2012′s 12 Months of Giveaways {Giveaway 9: Everyday Food }

Everyday Food Magazine

It’s September12th, so it’s giveaway time again. This month one reader will win a one-year (10 issue) subscription to Everyday Food magazine. This handy publication of practical recipes is one of Martha Stewart’s side projects. You really want to win it now, don’t you?

When I started this whole 12 Months of Giveaways project back in January, it seemed like a good idea. Now that it’s in the home stretch, I’m wondering if brilliance or madness was behind it all. I’m leaning towards the latter. What I’m trying to say is, I’m running out of giveaways I think you might like.

Since I can think of nothing all that overwhelmingly interesting to ask of you, it’s up to you to tell me what you think I should know. Maybe you’d like to suggest giveaway ideas? Leave any comment your heart desires on this blog post to enter.

Sometimes I ask you to follow Love & Flour on Facebook or Twitter, but you know what, maybe I should follow you! If you have a page I should know about, let me know in a comment below or on the L&F wall.  Or send me a Tweet (I love tweets. To me, they are like little pieces of cyber candy.) Any such social media activity you engage in will earn an additional entry.

As for the fine print, the contest will end at 1201 a.m. EST on September 29. I will use a random number generator to select the winner.

Good Luck!!

***This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you for entering!***

Coffee, Donuts & Cookies

Coffee and Donut Cookies

I do not recall exactly when my love affair with donuts began. All I know is I love donuts in nearly every form. I love the fraternal twins of the donut world – the classic sugared and the traditional glazed. I love plump round donuts that hold delightful little bites of custard or jelly. I love oblong donuts filled with veins of pastry cream.

I love the beauties coated in frosting and their cousins adorned with sprinkles. I love the heart-shaped ones that show up around valentine’s day. I love the red, white and blue sprinkled ones at 4th of July as much as I love the orange and black sprinkled ones at Halloween. I love them all. Well, except for the plain ones. I’m with this girl when it comes to plain donuts.

Coffee and Donut Cookies

There was once a box of donuts in the office, and I overheard someone remark, “LeAndra will want the sprinkled one.” What? How could my co-workers see past my “I’m sick of ego-driven nonsense, let’s just get this sh!t done”  attitude and into my fun, loving, sprinkle-adoring soul? I guess donuts bring out the best in us all.

And about donuts in the office, I think this pretty much sums it up: “Mr. Scorpio says productivity is up two percent, and it’s all because of my motivational techniques, like donuts and the possibility of more donuts to come.”  –Homer Simpson

Despite my love for them, I eat a donut maybe once or twice a month. I am rapidly aging, and my metabolism simply can not keep up with a donut-based diet.  Unlike donuts, I begin most every morning with a cup of coffee.  So when I came across a cookie recipe that combined the two, I was sold.

Coffee and Donut Cookies

The recipe was a bit vague, as well as a bit large with an original yield of 100 cookies! It did not clarify if cake donuts or fried donuts would make a better cookie. I opted for fried because, like plain donuts, I do not like cake donuts all that much. As for the yield, I halved the ingredients with the exception of the eggs and the vanilla.

I was not sure how to best halve an egg, so I used two instead of the three called for in the original. In regards to the vanilla, I once read doubling the vanilla in a recipe often improves its taste. I cannot vouch for the scientific accuracy behind that idea, but I like vanilla so I rarely halve it when messing around with measurements.

The recipe calls for espresso powder for the coffee flavor. I happen to be partial to Savory Spice Shop’s Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice. It combines coffee with cocoa, cinnamon,  nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, mace and ginger. I am beginning to love that spice mixture as much as I love donuts.

Coffee and Donut Cookies

As I draw this segment to a close, I think it is important to note I am not alone in my love for donuts. June 1 is National Donut Day. We spell their name not one, but two, ways: do you like donuts or doughnuts? In fact, we think they are so special that we keep them behind glass cases. You know what else we keep behind glass cases? Diamonds! And the delicious flavor of donuts can be enjoyed in both vodka and beer (though preferably not at the same time).

In the event you are adamantly opposed to eating donuts for health reasons, take into account the advice of Lewis Black: “If you stop eating donuts, you will live three years longer. It’s just 3 more years that you want a donut.” If you are still opposed, you can paint donut sprinkles on your nails for what it likely the only healthy donut fix.

I thought few things could go together as well as coffee and donuts. Then I baked them in a cookie. Enjoy!

Coffee and Donut Cookies

Coffee Donut Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert (or breakfast)
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • For the Cookies
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ sticks butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso power or coffee spice
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ tablespoons corn syrup
  • 6 ounces donuts or donut holes, cut into small pieces
  • For the Glaze
  • 1¼ cups confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup strongly brewed coffee
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter, the sugars and the espresso powder or coffee spice until light and fluffy.
  3. In a small bowl, lightly beat together the eggs and the vanilla extract. Slowly add this mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Add the corn syrup to the mixing bowl.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  6. Use a large spoon or spatula to gently fold in the pieces of donut.
  7. Place the cookies by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. When cool, glaze with a mixture of confectioners' sugar and strongly brewed coffee. Sift the confectioners' sugar in a bowl to remove lumps, then stir in the coffee. Pour a spoonful of glaze over each cookie.
Notes
I do not have a kitchen scale, so I used 3 glazed donuts as approximate six ounces of donuts/donut holes.
 

Savory Saturday: Bread Pudding

Savory Bread Pudding

I do not recall encountering bread pudding prior to making my home in the South. It was not a traditional dessert served at family dinners, nor was it seen all that much in  Ohio or Florida where I lived before. (Notice I do not consider Florida a part of the south. That state has a uniqueness all its own.)

Only once in recent years did bread pudding make its appearance at home. (Notice I still refer to home as the place my mother resides despite living in an area with a different zip code). My grandmother brought a homemade bread pudding to a holiday gathering. I don’t remember much about that dessert except no one really expected a bread pudding to make an appearance. But she made it because that is what sounded good to her. I can appreciate that!

Savory Bread Pudding

I can also appreciate this savory bread pudding. Up until now, I had only considered the dish as a type of dessert. As it turns out, this was not all that bright on my part since my mom has made what essentially amounts to a savory bread pudding to enjoy on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember. Except we call it a casserole. Ah, semantics.

Her traditional bread pudding, a.k.a. egg  casserole, uses a loaf of white bread and features cheddar and ham. This savory bread pudding uses a baguette and features the flavors of Gruyere and vegetables. I can happily report it is rather delicious. The flavors meld together so nothing is overpowering. What’s more, the dish is filling without feeling too heavy.

Savory Bread Pudding

 

I do not have much experience with bread puddings, but given they do not require a whole lot of technical expertise, and they make use of my favorite food (bread), I anticipate making a few more in the future.

If you are in a sweet mood, click on over for a Tiramisu Bread Pudding or a S’mores Bread Pudding recipe.  If you are in the Charlotte area and want to order a good bread pudding, the best I’ve tasted thus far is over at Fran’s Filling Station. Until the next sweet treat, enjoy a Savory Saturday!

Savory Bread Pudding

Savory Bread Pudding
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2½ cups milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese (Gruyere preferred)
  • 1 stale baguette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ large red onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
Instructions
  1. Cut a stale baguette into 1-inch cubes. You should have about 8 cups of cubed bread. If the bread is not stale, simply dry it on a sheet pan in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the mustard, thyme leaves, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  3. Whisk in the milk and the cheese.
  4. Placed the bread cubes in a large bowl, then pour the liquid mixture over the bread. Stir to coat, and allow the mixture to soak into the bread for 15-30 minutes. You may need to stir the bread a few times as it soaks.
  5. While the bread soaks, prepare the vegetables.
  6. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  7. Saute the chopped onion and mushrooms until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one more minute.
  8. Stir the cooked onion and mushroom mixture and the thawed spinach into the soaked bread. Be sure to squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible before stirring it into the bread.
  9. Use the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to grease a 9 x 13 dish. Pour the bread and vegetable mixture into the prepared dish.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. The bread will be browned and the mixture bubbling when it comes out of the oven.
Notes
This dish can be prepared up to one day in advance. Simply refrigerate the mixture until ready to bake.