Sunday, November 19, 2017

Holiday Baking: Week 2 and 3

After that half-hearted beginning, things are moving into higher gear around here. Last weekend I made:
  • A double batch of chocolate chip cookies (yes, more of them)
  • A double batch of lemon poppyseed cookies
  • A single batch of peanut blossoms/Hershey Kiss cookies (they go by a lot of names) - only one, because that recipe makes a ridiculous number of them!
This weekend my planning was not the greatest; I ended up picking three recipes that need chilling time. So the dough was made on Saturday and baked on Sunday.
  •  Single batch of midnight crackles; these are very intense, fudgy little guys, and I always find that a couple of them is enough for a cookie tray
  • Double batch of Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. 
  • Double batch of cookies for the peppermint filled ones everyone loves so much; these will be filled as needed later in the season.
My freezer is already looking kind of stuffed. Next weekend things really get cranking! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

It Begins!

My holiday baking season officially started yesterday -- slowly, with one batch of chocolate chip cookies, which I over-baked, and some sugar cookies. I saved out the best of the c.c. batch and stashed them in the freezer along with most of the sugar cookies; there are always a few that end up misshapen.

It's been a weird, and a very stressful, year., and I am looking forward to its end, although I worry that nothing much will improve.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Gearbox Pinor Noir

My wine project this year went the way of most such projects, but I have to make a note of this one, because it is one of the few bottles of wine I threw out rather than drink it.

It tasted really weird, and not in a good way. Do not repeat.

Roasted Chili-Lime Cod

Another quick entry, this time because I am sick. Life continues, though. This was a great recipe, and cod happened to be on sale, so I didn't even feel guilty for indulging. Since I was turning the oven on anyway, I roasted asparagus alongside this, sliced up a baguette, and called it a day (see also: me being sick).

Everything turned out done at just about the same time. It didn't have time to marinate very long, but it was really good (and spicy), and definitely a keeper.

  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
  • ½ Teaspoon Oregano
  • ½ Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cumin
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 lb cod fillet
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • Zest and Juice of 2 Limes
  • Cooked Brown Rice, for serving, optional
  • Cooked Corn, for serving, optional
  1. In a small bowl combine all of the spices and mix well. Using 1 tablespoon of olive oil, brush the cod filets and then rub the filets with the spice mixture. You will use the entire rub – so make sure to coat them very well. Refrigerate the cod filets for at least 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450º. Place the cod filets on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes – the fish will flake easily and be opaque throughout when it’s cooked through.
  3. Melt the butter, combine with lime juice and olive oil, and drizzle over the fish before serving. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

One-Pot Orzo with Italian Sausage and Kale

So, I know that I need to get some pictures on this blog eventually, but for the love of Julia Child, why do so many food blogs these days include a half dozen pictures of the dish? Sure, I want to know what it's supposed to look like, and maybe it's a really nice presentation, but surely one or two photos will do.


Anyway, this is a straightforward recipe, easy to make, warm and yummy on a chilly autumn evening, and a great way to use ingredients that you might find in season at your farmer's market. It will find a place in our rotation (which is very full).

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 hot Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch (5-6 leaves) of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 3 cups chicken broth (no salt added preferred)
  • 1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large saucepan, on medium-high heat, add the olive oil and sausages. Crumble the sausages using a wooden spoon, letting the meat brown slightly. Then add in the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally until the onions begin to soften, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the kale and sauté until it begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and add the orzo; mix the ingredients together*. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce the heat down to a simmer. Cook with a lid on for 12-15 minutes until the broth is absorbed into the orzo and the orzo is tender.
  3. Add the cheese and stir to coat the orzo and vegetables. Taste for additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Blackberry Cream Cheese Crumb Cake

Only time for a quick post today, so I'm going to link to the very thorough write-up over at Sally's Baking Addiction. This cake is fantastic, and it came together so quickly and so easily I was astonished at how well it turned out. It is also very photogenic! I served it after a casual dinner, but my spouse will tell you it makes a great breakfast.

One of these days I will have the equipment to make pretty blog posts, too, but for now I will content myself with keeping a record of great new things I've tried recently.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Farfalle with Chicken, Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese

Summer's end is approaching -- the days are shorter, even if they continue to be too warm, and every market Saturday I remind myself that this might be the last of _______ for the year. So far, the tomatoes are still with us, and given that it has been ridiculously warm, this Sunday was a great occasion for making this dish. Like many of my favorite recipes, I have this one on a page pulled out of Bon Appetit magazine a million years ago.

As do many people (going from the comments on the linked version), I don't often  make this exactly as written. I never have marjoram and don't particularly care for it; I use other greens if that's what I have, I don't fuss about the kind of vinegar I use or adding sugar (because good heavens, why). I look at this recipe as the opposite of fussy; it's a way to enjoy some wonderful fresh ingredients as something other than a salad but without messing around too much.  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces farfalle
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 6 heirloom tomatoes, cored, chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (from 1/2 rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions; sprinkle with salt and cook until beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in vinegar and sugar; cook until onions are browned, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Transfer caramelized onions to bowl; reserve skillet.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.
  3. Add wine to reserved skillet. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, 3 minutes. Add pasta, onions, broth, and next 4 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Stir over medium heat to warm through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Divide spinach among plates. Spoon pasta over spinach. Top with crumbled goat cheese. 
I hope you will make this (without fussing) and enjoy it, too.