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Peach Cobbler Muffins

by Emma on May 3, 2012

in Breakfast,Dessert

Warning: the following story is about crumb topping. And it goes no where. Read at your own risk.

When I was in high school we had this group called DECA; I wasn’t a member and to be honest I can’t remember what that stands for. But they had something to do with business… and they sold Otis Spunkmeyer products. Mostly cookies, but a lot of crumb topping muffins too. My friend Kyle got the blueberry muffins all the time. And I learned two things from Kyle while we were in high school together: 1. If the muffin doesn’t have crumb topping don’t even bother eating it, it’s not worth it. 2. When you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich you have to put peanut butter on both slices and then jelly in the middle. Otherwise by lunch time you will have that weird side were the jelly has seeped in to the bread; in a bad way.

For the most part, I think Kyle was right about both of these observations. Now, I’m not saying I would turn down a muffin just because it doesn’t have a crumb topping… but I am saying that if it does have a crumb topping then I am exponentially more like to eat it. If then. It’s a logic horse shoe thing (if you get that then you may have wasted as much time in college as me).

In high school I had no idea what crumb topping was, or how to make it for that matter. I was baking challenged. Way too busy wearing Air Walks and participating in student government (yeah, I’ve been cool for a long time). But now I totally get it: crumb topping is another way to add more butter and sugar to any muffin recipe. Genius!

Peach Cobbler Muffins, makes 12, adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook (if you haven’t checked out Joy’s cookbook yet you totally should)

For the muffins: 1 1/2 cups flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 1/3 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and  1 1/2 cup diced peach slices (I used frozen, then thawed ).

In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl cream together the softened butter, egg, yolk, milk and extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, then stir in the peach slices. Spoon batter into a prepared baking pan.

For the crumb topping: 4 tablespoons cold butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash together using your clean hands until its… crumbly. Sprinkle over the muffin batter before baking. Bake at 350 F for 16-18 minutes.


Risotto Basics

by Emma on May 1, 2012

in Dinner

I think the first time I ever made risotto was about three years ago. You know what’s weird, I don’t think I have actually ever eaten risotto at a restaurant. Every time I’ve ever had it, I’ve made it. I believe I first got into it because the main character in a murder mystery novel I was reading made risotto and I thought that sounded pretty cool. Plus that character was british, really into philosophy and she solved murders… so she seemed like she knew what was what. And that’s how my love of risotto first began. It was a food obsession of mine for a while, and then life kept going and it had probably been almost 2 years since I’d made it.

Until a few months ago; the boyfriend and I have recently gone through a bit of a risotto kick. I think it has mainly come about for a few reasons: creamy cheesy rice is delicious—why would you not want to eat that all the time, its super easy to make, it’s a very easy dish to make vegetarian (or pescatarian) and we bought a big container of arborio rice and I really only know how to make two things with arborio rice (risotto and rice pudding). So the risotto food obsession has seen a reoccurrence in my life; and I’m welcoming it back like an old friend.

Basic Risotto, makes 2-3 servings.

Needed: 1 cup arborio rice (you can use other rices but the texture will not be the same), 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or whatever stock you like), 1/2 cup wine (white or red, or use more stock if you don’t like/have wine), 1/4 cup chopped onion (any kind), 2-3 tablespoons oil or butter, 1/2 cup shredded cheese (any kind, my favorites for risotto are parmesan or Gruyère but be adventurous!). You can add chopped herbs, pesto or a couple of tablespoons of cream if you like. I usually make some kind of sautéed vegetables to go with it too, whatever is in season or just in your refrigerator is great.

In a deep pot over medium/high heat sauté the chopped onions in the oil until they begin to soften. Add in the dry rice and continue to sauté until the grains begin to look translucent. While you are doing this have another pot over low heat with the stock and wine in it. Begin ladling a big scoop (or two) of the stock mixture into the rice. Stir. Stir. Stir. Once the liquid has mostly absorbed into the rice add another spoonful or two and keep stirring. Taste the risotto once most of the liquid has been added, season with salt and pepper (or whatever you think it needs). Once the rice is done stir in the cheese (and any optional ingredients you want). Serve hot and creamy with a side of anything.

xo. Emma


Love Notes and Glass Etching

by Emma on April 30, 2012

in Craft

I just had the most fantastic weekend! The mister and I took a little weekend trip for his birthday and his lovely sister had us over and created an amazing seven course dinner. Yep, you read that correct, seven courses. It was divine. :) I create this little love notes photo book as part of his birthday present. You can see more pictures and my super easy tutorial here.

I also had the chance to try out glass etching last  week. You can read about my adventures here. I love trying new things in general but this was especially fun because it felt like two parts craft project and one part science! I’m still chipping away at my 2012 craft challenge and these are projects #21 and 22. We are almost half way there folks!

On a side note, can you believe tomorrow is the first day of May?! It felt like April was here one day and now gone tomorrow. Geez. xo. Emma


Ice Ice Baby

by Emma on April 27, 2012

in Breakfast

It’s ice coffee season—finally! I am a coffee person. All the way. Love coffee. Probably drink it too much. If you like tea we can still be friends. Coffee is awesome.

I love to get coffee out but I try to brew my own at home most of the time. It just seems more economical. So while I spring for a latte here and there I am always trying to perfect my own at-home coffee favorites. A current favorite of mine is salted caramel ice coffee!

The only real trick to making iced coffee at home is that it involves a little more planning, because cold brewing coffee takes time. I use a french press to make coffee at home; to cold brew I simply coarsely grind my coffee beans (I use about a tablespoon or two more than when I am hot brewing, because ice coffee needs to be a bit stronger because it gets watered down with ice) add them to my press, fill with filtered (cold) water and let that set overnight. In the morning I’m ready to press and go! I love adding a spoonful of caramel with a little sprinkle of sea salt. And I love me some cream in my coffee.

Have fun making your own ice coffee this season! xo. Emma