Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops
Recipes / May 30, 2018

I told you that we take brownies seriously in my family. Well, here are some brownies disguised as cookies. Delicious! Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops Makes about 20 cookies 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into about 10 pieces 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate 3/4 cup sugar 2 cold large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 3/4 cup all-purpose flour Powdered sugar, for dredging Coarsely chop 6 ounces of the chocolate and scatter it over the butter. Finely chop the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate and set it aside. Melt the 6 ounces of chocolate with the butter. (I just do this in the microwave.) Stir sugar into the melted chocolate and butter. One by one, add the eggs, whisking for a minute or two after each egg. Whisk in the vanilla and the salt, and then the flour. Stir in the finely chopped chocolate. Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Put some powdered sugar in a bowl. Using a medium scoop, scoop out level portions of dough or use a tablespoon to get rounded spoonfuls. Roll each into a…

Bonus Recipe: Classic Brownies
Recipes / May 26, 2018

I promised in my intro to Dorie’s Cookies, that I would share her brownie recipe. We take brownies seriously in our house, and our favorite recipe is Barefoot Contessa’s. The Contessa’s brownies manage to be super rich and fluffy all at the same time. I will say Dorie’s brownies are more on the traditional, fudgy side, but still satisfied our brownie cravings. In our house brownies don’t have nuts, and they certainly don’t have icing. You could add 1 cup of chopped walnuts to this recipe if you like, but if you want icing you’re on your own. Classic Brownies 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 3/4 cup sugar 2 cold large eggs 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/3 cup all-purpose flour Makes 16 brownies Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Melt the butter and the chocolate together. Stir in the sugar. When the sugar is incorporated, beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir in the salt, followed by the vanilla. Add the flour all at once and gently stir and fold it in. Scrape the batter into…

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
Recipes / May 24, 2018

I’m running a little behind this week, and Dorie’s Cookies is a big book. Consequently, I think I am going to try another recipe or two, and then give my review at the end of next week. Today’s cookie would be perfect for Memorial Day get-togethers. It’s really cute and the red strawberries look great with Patriotic decorations. Strawberry Shortcake Cookies FOR THE CAKES 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder Pinch of sea salt 2 large eggs, at room temperature 1/3 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM 1 cup very cold heavy cream 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract FOR THE TOPPING 8 to 12 ounces strawberries, hulled Makes about 24 shortcakes Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two regular muffin tins or use baker’s spray. To make the cakes, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium for about 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is pale and tripled…

Bonus Recipe: Parsnip Puree
Recipes / May 17, 2018

I made this side dish from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook along with the Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs.  Parsnip Puree 2 pounds parsnips (about 6 medium), peeled, sliced into medium-sized chunks 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/3 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce or freshly grated horseradish 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper In large, heavy pot,combine parsnips with enough cold water to cover. Place over moderately high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 to 20 minutes, then drain. Puree hot parsnips, butter, heavy cream, horseradish, salt, and freshly ground black pepper until smooth. My notes: This is a tasty, simple side dish that is a good change up if you are tired of mashed potatoes.

Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs
Recipes / May 17, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I let my youngest son pick the recipe, so this week I let my older son pick a recipe for me to try from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. He’s a big meat eater, so of course he picked short ribs. I had never make them before, and I have to say I will definitely be making them again. Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs 5 pounds bone-in short ribs Salt Freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large red onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 bottles dark beer 2 to 3 cups beef stock Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional) Prepare the braise: Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, brown the short ribs on all sides, in batches. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate, and then repeat with remaining ribs. Braise the ribs: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Once the ribs are browned and removed from pot, turn down to medium-high and pour out all…

The Birthday Girl Cocktail
Recipes / May 9, 2018

On the TV show Gilmore Girls, Emily (the grandmother) creates this drink for Rory’s twenty-first birthday, and they actually call it “The Rory.” Lucky for me, my very thoughtful friend Gwen made this drink on my birthday a couple of years a go. I think this cocktail is a good example of the fun recipes you can find in Eat Like a Gilmore. The Birthday Girl 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup granulated sugar Ice 3 ounces vodka 1 ounce grenadine 1 ounce pineapple juice 1 ounce champagne 1 maraschino cherry Prep glass: In two small plates or shallow bowls, place water in one, sugar in the other. Using a martini glass, dip the rim of the glass 1/8 inch into the water, then immediately into the sugar. With glass still in sugar, give it a twist while turning the glass upright. Sugar should stick to the rim of the glass in a thin, uniform line. Mix the drink: Add ice to a shaker until it is half full. Pour in vodka, grenadine, and pineapple juice. Place lid on shaker, and shake until liquids are well blended. Remove shaker lid, add champagne, and gently stir. Serve: Pour in to prepared glass….

Parmesan and Herb-Crusted Cod
Recipes / May 2, 2018

OK, I really cheated on this recipe, but I will get to that in the notes. Parmesan and Herb-Crusted Cod 1 pound (4 fillets) Pacific cod Fine sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup fine cornmeal 1 egg 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup almond meal 1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon thyme 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper on both sides. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Line up three low-sided bowls. Place cornmeal in first bowl. Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water in second bowl. In third bowl, mix together Parmesan, almond meal, oregano, and thyme. Bread each fillet by dredging it in cornmeal on all sides, then dipping it in egg, then pressing it into Parmesan mixture. Discard leftover breading mixtures. Place breaded fillets on top of wire rack on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with oil. Bake in center of oven until fish flakes easily and is golden on top, 10 to 12 minutes. Use a metal spatulas to remove from the rack and serve immediately. My notes: First, this recipe turned out great and my…

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Recipes / April 25, 2018

I let my youngest son pick a recipe from this week’s cookbook, Butter Baked Goods. My oldest son is a distance runner, and he’s decided that he’s cutting out dessert. Since he loves chocolate, his younger brother was nice (it does happen occasionally) and picked Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. Not exactly a difficult recipe, but one of my son’s favorites. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins 3/4 cup butter 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/4 cup poppy seeds 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup whole milk 1/2 cup lemon juice 2 large eggs Zest of 1 lemon Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, sugar, and poppy seeds. Mix well to distribute the poppy seeds evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, lemon juice, eggs, and lemon zest. Add the liquid ingredients and melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Make sure to not overmix the batter. Use an ice cream scoop to put batter into muffin pans. Makes 12 muffins…

Some Family Favorites
Recipes / April 17, 2018

Before I get to the rest of my cookbook review, I wanted to share a couple of family favorites that I made for Easter. I often want to try out new recipes when I need to bring a potluck dish to a family get together, but then I get nervous that something won’t work out or be a big hit. So most of the time, I just end up making something that I know everyone loves. Also, I wanted to link to a couple of the cooking blogs I enjoy. I don’t only cook from traditional cookbooks! Cheesy potatoes are probably my sons’ favorite homemade dish. Yes, we are a classy bunch! My youngest even recently did a report on it when everyone in his class had to pick a family recipe to write about. My husband, whose family is Lebanese, was a little upset that he didn’t pick a Lebanese dish, which he thought would be way more interesting for a report. But we did actually learn a few things when researching this dish. It seems like it might have been invented in Utah, because it is popular at Mormon potlucks, especially at funerals. The dish is even known…

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