Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Cheddar Cheese Turnovers

December 30, 2010 § 3 Comments

So, it is Joanna’s boyfriend Erik again, doing another guest post. This time I want to share a recipe I made for my family for Christmas. These turnovers are warm and flaky,  savory and little sweet, great for chilly fall and winter afternoons. Down to business.

I got this recipe from here. I made a few changes from the original, omitting the bacon and reducing the amount of vinegar, as I like neither of those things. I honestly think these are perfect without the bacon, but add some if you wish. I used about 6 ounces of cheddar cheese, and I think it was excellent. The original suggests gouda as another possibility.

About the puff pastry:  I was busy preparing other dishes as well, so I used frozen puff pastry. It hurt me a little bit inside. I would suggest going for making it yourself, if you have the time (depending on the recipe, it can require up to two overnight refrigerations). It isn’t too difficult assuming you have a food processor (I can suggest the recipe from The Joy of Cooking, if you have that), or if you are really badass you can do it by hand. I find it rewarding to make things like that myself. However, this time I used some frozen puff pastry made by Good Wives (I found it at Whole Foods):  it contains only flour, butter, water, and salt; it puffed perfectly and tasted great. I suggest getting something like that if you are pressed for time. Watch out for some brands, as they are filled with all sorts of oils and preservatives that have no place in pastry.

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Peanut Butter Blossoms

December 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

These peanut butter kiss cookies are also among my favorites for the holidays.  They have just the right amount of peanut butter — it’s not overwhelming but it gives you the lovely chocolate-PB combination to which I am absolutely addicted (admitting you have a problem is the first step, right..?).  My mother gave me this recipe when I moved into my new place and I was anxious for the Christmas season to get here so I could try it out for myself.  I was not prepared, however, for how many cookies this recipe made (nearly three dozen!) so clearly a couple care packages had to be sent.  But what better time of year to send boxes of cookies to those you love?  Share the holiday magic!

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

December 18, 2010 § 1 Comment

… also known as Russian Tea Cakes, and referred to by my mother as Pecan Drops.  It has more names than any other cookie I know of; one of my friends tells me that there’s a Greek version as well.  Whatever you call it, it’s always been one of my absolute favorite Christmas cookies, and when I found a recipe for them on Smitten Kitchen, there was nothing that would stop me from making these delectable, shortbread-y, slightly nutty, slightly sweet spheres of awesome.

Also, I have decided to give them a new name.

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Challah

December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

I want to share a revelation I had about food recently.  This revelation is particularly salient in this post, but it also applies to a few other things I’ve posted (e.g. risotto).  Prior to this summer, I never cooked much, because recipes with a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps scared me.  But since I’ve started cooking a lot, I’ve come to realize that barring, say, traditional French cooking, there are very few difficult recipes: there are just recipes that are more complicated or less complicated, and if you have the patience to get all the ingredients and follow all the steps, you can do so much with food!

So, onto today’s recipe.  Even though I am decidedly not Jewish, I have a soft spot for a lot of traditionally Jewish food.  Challah is no exception.  I had never made the chosen bread before, though I’d often enjoyed the fruits of my friends’ labor, but when I was running out of bread and needed a new loaf, I decided that instead of my standard no-knead loaf (which is super easy and which I will get around to posting here, I promise), I wanted to make challah.  My boyfriend was around for this and wholeheartedly supported this plan.

This bread takes kind of a long time, but honestly the most difficult part of the whole thing is doing the six-strand braid!  And after a few false starts we got that going smoothly as well.  So you should definitely make the effort to try this recipe: it’s incredibly delicious and makes two enormous loaves for double the fun.

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Pumpkin Bread

December 7, 2010 § 1 Comment

Okay, folks, this is the last pumpkin post for a while.  I’ve been holding out on it, trying to make the pumpkin season last a little bit longer, but as December marches on I decided it was about time to post it and move from pumpkin, cider, and apple pie on to peppermint, hot chocolate, and Christmas cookies.  I’m alright with that trade.

That said, this pumpkin bread was amazing, and it made a TON — in fact, we had to use a bread pan, a 9×9(ish) casserole dish/cake pan, and had enough left to make five mini-muffins.  Ridiculous, but delicious, and I certainly didn’t mind eating pumpkin bread in various incarnations for the next couple weeks.

pumpkin bites

If you happen to need ideas for how to eat this once it’s baked, I recommend warm, slathered in cream cheese, and with a mug of hot coffee.

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Rosemary Onion Focaccia

December 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hey all, here’s another guest post from my boyfriend.  Enjoy!

- J.

An easy and delicious bread

I made this bread to go with the chickpea patties that were put up here recently, for no particular reason other than I wanted bread and I wanted something new. Yet again, this blog finds itself indebted to Nick at Macheesmo for disseminating this recipe across the internets.

I only have pictures for the later parts of this process, because I hadn’t thought to document the making of this bread until I was ready to bake it. In any case, we must begin at the beginning:

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