Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles aren’t anything all that special. They’re sugar cookies with a bit of cinnamon/sugar coating on the outside and not much else. Funny though, they’re one of those things that everybody loves, and if you’re heading to a little party (as I am later this weekend) they’re a must. This time around, the specialty here is that the snickerdoodles are made with butter and bread flour, a trick I learned from King Arthur’s Flour, and which I can recommend without reservations.

So apart from the butter and bread flour — both of which may not make a lot of difference — the REAL reason I make these cookies is because of something else in my mind, anyway. Snickerdoodles were something I could always count on my mother to make, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but also as just a welcome home or about any other good reason she could think of. They were never a big deal, but they almost always were there, just in case you needed a little something.

I miss them, and her.

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Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Raisin oatmeal cookies are a special treat here in good ‘ol Cleveland, and one of those things that, after I’ve made them, I can’t figure out why I’ve waited so long to do that. They could be one of the best I make, although that depends on who you ask, I guess. And this time around, I am headed off to a party over the weekend, so this treat will probably sell out rather quickly, I would think.

The recipe is very simple. It does, however, require good oatmeal (none of that instant variety) and uses butter (definitely no margarine). There is something special about good oatmeal — especially steel cut oatmeal if you can get it — that adds a special quality to the finished cookies. And the butter. There is something about butter that really makes the cookies soft and, basically, just more “cookie-like” if I can make that a word.

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Foie Gras, Maybe for Brunch or Dinner

foie gras

Foie Gras is one of those things that, if you like it, there is almost nothing on the planet that will come even close to that flavor. And if you’re one of those that for many reasons don’t like it, well it does mean more for those of us who do. And when you have a lovely daughter who sends you two very large foie gras, that’s something to celebrate. 

This foie gras is set up to be either a brunch or dinner, combined with hash browns, a few sugar snap peas, plenty of bacon and a little parsley. It works very well in either capacity. The snap peas and bacon can be done a little ahead of time (I like to make my bacon with a little water. It works really well that way.) The hash browns get finished as close as you can to the foie gras, and it all comes together rather quickly on a plate.

The foie gras is a delicate thing to cook. First, get it warmed as close to room temperature as you can. Add a little salt and pepper. Then, using the highest heat you can get on your stove, sear it for two minutes on one side and just a minute or so on the other. That way, the foie gras stays nice and firm and doesn’t turn into liquid, which obviously is a real no-no. This is one of those lunches or dinners you will crave forever more.

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Turkey Vegetable Soup

Turkey Vegetable Soup

It’s getting to be soup time again. This is one of those things I like the most about cooking, getting a good hot soup made for those cool days when nothing else will do. The turkey vegetable soup in this recipe also gave me the time to try out my new One Pot, which makes a very creditable full-flavored soup,  in much less time than I thought it might take — about an hour, in fact.

The soup is straight forward, with some Asian-inspired vegetables and good old turkey thighs. The veggies were what I had on hand, so you can play around with them a bit, but generally, you want to pay attention to when you add them if you’re doing the soup in the normal way, adding them so that the cooking time works out right. And of course, the times for finishing up the soup should probably take at least two hours, with veggies going in  little later than in the One Pot. You can use whatever veggies you happen to have handy.

If you have a one pot, I generally put all the veggies in at once, near the beginning. The pressure cooker in the soup category on the One Pot uses a pressure setting and the veggies get done much faster and more evenly that way.

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Nice Little Sous Vide Chicken Breast Salad

Chicken Breast Salad

Chicken breasts can make, among lots of other things, a nice salad. And while many like the light, easy salad that you see almost everywhere, there also is a “more robust” kind of salad that I tend to like. If you really want a meal with a nice one or two chicken breast plopped on top, this is what I had in mind when I decided to fix a nice salad dinner.

This whole dish is really rather easy to make. All it really requires is a sauce made up of butter, vinegar, honey and maybe a little soy sauce to give it a color and add a little to the flavor. You’ve all heard me talk about sous vide on many occasions. But I will never make a chicken breast any other way (unless I’m cooking a whole chicken). If you’ve never had a sous vide breast, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, I can’t begin to tell you how much of a difference it makes. Can you do this without? Yep. But if you can, get a sous vide. You’ll be glad you did. 

Once the sauce is made, and the chicken is done, all you really need to do is toss the breasts on a quick grill (or some other kind of grilling machine) with a little bit of the sauce and pull together as much salad as you’d like. When the grilling is done, all you need to do is pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken and onto the salad underneath, and you’re done.

Note: By the way, this is the 501st post to this recipe site and while I had no idea we would ever get this far, it is gratifying to know that we’ve done fairly well as recipe blogs go. Much has happened since the first post a little over three years ago and there is much more to do. Stick around. I hope it gets even better. 

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Happy Labor Day!

All Posts | September 4, 2017 | By

Have a great day today and remember those who worked so long and hard to make this day a little better for all of us.

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Green Beans with Mushrooms and Almonds

Green Beans Almandine

Green beans can be a simple dish. I mean that you just steam them and their ready, right? But then, there is that special dish that’s done best in a good French restaurant, with slivered almonds and a little bit of lemon. And if you’re really lucky, maybe a bit of mushrooms, to boot. 

Tat’s where this dish came from. This was found using several print books, and while it may take a few more minutes than a some steamed green beans might take, the result is really worth it. It mainly has to do with using fresh beans, frying them until they’re just done and adding them to the sauce, which has some almonds, charred dark brown, and a few mushrooms with a bit of lemon in the sauce puree. 

There is nothing fancy about this, but it does take a little care. I hope you like it.

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