the baker upstairs

3.24.2017

Classic Beef Stroganoff

Yum
This classic beef stroganoff is so savory and filling! It's the perfect easy dinner for a busy night, and one the kids will love!

This classic beef stroganoff is so savory and filling! It's the perfect easy dinner for a busy night, and one the kids will love!

Last year I started a new tradition for my birthday of having an overnight date with my husband and going to see a show, and it was so much fun! We saw Vance Joy in concert at Saltair, and it was amazing. We had a great time together, and it was wonderful to have a kid-free night (which almost never happens around here). This year we continued the tradition and saw Jim Gaffigan in Yakima, Washington. It was a bit of a drive to the concert, and we had a nice little drive listening to our favorite podcasts and eating our favorite road trip snacks. Jim Gaffigan was hilarious, as always, and it was a fun night away. While we were having a great time, our kids got to spend the night with my nephew and his wife, and I think it's possible they had even more fun than we did! My niece is an excellent seamstress, and taught the girls to sew their own skirts (plus some skirts for their American Girl dolls, too!).

When we came to pick them up the next day, the girls were so sad to leave, and told me all about their amazing adventure. My six year old Lizzy, in particular, can't stop telling me how delicious the food was. She told me all about the stroganoff they made for dinner, and how it was "the bestest dinner I've ever had!" I realized that in nearly ten years of motherhood, I've never made stroganoff for dinner! It's something I ate fairly frequently as a child, and loved, but somehow it has just never made it onto our menu. Since Lizzy is now obsessed with stroganoff, I decided it was time to add it to our rotating list of family dinners. This classic beef stroganoff tastes just as good as I remember it as a child, and is so easy to make, too! It's loaded with strips of juicy beef, tender mushrooms, and a creamy, savory sauce that will make you want to lick the plate. I served it on egg noodles, like I remember as a child, but it would also be great on mashed potatoes or rice. It's a delicious and filling dinner that the whole family will love!
Classic Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, trimmed and sliced thin
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups beef broth, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup flour
1 cup sour cream
1 pound egg noodles, prepared according to package directions

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic, and cook until the onions are translucent. Remove the vegetables to a plate and set aside. In the same skillet, cook the steak until browned. Add 1 1/2 cups of broth, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup broth and the flour. Pour the flour mixture into the skillet and stir to combine. Add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic back into the skillet and bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Serve hot over cooked egg noodles.

adapted from Betty Crocker
This classic beef stroganoff is so savory and filling! It's the perfect easy dinner for a busy night, and one the kids will love!

3.22.2017

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Yum
These lemon poppy seed muffins are light and tender, and such a delicious combination of flavors!

These lemon poppy seed muffins are light and tender, and such a delicious combination of flavors!

Is there anyone else out there who is as obsessed with grocery store pick up as I am? There are a few stores in my area that offer it, and it has totally changed my life! I love that I can choose everything I need online, submit my order to the store, drive up at my allotted time, and have everything loaded into the back of my car. For this girl who hates grocery shopping, it is a lifesaver! The only small hiccup I've run across so far is that sometimes it's hard to buy things sight unseen. For example, last week I ordered six lemons, thinking they would be just an average lemon size. When I picked up my order, though, I had a produce bag that was bursting with six gigantic lemons, each about the size of a grapefruit. I was skeptical that they were actually even lemons, since I had never seen any so big, but the store clerk assured me that they were indeed lemons. I had planned to use them to make this amazing lemon meringue pie, but was able to make the whole pie with the juice from just one lemon!

These lemon poppy seed muffins are light and tender, and such a delicious combination of flavors!

Since then, I've been adding lemon to just about everything, trying to use up my giant stash. These lemon poppy seed muffins have the perfect touch of lemon flavor, and are super light and tender. They're perfect for breakfast, lunch boxes, and snacks! My kids both loved them and were thrilled to take them to school for lunch. My favorite way to eat them is to warm them up just a little in the microwave or toaster oven, and then spread honey butter on top. Yum!

These lemon poppy seed muffins are light and tender, and such a delicious combination of flavors!
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

3/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until fragrant. Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and yogurt, and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined. Fold in the poppy seeds. Scoop into prepared muffin tin, filling 2/3 full. Bake 13-16 minutes, or until light golden brown on top.

adapted from Creme de la Crumb
These lemon poppy seed muffins are light and tender, and such a delicious combination of flavors!

3.20.2017

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Yum
This sweet and delicious chocolate chip banana bread is loaded with chocolate flavor, and super easy to make!

This sweet and delicious chocolate chip banana bread is loaded with chocolate flavor, and super easy to make!

Yes, this is the third time I've posted a variation on this banana bread recipe, and I don't even care. I want to shout from the rooftops how delicious this banana bread is! Everything is even more fantastic when you add chocolate, though, so this variation is pretty much just perfection. The banana bread itself has a rich, buttery taste, and a tender crumb. The chocolate chips scattered throughout the loaf add a ton of flavor, and make it an extra indulgent treat! I had to send most of the loaf to work with my husband, for fear I would eat the whole thing by myself during his night shift. :) I recently invested in some nice bread pans (instead of continuing to use the $3 pans I got for my wedding 14 years ago), and this was the perfect recipe to try them out! My kids said this is the best banana bread they've ever had, and they couldn't get enough of it, so it's definitely one to make again. Yum!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
3 overripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, milk, and mashed bananas, and mix until smooth. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, and pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

adapted slightly from Little Red Hen
This sweet and delicious chocolate chip banana bread is loaded with chocolate flavor, and super easy to make!
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