Chocolate Kiss Surprise Cookies

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: Come gather ’round people, wherever you roam, and admit that the chocolate kiss cookie has been done almost to extinction. But we had some kisses left sitting around from Christmas cookies, so we decided to use a few up with an improvisational feat the likes of which this world has never seen: we put kisses inside of cookies.

Actually, I don’t claim to be the first to do it by any stretch. But since it isn’t something I see around too often, I decided to put it up here. Keep in mind you could (and you probably should) use any other chocolate inside them. I suggest a good, real milk chocolate. We used store-bought kisses because they are iconic, and because we had them around, but the ingredients list makes me cry a little inside. If I made these again I’d go with something else inside of them.

For the dough, we went with a tasty, thick dough from vanilla sugar that, critically, didn’t spread out too much. (I can affirm that the cookies the original recipe makes are also delicious.)

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Bagels

January 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

J: HOMEMADE BAGELS, GUYS.  Do I even need to say anything else?  Well, probably not, but I am going to give you a bit of background anyway: since moving down here to start grad school, I’ve been totally bread-independent.  I haven’t bought a loaf of bread in five months and it’s been awesome (and probably also saved me a lot of money).  But I was still buying bagels, because I thought they were more difficult to make and didn’t want to bother.

No more, my friends.  No more.

Want to be a real boss in the kitchen?  Next time your friends come over, casually point to the stack of huge delicious bagels in your pantry and say, “oh, those?  Yeah, I made those, no big deal.”  Nobody else has to know how easy it is to make bagels!

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.  It’s go time.

who needs storebought??

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Thai Cauliflower Curry

January 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

E: I love Thai curries. They are really one of my favourite foods to make when I’m really busy because 1) they aren’t difficult, 2) they are delicious, 3) they can be made in sizable quantities, and 4) I seem to be able to eat curry for several days and still be nowhere near getting tired of it. It is surprising, given that, that I have only recently started making curry paste myself–and also that it has taken me a good month or so to get this recipe up on the web. True, it takes a little more time to make your own paste, but you really get to control the ingredients yourself (hence, no preservatives), and over time you can form it to your own tastes so it really becomes a personal touch to your food. And though it isn’t as easy as digging into a bottle of pre-made, making it yourself need not be as complicated as this recipe. With just some chilies, ginger, garlic, and some cumin you’ll have something quite tasty (I threw together some for a curry last night, off the top of my head, and my only additions to that list were a pinch of coriander, a pinch of cardamom, and a pinch of dried lemongrass).

So this recipe came about because I had made a cup of curry paste in order to make a salmon and green curry dish that I like to call “Salmon on the Green Sea” (in homage to a “Salmon on the Red Sea” dish at a local Thai restaurant–now closed–that I always thought was brilliant in theory but never quite satisfactory in execution) and I had just a little less than half of the paste left afterward. Rather than waste it, I decided to throw another curry together, decidedly different in terms of ingredients, and see how it came out. (Sadly I have no pictures of my Salmon on the Green Sea, but I promise I will re-make it soon because it was, quite simply, too good to miss.)

The results were unique in my experience, and so I provide this recipe, if you choose to be so bold as to try it, so you too can create this strange and interesting twist on curry.

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Buckeyes

January 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

J: As soon as I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, it was like I put blinders on every other kind of dessert.  I HAD to make these, and I would not be satisfied until I had made them and consumed as many of them as my body could hold (surprisingly few, as it turned out; these are absurdly rich!).  I am, as I have admitted, a chocolate-peanut butter addict, and as a consequence most Reese’s products are my kryptonite.  But these little spheres of ambrosia have simultaneously helped and irrevocably damaged me: Reese’s just aren’t as satisfying anymore, which I suppose is good considering all the preservatives and chemicals that go into them, but now I can’t get my chocolate-PB fix without something as amazing as this.  So, you have been warned.  Now, I present to you: the most melt-in-your-mouth self-contained bits of heaven that you’ve ever had.

buckeyes, a.k.a. food of the gods

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Thai Tofu Soup with Lime

January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: So, some things to say before we begin. First, this recipe is quite good–with a tantalizing mixture of sweet and tangy and spicy–but honestly the lime is a bit too much. I have made the soup twice, and both times it was really good to start, but eventually got a little tiring. By the time I got to the end of my bowl, I didn’t like the soup as much as I did to start. And I also found it was impossible to eat cold or even mildly cool, so keep that in mind. The original recipe suggests tamarind paste instead of limes, and I really think that could be what this soup needs, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. If you do choose to use lime, consider keeping some of the lime juice used to soak the tofu out of the soup itself.

(And why haven’t I used tamarind paste yet? Because it is hard to find. Check your grocery store, but it may or may not be there–it wasn’t at mine, and I wasn’t in the mood to go elsewhere at the time. Try an Asian grocery store if you can’t find it wherever you normally shop–unless that is where you normally shop, and then congratulations, it is probably there–or get some online.)

Speaking of the original recipe, it is from Delicious Wisdom, a wonderful whole-food blog that appears to be no longer in existence. The pages still load, but appear totally blank. We have one or two other recipes from that site on this blog, and will likely have a few more, so same goes for them. If you need to find the original, I suggest searching for “Delicious Wisdom” “Thai Tofu Soup.” For now, at least, Google has a cached version.

So, if that hasn’t scared you away, we now turn to the soup itself. This is actually pretty easy. These amounts make enough for 5 or 6 small-ish portions, or 4 large portions (but as I said before this soup is best consumed in smaller amounts).

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Tandoori Chicken

January 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

J: Hey all, just a couple quick notes before we get into this wonderful recipe.  First, yesterday this blog was featured on the front page of FoodPress!  I’m so thrilled and honored, and I really hope that some of you who found us through that will stick around.  We love cooking, we love sharing what we make, and we hope you enjoy our posts!

Secondly, as this has evolved into a collaboration between my boyfriend and me, we’ve decided that for simplicity and ease of discrimination between the two of us (Erik and Joanna) as we write our posts, from now on we’ll just start each one with an E or a J.

Now, let’s get moving on some delicious Indian food.  This chicken is tender and incredibly flavorful, and could be served with some seasoned basmati rice and steamed or sautéed vegetables to round out the meal.

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Lemon Crêpes

January 19, 2011 § 15 Comments

One of the kitchen implements I’ve been hankering after for years is a crêpe pan — after living in Europe for many years during my childhood, I have a particular sentimental fondness for these thin, delicate “pancakes”-that-aren’t.  There are so many variations on the batter, and once you’ve made them, you can top or fill them with most anything you could conceive: they can be savory, with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and parmesan, or sweet, with strawberries and Nutella.  The possibilities for deliciousness are unlimited.

The problem here is that crêpes are difficult (but not impossible!) to make without a nonstick, shallow pan: they are often marketed specifically as crêpe pans, but of course can be used for many many other things, and if you’ve got any kind of shallow nonstick skillet, you’re in business.  I hadn’t even tried making crêpes because I didn’t have any nonstick pans, but as fate would have it, my sister and her husband got me a crêpe pan for Christmas last month! (Thanks again, Julia & Matt!!) I was forced to wait to use it until I got back from my travels over the holidays, but when Erik and I returned, we broke it out as soon as we had a chance.

We decided that we would start with a fairly simple lemon crêpe recipe: it’s pretty much a basic crêpe recipe but with some lemon zest and lemon juice added in.  This was also an excellent recipe to complement my own favorite crepe topping, which is very simple but so very elegant: powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Divine.

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