Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
This is a special post for the amazing Prudence Pennywise , Prudy is one of the sweetest bloggers and her recipes always sound amazing. After mentioning these cooking in my TWD Chocolate Chunkers post Prudy asked if I shared this recipe for chocolate cookies made with buttermilk, my favorite chocolate cookies, and of course I do!
I don't even like most chocolate cookies no matter how many yummy mix-ins you add, but these simple chocolate ones make me smile. The original recipe comes from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, which I simply adore. I have a reprint of the 1963 book, complete with all of the fun pictures, drawings, and comments from that era.
Chocolate Drop Cookies is the title in the book but these are so much more, they are soft and a touch cakey, like a brownie, and the frosting is so simple and delicious. These are a family favorite in our home :)
Chocolate Drop Brownie Cookies
1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
1 cup sugar
2 one ounce squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
(if you want to use self rising flour, omit baking soda and salt)
Mix butter, sugar, egg, and chocolate thoroughly. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into wet ingredients.
Heat oven to 350, drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes, or until no imprint remains when touched lightly. After cooling frost with...
Marie's Chocolate Icing
1 tablespoon butter
1 one ounce square unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup powdered sugar
Melt butter and chocolate over hot water. Blend in warm water. Stir in powdered sugar until icing spreads easily.
Our family really enjoys these cookies, I remember the first time I made them I wasn't expecting to even like them, but they really won us over. These are one of my picky husband's most requested cookies :) I hope you like these old fashioned little gems of a cookie if you give them a try!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
ETA: Here links to the requested recipes from the comments :)
Recipe: No Hurry Vegetable Curry -- I changed this up a lot, used 1 lb quarted cherry tomatoes instead of canned, and skipped the peas and coconut milk, I will try this one again for as as written, but I just used what I had on hand this first time.
Bread Machine Naan Recipe Recipezaar -- I did this pretty much as written, I think it could have used a little more flavor, maybe a touch more salt or some ghee.Dorie Greenspan's Double Crusted Blueberry Pie
Thursday, September 25, 2008
This week the oh-so-fun cooking club Barefoot Bloggers tackled Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup , chosen by Chelle of Brown Eyed Baker I was super excited about this recipe because we got to make our own stock, use interesting mushrooms, and best of all I absolutely LOVE cream of mushroom soup but rarely make it because hubby doesn't like mushrooms. Thank you Chelle, for this 'excuse' to make an amazing soup!
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley -- I used Italian parsley
Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. --- Sorry leeks, had to add you to the stock pot, didn't want you to interfere with my creamy mushroom goodness. --- Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
A mini melon baller was the perfect tool to pit the plums.
Going in to this recipe I didn't know what to expect, I certainly wasn't expecting to enjoy this cake as much as I did. I actually made this twice in the past couple of weeks! This is the first TWD recipe I've ever made twice. The first time around I picked up plums at the grocery store and thought I had everything else, but when I checked my spice rack I noticed I didn't have any cardamom. I honestly had no idea what cardamom really tasted like, but was for sure that I had purchased it for some recipe some time ago and there was a 90% full jar on my spice rack, but I couldn't find one. I really wanted to try the plum cake, and the kids were excited about it too since they love plums, so I went ahead and made it with 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of vanilla. Those are two of my favorite flavors and almost never dissapoint when added to baked goods. Considering Dorie says the cardamom is optional I figured I'd be fine without. The first time around I also left out the orange zest. I baked it a little longer than the 40 minutes called for because it was clearly not done. I had no idea how long extra, not too long, a few minutes, maybe 5? I wasn't really paying attention just kind of babysitting the cake so it didn't get overdone.
Tried to get a touch fancy with the caramel drizzle on the second cake, but it really wasn't needed. I think this was more like a cake you want to serve with tea, not as a 'dessert' dessert.
Monday, September 22, 2008
First, open this adorable garlic shaped contraption and take out the thin metal garlic 'pan,' underneath you will find this terra cota insert, run it under water and place it back inside, it doesn't need to be filled or anything, just wet.
Slice off about 1/4 inch off the top of the bulb, this should leave all of the cloves exposed, you might have to cut off another thin layer just to make sure you can see the cloves.
Add in 1 tbsp olive oil per bulb, you can usually fit three bulbs in but I had pretty big ones and could only fit two. Season your olive oil with a little salt or whatever herb you would like. I used a touch of Lawry's Seasoned Salt and some freshly ground sea salt.
Close your Roasted Garlic Express, and press the little garlic button. That's it! Don't open to peak, your garlic needs to roast for 27 minutes and after that the roaster will turn off automatically and the light will go out.
Let your garlic cool for a few minutes, then snap on the little handle and remove the roasting pan. The instructions give you instructions for 'stubborn garlic' (see the cute little pic of the naughty garlic above?) where you can roast for another half cycle if your garlic is not fully roasted, but I've never had to do this.
Turn over your garlic bulbs and you will find perfectly roasted garlic! Ready to be squeezed out of the cloves and spread on to bread or put into sauce or whatever else you would like to do with your roasted garlic.
I will not say I am a garlic lover because I still am not a fan of raw garlic or big pieces of garlic in foods but I am a garlic liker. It's the usual texture that gets me. With roasted garlic the texture changes to an almost butter consistency. No more raw garlic bite! Really easy to stir into sauces and soups, and even great spread on a cracker or some crostini. If you've always loved garlic flavor like I have, but not the bite, then you should really get a Roasted Garlic Express. Of course you can roast your garlic in your oven the traditional way, but it takes about twice as long and you waste so much electricity. Garlic is so healthy and I love using it more thanks to this little invention. Now when a recipe calls for minced or crushed garlic, instead of subbing with garlic powder, I use some of my roaster garlic stash from the fridge instead and the flavor it adds is amazing.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
This has to be one of my favorite dishes ever! It's so simple, easy to personalize with whatever veggies or pasta you have on hand, and is full of flavor. I don't have a real recipe, this is just something I've been making for a long time and is super easy to put together.
Simmer your veggies in vegetable broth/stock until they are cooked to your liking, I prefer mine barely 'done' -- I'd rather have my veggies have a little crunch than to be soggy but you do want them fully cooked in this dish. How much broth to add? I'd say just enough to cover the veggies, but you may want to add more as you simmer. While the veggies are simmering I like to add a little seasoned salt but you could add any spices really, Italian seasoning blend works nicely or you could add some cajun seasoning to make this a creamy spicy side, yum!
Then make a slurry with about 2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 4 tbsp water, pour it into the veggies and broth, then add some cream. You can use whatever cream you have on hand, even milk would work, but only add a little, about 1/4 cup or so. I usually have some extra cream on hand from a recipe and use that. Heat and stir until it is thickened a bit, if it starts to thicken too much just add some more broth. Serve over your favorite pasta. (Cook the pasta while in a seperate pot while the veggies simmer, start the pasta after you start the veggies, and they will be done at about the samet time.) This works well with just about any veggie, you can do sliced peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, just about anything -- of course adjust the cooking time to your veggie of choice. It's a pretty fail proof "recipe."
Make sure you add the fastest cooking veggies last (like zucchini or summer squash) so they don't get mushy! Carrots usually take the longest to cook but add a really nice flavor to this dish :)
This is such a delicious meal, and it's relatively healthy if you watch your salt in the broth and seasoning, you only need a little bit of cream to make this creamy, not like most roux based cream sauces that are almost all cream, and you even could serve this over whole wheat pasta! Enjoy!