apple bundt cake

applebundt_cake

I know this recipe might have been better saved for the fall, but ever since Boston Boy and I peeled and chopped dozens and dozens and dozens of apples for applesauce at Miriam’s Kitchen I’ve been craving a sweet, cinnamon apple treat. I volunteered to bake dessert for a dinner party our esteemed Ragnar captain, LatinThunder hosted this weekend and this bundt cake is a convenient and easily-transportable (read: won’t Cake Wreck tossed into a bag and hanging from the handles of my bicycle).

Gather the following:

ingredients

Your favorite baking spray
2 cups flour
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄2 cup butter
1⁄2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (I used Fugi)
1/2 cup raisins (not pictured, these were a game time addition!)

I started by making a half batch of Liz’s yummy applesauce. The rest is a glorified dump cake. You need one bowl, a stirring utensil, and you’ll be golden delicious (couldn’t pass up the opportunity for an apple pun!). In a large bowl, melt butter in the butter melter (read: microwave). Stir in sugar.

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Add your eggs.

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Then your cinnamon.

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Then your applesauce.

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Then your fresh apples.

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Then your raisins (I might also recommend pecans or walnuts if you have any handy!).

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Then your dry ingredients.

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Mix it all up, and then pour into a well sprayed (or buttered and floured) bundt pan.

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Cook at 350 for about 40 minutes (or in my case a little over half of Denise Austin’s yoga tape – streaming on Amazon Instant thankuverrymuch!). Let your cake thoroughly cool before wiggling around the edges with a knife. DSC_0649

Say a little prayer and hope she comes out easy! Thankfully my bundt came right out. Slice & serve! The cake’s delish and makes a great simple dessert that won’t leave you sugar-rushing, side-split, buckled over lamenting whoever initiated the fairy tale that there’s “always room for dessert”, but it’d also make a great breakfast! If you’re looking for a little more presentation and want to glam this cake up a bit – I recommend (in increasing level of difficulty) either a) sifting powdered sugar on top, b) whipping up a quick powdered sugar glaze, or c) getting fancy and making a caramel/dulce de leche sauce to drizzle on top. Get creative!

You’re the apple of my eye!

Julia

white chocolate, coconut blondies

blondies_final

These white chocolate, coconut blondies are a dump everything, mix, and wait dessert. No fuss, no frills. Just a pretty decadent, delicious treat that’s the perfect hybrid between brownie and cookie. The coconut keeps them oh, so moist and the creamy white chocolate’s the perfect companion to the coconut’s chewiness.

This was a Sunday night improvisation a few weeks ago, and I encourage you to do the same. Swap coconut for pecans or white chocolate for dark chocolate or butterscotch chips! Mix in peanut butter instead of coconut oil and add peanut chips. The pantry’s full of possibilities, but this version’s definitely worth a whirl!

Ingredients_blondies

1 cup coconut
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 c coconut oil
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips

Start by creaming together butter and coconut oil in the bowl of a stand mixer.

blondies_butter&coconutoil

Add vanilla.

vanilla_blondies

Add brown sugar and cream until well combined.

blondies_brownsugar

Add your two eggs.

blondies_eggs

Remove your bowl from the stand mixer and fold in flour, salt, baking powder, coconut, and chocolate chips. That’s right. Dump everything in!

blondies_dry_wchoc_coco

Pour into a greased square pyrex dish and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the top of your blondies glisten and the middle passes the toothpick test.

blondies_batter

 

blondies_in_pan

Cut into squares and shower these blondies’ deliciousness upon adoring coworkers.

xo,

Julia

tabouleh


tabouleh_1

I love tabouleh. So much in fact that I often find myself scooping heaps of it from the Whole Foods salad bar and eating it for breakfast (they do a terrific and terribly convenient version of the traditional mezze). Yesterday was my first attempt to make it myself, and although a tabouleh purist might roll her eyes at my creative liberties (no tomatoes, no onion, no cucumbers) it’s the perfect, refreshing delight for my palette.

All you need is:

1/2 cup bulgar

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

two bunches of parsley

a dozen mint leaves

salt to taste, I used ~2 tsp

This was also my first time cooking with bulgar and I use “cooking” loosely because all you really do is rehydrate it. Start by rinsing your bulgar in a fine, mesh strainer. Transfer to a large bowl and pour in half of your lemon juice. Let it sit for 30-40 minutes or until the bulgar starts to fluff and get more tender.

lemon juice + bulgar_1

While your bulgar’s soaking and absorbing your lemon juice, in the bowl of a food processor place parsley & mint. Pulse to mince. Then, combine olive oil with with other half of your lemon juice and slowly pour into your parsley/mint mixture.

Parsley + Mint_1

lemon + greens_1

Once your bulgar is adequately soaked, pour in your green mixture and stir to combine.

green + bulgar

There you go! Super simple tabouleh – no heat required. This is also a great make ahead dish, I had some for lunch today and I think it improves with age as the flavors have longer to gel.

A refreshing addition to any summer plate or breakfast of champions,

Julia

almond peach tart

almondpeachtart

Spring has finally sprung in the District! The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the Nationals’ season is off to a solid start, and thankfully (knock on wood & fingers crossed) we’ve had more sunshine than showers so far this April! This week has been unseasonably warm and visions of summer stone fruits have been dancing through this Hungry Texan’s head. Try this almond peach tart (inspired from a recipe from Peace Meals, the newest Junior League of Houston cookbook) and start and tempt your tastebuds with the summer sweets to come!

You’ll need:

peachtartingredients

almond cream

2/3 c slivered, blanched almonds

1/2 c sugar

6 tbl butter

2 eggs

2 tbl chambord (raspberry liquor, rum would also work)

2 tbl flour

PieCrust

Peaches

tart

1 pie crust (I used frozen!)

2 bags frozen peaches or 5 ripe peaches

glaze

1/3 c peach jelly/jam

4 tsp chambord

Preheat your oven to 425.

almondfilling1

Now, this recipe is really quite simple! To make your almond cream, start by grinding almonds and 2 tbl of sugar to a fine meal in your food processor. Remove the almond meal from the food processor and set aside briefly.

almondfilling2

Cream your butter in the food processor until soft. Then add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and continue creaming. Add your eggs one at a time and process until smooth. Finally, add back in your almond meal mixture, add the flour, and chambord until well mixed and creamy.

almond filling

Next, assemble your tart! Pour your almond mixture into a prepared pie crust (fork-poked).

FilledPieCrust

 

Arrange peaches in a radiating or concentric design.

Peaches+PieFilling

 

Bake for 10 minutes in your preheated oven and then reduce heat to 350 baking for another 25 – 30 minutes. Remove and let your pie cool.

Jam+Chambord

When the pie cools, prepare your glaze by bringing peach jam and chambord to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir continuously until the mixture is melty and wonderful.

Glaze Straining

Then strain through a fine mesh strainer. With a pastry brush, brush the glaze generously over the top of your tart.

Enjoy room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell if you’re so lucky!).

Sweet & creamy,

Julia

orange ginger carrot cake

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This post is a special one because it just so happens to be my better half’s birthday cake! That’s right, this past Thursday we had a Hungry Texans’ birthday bash for Miss Liz and it was a belly-buster on all fronts. We dined with a wonderful group of friends at one of the most unique restaurants DC has to offer, Thai X-ing, and in the spirit of Thai flavors for dessert too Liz blew out the candles on an orange ginger carrot cake. My dear friend, Jonny, introduced me to this scrumptious cake years ago and before last week I’d recreated it once on my own. Until this week, we’d both stuck to letting the cake’s deliciousness speak for itself and not fussed over presentation – opting to prepare it in the suitable and ever-practical large, rectangular, pyrex; but for such a special occasion I had to prep this cake with a little more pomp. Despite initial hesitations about layering it, it turned out scrumptious! Even the non-dessert lovers at the table sang its praise, huzzah!

Before diving into the goodies, important to note this cake was a co-production with Boston Boy. It would have taken twice as long without him, and for his very first cake he pulled out a showstopper!

thebrowns

thewhites

thebrights

the cake

2 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 pound medium carrots, peeled & shredded

1/2 c brown sugar

4 eggs

1 tbl orange zest

1 1/2 c vegetable oil

~20 ginger candies, crushed or 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, minced

 icing_ingredients

frosting

8 ounces cream cheese

5 tbl butter

1 tbl orange juice

1 1/4 c powdered sugar

Start by whisking together your whites (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and most of your browns (all of your spices) in a large bowl.

Then, with the grater attachment of your food processor, start shredding your carrots (Be very careful handling these grating discs, Juju ended up with a little boo boo on her thumb. Don’t worry, Mom, no blood – just shaved off a layer of exterior skin). Transfer all shredded carrots into a large bowl.

Then, swap out your grating disc for your blade attachment and get to creaming your sugars. Combine brown & white sugar in a few quick pulses, then add your orange zest. Pulse to combine. Add your four eggs and run until your mixture gets a little frothy. Next, with the food processor running, drizzle in your oil until the mixture is emulsified. Scrape the mixture into the bowl topping your carrots (here’s a vine account of the above…!).

Next, stir in your candied ginger.

+gingercandy

Then, start slowly adding and mixing in your floury, dry mixture. Stir well!

dryingredients_gingercake

Mmmmm! Look at that batter, Boston Boy!

cakebatter

Pour into two parchment lined, circular baking dishes (or your baking dish of choice). I chose 2 pans (sorry, I’m not sorry).

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Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until your cakes pass the toothpick test. Let your cakes cool (I left mine to cool overnight), but let them cool at least an hour or until they have reached room temperature.

bakedcake

first_layer

The frosting’s simple! In the bowl of a stand mixer with your paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese & butter, add orange juice, and then begin gradually adding powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired taste and consistency!

icingpic

Frost your cake however you please!

icing1
icing2

fully_iced

I turned this cake from plain white drab to birthday fab with a little died yellow sugar & some food colored frosting. I piped the birthday greeting through a ziploc bag (one of these days this Hungry Texan will get a proper pastry bag).

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Make a wish,

Julia

cinnamon crumb coffee cake

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There’s nothing better to scarf on your way out the door to church on Easter morning than a big hunk of crumbly coffee cake – it’s moist, crumbly, and will give you a more stable sugar high than a Cadbury egg for breakfast. Alleluia!

We think this cake gets better with age, so whip up & bake the evening before your coffee o-cake-sion!

CoffeeCakeIngredients

Ingredients:

Topping:

8 tbs butter + 8 tbs butter

¼ c sugar

6 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs cinnamon

½ tsp kosher salt

1 ½ c flour

Cake:

2 ½ c flour

1 c sugar

¾ tsp salt

2 ½ tsp baking powder

8 tbs butter

1 c heavy cream

6 tbs sour cream

2 eggs

2 ¼ tsp vanilla

Filling:

1 ½ tsp brown sugar

⅓ c chopped pecans

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

Start by making your crumble topping. Melt 1 stick of butter, and stir in both sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Then gradually mix in your flour until your mixture is nice and crumbly!

 

CoffeeCakeTopping1

CoffeeCakeStir

Crumble

 

Next, make your filling by combining brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and pecans (mine were hand-picked Arkansas pecans, yum!).

Pecans

Topping1

 

Now, it’s time to make the cake batter. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a measuring cup, whisk together melted butter, cream, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs until smooth & creamy. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir to combine.

BatterUp

 

Then, it’s time to assemble the cake! Butter a square pyrex dish (8×8 or 9×9 recommended). Pour half your batter into the pan, sprinkle filling over the first layer of batter, then cover with remaining batter. Finish by heaping the topping on top of the batter.

BatterPrep

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes to an hour or until your cake passes the toothpick test – I recommend taking this cake out when it’s slightly on the rarer side. Let your cake cool. Before serving, melt a stick of butter and pour over the top of the cake.

BakedCrumble

 

This coffee cake is a stand alone breakfast treat or would be the perfect addition to any brunch spread. If you’re feeling funky, try adding your favorite berry (we’re trying blueberries next time). Special thanks to HoustonFoodGuy for sous-chefing.

Crumble love,

Julia

mushroom barley risotto with beans & greens

Risotto FinalMushrooms, and barley, and beans, oh my! The best thing about this risotto is it’s hands on, but mind off. As long as you nail the basic barley to broth ratio and are committed to stirring like crazy, it’s pretty hard to mess this up. Ease aside, don’t under-estimate this dish as a secret weapon for a weekday dinner party. Risotto screams “fancy-labor-of-love”, so any guests would be trés impressed by your rustic, rich, flavorful, faux-fancy feast.

It’s the perfect post-work dish when your brain’s drained and your tummy’s grumbling, and it messies minimal dishes.

fixins_risotto

Ingredients:
2 tbl olive oil
2 tbl + 2 tbl butter
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 quart veggie broth
1 cup pearled barley
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ c parmesan cheese + more for garnish
mixins_risotto
4 oz mushrooms
1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 bunch asparagus
arugula
salt + pepper to taste
Onions + Thyme

Start by sautéing your onions in olive oil, stir for about 1 minute and then add your garlic and two tablespoons of butter. Add your thyme and continue cooking until onions become soft and fragrant (note: I love onions and was eating sans Boston Boy who does not, if your dining with folks who curl their nose at a lot of onions I recommend using half a chopped onion). While your onion and garlic are softening, pour your quart of veggie stock into a large pot and bring it to a borderline simmer. Add your barley to the pan and stir it around until all ingredients are combined, about 90 seconds. Add a sprinkle of salt to flavor your barley.

Barley + Broth

Then, start ladling in your hot broth to the barley mixture. Add broth one ladle at a time until all the broth is absorbed (this is where it’s nice to start zoning out and stirring, or in my case carrying on a great conversation with One Sock Wonder). Once you reach the point where you’re almost out of broth in your broth pot, lower the heat slightly on your risotto mixture and slow your stir. I do this mainly out of necessity to free my hands to prep my other veggies.

mushrooms_beans_cheese_risotto

Sauté mushrooms (I used a mix of oyster, baby bella, and shiitake, yum!) in two tablespoons of butter and season with salt and pepper. Once browned and cooked, transfer your mushrooms into the risotto mixture (hopefully the risotto is still a little soupy and has some liquid to absorb). Stir in your white beans to the mix. Next, chop your asparagus in half (hamburger style) and then blanch it, so it maintains a nice crunch in the risotto. Continue stirring your risotto until most of the final ladle of liquid is absorbed and then add your parmesan cheese, season with salt & pepper. Stir in until the cheese melts and give it a taste. You want your risotto to be slightly al dente. Once it reaches desired consistency, remove from heat and plate with asparagus and arugula.

The beauty of this recipe is you can improvise with whatever’s on hand – innovate with your beans and greens – use the barley as the base and get weird with whatever ingredients you feel like or have on hand. With the right fixin’s, this dish will be delish with any mixin’s.

xoxo,

julia

coconut cream pie

coconut cream pieHappy Pi Day, Hungry Texans! In celebration, I wanted to share a Lovett family favorite. We fell in love with this pie during childhood trips to Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans, and it wasn’t long before Big Daddy perfected it and this coconut cream pie became the dessert de résistance of every dinner party.

I took a couple creative liberties with Daddio’s classic – 3 mini pies instead of one big one (it’s the closest I could get to 3.14!) & adding coconut oil to the crust, but the core is the same and the proof is in the pudding…or in this case, the coconut custard!

Try it for yourself!coconute_pie_crust_ingredients

Coconut Crust

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp table salt
1 tbl sugar
6 tbl cold unsalted butter, cubed
¼ cup coconut oil
2 tbl vodka, cold
2 tbl cold water

Coconut Filling

Coconut Custard

2 ¼ cups whole milk
¾ cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for the egg whites
3 egg yolks
¼ cup cornstarch
1 ½ tsp vanilla
2 cups toasted coconut
1 tbl butter

 

For your crust (which you can make a few days in advance if you’re feeling crafty!), start by pulsing sugar, 1/2 of your flour, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and coconut oil. Pulse, pulse, pulse and then add the rest of your flour. Remove from the food processor and transfer into a bowl. Trickle your water and vodka (vodka helps prevent pie crust from getting goopy & too sticky!) on top of your mixture and combine gently with a spatula. The coconut oil will give it a little bit of a crumblier texture, but it should get pretty smooth.

Next, press your dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes in the fridge (or a quick 15 in the freezer). When you’re ready to bake, roll your dough out on a well-floured surface. I divided and rolled my dough into thirds for three itty bitty pies. Fold your dough into your lightly greased pie pan and then mold the crust to the pan (don’t forget to poke it!). Bake at 425 until golden brown. I admittedly could have used some pie weights for these itty bitty pies (my crusts won’t win a beauty contest!), but if your crusts start to rise, I recommend smooshing them down with the back of a spoon while they’re still warm.

Pie Crust Steps

Now, for the custard. This custard’s super simple and quite similar to the custard we made for our Mardi Gras King Cake. Start by heating your milk and sugar in a small saucepan until it starts to simmer. While your milk is heating, whisk your egg yolks together and set aside. When your milk is the desired temp, pour a little bit into your egg mixture to temper the eggs (we want to make sure we don’t scramble our yolks!). Stir, stir, stir, and then combine the egg and milk mixture completely.

coconut Custard

Return your milky-egg mixture to the heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, add in your corn starch. Stir completely and then remove from heat. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then stir in vanilla & coconut! Let your custard cool completely before even thinking about filling your crusts (no one wants a soggy crust!). Once your custard has cooled, fill your crusts and refrigerate until ready to serve. Right before you’re ready to serve, top with whipped cream (or a meringue if you’re into that…these Hungry Texans prefer heavy whipping cream over egg whites, thank you very much!). Slice and enjoy, or if if you’re making the personal size – grab a fork and forget about swimsuit season!

custard filled crusts

three little pies

You’d be (coco)nuts not to love this pie!

xoxo,

HungryTexans

chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies Hero

You know those weeks where everything goes more wrong than right? Maybe some boo boos happened at work, or you had to walk home in the rain without an umbrella, or you got a flat tire, or you’re running on relatively little sleep, or you flaunted bare legs expecting 60 degree temps when it dropped to the 30s, or you witnessed a borderline-fist-fight on your bus, or left your shampoo and conditioner at the gym and it’s taken you 4 days to replenish so you’ve been washing your hair with hotel samples – just to name a few things that might sour this Hungry Texans’ week. What better way to turn a sour week sweet than a comforting batch of chocolate chip cookies?

I made these cookies attempting to emulate Levain Bakery’s quarter pound cookies (out of this world!). Mine were far shy of a quarter pound (although 2 cookies deep & plenty of cookie dough later, I might be close to a quarter pound consumed). The beauty of these cookies is they combine the best of both worlds – crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. Yum! Yum!

Whip up a batch (this is a half batch) and watch all your sorrows melt away.

Ingredients_ChocChip cookies

1 stick butter
½ c brown sugar
¼ c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¼ + ⅛ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp baking soda
¼ + ⅛ tsp sea salt
¼ + ⅛ tsp cornstarch
1 ¾ c flour
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup dark chocolate chips

Steps_ChocolateChipCookies with labels

In the bowl of a stand mixer start by creaming together your butter and both sugars. Add your vanilla. Add an egg. Add your dry ingredients. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, remove the paddle attachment, and fold in your chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookies + Fold Chocolate Chips

Start balling your dough (think golf ball size or bigger)– don’t pack them too tight & your dough balls can be a little sloppy — and place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Put your balled dough in the freezer to chill for 10-15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350.

Ball 'em up! Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Don’t be scared to take these guys out while they’re still a little soft. They’ll harden as they cool and taking them out early will help ensure a nice rare center.

Beware of belly aches!

xoxo,

a sugar-rushed Hungry Texan

valentine’s day rice krispies

photo (73)

Happy Valentine’s Day, Hungry Texans-verse! If you’re looking for a quick treat to shower upon your loved ones today whip up a batch of fruit-filled rice krispies!

Five simple ingredients and voila!

2 sticks of butter
2 bags of mini marshmellows
1 12 oz box of rice krispies
1 bag of craisins
1 cup chopped apricots

The two tricks to this recipe are opting for the stove over the microwave & adding in some chopped fruit to add a little flavor “pop” to the puffed rice “snap” and “crackle”. Brown your butter on the stove. Stir and melt marshmellows into your browned butter. Add rice krispies & dried fruit. Spread your mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Let cool 20-25 minutes and then use cookie cutters to cut into your desired shapes.

Childhood nostalgia with fruity pizazz!

Hope your Valentine’s Day snaps, crackles, and pops!

xoxo,

HungryTexans