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I started ConGen the end of February and it has been crazy.  I like the class for the most part but it’s really busy.  Way busier than I was expecting and somewhat jarring because Spanish, while crazy in its own way, was a bit more low-key in terms of class time and homework.  Anyway.  In addition to learning all the ins and outs of the Immigration and Nationality Act, I’ve been baking up a storm over here.  Here are some things I’ve baked lately:

Vegan chocolate cake

Yes, that's a DC-shaped cookie cutter.

Vegan chocolate cake with powdered sugar.  I took this to a party and I used the cookie cutter to keep a piece of foil from touching the top of the cake while we transported the cake.  I’m crafty like that.  🙂  I’ve already posted the recipe for this cake.  If you’re interested in seeing it, you can find it here.  I didn’t put the cayenne pepper in it this time and instead added a little bit of cinnamon.

Glazed donut muffins

Muffins, pre-glaze

Look how shiny that glaze is and check out that amazing dome!

Glazed donut muffins.  Do I even need to say anything else?  These were awesome.  This is yet another Noble Pig recipe.  I didn’t do anything to alter this one this time, but if I made them again (which I likely will), I think I’ll make them as mini muffins.  They were incredibly tasty, but I think they were just a little bit too big for a single serving.


Hippie pizza

Onions, red grapes & kale with Béchamel sauce on homemade dough

Those of you who know me in real life know that I’m a pretty big hippie.  Since we don’t eat much meat, when we make pizza we cram the pie with veggies and sauce.  I had made pasta with Béchamel sauce earlier in the week and we had extra sauce so we decided to use that as our base instead of tomato sauce.  Then we added tons of freshly sliced onions, torn up red and green curly kale, and halved red grapes.  I know, I know.  Who puts grapes on pizza?  Well, let me just tell you that if you are like me and you appreciate the hint of sweetness pineapple adds to a pizza but you dislike how it overpowers everything else, try using grapes instead.  They add just a hint of sweetness without overpowering the other flavors and they go perfectly with the spicy flavors of the kale, the richness of the sauce, and the bite of the onion.  We’ve made variations of this pizza twice already and I’m pretty sure it’s going to stay in our regular line-up.

Wow, all that text and I haven’t even told you about the crust yet!  Last month’s Bon Appetit magazine’s cover recipe was for what has turned out the be the most incredible pizza dough I’ve ever worked with.  It is silky, smooth, and super easy to pull, toss, and shape into pizza.  Plus, you don’t have to knead it.  At all.  Which for bakers lazy bakers like me, is a serious plus.  Here‘s the recipe (via Epicurious).  Note that the recipe there will give you enough dough to make six 10-12 inch pizzas.  That is a lot of pizza.  If you want to cut the recipe down and only make 2 pizzas (or 1 pizza and 1 batch of cheesy pull-apart-bread), here are the measurements:

2.5 cups or 333 grams all-purpose flour
1 1/3 tsp fine sea salt
1/5 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup water

Try it!  You’ll be amazed at how incredible it turns out and you may not ever be tempted to buy crappy delivery pizza again.  Or maybe, like me, you will still buy crappy delivery pizza but you will appreciate the home made stuff more.  🙂

I’m making some fun things today in preparation for a St. Patrick’s day party tonight but I don’t have pictures yet so you’ll have to wait for next time to see those.