Saturday, December 22, 2012

Earl Grey Shortbread


The holidays are a stressful time, and when I get stressed, I bake. I'm also on a special diet because of some tummy trouble that landed me in the hospital for the last few days, so I decided to make something pretty simple.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar (or powdered sugar for a more satiny cookie)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp loose tea leaves
2 cups flour
Instructions:
Cream butter, sugar, and salt
Add vanilla and tea leaves
Gradually add flour until dough comes together
Shape into a log 2-3 inches across (I like to shape mine into squares)
Chill from 30 min to overnight
Slice abt 1/4 inch thick
Bake at 375 for 9-12 min until edges are browned

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Drunken S'more Brownies

Ingredients:
Crust:
6 tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crusts
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar

Brownies:
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate
1 oz semisweet chocolate
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup boubon (optional)
1 cup flour

1/2 bag mini marshmallows
1/2 cup choc chips

DIRECTIONS:
Heat oven to 350
Combine crust ingredients, and press into baking pan lined with foil and greased
Melt 1 1/2 sticks butter, reduce heat
Melt chocolate then add sugar, salt, vanilla, expresso powder, eggs and optional bourbon
Add flour gradually
Pour over crust
Bake for 25-30 min
Set oven to broil
Take brownies out, top with marshmallos and chocolate chips
Put back in oven until marshmallos toast, 2 min or less
Let cool


Monday, September 3, 2012

Kir Royale Jello Shots

It was my roommate's birthday the other day, and champagne always seems like a good choice for celebrations. We had plans to go to our friends' house that evening, so Kir Royale Jello Shots seemed appropriate. I am a  big fan of the more grownup alcoholic jello shots, where you mimic the ratio of a classic cocktail.  The basic formula is this:

4 packets flavored or unflavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
4 cups liquor, juice, mixers, in the ratio of the cocktail

In this case, I did 3 1/2 cups champagne, 1/4 cup lime juice, and 1/4 cup chambord
I was going to sink the raspberries into the jello after letting it chill for an hour, but I fell asleep, so the next morning i poured some hot water over top to melt a bit of the top layer and stuck the raspberries on that way.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Tale of Two Cookies

I own and love the baking book from Rosies, a local bakery that makes (among other things) the best brownies in existence. I originally had a craving for a Peanut Butter cookie with chocolate chips. I started with her basic recipe
Ingredients
1 stick butter, room temp
1/2 cup + 1tsp white sugar
1/2 cup + 1 tsp brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups + 2tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
Instructions
combine dry ingredients
Cream butter and sugar
Add egg, vanilla and peanut butter
Gradually add dry ingredients
Chill dough for a few hrs
Bake at 350 for 8-10 min
Alterations
For the peanut butter cookies, I only did a half cup of each sugar, and added a tablespoon of honey (peanut butter and honey sandwiches are a favorite treat of mine). I also added peanut butter anc chocolate chips and an extra 1/4 tsp salt to balance the honey.  Also, to chill the cookies I rolled them into tubes, wrapped them in cling wrap and threw them in the freezer for an hour. Then when you want cookies, preheat the oven, slice and bake
These cookies led to another idea: nutella cookies. I replaced the peanutbutter with nutella, only added 1/2 cup of each sugar, and upped the salt ( I did a whole teaspoon, next time I would do 3/4). I also added an additional 1/2 tsp of hazlenut extract because we had it on hand, a half cup chopped hazlenuts and a cup of white chocolate chips. I am pleased with the result.
http://www.rosiesbakery.com/rosies-bakery-cookbook/

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Experimental Cherry Bourbon Sour

To supplement our farmshare produce, I like to hit up Haymarket, a chaotic outdoor produce market in downtown Boston that happens every Friday and Saturday. It is crazy cheap, with vendors shouting and people from every walk of life jostling for the best deals.
A few tips:
1. make a pass through before you buy. One vendor may be selling 3 lemons for a dollar, but a few stalls down another vendor will be selling 5 for a dollar
2. Bring a market bag. Otherwise you get stuck with a zillion crappy thin plastic bags that rip
3. Bring small bills. Its cash only.
4. Best deals are on rainy days and later Saturday
Anyhow, there have been a bunch of bing cherries, so I pitted about half a pound and soaked them in some Jim Beam with a slice of orange peel to make cherry infused boubon.
I made myself a whiskey sour of a sort tonight.
2oz bourbon
1.5 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz agave (couldn't find the simple syrup)
The cherry infusion makes it pretty sweet, as does the agave. I like it, but I like sweeter drinks than some. Next time I might cut back on the agave, and/or use lime instead of lemon

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quickie Farmshare Panzanella

I'm always looking for ways to use our farmshare veggies. We had some cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and flat leaf parsley. I also picked up some "fresh yesterday" bread and fresh mozerella. I had a lemon that was about to go, and the usual garlic and olive oil in the pantry.

First, I crushed some garlic and heated it up in olive oil to flavor the oil.

I cubed up the bread and tossed in the olive oil. Then I toasted it in the oven.

I used the leftover oil, juice and zest of a lemon, a grated garlic clove, salt, pepper and fresh oregano from the garden to make a vinagarette.

Then I chopped up a cucumber, one and a half tomatoes, and some fresh mozarella.

I took the toasted bread cubes, veggies, and cheese, and toss with the vinagarette.

Then I took a fistful of basil and parsley, chopped it up and sprinkled on top.

It may need extra salt

Let it sit so the bread can soak in the dressing

NOM!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blueberry Cornmeal Cookies

For some reason, I really like cornmeal and blueberries together. I had some blueberries from the CSA farmshare leftover, so at first i thought i would make Blueberry Cornmeal pancakes or muffins, but then I found this recipe on the Five Star Foodie blog. I made a couple of changes and doubled the recipe. They came out pretty tasty!

Ingredients
1 cup blueberries
1/12 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup flour
pinch salt
1/2 cup softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp almond or hazlenut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon

Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • combine cornmeal, baking powder, flour and salt
  • cream butter and sugar
  • add eggs, extract and zest
  • slowly combine dry into wet
  • by hand stir in blueberries
  • bake 1 tbsp drops in 350 oven for 12-14 min or until edges start to brown

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

A few weeks ago, my friend and I went to one of the Talking Taste presentations at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. It's an annual series where local chefs do a talk and cooking demonstration at the museum. You can get an adult beverage from the bar, and have a local chef make you snacky bits while you sip sangria and watch, overlooking Boston Harbor. It is the height of "adult fun".


The presentation by  Tse Wei Lim and Diana Kudajarova  from Journeyman restaurant focused on ice cream. They talked a lot about the different ratio's for making ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, and gelato. They served an arrugula ice cream (and you thought beet was odd), peach ice cream, and blueberry sorbet. 


In a custard based ice cream, you should have 2-11% fat, 15-30% non-fat solids, 15-23% sugar, with egg yolks comprising 7-9% of the base and the rest being liquid.


In a Philadelphia style ice cream base, there should be 7-11% fat, 24-30% non-fat solids, 16-23% sugar, the rest being liquid.


sorbet is 20-60% fruit juice or puree, 25-32% sugar, and the rest should be liquid.


The ice cream I made is a Philadelphia style, made with philly cream cheese (well, Neufchatel to be precise). I got this recipe from a Philly Cream Cheese ad in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.


Ingredients
1 8oz pkg cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup whipping cream (I didn't have any on hand so I used half plain yogurt and half milk and it turned out fine)
2 tsp lemon zest (I just zested a whole lemon)
1 1/2 cups fruit cut up bite sized (the ad used strawberries, I used cherries)


Instructions
Combine the cheese, condensed milk, whipping cream/yogurt, and lemon zest in a mixer until smooth. Then add fruit and put in the fridge to cool (the colder your mix is before you put it in the ice cream maker, the better)
Churn in your ice cream maker according to directions.
NOM


The add also included chopped graham crackers, but I chose to omit them










Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake Muffins

We had some carrots from our farmshare, and I have had a hankering for carrot cake muffins for FOREVER, so I finally decided since it was a bit cooler out, that today was the perfect day for it.

I love carrot cake frosted with cream cheese frosting, but they're difficult to travel with because the frosting can be messy, especially when it's hot out. These bring the frosting, without the mess.

Taken from the King Arthur Flour website


filling

  • one 8-ounce package cream cheese or Neufch√Ętel cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia flavor, optional but very tasty

muffins

  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 medium-large carrots
  • (I added a half cup of chopped pecans and a half cup chopped dates, tossed with a quarter cup flour)
Directions
  • 1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan. Or line the pan with paper muffin cups, and grease the cups.
    2) To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar and flavor. Set aside.
    3) To make the muffin batter: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
    4) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil.
    5) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
    6) Fold in the grated carrots, stirring to combine.
    7) Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom.
    8) Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling; a level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.
    9) Cover with enough batter to fill the muffin cups quite full. The batter will come to within about 1/4" to 3/8" of the top of each muffin cup. But don't try to use all the batter; unless you have particularly deep cups, you'll have abut 1/3 cup batter left over. Bake it in a separate custard cup, if desired.
    10) Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch.
    11) Remove the muffins from the oven, and as soon as you're able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. If you serve the muffins warm, the filling will be molten. If you wait for them to cool, it'll firm up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pizzucchini!

Its that time of year again...time for lots of zucchini in the farmshare. I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website, and I have to give it a big thumbs up! It is easy and tasty.

Preheat the oven to 400
Cut zucchini in half and scoop out the seeds
Season the cavity with salt and pepper
Dice 1 roma tomato per zucchini half
Toss with a tbsp balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh oregano to taste
Chopped garlic clove (optional)
Fill the zucchini with tomato mixture
Bake for 20 min, until zucchini softens
Top with mozzerella and broil until cheese melts


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cherry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I love summer cherries, and they are wicked cheap at Haymarket, so I've been doing all sorts of things with them. I thought cherry coffee cake would be particularly appropriate for Independence Day, so I made this (picture will post later)

Made Cherry coffee cake this morning:


1 stick butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

... 1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup almond flour (or just do 2 cups flour)

1tsp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tsp almond extract 1/4 cup cherry preserves

1 1/2 cup pitted fresh cherries



cream butter and sugar, add eggs and rest of wet ingredients (except cherries and preserves)

sift and gradually add dry ingredients

Stir preserves in by hand and pour into baking pan

top with pitted cherries



Optional Crumb Topping

1 stick butter

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup oatmeal

1 cup brown sugar



Cut butter into dry ingredients until pea sized crumbs, then sprinkle on top of coffee cake



bake at 350 for half an hour