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Showing posts from December, 2016

Christmas Gift

I had to wait to Christmas to actually get this knife, it was well worth the wait (I do confess to giving it a go before the actual day - right out of the box the day it arrived -ssshhhh!). It's a beauty.

I had my other chef's knife for a number of years and was quite pleased with it. It is a conventional 25 degree blade. This one is a 15er.  I can't say that I wasn't happy with my old knife but this one looked mighty pretty - come on it's blue! It seemed like a decent good quality knife for the price and Santa agreed.

I have used it now for almost a week and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it. I did send them an email to confirm the sharpening angle. They were less than helpful in responding. They recommended learning how to sharpen your own knife - duh! (That's what I was trying to do), but never confirmed the angle. They have since updated their website with a video and it confirms the 15 degree. They are still vague about honing but I've deci…

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe was from the urban legend in the 1990s about how a woman went to the Neiman Marcus cafe. She loved the cookies served and asked for the recipe. She received a bill for some outrageous amount, like $500, for the recipe. She vowed to share this recipe with everyone. Utter nonsense but a good cookie recipe.

1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 c oats
1 c raisins
1 c cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 T orange peel, grated
12 oz white chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time; beating after each addition. Add vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to sugar/butter mixture. Gently stir in, oats, raisins, cranberries, orange peel, and white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto greased baking sheet 2" apart. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

At work we had a cookie exchange and I made these cookies. It makes a lot. We had to bring in 3 dozen and I easily sent the Sous Chef to wor…

Pot Roast

I  really don't know what to make of this, but I made this exactly one year ago - weird huh? It wasn't exactly the same recipe because I didn't use left-over cranberry sauce. This time around I added some whole garlic cloves. I then smashed them while I was making the gravy.

I did take a photo of it this time around (duh - you can see that). And I was right pot roast really isn't an attractive thing. It is, however, a delicious thing. I also made my garlic mashed potatoes to go with it. I mean really people, what is pot roast without mashed potatoes??!

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Now you might be looking at this picture saying those are not blueberries and you would be right. They are cranberries. I had some leftover cranberries from the Cranberry Oatmeal cookies and needed to use them up. I've made this cake before with cranberries and it is quite nice.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (Adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini)

1 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 salt
1/2 stick of butter
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs
1 c yogurt (or sour cream works well)
1 t vanilla
3c fresh blueberries (cranberries, raspberries)
3T brown sugar

Grease a 9" round pan. Sift togther flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add yogurt and vanilla. Mix. Add flour mixture. Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Spread half of the blueberries across the batter. Cover with remaining batter. Spread the remaining blueberries over batter. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or un…

Flourless Almond Cookies w/Cardamom

The title of these cookies is way too long.

Flourless Almond Cookies w/Cardamom, Orange Zest & Pistachio (Adapted from Epicurious)

1 c sugar
1/3 c  coconut oil, softened at room temperature
1 egg
1 T grated orange zest
2 c almond flour
1/4 cup potato starch (or cornstarch)
1 1/2 t ground cardamom
1/4 t kosher salt
1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped
3 oz dark chocolate (for drizzling; optional)

Cream sugar, coconut oil in a large bowl. It should look like wet sand. Add egg and orange zest. Whisk in almond flour, potato starch (cornstarch), cardamom, and salt. Fold into wet ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Spread pistachios on a baking sheet. Divide dough into 2 balls. Roll into a 1 1/2" log. Roll logs in pistachio nuts to coat. Wrap logs in plastic wrap and chill 1-2 hours.

Slice off 1/4" thick slices and place on baking sheets lined with parchment (or Silpat). If not using chocolate to decorate, sprinkle with leftover pistachios. Bake at 350 fo…

Hummus Soup

This soup is a nice quick soup and quite tasty.  They recommended Feta cheese - I'm not a huge Feta fan so I found goat cheese worked well. Do make sure you add enough lemon juice - it adds a nice fresh taste to the soup.

Hummus Soup (Adapted from Cooking Light*)

olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 c chicken or vegetable stock
2 c water
2 15oz cans chickpeas
1/4 c tahini
2T lemon juice and zest from one lemon
goat cheese for garnish

Add 1T olive oil, onion, and salt to large saucepan. Cook until onions are fairly tender (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add stock and water; bring to a simmer. Add chickpeas, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes. Pour into blender (or use stick blender) and process until smooth. Add tahini, lemon, and zest. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil and top with cheese.

I didn't find the pan roasted chickpeas that they recommended added anything to the soup so I skipped that here. It added no tex…

Peppermint Schnapps Hot Cocoa

OK I must admit after I stopped saying "he Schnapped Me*" a million times, I got down to serious business and made this recipe. It was a pretty rich, delicious hot cocoa. I didn't have the pretty candy canes** to add to the mix for the photo op, but even without them, it was pretty darn good.  I added slightly more schnapps to the mix, 1/4 c was certainly not enough. The original recipe was for 8, I halved it and it made 3 large mugs. I'm not used to having a hot cocoa party, so the 8 is a bit excessive even for me.

He Schnapped Me Hot Cocoa (Adapted from Cooking Light)

6T cocoa powder
13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 c milk
1/4 c sugar
1t espresso powder
1t vanilla
1/3 c Pepperment Schnapps

In a saucepan, whisk cocoa powder into a small amount of the coconut milk. Add remaining coconut milk, sugar, and espresso powder. Heat over medium heat until very warm (not boiling). Stir in vanilla and schnapps. Garnish with candy cane or marshmallows.

*Seinfeld episode - Elaine d…

German Apple Almond Cake

I was looking for something quick and easy to make for Thanksgiving that was rather festive looking and I found that in this cake. I pretty much followed the recipe from David Lebovitz except his was prettier. I did the apples a little differently because I printed the recipe without the picture and was too lazy to go back and look at the way he laid out the apples. His version was definitely worth taking a look.
All in all, it was a very moist, almondy cake. I served it with cinnamon whipped cream as he suggested. I liked his suggestion of grating the almond paste. It made the batter come together much easier. I used Gala apples for the inside and Granny Smiths for the top. I liked the tartness that the Granny Smiths provided. The Galas were nice and soft for the cake part.