Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I think granola is a very personal thing. I mean, everyone has their own preferences. I got my recipe from Barefoot Contessa, and in the introduction to the recipe, she claims hers is the best granola and that she merely built on someone else's granola.

Well, I happen to think that MY granola is the best ever, and I have just tweaked hers. See? Very personal. So. I'm posting my recipe and take it for what it's worth. Adjust it, make it, love it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Julie's Morning Glory Muffins

In December, before I had my baby, I made a big batch of Morning Glory Muffins. I got the recipe from my good friend, Julie, because she makes them all the time and I love them. It proved to be a very wise choice: I froze them and they became the perfect go-to breakfast while I figured out how to be a mom. It worked so well, I made more about a month after she was born.

Julie got the original recipe from allrecipes.com, her go-to reference. But I really like the changes she made, and it's even healthier than the original recipe, which is good. Not many muffins are actually good for you. But Julie toned down the sugar and with all the fruits and nuts, they are nutritious in my opinion. I mean, c'mon. You can see all the goodness in there: carrots, bits of apples, craisins...yum.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Trusty Dishwasher Jeff requested Calzones last week. And I aim to please, so I made them for him. I was a little concerned, because I had eaten calzones that weren't cooked all the way through (and in Venice, no less!), calzones that were doughy...so I was a hesitant to make them. But, after some googling, I noticed that most recipes used a basic pizza dough, and I had a recipe I loved, so I just went for it. And they worked out! I think I will use less yeast in the future (and have changed the recipe below to reflect that) because even though I rolled them out fairly thin, they still rose a good deal in the oven and they were a bit more bready than I think they should have been.

What is so great about calzones (and pizza) is that you can top them with whatever you want! So, go crazy with this. It's so flexible, and that's totally my kind of cooking.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rustic Sourdough Bread

If you'll recall from last week, I made a sourdough starter and then questioned how it was doing...well, I still wasn't sure, but I thought I might as well go for it. It seemed like the right consistency, and rather than just discard what I removed to feed it, I thought I would use it to try and bake. If it didn't work, I wasn't out much, just the extra flour really.

So, I headed back over to the King Arthur Flour website, confident that they could provide a suitable recipe to try out my starter. And of course they came through. I was surprised at how many of the sourdough recipes called for wheat gluten, which I didn't have...but I found one that did not: Rustic Sourdough Bread.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Roasted Potato Leek Soup

I discovered leeks about 2 years ago. I had never cooked with them before, but found an Asian-style recipe that included them and I always try to do a recipe correctly at least the first go-around. Well...most of the time, anyway...

See, my mom does not like leeks. So I never had them growing up. When I tried them, though, I knew we would be life-long friends. And we have been. I just wish they weren't so darn expensive. I know you can use the green stalks, but I never do so they go in the garbage, which makes leeks quite expensive. I know, I know...I need to be better.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream

I had forgotten how truly amazing homemade ice cream is.

Last summer, I took a bit of a sabbatical from the kitchen...I was pregnant and exhausted. The last thing on my mind was making ice cream! Although, I probably would have loved eating it, I didn't need the extra weight.

But, I got a new ice cream maker for Christmas, and I have been itching to try it out. I finally had the energy, and it's been warm enough to justify it, and I didn't need any more justifications than that. I mean, it's ice cream, people!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Provencal Popcorn

I grew up in a popcorn-eating family. We ate popcorn often, and my dad was the best at making it. Lots of butter, lots of salt...yum. Butter really does make everything taste better.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sourdough Update

So, I'm not entirely sure this is working.

My mixture smells like alcohol, and I think that is probably a good sign.

But it's thin, and it's not bubbling anymore, although it still separates.

Maybe this is what the blogger on King Arthur meant when she said "Frankly, I tried to make my own from scratch, and it simply wasn’t a happy experience."

I'd post a picture, I really would, but it looks kinda gross. I'll spare you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Challenge: Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

I have heard people throw around the term "starter" for a while. I think when I was a freshman in college, a boy in the next dorms over had a starter he used frequently. He bragged about how it had been around since the Gold Rush. Hearing that made me feel intimidated by it; if it's something that people cherish so much and keep around for so long, it MUST be difficult.

This fear was confirmed when I read on the King Arthur blog that one of the test kitchen cooks tried to make a starter and it was a complete disaster.

But then I read their instructions for making a starter and it sounded extraordinarily easy! How could it be that hard? Four ingredients.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken Spiedies

My good friend turned me onto the My Kitchen Cafe blog. Her recipes seem to be right in line with how I cook, so I was really pleased to discover it. I've already made a couple of dishes from her site and they have been good.

Tonight, I made Chicken Spiedies. The same friend that told me about the blog also raved about these sandwiches. When I saw the picture, I thought they looked okay, but nothing to write home about.

Five Favorite Ingredients

I'm a list girl. I have all kinds of lists all over my house. Most of them are shopping lists, some are to-do lists, and others are, well, just lists. It's such a quick way to say so much, I think. So concise. And as an English major, I have to say, concision is cool.

I'll post lists here a lot; I already have several ideas for other lists to post here, and who knows how many others I'll come up with! I hope they prove helpful. They certainly prove cathartic for me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Brownies, Naturally

I have so many recipes that I love. And I'm continually trying new ones, thanks to my extensive cookbook collection and the internet. So, what to post first?

Chocolate! Naturally. If you don't like chocolate, I'm just not sure we can be friends.


Hi! Thanks for visiting. I'm Becca, and I'm on a quest to conquer all the recipes I've feared my whole life. Things like Bagels. Sourdough Bread. And tarts.

I'll be posting all my (mis)adventures right here on this blog, along with lots of my favorite recipes as I work on archiving them on my new computer (Windows 7 is great! I love tagging files!)

My trusty sidekick is of course my favorite dishwasher--my husband Jeff. But you can't say it's a thankless job--he enjoys eating all my treats.

Again, thanks for dropping by, and if you have a recipe you want me to try, email me at mykitchenquest (at) gmail (dot) com.