Hi, my name is Sarah.

I used to work at a museum collecting and cataloging marine invertebrates. Then I decided I wanted to go to culinary school and study what I really love: baking. This blog is where I write about the things I bake.

I hope you find these recipes as delicious as I did. Thanks for coming.

Peach Basil Marscapone Muffins

These muffins were inspired by a couple of things. First, the basil plant growing so fast it’s started to shade all the other herbs in the box. Second, the produce lady and the cheese guy at the market across the street.  The cheese guy totally judges me when I buy two pounds of butter at a time. That’s OK, though. I have no shame in the amount of butter I go through. His butter is luscious. So is his marscapone cheese.

But me and the produce lady are tight. Like, free produce tight. She gives me a wink and tosses an extra piece of fruit into my bag every time I buy something from her. Lately that fruit has been a delicious West Virginia peach.

I absolutely love these muffins. The texture is melt in your mouth tender from the marscapone, and the burst of juiciness from the peaches is followed by the surprising herbal flavor from the basil. Everything is balanced together in some of the best muffins I think I have ever made.

Too bad I only got to eat one. That’s right, muffin amazingness was snatched from me by my brother. He took the WHOLE batch to work the next day. Oh, well. It just gives me an excuse to visit my two favorite people again.

Peach Basil Marscapone Muffins

adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup marscapone cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup chopped peaches
1/4 cup chopped basil

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  3. With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until lighter in color. Add the egg, marscapone cheese, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter will be very thick.
  5. Still using the paddle attachment, fold in the peaches and basil for about a min. You want some of the peaches to get a little squished and release their juices.
  6. Spoon evenly into muffins cups. I like to use an ice cream scoop for this.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted comes out batter free.
  8. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling on rack.

Blueberry Pudding Cake

Somehow I ended up living in a group home. At least that’s what all my neighbors think.

This is Wikipedia’s definition of a group home: A group home is a private residence designed to serve children or adults with chronic disabilities. Typically there are no more than six residents and there is a trained caregiver there twenty-four hours a day.

I think that pretty much sums up my household. We have six people in the house, and you could probably say that I’m the trained caregiver, i.e., I know how to cook. Some members could be considered children, and I can definitely think of a few disabilities we have.

Despite the questionable reputation we may have in the neighborhood, and the lack of alone time, a group home can throw a really kick-ass party. This is a little sample of what we did on the 4th of July.

During the week of recovery afterwards, I made this little cake. I love blueberries on their own, but baking them up into a simple, soft, sweet cake is even better. Don’t forget the ice-cream.

Blueberry Pudding Cake

adapted from Gourmet

1/3 cup plus 1/2 sugar
1/4 cup water
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cornstarch
10 oz fresh blueberries, washed
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 egg
1/2 cup whole milk
4 oz (1/2 cup, 1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and butter an 8×8 square baking pan.
  2. Put 1/3 cup sugar, water, lemon juice and cornstarch in a medium sauce pan and whisk together, so that the cornstarch isn’t lumpy.
  3. Place over medium heat and add blueberries. Bring to a simmer  and lower heat to keep at a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar with a whisk.
  5. In a larger bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
  6. Add flour mixture to milk mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into baking pan and spread evenly.
  7. Pour the blueberries over the cake batter evenly.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for about 25-30 or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out batter free.
  9. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

 

 

Raspberry Breakfast Bars

Raspberry Breakfast Bars

I’m going to apologize in advance for the shameless cross promotion and boasting that’s going to happen in this post, but some really great things have been happening for me and my little basement family. Biscuit has redone his website, too, and there have been some laugh-till-I-cry posts lately. You should check it out (and submit a photo if you dare). My brother, while he’s still sleeping on my couch, has landed an amazing job at an architecture and design firm here in DC.

And now for the most amazing news, Biscuit and I are engaged!!! After 10 years of incredible happiness and undeniable love for each other, he asked me to be his wife. I’m beyond excited and spending WAY too much time on Pinterest.

To celebrate all of this good news, I made raspberry breakfast bars! Just kidding, I think you can tell from Shotface how we like to celebrate around here. Still, these bars should be just what you need the morning after. I loved them because they definitely taste like breakfast, not too sweet. They are hearty from the oats and pecans with just the right balance of fresh fruit flavor.

Raspberry Breakfast Bars in Pan

Raspberry Breakfast Bars

adapted from Driscoll’s

Filling:

6 oz fresh raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Crust:

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup pecans
1/4 cup oat bran or wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 egg white

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of an 8×8 baking pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine raspberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir together. Stir over medium heat until raspberries breakdown, and it is thickened and almost translucent. Remove from heat.
  3. Put oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans, oat bran (or wheat germ), cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until oats and pecan are ground.
  4. Transfer oat mixture to a medium bowl and add oil, egg, and egg white. Stir until completely combined. It should be fairly sticky. I think you could do this step in the food processor if you have a large enough one but mine wasn’t big enough to try.
  5. Press half of the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. It will be a little sticky but make sure you get an even layer and into the corners. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until dry and light golden. Cool for just a few minutes.
  6. Spread the raspberry filling over the warm crust.
  7. Top with big chunks/crumbles of the leftover crust. Don’t try and press it out, but make sure your crumbles cover most of the surface and are in a pretty even layer.
  8. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until top crust is dry looking and light golden. Cool completely on wire rack.
  9. Use parchment to remove from pan and cut into bars.

Wrap one up and take it for breakfast on the go, or top them with some vanilla ice cream for a pretty healthy dessert.