Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bubbe doesn't work for the Food Network

Even in the picture you can tell that these Kolachky cookies are sticky and shiny. I can tell you when I split them in two, they definitely weren't cooked all the way through. The insides were doughy even after they cooked for forty minutes and they were burned on the outside. I got the recipe from the food network website from an episode of Sweet Dreams called "Bubbe's Bakeshop", but in this case I think you just need to go to real people to find out the tricks. On All Recipes, someone said to knead the dough until it lost its stickiness, and I bet when I try this again it will turn out better. After all, I used a pound of prunes to make the homemade filling, now I have to find a way to use it all up!

Thanksgiving 2010

This Thanksgiving I have a lot to be thankful for. Despite my attempts to avoid family gatherings by working three shifts this week, people worked around my schedule to make sure I could participate. I ended up going to a total of four meals, and inevitably there was cooking involved. I made a pumpkin pie, a carrot dish, and cornbread stuffing. The pumpkin pie was made from the recipe on the back of the can - does wonders every time :) The carrot recipe was from an Israeli friend who has great recipes for all kinds of Mediterranean-type foods.

Moroccan Carrot Salad: Serves 8
2 lbs Carrots
Fresh parsley, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sweet Moroccan paprika
lemon juice from one large lemon
a dash of pepper
salt to taste, roughly 1 tsp
Golden Raisins (optional)
1. Peel and trim carrots, place in pot of water and bring to a boil. (If using raisins, simmer them in broth until plump.)
2. Cook until a fork is inserted easily but don't overcook as carrots will be too soft.
3. Slice carrots in thin rounds, or use a corrugated vegetable knife to cut rippled carrots (very professional  looking!)
4. Add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, a dash of pepper, and salt.
5. Stir well and add chopped parsley and golden raisins
6. Taste salad, it should have a slightly tart garlic, lemony taste with a slight touch of paprika. Make sure there's enough salt to bring out the flavor, this is sometimes the difference between a good salad and a perfect one! Add more lemon juice if needed, and refrigerate before serving to allow the carrots to marinate a bit.

My friend also said to add cinnamon if you want to get really fancy. I much prefer cooked carrots over raw, and I recently learned that it actually helps the beta-carotene in carrots absorb at higher rates in your body if the carrots are cooked. A mixture of different raisins would make this dish extra colorful. 

For my second dinner, I made cornbread stuffing. I tested this recipe only about a week ago, but to be honest, I lost the real recipe. I did remember it was a mixture of cornbread, celery, onion, dried cranberries, and granny smith apples. Pretty much, I let the package size be my serving size, and it seemed to work out. The back of the dressing box also had instructions, so I could just follow them to determine proportions of broth and butter. 

2 boxes of Sage Cornbread Stuffing from Whole Foods 
5 stalks of celery, finely chopped
3 medium onions, finely chopped
1 small package of dried cranberries (Whole Foods brand had the least amount of added sugar)
3 granny smith apples, diced
2 2/3 cups vegetable broth
1 stick of butter, melted

1. Saute the onions and celery in a little bit of butter
2. Combine cornbread, onions, celery, cranberries, and apples in a large bowl
3. Pour broth and melted butter into the bowl and mix
4. If there is not enough moisture, add some water
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes covered with aluminum foil, and then 10 minutes uncovered. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tea Parties require Tea Sandwiches

These sandwiches were a really great way to clean out the fridge and they worked great for our little tea party. After some research I decided on four different recipes:

Duchess of York Tea Sandwiches

Hardboiled Egg
Curry Powder
Cream Cheese
White Bread

Cucumber Sandwiches

Sliced Cucumber
Cream Cheese

Tomato Tea Sandwiches

Cream Cheese

Tomato Basil Sandwiches

Basil Paste

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tea Parties require Tea Cakes

These tea cakes were perfect bite size treats for our roommate tea party. I only filled the muffin cups half way so they wouldn't overflow - so cute! Adapted from Taste of Home.

Almond Tea Cakes
60 Servings
Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min.

2 cups butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Sliced almonds

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and almond extract; mix well. Add flour and baking powder (dough will be soft). Chill.
For filling, in a small bowl, stir egg white, sugar, almonds and lemon juice. Remove a portion of the dough at a time from the refrigerator. Place 1-in. balls of dough into miniature muffin cups, pressing slightly into sides and bottom. Place 1/2 teaspoon of filling into each. Cover with quarter-sized circles of dough.
Brush with a little milk and top with an almond. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Yield: about 5 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 119 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 73 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cravings for Cheese Much?

This November has been a month a white sauces... and I never make white sauces.
Last week I made an attempt at cheese fondue, and it didn't turn out, so I made macaroni and cheese from the melted cheese/milk/butter mixture. Last night I made cheesy potatoes because the potatoes were sprouting and I needed to use them up. Both of them required a white sauce and both of the white sauces were kind of funky. The macaroni cheese sauce was grainy, and the potato cheese sauce wouldn't thicken!! Clearly I need to learn how to make white sauces!