Meyer Lemon Curd

I used to wonder what the fuss was about with Meyer lemons.

Meyer lemon curd 2

I would see recipes for baked treats like Meyer lemon bars, Bundt cakes, or muffins, and the author would usually recommend adding a little more sugar to regular lemons for those “not lucky enough to have Meyer lemons.”  I felt so left out.  How different could they be?  As it turns out, they are quite a bit different.  My local Smith’s grocery store recently starting selling these little gems, so of course I was excited to try them out.

The first time I saw them at the store, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see them again, so I bought a large handful.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make with them, but I knew it should be something simple that would highlight the lemon flavor.  I’m already a fan of lemon curd, so I figured that Meyer lemon curd would be a real treat.  I started looking for recipes, and found this one from David Lebovitz.  He’s never let me down before, so I went with it. [Read more…]

Coconut Nutella Surprise Cookies

Coconut Nutella Cookies 4

At first glance, it isn’t obvious that these tasty cookies are made with Nutella.  Even after a bite or two, you will enjoy the delicate coconut flavor enhanced with chewy oatmeal, but you might wonder, “Is there really Nutella in here?”  That’s when the surprise comes in, and BAM, you bite into the smooth and creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread, and it all comes together.
Coconut Nutella Cookies 3It seems like only a short while has passed since I made these cookies, but since time flies so quickly, it’s actually been close to a couple months.  I wanted to make a Friday treat, and couldn’t decide between two different cookies that I’d seen that week on Pinterest, both from Two Peas & Their Pod.  The first was a coconut oatmeal cookie that practically called my name.  The only hesitation I had about bringing it to work was that not all people are lovers of coconut.  And by that, I mean that the people who aren’t lovers of this ingredient seem to be haters.  The second cookie that caught my attention that week was a giant chocolate chip cookie stuffed with Nutella in the middle.  I was pretty sure this would be a sure hit, since everyone I work with loves them some Nutella.  But I did mention the coconut recipe was calling my name, and so the decision was made to combine the two.  Done and done.
Nutella scoopsCoconut Nutella dough

I decided to follow Annie’s method for stuffing her Nutella cookies on Annie’s Eats, and it worked perfectly.  Thursday morning before work, I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and placed scoops of Nutella on the parchment.  I stuck the sheet in the freezer, and left it there until I was ready to make cookies that night.   And just to make the coconut a little friendlier for everyone, I pulsed it in the food processor with the oatmeal just a bit.  My friends, we have a winner.    [Read more…]

Fettuccine Alfredo with Fresh Pasta

May I share a little story with you about the first time I made my own pasta noodles?
fettuccine 4Well, a few years ago, my baking assistant gifted me the pasta attachments for my Kitchenaid.  I was pretty excited to make my own fresh noodles, so I quickly got to work online looking for recipes and advice on how to make it happen.  One Sunday afternoon, I had my attachments, recipe, and new fancy flour all ready to go.  From there, things got pretty discouraging.  As I fed the dough through the machine, it was turning into a clumpy mess.  My baking assistant was standing behind me and was just as excited to watch the pasta magic happen, but soon got scolded out of the kitchen.  Soon after that, the mess was thrown out and we picked up a pizza for dinner.
fresh pasta

I wasn’t ready to give up on the idea of making my own pasta, so I kept looking, and soon found The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles from the experts at Cooks Illustrated.  If only I’d known how easy it could be.  I didn’t need fancy flour or other ingredients; I only needed flour and eggs.  That was it.  Since trying their formula of 2 cups flour to 3 eggs, I’ve turned out delicious noodles every time.
fettuccine

[Read more…]

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

I like everything about cookies.  It’s true.  Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies 4

Cookies are probably my favorite thing to bake.  They are easy to whip together most of the time, they are portable, and they please a crowd.  From the time I was a young person when my mom let me bake Snickerdoodles by myself, I have enjoyed browsing cookbooks for new cookies, and more recently, finding them online to tuck away on the pages of Pinterest.  And for real, who doesn’t love a good cookie?Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies And this cookie is definitely one of my faves.  It meets all the above criteria, and as a plus, you don’t even need a mixer to make the dough.  You could be noshing on these cranberry white chocolate cookies soon after the cookie craving strikes. [Read more…]

Cinnamon Honey Scones

Happy 2013!Honey Cinnamon Scones

I thought it would be fun to start out the new year by baking something from the Bouchon Bakery.  I know the cookbook came out way back in the fall of 2012, but it’s a pretty hefty book with so many recipes to choose from.  Actually, that’s not true.  I woke up one Sunday morning in December with the intention of filling the house with the aroma of cinnamon honey scones, but it didn’t work out.  Cinnamon Honey Scones

You see, when I saw the recipe in Thomas Keller’s new book, I knew they’d be perfect for a Sunday morning, but I didn’t actually read the recipe all the way through.  I should have known better with a recipe from Mr. Keller, because these scones required a little preparation the day before.  Whoops. Cinnamon Honey Scones

Fast forward a few weeks later when I remembered to start the scones on Saturday.  Despite the list of steps and ingredients, these cinnamon honey scones are no more difficult than other scones to make.  The cinnamon honey cubes are the component prepared in advance, and they are worth it.  Honey, cinnamon, and butter are mixed with flour to make a paste, which is frozen and cut into cubes and scattered throughout the scone dough, where they melt into pockets and ribbons of flavor. [Read more…]

Cherry Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

Cherry Apricot CookiesIs it really December?  It really can’t be.  But the calendar doesn’t lie, and neither does my email inbox that’s flooded with subject lines like Hurry Up and Buy Now Because This is the Best Christmas Sale Ever.

Cherry Apricot Cookies 2
So you know what that means.   It’s time to start cranking out the sugar cookies and the pumpkin rolls and the caramels and all that fun stuff.  Maybe you’re on the ball and already there, but I’m not.  Before jumping into the holiday baking craziness,  I wanted to bake something simple.  Something with oatmeal and maybe some dried fruit.  I found this recipe in the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook and thought the Cranberry Apricot  would be just right.
I thought I had everything I needed, but when I started measuring out my ingredients, I didn’t have any cranberries.  No worries though.  My baker assistant remembered the dried cherries in the pantry and the recipe was changed just like that. [Read more…]

Green Bean Bundles

Raise your hand if you cook for picky eaters who don’t really care for green veggies.  I have a little secret for you.  Wrap the vegetables in bacon.  I’ve heard it said that an old shoe would taste pretty good wrapped in bacon.  That said, these green beans wrapped in bacon are pretty delicious.  When I purchased the book from Rather Sweet Bakery, I imagined I’d be using it to make scones, cakes, and cookies.  Little did I know that the recipe I’d reach for most often would be for green beans.

Not that you really need to follow the recipe to make them because it’s very flexible.  It says to let the green beans marinate overnight, but more than once I’ve ran out of ambition the night before serving.  I mixed everything together, rolled them up, and stuck them in the oven.  I don’t think anyone cared.  Yes, the ground mustard pairs well with the brown sugar, but if you don’t have it, don’t worry about it.  It’s the long roast in the oven (and the bacon) that makes these green beans taste so good.

First, the beans are blanched for a few minutes, then mixed with a little of this and that and wrapped up in bacon.

Even when they’re only partially roasted, they’ll look good enough to eat. [Read more…]

Coconut Chicken Curry Soup

We should already be well into soup season, but you wouldn’t know it by the weather we’ve had around here lately.  We had one early snowfall that dumped six inches on every flat surface in the neighborhood, including the two lounge chairs on either side of a big umbrella still sitting on our back deck.  I wish I had taken a photo of that.  Since then, we’ve had warm and sunny afternoons with only somewhat chilly evenings.  However, that’s about to change because we’re experiencing the “warm before the storm.”

Still, in my brain it is soup season.  Several days a week I pop open a can of soup to heat up for lunch and that’s just great with me.  There are a lot of tasty canned soups out there.  Have you tried Campbell’s Gouda Bisque with Chicken or Progresso Chicken Tortilla   No?  Click  here for a coupon.  So good for lunch. [Read more…]

Bacon Cheddar Biscones

 I think I’ve found my favorite basic biscuit recipe.

I just can’t decide which flavor combination I like to bake into them. I’ve made this recipe several times as a sweet breakfast treat with cinnamon chips and drizzled with cinnamon glaze.  But this version with aged white cheddar cheese, crispy chopped bacon, and green  onions is just fabulous.  I used the best aged cheddar I could find and it paired so well with the tangy buttermilk and freshly ground pepper.  Don’t expect gobs of melted cheese inside though.  It bakes right into the dough, and that is just fine by me.

I don’t know which I like better, but there is no need to decide.  They’re both delicious. [Read more…]

Cocoa Shortbread Cut-out Cookies

Can you believe that it’s time for Halloween already?  Soon the neighborhood will be full of trick-or-treating witches, superheroes, and princesses.  But then we’ll blink, and it will be covered in snow, Christmas lights, and the occasional inflatable Santa.
These cocoa shortbread cut-outs are so easy to whip up for any holiday, and they’re tasty, too.  In Martha Stewart’s Cookies, they’re cut as simple diamond shapes and drizzled with melted white chocolate.  But you can cut them into as many shapes as you have cutters.  The dough mixes up in a food processor, and is ready to be rolled out right away.  No chilling required – bonus.
While we’re on the subject of Halloween, did you watch Modern Family last week?  That show always cracks me up, but especially the Halloween episodes.  Only Claire could dress as Little Bo Peep and still frighten the kids away.  [Read more…]

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