Unsalted Momma

The Morning Bun

Hey there food lovers!  Its been a while.  Life has been quite crazy here.  We all have had quite an adjustment with baby girl, but things are finally getting back to normal.  I have so many things to share with you from the last 8 weeks, so be on the look out for some new posts.  

Today, I will talk morning buns, a treasure I discovered at the Tartine bakery in SF.  The morning bun is similar to a cinnamon bun in that you roll it up with goodness inside, but different because it uses croissant dough, adds citrus and is tossed in sugar, after it gets caramelized while baking. 

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Tartine’s Amazing Banana Cream Tart!!

For quite some time now, since our move back to the East Coast, I’ve been wanting to try out my skill in making Tartine’s Banana Cream Tart.  While in SF, we lived about 2 miles south of Tartine.  I’d load the kids up in the stroller, hike up Guerrero, then park my self at a table with a giant latte and usually a morning bun.  On a “special” occassion I’d reward myself with the banana cream tart.  I mean, I did just walk 2 miles, pushing a stroller, up hill….  Plus, I had to walk walk 2 miles back home too.  If you are in San Francisco, you MUST get yourself a banana cream tart.  At least share it with a friend!

This tart was challenging but fun to make!  There were a few different parts that needed to be made and then put together to create this perfect masterpiece; pastry dough, caramel, pastry cream, and whipped cream.  Be ready for lots of pictures.  I shall now take you on my delicious journey.  

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Springy Smoothie

In honor of the beautiful weather, I have decided to do a smoothie post!  There has been a pineapple smoothie floating around my pinterest boards.  Luckily I had some fresh pineapple recently cut up in my fridge and a banana laying around ready to be used.  I made just a few modifications to the recipe.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie

- 1.5 cup diced pineapple

- 1.5 cup frozen strawberries

- 1 banana

- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

- 1/2 T sugar

- 3/4 cup water

Toss all ingredients into your blender and blend well.  Pour into two glasses and share one with someone you love :).  (If you aren’t 37 weeks pregnant or sharing with a child, go ahead and replace that water with some sparkling wine!)

Poach an egg, you know you want to

Eggs are something that I have cooked since I was 10 years old.  My mom taught me how to cook from a very early age, and there is not much easier to cook than an egg, especially scrambled.  We made all kinds of eggs growing up, hard boiled, scrambled, “dippy,” and omelets.  One thing we never did was poach the eggs.  Thank you California for giving me a desire for a poached egg.  A local grocery store in the Mission in SF published a cookbook/guide to buying and eating good food.  My favorite picture in the whole book is a BLT and E sandwich; bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a poached egg!  

When I first tried to make the BLT and E, I had to poach about 3 eggs before I did it right. Practice makes perfect!  I am all about the yolk pouring over everything on my plate.  It is liquid gold.  A friend sent me a link for a fried egg sandwich, which activated my egg yolk craving.  I went simple and toasted a multigrain english muffin then topped it with cheese, bacon and a perfectly poached egg.  If you want to taste a little bit of creamy heaven, I highly suggest to start poaching eggs.  Let the yolk flow and make your belly smile.  

Poaching an Egg 

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a soft boil.  Add 1 T white vinegar and reduce to a simmer.  Break an egg into a small cup.  When your water is simmering, use a wooden spoon and create a whirlpool in the pan by swirling the water.  Drop your egg carefully into the middle of the swirl.  Continue to swirl the water to keep the egg white from spreading too much.  Cook for 2-3 min until your whites have cooked and a soft yolk remains.  Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel.  

Enjoy and remember, practice makes perfect!

Skillet Pancakes

For about a week, I drooled over David Eyre’s skillet pancake recipe.  I had it open on my web browser, so every time I got on my computer, it was staring right at me.  We finally had a cold weekend morning, which was perfect for a buttery, fluffy, and just plain delectable pancake.  Did I mention buttery?  Who would have thought that just a few ingredients could taste so sinfully good.  

I was so worried when I decided to make this pancake because I knew I was running low on all purpose flour.  Luckily, you only need 1/3 cup!  Combine that with just three other ingredients and you have your batter.  Make sure not to overmix; over mixing makes for tough pancakes.  You’ll want to mix until the ingredients are just combined, lumps are okay.  

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And the winner is…

My current baking craving had me sitting at my computer yesterday with three different websites open containing delicious recipes.  First, a cast iron skillet pancake, another for strawberry muffins, and a final one for pumpkin pie white hot chocolate.  All three were deliciously enticing.  I figured making all three would NOT be so good for my ever growing figure or my blood sugar.  The final decision maker came from my full package of strawberries in the fridge.  Plus, I am in love with anything strawberry.  Skillet pancakes and white hot chocolate will have to wait for another day.  

When I received my latest email from Foodie Crush, I actually hoped it would not be full of tempting recipes for me to drool over.  I thought I had my wish with a post title, “Lemon Almond Poppyseed Muffin Mania.”  Not that I do not appreciate a good lemon poppyseed muffin, but its not my first choice. Of course I still had to check out the post, and to my surprise, it was full of muffin recipes from savory goat cheese to gluten-free coconut!   Now enter strawberry muffins with cinnamon sugar topping.  How can you go wrong with strawberries in muffins?  

I loved this recipe for the nutmeg, cinnamon and yogurt.  Pairing strawberries with cinnamon and nutmeg is genius.  Then using yogurt added a softness to the batter and kept the muffins moist as they baked.  I used plain Greek yogurt, but next time I may be a little more adventurous and try vanilla flavored Greek.  When I make these again, I will add about 1/4 tsp more of the cinnamon and nutmeg.  The recipe also called for the zest of one orange, which I did not have, so I used the zest of 2 Meyer lemons.  The batter was kind of thick, so using a large cookie scoop worked well to fill each of the muffin cups, rather than trying to use a spoon.  Though the muffins browned a bit more than I would have liked, they tasted delicious!  Luckily, a good friend and her kids stopped over while they were baking, so we were able to share!  Enjoy!

Strawberry Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar

"I love you, you know!"

With Valentine’s day fast approaching, I thought I’d try to get my family into the “loving” spirit.  Last week while out shopping I bought myself some heart shaped cookie cutters, thinking that I’d use them to make the kid’s lunches into cute little heart shapes throughout the week.  I love my kids, but actually using cookie cutters to make cookies with them makes me hypertensive.  While baking, I have a very specific way I like to do things, and little fingers constantly testing the dough, knocking things over, and not making perfect cut outs drives me nuts!  Do not even get me started about letting them sprinkle the cookies with sugar.  

Anyway, my Foodie Crush magazine was full of Valentine’s Day ideas, from sugar cookie heart pops to heart shaped bacon, and for the really dedicated chef, chicken noodle soup with heart shaped carrots.  I was immediately drawn to the buttermilk pancakes, in the shape of hearts of course.  I love pancakes.  Take me to IHOP any time of day and I’m a happy lady.  With this pregnancy, I actually NEED pancakes.  You heard me, I need them.  It has been hard for me to find a great pancake recipe.  I like them to be light and fluffy, but not too thick, not so thin they look like a crepe, and oh yes, they must taste amazing.  When eating pancakes, I like to slather butter on each layer,  leaving a little extra butter in the middle to make a little butter pool.  Combine the butter pool that has started to soak into the pancake with some pure maple syrup, and you have the perfect bite, which I save for last.

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Buttermilk Scones

As I begin this blog, there will be some back tracking and some posts about delicious treats that I have previously made or eaten.  That is not the case today however.  Unless you count a day ago as back tracking.  Two weekends ago was my son’s birthday where I made all kinds of treats and had leftover buttermilk to use up.  What better to utilize this underutilized liquid than in buttery, buttermilk scones.  While in San Francisco, I never had a scone from Tartine because I was too busy stuffing my face with the morning buns, tarts and croissants to bother.  Luckily, I bought their cookbook and I have found their recipe to be quite easy and amazing!

Many of my recipes for French pastries come from this cook book, which makes me glad as I have not yet found great French bakery around here.  Plus, I just love to experiment and try new recipes and improve on the ones I have.  As far as posting recipes, still researching the legality of that through my site, so stay tuned, otherwise, you can purchase this amazing cookbook 

Moving on, I must say that this is the second time I’ve made these scones, and the first I used blueberries, which they tell you to freeze before hand so they do not rupture while mixing dough.  This second time, I used craisins instead of currants.  To plump them up, I placed them in warm water and added them to the batter as instructed.  I also made the scones smaller this time, which made me feel much less bad about consuming massive amounts of sugar and butter.  I think the best part of this recipe is the butter you brush on top and sprinkle with sugar before placing it in the oven.  This gives it an amazing crispy exterior and a warm and fluffy interior.  I liked the cranberries better than the blueberries, though I do look forward to spring and summer when I can try out fresh peaches!