Kristin Eldridge Photography specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography servicing Long Beach, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

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In the Kitchen

08Apr

No Knead Bread [In the Kitchen]

No-Knead Bread?  That tastes amazing?  Sign me up!  My mom taught me this recipe a few summers ago and I’ve seen the No-Knead pizza dough floating around online and pretty much every where!  I made it here, so check it out if you want to see how this translates to pizza.

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No Knead Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  The dough will be shaggy and sticky.  Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl (covered with a towel) to sit for 12-18 hours.  This is where the magic happens!  Pour the mixture into an oiled cast iron skillet and bake it (at 450) covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes more.

 

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30Mar

Pasta al Pomodoro

Can we talk about carbs for a sec?  They’re best homemade.  I can pass by pretty much anything that comes from a grocery store, but if you bring me your freshly baked cookies, pie or bread?  Done.  I can gain 5 pounds on that stuff.

Homemade pasta is no exception.  It’s a simple combination of flour, eggs and water, but once kneaded and thrown into a bath of boiling water, it’s carb-a-licous!  Homemade pasta sings on it’s own, so a simple sauce is all it needs.  In this case it’s tomatoes, basil and garlic.  Scroll all the way down to see the recipe.

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Pasta: (Makes 6 servings)

2 cups flour

2 eggs

You can click here to see photos of making pasta.  It involves a big heap of flour with a well in the middle.  Put your eggs and a few tablespoons of water in the well.  Use a fork to toss and toss until the dough gets to the point that you can knead it.  It will be a dry dough, so use your muscles!

If you have a pasta roller, push the dough into flat ovals that you can push through the roller.  You’ll want to run the machine at thinner settings until you get the consistency you like.  I ran it through a level 5 then once again through the cutter to make the spaghetti.

*On a side note, I LOVE my kitchen aid attachment.  It’s so easy to use and pretty much fool proof!

Sauce:

4-5 ripe tomatoes

3-4 basil leaves

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

This is a rough estimate for the sauce.  Make adjustments according to your tastes.  The key is to let it sit for at least an hour for the flavors to meld and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

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22Mar

Tropical Green Smoothie [In the Kitchen]

I try not to let Google Analytics determine my happiness.  But, it’s that page that tells me how many of you are listening.  Blogging can be a little lonely sometimes.  As in, tap tap, is this thing on?  One of my more popular posts was my Green Smoothie with Peanut Butter and Banana.  Thanks to a site called Oatmeal in My Bowl that featured 30 days of green smoothies, they’re my number one contributor of hits.  So, ALOT of you care about green smoothies!  As in thousands!

Where does that lead me?  A summer version.  A Tropical Green Smoothie!!  This recipe is just as good as the original, but has a much more summery taste.  Just try it, already!

The key to a good green smoothie is frozen bananas.  I like to prepare a few bananas ahead of time and then have them ready.  But, if I run out, I’ll slice a banana very thin on a plate and freeze it for 15-20 minutes.

I make this smoothie for the whole family, so this recipe will give you 3 large portions or about 5 medium size portions.  I add the banana at the bottom of the blender, top with another regular (unfrozen banana) add a sliced mango, a can of light coconut milk and a big handful or two of fresh spinach.  If you like your smoothies very cold, add a cup of crushed ice.  Blend until the spinach is thoroughly pulsed.

//photography by Kristin Eldridge in Long Beach

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14Mar

Honey Bran Muffins [In the Kitchen]

Wisdom comes in all forms.  And this time in came in the form of Aunt Ginger.  It was weeks before my wedding and the gifts were starting to pile up.  I made a comment about thinking I’d seldom use some of the nicer dishes and service items.  But, why not, she asked?  Why do we have to save our nice stuff.  Why can’t we use the nice stuff every day?  Since tomorrow may never come, I use the best I have today.

Along with life tips, Aunt Ginger also gave me recipes.  And many years later they are recipes I still use!  There’s one thing I remember her making that I never got the recipe for.  Those ooey, gooey, stick-to-your-fingers honey bran muffins popped into my head a few weeks ago, so I tracked down the recipe for you guys!

Honey Bran Muffins

makes 12

Bottom Layer:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 T. honey

2T. water

Beat butter and brown sugar, add honey and water.  Line muffin tins with the mixture.

Top Layer:

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/4 cup oil

4 T. honey

1/4 cup crushed pineapple

3 cups All Bran cereal

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup craisins

Mix all ingredients well and scoop into your muffin tins.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

**edited to add:  Two people commented they had trouble with spilling over and the sugar burning in the oven.  If your muffin tins seem very full, try adding less to each tin and making more muffins.  Also, turning down the oven would help with burning on the bottom of the muffin.  Each oven can heat differently.  Hope that helps!

Here’s that free lensing technique again.  I love it!  I need to do a blog post on it!

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14Feb

Blueberry Scones [In the Kitchen]

Last night I was sitting on the couch telling Brent about how Valentine’s Day isn’t for married people.  I went on for a bit until he’s all…you say that every year.  I do!?  Apparently I subconsciously feel strongly about Valentine’s Day.  Then he went out and bought Jillian and I each a bouquet of flowers today.  Over-achiever.  I baked some blueberry scones that count for Teacher Appreciation Week, Valentine’s Day annnd after school snacks.  I multi-tasked that business.

 

Scones are a delightful combination of flour, sugar and lots of butter.  The fresh fruit makes you feel like you’re eating something healthy, so just don’t even look at all that butter.  Oh and that crazy picture above?  Free lensing.  It’s my new favorite thing.  You take the lens off your camera body and then tilt it this way and that to get different looks.  It’s like a make-shift tilt-shift.

Smitten Kitchen Berry Scones

Makes 12

2 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces of butter, in 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup blueberries
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk (use the smaller amount if using fresh fruit, the larger if using the raisin-caraway combo)

Turbinado or sanding sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place cubed butter in freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, measure other ingredients (except buttermilk and fruit) and mix in the bowl of a food processor.

Add butter to processor bowl and mix until the butter and flour mixture are the texture of coarse cornmeal. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a mixer and add buttermilk and fruit, mixing on the lowest speed until the dough just comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a couple times. Roll dough out to approximately one-inch thickness (I skipped the rolling pin and just patted it out with floured hands) and cut into squares. Cut those squares again on the diagonal, creating triangles. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if you’re using it.

Bake on an ungreased baking sheet (mine stuck ever-so-slightly, so I might line it with parchment next time, though no biggie if you don’t) for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

 

 

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05Feb

Valentine Marshmallows [In the Kitchen]

Halloween and Valentine’s Day are just a clever excuse to eat more sugar!  But, that’s okay with me and my sweet tooth.  I put a little spin on homemade marshmallows, by rolling them in colored sugar.  Valentine peeps!  To see all the specifics on how to make these, head over to the Little Skye Blog, where I’m guest posting today!

By the way, these marshmallows are a great treat to use with my free valentine templates!  Head over to my facebook fan page to download the template.

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17Jan

Red Curry with Chicken and Vegetables [In the Kitchen]

I’m ready to get out of the winter rut.  Because…I seem to be making a lot of the same recipes these days.  I crave hearty food that is served piping hot.  Something to keep me warm on these chilly nights!  This recipe does that…it’s like a stew, but with tons and tons of flavor.  Something that will wake up your taste buds!  Have I sold you yet?

So, the dish was inspired by Panang Curry at True Food Kitchen.  I ordered it off the menu a few weeks ago (craving something warm and satisfying!) and I had to figure out how to make it at home.  Now, let me start by saying that panang curry is hard to find.  I started with this recipe and then had to tweak it because some of the items I wasn’t able to find at my local markets.  And I also had to add some things, so it would be a little more similar to the curry at True Food.  It turned out soooo good, I had to share it with you! (And the kids liked it too….score!)

Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

serves 6

3 Tablespoons red curry paste (you can put in less if you are sensitive to spice)

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

4 cups coconut milk (or 2 cans…I used 1 regular and 1 light)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks

1 1/2 cups broccoli

1 cup carrots

1 cup peeled potato

1 Tablespoon fish sauce

1 Tablespoon sugar

3 Tablespoons cilantro

Fry the curry paste in the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat until fragrant. Stir the coconut milk into the curry paste and bring to a boil. Add the raw chicken and vegetables (I cut the vegetables into chunks, similar in size to the chicken); turn the heat down and simmer until the chicken is nearly cooked through, 20 minutes or so. Stir the sugar, fish sauce, and cilantro and simmer an additional few minutes.

Serve over jasmine rice.  We also loved to squeeze lime juice on top!

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09Jan

Weeknight Dinner: Pizza with Corn, Chiles and Bacon [In the Kitchen]

There’s this thing called no-knead pizza dough and it’s pretty much the best thing ever.  If you can wield a wooden spoon, you can make this.  Seriously.

Also.  Pizza is a great weeknight supper.  And if you can incorporate vegetables and some protein on top, it’s an A+.  I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker and had to try it, despite the general public in my house questioning corn on pizza.  It was a hit…a salty sweet carb-y hit.

I made the no-knead dough…found here on Bon Apetit by Jim Lahey.  Actually, I made an adaptation of Joy the Baker’s adaptation of this recipe.  You can also sub in fresh pizza dough from Trader Joe’s.  It will be equally as delicious!

I didn’t have hatch chiles on hand, so I used one jalapeno instead of 3 hatch chiles.  I didn’t want it to be too spicy.  The one jalapeno was just about right for our taste.  Fresh corn and bacon round out the toppings and I also added some sauteed red onion for good measure.  After baking with a good amount of cheese, it’s topped with arugula.  Healthy pizza!

No Knead Pizza Dough with Corn, Chiles and Bacon  (very slightly adapted from the Joy the Baker recipe)

(makes 2 pizzas)

3 3/4 cups white flour

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup warm water

extra virgin olive oil for the pan

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar.  Add warm water all at once.  Using a wooden spoon, work the mixture together until fully incorporated.  Or you can mix together with your hands (especially toward the end).  The dough will be slightly shaggy.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Let rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

After resting, dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide in half.  (one for each pizza)

Working with one dough at a time, liberally oil a baking sheet with olive oil.  Place the rounded dough on the pan and stretch and press the dough out into a flat rectangle.  If the dough springs bag as you’re pressing it out, simply wait five minutes to allow the dough to rest and then try again.  If the dough tears, don’t worry, just press it back together.

Top with:

3/4 cup pizza sauce  (I made my own from this recipe.  But Trader Joe’s also has a great pre-made one!)

1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

3 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1 jalapeno (roasted, peeled and coarsely chopped– I didn’t include any seeds)

1/2 red onion (chopped and sauteed in olive oil)

1 ear of fresh corn (roasted)  I roasted the corn and jalapeno together in a 425 degree oven before hand and cut the corn off the cob afterward.

arugula and red pepper flakes for topping

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Top pizza with sauce (all the way to the edges) cheese, and toppings.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the edges are charred and bubbling.  Remove from the oven.  Allow to cool for a few moments then slice and top with crushed red pepper flakes and fresh arugula.  Serve immediately.

 

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18Nov

Oatmeal Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting [In the Kitchen]

This is the kind of cake that you make when company is coming and you have NOTHING fancy in your cupboard.  The simple ingredients create a rustic cake that is elevated with a rich, almost carmel-tasting brown sugar frosting.  This is a childhood recipe that my mom used to make.  She was always good at whipping stuff up.  And, confession:  we had dessert after dinner almost every night.  That explains two things- my sweet tooth and the fact that I’ll never be a size 0.  I love dessert!

If you really want to get crazy, serve this with ice cream.  Vanilla is best, of course.  Although I made this half-recipe on the fly.  For blogging purposes, of course, and it was a perfectly acceptable after school snack.

Oatmeal Cake

(recipe from my mom)

1 cup oats

1 1/2 cups boiling water

Soak oats in boiling water for 15 minutes.  Set aside.

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter (original recipe called for shortening and I changed it to butter)

Cream the sugars and butter.  Mix in 2 eggs.  Then add in oatmeal mixture.

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

Sift dry ingredients and add them in.  Place in a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry from the center.

Let the cake cool and then frost.

Brown Sugar Frosting

3/4 cup brown sugar

4 T. cream or milk

4 T. butter

Bring all 3 ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar.  Whisk together and add in 1 t. vanilla.

(My photos show a half recipe, but if you follow this recipe, make it in the 9×13 pan and it will serve 12-15 depending on how much cake you like to eat in one serving!)

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