Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Chocolate Cupcakes [Zack]

I love cupcakes. I think they’re in the top 3 of my favorite types of desserts. They are customizable, and are great conduits to different types of icing combinations. Since it’s the fall and Halloween is approaching, I made a roasted pumpkin cream cheese frosting to celebrate. This is a small iteration change from my pumpkin cream cheese spread.

If you're looking for a funky fall-appropriate cupcake topping, give pumpkin cream cheese icing a try!


Bake chocolate cupcakes per your favorite recipe.  Let them cool on the side while you prepare your icing.

Pre-heat your oven to 350F / 175C. Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the guts (you can squeeze the seeds out and toast them in butter, brown sugar, and a touch of salt). Slice the outer skin off of the pumpkin and cube it into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss in a bit of vegetable oil and salt lightly.

Roast the pumpkin in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the pieces are soft. Let it cool off for about 5 mins.

Put the cream cheese into a food processor and add the 1 cup of pumpkin and puree. Sprinkle cinnamon to taste and run the food processor again. Add the powdered sugar (to taste).

Top the cupcakes once they are cooled down.

And serve to friends!

1 cup / 200g Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin
1 sprinkle cinnamon
4T powdered sugar
1-2 T of veg oil to roast the pumpkin

Song:  Biz Markie's Halloween Beat Box of the Day

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Cinnamon Cream Cheese [Zack]

Pumpkin and cinnamon are the two flavors that most remind me of fall.  This 3 ingredient spread is simple and very flavorful.

The pumpkin adds sweetness without the need of sugar and the cream cheese adds a savory depth.  It checks the box for my favorite savory-sweet flavor combination and is great to serve during brunch.


Pre-heat your oven to 350F / 175C.  Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the guts (you can squeeze the seeds out and toast them in butter, brown sugar, and a touch of salt).  Slice the outer skin off of the pumpkin and cube it into 1/2 inch pieces.  Toss in a bit of vegetable oil and salt lightly.

Roast the pumpkin in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the pieces are soft.  Let it cool off for about 5 mins.

Put the cream cheese into a food processor and add the 1 cup of pumpkin and puree.  Sprinkle cinnamon to taste and run the food processor again.

Serve with toast or scones.

1 cup / 200g Philadelphia cream cheese
1 cup roasted pumpkin
1 sprinkle cinnamon
1-2 T of veg oil to roast the pumpkin

Song:  Gorillaz - HillBilly Man
Hillbilly Man by Gorillaz on Grooveshark

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mushroom, Spinach, and Emmental Quiche [Zack]

Quiche is one of our weekend go-to meals.  It gives us a great opportunity to use up a lot of odds and ends from our fridge.  Most everything works well together - here are some examples of our most recent quiches:

  • spinach, goat cheese, pumpkin, pine nuts
  • roasted red pepper, leeks, feta cheese
  • sundried tomatoes, pesto, walnuts, haloumi cheese
  • smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion, dill
  • roasted chicken, roasted veggies (squash, eggplant, etc)
  • bacon/speck, onion, potatoes

This is the reason why we keep puff pastry sheets in the freezer.  You don't have to leave the house as long as you have eggs and a few random leftovers that will work together.


Slice the red onion into moons, clean the mushrooms, chop the garlic, and wash the spinach.  Start a pan on medium heat and sautee the onions until starting to slightly brown in butter.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 mins.  Add the garlic and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted.  Make sure there is not excess water in the veg, or else you will have a watery quiche.

Butter a pie pan and patch together the puff pastry sheets to form a crust.  Let your veggies cool off and then put 3/4 of them in the pie crust.  Add some sliced emmental cheese.

Crack your 6 eggs into a bowl, and whisk in 1/2 cup of milk or cream.  Add salt and pepper to the eggs.

Pour the eggs over the veggies in your pie crust and then add the rest of the veg and a few more slices of cheese on top.  You add the second portion to make sure all of the filling isn't grouped on the bottom of the quiche when it's finished cooking.

Bake at 350F/175C for 30-45 minutes until the middle is set.  If the top is browning too quickly, you can put a loose piece of tin foil over the top.


6 eggs
150ml of milk (a little over 1/2 cup of milk)
4 puff pastry sheets
1/2 T of butter
1 medium red onion
3 cloves roasted garlic (or 2 cloves fresh garlic)
1.5 cups mushrooms (I used a mix of 4)
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup sliced or shredded emmental cheese

Quiche Baking Song:  Justin Timberlake - TKO
TKO by Justin Timberlake on Grooveshark

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tomato & Spinach Red Sauce in Under 10 Minutes [Matt]

(Serves 2)

1 Can - 28oz Diced Hunt's Tomatoes (not spiced, seriously.)
1 Handful of Spinach
1 Tbsp Butter (the real stuff.)
Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Salt
Favorite form of spicy Heat

When on any ride over an hour you spend AT LEAST the last half-hour thinking about what you're going to gorge when you get home. Now your stomach is saying, "just grab a stick of butter and put some fat back in dat belly!" while your mind knows that's a terrible idea which will set you back to feeling worse than when you started the session.

I spend this time thinking about what's in my fridge and cabinet that will offer me maximum-recovery benefits while not tasting like the bottom of a shoe.

Tonight I got impromptu-ly excited about red sauce. Normally I'll cook up a batch of Bolognese over half a day, but my stomach and patients have no time for that. 

So, here's the best way to play it in order to make the ~10 minute deadline before hunger-induced death ensues:

Get your pasta water started first and crank the heat. Don't use more water than is necessary. I keep homemade pasta stocked in my freezer (get that pinky up), but it cooks faster and tastes noticeably better. Or, just follow the directions on the side of your noodle box.

Break out your favorite 10+" sauce pan. Plop 1 Tbsp butter in the middle as you crank the heat to High. Toss in the handful of spinach and stir as the butter begins to melt.

While the spinach starts to wilt in the pan, quickly open your can of diced tomatoes. Use the lid to strain out the extra liquid into your sink.

Once the spinach is looking limp, dump in garlic powder, spicy-heat-spice of your choosing and salt to taste. Stir that. 

Now dump in the tomatoes.

Bring the sauce to a quick boil, then turn the heat down to about Medium. Add a pinch of brown sugar if the tomatoes aren't sweet enough when tasting the sauce. Also, feel free to utilize the full breadth of your spice rack here. I tossed in some fennel seed and chipotle peppers. 

Once your pasta finishes up, pour it into your sieve to get rid of the excess water. Now, dump those noodles into your sauce pan with the red sauce.

Let that hang out for 1 - 2 minutes. Serve (at this point you could also grate some parmesan, but I didn't have any or really miss it because the flavors melded so well). 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls from Pizza Dough + Yogurt Icing [Zack]

Lauren makes the best cinnamon rolls.  When she makes them, we bash them.  Even after she made a round for some guests we had for a brunch, I still had a hankerin'.

We had some pizza dough that I had made a few days ago sitting in the fridge.  Since we weren't in the mood for pizza, but were in the mood for cinnamon buns, we transformed the dough to the naughty side.

Here's a quick run-through of how it's done!  Measurements were on the fly, so you'll have to just work your way through it.


Start kneading your pizza dough on a lightly floured surface.  Put about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar on the board and work that into the dough.  It will sweeten it up a bit.

Roll out the dough out into a rectangle, and cover the whole thing with melted butter.  Don't be stingy.  Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon and coat the entire area of the dough.

Butter a baking dish.  Roll the dough like a cigar and slice into rounds about 1 inch thick.

Place them into the baking dish and let it rest for 30 mins while your oven heats up.  If you want, you can brush the tops with butter and add more brown sugar/cinnamon to the top.  I did.

Heat up your oven to 400F / 200C and pop the cinnamon buns into the oven for about 15 minutes.  When the tops are starting to brown and aren't doughy, they are finished.

Meanwhile, mix some powdered sugar into plain vanilla yogurt.  The powdered sugar will thicken up the mixture and make icing.  I added some of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture because I made too much.  The yogurt makes it nice and tangy!

Remove the rolls from the oven, let them rest for as long as you can stand, and then top with the yogurt icing.


pizza dough
brown sugar
powdered sugar

Song:  Tyrese - Signs of Love Makin'
Tyrese - Signs of Lovemaking by Tyrese on Grooveshark

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Quick Time Oven Fries [Rhonda]

These fries are super easy and can cook while you get the rest of the dinner underway. They're perfect with burgers but can fancy up next to roasted chicken or a grilled pork chop.

There's one magic ingredient. So shop for it and keep it stocked. (It's good for grilling meat, too.)

Potatoes (Idaho, if you've got)
Olive oil
Cayenne pepper (optional for some, a must for me)
Smoked paprika
Magic ingredient: McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Slice the potatoes into long chunky slivers, dump into a mixing bowl, pour a little olive oil over to lightly coat, sprinkle the dry ingredients in, toss.

Spread onto a cookie sheet, making sure they're not clustered together and can crisp nicely on their own. Sprinkle a little more McCormick's on top, a bit more smoked paprika, and another sprinkle of salt. Bake in upper part of the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave them in there for another 10 minutes or so to insure crispness. Serve immediately.

Suggested soundtrack: Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home"