Tag Archives: Recipe

Easter Cream Wafers

9 Mar

These little sandwich cookies were always my favorite thing about Easter.  Bella found the cookie cutters in spring shapes – aren’t they just the cutest?!

The cookies are quite delicate, so make sure they’re completely cool before frosting.I used a basic butter frosting.  Divide into four bowls and color in pastels.

Cream Wafers

  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1/3 c whipping cream
  • 2 c flour
  • Granulated sugar

Mix butter, cream and flour with an electric mixer.  Cover and chill.

Heat oven to 375°.

Roll about 1/3 of dough at a time to 1/8″ thick.  Keep remaining dough chilled.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds or shapes.  Pour granulated sugar into a shallow dish, and coat both side of each cookie with sugar.   Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Prick with fork.

Bake 7 – 9 minutes or just until set, but not brown.  Cool,  then frost with colored icing to make sandwiches.


Banana Bread

21 Aug

First off, I don’t like bananas – can’t stand ’em.  Taste, texture, smell – nothing about them I like.  But I’ve always sort of liked banana bread.  My main complaint was that my Mom’s banana bread always ended up with a soggy, banana-y section on the top in the middle.  I guess it was too moist, or didn’t bake long enough, but the obvious banana element ruined it for me (sorry Mom!).  Anyway, I do buy bananas because the kids like them, and occasionally we end up with extra, over-ripe ones, and I can’t just throw them away!  So I found a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, which does involve a few extra steps, but turns out to be well worth the trouble.  The following recipe is my version – I omitted an additional step that added fresh sliced bananas to the top.  I highly recommend adding the nuts – any nuts will do.  The bread is naturally very moist, and the nuts add some welcome texture. My favorite way to eat this bread is toasted (careful getting it out of the toaster – it will crumble), spread with unsalted butter, and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Banana Bread

Tomato Feta Salad

11 Aug

It has been so hot most things have dried up in the garden, and the squash bugs finally did in the zucchini.  I have one okra plant that came up and it has been a producer.  The other success story is the tomatoes, and I have high hopes for the second round of green beans.

Shawn reminded me of this salad we used to make at the cafe.  We have cherry tomatoes coming out our ears, and every time I go to my mom’s house she gives me another basketful.  I happened to have some feta in the fridge, so I whipped this up.

Very simple – halve cherry tomatoes, toss with feta, salt, pepper, olive oil, chopped parsley, and lemon juice.  Go easy on the salt at first in case your feta is salty.  I like to rinse the tomatoes after I slice them to get rid of some of the seeds.  It’s best fresh, but it will keep in the fridge.  Since olive oil solidifies when cold, you should bring it to room temperature before serving.


Chocolate Chip Brownies (Gluten Free)

4 May

If you didn’t know these were gluten free, you’d never guess.  Even if you did know they might be your favorite brownies ever.  The texture is the best I’ve seen from any gluten free baked good, and the flavor is rich and chocolaty.   They’ll sink a little in the middle after you take them out of the oven, but that’s ok.

I used a food processor to mix the brownies because I wanted to make sure they were very smooth, but as long as your almond butter is smooth-roasted, a regular mixer should do the trick.  I imagine these would not suffer from a substitution (or addition!) of peanut butter chips, or a swirl of cream cheese & peanut butter blended together.

Here’s the recipe, inspired by Elena’s Pantry:

  • 1 (16) ounce jar almond butter, smooth roasted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups agave nectar (this is slightly more than the smaller jars, but you can substitute honey for the remainder if you’re a little short)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 tsp if your almond butter is salted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 325°.  Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish (preferably glass) with baking spray.

Blend the almond butter in a food processor or mixer.  Blend in the eggs, then the agave nectar and vanilla until smooth.  Mix in the cocoa, salt, and baking soda.  Stir in chocolate chips by hand.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes.

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

20 Feb

Bella does not like potatoes (other than French fries) and I can’t say I blame her, because I’ve never been a big fan myself (except for French fries).  But this recipe was a big hit with all the kids, and Bella even had seconds!  As Aniston said, “they’re like French fries but smashed!”

They really are good – the inside is creamy and soft, and the skin gets super crispy and crackly.  Smashing the potatoes allows the seasonings to cover a larger surface area, so each bite has just the right amount of flavor.

They’re  best right out of the oven, and if you have any leftover, I’d recommend reheating in the oven, or just adding a little milk and turning them into mashed potatoes.  The recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required), but I added the cheese.

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

  • 2 lbs small red potatoes, scrubbed
  • 6 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme (fresh  or dried)
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Heat oven to 500°.  Arrange potatoes on a large baking sheet (you’re going to smash the potatoes, so make sure you have extra room).  Pour 3/4 c water on the sheet and cover tightly with foil.  Roast 25-30 minutes until potatoes are very soft.  A fork or paring knife will easily slip in and out.  If any water remains on the baking sheet, blot dry with a paper towel.

Drizzle 3 T oil over potatoes and roll to coat.  Use a flat bottomed heavy glass and smash each potato to 1/3 to 1/2″ thick, spacing evenly on the baking sheet.   Sprinkle with thyme and season generously with salt and pepper.  Drizzle evenly with the remaining 3 T oil.  Roast 20-30 minutes longer until potatoes are well browned.  Remove from oven, sprinkle grated cheese evenly over potatoes, and return to oven for 5 minutes.  Serve hot.

Butternut Squash Bisque

21 Nov

This soup is so simple, and tastes so good.  Its a perfect winter comfort food, and is surprisingly filling.   Even the kids liked it, and they think eating soup is practically torture.  It doesn’t take long at all and has a creamy, velvety texture. I got 6 or 7 good sized squash from the garden this year, so we’ll have plenty of soup and Butternut Squash Lasagna this winter.   I like to sprinkle a little chili powder on top to spice it up – freshly ground nutmeg would be nice too, or some homemade croutons.   Use vegetable stock and skip the ham to make it vegetarian.

Butternut Squash & Ham Bisque

  • · 2 T unsalted butter
  • · 1 very large sweet onion, chopped
  • · 1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves, chopped
  • · 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • · 5 c peeled, diced butternut squash – about one medium squash
  • · 1 c peeled, diced all-purpose potatoes – about one large potato
  • · 5 c chicken stock
  • · 1 tsp salt
  • · Black pepper, to taste
  • · 1/2 c light or heavy cream
  • · 1 1/2 c diced cooked ham

Melt the butter in a medium soup pot or a large saucepan. Stir in the onion and rosemary. Partially cover the pan and cook the onion over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute.

Add the squash, potatoes, chicken stock, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pot. Cook the soup at a low boil for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Remove the pan from the heat.

Using a ladle, transfer the soup  to a food processor in batches, filling the bowl only halfway to prevent spills. Puree the vegetables, then return them to a clean pot. Stir in the pepper, the cream, and the ham, heating for several minutes without boiling before serving.


Butternut Squash on FoodistaButternut Squash

Light Apple Pie Bread Pudding

5 Oct

I’m not a big fan of “light” foods.  They either use lots of strange ingredients to mimic a full-calorie version, or they don’t and taste terrible.  This bread pudding, however, saves a ton of calories by using low-fat yogurt instead of cream, and you’d never know the difference.  I used Stoneyfield French Vanilla, which has 170 calories per cup, instead of heavy cream at 800 calories per cup.  I also cut back the amount of sugar to make this dish suitable for breakfast.

You can make this the night before and pop it in the oven for breakfast – it actually gets better if it sits overnight!  If you like a crustier bread pudding, bake it in a larger dish and reduce time by a few minutes.  I happened to have some leftover maple-caramel sauce in the fridge, which made a perfect topping.

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

  • 8 c cubed bread, crusts are okay if not too thick
  • 3 medium baking apples, peeled and chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c vanilla yogurt
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 c sugar + 2 T
  • pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly.  Whisk in the yogurt, milk, 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, 1/2 c sugar, and pinch of salt.  Stir in the apples, then gently fold in the bread cubes.  Pour into the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, stir together 2 T sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.  Sprinkle on top the bread pudding.  Bake 30-40 minutes until puffed and golden brown.  Serve warm or room temperature.

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