Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas Eggnog Cookies

I bet you think there will be eggnog in the batter..so did I, but they don't. They do taste and smell exactly like eggnog! Boy, are they delish. Merry Christmas friends and a Happy Hanukkah to Mendy and your cute family.

Eggnog Snickerdoodles (from an unknown website..sorry I look at so many)

Cookie
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tea salt
  • 2 tea cream of tartar
  • 1 tea baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, room temp
  • 1/2 tea rum extract
  • 1/2 tea brandy extract (I used vanilla)
  • 2 large eggs

Rolling Mixture
  • 1 tea nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven 400 degrees. Line pans with silpat.

Whisk dry ingredients.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add extracts.
Gradually blend dry with wet. Shape in balls and roll in nutmeg sugar.
Bake 8-10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ABC Maple Pecan Medjool Date Rugelach

King Arthur Flour has an excellent description and step by step process of making Rugelach. Thanks to Hanna for sharing. I also scoured all my cookbooks that had recipes for Rugelach because I have been meaning to make this for some time now.

Confession: I spent an hour leafing through my indexes to find the "1" I wanted. I had a perfect picture in my head of the recipe...it was not in the index under R! but for C... chocolate chip.

Finally, with Baking for All Occasions and my Bon Appetit Christmas Cookbook in hand I started the Avid Bakers Challenge.
Should I mention that it was past midnight. My mother use to say, "Nothing good happens after midnight." I think for once, I may have proven her wrong. Although, I was having doubts when my dough was not big chunks like the King Arthur description. And I did worry that it would not ball up...after a lot of time pulsing.

Finally: the dough!

Refrigerated over night.

Rolled out to 8 inches.

Pure maple syrup.

Cinnamon and brown sugar.

I do not care for dates. I did want to make this exactly but when I went to buy dates they were so big and...well squishy slimy looking. I am feeling sick just thinking of it!!! So I bought sugar coated date bits.

Rolled. The dough is very easy to handle and tasty. I couldn't help myself from sampling little bits.
For my none nut family members...cherry preserves, cherries, and mini chocolate chips.

The King Arthur cookbook suggested leaving the ends and middle free of filling so they closed when rolled better.

I always keep my nut things very separate!!! I rarely use nuts, due to the girl's allergies, but I think that Rugelach is something that screams NUTS.

MMM beautiful. I served these after a simple dinner of roast chicken, fresh cranberry relish, roasted garlic root veggies, corn, and spinach salad.
I really didn't think I would like the maple and date combo. In fact I was determined not to like it. I have a thing against maple...but they were my favorite. The chocolate in the other was too sweet.
Baking for All Occasions has provided an excellent and easy to follow road map to perfection on this recipe.

And now to really make you want to "Eat your heart out"...the message my husband made and left for me today.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Breadsticks Glorious Breadsticks

I usually dump everything in the mixer and mix. Dump, Roll, Spread, and cut! I love the ease of these and that they do not have to raise. In 30 minutes I can be having fresh wonderful bread sticks. People ask for this recipe...and I was so surprised that I did not have a post for it. Now, we can all enjoy the glorious bread stick. And selfishly, I can have access to the recipe anywhere on the planet. Breadsticks anyone?

Maughan Family Breadsticks-
shared by Stacey Maughan in the 2003 family cookbook
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 TB yeast
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 1/2 tea salt (I use 3/4)
  • 3 cups flour (I use bread flour)
Mix all ingredients until soft dough. Roll out on pan. Spread with butter and spices. Cut. Separate. Bake 375 for 12-15 minutes.
  • 1 cube melted butter
  • Fresh Parmesan
  • Garlic salt
  • Parsley

Roll out...not too thin.

Pour melted butter on your dough.

Add garlic salt with parsley. I like this because I can see how much garlic salt I am adding because of the flakes of parsley.

Add fresh Parmesan cheese.

Cut. I do mine softly on my silpat. I have ruined one pat from cutting too deep..so be careful! I wonder now why I even use my silpat?? You do not need to...there is plenty of butter and they never stick.

If you are feeling groovy you can make twists..I can never wait that long before popping them in the oven.

Bake until golden on bottom. I like mine soft and light in color. I do usually half the batch because we end up eating the entire thing. These pictures are a half batch!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Beginning Review....Clinton St. Baking Company

For my birthday my husband got me a cookbook. I married him because he is smart that way! This cookbook is from a New York Restaurant that serves breakfast, brunch, and beyond. It is called Clinton St. Baking Company. I have only made 5 recipes so far (biscuits, pancakes, maple butter, chocolate sauce and pumpkin cheese cake) but have had wonderful results.

The pumpkin cheesecake has the most wonderful flavor!! And days later tastes fresh...I will have to make this again soon..Thanksgiving, because I undercooked it and need to give it another chance at stardom. I also will be trying the biscuits again because in an effort to not over-mix, I under-mixed them! Biscuits are my nemesis!
Luckily, we loved the flops and are all excited for a second go. I did follow up the biscuits with a flaky biscuit recipe from Cook's Illustrated online and was wowed by the flavor, texture, and ease..I may have found my bridge to success with that recipe.

I have been in a slump today..so this evening after everyone was in bed, I whipped up some cinnamon chili chocolate sauce and dumped it on my left over "Neil's" pancakes. Wonderful! And it made an enormous amount, so I plan to have ice cream with chocolate sauce as my bedtime snack.

Nothing like chocolate to perk a person up.

Special thanks to:
Kathy Taylor- for the wonderful chocolate buttons
Joel Winegar- for loaning me his camera to take pictures
Joel Taylor- for The Great Cookbook!
Miss Amanda- for being my food guinea pig during your stay

Monday, November 1, 2010

Feeding the Gumpathon

The Gumpathon:
"On 10 September 2010 six runners will set out from New York with the intention of reaching LA by 11 November. In a unique challenge which stretches 3,530 miles, six brave guys will be running to raise a substantial amount of money for injured service men and women returning from current conflict.

Each runner will cover 16-22 miles per day in relay formation, completing up to 88 miles a day and the equivalent of 34 marathons each over the two month period. The team will run continuously for a 63 day period covering 4 time zones, 3 deserts and 10 mountain ranges."

I had the honor of giving the chef, Danny, a break and making them breakfast. I made chili casserole, scrambled eggs with hollandaise, bacon, fruit and well....I picked up some fantastic donuts from a local shop.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Hubby!

For JT's birthday we had breakfast all day long. It is his favorite meal...and I made enough grits for congress. ST made his favorite baked oatmeal, we had mini pecan muffins (thanks Elizabeth!), and bacon and eggs.

Mmmm creamy grits:

  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups stone ground grits..possibly Mabry Mill Grits..which is what I used
  • 1 tea salt
Simmer over low heat for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally

  • 1 cup half and half
  • 5 TB butter

Slowly add remaining ingredients and cook till absorbed.

I made the creamy grits from my "A Real American Breakfast" cookbook. Which I have yet to make anything that has not been fantastic from this book. Later for dinner, I made eggs on creamy grits with creole sauce. WOW..very yummy and different. Look at those grits on the bottom-Beautiful. We had to add buttermilk pancakes for the girls.

Joel always mentions the coincidences in my life..well here I am writing in my food blog about a wonderful food day and listening to a church leader and I hear: "I want to speak about God's happiness and how each one of us can taste of it in spite of the burdens that beset us." How great is that...he is speaking my language!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

150 Best- Zucchini with cilantro and cream

Another stellar recipe out of The 150 Best American Recipes. Simplicity at its finest. I wanted my friends to know that I am back in the kitchen! Still cooking my way through this amazing cookbook.

Zucchini with Cilantro and Cream (original source: Bon Appetit)

Melt and cook:
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 2 garlic cloves

Add and cook till tender:
  • 3 med zucchini, 1/3 inch slices
  • 2 Tb chopped cilantro

Add and simmer till thick:
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tb chopped cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Orange Chiffon Tweed Cake-The Back Side

How can you go wrong with all these wonderful ingredients..oranges, sugar, chocolate!! Well, let me tell you how...
This recipe is wonderful. I was excited to make it because I have had success with a tweed cake in the past. While the cake cooks my house smelled a fantastic, really indescribable smell. My mouth was watering before it even came out. mmm freshly made orange sugar....delectable.
I was lucky enough to have full flavor juicy oranges. I also used my food processor more than the recipe suggested. I wanted to get all the tasty oranges bits so I whirled the dry ingredients in the processor and chopped my chocolate in there as well.
Again...the smell while making this cake was marvelous.
The description of steps for this recipe are excellent. Flo Braker is an excellent cookbook writer. Very clear to follow. I haven't made many of the recipes but..so far I like Baking for All Occasions
Folding in the egg whites..I was nervous about over-mixing, so I think I ended up under-mixing because when I cut the cake I had egg white pockets.
In addition to under-mixing, add over cooking and you have a cake that pops out of the pan..and does not sit on the bottle I had placed out for the cake to cool. My dilemma then became to let it cool in the pan right side up or to let it cool upside down on a rack and get rack marks...what to do?
I opted after a suggestion from a fellow baker, Barb, to leave it on the rack and cover up that side when serving it.
It isn't often you get to see the back side of a cake!!!
The reviews...
  • Great flavor
  • Dry--my fault for over cooking it..and then falling asleep before putting it away, where it sat out all night long during my slumber.
  • Fun to make
  • The whipped cream added a wonderful contrast. I had wanted to add my remaining orange sugar to the whipped cream..but the desert air turned it to stone. That never happens in VA!! Mental note: Must never leave sugar out overnight in Kingman.

Monday, October 4, 2010

150 Best- Oven Roasted Asparagus with Capers

I love asparagus! And to be daring I used a recipe with Capers..in honor of my CA friend Vicky. She said she likes them so here I go trying something new. This is another recipe from my favorite cookbook, 150 Best American Recipes.

While taking this photo I see some leaves of three! Is it poison ivy? It has the red veins...

When in doubt don't touch it, that's my motto. (mmm this looks a lot like VA to me!!..oh it is!)

Bake
Fry
Toss together

Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh asparagus
1/4 cup olive oil
salt
1/4 cup large capers, drained
fresh ground pepper

Directions:
Bake asparagus in a 500 degrees-9 min
Fry capers on high heat 1 min
Toss together