint, plain yogurt, toasted pita, basmati rice; for serving
    • Salt + Pepper; for seasoning

    Instructions
     

    • In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onions, garlic, and ginger with some salt and pepper in the oil until the onion is translucent, around 5 minutes.
    • Add the turmeric, red pepper flakes, and chickpeas, and season again with a little more salt and pepper. Cook so that the chickpeas begin to fry slightly, and get crisp and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the cooked chickpeas and set aside in a bowl for the finished stew.
    • Using a wooden spoon/ spatula, gently crush the remaining chickpeas in the pot, so that they break apart and release some of their starch, which will help thicken the stew later. Add the coconut milk and the stock, and bring to a simmer.
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until the stew has reached your desired level of thickness. (I thought my stew looked too thin, but keep in mind that adding the greens will help too!)
    • Add the kale about 7 minutes before you're finished cooking, until they're slightly wilted and softened. Do a seasoning check and adjust salt + pepper levels accordingly.
    • To serve, put a portion of rice into each bowl, top with the stew and then some of the reserved whole chickpeas. A scoop of yogurt and a handful of mint, as well as a toasty pita, and you're SET!
    Keyword chickpeas, coconut, fall cooking, the stew, turmeric

    Looking for more stew content already? Fear not, I’ve been thinking about cold-weather food for a month now. Look here and here!