Category — recipes
you want to know the best thing about having a mom like mine? i haven’t had to go through millions of cookie recipes searching for a winner because she has already perfected them for me. ok, so she probably has more redeeming qualities than that–but having some go-to cookie recipes is never a bad thing.
exhibit a: these snickerdoodles. i think i’ve eaten six of these in one sitting. not that i should be publicly mentioning that fact.
just a tip: be very careful not to overbake your cookies or your life will be over. not really. but the cookies won’t taste half as good. promise.
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 3/4 c. flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
cream butter and sugar together. add eggs. then, mix in dry ingredients. once all ingredients are combined, roll dough into one-inch balls. then roll into cinnamon-sugar mixture. bake at 350° for approximately 12 minutes. watch carefully and remove from the oven as soon as the edges turn the slightest bit golden.
December 1, 2011 1 Comment
pronounced ben-yays, in case you have never eaten one or have no idea what i’m talking about. man catchin’ beignets. [name that movie].
there is a wonderful little photography store here in the bay area that my dad and i frequent. we have been there to research cameras before deciding on mine, to rent camera equipment, and even to take a workshop. my favorite part about my dad coming with me is not only that i don’t get lost, but that we always go early in the day so we can eat breakfast at this amazing french cafe just a block or so away.
on one such occasion, i remembering placing our order just as the couple next to us was getting ready to leave. the tables are fairly close to one another, and we couldn’t help noticing the remnants of their meal. what particularly caught our eye were what looked to be square shaped donuts covered in powdered sugar.
my dad and i gave each other the same look. this look said, “as soon as these people leave, we are going to eat those donut-looking things of theirs.” but to our dismay, they put the pastries in a to-go box. my dad and i exchanged glances again: “dang it.” so my dad grabbed our waiter and told him that we wanted whatever it was that the patrons next to us had. they were called beignets.
when i was thinking about the treat i wanted to cook up for this month’s book club, marta had mentioned the idea of doing a french recipe, and i couldn’t imagine anything more fitting. [have i told you that marta will be hosting "the club" this month? i could not be more thrilled! just take a quick look around her blog and you will be thrilled too].
unfortunately, i am still in the market for a copy of julia child’s french cuisine cookbook, so i had to settle for a recipe from paula deen. i realized after whipping these babies up, that paula’s recipe must be almost identical to my mom’s recipe for scones. i will say though, that the recipe is really easy to follow, and the results are absolutely delicious!
french quarter beignets
adapted from paula deen
1 1/2 c. lukewarm water
1/2 c. sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast [approx. 2 1/2 teaspoons]
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 t. salt
1 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. butter
3 c. powdered sugar
mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
in another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture. add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. add the butter and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. put dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees [medium heat]. to test, drop a small piece of dough into the oil. the oil should boil around the dough’s edges, and the dough should rise to the top of the oil quickly. if the dough sinks, the oil is not hot enough.
add the powdered sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.
roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares, using a pizza cutter. deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. after beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of powdered sugar. hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.
hope you will stop by the book club on monday!
March 4, 2011 3 Comments
from start to finish, this pizza took me 25 minutes to make [including baking time]. i am here to share my secret with you.
did you know that you can buy raw dough from most grocery stores? because you can. just ask at the bakery – it is the dough they use for french bread. i hear it also makes great scones, and obviously pizza – which i know from experience.
so here is what you will need:
after spreading olive oil onto a baking sheet or pizza stone, stretch and spread your dough out until it is pretty thin. spread bbq sauce on top of your dough, then add shredded or sliced chicken. [i just used a rotisserie chicken from the store - genius and time-saving]. sprinkle on generous amounts of mozzarella cheese and how ever many sliced red onions you prefer. bake at 400 for 12-14 minutes. sprinkle chopped cilantro atop before eating… if you are into that sort of thing. and i am.
and voila. a delicious [practically] homemade dinner in under 30 minutes.
March 1, 2011 3 Comments
maybe you should make some cookies. add some teal. go crazy.
DEB CHILD’S SUGAR COOKIES
2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 egg yolks
2 t. vanilla
4 1/2 c. flour
2 lb. bag of powdered sugar
3 T. powdered meringue
1 t. clear vanilla
1 t. butter flavoring
1/2 t. almond flavoring (optional)
first, cream butter and sugar. then, add egg yolks and vanilla. add flour to mixture gradually. the dough will roll out best if it has been chilled for a few hours. roll out cookie dough to 1/4-1/2 inch thick, and cut into desired shapes. place cookies on a buttered cookie sheet or a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
mix ingredients. [seriously, that's about it]. Add water to the mixture incredible slowly, until the icing is at the proper consistency for piping through a bag – but it should still be pretty thick. then, feel free to add some color.
and here are some tips.
it’s preferable not to do everything at once. when i try to finish these up all in one day, i start to go crazy and the icing job shows it. maybe make up the cookie dough one day and bake and frost them the next. or cook them with a helper – it makes life a lot easier.
i roll my cookies out thick – like 1/2 inch thick – before cutting the dough into desired shapes. they taste better that way.
watch your oven to figure out the exact cooking time. i take my cookies out when they just barely start thinking they want to look the least bit golden on the edges. they’ll be softer and more awesome and last longer.
and here’s the biggest tip of all – icing. it looks hard, right? wrong. use a piping bag to frost an outline on your cookie – i frost all of my outlines at once. then, thin the remaining icing with water [it doesn't take very much]. use this thin icing with a spoon to fill the inside of the cookies that have already been outlined – that’s how the frosting gets so smooth. and if you have any piping icing left, use it for further cookie decoration.
let the icing dry overnight. trust me. then wrap them up, or serve them at a party and impress all your friends.
February 14, 2011 1 Comment
last week, the boyfriend and i were invited to our friends’ house for dinner, and we were in charge of bringing a salad. here is what we came up with:
topped with poppyseed dressing
it is so easy and delicious, i could die. and lucky for me, we bought one of those giant bins of spinach, so i have been eating this salad religiously.
just a tip: mix your dressing with just the spinach, before adding the rest of the goodies. otherwise, they will all fall to the bottom.
February 3, 2011 1 Comment