My Verdict: Martha Stewart’s Cookies
Cookbook Reviews / August 31, 2018

Here’s my verdict for Martha Stewart’s Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and Share. To Read: Sure. There’s not a lot to read, just short descriptions of each cookie. After the recipes, there is a tips section that has pretty helpful information. And since this is Martha Stewart, there are even some craft projects that will help you with packaging and sharing your cookies. To Look At: Yes. Each recipe is accompanied by a photo. The tips section also has great photos to clearly demonstrate the steps for making each type of a cookie. Even if you aren’t crafty, the packaging section has some nice photos that can give you ideas of how to present your cookies. To Cook From: I think so. The Mini Black-and-White Cookies were not a success, but the Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies were. Also, I have made the Gingerbread-White Chocolate Blondies at Christmas for years, and they are a family favorite. With 175 recipes in this book, I doubt everyone is going to be a winner, but there were many more recipes that looked worth trying. I did like the way this cookbook was set up better than Dorie’s Cookies, which had some…

Bonus Recipe: Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipes / August 30, 2018

There are three different types of chocolate chip recipes in the Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook: Thin and Crisp, Cakey, and the recipe below. I really do not like crisp chocolate chip cookies, and I’m not sure about cakey. So these seemed like my best bet. Luckily, I guessed right, because these are excellent cookies. My son, who has never baked cookies, made these with some friends the other day because they had already eaten the batch that I made. Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 large eggs 2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour and baking soda in medium bowl. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla, and eggs; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Mix in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing…

Mini Black-and-White Cookies
Recipes / August 29, 2018

I decided to make these black and white cookies, because of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry buys this type of cookie at a bakery and says for racial harmony we “Should look to the cookie!” I have never eaten a real, New York City black and white cookie, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect.  I have to say this version of black and white cookies did not impress. Mini Black-and White Cookies For the cookies: 1 1/4 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup sugar 1 large egg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk For the icing: 2 cups powdered sugar 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon water, plus more if needed 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make cookies, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add granulated sugar; mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture in…

Tuesday Links
Favorite Things / August 28, 2018

The Best Baking Pans Are Ceramic Coated: Looks like it’s time to invest in some new baking pans. All the Types of Onions, and What They’re Best For: I admit I usually just use whatever onions I have on hand, but this it’s good to know what I should be using. Recipe: The Easiest Peach-Raspberry Pie With Press-In Crust: I never make pie because I don’t have the patience for the crust. The crust in this recipe is more my speed, and this was a big hit with some recent dinner guests. How to Throw a Three-Course Dinner Party: Speaking of dinner parties, there some really good tips in this article. 30 Mind Blowing Ways to Eat Cookie Dough: You are either going to think these recipes are disgusting, or, if you are like my son, you will start drooling.  

Martha Stewart’s Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and Share
Cookbook Overviews / August 27, 2018

I mentioned before that I am a big Martha Stewart fan, so my husband picked this cookbook up for me at a used bookstore. Martha Stewart Living Magazine published this book in 2008. Martha Stewart’s magazine also put out cookbooks covering cakes, cupcakes, and pies. That’s a lot of dessert testing! I thought it would be interesting to compare this book to Dorie’s Cookies. I think the biggest problem with this cookbook, which includes 175 recipes, will be choosing which cookies to try. I will probably have to resort to my tried and true method of letting my family members pick something. I did already try out one of the chocolate chip cookie recipes, which was really good, so I will share that later this week. But I really one to try out something a little more exciting. Hope everyone has a good Monday, and I’ll be back with some recipes later this week.  

My Verdict: Eat a Little Better
Cookbook Reviews / August 25, 2018

Here’s my verdict for Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World by Sam Kass. To Read: Yes. Do you want to read stories about the author hanging out in the kitchen with the Obama girls or cooking for the president on Air Force One? Then you should read this book. Kass also writes about nutrition and food policy, but he doesn’t really hit you over the head with his opinions. To Look At: Sure. The photos are fine, but this book definitely has that hipster vibe, where the photos are toned down and are more about ingredients than the recipes. There aren’t photos for every recipe, and there is only one photo of Michelle Obama. Oh well. To Cook From: Yes. The recipes are quite simple. Kass believes in taking fresh ingredients and using spices and cooking techniques that will best highlight the ingredients. One section of the book that I found really interesting was called “Eat More Grains and Beans.” Kass takes a variety of beans and grains and provides four seasonal recipes highlighting each ingredient. Just like with vegetables I often get stuck in a rut with rice, quinoa, beans, etc., so I plan on trying…

Run Fast, Eat Slow: Superhero Muffins
Recipes / August 23, 2018

Today I am revisiting Run Fast. Eat Slow. to bring you a muffin recipe that I’ve been making over and over again. Superhero Muffins 2 cups almond meal 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 cup walnuts (optional) 1/2 cup raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate chips 3 eggs, beaten 1 cup grated zucchini 1 cup grated carrots 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, spices, baking soda, salt, and any optional items. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrots, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim. (I use an ice cream scoop to fill the tins.) Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. My notes: These are super versatile. I have used a…

Roasted Green Beans With Shallots
Recipes / August 22, 2018

I’m usually pretty uninspired when it comes to cooking vegetables. Thank goodness for the frozen vegetables that come in those steam packs! This is a simple, but delicious recipe to keep green beans from being boring. Roasted Green Beans With Shallots 12 ounces green beans, trimmed 1 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil 1 large shallot, thinly sliced Salt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter Handful of roughly chopped fresh parsley (optional) 1 lemon, halved (optional) Put a large baking sheet on a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the oil, shallot, and a few generous pinches of salt. Spread the vegetables evenly on the hot baking sheet and turn the broiler to high. Cook, shaking the baking sheet once, until the beans are tender, wrinkled, and charred, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, add the butter, and stir as it melts. Scrape it all into a serving bowl, add the parsley, and toss well. Season with lemon juice and more salt to taste. My notes: I forgot to turn on the broiler, and these still turned out great! Make them with…

Tuesday Links
Favorite Things , Recipes / August 21, 2018

The kids are back in school, and I am enjoying the more structured routine. Here are some things I’ve been reading (and cooking). Recipe: Nacho Spuds: If you’re taco Tuesdays have gotten a little blah, try out Rachel Ray’s twist on nachos. ‘Tampopo’ Is the Ultimate Cult Classic Food Film: Haven’t see this movie, but it looks like I may need to. 5 Realistic Ways to Reduce Food Waste When You Have Kids: You really don’t have to have kids to use these helpful tips. This Bookstore Is Stuffed With Just One Thing: Cookbooks: Must visit! Soda Can Cocktails: Secretly Delicious Drinks You Can Take Anywhere: I am making the LaCroix Pamplemousse cocktail this weekend. How I Mastered the Workday Lunch: I have been working for a bazillion years, and I still haven’t mastered lunch. Hope this article helps. Have a great week everyone!

Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World
Cookbook Overviews / August 20, 2018

I am very excited to review this week’s cookbook. First, I need some more healthy cooking books in my life. I have really enjoyed trying out new recipes from Run Fast. Eat Slow., so I’m looking forward to some new ideas about healthy cooking (to make up for all of those dessert cookbooks!). The second reason I’m excited is because this cookbook was written by the Obama’s personal chef! If you keep up with publishing, there are a lot of Obama staff who have written books. I have read one really funny memoir from an Obama staffer (Who Thought This was a Good Idea?) and listen to some other former Obama staffers’ podcasts. Regardless of your politics, these staffers all seem so funny and smart. When I heard there would be an Obama cookbook, I couldn’t wait to check it out. My kids are not so excited about this. Their schools made some changes to the lunch menus because of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Somehow they found out that these changes were due to a law that Michelle Obama helped pass. Whenever they complain about their school lunches (mainly they don’t like the new chicken nuggets), they blame Michelle…

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