Happy 6 Month Anniversary, My Dearest Blog

Today marks the 6 month anniversary of Me Versus Martha. It almost feels like an April Fool’s joke on myself because it feels so hard to believe. Like many things in my life, I thought this might be a passing interest that loses its fizzle. But nope, 6 months in and still going strong. I think we’ve decided to go steady :).

So let’s do a quick recap of the last 6 months. Since October 1, 2011 I have:

Had 5,641 fabulous visitors browse Me Versus Martha,

Tried 26 New Recipes,

Written 33 Blog Posts,

And finally, have had 3 posts featured on FoodGawker.com (Berry Scones, Strawberry-Hazelnut Crepes, and Cinnamon-Pecan Rolls)

Thanks for the support fellow blog followers. Here’s to another 6 months!

Get Your Day Rollin’ with Cinnamon Rolls

I am very shamelessly admitting to my fellow readers that I have eaten 6 cinnamon rolls in the span of 4 days. I am well on my way to a bigger pant size and utter happiness.

People often ask what I do with all the baked goods I make. I always spread the wealth. I have some very happy co-workers and friends. This week, the only person that was happy was me.

Cinnamon-Pecan Rolls are a sure fire way to make any Sunday morning better. Little did I know I was going to be making my Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning better.

This was a very special day for me. I got to use my dough hook attachment in my standing mixer for the first time! That just looks fun, doesn't it?

After pulling the dough off the super fun dough hook, knead it for another 30 seconds with your hand and shape it into the shape above..oval?

Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and let it rise for about 2 hours.

Now for the fun part. Punch the dough to take the air out. Then place it on a well floured surface and use your knuckles to get the rest of the air bubbles out of the dough.

After you have rolled your dough out into a 12x16 rectangle, spread your filling (brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans) on the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border on one of the 16 inch sides (preferable the side away from you). Lightly pat the filling into the dough.

Roll the dough using your fingers and thumbs (coolest part of your hands).

Slice the rolls in half. Then in thirds. Then in thirds again. This will help you cut the rolls evenly so they will all be the same size.

You would think the recipe is coming to an end. Negative. At this point, I put the rolls into a well buttered pan. Covered it well with saran wrap and then placed the pan in the refrigerator overnight. I actually prefer this 2-day method of making cinnamon rolls because otherwise you’d have to wake up at 6 a.m. in order to get the recipe done before brunch…and that ain’t happening.

In the morning, you want to 'proof' your dough for about 30 minutes. All this involves is placing your rolls in an unheated oven over a bowl or pan of boiling water. The steam will wake up the yeast.

After you have proofed the cinnamon rolls, place them in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Once the rolls have cooled slightly, pour your cream cheese icing over each roll. Make sure it gets in all the nooks and crannies!

Eat immediately. And then for 5 days after. Unless you plan on sharing. But sometimes sharing is overrated.

It May Be Hot Outside, But It’s Chili Up In Here!

I won’t lie, I’ve been waiting until it gets warm outside to post this Chili blog entry so that I could use this title. So worth the wait.

This is the perfect, no fuss no muss, too tired to cook an elaborate meal, surprisingly healthy, one-pot Chili recipe. Throw all the ingredients into your slow cooker in the morning, and come home to a satisfying and delicious meal.

Chili

There are no subsequent pictures, because that’s how easy this recipe is :). Enjoy!

The ‘Crepe’d Crusader

I think I have a serious problem with puns. After this blog post I am going to put some serious thought into cutting back…..

Who am I kidding, that is never happening. Puns are just so punny!

What’s not funny though is how incredibly easy it is to make these delicious crepes (without a crepe maker!).

Strawberry Nutella Crepes

These Strawberry Hazelnut Crepes made for a nice impromptu brunch this weekend. What is great about crepes is that you most likely have all the ingredients you need to make them sitting in your pantry. The illusion of complexity that is invoked from the name ‘crepes’ is a good ploy used by crepe-maker marketers to intimidate mankind (and make you ‘crepe’ in your pants), but really they are simply simple.

Flour, eggs, salt, butter and milk are all you need for this easy crepe batter. Crepe batter is very thin and easy to pour. The kind of pan you use will be important. It's best to use a non-stick pan that has shallow sides.

Immediately after you pour the batter, lift up the pan and spread it around allowing the batter to coat the entire pan. Cook the crepes on medium heat for no more than a couple of minutes on each side.

Your crepes will be thin and delicate. In order to spread the hazelnut spread without tearing the crepe, heat up the spread for about 30 seconds before spreading it onto the crepe.

Organize the strawberries from the outside in.

Fold the crepe over so that you can see some of the strawberries peaking out. Sift powdered sugar on the crepe and all around the edges of your plate.

Garnish with a few more slices of strawberries. And then eat the 'crepe' out of them!

Hello Foodgawker.com…thank you for having us over!

So proud to announce that MeversusMartha got the blog post Berry Good Scones featured on foodgawker.com! Big shout out to the hubs for taking such a fantastic photo :).

Yaaaaaaaay!

If you’re looking for the picture it is on the home page of foodgawker.com at the moment. However, foodgawker.com refreshes their pages frequently so it might move over to the second page by tomorrow.

Did I say Yaaaaay?!!!!

Berry Good Scones

It’s not high tea and there are no royal weddings in sight, but today we’re serving up some scones.

Berry Scones

Making these Berry Scones was a bloody good time. Bloody brilliant if I do say so myself. (If you read this post with a British accent in your head, it will make it much more fun :)).

Scones are all about the butter. 1) You want to make sure you keep your butter as cold as possible. Use refrigerated butter and work quickly. 2)You want to make sure the butter is spread through the scone batter evenly. The best way to do this is to grate the butter with a cheese grater.

With your hands, mix the butter and cream into the flour mixture until just incorporated. The mixture should look grainy, like cornmeal. Do not over mix because you want your butter to stay cold.

Place the scone batter on a well-floured surface and knead just until the dough comes together. It will probably only take 8-10 kneads. While kneading, incorporate the flour on your surface as needed because you do not want the dough to be sticky.

Roll the dough into an 8 inch circle - don't worry, it doesn't need to be a perfect circle, as you can tell.

Next, fold the dough into thirds and then into thirds again forming a rectangular square. Place the dough on parchment paper and place in your freezer for at least 10 minutes.

After you have cooled the dough, roll it into an 8 to 10 inch square. The dough should be much easier to roll at this point.

Sprinkle your berries all over the dough. If you are using fresh berries, freeze them first. If you use unfrozen berries, the color of the berries will melt into the dough causing your scone to have a funky color.

Now you will roll your dough into a log. Then you want to flatten the dough with your hands to form a long rectangle.

Slice your log into 5 squares. Then slice each square at the diagonal.

Brush some melted butter on top of the scones and then sprinkle sugar on the tops.

The assembly of these scones is not a traditional way of making scones. However, the folding of the scone dough will result in a light and flaky scone. Remember, do not over mix or over knead the dough and work fast so you can keep the butter as cold as possible. Do these two things and you’ll have bloody good scones.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until both the top and bottom of the scone is light golden brown. Cool for ten minutes, and then enjoy fellow chaps!

Next on the list, Fish n’ Chips.

Oscar Nominated Chocolate Mousse

‘I want to thank everybody and anybody who ever had anything to do with the making of this mousse. And most of all, I’d like to thank my family and friends, who supported me in eating it.’ -Kinjal

If you are hosting a Oscar party this weekend, nothing says elegance and excellence like this Chocolate Mousse.

I bet most people didn’t know that the main ingredient in Chocolate Mousse (besides the chocolate of course) is raw eggs. You heard me. I’ve never made a dessert quite like this so I was a little nervous, but ultimately very happy with the final product.

Egg White and Egg Yolks - both have a part in this movie.

You want to beat the egg yolks until you can form a ribbon that takes a few seconds to dissolve.

The egg whites on the other hand need to be beaten until you reach soft peaks.

And now for my favorite ingredients: Bittersweet Chocolate (get the good kind) and butter!

Melt the chocolate until smooth.

Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, gently whisk in your egg yolks (and a little bit of whiskey!)

Next, gently fold in the egg whites. Take your time with this because you want your end product to be light and fluffy. If you fold the egg whites and chocolate too quickly, you will have a very tough consistency.

You can also fold in fresh whipped cream for a lighter texture. I like my mousse a little dense and rich so I only folded in about 1/2 cup of whipped cream. Most other recipes will call for 1-2 cups.

And there you have it - your final product. But don't eat it just yet! Refrigerate it in your ramekins for at least 3-4 hours before serving. I used a star piping tip to make pretty swirls of mousse in my ramekins.

Happy Oscar Weekend!

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