Thursday, March 31, 2011

Whole Wheat Everything Bagels with Caramelized Onions

It has been snowing here the past couple days...I need carbs. I realize I have been griping about the weather lately...I'm just not a fan of "Old Man Winter". He's not my type.

Sorry dude.

In relevant news, everything bagels are one of my favorite kinds of bagels. I used to work at Tim Hortons back in the day in High it sad that it feels like ages ago? Anyways, on my lunch break I often ate everything bagels double toasted with garden vegetable cream cheese. Now I enjoy them the same way but with smoked

What I don't like though is how they don't sell them in a whole wheat variety...or not that I have been able to find. I tend to not be so good at making things with yeast...there's this waiting part I am not too fond of. But I decided to try tweaking an everything bagel recipe I found online by adding wheat and caramelized onions anyways...yep, I'm so wild. I love my everything bagels to be extra "onion-y", my boyfriend probably doesn't care too much for that...

He needs to start thinking onion breath is sexy is all I'm sayin...

I made little mini bagels and was quite satisfied with what I came up with. I think I probably could have waited for the dough to rise a little more but for once, it didn't seem to compromise the final product. Shawn said these were "different" but good. Not sure how to take that but that is the review I got. So if you feel brave, give these a shot. I sure like 'em!

Whole Wheat Everything Bagels with Caramelized Onions
Adapted from

Makes about 8-10 mini bagels and 6 regular bagels


1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup warm water
1/4 ounce active dry yeast (1/4 oz package envelope)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1 egg yolk, Beaten
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
kosher salt


Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. After the pan has gotten hot, add the oil and allow that to heat a minute or two. Add the onions. Stir to coat all the onions in the oil. Let cook at medium-high stirring frequently until the onions start to turn brown (about 7-10 minutes) Once brown, reduce heat and cook until deep brown (about 10-15 minutes) stirring frequently. Set aside.

Combine the warm water, yeast, and the 1.5 Tablespoons of granulated sugar in a mixer with a dough hook. Let stand 5 minutes until the yeast activates and the mixture becomes foamy.

Gradually add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix with dough hook until combined. Once combined, add 3/4 of the carmelized onions (leave some to put on top of the bagels).

Slowly add the additional 1/2 cup flour while working with your hands. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead until smooth and no longer sticky (add up to 1/2 cup more flour if necessary).

Grease a large bowl with 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil and roll the dough ball to cover all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for about an hour (or until almost double in size).

After an hour, punch the dough down and divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 6" log and combine the ends with a little moisture (make sure they are joined or you will end up with cresents).

Place the bagels on a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let rise again for 20 to 30 minutes (no longer).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

Bring a large pot of water, flavored with the 1.5 teaspoon of sugar, to a boil. Drop the bagels into the water and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, turning.

Upon removal from the boiling water, place the bagels onto an oiled baking sheet covered in cornmeal. Place into a preheated 400 degree fahrenheit oven.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and brush with an egg yolk. Top with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caramelized onions and salt and put back into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn oven down to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Remove when golden brown and hollow sounding.

Cool on a wire rack.

I like to store bagels in ziplock bags and depending on how soon I plan on eating them I store them in the refrigerator or the freezer.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Strawberry Angel Food Cake Roll

Let me just start by saying I realize that these pictures are horrible...not my usual horrible but extra horrible (and yes, I use this disclaimer often). While this dessert tasted amazing it did cause me a little grief. Don't be alarmed, I'm sure I put the grief upon myself...

Not only did my lack of patience get the best of me when I decided to roll the cake while it was still warm, causing it to start to fall apart, but the original recipe called for a pan that I found to be too small. Halfway through the baking process, the angel food cake overflowed the pan and stuck to the sides and bottom of my fact, scratching it off with a butter knife is still an ongoing process and Shawn and I made this on Valentines day.

So I'm lazy...

And I what?

Speaking of Shawn, he really made my day Monday. No, he didn't send me a bouquet or make me a cheesy cd with all the songs that remind him of me...I came home after a long day of class and work to an empty sink and a dish rack full of clean dishes...

Does anyone else find this to be exremely romantic and very sexy? No? Just me?

Well, this dessert was for him. He is not huge on sweets but I knew this is something he would love. He likes the lighter desserts with fruit and I like sinfully indulgent rich desserts...yes, we are opposite in so many ways, but fortunately I think it balances us out. I can be incredibly high-strung and tend to worry about everything, he helps mellow me out with his extremely laid back personality.

Thank God for that...

Ps: make this.

Strawberry Angel Food Cake Roll
Adapted from

1 (16 ounce) package angel food cake mix
5 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
1 (8 ounce) container reduced fat strawberry yogurt
1 (1 ounce) package instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
3 drops red food coloring
2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping


Line a 12-in. x 18-in. x 1-in. baking pan with parchment paper. Prepare cake according to package directions. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up jelly-roll style in the towel, starting with a short side. Cool on a wire rack.

In a bowl, whisk the yogurt, pudding mix and food coloring if desired. Fold in whipped topping. Unroll cake; spread filling evenly over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up. Cover and freeze. Remove from freezer 30 minutes before slicing.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

So I guess I said "so long" to winter a little too soon. The temperature has been in the 20's-30's all week...I'm not liking it one bit...

I'm back in hibernate and eat mode...

Needless to say I have been hiding from the cold in the kitchen and now have at least 15 recipes that I need to post...Now if I could just find the time... everything I could ever want...chocolate, cheese and cake and its a lighter recipe...yes! With every bite of this cheesecake, I was in heaven. No joke, I actually floated outside of my body and watched myself enjoy every bite of this silky smooth super chocolately piece of heaven...

This is one of the desserts Shawn and I made for Valentines day. We actually made two for me (this cheesecake) and one for him (a strawberry angel food cake roll). The two didn't go well together, at all. They were complete opposites in terms of flavor and texture and...well...everything.

But separately, both desserts were the perfect sweet ending to a yummy Valentines day meal (grilled salmon, salad with homemade dressing and wild rice salad).

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake


Cooking spray

1 1/4 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs, 8 whole sheets
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
24 ounces 1 percent cottage cheese
8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Put a small roasting pan on the lower rack and fill about 1/3 full of water. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and wrap the outside bottom of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent any leaks.

Crust: Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, water, and melted butter in a medium bowl until moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes, while preparing the filling.

Filling: Put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium power until soft and melted, about 1 minute, depending on the power of your oven. Stir until smooth. Puree the cottage cheese in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, and flour and continue to puree, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until smooth. Add the egg, egg whites, espresso, and vanilla and puree until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and pulse until just combined. Pour over the prepared crust.

Put the pan on the upper rack in the oven and bake until just set and the center jiggles slightly, about 50 to 55 minutes. Turn off the oven and let stand in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake to a cooling rack and run a knife around the edge of the pan.

Let stand at room temperature until cooled, about 2 hours, and then refrigerate until well chilled, 8 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. For easier serving, slice with a clean hot knife, wiped clean after each slice.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hot Cocoa Cookies

I recently said "so long" to Winter in one of my posts. Sorry Winter, I will not miss you, I will miss the holidays and having a "bug-less" apartment...but that's about it...

Peace out girl scout!

Seriously though, yesterday I was minding my own business when I spotted a huge black spider scurry across my floor...I shrieked so loud Kirby started barking...whoops! I shudder at the thought of spiders...


I also said "so long" to winter by making these hot cocoa cookies. During the last couple weeks of that dreadful season I made these for Shawn and I as we cuddled up on the couch to watch some movies...since that is all I ever want to do in the winter...

Eat+cuddle+movies= :)

Let me tell you about where I found these cookies. Guys, I have a blog idol. I stumbled across this brilliant woman's blog on accident and am so glad I did. Everytime I visit How Sweet Eats my jaw drops. Not only do we have very similar cooking likes and dislikes and styles (we have made a lot of the same things, hers being much better but I accept that) but she is pure genious.

Her ideas leave me smacking myself wondering why the heck I didn't think of that! Like these cookies for instance! Genius. Also, her pictures are always so beautiful...One day, I hope mine look that good...once I find a good camera and a place to steal natural light...I'm telling you...go to her blog now. You may never come back to mine, but like I said, I idolize her it's okay....

Of course, her cookies look much better than mine. I used one of those tiny cookie scoops to make little bite-size cookies and didn't flatten them at all so they're not as flat and spread out. But they are fun because you can just pop them right in your mouth. This is also dangerous because by the 6th pop, you realize what you've done...whoopsie.

I also wanted to add marshmallows to the top because my favorite thing about hot cocoa are the marshmallows that float around the top. Had I made bigger cookies, I could have used more marshmallows but oh well...

Hot Cocoa Cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup marshmallow fluff
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows


Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. Stir in marshmallow fluff.

Fold in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove, and roll into 1 1/2-inch balls.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Make sure cookies are fully cooked, because they will be very sticky from the marshmallows. Allow cookies to cool completely, even sticking them in the fridge for 15 minutes before removing from the baking sheet with a spatula. Be patient and gently remove cookies – let sit another 30 minutes.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Wild Rice Salad

I am so excited that it is officially Spring now! Yesterday, being that it was the first day of Spring, I was all smiles all day. Spring actually gets me motivated. I want to get off the couch and go work out and take Kirby on walks and clean...a lot...

It's super weird that I enjoy cleaning...I realize this...I am such a rare individual.

Anyways, this wild rice salad is one of the side dishes Shawn and I made for our Valentines day dinner along with the grilled salmon. We were kind of weary about pairing these but they went really well together...

Shawn ate half of the bowl before it even made it to our plates...

Yep, we're both kind of fat.

This salad can be eaten warm or cold...I don't think it really matters though we ate it cold and found it very satisfying...

Wild Rice Salad


2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup wild rice
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and halved, reserve marinade
1 (6-ounce) can green peas
1/3 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
3 green onions, chopped, white and green parts
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup toasted slivered or sliced almonds, for garnish

1 1/3 cups canola oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic, minced


In a 1-quart pot with a lid, bring 2 cups water and the salt to a boil. Add the rice and stir well. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain excess liquid from the rice.

Meanwhile, combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, artichoke hearts, peas, green pepper, green onions, tomatoes, reserved marinade, and half of the dressing. Toss well. Cover and chill or eat at room temperature. Just before serving, toss again and taste. Add some of the remaining dressing, if desired. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hot Reuben Dip

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Thankfully this day falls on my break so I can enjoy some green beer with my friends after I post this and get a good work out in. I couldn't tell you the last time I enjoyed some porch day drinking...oh how I miss being a buckeye...

I saw on someones facebook status a quote that was something along the lines of  "its ok to pretend were Irish on St. Patricks Day.... We pretend we're good on Christmas dont we?"...haha, I thought that was funny.

I am a little confused about how Irish I I have said before my dad's side is German and I grew up thinking I was Irish on my mom's side. Apprently though, my Grandpa (miss you!) took a trip to Ireland some years back to learn about our family heritage and what-not and actually found out we were more Scottish than Irish...

Well, on this day I like to celebrate whatever unknown amount of Irish is in me...Whether it be 50% or 5%, I will still enjoy the Guinness and green treats the same :)

I would consider my friends pretty lucky because I am bringing them this dip and these Irish car bomb cupcakes.

I saw this dip on The Girl Who Ate Everything. Her blog is a must see...I have so many of her posts on my baking/cooking list because it all looks wonderful. As soon as I saw this I knew I HAD to make it...I lightened it a bit because we all know I eat in large quantities, so if I can save any calories by altering the food I will...because as hard as I portions will never get smaller...

The girl who ate everything was right when she said this dip is ugly...but all my food is ugly so dig in! It tastes just like a reuben sandwhich...aka awesome.

Hot Reuben Dip
Adapted from


8 ounces neaufchatel cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
4 ounces lean sliced corned beef, chopped
1/2 cup Fat-free Thousand Island dressing
3/4 cup drained sauerkraut
cocktail size pumpernickel rye bread squares


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of Swiss cheese, the dressing and chopped corned beef. Spread in a pie plate or other shallow serving dish. Top with the sauerkraut and the remaining ½ cup of Swiss cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges. Serve on cocktail-size rye bread squares.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

It's been so long since I've posted a cupcake recipe! I can't believe it! Though I am still obsessed with cupcakes and love them with all my heart, it has been hard to find motivation to make them at home when I work with them everyday at work. But I saw these guys for St. Patty's day and have always wanted to make them...I actually wanted to make them last year but made these thin mint cupcakes instead...but these Irish car bombs...

I finally made them!

I found this recipe thanks to the Brown Eyed Baker...her blog is amazing and has so many things I want to try. She was right in her post where she claims these cupcakes are "boozy". You can definitely taste the alcohol...which is why these are fabulous!

Irish car bombs (the dangerous drinks) have a special place in my heart. Everytime I get together with my mom's side of the family, it is tradition that we have an Irish Car bomb race. I am lucky enough to have the funnest family with the coolest aunts and funnest cousins...

We don't get together too often but we try. Everytime we have one of these races, I try...I really do but there's no competition when my lovely cousin Tiffany is involved. That girl dominates these drinks...I'm not kidding. She puts the boys to shame everytime. What makes this so amazing is she is tiny...I mean super 5 nothing tall and 100 nothing pounds tiny. And even Shawn who is 6'4" and I dunno 180 pounds(?) couldn't even compete...she killed him...

Sorry to out you like this Shawn...I'll make it up to you with an Irish car bomb cupcake. ;)

So anyways, these cupcakes are dedicated to the McKenny fam...most of all my cousin Tiffany whom I miss dearly!

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.


Salmon with a Citrus Salsa Verde

I am not a big fish lover. There are certain things I love but overall I am picky about seafood. Seafood has the tendency to have odd textures and smells that make it rather unpleasant to eat. When done right, I do like tilapia, shrimp, crab, fried/battered fish and salmon....

This salmon was done right. It was extremely light and refreshing. Shawn chose fish as our Valentines Day dinner so I was a little weary. I picked out this recipe and put my trust into Giada and was rewarded. I really enjoyed this. We were kind of weirded out by the salsa until we paired it with the fish and it worked...

Thank God...

Plus, this dish is very pretty! Not something I experience much since my cooking tends to be rather...well...ugly. Yep, ugly.

Salmon with a Citrus Salsa Verde


2 large oranges
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable or canola oil, for oiling the grill
4 (4 to 5-ounce) center cut salmon fillets, skinned, each about 3-inches square
2 tablespoons amber agave nectar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the salsa: Peel and trim the ends from each orange. Using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment. Free the segments and add them to a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, scallions, mint, capers, orange zest, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Toss lightly and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For the salmon: Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the grilling rack with vegetable oil to keep the salmon from sticking. Brush the salmon on both sides with the agave nectar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the salmon to a platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Spoon the salsa verde on top of the salmon or serve on the side as an accompaniment.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Lighter Peanut Butter Pie

Happy pi day all! Okay, so I don't care about math but I do love pie! I remember in High School pi day was exciting because there was always pie involved somehow. I remember sophomore year my math teacher was offering extra credit to the person who memorized the most numbers of I was (and still am) terrible at math so I was all over this. I memorized 33 numbers and won the extra credit...woot woot!

Now I can only remember 3.1415926535...if that is even right...

I actually made this pie about a week ago. I have declared my love of peanut butter again and again and am a huge fan of peanut butter pie. I wanted to make it as light as possible while retaining the integrity of the flavor...I somehow managed to do it! You really honestly can't tell the difference...this pie tastes sinfully indulgent.

If I had any sense of shame I would keep it a secret that I ate this whole thing shame.

Lighter Peanut Butter Pie
Adapted from


1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon margarine/light butter spread, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar

4 oz neaufchatel cheese
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
1/2 skim cup milk
8 oz package frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed pretzels (optional)
1/2 cup crushed peanuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, mix together chocolate graham cracker crumbs,  butter, yogurt, and brown sugar. Press mixture firmly into a 9 inch pie pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Allow crust to cool.

Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Fill the cooled pie crust with the filling.

Melt dark chocolate in microwave 30 seconds-1 minute. Drizzle over top of filled pie with a piping bag or spoon.

Spoon into the 9 inch graham cracker pie shell; cover, and freeze until firm.

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