Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Maple Vanilla Glazed Sweet Bread

I'm shifting my weight back and forth on my seat. I'm looking at my clock, is it 5'o clock yet? My shoulders are getting sore as I can feel my back hunching over. I turn my neck from side to side and I realize I am tapping my foot incessantly on the ground beneath me. My left hand is picking at it's own hangnail. My right hand never moves from the mouse.
I just went to the bathroom, I should stop drinking so much water. Must get up and move. No, have to read an e-mail. Did I already take lunch? Damn it, I did.My eyes are starting to glaze over from staring at the inevitable bright light projected from the eighteen inch computer screen two-feet away from my face. My right leg is falling asleep. Oh God, I am falling asleep. I need coffee. It must be 2:30.

Oh yes, you know this feeling, and you know it well. It's Monday. You're sitting at your desk, and you're hitting the wall. Go to your cafeteria and grab a mug, and maybe tomorrow you can bring along one of these.

Maple Vanilla Glazed Sweet Bread
Dry Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour (9 oz)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until flour resembles coarse meal. (One method: Determine 5 tbsp of butter and grate a block of it against the large holes of a box grater. Toss the butter ribbons with the flour mixture, and then use two knives to cut the flour-coated ribbons into 1/4-inch pieces.)
2. In a separate bowl, whisk sour cream, egg yolk and vanilla extract until well blended. Add this to the flour-butter mixture and stir with a fork until dough forms a cohesive ball. Be patient and use a spatula to get the dry bits fully incorporated.
3. Place the sticky dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and pat into a disk (or even a square) about 1-inch in height. Cut the dough into wedges but do not separate. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
4. Prepare glaze: place powdered sugar in a medium bowl, and add water one teaspoon at a time, mixing vigorously until smooth and runny. Drizzle or use a pastry brush to glaze warm sweet bread. Best if served immediately. Store cooled sweet bread scones in an airtight container.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Berry Yogurt Trifle

I read somewhere, you can sleep when you're dead. Oh my gosh can I please sleep before then? Because I am exhausted. I've said before that 2012 has been quite a year, and in not a lot of time, many things have happened. I am trying this new thing where I take life as it is served up to me and enjoy every second of it.
In the past three weeks, I moved my parents away from our Virginia house and road tripped back to Boston with my sister, took an impromptu bus trip to Brooklyn and had a fabulous New York Brunch, celebrated an early St. Patrick's day in Hoboken, took a painting class, ran a 10 mile race with my roommates, had a nine-day social week with my Jules where we met new "friends" (not really) at trivia, attempted to bowl at Flatbread, hit up happy hours we've never been to, and basically exhausted ourselves completely.

And in the upcoming weeks, I'm going to Florida, doing another half, helping my very good friend run the Boston Marathon, experiencing my first Boston St. Patrick's Day including a 5K and potential pub crawl, taking a trip to Baltimore to see friends from college, going to several concerts and basically soaking up every little drop of life I can. Wow, okay, right, you can sleep when you're dead. But you can cook when you're alive, and this dish takes almost no time and is absolutely fantastic. So, um, stay awake? And try it?

Berry Yogurt Trifle
5 cups cubed angel-food cake
1 (8 ounce) container non-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup thawed whipped topping
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon flaked coconut, toasted

1. Combine yogurt and whipped topping. Place about 1/3 of the mixture on the bottom of a glass bowl and top with half of the berries. Follow with a layer of cubed cake, then remaining yogurt/whipped topping and finally remaining berries. Sprinkle with coconut and serve. Fresh is best.