Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Making Hotdish, Building Community.

It's time for the 7th Annual Hotdish Revolution, a friendly hotdish competition.

If you live in Minnesota - it's worth the trip to Northeast (Minneapolis) for this event. If you live elsewhere, get inspired!

Saturday, April 30th, 2011.

Categories: Spicy, Tater Tot, Vegetarian, Quintessential, I Made It Myself (Kids 15 and Under) & Jello!

Celebrity judges, adult beverages, Jolly Groggers music, and hotdish - what else do you need?

Fundraiser for the Holland Neighborhood Association.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Momofuko's Steamed Pork Buns

This was the best dinner my DH has ever made for me - and that is ranking above 8 years of fantastic cooking to get to the top.  I helped a little - by starting the bun dough and putting it aside to rise. DH made quick pickles, a salted/sugared pork belly, and the steamed buns.

Momofuko, a NYC restaurant, has become famous for these tasty steamed buns. The cookbook came out a few years ago and has provided some great dinners in our house. But last night, I was treated to the best!

We are travelling from the Minny Apple to the Big Apple in a few weeks - I'm interested to see if Momofuko's can hold a candle to DH, I'm not so sure!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pistachio Cornmeal biscotti

It was great to see you, the husband and to meet the newest member of your family! 

The biscotti is from a Martha Steward Cookie cookbook - and I liked them too. The addition of cornmeal really helps them crunch without being rock hard.  Also - I used salted pistachios and dried cherries and added about a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips, so they were extra salty and a little more sweet than just the cranberries would have been. I tend to throw in a lot of stuff into biscotti. this dough was particularly crumbly when forming into logs -  I just patted them into shape and they stuck together after baking.

Let me know if you have any questions or what new combinations you come up with!


MS's Cranberry-Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti
1.25 cups all-purpose flour
1.25 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
6 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 TBSP finely grated lemon zest
1 cup dried cranberries (i used cherries)
1 cup chopped pistachios (i never chop them)
(i added 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips)

1. preheat oven to 350 with rack in center. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, bkg powder and salt.
2. put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and mix until pale and fluffy Mix in eggs one at a time; mix until just combined. Add lemon zest, cranberries, and pistachios and mix until combined.
3. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment pater. Pat into a log that is roughly 14 x 3.5 inches. Bake until firm, lightly browned, and slightly cracked on top, 30-35 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack about 15 minutes.
4. Transfer log to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange slices upright on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake cookies until they begin to brown at the edges, about 15-18 minutes, rotating half-way through. Let cookies cool on a wire rack. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temp up to 2 weeks.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Roadtrip Planning 101

We are planning a roadtrip for Spring Break - leaving in just a week!
  • Two couples with many common interests - BBQ, baseball, and outdoor fun.
  • One big conversion van equipped with 4 capt chairs, a TV/DVD player, and hook-ups for a Wii or PS2.
  • 1600 miles
  • 26 hours of driving
  • Too many BBQ joints ruining the beach bod's along the way!!
How do we decide? Well - there are a couple of websites dedicated to finding the PERFECT restaurant along your roadtrip:

Roadfood.com The most memorable local eateries along the highways and backroads of America
 - Jane and Michael Stern can be heard on the Splendid Table weekly on public radio. They find fun stuff!

Southern Foodways: Grab a napkin and go!
 - Driven by an initiative to capture the Oral History of the southerners who grow, create, serve, and consume food and drink.

Do you have any other great resources?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

This Week's Wish List

A lack of Time and Talent might be keeping me from baking at the moment - but it doesn't keep me from thinking about what I WISH to bake~! Here are some recent recipes that have made it to my wish list for the week. I hope you have the time to build up your talent!

1. Orange Strawberry Cream Cake from Savour Fare - this just looks like SUMMER!
2. Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies from the Brown Eyed Baker
3. Chocolate Coconut Cookie Bars from Chef Catherine
4. a Sweet and Salty Chocolate Cake by Baked NYC from Amy Atlas
5. Home Cured Corn Beef from Wasabimon - curing at home would be fun and perfect for St. Patty's Day - plus, Corned Beef Hash is H's FAVORITE breakfast!

That's enough to keep me dreaming about baking!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cooking Together: Homemade Ravioli

Valentine's Day 2010: a night at home cooking, eating, and watching the olympics!

Homemade Ravioli.
Homemade pasta is a breeze if you have a pasta roller - but you still should hand knead for 10 minutes for proper elasticity.
While letting the dough rest for about 30 minutes - H made the filling for our ravioli: a mixture of Ricotta, Parm, ground pork, ground veal, basil, and garlic.

I rolled out the small nougets of dough - about 2x bigger than an egg. I rolled as we needed it to avoid drying and help it stick together without water. H. got to work filling, folding, and squeezing.

IMPORTANT: when filling and folding, you must get all air out of the pocket - this prevents tearing or splitting later.
We froze most of the batch - and kept out enough for dinner. Freeze flat on a sheet for about an hour, then transfer to a ziplock in serving sizes. Do not thaw before cooking.

Cook at a HIGH SIMMER [not a rolling boil]. The rolling boil is too violent for the little handmade wonders and they tend to split.

Served with butter and parmesan. YUM.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wish List

Reading about our great Constitution is sending my mind into the kitchen. I keep seeing great recipes that get saved in my "favorites" tab under "recipes" - hopefully to bake soon!

1. Joy the Baker - top 10 quick breads. These sound and look great! A nice variety to change things up.
2. Amy Atlas gives you two great Valentine's Recipes that involve lots of chocolate. TASTY!
3. The Flavor Vault's Oatmeal Craisin Cookie - with white chocolate and pecans.
4. Amateur Gourmet's Banana Pudding
5. Baking Obsession: Double Chocolate and Cherry Scones with Creme Fraiche and Cherry Preserves

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter Blahs? Feeling S.A.D.? Plan a Party!

Smile inducing photo

Seasonal Affective Disorder is common in my neck of the woods. But who would call it that? Usually, at the beginning of the winter - I am excited for the increased "carb cravings" and becoming more of a "homebody." I didn't think there was anything SAD about it. Now that it is January - well, I'm looking forward to warmer temps. Looking forward to that Spring Break trip to a warmer climate and putting away the wool socks! My brother told me that he has a happy lamp in Alaska... i'm not sure whether he's telling me a story or if its true.