Monday, December 27, 2010

Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies

December is cookie month. Cookies for holiday parties, cookies for family and friends, and quite honestly, cookies because I have a ton of time off and need to keep busy! I figured that it was time to introduce a few new recipes into the rotation... the first of which is salted oatmeal cookies. The original recipe is from Cook's Illustrated and then it was adapted a bit by Deb of Smitten Kitchen fame... Love Cook's Illustrated, Love SK, Love Salt... game on.

Happy December Cookie-ing!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

I don’t have much to say about this asparagus pizza, except that it is delicious. I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (obviously) and was immediately intrigued by the fact that it was tomato-free and involved shaved asparagus - which sounded both delicious and impressive. I love recipes like this that are incredibly simple but seem sophisticated…

This pizza is so yummy I've made it numerous times… despite the fact that it is no longer asparagus season, I indulged a friend’s request to try it, and it did not disappoint.

Happy Pizza-ing!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Felicia's Chocolate White Chip Cookies

Working at a preschool means eating a lot of cupcakes. It’s possible that KNS keeps the midtown Crumbs and Buttercup in business with all the birthdays and other celebrations at our school. Of course, I prefer to celebrate with home-made treats. My former co-teacher Felicia and I worked well together for many reasons. For one thing, she taught me the joys of color coordinating tacks and artwork. I swear my life, or at least my classroom, will never be the same… but on a food related note, she loves sweets as much as I do. After a little sneaky digging, I found out that she particularly loves chocolate white chip cookies, and Felicia’s birthday cookies were born… For the third year of these treats I decided to use a new recipe and the results were even more scrumptious. This recipe is simply the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe with added cocoa. Why mess with a good thing?

Happy Indulging!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pad Thai

So, anyone who knows my dad, or his cooking, knows he has a special relationship with soy sauce. I mean, really, I grew up with some pretty delicious marinated chicken, grilled salmon, and even some awesome stir fries and sesame noodles for a Jewish girl in the suburbs of Boston. I learned how to whip up a really good marinade with a few simple ingredients, the most important of which is clearly soy sauce. However, one might argue there is a time and a place for soy sauce - brisket, does not need soy sauce, neither does chili. Sorry dad.

But, since my dad loves soy sauce so much, it seemed fitting to introduce him to some other delicious Asian ingredients. Almost two years ago, my dad received a yummy gift basket filled with Sriracha, Oyster Sauce, Mae Ploy (sweet chili sauce) etc. He also received all the ingredients he needed to make authentic Pad Thai… Pad Thai sauce (a recommended brand, not some supermarket junk), rice noodles, minced turnip, peanuts, etc.

Well, this summer, I happened to notice all of these ingredients sitting untouched in my dad’s kitchen. That had to be fixed. So, with little effort, I convinced him we should tackle Pad Thai.

Cornmeal Pancakes

It’s a cool Sunday morning and I’ve been up for hours (early to bed, early to rise) so it seemed like the perfect time to linger over a cup of coffee and create something new in the kitchen. I pulled out my favorite cookbook, the Joy of Cooking, and settled on cornmeal pancakes. On any other day I would have added fruit to them, but alas, the lack of fresh produce kept them simple today. If you want some really good banana cornmeal pancakes I’d highly recommend CafĂ© Heaven in P-Town... but I suppose that isn’t a very helpful suggestion. So in the meantime, I recommend, getting out one bowl and a few easy ingredients and whipping up your own.

Happy Pancaking!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love to make cookies that impress, but quite honestly I have yet to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I want to make cookies like they sell at Levain… seriously how insane does that cookie look?

Now, I know that is a dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie but the picture does the best justice to their unbelievable, Throwdown with Bobby Flay winning cookies. It’s huge, fluffy, perfectly underdone, and just begging for a glass of cold milk.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oreo Cheesecake Brownies

So a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of two days off for Shavuot (remind me never to leave my job!). What does Shavuot have to do with this brownie recipe you ask? Well, it all started when I was bragging to my cousin Marcy (the family Super Jew) about my days off for some holiday celebrating the Torah. She told me I was supposed to eat cheesecake. All of a sudden Shavuot became my kind of holiday! I bought lots of cream cheese and prepared to make my very first cheesecake. But, I didn’t have a springform pan and I really had to go dress shopping, so cheesecake just wasn’t in the cards. Instead, I got creative. And, with a little help from Jessica, Oreo cheesecake brownies were born.

The recipe comes from the Joy of Cooking. But I had tons of cream cheese to get rid of. And Oreos I really didn’t want in my house. So, we doubled up on the cheesecake portion and added cookies into the mix. The results were well received.

Happy belated Shavuot (I give you all permission to celebrate holidays that involve cheesecake, I surely celebrate holidays that involve Cadbury Eggs)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Black & White Cookies

Maybe it’s because my parents both grew up in Brooklyn, maybe it’s because as a child the black & white cookie was enormous and thus exciting, or maybe it’s because they stare me down at every local deli, bodega or market in NYC; but whatever the reason, the black and white cookie is truly a NY staple.

William Grimes of the NY Times said “Today's black-and-white cannot compare with the black-and-whites of yesteryear, of course, just as no mayor will ever be as good as La Guardia and no team as beloved as the Dodgers. It is now the stuff of legend, even though a truly impartial adult judge might say that, as cookies go, the black-and-white is nothing special. That argument does not get very far in New York.”

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pizza Pizza!

I found white whole wheat flour at the market tonight, which I’d been looking for, so decided to put it to use. White whole wheat flour is produced from white wheat (instead of red wheat) and has a lighter quality which makes it great for baking and cooking. For my dough, I used one-third white flour, one-third regular whole wheat flour, and one-third white whole wheat… it came out great – not too dense and wheaty, but it still felt healthy.

I grew up ordering half white pizza so that my family could eat regular pizza and I could avoid icky tomatoes!! Eventually, I learned to eat tomato sauce – maybe spending a semester in Italy helped. However, I still love white pizza (and still hate tomatoes, yes dad, even those “delicious” cherry tomatoes you grow). Anyway, since I’m the chef, I opted for a white pizza in the style of the Greek pizza from Spiritus in P-town - fresh mozzarella, feta, red onion and olives (but sadly forgot spinach!).

I don’t have a pizza stone, or a barbeque, so I cooked my pizza on a regular old cookie sheet and it came out just fine. But, feel free to fancy it up if you have the proper equipment.

In the meantime, a Sunday night with homemade pizza and a Red Sox win… “so good, so good, so good!”

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Apple Muffins

I was really in the mood for a muffin yesterday but never got around to getting one… so, of course I made some today. I don’t know about you, but whenever I make muffins they come out kind of wimpy. I decided I really wanted to try to go for that bakery-like dome shape. I tried googling a bit to see what I could come up with. Here are my thoughts…

The most prevalent comment I could find was that it’s important to fill the muffin tins, like really fill them, maybe even over-fill them. Why do recipes always say to fill the tins two-thirds of the way? Silly. Go for it. Fill those babies up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

If you know me at all, you know I love any excuse for baked goods… Valentine’s day was no excuse. And red velvet screams valentine’s day to me. I had never had a red velvet cupcake until I moved to Manhattan and for some reason, maybe all the cupcake chains, red velvet seemed to be everywhere. I fell in love… but I must admit, having it again recently I decided it’s really just an excuse for delicious cream cheese frosting. The cake is kind of mediocre. It has a good texture but the flavor is average. I think I might prefer a really good chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting instead…. There’s always next time.

Until then, happy belated valentine’s day!