Merry Christmas!

December 25th, 2009

Merry Christmas!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

These are my family’s favorite holiday cookies… a Christmas can’t go by without me baking them…  ENJOY!

Peanut Butter Hershey Kiss Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter (don’t use reduced fat)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 & 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1. Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars.
2. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well.
3. Add the dry ingredients (can always mix the dry ingredients on wax paper and then add).
4. Shape in 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes. (for soft cookies take them out at 12 minute when the cracks in the cookies still look a little moist. They will continue to cook a little after you remove them from the oven and will not become as hard.)
6. Remove from oven and press the kiss on. Allow to cool until the kiss has rehardened.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 27th, 2009

The table was set… the pies were made… I awaited my friends…

Unable to go home because of school, three of my friends came over to share thanksgiving with me… we split up the menu and served up quite a feast

After finishing dinner… we sat around talking and sipping wine… ending our evening with some delicious desserts…

In my family, we always make a ton of pies… often there is a pie a person… Pumpkin, Pine Nut, Chocolate Chess and Pecan…This year, I made pie crust for the first time without my mother’s help!  Success!  I decided to make the chocolate chess and the pecan.  After seeing Emily’s recent post, I deviated from my mother’s recipe and added 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste to the pecan recipe.  Delicious!  I’m sending these over to Joelen’s Event Tasty Tools featuring rolling pins… Happy Thanksgiving!

Ginny’s Mom’s Pie Crust
(makes a 9 in pie crust)
1 & 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup Crisco
Pinch of Salt

Cut the Crisco into the flour and salt using 2 knives or a pastry cutter until mealy. Take 3 tablespoons of the mixture and put int a cup. Stir in enough cold water until you have a paste. Dump the paste into the flour mixture and blend by hand until forms a ball. DO NOT KNEAD IT! Roll out between 2 layers of wax paper.

Chocolate Chess Pie
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar (do not pack)
1 tablespoonful flour
2 unbeaten eggs
1/2 egg shell of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 stick margarine (melted)
1 square chocolate (melted)

Mix all ingredients together and bake in an unbaked pie shell at 350 degrees about 35 minutes.

Pecan Pie
3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 teasp. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cup pecans half

Mix in all the ingredients but the pecans. Stir in pecans. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake until set and shell is nicely browned at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Brownie Points!

November 9th, 2009

Randomly I started getting Saveur in the mail… unasked, unsolicited… I wondered why for a little bit but with first year law school stress, I did not have time to ponder the question too deeply… I would flip through them and then put them on the bookshelf.

Well, a couple weeks ago I started reading them from cover to cover and I discovered that I loved them!  The magazine focuses not only on food but on the culture, history and tradition of the food… I take them to gym to read (which does make me hungry but also gives me motivation to keep running).  My only critique is that it focuses a lot on food in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  All very interesting and delicious but I would like to learn more about the rest of the world.

My new found love of Saveur made me start wondering how this magazine started appearing… Could it be Foodbuzz? No, they always tell me when they send free stuff. Could it have been a present? No, wouldn’t someone have told me… but then it dawned on me… Juan…

So, I asked him and I was correct… Juan got me a subscription and forgot to tell me… I remembered wondering why he randomly asked for my address one day… now the reason is clear… Thank you, my love! and you definitely get some brownie points!

I love brownies! They are quite possibly my favorite chocolate dessert. Saveur had an article on them with a few recipes including Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies and  Nick’s “Supernatural” Brownies. I made Nick’s last week.  I liked them but they are not as chocolaty as I typically like.  However, friends at school really liked them because they were not over powering with chocolate… I guess it is really just a matter of preference…

Other recipes I have made from Saveur are the Chocolate Caramel Tart and Spätzle. The Tart was amazing! Be really careful when pouring the whipped cream into the caramel. It bubbles up and almost burnt me. The Spatzle was also delicious served with Goulash.  But it was a lot of work and the leftovers did not heat up well.  My friends and I took shifts pushing the dough through a colander and got a really great arm work out…  we decided that we’ll go to their favorite German restaurant the next time the Spatzle craving hits…