Shrimp Scampi with Spiralized Zucchini

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Zucchini Shrimp Scampi

We have friends visiting from Atlanta and one of them prefers to avoid gluten, so I have been making some gluten-free dishes. As I mentioned in another post, I have found that Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour is a very good substitute for regular flour. In lieu of flour in some of my favorite recipes, it has yielded great results. Now I wish I could find a good gluten-free pasta.

Our friend Chris bought me this hand-held spiralizer. I’ve read a lot about them but had never tried one. Having a lot of zucchini on the counter, I decided to spiralize some of it. Using the device that I have, spiralizing is much like sharpening a pencil. You put the zucchini in and spin it. The results are long strands, just like spaghetti. It can be served raw, or cooked. I decided to sauté it in a little butter and olive oil and turn it into a shrimp scampi dish. I thought it was delicious. The friends visiting all thought it was delicious too, except the ones that don’t love zucchini. They ate the shrimp and left the squash. Did any of my boys try it? Nope. Despite that, I will definitely make this again.

The spiralizer is a lot of fun. I’m going to see what else I can spiralize.

Shrimp Scampi with Spiralized Zucchini
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten
Vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1-2 small/medium zucchini
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 lemon, zest grated
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Use your spiralizer to spiralized one or two small/medium zucchini.

In a large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the zucchini and toss it in the pan for 2-3 minutes, until it becomes ever so slightly translucent or achieves the consistency you desire. Remove from the pan and place in a serving dish.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

Pour the shrimp and its sauce over the cooked zucchini. Toss and serve immediately.


Serves 3

One year ago: Smooth and Creamy Polenta
Two years ago: Spring Root Vegetable Casserole
Three years ago: White Bean Burgers with Tomato-Olive Relish
Four years ago: Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
Five years ago: Summer Squash with Lemon and Mint
Six years ago: Ultimate Banana Bread
Seven years ago: Strawberry Lemonade
Eight years ago:
Fusilli and Chicken with Finger-Licking Peanut Sauce

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Shortbread

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Shortbread

This is some of the best shortbread I have ever eaten. One of my sons has started to enjoy baking and makes a batch every now and then. He doesn’t enjoy cooking. Just baking. I am hoping that I can convince him to do some cooking with me, in the hopes that he’ll widen his palate. He’s still a vegetarian who won’t eat vegetables.

These cookies are incredibly buttery with great flavor and texture. I have found that with shortbread, the quality of the butter makes all the difference. We use Kerrygold Irish butter in this recipe with great results.

My son tried to make a batch of these last week for his aunt, and we’re not sure why, but the cookies did not turn out as expected. They were almost like toffee, so his Aunt Lulu suggested that we crumble them and use them as an ice cream topping, which was perfect!

You can eat/serve these cookies as is, or dip them in chocolate as my son likes to do. I have read that lemon extract is a nice addition to the cookies. I plan to try it next time in place of the almond extract.


Shortbread

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at cool room temperature*
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease two round 9″ cake pans. If you worry about the shortbread possibly sticking in your particular pans, line them with parchment, and grease the parchment.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, then beat in the flour. The mixture may seem a little dry at first; keep beating till it comes together. If it absolutely won’t come together, dribble in up to 1 tablespoon of water, until it does. This is a stiff dough.

Divide the dough in half (if you have a scale, each half will weigh about 10 1/2 ounces), and press each half into one of the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with your fingers, or with a mini rolling pin.

Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to escape, and prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes. Prick the dough in a random pattern, but it looks nicer pricked with some kind of symmetry.

Bake the shortbread until it’s a light golden brown across the top surface, and a deeper golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes.

Remove it from the oven, and immediately turn each shortbread round out onto a clean work surface.

Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut each round into 12 wedges. (Do this while the shortbread is still warm; if you wait until it’s cool, it won’t cut easily.) Transfer the shortbread wedges to a rack to cool.

Yield: ~24 cookie wedges

One year ago: Nutella Cheesecake Chocolate Cookie Cups
Two years ago: Spring Root Vegetable Casserole
Three years ago: Tomato Feta Pasta Salad
Four years ago: Thai Curry Turkey Burgers
Five years ago: Chinese Chicken Salad
Six years ago: Cheese Quiche
Seven years ago: Mojitos

Eight years ago: Crispy Southwestern Baked Chicken

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Black Bean Burgers

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Black Bean Burger

These are the best black bean burgers I have ever made. You have to plan ahead because they need to rest for at least an hour before cooking them, but they’re well worth the planning. Many bean burgers have a mushy consistency. Not these. In a bun, they hold up like a hamburger. I like to serve them with a sauce that I make by mixing mayonnaise with sriracha sauce. I like 75% mayo to 25% sriracha.

I made these last night with gluten-free flour, and didn’t notice the difference between regular flour and gluten-free. I used the Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour. I also used it to make blueberry muffins this morning, and again, didn’t notice a difference between it and regular flour. I was quite surprised as I have used other gluten-free flours with terrible results.

These keep very well in the refrigerator overnight and reheat well in the microwave. This is now my go-to bean burger recipe. It’s part of our regular rotation now and our guests that have tried them have really liked them.

The photo above is of my friend Jon’s lunch plate. He styled the food for the photo. Thanks Jon!

 

Black Bean Burgers
Recipe from Cooks Illustrated magazine, September 2015

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 scallions, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 ounce tortilla chips, crushed coarse (~1/2 cup)
8 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 hamburger buns

The black bean mixture needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours prior to cooking. When forming the patties, it is important to pack them firmly together.

Line rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels and spread beans over towels. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Whisk eggs and flour together in large bowl until uniform paste forms. Stir in scallions; cilantro; garlic; cumin; hot sauce, if using; coriander; salt; and pepper until well combined.

Process tortilla chips in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add black beans and pulse until beans are roughly broken down, about 5 pulses. Transfer black bean mixture to bowl with egg mixture and mix until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Divide bean mixture into 6 equal portions. Firmly pack each portion into tight ball, then flatten to 3 1/2-inch-diameter patty. (Patties can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap, placed in a zipper-lock bag, and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Thaw patties before cooking.)

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully place 3 patties in skillet and cook until bottoms are well browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip patties, add 2 teaspoons oil, and cook second side until well browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer burgers to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and place in warm oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 3 patties and 4 teaspoons oil. Transfer burgers to buns and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

One year ago:Mint Chocolate Chip Meringues
Two years ago:Spring Root Vegetable Casserole
Three years ago: Hawaiian-Style Cabbage Salad
Four years ago:Dulce de Leche Brownies
Five years ago:Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Six years ago:Tate’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies
Seven years ago:Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Eight years ago:Outrageous Brownies

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Chickpea of the Sea Sandwich

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Chickpea of the Sea Sandwich

This is like a vegetarian tuna salad sandwich, and it’s just about as quick to make as tuna salad is. It doesn’t exactly taste like tuna, but it definitely holds together like tuna salad, and it’s nice and tangy because of the vinegar in it. With all of the news about mercury in tuna and tuna being overfished, why not eat a tasty vegetarian salad instead? I understand that using the umeboshi (or ume plum) vinegar called for in the recipe gives the salad a seafood-like flavor. I couldn’t find the specialty vinegar at any of my local stores and didn’t want to order a bottle at great expense in case I didn’t like it, so I substituted red wine vinegar and I thought the salad was delicious. If I ever see a bottle of umeboshi vinegar in a local store, I might try it, but until then, I’m happy with my red wine vinegar.

It’s very easy to make this recipe if you have a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can absolutely make the salad by hand by crushing the chickpeas with a fork, but a food processor makes it so much easier.

If you do decide to eat tuna instead of this delicious vegetarian salad, here’s a guide to which types are best to eat. And if you do decide to switch to chickpeas, here’s a link to some of their benefits.

Chickpea of the Sea Sandwich
Recipe from The Kitchn

1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1/4 cup chopped celery, from about one rib
2 tablespoons sliced scallions, from about about two scallions
Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
Freshly ground black pepper
Sliced whole grain bread
2 to 4 lettuce leaves, washed and dried well

Place chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse two or three times to roughly chop. Add remaining ingredients and pulse two or three times more to fully incorporate.

If making two sandwiches, place the lettuce leaves on two slices of bread. Spoon on the Chickpea of the Sea and top with the other slice of bread. Cut in half and enjoy!

Yield: 2 – 3 sandwiches

One year ago:Smooth and Creamy Polenta
Two years ago:Spring Root Vegetable Casserole
Three years ago: Gail’s Rolled Sugar Cookies with Piped Icing
Four years ago:Avocado-Mango Salad
Five years ago:Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Six years ago:Curried Carrot Soup
Seven years ago:Butterscotch Blondies
Eight years ago:Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies

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Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

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Crispy treats

Many Rice Krispie treats can be very, very sweet. My husband was recently commenting that he likes them when they’re salty and not cloying. This recipe is the answer! These are slightly salty and definitely not as sweet as traditional Rice Krispie treats. I think the nutty flavor of the brown butter tones down the sweetness of the marshmallows. These don’t take long to make, and they’re a kid-favorite. Of course all four of my boys ate these, although a couple of them weren’t big fans of the addition of salt, but it didn’t stop them from devouring them.

If you try these and you have never browned butter before, please know that you have to watch it very carefully. Your butter will go from golden to brown to black very quickly. While stirring the butter, you want to make sure you take it off the heat when it’s a light brown color. Using a pan that doesn’t have a dark interior will help you watch the color.

Cereal can be expensive these days. A 12-oz. box of Rice Krispies at a local market in NYC costs $5.79. I just found a 10-oz. box of “Crisp Rice” cereal (identical to Rice Krispies) at Trader Joe’s for $1.99. I love that Trader Joe’s prices are consistent across the country. It makes their products very affordable in NYC.

If you like Rice Krispie treats but want them to have a slightly more grown-up taste, this version is for you.

Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Recipe adapted ever so slightly from Smitten Kitchen

4 ounces (1/4 pound or 1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)

Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.

In a large pot that doesn’t have a dark interior, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Once it starts to get brown, watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn, which it can do very quickly. As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat to very low and stir in the marshmallows. Keep stirring until the mixture is smooth. It can take a good 5 or 6 minutes for the marshmallows to melt completely. You might think that the mixture is never going to get smooth, but be patient, it will.

When the marshmallow mixture is smooth, remove the pot from the stove and pour in the cereal, then sprinkle the salt evenly over the cereal and stir together. When completely mixed, quickly spread into prepared pan. I liked to use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that I’ve sprayed with oil to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners.

Let cool and cut into squares.

Yield: 16 bars (2″ square)

One year ago:Texas Sheet Cake
Two years ago:Chock-Full-of-Chips Drops
Three years ago: Coconut-Crusted Shrimp
Four years ago:Indian-Style Mustard Greens
Five years ago:Marinated Swordfish
Six years ago:Orange Scones with Chocolate Chips
Seven years ago:Sugar Cookie Bars
Eight years ago:Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes

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Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies

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Food

I am one of the co-presidents of my sons’ school PTA and I bring cookies to each of our Executive Board meetings. This time, I brought unfinished cookies. I started to make these cookies too late in the afternoon (the story of my life!), so I only had time to dip the bottoms in chocolate. I didn’t have time to put the chocolate stripes on the top. I barely let the bottom layer of chocolate firm up before I tossed them in a basket to bring to my meeting. Despite the fact that I served naked cookies with soft chocolate on the bottom, I received great feedback about them and they disappeared before the night was over.

Now let me warn you, these take a bit of time to make. They’re not nearly as quick as drop cookies. You have to make the dough, let it chill, roll it out, cut it out, bake it, let it cool, melt or temper the chocolate, dip the bottoms of the cookies, let them chill to harden the chocolate, then finally put the stripes on top. Lots of steps! In order to make these, you also need a candy thermometer (if you want to temper your chocolate), a food processor, a round cookie cutter with a 3″ diameter, and a small cookie cutter with a 1″ diameter (not having a cookie cutter this small, I actually used the wide end of a pastry bag tip to make the center holes in the cookies.)

I have read a lot about tempering chocolate, but had never tried it until this recipe. Tempering chocolate will leave it with a smooth, glossy finish and it will make it harden at room temperature so there’s a nice snap when it’s broken. Prior to making these cookies, I was always afraid of trying to temper chocolate, but I found a set of instruction that make it very easy, and the result was perfect. Once these cookies were fully cooled, they had a nice finish and the chocolate was indeed nice and hard at room temperature, without melting all over your fingers. Here are the instructions that I followed for tempering my chocolate. I highly recommend trying it. I used a big block of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s (the pound plus bar) for these cookies. On my first try, I attempted to temper a mixture of bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate. Bad idea. I ended up with a big mess of chocolate that didn’t melt properly. I’d stick to one type of chocolate when tempering.

I was hesitant about adding the orange zest to the cookies, but I’m glad I did. The orange flavor did not overwhelm the shortbread, it simply provided a bit of depth to the flavor of the cookies. These cookies were a big hit in my house. I’ll definitely make them again.

Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies
Recipe adapted slightly from Sugar Hero

Zest of 1 orange
3.5 oz (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
11.25 oz (2.5 cups) all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
10 oz cold, salted butter (~2.5 sticks), cubed
1 pound dark chocolate

Put the orange zest and the sugar into a small bowl and rub the orange zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.

Put the sugar, flour and salt into the bowl of a large (10-14 cup) food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the dough begins to clump together. Once it comes together, turn it out of the bowl and knead it into a ball. Divide the dough in half and roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper until it’s 1/4″ thick. Chill in the refrigerator until the dough is firm. This should take about 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Remove one sheet of dough from the refrigerator, put it on a cookie sheet and cut out 3-inch circles. Use your 1-inch cookie cutter (or the large end of a pastry bag tip) to cut circles in the center of the cookies. You might have to wait until the dough is slightly soft to cut the center circles, or the outer circles may crack. You can re-roll the scraps to create more cookies. Continue rolling and cutting until all of the dough is used. You should end up with approximately 30-32 circular cookies. Your dough should still be nice and cold when you bake the cookies. If not, chill them again for a few minutes by putting the cookie sheet directly into the refrigerator. Once chilled, bake them for 10-12 minutes until the edges start to turn light brown. Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheets before carefully removing them.

Melt the chocolate. I recommend tempering the chocolate. You can find directions for tempering chocolate here. Once the chocolate is melted, dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate, then place it chocolate-side down on the same parchment-lined baking sheet. Once all of the cookies are dipped, refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate. You can also put the cookie sheets into the freezer to speed up the process. Transfer the rest of the melted chocolate to a plastic bag with a very small hole snipped in the corner, and drizzle lines of chocolate over the tops of the cookies. Refrigerate once more to set the chocolate. If you don’t temper your chocolate, I recommend storing these cookies in the refrigerator.

Yield: ~30 cookies

One year ago:Texas Sheet Cake
Two years ago:Chock-Full-of-Chips Drops
Three years ago: Chocolate Sheet Cake with Delicious Vanilla Frosting
Four years ago:Pasta and White Beans with Broccoli Pesto
Five years ago:Carrot-Coconut Milk Soup
Six years ago:Mexican-Style Slaw with Jícama, Cilantro and Lime
Seven years ago:Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta
Eight years ago:Chick Pea Soup

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Pistachio-Crusted Cod Fillets

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fish

If you like fish, this is a very simple dish to make and it’s elegant enough for company. The recipe calls for cod, but any thicker, mild white fish like halibut, for example, should do. I love this recipe because you can make the topping in advance. You can even spread the mustard and the topping on the fish right before the guests arrive, then throw it in the oven when you’re ready to eat. The fish cooks in under 15 minutes. I have made this several times for guests and it’s definitely a crowd-pleasing dinner.

If you’re buying pistachios that have already been shelled, buy them unsalted so the dish doesn’t end up too salty.

In doing some reading, I learned that it’s much friendlier for the oceans to eat Pacific cod than it is to eat Atlantic cod, unless the Atlantic cod is from a recirculating aquaculture system. On the list of sustainable fish to eat, Atlantic cod is at the bottom of the list.  Here’s a website that will tell you the best fish to eat to keep our oceans healthy.

My husband and I loved this dish. How many of the boys ate it?  You’re right.  None.

Pistachio-Crusted Cod Fillets
Recipe from FineCooking.com

1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp. coarse salt; more to taste
1/8 tsp. finely ground black pepper; more to taste
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 cod fillets, preferably loin pieces (4 to 6 oz. each)
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a small baking sheet with foil and lightly grease the foil (spray is fine).

Chop the pistachios into medium-fine pieces. Combine the nuts, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.

If using fillets with tapered ends, loosely fold the ends under to create a fillet of even thickness. Spread the top of each fillet evenly with the mustard. Press the mustard-coated side of each fillet into the crumb mixture to generously coat the fish. Set the fillets, coating side up, on the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the fillets to form a thick coating.

Bake the fillets until the topping is crisp and browned and the fish is cooked through, 10 to 12 min., depending on thickness. The fish is done when it’s no longer opaque in the center and when it flakes easily. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Sautéed Edamame Salad
Two years ago: Chock-Full-of-Chips Drops
Three years ago: Provençal Cherry Tomato Gratin
Four years ago: Black Bean and Pepper Jack Burgers
Five years ago: Strawberry-Orange-Vanilla Smoothie
Six years ago: Shortbread Cookies
Seven years ago: Sweet Potato Bread
Eight years ago: Asian Salmon Burgers

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Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

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grapefruitcake

This recipe comes from a bookmark that I’ve had kicking around for a while. When I received a box of grapefruit as a gift, and we weren’t eating them fast enough (although they keep well for a while in the refrigerator), I knew it was time to try this recipe.

One of my sons loved this cake. That said, I wouldn’t exactly call it a cake. It seemed more like a quick bread to me. It didn’t have a very fine crumb. That said, it’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. It would also be a really nice addition to a brunch table. This is a great cake to make if you have extra grapefruit kicking around in your refrigerator.

I made this in two mini-loaf pans and although it looked like I had too much batter, it ended up being the perfect amount. The cake rose beautifully and didn’t spill over the edges of the pans.

 

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Ina Garten

1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (230 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (13 grams) sugar
3 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest (approximately one large grapefruit)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

For the glaze:
1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan or two smaller pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, grapefruit zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and grapefruit juice and pour over the cake.

Yield: 2 small loaves

One year ago: Secretly Healthy Fudge Balls
Two years ago: Brigadeiros (Brazilian Fudge Balls)
Three years ago: Braised Coconut Spinach and Chickpeas with Lemon
Four years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Five years ago: Caramels
Six years ago: Yucatán Pork Tenderloin
Seven years ago: Carole’s Country Style Spare Ribs
Eight years ago: Buttermilk Bran Muffins

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Oatmeal Scotchies

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Oatmeal Scotchies

This recipe is an old favorite of mine. I remember it fondly from my childhood. The recipe was on the back of the butterscotch chips bag. They’re a delicious, chewy oatmeal cookie with butterscotch chips.

Three out of four of my boys love these. One claims he doesn’t like butterscotch, so he won’t go near them. I don’t think he’s ever tried them. He just thinks he’s not going to like them.  Crazy. Even though only 3 out of 4 boys like them, they disappear from our cookie jar in no time.

This recipe is definitely an oldie, but goodie.  The cookies are quite sweet, and we find that it’s hard to eat just one.

Oatmeal Scotchies
Recipe from Nestle

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. If your dough seems too soft to work with, chill it in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.

Drop by rounded tablespoon or small cookie scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: ~ 4 dozen cookies

One year ago: Surprise Cookies
Two years ago: Orange-Glazed Shrimp
Three years ago: Macaroni and Cheese with Black Beans and Chipotle
Four years ago: Oreo Rice Krispie Treats
Five years ago: Homemade Cheez-It Crackers
Six years ago: ncetta and Green Onions
Seven years ago: Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Eight years ago: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

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Cabbage and Potato Gratin

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cabbage

This recipe is very similar to a Polish cabbage and bacon casserole recipe that I published a couple of years ago. This recipe is vegetarian. I have to admit that this is so good that I don’t miss the bacon. Don’t get me wrong – I love bacon, but my vegetarian son is subtly pushing all of us to cut back on our meat consumption, and I’m finding that I don’t really miss the meat in many of the vegetarian dishes that I prepare.

The original recipe provides long, multi-step directions about how to cook, shred and drain the cabbage. I use pre-shredded cabbage from Trader Joe’s. Three 10-ounce bags are perfect for this recipe. If you can’t find pre-shredded cabbage, core your cabbage, manually shred it and dump it right into the boiling pot of water with the potatoes.

This recipe reheats very nicely, and you can also microwave it to eat as a leftover.

If you like cabbage and don’t want to fuss with the potatoes and cheese, here’s a great video about how to cook cabbage, and the benefits of shredding it. If you try one of these methods, I hope your cabbage doesn’t turn out like Jane’s.

 

Cabbage and Potato Gratin
Recipe modified slightly from Martha Rose Shulman of NY Times Cooking

Salt
About 2 pounds green or savoy cabbage
1 pound baking potatoes, such as russets, peeled and sliced thinly (slightly less than 1/4 inch thick)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups milk
1/2 cup crème fraîche
Ground black pepper
4 ounces Gruyère, grated (1 cup, tightly packed)
1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons finely chopped or slivered fresh sage

Shred the cabbage. You can do this using a knife or your food processor. If you’re uncertain about shredding, here’s a link to show you how to do it.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add shredded cabbage and potato slices. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil gently for 5 minutes.

Drain cabbage and potatoes into a colander and let drain over a bowl or in the sink. Let drain for 5 minutes. You want to make sure most of the excess water has drained.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or gratin. Cut one of the garlic cloves in half and rub the dish with the cut surface. Then dice all the garlic and toss with cabbage and potatoes.

In a bowl, whisk together milk, crème fraîche, about 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Pour into bowl with cabbage and potatoes, add cheeses and sage, and gently toss together. Scrape into baking dish. The mixture will be soupy. Optional: sprinkle a handful of gruyere and some Parmesan on top of the mixture in the baking dish. This will make the casserole brown nicely.

Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until top is golden brown. During the first 45 minutes, press the vegetables down into the liquid in the baking dish every 10 to 15 minutes, using the back of a large spoon. The gratin will still be bubbling when you remove it from the oven, and you might see liquid in the baking dish. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before serving, until liquid is reabsorbed.

Yield: 6 servings

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