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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Cookie Advent

I stated and gave up within a week. I was going to bake a new cookie recipe everyday from Saveur's cookie advent calendar. When I started this plan I wasn't thinking, obviously. I do bake often, but not everyday. It got to be a little crazy and not quite as much fun as it should have been, so I decided to drop the idea. I did find a couple good new recipes that I'll share with you though.

These brown sugar cookies are my favorite of the experiment. They're from Cooks Illustrated, not Saveur ( I decided to be flexible in my list). To give you an idea of how good they are I'll share an example. Tuesday night  Kyle and I made 5 dozen of these for my family (7 people including us). In the morning maybe 10 were left. If you need a last minute holiday treat, make these. They'll take you an hour for one batch (including browning butter, mixing and cooking) and they're my current favorite cookie. If you like caramel flavor, brown sugar and overall deliciousness these are the cookies for you. You can find the recipe here. I highly recommend the dark brown sugar, but I'm sure they'd be good with light, but not as caramely.

These other cookies are from the actual cookie advent. Of them, my favorite is the Drömkakor (pictured above) or Swedish Dream Cookie. They are light are crumbly and melt in your mouth. If you don't have vanilla sugar you can use the same amount of regular sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract.

Here the Swedish dream cookies are pictured with some coconut cookies which were also good but not as much as the other ones.

These are caramel crumb bars. They're pretty good, but next time I'd double the caramel layer.

Merry Christmas Eve! And happy baking to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cranberry Curd Bars

This picture does not really do these justice, so check out the original recipe at the kitchen for a much more mouthwatering depiction. 

If you're looking for a festive new Christmas dessert this could be it. I made it with fresh cranberries and the result was delicious! For a shortcut, the recipe also includes instructions for starting with 100% cranberry juice instead, but cooking down the cranberries doesn't take too long. I have a food processor, so the walnut shortbread crust took less than a minute to make, but it probably wouldn't take too long even without one. Also, we didn't have freezer space so i refrigerated the crust instead and it turned out fine. I hope you're all having fun baking goodies! Pardon me if you only see desserts on here for the next few days.

Ultra Crispy Roast Potatoes

I love Serious Eats, especially their food lab with Kenji! He develops delicious and amazing recipes like these ultra crispy roast potatoes and then explains why they work so well! These potatoes turn out extra crispy because you build up a layer of gelatinized starch by par-boiling them in acidic water first and then increasing their surface area by tossing them in a bowl with a metal spoon. Talk about cool! (And nerdy, but hey, I'm a chemist!) Then you roast them with fat, salt, pepper and thyme. These definitely were the most crispy roast potatoes I've ever had. I didn't have the recommended duck fat, so I went with bacon fat instead, which worked well. Next time I'll probably try olive oil to be nicer to my heart. 

Skillet Turnips and Potatoes with Bacon

Our first try at turnips was a total fail. We roasted them with beets and couldn't really finish the whole meal. I blame those particular beets. We still had some turnips left after that and decided to try this recipe because bacon makes things better! It was a nice quick weeknight meal that I would probably buy turnips for in the future. It took us around 45 minutes. We accidentally used only half the bacon at the start and cooked the rest separately and added it at the end. It still turned out pretty good, but I regret adding the rendered fat from the second half of the bacon, so I might take out some of the rendered fat after the first step of cooking the bacon if you use it all.

Santiago Salsa

This is basically a bean, rice and cheese dip. We made it a couple weeks ago for a quick dinner. Yes, I know it's supposed to be an appetizer, but there are only two of us! 

This is so extremely simple. You just combine all the ingredients (canned beans, rice, cheese, canned diced tomatoes, jalapenos and onion) and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with some more cheese stick it back in the oven for a bit to melt, then serve with chips, salasa and sour cream. It was pretty delicious! I'd recommend using a good flavored cheese because that's where a lot of the flavor come from. I think this could also be good wrapped up in a tortilla!

The recipe is from the kitchn.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Here's what we did with our thanksgiving leftovers. We had a ton of mashed potatoes left, so we made these mashed potato puffs with Parmesan, bacon, green onions and eggs.You can find the recipe here. We really liked them, but I think I might use cheddar next time.

 Imagine that there's turkey in the salad above. We used romaine with a little radicchio for the base. We also had turkey, a little red onion, pomegranate seeds, sliced almonds, chopped celery and green onion. Pomegranate seeds were the biggest hit of the salad. All the little cousins kept sneaking them before we were done with prep work. The salad was inspired by this one with arugula and pistachios. It was good to have a light and refreshing dinner after the wonderful but very filling Thanksgiving meal.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pumpkin Pie- Cooks Illustrated Version

So where have I been? Probably the same as you- busy. But I have to share with you this amazing pumpkin pie from Cooks Illustrated before Thanksgiving. If you love pumpkin pie you probably already have a favorite of your own, but you should definitely give this version a try sometime. It uses candied yams to up the flavor of the custard and cooks down the yams and pumpkin to concentrate the pumpkin-y goodness. Kyle and I both agreed it was the best pumpkin pie that has made the journey to our mouths.

I also discovered my new favorite pie crust (which I used for the pumpkin pie). It was developed by one of my favorite food bloggers, Kenji over at Serious Eats. It's so much easier to get right than traditional pie crust recipes. Instead of carefully cutting the fat into flour, in the first step you make a flour/ fat paste and then work in a little more flour. His method also eliminated the guesswork for adding water since you get more consistent cutting. The link to the recipe talks more in depth about the science of why this works. This recipe gave me the flakiest and most delicious crust I've ever had. If you have trouble with pie crust, or just want to try something new you should check out his recipe. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies for Halloween

If you're looking for something seasonal to bake, I highly recommend these pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing. As one of my friends said, these are very addicting. Kyle says they kind of almost melt in your mouth, which makes it really easy to eat a lot. We've made them twice already and I'm planning on getting in quite a few more batches before pumpkin season is over. I brought them in to one of the classes I TA today and they were a big hit. You can find the awesome recipe here

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Grandma Maddalena's Lasagna

The people that ate this meal now know how far behind I am in my blogging. A few weeks ago, we had some of Kyle's family over for dinner. We had Grandma Maddalena's Lasagna which is a recipe from Kitchen Boss, Buddy Valastro's cooking show. I've made the recipe before, but in the form of cupcake lasagna's with wonton wrappers. I wanted to make sure there was enough food for everyone, so I decided to double the recipe and make two lasagnas. In the middle of assembling the first lasagna, I realized that there was no way a whole recipe was going to fit in my 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan. So, we ended up making 3 lasagnas instead of two. We froze one before baking. Of the two we cooked, only one got eaten. We gave half of the other away to our guests and ate the rest as leftovers. I later confirmed with my mom that lasagna pans are 9 x 13 x 3 inches. Oops. Oh well. The moral of this story is that 2/3 of the recipe will easily feed 8 adults and 4 children with accompanying bread and salad. 

On the subject of the recipe itself, be sure to add some sugar to counteract the acid in the tomatoes. The amount depends on the tomatoes. Also, I can never find veal so I just substitute more ground beef for that. Feel free to substitute whatever meat you prefer.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

I posted earlier about my favorite chocolate chip cookie dough. While I love that recipe's cookies for speedy results and deliciousness, these are actually my favorite chocolate chip cookies. They're huge enough to have a crispy outside and an unbelievably chewy middle. They take more patience (24-72 hour rest time) but the outcome is worth it!

I first made these cookies a couple years ago right after the recipe was first published in the times online. I was an avid New York Times reader back in the days before the paid subscriptions. David Leite had me at the title: "Perfection? Hint: It's Warm and Has a Secret". If you like food, great writing and salivating on your keyboard, you should definitely check out his original article which goes into the discovery process for this recipe based on Jacques Torres famous cookies. You can find just the recipe here

I included this picture for a visual representation of a 3 1/2 oz dough ball in case you don't have a scale. You could always make them smaller, but then you'd miss the wonderful textural regions. Another note: I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips because I couldn't find Valhrona and I don't have the money to pay for overnight shipping of Jacques Torres chocolate disks from New York. They still tasted delicious!

These cookies are great dunked in a cold glass of milk.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

Fall in a scoop.

Make it.

Recipe here.

We increased the sugar to 1 1/4 cups because we like it sweet.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Roast Chicken Thighs and Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

This is another unintentional blog post, but dinner was an improvisation that turned out well, so I had to record it! Hence the half eaten, quickly taken picture. Dinner was supposed to be chicken cutlets with a mustard cider sauce, but then I realized that what we thought were breasts in the freezer were actually thighs. We went into emergency improv mode and this is the awesomeness that arose! I would totally make both of these again because they're quick, easy and very tasty.

Roast Chicken Thighs
Inspired from this recipe from the kitchen
Serves 4

1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1-2 chopped large onions- about the same amount of onions as chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Spread onto a baking sheet with the chicken in the middle and the onions around it. Cook for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the thighs reaches 160. Take out of the oven and tent aluminum foil over the chicken and onions. Rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Brown Sugar Acorn Squash
Adapted from The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook

1 acorn squash (we used swan white acorn)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Microwave on high 20-25 minutes until tender in a microwave safe bowl.  Add water if the bowl is pyrex. Heat the oven to broil. While the squash is cooking melt the butter and sugar on the stovetop. Once the squash is done place it in a baking dish and spoon the butter and sugar mixture into the squash. Broil it in the oven for 5-8 minutes turning halfway.

Update on the grapes

You know how I mentioned in my chicken salad post that I thought we had grapes, but we didn't. Well we totally did. Kyle just found them. They were behind the apples. Oops. Oh well, the salad was still good anyway and now we have grapes for snacks tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicken Salad Sandwich

I meant to make a different chicken salad recipe, but chrome blocked the website saying it had malware, so I improvised instead. Also, I totally thought we had grapes, but we didn't. So apples subbed in! I also meant to not eat this the night I made it. The sandwiches were supposed to be a quick dinner for later, but I ended up making more than enough for 2 nights and a lunch, so we enjoyed some early. This isn't the most stunning or gourmet meal, but it's quick, easy and pretty delicious. I'm posting the recipe so that I can remember what I did. Feel free to adjust amounts and ingredients to what you have. That's what I did! Next time I'd add more nuts and herbs or spices (whole mustard seed?) and possibly the raisins you see on the counter that I was debating but decided against.

We used some 30 minute rolls from here. They were okay, but I don't know if I'd make them again unless I was in a rush.

The creative process mess

Chicken Salad
loosely adapted from epicurious

2 cans cooked shredded chicken
3/4 large apple, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
celery leaves from one bunch, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup mayonaise
1/4 onion, diced
3 tablespoons chopped almonds
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

Mix all ingredients and serve alone, on bread of choice or on lettuce leaves.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What are your rescue dinners?

image from here

You probably know the feeling- after experimenting with some promising recipe that didn't turn out edible or letting a favorite meal cook past the point of no return, you're left without dinner. You really don't want to spend a lot of time making another dinner, but you need to eat. What do you do?

Some recent rescue dinners for us have been quesadillas, baked potatoes and toast. In the past we've also turned to pasta. What do you turn to for quick and easy nourishment? Unfortunately this scenario has been coming up a few times in a row the last week, so I'd love any new ideas you have!

Also another somewhat related question for parents out there. When we have kids some day we're going to try to teach them to eat at least some of stuff they don't like (I know that may fail). What do you do when the meal isn't something you'd even normally eat? Do you dig in to teach the principle anyway? How do you handle that situation?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Taco Soup

Pardon the ghetto picture. I just really needed to capture this soup before I put the last of it in my lunch. This is straight from the fridge, so it looks thicker than the soup does when it's warm. Just use your imagination and picture the bowl steaming and slightly more soupy.

Taco Soup is an easy comfort food recipe we have a lot during the fall and winter. When we were making this I asked Kyle why we haven't had this forever, and he reminded me that summer happened. Warm, hearty soups are one reason I really love fall!

I usually never make this the same way twice, but I really like how this time turned out so I'm recording it to reference later. It was thicker than normal since I added tomato sauce for liquid instead of water. If you want a thinner soup, feel free to use water instead or in addition. This recipe is well suited for adaptation, so try it out with whatever kind of tomatoes and beans you have on hand!

We've done this in the slow cooker many times before with great success. If you use the ground beef, be sure to brown it before you stick it in the slow cooker. If you want minimal prep, you can skip the ground beef and just stick everything else in there in the morning.

How do you make taco soup?

Taco Soup
1/2 pound ground beef
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
4 tablespoons good taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can tomato sauce
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
6 oz frozen corn
1/2 small can jalapenos, diced

Pepper jack cheese
Sour cream
Tortilla chips

Brown the ground beef with the onions in a medium/large saucepan. Drain any fat. Add the garlic and taco seasoning and saute a few minutes until fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to boiling. If you want a thinner soup add water. Simmer until it reaches your desired consistency.  Serve with toppings.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Plum Crisp

It's been a while since I made this and I'd forgotten I hadn't posted about it. I hope you can still find some plums somewhere to make this because I loved it!

We found some Italian prune plums at the farmers market about a month ago. They weren't sweet enough for snacking in hand, so we decided to make a crisp out of them. 

Don't they look beautiful! 

The crisp was pretty easy and it tasted really good. The crunchy topping perfectly complemented the deep fruity flavor of the filling. I made the filling and mixed together the topping ahead of time so that I could quickly assemble and cook the crisp while I was finishing dinner. Warning- plums make a really good dye, so wear an apron while making this crisp.

 I had about 1/2 pound fewer plums than called for, so I cooked it in a 9" pie pan instead of the suggested 15" x 9". Also, I wanted a thicker topping. Make sure if you use a smaller pan to use a cookie sheet underneath to catch drips when it boils over, demonstrated below. 

Happy crisp making!

Plum Crisp

9x13, 9x15, or 9" pie pan or whatever you have that'll fit it

3/4 cup sliced almonds (I chopped whole almonds)
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup water
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 pounds Italian prune plums (or other plums)
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 375

Toast the almonds either on a baking sheet in the oven or in an un-greased frying pan on top of the stove for 10-12 min.

Blend flour, brown sugar, 1/2 cup oats, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a food processor or blender until blended well, but still somewhat coarse. Combine that with rest of the oats (1/4 cup) and the sliced almonds.

Cut the plums in half and remove the pit. Combine the water and corn starch in a small bowl. Cook the plums and sugar in a 12 inch skillet until the sugar is melted. Add the cornstarch and water mixture and stir while simmering until thick, about 15 minutes. 

After the mixture is thickened, put it in you baking dish and put the topping evenly on top. Bake until the top is golden, about 40-45 minutes. Let cool slightly (10 minutes) and serve with vanilla ice cream!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Peanut Butter Torte

This is the dessert I made for a BBQ for Kyle's cousins. I had one cousin come up and hug me when she saw that I brought it and another compare it to heaven, so apparently it's pretty good. I've made this a few times before and it's had an equally good reception each time. This torte is a peanut butter moose in an oreo crust topped with chocolate ganache. It's very velvety rich and best served cold with a big glass of milk. Health disclosure: this has a ton of heavy cream, cream cheese, and peanut butter. Therefore not so great for your physical health, but it works wonders for your mental health. That's how life goes.

Pardon the not so great pictures, but I was enjoying the food and company at the BBQ so I didn't take the time to compose great photos. I got the recipe from my favorite dessert cookbook- Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I highly recommend every recipe I've tried from that book, but if you can't wait to make this until you buy it, you can find the recipe online here. It's a little more involved than cookies, but worth every minute for the delicious results!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ever (Makes Amazing Cookies Too)

I've been eating this stuff since I was a little girl. And it's still as good as ever! This was/is my family's favorite cookie recipe. My siblings and I would fight after church on Sundays (ironic I know) over who got to make dessert, which was usually these cookies and their dough. My grandma actually got the recipe off a Quaker oats container a long time ago. I've checked recently and the recipe's changed. Poor deprived generations!

Many times (actually most times) I'll make this just for the dough. It's that good. The oatmeal makes it feel like something substantial that I shouldn't feel guilty eating for breakfast. Because I totally eat it for breakfast. Oatmeal is good for breakfast, right?

If you aren't a raw cookie dough eater, I'll assure you that it tastes equally amazing cooked. In fact, I've been on an actual cookie kick the past week or so and have cooked at least half the dough we've made!

I promise you that these are the moistest oatmeal chocolate chip cookies you have ever made, provided you bake them like my sister Anne or my husband Kyle. I'm not as good as them, which is why I usually keep them in the dough form. To bake them properly you must not eat half the butter and sugar mixture before you add everything else (guilty!). Also, you must take them out before you think they are done. Or at least before I think they're done. 

Kyle's description: "The very topmost edges will be golden brown. But no more than the topmost edges should be golden brown, unless people like well done cookies.... Also, they will still be squishy."

So there you have it, cookie training from an expert! One more tip, I've found that like most cookies, they bake better after the dough's rested in the fridge for a while (best overnight or more). But if you can't wait, they'll still be delicious! 

P.S. These cookies taste great from the freezer, but mine don't usually make it there! Like the other day, we baked up 13. I won't tell you what happened to most (*ahem* all) of them before we went to bed, but let's just say they're not in the freezer.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
3 cups quick oatmeal
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (or more!!) chocolate chips
If desired (I've never actually tried these) 1 cup nuts and or raisins

1. Cream sugars thoroughly with butter until light and fluffy and no granules remain.
2. Beat in eggs and vanilla until light.
3. Stir in oatmeal 
4. Sift flour with salt, soda and baking powder. Work into wet ingredients until combined. Make sure not to overmix or you'll have stiff cookies.
5. Eat! and let the remaining dough rest in the refrigerator. (Or don't- depends on your patience)
6. Preheat oven to 350. Roll into balls and flatten. Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on your oven. Take out when slightly golden, as described above. Make sure not to overbake.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lentil Pilaf Stuffed Peppers and a Baby Pepper!

The stuffed peppers were pretty good (probably because we added cheese), but I don't think I'd make this again because I didn't really like the lentil pilaf on it's own. The recipe didn't compensate for the extra time brown rice takes to cook so the rice was hard and the lentils were mushy.

I decided to share this anyway because I really liked this picture I took of one of the peppers that had sprouted a baby pepper! 

If you want to have an excuse to take a picture like this, I found the recipe here. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it. Stuff your pepper with something more delicious.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tostadas Salsa Verde

This picture does not do these tostadas justice, but they smelled amazing and I was too hungry to have the patience for a more carefully composed and photographed shot.

If you want to see a great picture of them and the full recipe, head over to

Instead of frying corn tortillas, in these tostadas you bake flour tortillas with pepper jack cheese. It was a fun mix up and made it easier to eat. Once the tortillas are you golden you top with a chicken, green salsa, cilantro and cumin mix. Finish with lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and additional salsa to serve. The recipe calls for poached chicken, but my recipe book suggests rotisserie chicken for a shortcut. That would make this an easy weeknight meal done in about 20 minutes.

Kyle and I both loved them and agree they're the best tostadas we've had. I think we're going to be using salsa verde more often in our home cooking. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Roasted Sweet Cherry Tomato Pasta

This is one of the easiest dinners ever. Throw some cherry tomatoes and diced garlic into a shallow baking dish, season with salt and pepper and cover with some really good olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes. While they're roasting, cook some pasta. After the tomatoes are done combine with pasta, basil, Parmesan and additional salt and pepper to taste. 

Wow. This is my second favorite meal (next to the homemade pizza) all month. Kyle and I couldn't get enough. We were so sad that we were out of cherry tomatoes and are planning on making this again as soon as we get some more. 

I got the recipe from Bon Appetit

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Amazingly Fluffy Pancakes

Kyle was so sweet and made me pancakes one night, and he even took a picture! He used a recipe from Leite's Culinaria that was absolutely amazing. The combination of whipped egg whites and a tablespoon of baking powder make these amazingly fluffy. These are now our favorite pancakes and will probably revisit our kitchen for many years.

My cute cooking man

Once upon a time (aka before we got married and early marriage) Kyle used to swear by pancake mixes. He always agreed that from scratch was better but loved the convenience of a mix. I think by now though that I've finally convinced him that it's always worth it to make them from scratch, especially like this!

On another semi-side note I really hate going to places like IHOP and Denny's for breakfast. I'm always disappointed because I know that we can make better breakfasts at home that cost less and take about as much time after you drive there and wait for your food. Now that's even more apparent since these are even more delicious than my previously yummy pancakes and only take about a half hour from start to finish. I'd pay $10 for a plate of these, but I don't have to! Do you have any favorite at-home breakfasts?

Clinton St. Baking Company Pancakes Recipe

Featured at Leite's Culinaria from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, unmelted for the griddle and lots more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup for serving

  • 1. Preheat the griddle to medium or medium low.

    1. Mix the dry ingredients together. 

    2. Separately mix the egg yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla together.

    3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. 

    4. Using a mixer (or by hand if you have strong arm muscles) whip the egg whites to medium peaks (mostly hold shape). Make sure not to overbeat.

    5.  Butter the griddle.

    6. Use 1/4 cup of batter for each of the pancakes. Flip them when bubbles have formed on top and they are golden brown on the bottom. Repeat the buttering process as needed while finishing off the batter.

    7. Prepare your tastebuds for amazement. Enjoy with butter, maple syrup and any other toppings you desire! 

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies

    We made these cookies for the Chemistry Department Picnic the other weekend. Before you get your hopes up, know they're not as good as they sound. I think it's a great idea, but there were a few flaws with the recipe. The peanut butter cookie dough turned out cookies that were too dry. So, use your favorite moist peanut butter cookie recipe. Also, the way the recipe described swirling the nutella made it loose the wonderful distinctive flavor. A guy in my lab had no idea they even had nutella in them. He thought it was just chocolate. This still has potential and I think I'll be making them again sometime, but in a different form. I'll probably put a little puddle of nutella in the center instead, kind of like a peanut butter blossom cookie.

    Kyle did absolutely love the dough though! It was his favorite snack for about a week. So, if you're a dough person, this one's for you!

    Sunday, September 18, 2011


    I'd never had gazpacho before, but then I saw this recipe for the perfect gazpacho. I figured it might be good. It wasn't. I'm not into cold soup at all. Also, it made a huge mess, as seen below. If you like gazpacho, I'm sure this would be good, but it was not worth it for me. Do you like cold soups?

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    Cereal Marshmallows

    Yes, those are cereal marshmallows. My anniversary gift to Kyle. Find them here.

    Feta-Stuffed BLT Burgers

    We made some monstrous burgers. Seriously. I couldn't fit one in my mouth without some serious squishage. The reason ours turned out so huge is because we freeze our ground beef in 1/4 pound hamburger patties, so when we sandwiched the two patties around the feta it was larger than what the recipe called for. (1/2 lb instead of ~1/3 lb).

    Still, they were pretty good, especially the bacon part. In addition to what the Martha Stewart recipe (found here) called for we added mayonnaise (me), pickles (Kyle) and red onion (both). If we made them again we'd cut down on the feta a little. Otherwise, a fun new burger combo! 

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Peach Butter

    We got a ton of peaches from the farmer's market intending to snack on them, but unfortunately they ripened too quickly and some fruit flies were telling us we needed to do something with them quickly! Luckily Deb at smitten kitchen posted about some great looking peach butter! Peach butter is basically boiled down and concentrated peaches and sugar, like apple butter. It was absolutely delicious and not at all hard to make. It did take some time, but most of that was just stirring a pot.  I'll be really glad to have some of this throughout the long winter! Kyle doesn't really like peaches  that much, but he loves this!

    This was the first time we tried canning anything, and it wasn't too bad. Luckily, this recipe used boiling water canning which is much easier than pressure canning. All you have to do is boil the jars and lids in water for 10 minutes before and after putting the hot peach butter into them. Just make sure you turn on the right burner. That will save you a lot of time wondering why your water isn't boiling. Seriously, a lot of time. I really miss having a gas stove where you can always tell which burner is on. Despite that, I think I could get into this! 

    So you know, this made us more than the recipe says. We got three pints and a little extra to eat right away. Extra is never bad, but it did take us a little longer because we had only boiled two jars. Still, more for winter!

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Strawberry Ice Cream and Peach Ice Cream

    Finally! Fresh Fruit Ice Cream Success! Thanks to Zoe Bakes! The secret to the strawberry ice cream is roasting the strawberries with balsamic vinegar. It was absolutely amazing! We'll definitely be making it again. You can find the recipe here

    The roasted strawberries:

    The peach ice cream was pretty good too, but definitely not up to the strawberry ice cream level. It's okay, I was just happy not to have another stone fruit ice cream failure. I like peaches better for snacking, but if you need a decent peach ice cream recipe here it is. Also, if you're around Provo and want some, let me know!