Hosting people can be more work than it is fun. My philosophy is the less work you have to do, the higher the chances are of maintaining a good relationship with your guests after they’ve left. I often keep in … Continue reading
True confessions: I didn’t like pancakes when I was a kid. Truth is, my mom never made fresh pancakes when I was a kid. My idea of a pancake for a long time was the kind that was pre-made and … Continue reading
Once upon an undergrad day, I used to be able to drink three days in a row, barely feel it and still make it to 9am lecture. However, hangovers are a completely different monstrosity when you are in your late 20s. But … Continue reading
Switzerland, land of cheese, watchmaking, the Alps, neutrality, and one of the most beautiful, picturesque European countries I’ve visited. I will admit while enjoy views of icy blue lakes, snowy Alp peaks and quaint villages, I was stuffing my mouth with … Continue reading
If we are the land of the pancake, bacon and eggs grand slam breakfasts (or acai bowls and fresh pressed juice if you’re from southern California), then Australia is the land of avocado toasts. If there’s one thing I learned … Continue reading
Like the rest of California, I have an obsession with breakfast and brunch. A lot of nights, it’s what I fall asleep thinking about. Here’s a easy and fairly quick recipe for hot breakfast. If you have time to scramble … Continue reading
My days are usually pretty packed – especially in the mornings. That’s why I like to a good breakfast in the morning. Like many people, I’m usually in a rush to get out the door too, so here’s a very quick recipe to jump start a healthy morning and give you the energy you need for the day (or at least to get you there until lunch)! I like to buy a tub of greek yogurt at Costco ($4 for a huge tub!) – it lets you control the amount of sugar in your yogurt versus getting the individual serving cups. Greek yogurt is good not only to eat by itself, but it can be used for baking or made into salad dressings. Quick, healthy and yummy breakfast with items you probably already have in your kitchen!
Honey Banana Yogurt
Prep/total time: 5 min
- 1 cup of Greek Yogurt
- 1 small banana
- 1/2-1 Tbsp honey
- Dash of Vanilla
- Raisins (optional)
- Granola (optional)
Scoop yogurt into a bowl. Top it with fresh sliced banana and drizzle everything with honey and a dash of vanilla. Top with optional raisins and granola. Eat it there or take it on the go! Mix it up and enjoy!
I have clinic on Saturday mornings now, and it’s as bad as it sounds. However, having a delicious breakfast to munch on while works makes it infinitely times more tolerable for me and everyone else. These scones are so quick and easy….quick enough for me to whip up right before work! I usually prepare the dry ingredients the night before and mix in the wet ingredients the next day, then just throw them in the oven! Sprinkle them with a little powdered sugar on top and they make delicious, not overly sweet breakfast treats that go great with coffee and tea! Perfect to impress friends and give their morning a kickstart!
Cranberry Orange Scones
Servings: 16 scones (or 18 mini scones)
Prep time: 10-15 minutes, Total time: 35 minutes
- 3 1/2 cups of flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries – you can virtually use any dried fruit (raisins, currents, ect) and make any kind of scone you want
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2/3 cup melted butter
- 1 1/3 cup buttermilk at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Powdered sugar (optional for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. Sift the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt).
2. Mix in the dried cranberries and orange zest. If you are doing this the night before, save the orange zest for the next day so it doesn’t dry up.
3. Mix the wet ingredients together. Make sure the buttermilk is room temperature so it doesn’t cool and clump up the melted butter.
4. Stir your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients JUST UNTIL everything is wet. If a little of it remains dry, that is Ok. Do NOT overmix!!
5. Make 16 plots on a baking sheet, preferably covered with parchment. I like to use an ice cream scoop and round out the base.
6. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until you see some golden brown edges.
Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top for decoration and enjoy!
Still on my week off of break so I’ve had a lot of time to experiment. The last two days I’ve attempted to make croissants from Julia Child’s recipe, and let me tell you I do not wish that kind of horror on anyone. Slightly hyperbolic, but not too far from it. It was extremely time consuming and a lot of muscle and sweat put into rolling out the dough and folding it many times to get all those 86 layers of buttery flakiness a croissant has. My inspiration was to try to make my own cronut (half croissant, half donut, all delicious). But, if you ever want warm, homemade croissant, Trader Joe’s croissants are THE best way to go. They are the perfect “homemade” croissants you can get. They’ve got buttery and flakiness down to a par and all you have to do is let is sit overnight then bake for 20 min the next day! You’ll never buy those old Costco croissants every again!
Surprisingly, Julia Child’s recipe came out to be more like Viennese croissants rather than French, which is slightly more bread-ier than the French version, but still delicious! A bit of history: croissants actually originated from Vienna and brought to Paris and popularized by Marie Antoinette. To be honest, I’m pretty sure even Marie Antoinette would enjoy some fresh baked Trader Joe’s croissants! They’re that good!! And no, I’m not a spokesperon for Trader Joe’s. Below is the recipe just in case you are brave enough (and have enough time) to try it. Good luck!
Julia Child’s Croissants
Servings: 12 small croissants
Prep Time: 9-10 hours, Total time: 9-10 hours + 15 minutes
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 cups of flour – both Julia Childs and I agree her flour mixture comes out much nice: 2 parts pastry flour, 1 part all purpose. It has a lower gluten content in it which will make rolling out dough MUCH easier and less likely to spring back on you.
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cups Tepid (warm) milk
- Vegetable Oil – unbleached = use 2 Tbsp , bleached = use 4 Tbsp
- 1 stick (4oz) of chilled butter
- 1 egg
1. Mix the first 4 ingredients together (yeast, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tbsp sugar, 1/4 cup warm water). Allow the yeast to start bubbling which tells you the yeast is active.
2. Mix together your the flour, sugar and salt. Incorporate your milk, oil and yeast mixture.
3. Knead your dough. I used a kitchen aid dough hook for about 5 minutes. If you’re using your hands, you can use Julia Child’s slap down method, which includes a lot more fun (and work).
4. Let the dough sit in a bowl and snip a small “X” on top of the dough with scissors.
5. Cover the bowl with a bowl and let it rise for 1hr-1 1/2 hr at room temperature.
6. When your dough has doubled in size, punch down your dough, cover it with plastic wrap and chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.
7. Time to soften your butter! Take out your chilled butter and whack it down with your rolling pin until it is flat and not lumpy. You can use the palm of your hand to work out the lumps. You want the butter to have the same consistency as your dough. You need to work FAST so the butter does not get warm.
8. Flatten your dough to a disc larger than your butter. Place your butter in the center and fold the dough into the center and pinch it to make your “dough package”. You don’t want pieces of butter sticking out!
9. Flour your board very lightly. Roll out your dough package into a rectangle about 14″ inches long, and about 6-7″ wide.
10. Fold it into 3 by folding the top third in, then folding the bottom third over it like a business envelope.
11. Turn the dough envelope so the folds face you and roll it out again to your same rectangle. Repeat step 10.
12. By this time, your dough will be too warm to work with, so you want to chill it again in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
13. Take your dough out after it’s chilled and repeat steps 9-12, but this time chill for 2 hours. (ie roll out twice and chill another 2 hours)
Croissant making time!
14. After 2 hours, take your croissant dough on a lightly floured board. Roll out a rectangle this time about 20″ long and 5″ wide. Cut this piece in half and chill 1 half.
15. Take the other half and roll it out to a rectangle about 12″ long and 5″ wide.
16. Cut this piece into 3 sections and chill 2 sections.
17. Take your one square section and cut it corner to corner so you make 2 triangles. An isosceles triangle is ideal where 2 sides are equal.
18. Start from the bottom of the triangle and start rolling towards the point. Pull the 2 sides of the croissants in. Make sure the point of the triangle is tucked well to the bottom of the croissant and set aside on a baking sheet. You will have 2 croissants made at this point. Do not be distressed if your croissants don’t turn out as beautiful as you normally see them….it takes practice and precision to roll out the dough right! They will still taste yummy!
19. Take your other 2 sections and repeat step 17-18 to make 4 more croissants.
20. Take your other half and repeat steps steps 15-18 to have a total of 12 croissants.
21. Let the croissants rest for 1 hour at room temperature. They will puff a little bit at this time.
22. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Make an egg wash of 1 egg + 1 tbsp water, beating it. Brush this over the top of your croissants. This will give it a beautiful glazed appearance.
23. Bake your croissants for 10 minutes or until golden brown. They will puff up even more and fill your house with yummy smells. Let them cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes.
And voila! as Julia Childs like to say. Bon appetite!