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Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Recently for Christmas, I searched out four different chocolate chip cookie recipes to bake, and this was the general favorite. I’m not done with my search yet, but it’s certainly a great cookie and I’ve already had requests for another batch.

So, to start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line some baking sheets with parchment paper or fabulous, wonderful silpats.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, or a simple spoon, cream together butter and sugar.

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Next, beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well each time.

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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Dessert

 

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Apple Cider for New Years!

AppleCider-2So I posted an apple cider recipe a month and a half ago, but had forgotten my (rather extensive, inebriating) testing last year. After finding my notes, I felt I should inform you all of the superior recipe and the important changes: First, toast the spices before adding them to the mulling ball. This mellows and richens their flavor, definitely an important step. Second, if you wait until the end to add the pomegranate or cranberry juice, it keeps it’s zing, whereas longer simmering will soften the pomegranate juice flavor. So, the new and improved (old) recipe:

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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Drink

 

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Chorizo Fillo Shells

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Tonight I had a few friends over for dinner, and whipped up a new appetizer and thought I’d share. The idea of it is chorizo (though I used vegetarian-friendly soy chorizo), mixed with some cream cheese for creaminess, pepperjack for cheesy spiciness, and salsa for a bit of tomato and extra spice. Then for a container, I decided on stuffing won-ton wrappers, but couldn’t find any, so got phyllo (fillo?) shells.

So, to start: brown the meat, or fry the soy fake stuff in a bit of oil and get it hot.

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Then add the cream cheese, pepperjack cheese, and salsa over low heat and stir until melted.

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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Appetizer/Snack

 

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Boeuf Bourguinon ala Julia Child

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So, like probably every food blogger on the planet, I made Boeuf Bourguignon last night. It was for my birthday dinner with friends, and we had some great french onion soup planned, so that seemed like an appropriate main dish. We also watched Julie and Julia, while it cooked. A great evening, and a fantastic dish. I actually did a double batch, for 12 people, so the amounts you will see are doubled. It’s not an extremely difficult dish, exactly, it’s just a very LONG one.

First, preheat the oven to 450°F, then you need to take 6 ounces of bacon and remove the hard rind. I’m honestly not sure this actually matters unless you’re getting unchopped bulk bacon, so use your discretion. Then chop the bacon into lardons, which are sticks 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long.

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Blanch the bacon and rind (I used two separate pots because you use them in different ways) in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry the bacon.

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Entree

 

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Spicy Pickles

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I love spicy foods. Not the tear your head off, how hot can you make it sort of spicy, but a good solid heat. I also love the balance of sweet and spicy, which is why I find these pickles to be positively addictive. I often have a jar of them open when I’m cooking, and just snack on one occasionally. They’re also fabulous on pulled pork.

The first step is to slice all of your cucumbers and onions and put them with water and pickling salt in a large, nonreactive bowl for 2 hours. This draws moisture out of the cucumber so it will result in a crisper pickle. Oh, and the reason you’re seeing such huge quantities is that I’m making a quadruple-sized batch for Christmas gifts. Normally a simple stockpot or lage bowl would suffice.

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After 2 hours, rinse the cucumbers and onions thoroughly, then drain them and set them aside. Now, it’s time to make the brine. First, take the garlic, red peppers, and habaneros, and puree them in a food processor. I like doing this because it makes sure the heat is very finely distributed among all the pickles. You could also chop everything very fine, but I prefer to avoid direct chopping of habaneros if at all possible. Add the vinegars, tumeric, sugar, mustard seed, cloves, and pepper/garlic puree to a large stockpot, and bring to a boil.

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Posted by on December 15, 2012 in Appetizer/Snack, Canning

 

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Winter Ribollita

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With all the rain and cold we’ve had lately, I’ve definitely been in the mood for soups. I’ve also been canning and freezing them for Christmas gifts, which adds significantly to the soup-creation workload. Today I made a soup that my mother sent me the recipe for, that neither of us had ever tried. It’s absolutely fantastic, chock full of vegetables, and very similar to minestrone. A friend described it as “minestrone, but better.”

You start by cooking a bit of pancetta (I used bacon), and then adding olive oil (or in my case draining off some of the fat).

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Add some onions, carrots, celery, and any extra vegetables you want to throw in. I added a cucumber, because I had one laying around and it sounded good. Saute until soft, 8-10 minutes, then add some garlic, salt, and pepper.

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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Healthy, Soup

 

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Individual Apple Cranberry Crisps

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With all the cold, rainy weather we’re having lately I had a craving for a nice apple crisp of some kind. Cranberries sounded like a nice tart addition, so I decided on those as well. So I found a good basic recipe via Taste of Home, and tweaked it to be individual ramekins. Plus, I added vanilla, because… well, vanilla!

Start by slicing a bunch of apples and add in some cranberries.

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Add in some sugar, flour, vanilla, and a bit of orange or lemon zest if you happen to have some laying around (I used orange).

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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Dessert

 

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