Thursday, February 26, 2015

Matcha-Chocolate Chip Blondies

No story, really. I was craving something sweet and had ingredients to whip up these green-hued treats. I also love that it's a one pot, one bowl, and one baking dish creation.


Ingredients
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C butter, melted
  •  2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 C flour (I used a whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 C chopped raw pecans
  • 1 T matcha green tea powder

Procedure
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, and eggs just until blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, and matcha; add to sugar mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spoon into a greased 8" x 8" baking pan and spread with a spatula to reach the edges of the pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

All the Pirate Jonny's Recipes from #TripleSBites

Earlier this month I hosted an 8-day online event celebrating food and romance - #TripleSBites. Along with 19 other bloggers, we shared over 130 recipes.

I wanted to give my readers an easy way to view the recipes from each sponsor. Here are the 10 recipes posted using Pirate Jonny's Syrena's Seduction Sauce. Thanks, again, for sending product to the bloggers and for providing a wonderful prize package for our readers!

Check out everything from tostadas to kimchi. These recipes are listed in alphabetical not chronological posting order. Enjoy!

All of the Pirate Jonny's Recipes...



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Parmesan-Peppercorn Biscotti for #Tarasbiscottibaby


Tara of Tara's Multicultural Table is having had a baby! Congratulations, Mamma ! Both are happy and healthy though the baby did decide to come a wee bit early.


In typical foodie fashion, her virtual baby shower is all about food - biscotti to be exact. Thanks for hosting, Lauren of Sew You Think You Can Cook.

I've done a fair share of sweet biscotti - Spiced Chestnut Biscotti, Birthday Biscotti, Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Biscotti, and even a Chocolate-Kalamata Cantucci. But, given my bent for experimenting and my decided lack of a sweet tooth, I opted to go savory. No real surprise there, right?

Biscotti, in Italian, simply means 'twice-cooked.' The second baking gives these savory biscotti a beautiful crisp texture while the parmesan adds a richness and the peppercorns lend a piquant bite. Yum.


Ingredients
  • 1/3 C melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta
  • 3-1/2 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 C shredded parmesan + more for sprinkling
  • 2 T whole peppercorns (I used a mixture of white, pink, black, and green)

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Grind peppercorns to a powder. I started with a mortar and pestle, ended up using my coffee grinder

In a large bowl, mix together butter, eggs, and ricotta. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and pepper; mix into egg mixture to form a stiff dough. Knead in parmesan.

Divide dough in thirds, and shape each piece into a roll the length of the cookie sheet. Place rolls on cookie sheet, and pat down to flatten the dough to 1-inch thick. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F


When cool enough to touch, cut into 3/4-inch thick diagonal slices. Place sliced biscotti on cookie sheet, and bake an additional 15 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy. To finish, sprinkle with more shredded cheese and a dash of pepper. Bake for a final 10 minutes.


Congratulations...and cheers for new babies. Thanks, Lauren, for hosting such a great event.

Here are the rest of the party participants!

Biscotti Bites from Nicole at I am a Honey Bee
Parmesan-Peppercorn Biscotti from Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Spa Water from of Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious

All the Out of the Weeds Recipes for #TripleSBites #sponsor

Earlier this month I hosted an 8-day online event celebrating food and romance - #TripleSBites. Along with 19 other bloggers, we shared over 130 recipes.

I wanted to give my readers an easy way to view the recipes from each sponsor. Here are the recipes posted using Out of the Weeds's Beet Vinaigrette. Thanks, again, for sending product to the bloggers and for providing a wonderful prize package for our readers!

Check out everything from roasted ahi to salad. These recipes are listed in alphabetical not chronological posting order. Enjoy!

All of the Out of the Weeds Recipes...



All the Kitchen IQ Recipes for #TripleSBites #sponsor

Earlier this month I hosted an 8-day online event celebrating food and romance - #TripleSBites. Along with 19 other bloggers, we shared over 130 recipes.

I wanted to give my readers an easy way to view the recipes from each sponsor. Here are the 10 recipes posted using Kitchen IQ's V-Etched Spice Grinder. Thanks, again, for sending product to the bloggers and for providing a wonderful prize package for our readers!

Check out everything from dumplings to rice bowls. These recipes are listed in alphabetical not chronological posting order. Enjoy!

All of the Kitchen IQ Recipes...



Toad in the Hole

I had some leftover sausages from the dish I was going to make for Carnevale. And I wanted to try something new (to us). I remember seeing a photo of Toad in the Hole and decided to give it a go.


The origin on the dish's name - Toad in the Hole - is somewhat disputed. The explanation that resonates with me: it resembles a toad sticking its head out of a hole. This was a hit for seventy-five percent of the family. The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf said: "It's too eggy - and there isn't enough flavor." But, heck, it was easy. And, for the record, I thought it had plenty of flavor. I read several different version of this recipe before coming up with this process. Note: this is my variation; it's not ultra-traditional.

Ingredients
  • cooked sausages (ours were chicken andouille - remember...I wrote non-traditional!)
  • butter for greasing pan
  • 1¼ C milk (I used whole milk)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 C flour (I used a white whole wheat)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sprigs of fresh rosemary

Procedure
Slice sausages into thirds. Butter your baking dish - we used a 9" x 13" - and place the sausages in the dish. I stood them a few of them on their cut end so that, like a toad, they sat upright. 

Preheat oven to 425° F. Whisk milk and eggs together until well-combined. Fold in the flour and whisk until there are no more lumps. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Pour batter into baking dish, around the sausages. Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper. Scatter pieces of fresh rosemary over the top. Bake until golden and set, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. This is traditionally served with an onion gravy. I served it with a warm beet-kale relish.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

All of the #TripleSBites Recipes for Spicely Organics

Earlier this month I hosted an 8-day online event celebrating food and romance - #TripleSBites. Along with 19 other bloggers, we shared over 130 recipes.

I wanted to give my readers an easy way to view the recipes from each sponsor. Here are the 10 recipes, or mentions, posted using Spicely Organics goodies. Thanks, again, for sending product to the bloggers and for providing a wonderful prize package for our readers!

Check out everything from chicken mole to blondies and lip balm to creme brulee. These recipes are listed in alphabetical not chronological posting order. Enjoy!

All of the Spicely Organics Recipes...


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cook the Books: Butternut Squash Soup a la Bonneville


This round Deb, of Kahakai Kitchenselected Comfort Me With Apples: More Adventures at the Table by Ruth Reichl for our February-March 2015 Cook the Books project. Click to see her invitation. And you have plenty of time to join the party, if you wish. Submissions aren't due till March 30th.

On the Page...
I certainly know who Ruth Reichl is; she's a culinary powerhouse who headed the editorial desk - for years - at one of my favorite magazines in the world, Gourmet. I did not, however, read her first memoir Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table. Though this book picks up where that one leaves off, I'm told, I don't think you need to read that before this. It stands alone.

Let me set the scene. Ruth is just launching into her life as a restaurant critic, living in a commune of sorts on Channing Way in Berkeley and married to an artist who travels a lot. I'll admit - I almost put this book down several times in the beginning. I found her infidelities (Yes, plural. Sorry for the spoiler!) off-putting. At what felt like an avoidable demise of a marriage, I kept reminding myself Stop judging! It was challenging, but by the end of the book, I was crying with her at the loss of her Gavi (sorry, another spoiler). I was on her side. I was rooting for her. And I certainly will pick up other titles by her.

While I found myself wishing for a little bit more restraint as she described her personal life, I longed for her descriptions about the food to go on and on. "We began with a deep green vegetable purée sprinkled with herbs. ...Afterward we had raspberry ice cream that was the color of a Renaissance sunset. I held it in my mouth, loath to let the flavor vanish. Just churned, it did not taste as if it had been made by human hands. The cream seemed straight from nature, from happy cows who had spent their lives lapping up berries and sugar."

In the Bowl...
Initially, I found myself returning to this passage. I had dog-earred the page and read it more than a dozen times. "Wrapped in fumes of garlic, we ate galatines of pigeon, duck, and quail with garlic mosaics. We consumed more wine as several whole baked fish, gorgeously wrapped in puffs of garlic pastry and drizzled with lobster butter, were paraded around the dining room. Platters of spring lamb were brought out, surround by three garlic-infused purées. We washed the meat down with oceans of deep, dark Zinfandel." I was captivated and think I will eventually replicate one or more of those dishes.

But, in the end, I was compelled by Ruth and Michael's spectacularly disastrous Thanksgiving dinner at The New Bonneville Hotel. No, I didn't make the inedible Medieval turkey - "Well, it turns out there's a reason they stopped using that recipe eight hundred years ago." - or a trio of pies, or preserved peaches, or homemade goat cheese. Nor did I make any of the three recipes she shared at the end of that chapter. I will. Soon. That raspberry ice cream, the color of a Renaissance sunset, sounds delectable.

Instead, on a chilly, grey evening while the fire crackled in the living room, I whipped up a pot of butternut squash soup. "The squash purée was bright orange with an earthy sweetness. Cream was drizzled through it, making patterns. Chives were strewn across the top. 'Okay,' said Michael. 'I'll admit it. It's the best soup I've ever tasted. I could eat ten bowls.'" Unlike the Bonneville, I do not have a luscious vegetable garden, but I do have access to amazingly fresh and delicious vegetables through local-to-me farms. This soup was made with butternut squash, leeks, and fennel from our High Ground Organics CSA and fresh herbs from Serendity Farms


Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced thickly
  • 1 leek, trimmed and cut into 2" lengths
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 C fresh herbs (I used a mixture of cilantro, parsley, and mixed greens) + more for garnish
  • 4 C organic chicken broth
  • organic heavy whipping cream
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the squash, fennel, and leek pieces together in a large mixing bowl. Add a splash of olive oil and toss to coat. Spoon the vegetables out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle herbs over the top and roast for 45 to 50 minutes - till the vegetables are soft and slightly caramelized.


In batches, blend the roasted vegetables with chicken stock until smooth.


Return your purée to the pot. Add more stock if the soup is too thick. Heat till just warmed through. Ladle into individual bowls for serving. Drizzle with cream, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with fresh herbs.

Next up for Cook the Books...Debra of Eliot's Eats selected our April-May selection. The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week) by Robin Mather, Hope you'll join us.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the book or item of your choice.

 
    

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