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Wednesday
Mar092011

Italian Breadstick Popcorn

Italian Breadstick Popcorn

Did you know that popcorn has more protein than any other cereal grain, more iron than spinach, more phosphorous than pretzels, and almost as much fiber as bran flakes? Yeah, me neither. I already knew that popcorn was a healthy snack choice to make because it so low in calories, but wow! With impressive credentials like that, I am beginning to think I should eat popcorn more often.

Like, every single day.

Italian Breadstick Popcorn

I recently starting making my own popcorn on the stove top and it has made quite the difference. The popcorn tastes so much fresher (and I never have old maids left over). I can adjust the salt and oil content myself, which gives me the power to control my popcorn's destiny.

If you haven't tried cooking stove top popcorn, I suggest you give it a shot. I use the Whirley Pop which hasn't made me a bad batch yet. I recommend it if you are in the market for a popcorn popper (and no, I'm not be bribed to say this). It works well for me; I have no reason to believe it won't work well for you.

Italian Breadstick Popcorn

This popcorn is incredibly addictive. Popcorn on its own can be addictive but these seasonings take it to a new level. The basil brings out the Italian flavor and the garlic salt makes the popcorn reminiscent of a good breadstick. Each kernel manages to pack a punch of flavor without adding extra calories from butter, caramel, or other toppings. If you are looking for a way to spice up your popcorn, you should give this a shot. You won't be disappointed.

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Sunday
Mar062011

Yeasted Waffles

yeasted waffles

I was never one who really enjoyed waffles. Whenever they were on the menu, I'd complain (loudly) and begrudgingly stomach one. I could stand them if need be, but I didn't really like them. They were always too thick, too chewy, too soggy, or too thin. They never were just the right combination of these characteristics. Perhaps this makes me a waffle snob.

I used to eat waffles covered with a thick spread of peanut butter and jelly. I quickly learned that waffles are not a substitute for bread. However, I'll hesitantly admit that I don't really mind toaster waffles that much (I know, I know). But seriously, who are they (and I) trying to kid? They are nothing like real waffles.

Perhaps I am not a waffle snob after all.

yeasted waffles

Lately, I've noticed yeasted waffles being touted as the "best waffle ever" throughout the internet. This makes me wonder—could it be true? Today I decided to put them to the test. If I couldn't like the "best waffle ever", then there is no hope that I could ever enjoy them.

Luckily for all of us, these really are the best waffles ever. I ate four. Yes, four. Call me converted.

I know the word "yeast" can scare off a few of you, but these are an absolute cinch to make and you couldn't mess them up unless you really, really tried. Scout's honor. Simply throw a few ingredients into a bowl, allow it to sit overnight, and in the morning you'll have perfect waffles.

Perfect waffles.

I just wanted to point that out again.

yeasted waffles

These yeasted waffles are really something special. The outside is crisp and crunchy while the inside stays moist and tender. They are not too thick or thin and never soggy (unless you drown them in too much syrup). Make these because they are delicious and easy. Make these because you've also been curious about the best waffle ever. Make these because you'll never look back.

Perfect waffles.

It needed to be said one more time.

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Friday
Mar042011

Coconut Cream Cupcakes

coconut cream cupcakes

Lately, I've been having a streak of recipe failures. Normally, I'm okay with a failed recipe or two (and even then once every blue moon). After I stop whining and complaining (kicking, screaming, crying), I find there's usually something to learn. Maybe I didn't have the right ratio of flour to fats. Maybe I substituted an ingredient I really shouldn't have. There are dozens of things that could have gone wrong and it's my job as the baker/detective to sort it out. I'm okay with solving baking crimes (well, it is a crime to see good food go to waste!). What I'm not okay with is a failed recipe where there was nothing to learn and I have no idea what went wrong.

That just makes me mad.

coconut cream cupcakes

In the past week, I've had four recipes go sour. Four. I didn't share my lemon mousse with the texture verging on cottage cheese. I chose not to show you my coffee poached pears with the nightmare coffee caramel sauce. I even tried steaming some vegetables with a little vinegar and only ended up with a home that reeked of Little House on the Prairie. It's been a bad week for my kitchen. It's been a blow to my culinary confidence. I'm almost nervous to try something new for fear it will end up in the trash (again).

But these coconut cream cupcakes? These broke that awful streak (thank goodness). I honestly can't think of a change I'd do to make these better. These are just perfect.

coconut cream cupcakes

These coconut cream cupcakes are reminiscent of a coconut cream pie. The cupcake is a traditional vanilla cupcake absolutely infused with coconut, including coconut milk and flaked coconut mixed throughout. If that isn't good enough, these cupcakes are then filled with a toasted coconut cream. Toasted coconut. They are finally topped with a vanilla whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted coconut. These are addictive and so delicious. If you love coconut, you need to make these.

I should have called them Coconut Dream Cupcakes.

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