October 18, 2010 · 11:01 pm
For the past couple of years, one of my friends has thrown a Bacon Party. (She’s evil, but obviously well-loved.) If you don’t know, a Bacon Party is a potluck party featuring only foods that contain bacon (or fake bacon for the vegetarians). Each year I gain at least 3 lbs from this party. Let me tell you – it’s totally worth it. This year I made a couple of dishes to add to the melee — bacon cheddar knots and a pumpkin pie topped with walnuts, brown sugar and, of course, bacon. Sadly, Mr. Kitchen had to miss the party because he was working. Luckily I came home with two giant Tupperware containers filled with treats. (I know, I’m totally evil, but if I’m not gonna fit in my wedding dress — he’s not fitting into his kilt.)
The cheddar bacon knots were surprisingly easy, though in preparation for that and the pie, Mr. Kitchen and I fried up an entire package of bacon. I could feel the cholesterol and fat seeping into my pores — kinda gross, but damn tasty! For any of you who are thinking that a bacon party is a brilliant idea, it is, but I would recommend starting on some sort of cholesterol medicine now, followed by lots of fiber. On the plus side (like bacon needs another plus side), at least I couldn’t actually feel the presence of my gallbladder after this year’s party.
Bacon Cheddar Knots
Bacon Cheddar Knots
Knots Dough (Adapted Heavily From Nick Manglieri)
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 packet active dry yeast
1 2/3 cups warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus oil to coat a baking (jellyroll) pan
3 baking (jelly roll) pans
Bacon Cheddar Filling
3/4 package bacon, cooked
1 8 oz package cheddar cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
Egg wash (1 egg, mixed with about 1 tablespoon water)
Combine flour and salt in large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix yeast into water and let stand for a few minutes until the water fizzes a bit (stir if it doesn’t begin to fizz). Whisk oil into water/yeast mixture. Make a well in the flour and pour water into center. Using a rubber spatula, begin to fold the flour into the water center, gently incorporating and mixing outwards until all of the flour is combined. The dough will be very soft. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit until the dough has risen to double its size (approx 2 hours). After the dough has risen, scrape it into an oiled jelly roll pan. Lightly oil your hands and press the dough into the pan so that it is evenly filled. Cover the pan with plastic wrap (oiled) and let the dough rise again, approximately 1 hour. While the dough is rising, cut the 8 oz block of cheddar into approximately 2 dozen pieces. After the dough has risen for the second time, use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into approximately 24 squares (6 length wise, four depth wise).
Preheat the oven to 350º. Cover 2 baking pans in foil and lightly grease.
Take a square of the dough and place about half a strip of bacon and 1 piece of cheese in the center. Fold two of the opposing corners over each other. With the other two opposing corners, twist them together, forming a knot on top. Place the piece in the pan. Repeat with remaining 23 pieces of dough. Brush all of the knots with the egg was and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden.
Bacon Cheddar Knot Dough
Bacon cheddar knot dough
Bacon Cheddar Knots
Bacon cheddar knot dough
Finished bacon cheddar knots
Filed under Appetizers, Baking, Party Food, Recipes, Tidbits
Tagged as bacon, bacon cheddar, bacon cheddar knots, Bacon Party, Bacon Party Recipes, bacon pumpkin pie, baking, Barbie kitchen, bread, chef, cholesterol, cook, cooking, cooking for your date, dating, dating and cooking, easy bacon recipes, Easy Bake Oven, easy pizza dough recipe, easy recipe, fat, fiance, food, gallbladder, kitchen, knots, living on your own, Mr. Kitchen, New York City, Nick Manglieri, NYC, Pizza dough, Pumpkin pie, recipe, recipes, relationships, rise, rising dough, salt, single, singles cooking, stomach, The Modern Baker, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, tidbits, Tupperware, yeast
September 25, 2010 · 10:37 am
I won a cookbook giveaway! Since Mr. Kitchen and I have started planning our wedding, I’ve become a devoted wedding blog reader. I recently entered a giveaway hosted by OneWed for the Dam Good Sweet Cookbook by Beard nominee David Guas, and I won! The cookbook features New Orleans-style desserts and I can’t wait to give it a try. (How I’m going to fit into a wedding dress, I have no idea.) Mr. Kitchen is in for a yummy fall! Speaking of yummy, Mr. Kitchen and I have been working tons and tons over the past few weeks, and we are plum tired. So tired, that I forgot to buy tickets for today’s Vendy Awards. So instead of spending the afternoon tasting the delicious fare of some of the city’s best food trucks, we’re heading over to Eataly. Something tells me my bank account is going to be very angry with me later… Hey, some girls shop for shoes — I shop for food!
Anyway, on to fall produce! Next up: Carrots. Definitely one of the most versatile of the fall vegetables, carrots can go in, well almost any dish, and one of the easiest fall dishes to prepare is a hearty, stick to your ribs beef stew. Seriously all you need is the ability to chop, brown and boil to make stew. I’ve used lots of different cuts of beef for stews but I recently tried giving short ribs a try. I really liked the way it turned out — the marbled meat was definitely falling off the bone by the time the stew was done and it was absolutely tender. I’m also a firm believer (and perhaps this is my Irish heritage talking), that you can put in almost any vegetables you’ve got lying around.
Fall Short Rib Stew
Short Rib Stew
7-8 hearty-sized short ribs
3 celery stalk (roughly chopped)
3 shallots (roughly chopped)
2 medium sized carrots (roughly chopped)
2 Yukon Gold potatoes (cut into bite size chunks)
1 sweet potato (or just use 3 Yukons) (cut into bite sized chunks)
1 turnip (roughly chopped)
2 cups beef stock
1 small bottle red wine (I think it’s 375 ml?) (I prefer a cabernet sauvignon for beef stews)
1 tsp salt (to taste)
2 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp tarragon
Flour (for dusting short ribs)
2 tbsp olive oil (for browning ribs)
In a bowl, toss the short ribs with flour, salt and pepper. In a large pot, heat oil and brown the short ribs on all sides. Remove short ribs from pot. In the remaining oil, saute shallots. Once they are soft, add the meat back in and add the wine. Cook over medium heat until the wine is halfway reduced, about 10 minutes. Add beef stock, thyme, tarragon, carrots, turnips and celery and reduce heat, cooking meat until it is very tender (about 1.5 hours). Add chopped potatoes and cook for an additional 45 minutes to an hour, until all vegetables and meat are completely tender. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
Browned short ribs and shallots
Pour in the vegetables and herbs for short rib stew
Add the potatoes and cook until tender
Filed under Beef, Dinner, Recipes, Soups and Stews
Tagged as beef stock, cabernet sauvignon, carrots, chef, cook, cook book, cookbook, cooking, cooking for your date, Dam Good Sweet Cookbook, Dam Sweet Cookbook, dating, dating and cooking, David Gaus, dinner, easy recipe, Eataly, engagement, fiance, food, food shopping, Irish, Irish stew, James Beard, kitchen, living on your own, love, Mario Batali, marriage, married, New York City, NYC Vendy Awards, OneWed, pepper, recipe, recipes, relationships, salt, shopping for food, short ribs, single, singles cooking, stew, stomach, tarragon, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, thyme, wedding, wedding dress, wine
September 7, 2010 · 11:28 pm
I know that I’m a bit late for the Labor Day BBQ recipes, but I was a little traumatized after my attempt to make peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, only to have them turn out like golden and slightly burned hockey pucks.
I have a baking disaster every once in a while and I guess I was due for one. I painstakingly put these little babies together, carefully piping some jelly into the batter, topping that with more batter.
Peanut butter and jelly cupcake batter, pre-topping
I was worried that the oils from the peanut butter might bake quickly, so I took them out a minute before the low-end on the baking range, but to no avail. Hockey pucks. Mr. Kitchen said they were still pretty tasty. That’s why we’re getting married. Cause he’s got no problem eating my reject cupcakes. He accepts my occasional baking screw-ups. This pairs nicely with my usual ability to ignore the fact that his clothes never seem to make it into the hamper.*
Sad peanut butter and jelly cupcakes
I think maybe I’ve figured out how to amend the recipe to fix the peanut butter oil problem, but it will take more testing and patience than I’ve got time for right now. Instead, I’m giving you my absolutely no-fail Oh-My-God amazing butterscotch chocolate chunk recipe.
Super yummy and man-o-man is this perfect with a glass of milk. Speaking of milk, did I mention that Mr. Kitchen’s family used to own a dairy farm? I’m trying to concoct a death-by-dairy recipe in honor of our recent trip to Michigan. If you’ve got suggestions, let me know. In the mean-time…. Butterscotch Chocolate Chunks!
Butterscotch Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Butterscotch Chocolate Chunk Cookies
*Adapted very heavily from Nick Manglieri’s Modern Baker
(Makes about 12 large cookies)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
10 tbsp softened butter (salted) (about 1 1/4 sticks)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
12 oz chocolate chunks (I tend to over-chunk my cookies, but I love em this way) — Note you can mix dark chocolate, bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate
2 cookie sheets (I like to line mine with foil, but parchment is also an option)
Preheat oven to 350º
Stir flour and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine softened butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla and beat with mixer until just mixed. Then beat in egg. Be careful not to over-beat this mixture, which will result in flat cookies. With a large spatula, stir the flour into the wet mixture. Add chocolate chunks and gently combine. Drop heaping spoonfuls of dough on to cookie sheets lined with foil or parchment. Gently press cookies down. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies have risen a bit and are golden.
Gently mixed dough for Butterscotch Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Baked Butterscotch Chocolate Chunk Cookies
*Sometimes I go ape-shit over this. Once it’s out of my system, I bake him cookies.
Filed under Baking, Cookies, Desserts, Party Food, Recipes
Tagged as baking, baking failure, burned cookies, butterscotch, chef, cook, cookies, cooking, cooking for parties, dating, dating and cooking, dessert, desserts, easy desserts, failure, fiance, food, forgiving failures, hockey pucks, jam, jelly, kitchen, marriage, New York City, peanut butter, piping, recipe, recipes, recipes for cookies, relationships, singles cooking, tidbits
August 26, 2010 · 12:13 am
As you may have noticed by the photos that accompany the recipes I’ve posted, I cook (and inevitably eat) everything that’s included on the blog. So, while all the stick to your ribs food I’ve been posting has been an absolute joy to make and eat, my Wii Fit Mii has been looking pretty shameful lately. Yes, that’s right, I’m being shamed by the Wii Fit. My Mii has been looking pretty dejected this week and the game system keeps playing that “doh doh doh doh” “you lose” music, so I’m thinking this is a bad sign. Everything in moderation right? So next up is a delightful, light and actually good for you Herb Crusted Salmon.
Herb Crusted Salmon. Is it just me or does that just automatically sound just a bit more sophisticated than your average mid-week meal? Luckily, this recipe is incredibly easy and takes less than 20 minutes total to prepare.
I paired the salmon with a white asparagus drizzled with a balsamic parmesan vinaigrette and dinner rolls
Herb Crusted Salmon
2 Salmon steaks (approx 3/4 lb)
2 tsp basil
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
2 tsp flour
Olive oil to drizzle on salmon
Pre-heat oven to 400º
Rinse salmon fillets. In a bowl, mix the herbs together in along with flour. Cover a jelly roll pan with foil. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on fillets, enough to just coat the top surface of the fillet. Dip fillets oil-covered surface down into mixture of herbs, pressing gently to coat the surface. Place fillets on pan. Drizzle again with a bit of olive oil. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
White Asparagus with Balsamic Vinaigrette and Parmesan
Half a bunch of white asparagus, rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (shaved)
Rinse and trim asparagus. In a shallow pot, blanch asparagus spears over medium-high heat for approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. In a bowl, mix together oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and dijon. Drizzle or toss with asparagus. Top asparagus with Parmesan.
Raw salmon topped with herbs
Mixing the white asparagus with balsamic vinaigrette
Herb crusted salmon with white asparagus drizzled with Balsamic vinaigrette and Parmesan
Filed under Dinner, Fish, Recipes, Tidbits
Tagged as asparagus, Balsamic, Balsamic vinaigrette, basil, casseroles, cookies, cooking, dating, dinner, dinner for two, dinner rolls, easy dinner recipe, easy fish, easy salmon, fish, flour, herbs, light meal, losing weight, mid-week meal, Mii, olive oil, oregano, Parmesan, pepper, pepperoni bread, recipe, relationships, rosemary, Salmon, salt, tarragon, thyme, weight, weight gain, white asparagus, Wii, Wii Fit