Saturday, May 31, 2014

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Firstly, I must say, I am not a cookie person. It's cake and pastries for me all the way. And if I ever took a moment to pretend I was a cookie person, I would make applesauce chocolate chip cookies long before I would ever even consider making Snickerdoodles.  But this recipe intrigued me (as does anything with brown butter), so I tried them. And now, embarrassingly, I can't stop eating them. They are amazing. They have a surprisingly gooey, yummy center (if you don't over-bake them), thanks to the browned butter in them. It made about two dozen cookies, and probably would have been a whole lot more, but the dough tasted so incredible that I ate way too much of it. Okay. Enough blabbing. Go make these. Now. 

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • For rolling mixture:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined.
  3. Chill your dough for 3 hours or as long as possible in the refrigerator (important!), or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are super eager, although I cannot promise the same results if you do this. Fridge is always best! You want the dough VERY cold. If you desire a 'puffy' cookie, place them in the fridge overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Meanwhile mix 1/4 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Bake longer if you like crispier cookies. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Honey Salmon in Foil

You know you've found a winning recipe when dad compliments the flavor. Yes, dad. While he was here in Boston for his 24 hours stay this week, I quickly made this before we headed off to a game at Fenway.  I happened to be out of honey (forgot to stock up on Cox's last time I was home), so I used maple syrup instead. Just as delicious!  

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I've also used apple cider vinegar) 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds salmon 
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together honey, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place salmon onto prepared baking sheet and fold up all 4 sides of the foil. Spoon the honey mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon, covering completely and sealing the packet closed.
  • Place into oven and bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.*
  • Serve immediately.
*Baking time may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of the salmon.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cheese, Olive and Buttermilk Herb Bread

This recipe find came about when I was explaining to Amy how I had all this buttermilk that I needed to use and didn't know what to do with it. She promptly sent me this recipe. Right away I knew Isaac would like it. Cheese and bread... two of his favorite things. But, I must say, I think I liked it even more than he did! It is delicious. I just made a few alterations in the recipe. I left out the olives and doubled the sundries tomatoes.  Also, this is a British recipe, so I had no idea what "spring onions" were and bought a real onion at the store instead, only to discover afterward that "spring onions" are just green onions. I used chives instead of those and it worked out fine.

The best thing about this bread recipe is it doesn't require yeast. I hate cooking with yeast. It intimidates/frustrates me. So, please try this bread. It is very easy to make, and incredibly delicious!

Cheese, Olive and Buttermilk Herb Bread


2 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
60g freshly grated parmesan
60g grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup green olives, sliced
8 pieces sundried tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup mixture of spring onion and Italian parsley
2 tsp thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 eggs
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or use 1 1/4 cup less 1 Tbsp fresh milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice. Set aside for 10 minutes before using)
Egg wash (optional) made from 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tsp water
Extra thyme springs and sea salt, for topping


1) Preheat oven to 180C or 350F. Generously butter a large loaf tin (23 x 13 x 6cm) and either line it with butter parchment paper or dust with flour. Set tin aside.

2) Sift flour, baking powder, soda, salt, pepper and mustard powder into a large bowl. Whisk with a whisk to incorporate the dry ingredients. Add both cheeses, olives, sundried tomatoes, spring onion, parsley and thyme and stir them thoroughly together.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the oil and buttermilk until they are well combined.

4) Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir together to form a thick, sticky batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and spread it out evenly.

5) Brush the top of the batter with the egg wash and then srpinkly some thyme leaves and sea salt onto the loaf.

6) Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. If the top starts to burn, place a piece of foil to cover the top of the loaf and continue baking. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before turning ot onto a wire rack.

7) This loaf is best served on the same day. Wrap left overs tighly and store in fridge. Gently reheat in oven if serving left overs.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Grilled Salmon and Pineapple with Avocado Dressing

Isaac's parents were in town this past week, and I had to dig up some "heart healthy" recipes for them. This one was one of my favorites we had. It was DELICIOUS and refreshing tasting. I didn't have all the herbs the recipe calls for, so I used what I had... chives, thyme and basil. It still ended up tasty. People pay big bucks for things like this in restaurants. You'll thank me for sharing this. 

grilled salmon and pineapple with avocado dressing


4 servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh basil, plus some sprigs, for garnish

1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon, plus some sprigs, for garnish

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Four 4-ounce skinless salmon fillets, each about 1 inch thick

Four ½-inch-thick round slices (rings) of pineapple, preferably fresh

Avocado Dressing:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon

1/8 teaspoon anchovy paste, optional

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 small clove garlic, smashed

½ avocado, diced


Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Whisk the oil, chopped basil, chives, chopped tarragon, salt and pepper in a small bowl to blend. Brush the salmon and pineapple slices with the herb mixture.

Cook the salmon until barely cooked through and still pink inside, about 4 minutes per side. Cook the pineapple until slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Transfer 1 pineapple slice to each plate and arrange a piece of salmon slightly overlapping it. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the Avocado Dressing over each piece of fish. Garnish with basil and tarragon sprigs and serve.
Avocado Dressing:
Combine the lemon juice, basil, chives, olive oil, tarragon, anchovy paste if using, salt, pepper, garlic and avocado in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of water and process until smooth. Cover the dressing and let stand for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour for the flavors to blend.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chewy Oatmeal Bars

Here is another recipe that my neighbor sent me. We made these last summer, and they were pretty good. I stored them in the freezer and would throw them in my bag before we headed out the door. By the time Preston would be hungry after playing at the park or what not, they'd be thawed and ready to consume. John tried them once and thought they tasted too healthy. To each his own, right? I thought they were pretty good.

Image and original recipe found here
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (8 ounce) container low-fat vanilla greek yogurt...or plain
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons nonfat milk (I used whole, it's what we drink around here)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ripe, smashed banana (my neighbor always threw one of these in just to add a little more to these, but the recipe doesn't actually call for it) 
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I substituted 1/4 c flax seed, and equal parts white and whole wheat flour into ours)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins (we used peanut butter chips instead)

You can pretty much hide anything healthy in these and I don't think anyone would notice.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients...and banana if using. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet mix and mix well. 

Stir in oats and dried fruit or whatever addition you're using. Spread onto bottom of ungreased 13x9 baking pan. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until golden brown. 

Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars and store tightly covered. 

You could even make these into muffins if you preferred! 

Breakfast Cookies

Back in Oklahoma, I used to meet up with a neighbor and we'd take our kids to the park...oh, how I long for it to be park weather again...and I was always amazed at a) how prepared she was, food wise, when we were there, and b) how she always had the most healthy, and delicious looking snacks for her kids. All the while I was pulling out some highly processed bar of something or other for Preston, because it was quick, and easy, and quick and easy are the two things I like most.

I begged her to send me the recipes, because I figured one day, when I wasn't so lazy, I'd make my child healthy, on-the-go snacks, too.  I'd be that "good" parent that truly cares about the health benefits of what my child is consuming. Well, that's only slightly true. Mostly, I just care that my child eats something other than fruit, because that's all he seems to wants these days. At least it's healthy, but, too much fruit always has it's after effects.

Moving on.

I wouldn't say this recipe is the most healthy thing out there (lots of sugar), but it is full of other good stuff. It's the perfect little protein boots when you're on the go, or not, and you just want something full of hearty goodness. We made these yesterday and I have to say, they're pretty good!

Breakfast Cookies   

1/2 cup butter, softened
Image and original recipe found here
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 tbls vanilla
1/4 cup flaxseed
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour (you could do all whole wheat if you want. Just make sure the flours equal 1 1/4 cup)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins/dark chocolate chip/peanut butter chips (we did a little bit of everything, per Preston's request)
3 cups round toasted oat cereal (like cheerios)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, basking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in water, egg, and vanilla until combined. beat in flour until combined. Beat in as much of the rolled oats as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remain rolled oats. Stir in raisins/chocolate pieces and oat cereal.

Drop dough by scant 1/4 cupfuls, about 3 inches apart onto an undressed cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake for 10 or so minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a cookie sheet and transfer to wire rack to let cool completely.

These can be stored in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes about 24 (2-cookie) servings.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chili Cheese Tortilla Soup

1 small onion, chopped
2 T. oil
2 1/2 c. chopped or diced tomatoes (canned 1 or 2 cans according to taste)
3 c. chicken broth
2 - 3 chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces
1 - 2 cans (4 oz.) green chiles, chopped
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
1 - 2 carrots, chopped fine

Saute onion until soft.  Add tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and potatoes & cook until tender (about 40 minutes).  While that is cooking, cook chicken with a little oil until fully cooked then cut into small pieces.
Once cooked, add cheddar or your favorite cheese and tortilla pieces into your hot soup.  Let each person add their own cheese & tortillas according to their taste.

*Lorena made this while we were in Israel and it made a delicious dinner!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

½ Cup Butter, softened (room temperature)
1 1/3 Cups Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Shredded Zucchini
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
2 teaspoon Poppy Seeds
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Beat butter at medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

In another bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda.  Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Stir in zucchini, lemon zest and poppy seeds.  Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 5” x 3” loaf pans (about 1 1/3 cups batter per pan).

Bake at 325 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool pans on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely.