Posts Tagged ‘winter’
My favorite response to these cookies was definitely when a chef friend of mine tried them and simply said, “Your cookie kung-fu is strong.”
The awesomeness of being a baking ninja aside, this batch is definitely the favorite of the holiday cookie bake-a-thon so far.
Originally I wanted to make these cookies using Nestlé’s dark chocolate and mint morsels and of course had my hopes dashed when I learned they aren’t carried within 200 miles of where I live. So I went to the store determined to find suitable replacements and did. Sort of. I ended up combining two different kinds of baking chips to achieve what I imagined the Nestlé morsels would be like – strong semi-sweet chocolate and cooling mint with a fudgey, chewy texture.
These cookies not only taste fantastic, but get bonus points for coming together super easily and freezing incredibly well. I only needed about 2 dozen when I made these, so I froze half the batch on sheet trays and then transferred them to a freezer storage bag. That way whenever I want the second batch I’ll just pop them on a sheet tray and bake. Way better than that refrigerated dough you can buy in the store (if I do say so myself)!
Baby, it’s cold outside.
As I write this my 100-year old iron radiator in the kitchen sounds like a rocket ship about to take off and my feet are nestled in down booties where I hope they stay for the next 3 months. It’s coooold! If there was one thing I didn’t miss about the Midwest it was the harsh (cruel, evil, torturous) winters. I love copious amounts of snow but the brutal sub-zero temperatures are just rough after awhile.
Thankfully, a big Dutch oven full of delicious risotto will take that chill off easily. Now, I’ve never been a huge risotto fan. It’s a texture thing more than anything. Foods where I don’t know whether to chew or swallow kind of irritate me (oatmeal being the exception) and I just never really had a fondness for it. However, a coworker has been developing risotto recipes in the TK recently so after eating them so many times lately I really grew to love it. It’s like listening to a song you dislike – hear it enough and it grows on you.
This dish has one of those stick-to-your-ribs qualities about it (without being over-the-top heavy or calorie laden, which let’s face it, is a welcome thing for weight-gain season). I don’t mind standing at the stove stirring risotto for 30 minutes but jeez, if you can just skip it and get delicious, creamy, wonderfully flavored results without that work, why would you bother?
I’m tempted to create a tag which reads “Slow Cooker Sunday” since that’s all I seem to be doing lately, but it’s just so perfect for my life (and food cravings) right now, y’all just have to roll with me for awhile.
I know this is far from what a real cassoulet is (mmm pork fat) but let’s just call this a lightened, long-cooked homage to the French classic. You still get the meaty, rich white beans and aromatics with vegetables, but just a whole lot less pork and fat. I’m just on a mad hunt for any slow cooker stews that are figure-friendly but also very filling, and let me tell you, it’s harder than it seems, so this recipe was a delightful surprise.
Be sure to leave your vegetables very chunky and thickly cut for this recipe. If you slice them too thin or small they’ll disintegrate over the long cooking period (same with the sausage, which I just add at the end). If you’re vegetarian, feel free to use meatless Italian sausage or just add more beans to make this a little heartier.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
We celebrate the happiest day of the year with plenty of red meat, traditional English sides, and a froufrou dessert I always like to tackle. Usually I make a cranberry upside down cake, but this year I wanted to try something different so I made a spin on a pear tatin, which was scrumptious to say the least. Plus chruscikis, cookies, hot apple cider, Holiday blend from The Roasterie and plenty of Usinger’s during the day.
Have a holly jolly holiday! I’ll be off in my food coma now, surrounded by DVDs and my family, but here’s a nice large selection of photos from our holiday. Enjoy! (recipes at the bottom if you’d like to scroll past!)
One of my biggest holiday indulgences.
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