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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Savory Sunday: Sweet and Spicy Orange Chicken with Baby Bok Choy

Sweet and Spicy Orange Chicken with Baby Bok Choy- Baker BettieHappy Sunday my internet friends and family! I hope you have all had a lovely weekend and have been getting some of the beautiful weather we are getting here in Philly! It’s amazing how some sunshine can make you feel like everything in your world is a little better.

Today I bring you something savory. Hopefully at least a tiny inspiration for your weekly dinner planning. I don’t know about you, but I am always frantically searching for dinner ideas on Sunday before our weekly shopping trip. So I am going to try and bring you some more savory recipes here at Baker Bettie. This is mainly for selfish reasons. It will force me to make more creative and exciting dishes. But hopefully they will inspire you too!

Sweet and Spicy Orange Chicken with Baby Bok Choy- Baker BettieI bring you exhibit A of my frequent lack of ideas for dinner. You see, my husband and I do not exactly see eye to eye about what might be a good thing to make. I am constantly trying to play it safe because I want him to love it. So stir frys are a frequent dinner in our house. It’s a way that I can at least get a few veggies into him, other than the lettuce on his Taco Bell taco that he argues is one of his veggie servings. And I can change up the flavors and ingredients easily.

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Chicken Noodle Soup-Pho Fusion

Chicken Noodle Soup-Pho Fusion- Baker BettieI moved away from Kansas for the first time in my life to Austin, TX in 2010. I went to work at the state hospital there as a music therapy intern. It was exciting and terrifying. I was in a new city, with a new job, around new people. I was very lucky in that I had family there and was able to stay with my aunt since I was working for free. However, I still inevitably found myself to be very homesick at times. Homesick for the familiar. Familiar people, familiar places, familiar life.

We lived in an area that was surrounded by tons of Vietnamese restaurants. It was impossible not to notice them. Sometimes several different ones all sharing the same parking lot. And each of them advertizing pho, usually accompanied with a neon picture of a bowl of soup and steam coming up. I was becoming an adventurous eater at the time, but it was difficult for me to get up the courage to go into one and try this unfamiliar cuisine. I had no reference point for what to order. And situations like that often make me anxious. So of course, I avoided it.

Chicken Noodle Soup-Pho Fusion- Baker BettieAbout a month after moving to Austin, my sister came to visit me from L.A. I had a cold at the time and wasn’t much of a host in this still unfamiliar city. One lazy afternoon she suggested we go get some pho, claiming that it would feel healing. I was down. And she became my host guiding me in my first Vietnamese food experience. I trusted in her to order for us. When the food came to the table we each had a huge bowl of noodle soup in front of us with the most thinly sliced rare steak floating on top. It smelled incredible. The bowls also came with a plate of accompaniments. Bean sprouts, lime wedges, jalapeno slices, and tons of fresh herbs: basil, mint, and cilantro. She coached me about flavoring my soup, first tasting it as is and then adding in as much or as little of the add ins and sauces on the table as I desired.

I know it sounds lame, but it truly was a transformative experience. I was absolutely drawn in by the complexity of the broth. It’s all about the broth. Such an incredible depth of flavor yet so clean on the palate. And it was healing. I felt as though that bowl of soup could cure everything from my cold to my homesickness and everything in between. The next day we couldn’t decide what to eat for lunch. I sort of jokingly suggested pho again. My sister instantly agreed. I was so happy I almost cried.

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Parisienne Herb Gnocchi with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

Parisienne Herb Gnocchi with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts- Baker BettieThe culinary world is filled with countless chef’s, personalities, and experts. I look up to a lot of them. And the ones I look up to the most all have something in common. They are good teachers. Not necessarily in the sense that they teach classes or at a school, but they have the innate urge to teach their craft.

I refer to Alton Brown a lot because he is the one who first sparked my interest in food. He approaches food as a science and helps me understand all of the inner workings of why food works. But when it comes to the actual cooking of the food, Thomas Keller is one of the people I admire most. I read a lot from him and watch videos of him teaching and talking about food. Of course I don’t actually know him, but he seems humble. A man with 3 Michelin Stars simultaneously at two restaurants presents himself as humble and as someone who loves to teach his craft. I think that is fantastic.

Parisienne Herb Gnocchi with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts- Baker Bettie

I was turned on to parisienne gnocchi  at school recently. We were making them for dinner service as an accompaniment to ratatouille, and I instantly saw all the possibilities. But let’s back up for a moment. What is the difference between italian gnocchi and parisienne gnocchi, you ask? Well, parisienne gnocchi is made from pate a choux! There is no potato or ricotta involved. Just that simple pate a choux batter I’ve been obsessing over the past few weeks.

I started researching various applications for parisienne gnocchi recently, and I found this video of Thomas Keller preparing his batter and then a video of him preparing a dish with the gnocchi. He takes so much care with these simple ingredients and makes preparing this amazing dish look so incredibly easy.

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Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère)

Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère)- Baker BettieI feel like I need to start this post out with an apology. An apology that the week of Pate a Choux has turned into a week two of Pate a Choux. I had posts lined up for you last week that have now spilled over into this week. Treats that had been made and photographed and waiting for me to edit and share with you. But time and energy just didn’t allow it. And I hope you can forgive me.

Just to give you a few excuses about why all the Pate a Choux didn’t get shared last week: it has something to do with the fact that I’m in school full time, while working, and trying to devote a lot of time to this blogging passion I have, and be a decent wife and cat mother. But mostly it has to do with me trying to detox from caffeine. I say this to you while drinking a cup of coffee at 6pm. But me drinking coffee at 6pm IS me trying to detox from caffeine. Because I had gotten to the point where I needed several cups of coffee AND several energy drinks in one day to function. Which is not okay. Don’t do that. Take my advice. And never drink a Rockstar Energy Drink, ever. That stuff is crack in a can. You drink a Rockstar and realize you FEEL like a rockstar and game over. Addicted. Just don’t. So I’ve cut back to just two cups of black coffee a day for now. I will cut back more, but so far this much is hell and my body isn’t happy about it. But I know it will be better soon.

Okay, excuses over. On to the Pate a Choux Part Deux!

Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère)- Baker BettieIf you are just tuning into this series we are talking Pate a Choux and All it Can Do! Which is a lot! We’re continuing this week with a few more recipes about this amazing pastry dough and just how versatile it can be.

Check out the rest of the series here:

How to Make Basic Pate a Choux

Eclairs with Espresso Glaze and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Homemade Beignets 

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5 Ingredient Basic Drop Biscuits

5 Ingredient Basic Drop Biscuits- Baker Bettie

Hello friends! I’m back today with a very basic drop biscuit recipe to add to my “Back to Bake-sics” series. If you aren’t familiar with the series, I started it a few months ago with some very basic stripped down recipes that can be used as is, or can be adapted to become as fancy as desired.

I love to create unique and interesting recipes but I could never create an over the top cookie if I didn’t understand what a cookie recipe is at it’s core. So my hope here is to continue to provide some basic recipes that will help get those who are intimidated by baking into it, and to help inspire some creativity to adapt these recipes in various ways.

5 Ingredient Basic Drop Biscuits- Baker Bettie

I use this recipe all the time when I am making dinner on the fly and didn’t plan things ahead or don’t have a lot of time on my hands (which is pretty much always). You can throw these together and have them in the oven in less than 10 minutes. And I love drop biscuits because it eliminates the mess and the waste that comes with rolling and cutting out dough. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love traditional biscuits too.  I think they are usually fluffier and have a little better texture, but these have tons of uses too.

I make drop biscuits by themselves as a side for dinner, or drop them over a casserole, or even a cobbler for dessert. You can eat them for breakfast as biscuits and gravy, to sop up your runny eggs, or simply with butter and jam. I can always find a use for them!

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