Cake Donuts with Chocolate Ganache

Cake Donuts with Chocolate Ganache- Baker Bettie

Good morning!

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to get up in the mornings right now. It’s even hard for me to go to sleep at night! Because all I can think about is all these exciting things happening with the blog and VRAI Magazine and I can’t wait to start my day everyday to get to work.

We made the decision very recently that I would work for myself full time. Making money from the blog, working toward building the magazine into a business, and putting effort into various other projects that will eventually be profitable. Hopefully. And it all just feels like a dream. A dream come true. I get up every single morning absolutely ecstatic to get to work. And I promise you, I am working hard. Like really hard. It’s difficult for me to step away sometimes. But I’m working on being strict with myself for a few hours in the evening so my husband and I can finally spend some quality time together.

Cake Donuts with Chocolate Ganache- Baker Bettie

Each day I have been getting up bright and early and getting right to work on my to do list which involves answering emails and comments on the blog, editing photos, writing blog posts or magazine copy, editing other magazine articles, keeping up with social media, writing recipes, baking/testing recipes, food styling, and photographing. And repeat. Pretty sweet deal, eh?! I think so.

It’s also really nice to be able to keep up with the house a little better. When you work from home you can put a load of laundry in while you work! And if I’m prepping a recipe to be tested, I can go ahead and prep stuff for dinner too! It’s so amazing!

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Avocado Toast with Bacon, Tomato, and Fried Egg

Brunch! Avocado Toast with Bacon, Tomato, and Fried Egg- Baker BettieI have a whole new routine the last couple of weeks. And the routine involves making myself brunch. Every. Single. Day. Are you jealous? I’m totally not sorry about it.

For the last year, my routine involved me getting up at 5 am and not getting home until at least 11pm but mostly later. And now my routine involves brunch. It’s a pretty awesome trade off. Since school is over, I have committed myself to the blog. I still work nights, but now I get up a little closer to 7am and I sit in my pj’s and work on the computer. I answer emails, I edit photos, I write about food, I develop recipes. It’s the best job I can think of.

Oh yeah, and there’s a whole lotta work going on with that blog lifestyle magazine thing too. In case you haven’t heard yet, we are launching VRAI Magazine in just under a week! We have been developing this project for months and I am excited to see where it goes. We have an amazing team of bloggers who are all great storytellers. The magazine will bring you articles about food, travel, crafting, diy, fashion, parenting, and various other lifestyle topics that all focus on true stories from real bloggers. I really hope you join us for the launch! You can subscribe to the twice monthly publications here!

Brunch! Avocado Toast with Bacon, Tomato, and Fried Egg- Baker BettieOk, sorry. Where were we?

Oh yeah, BRUNCH!

So since I’m trying to be a serious blogger/magazine editor and want to get in a good 8 hours of work before I go to my other job, I don’t want to take time out twice during the day to make breakfast and lunch. My compromise is to grab a piece of fruit and coffee and get started working immediately in the morning. Then about 11 o’clock I will take a break for BRUNCH! Can you tell that I really love mixing breakfast and lunch? It makes me feel irrationally happy!

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Spiced Rum Apple Cream Cheese Tart

Spiced Rum Apple Cream Cheese TartHello long lost friends! I have missed you so much!

Well I’ve missed my husband most, but you all are a close second! Life is cRAZy right now. Seriously, cray-cray. And I feel like I’ve been starting out soo many of my posts this way lately. And I’m sorry.

I am in my last month of culinary classes while continuing to work and this makes for some seriously long days. Like out the door at 6am and not home again until midnight or later days. Which leads me to missing and neglecting you all. I’m so sorry but I will be at it again full force in just a few short weeks. Pinky promise!

Spiced Rum Apple Cream Cheese TartYesterday I had a rare few hours in the morning before I was off and running so I decided I HAD to bake something. But I wanted something that took minimal effort. Something that tasted and looked fancy and decadent but literally took no skill to throw together. As much as I love long and complicated baking, sometimes I just want easy. Easy and lazy. I hope you are okay with that!

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Homemade Beignets with Pate a Choux

How to Make Beignets with Pate a Choux- Baker BettieFried dough. I mean… Can you really go wrong? I would argue not. There is just something magical that happens when you drop dough into a hot bath of fat. Magical and delicious.

We’re on to Episode 3 of Pate a Choux week! Beignets! And I feel I need to have a disclaimer on these because some people from New Orleans (or Nawlins) might get a little feisty with me about thinking these aren’t proper beignets. I get it.

In French, beignet means fried dough. It is synonymous with the English word fritter and in France it specifically refers to deep fried choux pastry (unless wikipedia is a total liar, which is entirely possible). So since pate a choux is a French pastry dough, then we’re going to stick with calling these beignets even though in New Orleans the dough for making beignets is typically more of a traditional yeast doughnut dough. I promise, they are still really tasty and actually much easier to make!

If you are from New Orleans and have a problem with calling these beignets, then call them Zeppole! I was thinking about how so many cultures have their own variations of fried dough. And I found this recipe for zeppole from Giada and she uses a pate a choux as the base of her recipe. Though I have also seen numerous recipes that do not use choux as the base of zeppole. Whatever. Call them what you want. As long as hot fried dough is in my mouth, I don’t really care what it’s called.

How to Make Beignets with Pate a Choux- Baker BettieIf you are just tuning into Pate a Choux week, welcome! On Tuesday I did a tutorial about the basics of pate a choux, how to make it, and all it’s various applications. That is a great post to check out first if you are unfamiliar with how to make this simple and incredibly versatile pastry dough.

Yesterday we baked the pastry for eclairs and filled them with cinnamon whipped cream and topped them with an espresso glaze. Pate a choux has many applications when baking it. But today, we fry!

Check out the rest of the Pate a Choux and All it Can Do series here:
How to Make Basic Pate a Choux
Eclairs with Espresso Glaze and Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Classic Cream Puffs
Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère)

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Eclairs with Espresso Glaze and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Eclairs with Espresso Glaze and Cinnamon Whipped Cream- Baker BettieWelcome back to pate a choux week! If you just tuned in, I posted a tutorial yesterday about pate a choux, what it is, how to make it, and a brief overview of all the glorious treats that can be a result of knowing how to make it. Check out that post first then get your booty back over here for some eclairs!

Eclairs with Espresso Glaze and Cinnamon Whipped Cream- Baker BettieFor those who might not be aware, eclairs are traditionally oblong pastries that you can fill with either pastry cream or whipped cream. They are then usually topped with a chocolate glaze or fondant icing. I of course wanted to take liberties with my eclairs and do something a little bit different. I didn’t have any chocolate in the house (criminal, I know) so I opted for a simple glaze flavored with espresso. I also don’t love pastry cream or custard filling, and much prefer whipped cream that is only slightly sweetened. I am obsessed with cinnamon and coffee together so I added a touch of cinnamon to my whipped cream for the filling.

Okay, let’s make some eclairs!

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Breakfast Pasta: Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Fried Egg Pasta

Pasta for Breakfast! Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Fried Egg Pasta- Baker BettieHello friends! It seems like it has been ages since I have shared with you! I’m so sorry. I hope you will forgive me. I totally took advantage of the holiday laziness. And I say sorry, but I’m really not sorry. It has been pretty glorious.

This Christmas Mr. Baker Bettie and I were on our own. We missed our families terribly but we took advantage of spending a whole day together without a single thing to get done. We literally never left the house or our pajamas for the whole day. It was awesome. And if we couldn’t be with our families on Christmas, I can’t think of a better way to spend the day.

Pasta for Breakfast! Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Fried Egg Pasta- Baker BettiePasta for Breakfast! Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Fried Egg Pasta- Baker BettieMy sweetie pie of a man spoiled me with a bunch of kitchen stuff. All things I truly didn’t need, but am very excited to put to use! Like a pasta machine! I used it to make some decent pasta for this breakfast. It was pretty darn tasty, but I need to get some semolina to make some better quality stuff. This pasta doesn’t really have to be for breakfast, but I mean, it’s pasta for breakfast! So you should do it. Breakfast is my boo. Pretty much my favorite thing ever next to my husband and my kitties.

Pasta for Breakfast! Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Fried Egg Pasta- Baker BettieYou know what else is my boo? Brussels sprouts. I ranted and raved about them a while back. I lectured all you brussels sprouts haters to give them a chance if prepared properly. And I don’t really care how trendy they are right now. B-sprouts deserve some fame. The problem with brussels sprouts bad wrap is that they must be prepared from fresh. They are not a veg that holds up to freezing well (in my opinion).  And you can’t overcook them. Because if you do, they start releasing this smelly gas. And nobody likes that. I like to cook them with really high heat really fast. It gives them a good char and maintains a little crunch. Trust me. Brussels sprouts are veg heaven.

Pasta for Breakfast! Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Fried Egg Pasta- Baker BettieI was so anxious to make some fresh pasta the other morning that I made this for breakfast. It was super simple after the pasta was made (which was also fairly simple, but you can use dried pasta too). Basically, I just rendered some bacon and removed it from the pan keeping the grease. I then sauteed some onion, garlic, red pepper flake, and the brussels sprouts. I then added the pasta, bacon, and a bit of the pasta water to the pan and tossed everything together. The yolk from the fried egg on top created a bit of a sauce with the bacon grease and pasta water. It was just so freaking good. Like probably one of my favorite breakfast creations ever. THAT good. So I guess what I’m getting at here is… just try it. Give those b-sprouts a second chance. They deserve it!

Pasta for Breakfast! Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Fried Egg Pasta- Baker BettieI hope you all have a safe and fun New Year filled with love! I will be back New Years Day with a 2013 round up of this year’s most popular posts! A lot of cookies are involved in that. I’m not sad about it :)

One Year Ago: 
Merry Christmas, Darling

Two Years Ago: 
Cocktails for New Years Eve and the Morning After

Breakfast Pasta: Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Fried Egg Pasta

Ingredients

  • 6 oz cooked pasta, pasta water reserved (can be fresh or dried pasta)
  • 4 strips bacon, diced
  • ½ small onion, small diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup trimmed and thinly sliced brussels sprouts
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • salt and pepper
  • fried eggs

Instructions

  1. In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon to crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside keeping the grease in the pan.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, brussels sprouts, and red pepper flake to the pan and saute until browned. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the cooked pasta and the bacon back into the pan and toss together. Add several TBSP of the pasta water to the pan and toss together.
  4. Serve each portion with a fried egg on top. (this serves 2 large portions or 4 small portions)
http://bakerbettie.com/brussels-sprouts-bacon-fried-egg-pasta/

Cinnamon Roll Wreath

Cinnamon Roll Wreath- Baker BettieI have a confession. I am a closeted obnoxious holiday person. I love that Christmas music starts playing on the radio the day after Halloween. I will fully belt Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” if nobody is around. I can watch the same Christmas movies over and over again every year and never get sick of them. And I switch from my regular Americano to drink Eggnog lattes the second they are available.

Cinnamon Roll Wreath- Baker Bettie

Cinnamon Roll Wreath- Baker Bettie

I think it is pretty hard not to get into the spirit if you have good memories of the holidays from your childhood. And I definitely do. My mom really has a knack for decorating, though I’m not sure she fully knows that about herself. Our house growing up was one of the prettiest in our neighborhoods during the holidays. The outside and inside were decorated so beautifully and we always had fun Christmas music playing. I remember when we’d finally break out all of our family favorite Christmas CD’s and they would play non-stop. The staples of our collection were: Mariah Carey (of course), Harry Connick Jr., Celine Dion, Mannheim Steamroller, and Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, which was our absolute favorite. My sister found this music video of one of the songs from Dolly and Kenny’s Christmas CD and it is pretty amazing. You NEED to watch it. I have so many good memories singing those songs and getting ready for our family holiday party every year.

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Sunshine Pudding: Sausage Egg & Cheese Casserole

Sunshine Pudding: Sausage Egg & Cheese CasseroleEvery major holiday since I can remember has always, and I mean always, included Sunshine Pudding for breakfast. At least that’s what we always called it. It’s basically an egg, sausage, and cheese casserole. So simple, yet so amazingly delicious. It is the perfect holiday breakfast because you put it together the night before and it is ready to just pop in the oven in the morning. Perfect for lounging around in your pj’s while breakfast is in the oven.

Sunshine Pudding: Sausage Egg & Cheese Casserole

I believe it was my aunt Jo who started the tradition. And it just spread throughout the entire family. You start with a layer of bread in the bottom of the dish. Eggs are then poured on top of the bread and everything is topped with spicy sausage and cheese. I always add in some veggies too, but that is optional. Let everything soak overnight and pop it in the oven in the morning. Serve with salsa and sour cream or any other condiments you desire. Maybe it is just nostalgia, but Sunshine Pudding screams the holidays are here to me!

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Puff Pastry Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar and Bourbon Glaze

Puff Pastry Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar and Bourbon Glaze - Baker Bettie

Yesterday Baker Bettie turned two. I can’t believe I have already been at this for two years. We sure have come a long way since that first post. At times it has been stressful, and exciting, and overwhelming. But it has always been amazing. And I have never once wanted to stop. That is a big deal for me. I am an ideas person but I rarely follow through completely with all of those crazy ideas. But here we are today with this one. Two years later. I feel really proud of that.

Puff Pastry Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar and Bourbon Glaze - Baker BettieI didn’t really get to celebrate the day yesterday. I was at school by 7 am and didn’t get home from work until after midnight. But this morning I was able to sleep in a bit and I had a little time before school so I treated myself. I treated myself to some baking therapy with these donuts. They were perfect paired with some really strong coffee and a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother which I am currently binge watching whenever I get a few hours.

Puff Pastry Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar and Bourbon Glaze - Baker Bettie

I made puff pastry from scratch at school the other day. It was just about the most exciting thing ever for me. The dough feels really nice to work with and the process is cathartic. Though some might think it’s tedious and obnoxious. These can easily be made with store bought puff pastry. This post isn’t about making puff pastry. I feel like that needs its own post and I didn’t take pictures of the process since I was at school. But if you are interested in making your own here is a great tutorial. But seriously, unless you are insane like me, just buy some.

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Baked Sweet Potato Pecan Crisps

Baked Sweet Potato Pecan Crisps

The other morning I ate a sweet potato for breakfast. And not just a sweet potato. But a sweet potato topped with oats, brown sugar, a bit of butter, and pecans. It was totally warming and comforting and the perfect Autumn breakfast. I patted myself on the back for the great idea.

Baked Sweet Potato Pecan CrispsI’m really into sweet potatoes. I have a difficult time understanding why people don’t like them. They can be savory or sweet. You can make them into a mash, or fries, or a pie. You can even make them into cookies or keep them whole and appreciate how perfect they are as is. What is not to like? I can’t relate on this one.

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