Black Peppercorn Ginger Ale

Ginger Black Peppercorn Syrup

I made Black Peppercorn Ginger Ale with a dash of salt and juice of a whole lemon today! It is absolutely delicious.

Ingredients for 4 cups of ginger syrup

  • 2 cups Unbleached White Sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm filtered Water
  • 2.5 oz Fresh Ginger root (thinly sliced)
  • 2 1/2 cup boiling filtered Water
  • 1 Lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan add Sugar and warm water on medium heat. Mix well. Continue stirring every 2-3 minutes. Our goal is to have the sugar slowly bubbling and to turn an amber color.
  2. In a separate small sauce pan add 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. (I pre-boil water in my electric kettle to save time). Add sliced ginger root to water and soft boil while the sugar caramelizes. Our goal here is to make strong ginger water.
  3. Once the sugar has caramelized pour the ginger water into the sugar, add the peppercorns, lemon juice, and stir well.
  4. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let steep for one hour.
  5. Jar and store in the fridge. Simple syrups keep indefinitely!

Soda measurements

I spoon 1/8 – 1/4 cup of syrup into the bottom of a cup of 10 oz of carbonated water and stir gently.

Basil Cheese loaf

I have been experimenting with the ingredients to try and find a simple yet complex tasting loaf. I have been adding cheese and herbs to increase the flavor in my breads. I know the next step is to make a starter who I will care for and love once it is living, but I’m not sure I have the motivation to take care of another *thing* right now. So, more cheese bread!

Bacon, Egg and Avocado Breakfast Tacos

I make these tacos often! My body LOVES the combination of flavors in the morning. The different proteins and carbohydrates keep me going throughout the day and I often find myself deep into the afternoon before I’m craving another meal. They are really simple and only take 20 minutes to make including the bacon cooking time!

Ingredients for 4 tacos

Directions

  1. Start heating the oven to 425º, do not preheat. We want the bacon to warm up with the oven.
  2. Place a wire rack on a cookie sheet and place the bacon on the wire rack. Set a timer for 18 minutes (thicker bacon will take a little longer).
  3. Scramble and cook the eggs. Remove eggs from pan and cover to store the heat.
  4. Cut the Avocado in half and place face down on the hot egg pan to sear it a little.
  5. With 5 minutes left on the bacon timer place your Tortillas in the oven like so to create your shells.
  6. Remove bacon and taco shells when the timer goes off. Slice bacon and avocado into small pieces.
  7. Combined ingredients like pictured above and enjoy!

Alfredo Chicken, Broccoli and Parm Calzone’s

 I had some pizza dough that I bought from the grocery store that was a little too old to make pizza out of so I got creative! I divided the dough up into smaller bits and smashed the dough between two pieces of parchment paper using a rolling pin. I got them to about 4″ x 4″ then I stretched them out to the size I wanted which was about 8″ x 8″. It was a pain in the butt to get them the right size but it worked well in the end.

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of Pizza Dough
  • 1 cup Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 cup chopped raw Broccoli (I just use the heads)
  • 1 Chicken Breast (Saute’d)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese finely grated
Instructions
  1. Make the Alfredo sauce (20 minutes) and saute Chicken with a small amount of butter & herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, etc..) if you haven’t already (10-15 minutes).
  2. Preheat oven to 425.
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. (I know I used cornmeal but I prefer parchment.)
  4. Break up the pizza dough into 4-5 smaller balls and press/stretch them into 8″ x 8″ circles (mine were all different shapes lol).
  5. Place one circle of dough at a time onto the parchment paper and repeat step 6 – 7 until all calzone’s are ready.
  6. Divide Alfredo sauce, chicken, and broccoli between the flattened dough and sprinkle with Parmesan.
  7. Fold dough over and pinch edges to seal. Brush with Olive Oil.
  8. Bake calzones 15 minutes or until golden all over. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Author: Pinch of Yum ·  Prep time: 10 mins  ·  Cook time: 45 mins  ·  Total time: 55 mins  ·  Serves: 16
This cake was really good! Next time I won’t use as much sugar in the topping. It would only need about 1/4 cup of sugar and I will spread it thin over the top. I was supposed to bake a loaf of bread to bring to my Mom’s house for dinner but I felt like making this apple cake instead. Ironically she had made an apple desert too! Her’s was healthier than mine was with more nuts and larger chunks of apple so eating them together was delicious! What a lucky combination!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can sub milk+vinegar, or plain yogurt+milk)
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped apples (I used Wealthy heirloom)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Mix ingredients in order given (except the last 3 ingredients).
  3. Pour batter into a 9×13 greased pan.
  4. Combine last 3 ingredients to make a topping and sprinkle it evenly over the batter.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes. It’s delicious when served warm!

Buttermilk Pound Cake(s)

These pound cakes turned out delicious and there is a good story to them! Lets get started with the ingredients:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Organic Unbleached Flour
  • 1/4 tsp B.Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 3 cups Unbleached Sugar
  • 6 eggs (I used egg whites and saved the yolks for pastry cream)
  • 1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Buttermilk (I used 50/50 greek yogurt and milk)

Directions

  1. Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  4. In a large glass bowl, beat butter with sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon and the vanilla extracts. Gently mix in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 70-90 minutes. Do not open oven door until after one hour. When cake begins to pull away from the side of the pan it is done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

As you can see in the image below where the batter is in the cake pan, it is VERY full. I figured it wouldn’t rise much because there isn’t any yeast in it. Holy crap was I wrong. Ten minutes into baking the cake it was overflowing and spilling all over the bottom of the oven. I could smell it burning and I knew this would ruin my cake if I just left it in there. So I very quickly: turned off the oven and grabbed my mitts, pulled out the cake, pulled out the racks and scrubbed them, scraped the bottom of the oven with a metal spatchula, transferred half the batter into a second loaf pan and the now two of them back in as fast as I could. I was feeling slightly defeated for a moment, I thought it was ruined because the recipe says to not open the door during the first 60 minutes. I was wrong, they were freaking delicious and they are already gone. They didn’t last 24 hours.

A loaf a day.


I have decided that I shall cook a loaf of bread each day for the month of February. They shall consist of challenging recipes which require swift progression in the skill of baking. By the end of the month I expect to have mastered gluten development and have moved on to breads like panettone, croissants, danishes, and the humble yet challenging baguette. If you would like me to make you a loaf, leave a comment. I don’t expect to receive a comment since nobody knows about this project of mine, but it’s a nice thought.

Cinnamon Banana Bread!


I was sitting around reading Pinterest and laughing at rage comics on reddit when I saw a link to a quick breads site. I checked it out and wrote down this recipe and threw it together in about 10 minutes. I don’t have a picture of the finished product yet because it is in the oven, but I will in 28 minutes! It smells DELICIOUS.

Update: I have a picture of it in the pan as you can see, but I couldn’t get another one before it was half gone. It is delicious.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp B.Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups Mashed Overripe Bananas

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350· (175 C). Lightly butter 9×5″ loaf pan.
  • In a glass bowl, combine flour, b.soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • In a separate glass bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
  • Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in pan for 10 min then pot on a wire rack.

Quote from Diana right now: God DANG that smells good!

Extremely tasty Garlic Aged Cheddar loaf.

This was my first attempt at creating a delicious garlic cheddar boat! It is fairly simple as long as you have the few ingredients necessary and don’t mind waiting overnight. This is a no-kneed recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cup Filtered Water
  • 3/8 tsp Dry Baking Yeast
  • 1/8 tsp Sugar
  • 3 cup Flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat and 2 cup unbleached white flour)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 5-6 whole Pealed Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 cup Aged Cheddar
  • 2 tsp Dried Basil (Optional)

Directions

Let us start by activating the dry yeast. To activate dry yeast you need water between 100-110º. If your water is too hot you can kill the yeast, if too cold the yeast will not wake up. It takes 30 seconds in my microwave for 1-1/2 cup of water to become warm to the touch for me. Once you’ve warmed the water add the sugar and 1/4 tsp of the yeast. Stir and cover. Let it sit while we mix the other ingredients.

In a large glass mixing bowl add flour, salt and 1/8 tsp yeast. Stir until properly mixed. Now add the water, yeast and sugar mixture. Stir with a stiff wooden spoon (I’ve broken a few spoons doing this lol) until it forms a silky yet stringy consistency that you can form into a ball in the bottom bowl. It will ooze out of formation after you’ve made the ball, but you should still be able to make one for a moment.  Cover and let it sit overnight.

Once your starter has sat overnight it will look like the image on the left above this. The image to the right is what you will be doing next. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and flour it generously. Scrape out the dough onto the floured paper and use your floured fingers spread it out to about 10″ x 10″. Lightly grade cheese and sprinkle 3 cloves of pressed or minced garlic over the dough, also and optional Basil if you choose to use some! Now fold all the sides to the center, left and right first, followed by the close and away sides. Pinch together to seal the seem. Flip and lightly cover with the parchment paper to let rise for another two hours.

Loosely wrap the dough in the parchment paper and cover with a towel. Let it sit somewhere warm for two hours. Now that we have waited for the second rise put your bread pan in the oven and preheat to 500º. Take the hot bread pan out of the oven and lightly butter it. Open the paper and transfer the dough to the hot bread pan, the dough may stick a little and that is ok, just scrape it all into the bread pan. Slice down the center of the dough and put loosely grated cheese and garlic in the cut. Pinch the cut closed, cover loosely with foil and put in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil once the timer goes off let it cook for another 15 minutes with no foil. Remove from the oven, turn the pan upside down over a cutting board and give it a slight tap, it should fall right out, let it sit for 20 minutes and enjoy!


Bonus: Sprinkle basil or thyme on top to add some color. If you love garlic as much as I do, stick whole garlic cloves right in the dough.
And for the finished product!