Potato Love


I tried this recipe (kind of) one night this week, and it was great! I hadn’t been to the grocery store in a while, but I had two huge potatoes in a drawer, a few inches of BBQ sauce in the fridge, a cold kitchen that didn’t mid 60 minutes of heat from the electric oven, and a husband who wanted to grill Big Steaks.

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Viola! Sunday Dinner included seasoned potatoes!  I cut the potatoes like a fan, brushed them with butter, and then bathed them in my favorite bottled BBQ sauce (but their pictures are WAY better than mine. It’s no reflection on the absolutely perfect flavor and texture of the dish). These potatoes didn’t need any sour cream or cheese to be flavorful, so I felt kinda good about my meal.White potatoes are fat- and cholesterol-free, very low sodium, a good source of fiber, and high in vitamin C.



TWD: Midnight Crackles


First off, let me just say how proud I am that these cookies look like the ones online!  They crackled exactly as they were supposed to, and for the first time in a L-O-N-G time my products looks like it is ready for a photo shoot.  I can not express what this means to my ego.

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Now, on to the taste.  They. Are. Perfect. They pair with milk. They are wildly chocolaty (I used half semisweet chips and half milk chocolate chip, because that’s what I had in the ‘fridge, not the bittersweet Dorie called for), but not bloatedly so. The spice makes them sophisticated and fancy, and I love them.  They need nothing.

So, how can I justify eating them for breakfast? Let’s turn to the fine folks at Hershey:

Antioxidants like those found in dark chocolate and cocoa, called flavanols, have also been linked to some of the hallmarks of good cardiovascular health such as enhanced blood flow, healthy cholesterol levels and, in some cases, reduced blood pressure.

Dark chocolate and cocoa contain cell-protecting flavanol antioxidant compounds. Two tablespoons of natural cocoa have more antioxidant capacity than 3 ½ cups of green tea, ¾ cup of blueberries and 1 1/3 glasses of red wine.

So, I can eat chocolate cookies for breakfast because it’s better than being hammered at work?

Thanks, Laurie and  Julie, for picking this treat and for hosting the Tuesdays with Dorie site!



TWD: Nutty Chocolatey Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake


How many different ways can I serve a sour cream bundt cake? Breakfast in the car, after dinner on a plate with a linen napkin, after a take-out lunch of Potbelly sandwiches with the in-laws. It was THAT good. The cake was dense but not heavy, not too sweet, delightfully moist and terrifically pleasing. Many, many thanks to Jennifer of Cooking for Comfort for her selection.

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The chocolate and cinnamon swirl was delish, except the fruit seemed horribly out of place. Skip the raisins.

But the lunch with the in-laws got me thinking.  It seems the cake reminded one of us of another one of us’ favorite cake, the one his mother always made for his birthday and that he still requests as a 40-plus-year-old-person: a sherry raisin cake.

Really? Sherry raisin for or a kid’s birthday? It’s not the alcohol I question, it’s the something-other-than-chocolate-or-vanilla issue that makes me raisin an eyebrow. I doubt I would have liked that as an 8-year-old.

Apparently his brother’s birthday cake was pineapple upside down cake.

? Again, something I really enjoy now at 30+, but not something I’ll whip out when my baby has a b-day.

Does anyone else think this is odd, or do you share this untraditional birthday tradition?



TWD: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins


Dorie has done it again and brought such simple joy!  These were fabulous on so many levels:

1) The crisp, tight flavor of fresh lemon was great after so many gray days of temperatures below 20 degrees, and anticipated wind chills FAR below zero.

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2) The sour cream in the better makes the muffins wonderfully moist. They popped out of the muffin tin without a crumb left behind, and the few crumbs I spied on the napkin that I ate off of at my desk this morning easily came together with my fingers as I hurried to mop up every. last. one. Seriously.

3) The smell of lemon pastry really freshened up a house that hasn’t seen an open window in months.  I should bake these weekly just for the emotional high that brought.

I thought these were wonderful, and I don’t think I’ll ever eat a lemon muffin from the office cafeteria ever again.  There must be both health and financial benefit in that. The Other Eater, on the other hand, merely thought they were “good.”

But my baking experience left me with a question for my fellow cooks. I made 6 muffins with paper muffin cups for sharing with others, and six straight in the muffin tin for eating at home.  The paperless muffins for a lot taller than the paper-wrapped muffins, and I’m wondering why. Any ideas?

In general I’m thinking that next time I’ll make 10 naked muffins for oversized indulgence, just so you know.



TWD: peanuttiest blondies


TWD: Coffee Break Muffins


I prefer vanilla ice cream. I wear white t-shirts under cardigan sweater A LOT. I abhor wallpaper. In a nutshell, I prefer things to be plain. But these muffins were too plain, even for me.

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Sure the coffee flavor is nice and the texture is just about perfect. But these muffins needed something to break up the cake. I think white chocolate chips would have been best, but that’s debatable. If you don’t believe me, just ask Chocoholic Anonymous, who not only chose this week’s recipe but turned a simple muffin into a decadent work of art! All I did was substitute a little Starbuck’s Coffee Liqueur (which has been discontinued) for the “strong coffee” Dorie called for….



TWD: Peanut Butter Crisscrosses


I started eating peanut butter out of the jar, with a spoon, when I was in college.  It was one of those bad habits people develop when they stay up all night doing important things like writing 10 pages papers that count for 70 percent of their course grade and writing articles for the school paper about how many health code violations the dining hall had racked up that month.  It’s not a habit I’m proud of, nor one that I’ve held on to (except for a brief period when I was pregnant, but that doesn’t count), but in dire moments that burst of protein did wonders for both my energy level and my mood.

But I still love a good peanut M&M, peanut butter cup or peanut butter cookie, so I was glad when Jasmine Cuisine chose them to bake with Dorie Sept. 7.  They were quick and easy to assemble and I had high hopes because I ate a ridiculous amount of raw dough while I assembled them….and then I pulled mine out of the oven and thought that maybe they were too easy.  My cookies were flat as pancakes!  Still delicious and not too sweet and tender to bite, but not at all like the picture in Dorie’s book.  Her’s looked more like a toasted English muffin, and mine were similar to manhole covers.

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Was it because I left out the peanuts? Or because I sprinkled mini chocolate chips into the top? Would it have made a difference if I had chilled the dough before I rolled it into balls and then rolled the balls in sugar for baking? I’ll just have to try them again I guess.



pickles!


What’s a girl who doesn’t like cucumbers to do when she receives a bumper crop of cucumbers from her father’s garden?

Make Pickles!

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I found a slew of canning jars in said father’s basement and this recipe for quick pickles from The Spice House, and I was off to the races. Just about everyone I know right now is enjoying fresh pickles on their turkey sandwiches.



TWD: Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream


As this recipe’s host said : Oh. My. Ganache!

This is so rich and flavorful.  It’s more of a custard than an ice cream, one that Another Eater says could give the infamous Kopp’s a run for its money.It has whole milk and egg yolks and cream - all of which make it difficult to at more than a few spoonfulls before you can feel your arteries closing. But it’s worth it.

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I really wish I had used milk chocolate instead of bittersweet, because it’s a little more to my liking, but Another Eater is quite pleased that he’ll have this one largely to himself.  And it’s going to be back in the 90s this weekend, so ice cream will be just what the doctor ordered after he mows the lawn.



TWD: Oatmeal Breakfast Bread


There are certain things I think everyone keeps in their pantry. Rice. Flour and Sugar. Olive Oil. Chocolate Chips. And when you run out of these staples, you know it has been FAR TOO LONG since your last trip to the grocery store.

That’s the wake-up call I got when I went to make the oatmeal bread that Oven Love selected for Tuesdays with Dorie and found myself short on oats. I used instant low sugar apple cinnamon oatmeal to make up for what I lacked, and it turned out just fine. I used a mix of dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries and golden raisins from Trader Joe’s golden berry mix, which I love.

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This was a spectacularly moist breakfast treat that Another Eater and I enjoyed every morning last week on our ways out the door: mine was perched in my lap while I drove to the train station, his came in finger-full bites while he fed PT before daycare (which PT loves).

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