Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TWD: Coconut Tea Cake

This one will be short and sweet. We just had a seder for 11 people, I've been cooking for the past two days, and I'm a bit tired. (Chicken soup with matzo balls, charoset, hard boiled eggs, grilled asparagus, grilled salmon, matzo farfel kugel, peanut butter cookies, matzo toffee, and strawberry coconut bars) Yeah, pity me. I made the cake a couple of weeks ago because Passover started Monday evening, and there will be no leavened foods in my house for a bit.

This was very easy to put together. I halved the recipe and used a loaf pan. I found coconut milk with no problem. I made the cardamom variation. The girl loved it. Loved it. The husband thought that you couldn't taste the coconut, but he really enjoyed the cardamom aspect. The boy thought it was ok. I didn't taste it. You know me and coconut... I still stand by my "ripening idea" and didn't serve this until a day after it was made. I think it helps.

This was a very moist golden cake.

Thank you Carmen of Carmen Cooks for giving the girl a new favorite.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The girl and her soup (with help from the boy)

The other day the girl made a list of ingredients for me that she thought would make a good soup. The boy chipped in with his ideas.
Here's the list:

seasoning (salt, pepper, ginger)

On Wednesday we made her soup. I had to do a few minor substitutions (onions for tomatoes, shrimp for lobster, fat free half and half for cream, and we didn't have peas so I skipped those.) You know what? Her soup was fabulous! It was creamy and fresh tasting, and the ginger gave it just a little bite. I'm going to let her create more soup recipes!

Awesome, Delicious, Supreme Spinach Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 - 2 pounds spinach, washed
1/2 c. fat free half and half
4 carrots, chopped and par-cooked (I used the microwave)
1 pound potatoes, chopped and par-cooked
1/2 t. powdered ginger
1/4 t. powdered garlic
salt and pepper to taste
cooked shrimp

In a large dutch oven, brown the onions in the olive oil until they are a golden color. This may take a bit. Add the broth to the onions and bring to a simmer. Add the spinach and cook until tender 6-8 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until it is creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until everything is warmed through. Serve with shrimp (I served it on the side and let everyone add as they saw fit)

I would have pictures, but I didn't think of it until later, and it's gone. Next time!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TWD: Dulce de Leche Duos

Mmmm. I was very happy about this week's recipe. It's a cookie made with dulce de leche and has the stuff sandwiched in the middle as well. YUM.

Dulce de leche is cooked, sweetened milk. In my case it's cooked sweetened condensed milk. I can buy it in the grocery store, but I prefer to make mine. It's beyond simple. (take the label off a can. Put it in a slow cooker. Cover with water - 2" over the top of the can. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Done) It's amazing on just about anything.

This was a simple cookie to make and bake. I love a one pan drop cookie. I really like that these are slightly off in terms of shape and size. It makes them look more homey. I tried the cookie on its own and with the dulce in the middle. As much as I love the stuff, my preference was the plain cookie. I liked the chewy sweetness without the extra sweet of the dulce. I was the only one at my house, however. The Girl can't get enough of these cookies. The Boy and the Husband like them a lot as well.

Here's a close up. Golden brown cookie with golden brown dulce de leche peeking out.

I would certainly make these again. They make an excellent foil for ice cream. Hmmm, perhaps a dulce de leche cookie with dulce de leche ice cream in the middle....

Just picture a stack of these filled with ice cream. Or chocolate. Or frosting. I could go on and on.

Go check out Jodie's blog if you'd like to see the recipe. Or go buy the book and bake along! That is if you don't already. ;-)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not a TWD: And, I have nothing

Nada. Zip. Zilch. I have nothing delicious to show for myself this week. I made some good meals, and I baked ahead for another week, but I have nothing for this post.

Sorry Rachelle. Go check out her blog, Mommy I'm Hungry. I'm sure you'll see something gorgeous there.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

TWD: Thumbprints for Us Big Guys

I'm glad this was finally picked. I've been eyeing this recipe for about as long as I've owned the book. This is essentially a butter cookie filled with jam. What could be bad!?

On the fuss scale, this was really low. The original recipe called for ground hazelnuts, but I can't stand them. And, I have ground almonds on hand. Easy substitution. The dough came together quickly. I made a half batch, so some of my measurements were a bit of a guess. (the flour and nuts were a generous 3/4 cup). The dough was pretty crumbly. It took a bit of squeezing, but I got the dough into 28 balls. I used the end of a fairly wide wooden spoon to make my holes. I've made this kind of cookie before, and I've learned to start with bigger holes because they fill in as they bake.

Here is the unbaked cookie. The hole is pretty deep.

Here it is baked. See how much it spread and leveled out?

I did make a minor change to the recipe. Instead of boiling the jam to make it spreadable, I just put glops on the cookies while they were hot. The jam filled in the holes very easily. I used four jams for variety. Clockwise from the left -- blackberry, apricot, strawberry, and orange-vanilla marmalade (homemade!)

I only tried the marmalade version. I really liked it. The sandy quality of the cookie was a nice contrast to the smooth jam. The Girl liked that the cookie wasn't sweet and the jam was so "it met in the middle." The Boy wasn't so sure about the orange, but he liked the apricot. This wasn't my favorite dough to work with, but the fuss factor was so low I might have to make this again if I need this kind of cookie. They ended up being very pretty, so I could easily see them on a dessert table.

Look for the recipe on Mike's Blog; Ugly Food For an Ugly Dude.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Not a TWD: Instead, we make hamentaschen

This week's recipe for TWD was a Toasted Coconut Custard Tart. I saw some people talking about how this was an amazing recipe that you can't wait to make again. This did not happen in my house. First of all, I can't stand coconut. As in can't eat it at all. I'm pretty sure I've referred to this before, but you know the scene in the movie Big? The one where the Tom Hanks character is at the party and he eats caviar, spits it out, and then has to wipe out his mouth with a napkin? That's me and coconut. So, yeah, it didn't happen. (Sorry, Beryl -- it's not you, it's me. Go check out her blog, Cinemon Girl to see what was supposed to be here.)

So no to coconut and yes to hamentaschen! This Sunday was Purim. Instead of re-posting the Purim story, I'll link to my blog entry from last year that discussed the holiday. I will post new photos of hamentaschen. Normally, we have some kids over to bake with us and eat. This year, we were recovering from the plague, so two dozen of the little beauties was all we could handle. Hamentaschen are essentially filled butter cookies. The traditional fillings are prune and poppy. Here we use strawberry jam, apricot jam, and chocolate chips.

Here's the Boy and Girl (with lots and lots of stuff on the table) filling and forming the cookies.

This is a cookie sheet with filled cookies ready to go into the oven.

Mmmmmm. Delicious!