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1-Minute Lentil Dip

8/30/18


You guys, I've discovered the most delicious, effortless dip in all of the land.  Me, I've discovered it, no one else, ALL the credit lands HERE.  No, that is a lie.  My friend's mom made it for me, and she discovered it from Trader Joe's.  In fact, when I went to TJ's to buy the 3 ingredients - that's right, THREE ingredients - required to make it, the employee ringing me up said, "best. dip. ever."  He knew.  From eyeing my feta cheese, cooked lentils and bruschetta sauce, he knew what I was up to...
  

There's really no recipe.  You combine everything and, voila!  You have a dip that's best served, in my opinion, with Trader Joe's Pita Crackers.  (By the by, this post has NOT been sponsored by TJ's...I'm just a loyal fan.  Remember "2-Buck Chuck?"  Oh, those were the days...)  

However, if you like measurements and all that jazz, you can find the recipe HERE.


Carson pointed out it's not the most appetizing dip in all of the land, and he has a point, but that doesn't matter.  One bite and you will agree.  

Also, TJ's calls it a "salad" - but I'm not down with that.  It's a dip, if you ask me, and that's where I stand.  The End.

Happen Bakers: Judith

8/15/18


Meet Judith, the newest member of the Happen Bakers club!

I'm particularly excited about this one, because unlike Michelle and Lilah, I have never officially met Judith... which means young bakers are now reaching out from across the country to share their talents!  In this case, Judith is a 13 year-old girl living in South Carolina who has been baking for the past five or so years.  What began with simple sugar cookies quickly developed into more challenging desserts, such as scones, tartlets, muffins and impressive cakes.  Now, her friends and family come knocking and requesting her decorated confections for birthdays and celebrations, and Judith is happy to comply.  In her own words, she wants to "use her abilities to serve others" - um, do you think her mom is proud?!  I'm not her mother, but I sure am, and it's precisely young females like Judith that define what a Happen Baker is: a positive individual, creatively paving their way through this world in the most delicious way.   

Learn more about Judith below as she whips up these delicious Lemon Tartlets!  
(My younger self is saying... what is a tartlet??)  


Recipe for the Lemon Tartlets with Lemon Curd HERE.  


When did you start baking?

I started baking when I was about 8 years old and I was inspired by watching my mom bake.  I also had been getting into baking and cooking shows and, of course, I wanted to try it too!

How did you learn?

The first thing I baked was simple sugar cookies which led me to learn a lot about baking.  I also learned a lot from watching my mom bake and watching videos and tutorials online.

What do you love most about it?

I love baking for many reasons.  One thing I love most about it is it is a way to be creative and express myself.  I think of it as my form of art.  


What's the most challenging thing you've attempted?

The most challenging thing I've baked was a unicorn cake because the decorations were very difficult.  

What's your dream dessert?

My dream dessert is a lemon cake with blueberry frosting and simple and elegant decorations.

Name 3 celebrities you'd like to bake with...

Duff Goldman, Rosanna Pansino and Linsey Lam who won the Kids Baking Championship season 4.  

Most epic kitchen fail?

My biggest fail in the kitchen was when I was making a cookie cake for a birthday.  I pulled it out of the oven and was trying to slide it onto a plate when it slipped out of my hands and I dropped it in the oven and it made a huge mess.  I had to make another one quickly because the birthday was very soon!


Any favorite songs you listen to in the kitchen?

I haven't listened to music while baking, but I may give it a try.  Until now I usually hear my little sister and brother whooping and hollering in the background.  

Favorite food site or YouTube channel?

I love the Food Network website and I also enjoy watching Rosanna Pansino's YouTube channel.

When you're not baking, you are...

When I'm not baking I'm running, singing in my choir or playing the piano.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I want to be using my abilities to serve others.  I also want to open a bakery and want to have been on a baking competition TV show.  I want to give to others and provide my services in many ways.


Judith - you are a superstar and your creative, kind spirit shines through your baking!
Until next month, Happen Bakers...

Muffuletta Sandwiches

7/25/18


Hello.  I love sandwiches.  I love them like Joey Tribbiani loves them, and yes, I had to google how to spell "Tribbiani."  I think if I had to pick, a good Italian sandwich would be my favorite.  I still dream at night about "The Godmother" from Bay Cities in Santa Monica.  It is literal PERFECTION. Do you have a favorite?  I also love a good turkey, mayo, lettuce and tomato on a soft roll stuffed with crunchy potato chips.  Should we talk about sandwiches for another hour?  No?  Ok.

Recently, I went to see Dave Matthews Band at Jones Beach on Long Island.  I know!  I did a cool thing!  I'm still fun!  We even rented a party bus and went early to tailgate, which is where these sandwiches come in.  I wanted to bring something that would be easy to eat yet robust - something to, you know, stand up to all the adult beverages we brought.  These.  Were.  Perfect.  

The "muffuletta" sandwich is usually served on ciabatta or focaccia and consists of various Italian meats, cheeses and a signature olive salad.  You could probably buy a store-bought version of the salad that would work, but for this recipe I made my own and it was totally worth it.  I only wish I had doubled it so I could have leftovers for dipping with crusty bread.  Since it's too hot and humid EVERYWHERE to cook, you should probably make these sandwiches and call it a day.  Joey Tribbiani would be all like this...   
  
{You can find the recipe HERE.}



I see you, Jimmy.  


You can't hide.  




Flattening the sandwiches.


Party bus ready!

Happen Bakers: Lilah DeBoer

7/23/18


It's time for a new Happen Bakers, and this time I'm featuring my cousin Lilah!

Lilah DeBoer (and some trivia for you: DeBoer is my middle name) is a 12 year-old girl about to enter 7th grade in Olympia, Washington.  Her parents, my cousins Trent and Betsy, are no strangers to cooking and baking.  In fact Lilah's grandmother, my Aunt Pam, has always been a culinary inspiration of mine, and it's evident that Lilah has inherited similar passions from her family.  We live far away, but I've watched her love of baking in particular grow through photos and social media (legit can't remember what life was like before Instagram).  What began as helping her mom pour and stir quickly transformed into Lilah taking over, and just the other day she whipped up some Lemon Rosemary Sandwich Cookies with a mascarpone curd filling like a boss.  A BOSS!  (Do I sound old and nerdy when I say that?  Somewhere my son is rolling his eyes.)

For this Happen Bakers blog, she made a Strawberry Shortcake, and below you can learn a little more about her.  Watching Lilah over the years mature into a young female with strong goals has inspired me.  I hope that she, and all the "Happen Bakers" out there, motivate you as well to continue cultivating your own passions.  Make it happen, ladies!    
     

Recipe for these Triple Strawberry Shortcakes HERE.  


When did you start baking?

I've been helping my mom in the kitchen since I was three but I started to really get involved when I was seven.  At seven I started cooking on my own and I feel like that's when I got inspired from the cooking show MasterChef Junior which I am hoping to audition for.  When I saw kids around my age making advanced dishes I thought, why can't I try that too?

How did you learn?

I learned from helping my mom and dad and observing how they cooked, then caught on and started to do it myself.  

What do you love most about it?

I love baking for many reasons, but what I find most exciting about it is the finished piece.  After all the hard work in the kitchen it's always amazing to see the final thing and especially eat it!  


What's the most challenging thing you've attempted?

One of the most challenging things I've baked is probably my lemon tart.  To make your lemon curd and have your tart crust be on point sometimes is pretty stressful.  I also find that having several things going at once can get me all tied up. 

What's your dream dessert?

My dream dessert is creme brûlée.  I like this dish a lot because it reminds me of family.  I make creme brûlée every time I visit my Grandpa.  We visit mostly during the holidays so I'm always surrounded by my family and friends, making creme brûlée for all.  Another reason why I love it is because of the flavor and the two textures: creamy on the inside and crunchy on the top. 

Name 3 celebrities you'd like to bake with...

1. Christina Tosi because I've seen her on MasterChef Junior and I look up to her as a baker.
2. Gordan Ramsay because I could learn many new skills in the kitchen.
3. Julia Child because she was a trailblazer for women and chefs. 

Most epic kitchen fail?

I made cupcakes from this one recipe and they exploded in the oven and the frosting turned out tasting really bad.  I was so embarrassed to serve them to my parents but now I look back on that day and laugh about it!


Any favorite songs you listen to in the kitchen?

The entire La La Land soundtrack, I love the movie and the songs and it just makes me feel even more excited to bake.  

Favorite food site or YouTube channel?

Food Network.  I've found so many amazing recipes from there and they've turned out to be great.  I also like the tiny food videos, I find those fun and interesting to watch!

When you're not baking, you are...

When I'm not baking I'm mainly outdoors hiking or backpacking.  I love to ride horses and have been taking lessons.  I also love to go kayaking with my dog Pella swimming along side me, or sometimes just chilling at home on our deck.  

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself finishing up culinary school and ready to open a restaurant of my own.  I also see myself living on my own farm with lots of horses to ride.


Thank you Lilah for inspiring us!  
Stay tuned for a new Happen Bakers next month...

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

7/6/18


It's hot.  Everywhere.  The weather map of the United States looks like an Oompa Loompa.  No one wants to spend time in their kitchen baking over a hot oven in this heat.  Not even Oompa Loompas, and they like sweets!  However...

This chocolate pie is so good that it's worth it.

Sorry.  Put on a flowy moo moo, drink a lot of water and quickly bake this giant, warm, gooey cookie pie, best served with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.  It's crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, really easy to make and the perfect treat to serve a bunch of Oompa Loompas.  I can't stop with them... guess I should go watch the movie (surrounded by air conditioning).  





Happen Bakers: Michelle Rosen

6/26/18

Today, I'm introducing a new series called Happen Bakers, where I will feature young, female bakers in an attempt to shine a new light on not only the craft, but the people who call it their passion.  
I hope you enjoy it!    


When I was young I loved to bake, but while I did so at home frequently, there wasn't much to inspire me outside of my own kitchen.  Junior competition shows did not exist on television, and there were no YouTube channels full of baking tutorials to follow.  Celebrity chefs weren't what they are today and basically, I didn't have a role model other than my own mother and grandmother.  Thankfully this didn't stop me, and I learned what I could from family, cookbooks and trial and error!    

Nowadays, it's very different for aspiring bakers.  There seems to be inspiration everywhere you look, and not only that, the entire attitude around baking (and cooking) has changed.  For women especially, what perhaps was once viewed as a domestic task is now a creative accomplishment.  I've been particularly interested lately in our youth (for now I am an old person), because with so much negativity in the world I think it's important to focus on the hope of our future.  This quest led me to Michelle Rosen: a 17 year-old girl living in Long Island, New York.  She just finished her junior year of high school, is researching colleges with an interest in communications and media, and in between doing regular teenage things, happens to be a gifted baker!  

She is, in pun speak, a Happen Baker.  BAM.

Michelle came over and made these Apple Cider Cupcakes with a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream, and they were perfection.  Honestly, none remained by the end of the day!  She traveled with her own piping tools and even taught me tips along the way (for example: insert your piping bag into a tall glass which will help you to easily fill it with frosting).  At one point, I felt like I was watching my younger self in the kitchen which made me feel happy and ancient at the same time.      

Check out Michelle's YouTube Channel, where she posts new videos every Tuesday.  Did someone say, S'Mores Dip??  Yep, I'll be making that at some point this summer (or in 5 minutes).  You can also find her on Instagram.  And, I interviewed her below... so read on to learn more about this incredible young woman!  I can only hope my girls grow up to be as focused, bright, creative and kind as Michelle.  She inspires me, and I know she'll do the same for you.            



When did you start baking?

I started baking when I was three years old.  My mom and I would bake our Christmas Cookie Cutter Cookie every year.  This recipe really started my love for baking.  My mom really inspired me and she encouraged me to take an advanced baking class on the weekends when I was 12.   

How did you learn?

I learned so much from my advanced baking class.  I learned so many different cake decorating techniques and learned how to make many difficult recipes such as breads and pies from scratch.  I've also learned so much from watching bakers on YouTube such as Rosanna Pansino.  

What do you love most about it?

First of all, I love anything sugary!  I love getting to eat everything I bake.  But I also love the creativity involved, especially when it comes to cake decorating.  


What's the most challenging thing you've attempted?

French Macarons.

What's your dream dessert?

The type of cake I get every year for my birthday...it's a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and a vanilla custard filling with pretty fondant designs on top. 

Name 3 celebrities you'd like to bake with...

I would love to bake with Rosanna Pansino, Ethan and Grayson Dolan (aka The Dolan Twins) and Shane Dawson.   

Most epic kitchen fail?

Once when I was making French Macarons, I wrote down the wrong measurements for the sugar and the cookies kept coming out flat.  They looked like wafers!  I also forgot to beat the meringue until it reached stiff peaks.  My merengue was at soft peaks which also ruined the cookies.  I tried this recipe about three times and kept trying to film it for my YouTube channel, but it took me all that time to realize I was putting in the wrong amount of sugar.  


Any favorite songs you listen to in the kitchen?

Any Kid Cudi song, Billie EilishLogic... it all depends on my mood.  

Favorite food site or YouTube channel?


When you're not baking, you are...

Playing Fortnite with my best friend, spending time with my family, playing tennis, drawing, painting and reading.  

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would hope to have a successful YouTube channel with millions of subscribers where I can inspire and teach my craft to the world and be a positive role model for young kids who watch me.  I hope that my YouTube videos can bring happiness to people's lives.  I hope to have a beautiful house with a white kitchen, a pool, and a tennis court!  I would love to travel to as many places as possible - I would really love to go to Australia!  And maybe even go on a world tour to meet subscribers of my YouTube channel!


*I'm excited to introduce more young bakers to you as I continue this series!  If you would like to submit yourself or anyone you might know, please email me: siri@siriouslydelicious.com

Smashed Chickpea Sandwich

6/14/18


Little known fact: I wrote most of my cookbook at Starbucks.  We were on vacation for some of the process, and occasionally I would stay up late and get things done with the TV on mute (and wine in hand), but ultimately, I found I was most productive at a coffee shop.  Prior to the writing portion of the book, I designed a small office space in my house and was psyched to use it.  However, every time I sat down, I'd find something else to do...like color coordinate my bookshelf or update my calendar.  Occasionally, I would find myself wandering downstairs to organize the tupperware drawer.  My point being, I could NOT focus at home, ever.  So, the nice baristas at Starbucks knew me, my drink, and I got to know all the other regulars who were there every day for whatever reason.  

THEN, a new coffee shop opened in town called For Five (I swear I'm getting to the sandwich part of this blog) and I haven't been back to Starbucks since.  I feel sort of badly about this.  Like I used all my new barista friends and then dumped them, high and dry.  Sure, I doubt they care, because after all they are Starbucks and serve millions of customers every day, but I still feel guilt because I always feel guilt.  Then, I add up all the money I spent on green tea lattes writing my book and that feeling dissolves.  STARBUCKS YOU OWE ME A THANK YOU CARD.  

Ok, so the sandwich.  At For Five, they make a Smashed Chickpea Sandwich that I was very excited to recreate at home.  It's essentially garbanzo beans, smashed, with greek yogurt, a little mayo, fresh squeezed lemon juice and some spices, served between toasted bread with whatever toppings you like (here: sprouts, cucumber and avocado).  It's a delicious lunch, and the beans provide a nice source of protein to a vegetarian dish.  Recipe below!  

*Side note: I find cucumbers completely worthless unless they are on a sandwich.  Sorry about it.        


Smashed Chickpea Sandwich
Makes: 4 

Ingredients:
1 15oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained
2 Tbsp greek yogurt
1 Tbsp mayonaise
Juice of half a lemon 
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted bread
Optional toppings: avocado, sprouts, sliced cucumbers

In a bowl, smash garbanzo beans with a fork or masher until desired consistency is reached.  Add the yogurt, mayo, lemon juice and seasonings and stir, tasting and adding more spices if needed.  Serve on toasted bread with toppings of choice!


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