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coffeebuddha in commfornoms

So. Many. Recipes.

This was originally posted October 12, 2010 to my personal journal.

It's FALL! Which means the season of eating has officially started. Hurray! I love food. I love food more than is healthy, which is why my hips are wide and my stomach is squishy. In light of the cooling weather, I decided to share a few of my favorite recipes-some old, some new-which make for perfect comfort food. These are pretty much the recipes as I have them written down-with the exception of the coconut soup, which I'll explain when I get there-but it's worth noting that I tend to use recipes more as a guide than anything else. I like to fiddle with them as I go, so the recipes below aren't exactly the same as what I'd do in my own kitchen.

Pumpkin Bread
I picked this recipe up in a cooking class I took in high school and I've been going back to it ever since. My physical copy of it is so stained that it's a good thing I have it practically memorized. I usually double this recipe when I make it so that I have two standard sized loaves instead of just one. That way I can freeze a loaf and pull it out later when I'm craving something sweet or have people coming over and no time to cook. Of all the adapted gluten free recipes I do, this is probably my favorite. I don't know why, but the gluten free flour I hand mix is amazing in quick breads. It works okay in other things, but it makes my quick breads taste better than they do with regular flour.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg (1/2 teaspoon of each, that is)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin (canned)
  • extra cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients well. Add wet ingredients and mix well. Grease bread pan. Mix extra cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and sugar and coat the bottom of the pan with them. Cook for one hour.


Apple Bread
Like my pumpkin bread, I like this better with my gluten free flour than with real flour, but it's delicious either way. No real story to this one. It's just a good time of year to cook with apples. On a side note, I didn't notice how much I abbreviate when I write down recipes until I went from looking at my pumpkin bread recipe, where everything is written out as cup and teaspoon, to looking at the index card with this one, where everything is just c and ts.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of finely diced apples
Preheat oven to 325F. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and mix well. The batter should be thick, almost more like cookie dough. Fold in apples, which should make the batter much wetter. Bake 1 hour, 15 minutes in a greased bread pan.

Coconut and Tofu Thai Soup
This is where things get a little tricky, kittens. See, when I bake, I more or less follow the recipe. Yes, I experiment and add or subtract ingredients that I don't like, but the basics stay pretty much true to what's written. That isn't how I cook. When I cook, I cook by taste. I don't even touch my measuring cups. That makes sharing this recipe a lot more difficult than the other ones. But that doesn't mean I won't try! First I'm going to show you guys exactly what I have written on my index card so you can scratch your heads and say '...wtf?', and then I'll make some mental calculations and try and write it up in a way that might produce actual food.

Index card!Recipe:
combine zest, lemongrass, ginger, and c milk in saucepan w/ stock
bring to boil, then simmer 5-10 min
add curry paste 1/2 ts at time to taste
add tofu, sugar, soy sauce, and salt
simmer 10 more min
add lime juice to taste

That's it. That's my exact recipe. Let's try to decipher that, shall we?

Ingredients:
  • 1 lime
  • about 2 teaspoons of lemongrass paste
  • about 2 teaspoons of ginger paste
  • about 2 cups of coconut milk (you're not supposed to substitute cream of coconut for coconut milk, but I do because I have a sweet tooth the size of China)
  • about 4-5 cups of vegetable broth (I just buy a smaller thing[is there a name for those weird cardboard containers that broths come in? You know, they're usually rectangular with a spout on the top?] of broth and dump the entire thing in.)
  • red curry paste to taste (The recipe I adapted for my soup said not to exceed 2 teaspoons of curry paste, but if you use the cream of coconut you're going to have to use closer to 2 tablespoons before you really taste even a little kick over the sweetness. I'd still only add a little at a time though.)
  • Standard sized container of extra firm tofu
  • sugar (Do not add this if you're using the cream of coconut.)
  • salt
  • soy sauce
Take your lime and zest it(grate the peel off of the outside). Pour broth and coconut milk/cream into a large saucepan and stir until mixed well(This is going to take a little longer if you're using the cream because it needs time to break down in the broth.). Stir in your zest, ginger, and lemongrass. Bring it to a boil, then let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add curry paste to taste, stirring so that it mixes well. Add sugar, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Start with SMALL amounts. Cut tofu into small cubes and add. Simmer 10 more minutes. Cut lime in half and squeeze in juice to taste. Serve.

One of the things I love about this recipe is that it saves so well. For a quick next day meal, make up a serving of rice and pour some of the cold soup and tofu chunks over it. Delish!

Coffee Brownies
This is a brand new recipe for me. I literally made it for the first time two days ago, but it's already a favorite. I had to cobble together two other brownie recipes that I'd never attempted before to make it, so y'all had best appreciate it! ;)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
Boil water, add coffee grounds, mix well, and set aside. Melt butter, add sugar, and mix. Heat the butter and sugar a second time(this can all be done in a microwave, but I prefer to use a stove) until it's nice and shiny. Don't let it boil, but melting your sugar a little bit more will give your brownies a nice top when they're done baking. Mix coffee grounds and your sugar/butter in a large mixing bowl. This is one of the few recipes where I prefer to use a whisk for the entire thing. Mix well. Stir in cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Next, add eggs, beating until smooth. Add flour and beat until completely combined. Stir in chips and pour into a greased pan. Bake for about 30 minutes.

I think that's it for today!

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