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FBF - Sourdough Pizza

I used this recipe again except instead of using a pizza pan I used my new cast iron round griddle. I greased it with a little olive oil. It slide out of the pan like a charm. The crust was nicely browned. This round griddle is certainly a keeper. I had hesitated buying it because I wasn't sure I would use is since I already have a square griddle (which is great for grilled cheese and pancakes). I'm starting to think I might need to get rid of the square griddle and just keep the round one?
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Waffled Hash Browns

I'm not that much of a fan of one-trick ponies taking up real estate in my kitchen. I know that a waffle iron can be classified as that, but now I can rationalize that it's not. Who knew you could make hash browns in it?

Waffled Hash Browns (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1 1/2 lb russet potato (shredded)
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 t garlic powder
1 1/2T butter, melted

Preheat waffle iron. Squeeze liquid out of potatoes by blotting between two paper towels. Toss potatoes, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Brush both sides of the waffle iron with butter. Spread potatoes evenly on waffle iron. Close and cook 2 minutes. Press iron closed completely and cook about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
I did not feel that they browned as nicely as in the picture on the original recipe, but then again I don't have a food stylist do I? The drawback of this recipe is that you have to share this. Since they take about 15 minutes, it's a little difficult to make a second one. I guess you…

The Grappa Report

Once upon a time, we made Limoncello. We used straight-grain alcohol (which we had to buy in a different state because it was not sold it ours!). It was firewater. We tried to pawn it off on unsuspecting friends and relatives. It did not work.

So when friends of ours said they wanted to share some Grappa that they had received from a friend, I was slightly suspicious. It was a little firewater-ish but not as much as the Limoncello.

We decided to try to infuse it with some flavors - star anise, cinnamon, and blueberry. We got mixed results:

Star Anise - was the most successful. It mellowed its sharpness.  Cinnamon - We left the cinnamon in for about a week. I think it was too long. It left a very woody taste. Perhaps, less infusion time would have given a better result. Blueberry - We thought if we mashed the blueberries, they would make the Grappa murky. So we first put them in whole. Nothing happened. We then cut them in half. Then the Grappa began to color a pretty shade. The bluebe…

FBF - Not Dry Irish Soda Bread

I thought this would be an appropriate FBF (Flash Back Friday) since today is St. Patrick's Day. I promise you that this is Not Dry Irish Soda Bread. I know, I know everyone says theirs is not dry. But the secret here is sour cream. This time I used my cast iron skillet instead of my cast iron dutch oven. It took a little less than an hour, as I think it is slightly larger than my dutchie. I used golden raisins and regular raisins. I did a slightly different take on this recipe here

Seedy Oat Crackers

I've been wanting to make these for a while. First I didn't have the chia and sunflower seeds. Then I foolishly assumed I had raw pumpkin seeds in the cabinet - NOT. So it took a little while to finally get them done. They were worth the wait.

Seedy Oat Crackers (Adpated from BonAppetit)

1 c old fashioned oats
3/4 c pumpkin seeds (raw)
1/3 c sunflower seeds (raw)
1/3 c sesame seeds
3T chia seeds
3T poppy seeds
3T flaxseed
1t salt (kosher)
4t canola oil
2T maple syrup
3/4 c water

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat. Let sit 10 minutes. Form a ball (mine wasn't much of a ball). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Place another sheet of parchment on top. Roll out to about 1/8" thick. Remove top layer of parchment and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 until the edges are browned. Remove from oven and carefully turn cracker over. I found it easier to flip it onto another baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until edges a…

Millionaire's Shortbread

I have to admit I never heard of Millionaire's Shortbread before. To me, this is just a bar cookie. OK not "just" a bar cookie. Quite a good bar cookie. There's a lot of flavor packed in there (also a lot of butter). I will be definitely making this again.

Millionaire's Shortbread (Adapted from Cook's Illustrated)

2 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
3/4 t salt
2 sticks butter (16 T), melted
1t vanilla

14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 c corn syrup
1 stick butter (8T)
1/2 t salt

8 oz bittersweet chocolate (separated 6 oz and 2 oz)

Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil. Set aside. Combine flour sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla. Spread evenly in the foil-lined pan. Pierce the dough at 1 inch intervals with a fork. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until lightly brown. Place on cooling rack and press entire surface down firmly using a spatula (I did not find that mine had that much of a rise that it needed this, but I d…

Pasta in Clam Sauce

I'm going to let you in on a secret - don't be horrified but sometimes I use canned clams (GASP!). If you buy good quality canned clams, they can be quite good.

Pasta in Clam Sauce

1lb Pasta
3 cloves garlic, minced
3T olive oil (additional for drizzle on top)
1/2 c white wine
8oz canned clams and juice
1/4 c chopped parsley
Lemon wedge
Bread for dipping

Add garlic and olive oil to a saucepan. Heat garlic until fragrant. Add wine and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add clams and cook until heated through. Add parsley, salt/pepper, and squeezed lemon wedge. Serve over pasta. Drizzle with olive oil.

This comes together so quickly and I think the best part is sopping up the liquid with the bread.  Just make sure you buy good quality canned clams.