Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Potato Chip-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These sweet and salty cookies from the Food Network were a big hit in my house. My son loves potato chips and this recipe has a whopping 8 ounce bag. I made a few changes to ingredients to what I had on hand. Instead of semisweet chocolate chopped I used chocolate chips. I don't like candy in my cookies so I left out the caramel milk chocolate and substituted with chocolate chips. I also did not put the finishing flaky sea salt on top. Anyway you make it I am sure this cookie will be a winner in your house. The recipe is available from the Food Network website. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur! How easy is that?

This week on I Heart Cooking Clubs we were tasked with making something easy from Ina Garten's recipes. I chose Croque Monsieur because how easy is a grilled cheese sandwich? My husband could not believe I have never had the famed French sandwich.

The recipe starts with a white sauce; butter, flour milk. Stir until thickened. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, grated Gruyere (I used Swiss) and Parmesan. Bread is toasted, spread with mustard, ham, more Gruyere, topped with another slice of toast. The top is spread with the cheese sauce and another layer of Gruyere then broiled to perfection. We adjusted amounts to our tastes which I am sure was much less than the recipe.

We loved this and will have it again as we have leftover cheese sauce even after halving. The recipe is available from the Food Network website.

Croque Monsieur page 48.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Caramelized Shallots

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we are cooking with alliums. What are alliums? They are garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, scallions or chives. I love caramelized onions so I figured I would like these caramelized shallots.

I used Ina's handy hint to boil the shallots for one minute to peel them. The peeled shallots are sauteed in a pan with some butter and sugar for 10 minutes. Red wine vinegar, salt and pepper are added then the pan goes in the oven 400 degrees for 15 minutes. These caramelized shallots were delicious. My husband and I are thinking of more ways to serve them. Highly recommended and will definitely make again.

Caramelized Shallots page 165.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Homemade Fig Newtons

Homemade Fig Newtons were a wonderful treat in our house and well worth the work. We loved them. The dough is a combination of white and whole wheat flours and flavored with cardamom and the zest of an orange. After the dough is made it needs to chill for 3 hours.

You can use store bought jam but I made from scratch per the recipe. If you can find fresh figs it was well worth the effort and pretty easy to do.

The dough is divided into thirds, rolled out to a 10x4 inch rectangle, filled with jam, sliced, brushed with an egg wash then chilled before baking. These were sure good warm from the oven. The baked cookies get soft quickly so I suggest baking them as you want them. I kept the chilled dough in the refrigerator and baked when I needed  them.

The recipe is available from Bon Appetit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Moka Dupont

Tuesdays with Dorie
Baking Chez Moi
Moka Dupont is the French version of an American Ice Box Cake.
Dorie suggested serving with coffee ice cream but I had vanilla on hand which paired nicely with the chocolate.
Dorie states that in France the cake is made with The Brun cookies but they are not readily available in America. She suggested Petit Beurre which I could not find. My grocery store carried these Leibniz which worked out just fine but I don't know if I am committing some mortal sin in France.

This cake could could not have been easier. Store bought cookies, dunked in coffee, layered with a buttercream frosting and topped with shaved chocolate. The buttercream was a little different in that the granulated sugar is not completely incorporated. It tasted grainy which Dorie says is normal. This frosting also calls for an uncooked egg so I used a pasteurized one for safety.

Everyone loved it especially with the ice cream. My son not one for compliments with my cooking said it was okay but then came back for a second piece later:) To see what others did this week visit the TWD blogroll.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Haricots Verts

I am thrilled to be back with I Heart Cooking Clubs for their latest chef Ina Garten. I was given a copy of Barefoot In Paris and now I have a chance to cook from it.

I chose to start with a vegetable dish, haricots verts or French string beans. I had two of the three ingredients on hand so seemed like a good place to start. I purchased ready to use haricots verts from my local Trader Joe's which also added to the easiness of the dish.

The green beans are blanched in salted boiling water for 4 minutes then immersed in ice water to stop the cooking. Half of a red onion, red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper are roasted in the oven 425 degrees with salt, pepper and olive oil for about 15 minutes. Final step the green beans are sauteed in a pan with olive oil to reheat and served with the roasted vegetables.

The reviews were great, we loved this dish. Sometimes it takes a recipe or a cooking group to get out of my cooking rut. I don't usually take this much time with my vegetables but this recipe was well worth it. I would make it again.

French String Beans (Haricots Verts) page 160.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Crumb-Topped Apple Bars

Tuesdays with Dorie
Dorie's Cookies

I made these for a dinner party I was attending. My husband said "the apple bars are getting rave reviews". And sure enough they all disappeared. This was a great ending to a bar cookie that got a rocky start.

I had a few challenges this week with this recipe. The crust is to be baked alone first for 18-20 minutes. Dorie advises that "well baked is better than underbaked". My crust was perfect after the first bake but did not survive the second bake. After 50 minutes of additional baking my crust was burnt. I hacked off the burnt bits and managed to get 18 cookies for the party. But despite this my husband still loved them and ate all the burnt ones I left at home.

My second beef is with the raisins. Since I mixed them in with the apples when I put the filling on the crust all the raisins sank to the bottom. I should have sprinkled the raisins on top so you could see them.

As always with Dorie's recipes the taste was amazing, burnt bits and all. True to Dorie's comment these bars became soft hours after baking. I had so much trouble cutting my bars that I was worried what my guests would think. But I had to fear not as they were a smashing success. To see how others fared go to the TWD blogroll.

Crumb-Topped Apple Bars page 59.