Baking Through the Alphabet: Q is for Quinoa-Pistachio-Apricot Biscotti

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The Bay Area is doing a really good job of winning my heart.

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I passed my one year mark a little less than a month ago, and I’m pretty sure moving up was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve learned and struggled a lot, formed plenty of new friendships, and shared life with people I’m pretty sure I’ll be friends with for a long time.

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I’m currently reading Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung with C. My sister encouraged me to read this book last year when I was still deciding if it was a good idea to make the move up to the Bay Area. I finally got around to it a year later, and it’s been a pretty encouraging book, pointing out a lot of the flaws in the way I think and make decisions.

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This quote stood out to the both of us: “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and then trust that He will take care of our needs, even before we know what they are and where we’re going.”

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And it’s true. I’m a bit of a planner, so I feel the constant need to know what’s going to happen in life for the next day, week, month, year. I’m always planning the next step in life but forgetting the tasks I have in front of me. Farsighted, I suppose? In any case, that’s my spiel, my current struggle, my lesson–whatever you want to call it.

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tl;dr: Happy one year, Bay Area. You’ve done a pretty swell job at winning my heart. One year down, hopefully many more to come!

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One more spiel, just for these little suckers. If you don’t already know, I bake letters based on the main ingredient. In this case, quinoa was literally the only thing I could think of. I research a lot for these things, and I finally settled on tweaking a biscotti recipe by replacing the flour with quinoa flour.

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Luckily, I found something that already had the work cut out for me; I just replaced the mix-ins with apricots and pistachios (which ended up being a lot tougher to chop up than I had expected). Overall, slightly nutty, a good mix of flavors with the pistachio-apricot combination, and not too rock hard (though that depends on how long you bake it for). Keep in mind though that quinoa flour can get a bit pricey, and slicing biscotti with a steak knife is definitely not ideal.

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Other than that…work team and roommates approved!

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Quinoa-Pistachio-Apricot Biscotti
Adapted From Power Hungry
Makes 16-20 cookies

Ingredients:
1 ¾ cups quinoa flour (I found mine at Whole Foods)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
⅔ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the quinoa flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the dried apricots and pistachios.

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and stir until well-blended.

Transfer the dough to the prepared cookie sheet, and shape the dough into two 2×12-inch rectangles, about¾ inch high. Damp hands are helpful with this. Bake until golden brown and set, about 23-25 minutes. Let cool completely.

Once the rectangles are cooled, use a serrated knife (in my case, a not-so-helpful steak knife–not recommended) to cut them on the diagonal into ½-inch slices. Place the biscotti on lined sheets cut side down, and bake 15-17 minutes until the biscotti is golden and dry. Transfer the biscotti to a rack, and cool completely. It’s okay if they’re not completely crisp; they crisp up as they cool.

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

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Baking Through the Alphabet: H is for Honey Cranberry Orange Scones

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I’m sick.

Headache, runny/stuff nose, slight cough, burning eyes (a little), fever, and slight nausea.

But after sucking it up at work for 7 hours and finally caving in at 3 to use my sick hours and to just go home, and after some meds and a good nap, I’m feeling much better! I think. Hopefully I’m well enough to go in to work tomorrow. (Edit: I didn’t make it to work. POO.)

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But seriously. Sick hours = :) :) :).

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I’ve been really slow with the alphabet recently because I’ve been baking other things outside of this alphabet project. I’ve made…thin mint cupcakes (which will probably be for T), chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes, baked parmesan eggs, Andes mint chocolate cookies, and other baked goodies just for friends and the apartment. Cream cheese was on sale at Albertsons for a buck again, so I’ll try to find things to make with those. I bought 10 blocks HAHA.

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I made these scones about 3 weeks ago. I knew I wanted to do something with honey for T, but I was having a reaaallly hard time finding something. I wanted to make some baked good that hasn’t been a part of this whole alphabet thing yet. I settled on this honey cinnamon scone recipe until Sam gave me the idea to make honey cranberry scones.

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I really wish the honey flavor stood out more though, but I love the citrusy combination with the fluffy scones and tart cranberries. I used this honey that Sam got from a farmer’s market, but take my advice, use honey instead of sugar. I made it once replacing the honey with 3 tablespoons of sugar, but they just came out so much drier. Also, the flour called for in the original recipe wasn’t enough; my dough was sooo sticky. Just keep adding flour until it’s manageable; I gave an estimate in the recipe below. Don’t add too much because the scones will turn out dry. Oh, I also used milk instead of cream to save some fat and calories. The scones still came out delicious! So yummy that I made them again three times after that. =)

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Honey Cranberry Orange Scones
From Inspired Taste
Makes 8 scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (or 2 1/2 depending on how wet the dough is)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup cold milk, plus 1 tablespoon for tops of scones
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon orange zest (I used the zest from one orange)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon coarse sugar (like Sugar in the Raw…I used
half of those packets you can get a coffee shops)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. I used my silicon baking mat and it got stained.

2. For the dough, blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few small crumbles of butter the size of peas. Alternatively you can do this by hand in a bowl and cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips. I just find that a food processor makes it so much easier.

3. In another bowl, combine the milk, honey, and orange zest and stir until the honey is completely incorporated into the cream.

4. Pour the flour/butter mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the cranberries. Pour in the honey-milk mixture and mix until a dough forms. If it’s too wet, add a little flour just until it’s easy to work with, but not too much or else the scones will come out dry.

5. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3 to 5 times. Form it into an 8 inch circle and cut into 8 triangles.

6. Place the scones onto the lined baking sheet. Brush with the milk and lightly sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.

7. Bake scones in the preheated over for 12 to 15 minutes until light golden brown. Scones are best eaten fresh, but they can keep at room temperature for a few days. Perfect for breakfast. Enjoy!

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Perfect with some coffee (sorry, I lied in the picture because I really don’t drink my coffee that black…), a journal, and the word of God. :)

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Happy Thursday!

Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

Roasted Broccoli (and a belated Father’s Day!)

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I know I’m almost a month late, but happy belated Father’s Day!

For Father’s day, my sister and I cooked again. I mean, it’s only fair right, since we cooked for Mother’s Day? Haha, but of course we did it out of love. This is what we made this time around–sashimi, stir fried cabbage, Korean short ribs, seafood soup (not pictured), roasted broccoli (to be pictured soon and again), and blueberry chiffon cake for dessert! Normally I’d blog about the dessert…but I wasn’t too happy with how the cake looked. The whole cake deflated! It did still taste good, but perhaps next time when my cake decides to stay up.

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My pops is quite the character. He’s definitely spiritually gifted in the area of music, and it’s encouraging to see him use that gift to serve God. He leads worship, conducts choirs, serves at church–all for the glory of God. Growing up, he was the one who picked me up from school, took me to Chuck E Cheese, and played catch with me. He was the one with all the stories, jokes, and news, even those false chain letter email warnings that he always believed to be true. He was always there (like my momma!) to wipe away my tears, to listen to my struggles, and to make me laugh. Thanks daddy for being the best! Thank you for your encouragement and all that you’ve done for me these past 19 years. Thank you for being the leader for our family, and I hope I can continue to be a better daughter to you. I would post a picture, but you don’t like it when I put pictures of you online. I hope you come across this some day! I love you =)

———

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Roasted Broccoli. It sounded weird when my sister first gave me the recipe, but it actually came out to be quite tasty. A nice crisp and salty bite–I swear I had half the tray before it made it to the table. I normally don’t like roasting things because I’m always scared it’ll burn to a crisp because I’ll forget about it or something, or it’ll turn out dry and bland…but this wasn’t the case. You do have to be careful–even one minute overtime can cause some pieces to char. It’s a tasty and healthy snack, and I’m sure I’ll try it again!

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Roasted Broccoli
Serving Size: Depends
Adapted from Oh My Veggies

Ingredients:

Broccoli Florets
Oil
Seasonings
Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with foil, then spray with cooking spray.

2. Place the cleaned broccoli florets on the baking sheet and drizzle or spray with additional oil. Sprinkle with seasonings of choice, and salt. Be careful not to over-salt (is that a word?) them!

3. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. These are best enjoyed warm!

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EZ PZ RIGHT?! Told ya. I hope you all had a fantastic and blessed Father’s Day! And at the end of the day, we have a Father who reigns in Heaven, who unconditionally loved us by sending His son Jesus to die on the cross for us; He is Sovereign over our lives and is magnificent and Holy! Have a great week! =) From your favorite chefs (jk):

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(Look at my puny little cake in the background. HAHA)

Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!