Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Potato Leek Soup & Brown Soda Bread with Molasses

Brown Soda Bread with Molasses Potato Leek Soup

Our first meal from one of our Christmas gifts!  Potato Leek Soup was our favorite soup in Ireland and I fell in love with Brown Bread in Ireland also.  I had the best brown bread at the Boat Yard in Dingle – I wish I had that recipe!  The Brown Soda Bread with Molasses turned out really well.  It’s a hearty bread and tastes best with a slab of butter – preferably Irish butter!  The Potato Leek Soup was delicious and Michael enjoyed using the Immersion Blender for the first time.  We can’t wait to try out next meal from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook!

My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies


These were baked for Christmas last year and although they do appear flat, they also look very inviting! My niece Chelsea took this picture so that could be the reason too. Here’s a picture I took of the cookies I baked for this week’s assignment – which would you rather eat?:

Silpat cookies on the left.

Kait of Kait’s Plate selected Dorie’s recipe for My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies this week. Check out Kait’s blog and see how the cookies turned out for her, you can also see her fabulous photos of her baking and cooking skills! As an added bonus you’ll find the recipe there too!

The P&Qs for these cookies were predominantly about the flatness of the cookies. I didn’t remember them being especially flat when I baked them for Christmas. This time around, I didn’t have my nuts or chocolate chopped when it came time to mix them into the batter. So it was a while before I mixed them in which could account for the flatness this time around. I am the world’s slowest chopper, do you remember the Top Chef episode where, was it Jen?, she took FOREVER to chop the onions? Well, that’s me except I’m slower. Seriously, I got a little blister from chopping three bars of bittersweet chocolate. (I’m crying you a river right now…) The butter might have been a little too soft by then but I plugged on, no time to let it harden up in the refrigerator. I used a baking sheet with parchment paper and another smaller sheet with a Silpat. Can you see the difference between using the two:

Silpat vs parchment paper

I baked these as a Valentine gift for the Beau. I apologized for the flatness but he pooh-poohed that away. He loved these cookies as-is! He said he liked the flatness, so the cookie doesn’t end up being too doughy and also because it focuses on the chocolate chips. He thought these cookies were serious business – chocolate chips with emphasis! Of course, he took them into work, because even though they’re serious business we don’t need to make short work of it. (HAH – I’m trying to be funny – is it working?)

Last Week: Rick Katz’s Brownies for Julia
Next Week: Honey-Wheat Cookies

What’s for Dinner?

The Beau’s sister and her boyfriend gave me a Thailand cook book for Christmas among other things. A couple weekends ago, I wanted to give it a try. It took me FOREVER to make Green Bean Salad with Shallot Croutons and Chicken and Thai Basil. I had to make a chili paste for the green bean salad which took the most time. It’s a really beautiful cook book but unfortunately it didn’t have pictures to go with these two recipes. So I was a bit disappointed when it turned out like this:

Kind of a bland looking dinner - tasty though!


Turned out quite tasty – would I cook it again? Maybe, if I had all the ingredients on hand and the time to make the chili paste…
Yesterday I made a Spicy Red Pork and Bean Chili. We knew it was going to be a rainy week so we wanted some comfort food to last a few days. This turned out really well! The pork came out really soft. I never made a pork chili before and this recipe called for 4 lbs of it! Here’s the before and after shots:

Everything you need to make Spicy Red Pork and Bean Chili...


Nice chunks of pork!


Well, I’m exhausted and I want to create my TWD post before I pass out…

Sables and other Christmas Cookies

Hmmm, I needed to bake one more cookie to fill the plate! O, well!


In between adjusting to a new job and commuting, I found a little time to bake Lemon Sables. Thanks to Bungalow Barbara for selecting this cookie way back when… I didn’t find the time to actually post about it though. Here’s the one picture I took during the baking process:

I use a spoon instead of my fingers to create the lemon sugar...oops.


I had 3 days before Christmas to bake more cookies and so I did. I ended up baking Dorie’s Snickery Bars, Lemon Sables, Cafe Volcano Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and her Pecan Powder Puffs (the names might be changed – I don’t have my book with me…) I also baked Coconut Orange Snowballs. Here they all are:

I didn't get a chance to taste the Snickery bars...


Pecan Powder Puffs and Coconut Orange Snowballs


Love the Cafe Volcano cookies!


Lemon Sables


Chocolate Chip Cookies


I want to give a huge shout-out to my niece Chelsea! She took all of my Christmas cookie pictures with her new camera. Her pictures turned out beautifully and I wish I could have her around everytime I bake – it would make my posts much prettier! Thanks SOO much Chelsea! XOXO to you!
It’s another beautiful day, so I’m going out for a walk with Marshall!

Trying to Catch Up…

Well, let’s see, it’s been a very L – O – N – G time since my last post. I apologize, getting a new job kind of interfered with my daily activities. HAH! Seriously, commuting to Rancho Bernardo and working a 9/80 work schedule is kicking my butt. I’m still trying to adjust to it.
So here are a couple of pictures from my Thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s house. I made the pumpkin pie which was Dorie’s Caramel Pumpkin Pie. The crust turned out to be shy and bashful and retreated when I took it out of the oven. How silly! I also made the fresh Gingered Cranberry and Kumquat relish which was pretty tasty although not everyone agreed – some still prefer it straight out of the can! The relish is hiding behind the jar of rather large celery ‘slices’…

Mom basting the turkey...


Thanksgiving Dinner


In December, TWD does a ‘Secret Santa’ Christmas Card exchange. I drew The Cake Princess. Although I didn’t know that was her blog at the time, I was given her name. She lives in Canada so that was fun. On her Elfster profile she mentioned she likes hand made items. I was still swept up with the commuting to RB thing and really didn’t have a chance to make something unfortunately. I would have enjoyed that more. Hopefully this time next year I’ll be in a more even-keeled situation. HAH! I didn’t even send out Christmas cards this year…
The Food Librarian drew my name. There is no such thing as six degrees of separation between The Food Librarian and myself. She happens to know my cousin, JustJenn, and I happen to know her cousin, Linda. How amazing is that? Well, here is the surprise I received from her:

Elfster surprise from The Food Librarian!


JustJenn must have shared my being a Bruin and my love of cows with her. Hee hee! They are soo cute! I wish I had made my lemon sables after I received this gift, I would have used the Bruin sprinkles instead! Aren’t those mini-clips the cutest? I can hardly wait to try the chocolate pearls!

Yipes!

My very first post and it’s about time since I created this blog on Halloween of 2008!  Obviously I’m a first time blogger, so please bear with me as I navigate my way through the blogger world…  I have yet to figure out how to include links to other blogs.

I’ve been a fan of many food blogs including Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD), Foodgawker, and Tastespotting.  I’ve tried recipes from Foodgawker because the photos look so inviting.  I still remember the time I tried a recipe from Men’s Health magazine and the final product looked nothing like the picture in the magazine – food photography at its best.

I submitted a request to join the TWD blog and hopefully tomorrow will be my first post with that group.  (I hope I figure out the links to other blogs by then!)