Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Shake your Almond Bonbons.

When my sweet friend Kristina Martin asked if I still had a blog, I told her yes. Because technically, the blog does exist. It's just been a LOOOOONG time since I've actually posted anything there. Like over a year. And a half. But if anything's going to inspire me to share a little something with my dear readers- all two of you, bless your hearts- it's food, and Kristina asked if I would participate in a virtual cookie exchange by posting my favorite holiday cookie recipe. Easy peasy, no? I agreed because cookies (and links to more cookies, omg yum) and because Kristina unknowingly gave me the kick in the skirt I've been needing to start writing again. So thank you, Kristina. And friends reading, please visit her blog. Not only does she share a delicious recipe, but she writes brilliant missives.

The recipe I've chosen was given to me by a woman named Susie Feeney. Susie Feeney (always a first and last name for that one) was tall, beautiful, put-together woman who had lived all over the country and had raised her beautiful children to be successful doctors and bankers and they all got together to tailgate at Notre Dame games. She was the woman I wanted to be if I could ever get my shit together. We worked at the GAP together and she brought these little nuggets of delight to one of our holiday meetings, which took place in September because retail. Anyway, they were so elegant and delicious, and I asked for her recipe. I was expecting an embossed recipe card with perfect handwriting, and not the photocopied page from a Betty Crocker cookbook. Susie Feeney told me she made these bonbons because they were insanely easy, but looked bakery-made. And it's true. When I make them I feel like I'm cheating, but as I serve them to friends I imagine they're looking at me as the put-together woman with the beautiful kids who makes gorgeous cookies and has her shit all together with edible glitter on top.

And then I shake my bonbon.

Almond Bonbons

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
7 or 8 oz almond paste (not marzipan)

Frosting and Decorations
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 to 5 tablespoons milk
Edible glitter, white candy sprinkles, or coarse sugar

1. Heat oven to 375F. In large bowl, beat flour, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, butter, 3 tablespoons milk and the vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon until well blended. Cut almond paste into 1/2-inch slices, and cut eat slice into 8 pieces (40 pieces total).
2. Shape 1-inch ball of dough around each piece of almond paste. Gently roll to form ball. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls about 1 inch apart.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set and bottoms are golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
4. In small bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar, the almond extract and enough milk for spreading consistency. Dip tops of cookies into frosting. Sprinkle with edible glitter.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pass the Cook Book Club- April

Guacamole is my most favorite thing ever. Okay, I don't love it more than my fellow or my kids, but for reals, it's a close *close* second. I make it once a week, and I anticipate that meal like it's my birthday. Problem is, the kids are getting a little tired of tacos. I know, I too am concerned whose children they are. They may be pod children. Or there was some craziness in the genetic mash-up that caused them to be averse to eating tacos for every meal.

I don't know.

But anyway, I'm always on the lookout for new Mexican/Tex-Mex recipes that will enable my guacamole addiction, and this month's Pass the Cook Book Club had a super winner. The Weeknight Shredded Chicken Taquitos from the Picky Palate Cookbook were ab fab, way easy to make, and a hit with the kids. Plus, they were perfect dipping size for my guac. Loved them.

Weeknight Shredded Chicken Taquitos
Page 84
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tbs minced garlic
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 10oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
3 tbs finely chopped cilantro
½ teas kosher salt
½ teas ground cumin
¼ teas freshly ground black pepper
10 10” flour tortillas
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, cumin and pepper and cook, stirring, until hot, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to keep warm.
Add ¼ cup of the chicken filling to the center of each tortilla and top with 2 tbs cheddar cheese. Roll tightly and place seam side down in prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tortillas are crispy.

Listening to: The Joy Formidable "Wolf's Law"

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pots de Creme

Thank God for Pinterest. Dinner had become a regular rotation of five or six meal that the fam used to adore, but became JUST A LITTLE TIRED OF EATING. Then I started pinning. Oh dear lord, the food ideas. Slow-cooker meals. Homemade pretzel bites with cheese sauce. Cupcakes in every flavor combination imaginable. BACON EVERYTHING. I didn't want to just pin, I wanted to experiment.

Early fall, I saw a pin for Chai pumpkin spice thumbprints and needed to make them. The cookies turned out so fantastically, I followed Kita Robert's Pass the Sushi blog and face place page, and my family and I are grateful (and fatter) for her uber-delicious recipes.

Back in January, Kita invited her page followers to join her Pass the Cook Book Club. She picks a cookbook, decides on three recipes, and shares them with us to make and post. February's pick was The Pioneer Woman (omg, fabulous!) and the recipes included Herb Roasted Pork with Root Vegetables, Perfect Au Gratin Potatoes, and Pots de Creme. I chose to make the Pots de Creme because, duh, chocolate and oh hells yes it was good. The kids weren't big fans of the coffee flavor, so I had to put on my buffet pants and finish all of them. It was rough, but I made it out alive.

Here's the recipe:

Pots de Creme
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
4 eggs, at room temp
2 teas vanilla extract
pinch of salt
8 oz very hot strong coffee (I used Starbucks Via)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbs sugar
Place the chocolate chips in a blender. Crack the eggs and add them to the chocolate chips along with the vanilla and salt. Pulse 5 - 7 times, or until chocolate chips are partially pulverized.
Turn on the blender, then pour in the very hot coffee in a steady stream. The coffee will melt the chocolate and turn it into a smooth mixture.
Pour the mixture into small mason jars, pretty wine glasses, or demitasse cups. Place on a tray and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours or until firm.
Whip the cream with the sugar and plop it onto the top of each glass.

Listening to: The Shins "Port of Morrow"

xo. kb.