My sisters know that I love to bake so they periodically send me recipes to try.   This was one of them.   I noted that the original recipe is from Melissa Clark, a NY Times food columnist whose recipes I have enjoyed in the past, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

My assessment:   this recipe is for those those who love to bake and who have a lot of patience.   They take a LONG time to make. They literally took me all day to make. There are many steps involved and long periods of waiting between them.

Did I like them?   I thought they were pretty good.   Not my favorite dessert.   Did my boys like them?   Yes. They LOVED them.  Would I make any changes the next time I make them?   Yes.   I’d leave the cinnamon out of the cookie base.   I’d also leave some of the honey out of the marshmallow layer.   I’m more of a vanilla marshmallow fan than a honey one.  I thought the chocolate layer was good.

If you make these, give the bars time to set and the chocolate layer a chance to harden before cutting them or you’ll have a chocolatey mess.  The chocolate will smear all over the marshmallow layer and they won’t be pretty at all.

Note: you need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

Recipe from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark via Project Foodie

For the graham cracker base:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the marshmallow layer:

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (about 3 tablespoons)
1 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze:

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream

First, make the graham cracker base. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugars, and honey until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and beat until the dough just comes together.

Wrap the dough in plastic and pat into a disc. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9  13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, or in between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out the dough into a rectangle that just fits the prepared pan. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Squish it to fit if it starts to tear (the dough is soft). Prick dough all over with a fork. Bake the graham cracker base until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely before topping with the marshmallow. (The graham cracker base can be made a few days ahead; store, covered in foil, at room temperature.)

While the graham cracker base cools, prepare the honey marshmallow. Place the gelatin in the cold water to bloom. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, honey, and 1/2 cup water, stirring until the sugar dissolves, until the mixture reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. When the sugar mixture has come up to temperature, carefully pour it into the egg whites while whisking. Continue whisking until the mixture has cooled slightly, about 1 minute, and add the gelatin and water mixture and the vanilla. Continue whisking until the mixture begins to thicken and quadruples in volume, 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the marshmallow onto the graham cracker base and smooth the top with a spatula. Allow the marshmallow to set for 4 hours or overnight at room temperature.

To prepare the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate pieces in a bowl. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted and the glaze is smooth and shiny. Pour the glaze onto the set marshmallow and smooth with a spatula. Allow the glaze to set, about 30 minutes, before cutting into squares. If you’re in a hurry, put the bars in the refrigerator to cool the chocolate.

Yield: ~ 18 2-inch bars

One year ago: Shredded Brussels Sprouts
Two years ago: Halloween Treats
Three years ago: Baked Flounder with Tomatoes and Basil
Four years ago: Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
Five years ago: Spinach and Chicken Tortilla Bake
Six years ago:Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Chocolate Sugar Cookies



I have made these three times in the last two weeks. I like them because they have a great chocolate flavor, they’re very easy to make, and I always almost have all of the ingredients on hand. I made them for a bake sale at the boys’ school recently and I was told that everyone loved them. I certainly loved that ones that I ate. When they’re baked, they remain every so slightly chewy in the center, which I like. They’re not a crisp cookie. They’re also not overwhelmingly sweet.

When I made these, I didn’t roll the balls of dough in sugar as stated in the recipe. I made a ball out of the dough, flattened it a bit and dipped just the top in sugar. This worked perfectly for me. I didn’t need to sprinkle any extra sugar on top either.

Give these cookies a try. If you’re sending cookies to someone for the holidays, consider these. They’re a sturdy cookie that should travel well.


Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Recipe from Cooks Country, May 2013 via Table For Two

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
14 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets. Place granulated sugar in a shallow dish and set aside. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

Microwave 10 tbsp. butter, covered, in a large bowl until melted, about 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir in remaining 4 tbsp. of butter until melted. Allow butter to cool, about 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and melted butter together until no lumps remain. Add in the egg and yolk and mix until smooth. Gently add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Working with 2 tbsp. of dough at a time, roll balls in granulated sugar and divide between baking sheets. Using a bottom of a drinking glass, flatten cookies to 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle each sheet of cookies with 1½ tsp. remaining granulated sugar if desired (n.b. I skip this step).

Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are slightly puffy and edges have begun to set, about 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking (cookies will look slightly underdone between cracks). Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

One year ago:   Asian Quinoa Salad
Two years ago: Malted Chocolate Madeleines
Three years ago: Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Four years ago: Shortbread Candy Bars
Five years ago: Joanna Pruess’ Molasses Spice Cookies
Six years ago: Cheddar Apple Frittata

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Corn-Shrimp Dumplings



I’m a little late posting these. I made them in September, at the tail end of the corn season here in the Northeast. If you’re inspired to make them when fresh corn isn’t in season, you can certainly use frozen corn in its place.

I tried this recipe because on the Food and Wine website, it was advertised as being “a cinch to make”. I wouldn’t say the dumplings were hard to make, but they were quite time-consuming. They were delicious, but labor intensive. In my book, that’s not a “cinch to make”.

I found gyoza wrappers at my local Fairway market. Not every supermarket sells them, but many specialty markets do. My gyoza wrappers must have been smaller than those used by the recipe author. She made 20 dumplings. I was able to make many more. My dumplings only took a teaspoon of filling. That’s probably why it took me so much time to make them. Note to self: buy bigger gyoza wrappers next time.

These dumplings freeze beautifully. If you’re freezing them, put them on a cookie sheet so they’re not touching and put them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, you can put them in individual containers. You don’t want to freeze the dumplings in a pile, or they’ll freeze stuck together and be very difficult to separate.

I served these with a sweet chili sauce and they were really great. I tried dipping them in soy sauce as well, but the chili sauce was my favorite. Trader Joe’s sells a great sweet chili sauce.


Corn-Shrimp Dumplings
Recipe from Food and Wine

1 ear of corn, shucked, kernels cut off the cob
1/2 pound shelled and deveined shrimp, chopped
2 scallions, minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
Kosher salt
20 small, round gyoza wrappers*
Soy sauce, for dipping

In a medium bowl, mix the corn kernels with the shrimp, scallions, garlic and ginger and season with salt. Brush the edges of the wrappers with water and spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each. Fold one side of the wrapper over to form a half moon, pressing the edges together to seal. In a steamer basket, steam the dumplings over simmering water until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.

* the number of wrappers needed will depend upon their size. I needed many more than 20.

Yield:  20 or more dumplings

One year ago: Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Two years ago: Homemade Halloween Oreos
Three years ago: Creamy Curried Celery Root Soup
Four years ago: Mini Nutella Cakes
Five years ago: French Toast
Six years ago: Quick Oat Bran and Banana Muffins

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches


This is now one of my favorite desserts. These ice cream sandwiches are so much better than the ones that you buy in the store! They’re easy to make too. I hesitated to make them at first, envisioning a very thin brownie layer sticking to my pan, or breaking as I tried to pick it up, but with the directions below from Smitten Kitchen, they’re a dream to make. Check out her site for photos of the brownies being made if you have any questions.

You need two 8×8″ baking pans for this recipe. The proportions are perfect for that size pan. You’ll ultimately make 16 ice cream sandwiches. You might be thinking to yourself, isn’t a 2×2″ ice cream sandwich kind of small? No! When it includes two homemade brownie layers that are rich and chewy, and a generous portion of ice cream, it’s the perfect size.

I love a good vanilla ice cream and these days I’ve been eating Trader Joe’s vanilla. As ice cream goes, it’s on the inexpensive side, and I love how rich and creamy it is. It worked perfectly in these ice cream sandwiches.

This dessert rated a double thumbs-up from each of the boys.


Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
Recipe from

For the brownies
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling:
2 to 3 cups ice cream

Heat oven to 350°F. Line two 8×8-inch square baking pans with parchment paper, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, heat chocolate and butter together until about 3/4 of the way melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in sugar until fully combined, then eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Stir in salt until combined, then flour, until it just disappears.

Divide batter between two prepared pans and spread it evenly. Bake on different racks for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating once top to bottom and front to back, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each pan comes out batter-free. Transfer the hot pans directly to your freezer (you can put down dish towels or a cooling rack to protect shelves). Chill until cold and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove first pan from freezer, and, working quickly, cover with ice cream. Use a spatula to press it down and smooth the top. Remove second brownie pan from freezer. Run a knife between edges of brownie and pan to make sure it’s not sticking anywhere and use the parchment sling to lift the brownie out of the pan, remove the parchment and place the brownie on top of the ice cream. Place the empty brownie pan on top of the brownie lid, to weight it, and press down a little. Keeping the weighting pan on top, return brownie-ice cream stack to freezer until fully firm, another 30 minutes. Run a knife around brownie stack again to make sure it’s not stuck, and use the parchment sling to transfer the ice cream sandwich block to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

Yield: 16 ice cream sandwiches

One year ago: Chickpea Vegetable Stew
Two years ago: Egg-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Three years ago: Marshmallows
Four years ago: Smoky Black Bean and Cheddar Burrito with Baby Spinach
Five years ago: Caramelized Spiced Nuts
Six years ago: Fresh Corn with Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Energy Bars



These little snacks are healthy, simple to make (there’s no baking involved) and surprisingly delicious. I’ve had the recipe kicking around in my “to-make” list for a while now and I finally decided to try it. I’m still amazed that they only use four ingredients. As I’ve often found, sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. These remind me a tiny bit of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, although not quite as sweet, and not as artificial. As much as I love Reese’s – they’re my all-time favorite candy – I think I like these more. I keep these in the refrigerator which gives them a nice consistency and they taste good cold.

This recipe uses dates as a sweetener. I’m not a huge fan of dates, but in this recipe you don’t taste them. They just give the bars some sweetness and they also provide the glue that holds them together.

These are a great mid-afternoon snack. They’re gluten-free too!

Peanut Butter and Energy Bars
Recipe from The Kitchn

1 1/2 cups unsalted peanuts
1 1/2 cups pitted dried dates, preferably Medjool
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips, divided

Line an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper; let the ends of the paper hang over the edge.

Optional step: For deeper, more peanuty flavor, roast the peanuts before making the bars. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the peanuts on a baking sheet and roast until fragrant and golden, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice during roasting. Allow to cool slightly before continuing with the recipe.

Combine the peanuts, pitted dates, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 5 to 6 times to break up the ingredients. Remove the lid and break apart any clumps of dates. Replace the lid and process continuously for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until the ingredients begin to clump together. When you remove the lid, the ingredients may still look a little crumbly (like couscous), but should hold together when pressed in your fist.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the chocolate over the peanut-date mixture (reserve the rest of the chocolate). Replace the lid and pulse just 3 or 4 times to incorporate the chocolate.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and press it firmly down with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a drinking cup. Melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in 15-second bursts in the microwave, stirring between each burst. Pour the melted chocolate over the bars and use a spatula to spread it into an even layer. If you find there’s not enough chocolate to easily spread, melt a little more chocolate if you have it.

Cover the bars and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight, until the bars are firm and the chocolate is set. Using a sharp knife, cut the bars into 16 pieces. Keep refrigerated for firmer texture or unrefrigerated for a softer texture. Bars will keep for about a month refrigerated or for about a week if unrefrigerated.

Yield: 16 bars

One year ago: Crispy Chicken and Apple Salad
Two years ago: Beets in a Sweet Thyme Balsamic Glaze
Three years ago: High Tea Lemon Cookies
Four years ago: Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins
Five years ago: Lemon Risotto
Six years ago: Lemon Cake

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Yotam Ottolenghi's Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce


eggplant  polenta

This is my favorite dish of the summer. I made it many times once corn season started. Yesterday I found some beautiful corn at the farmer’s market so last night I made the just sweet corn polenta as a side dish. My Aunt Sylvia loved it so much she had three servings! I’m sorry that it’s the tail end of the corn season here in the Northeast. I like this recipe so much, I plan to try it with frozen corn. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I am not a fan of pre-made polenta, especially the kind that comes in a tube. I’m also not a fan of making it from corn meal. This polenta recipe definitely takes more time that either of the aforementioned preparations, but it’s well worth the effort. Promise.

The recipe calls for frying the eggplant. The first time I made the recipe, I used 2/3 cup of vegetable oil, as specified. The next time I made it, I cut that in half and the eggplant cooked perfectly. I might actually try to bake the eggplant next time to see how that turns out.

One night I didn’t have any fresh oregano, so I used dried and the sauce was still delicious.

Would the boys try this? Nope.

This is going to be close to the top of my go-to summer recipe list.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce

Recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi via Food52

Eggplant Sauce

2/3 cups vegetable oil (I used 1/3 cup and it worked fine)
1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes (fresh or canned)
6 1/2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped oregano

Heat the oil in a large saucepan (wait until the oil is hot) and fry the eggplant on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until nicely brown. Drain off as much oil as you can and discard it — the safest way to do this is to scoop out the eggplant to a plate using a slotted spoon, then pour off the oil into a bowl before added the eggplant back in.

Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir with the eggplant. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for a further 5 minutes to get a deep-flavored sauce. Set aside; warm it up when needed.


6 ears of corn
2 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons butter, diced
7 ounces feta, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper

Remove the leaves and “silk” from each ear of corn, then chop off the pointed top and stalk. Use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels. You want to have approximately 1 1/4 pounds kernels.

Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and barely cover them with the water. Cook for 12 minutes on a low simmer. Use a slotted spoon to lift the kernels from the water and into a food processor; reserve the cooking liquid.

Process the corn for quite a few minutes, to break as much of the kernel case as possible. Add some of the cooking liquid if the mixture becomes too dry to process. I have never needed to add any of the cooking liquid.

Return the corn paste to the pan and cook, while stirring, on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to mashed potato consistency.

Fold in the butter, the feta, salt and some pepper and optionally cook for a further 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago:
Risotto Stuffed Tomatoes
Two years ago: Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna
Three years ago: Grilled Pork Chops with Garlic Lime Sauce
Four years ago: Mini Maple Pancake Muffins
Five years ago: Mar-A-Lago Turkey Burgers
Six years ago: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Rosemary Butter Cookies


Rosemary cookies

These rosemary butter cookies are delicious. They are delicate, buttery and the rosemary flavor is definitely there, but it’s subtle. They’re not too sweet, but just sweet enough. The cookies crumble in your mouth like a good, buttery shortbread. I tried these cookies for the first time this summer at a neighbor’s house and I fell in love with them. My lovely neighbor subsequently gave me the Martha Stewart Cookie cookbook where this recipe can be found. I have to say, we have the best neighbors in the whole world; we couldn’t have moved onto a better street. They’re social, they’re fun and you immediately get the feeling that if you ever needed anything, they’d be there for you.

This recipe calls for rolling the dough into logs and putting them into paper towel rolls. I didn’t have any empty paper towel rolls kicking around, so I rolled the dough in parchment, then wrapped it in a Slipat mat and put rubber bands around it to keep it tightly wrapped. That seemed to work just fine. Don’t skimp on freezing the dough for an hour. They are much easier to cut when frozen.

These cookies would make a great addition to a cookie swap.  They’re also great as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.

Only one of our boys would try these cookies and he LOVED them. The rest were put off by the green flecks. Wouldn’t you figure that after 12 years, they’d get over their fear of green stuff in/on their food?


Rosemary Butter Cookies
Recipe from Martha Stweart

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg white, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup fine sanding sugar

Cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, rosemary, and salt, and mix until combined.

Halve dough; shape each half into a log. Place each log on a 12-by-16-inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Transfer to paper-towel tubes to hold shape, and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375. Brush each log with egg white; roll in sanding sugar. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Yield: ~60 cookies

One year ago: Grilled Eggplant with Tomatoes, Basil and Feta
Two years ago: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Three years ago: Cream Cheese and Wild Blueberry Pound Cake
Four years ago: Summer Corn Chowder with Scallions, Bacon and Potatoes
Five years ago: Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts
Six years ago: Grilled Salmon with Sweet Corn, Tomato and Avocado Relish

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

French Chocolate Macarons


Chocolate Macarons

I love looking at macarons in bakeries.  Aren’t they pretty?  They’re typically lined up by color and one looks more perfect than the next.

I have made these numerous times. These cookies are delicious and they impress guests when they’re served. Please don’t confuse macarons with macaroons. Macarons are light cookies made with egg whites and almond meal. They are typically served as sandwich cookies with a filling in them. Macaroons are cookies that are like small circular cakes often made with coconut.

I didn’t find these cookies difficult to make, but take a tip from me. If you want to serve them at a particular time, don’t decide to start them two hours prior to serving. Numerous steps are involved in these cookies, and the filling needs time to cool before you use it. Do yourself a favor and unlike me, start these cookies in the morning of the day that you want to serve them (assuming that you’re serving them in the evening.) You don’t want the tops sliding off the cookies like mine did as I transported them to a meeting. As they cool, the filling will set and the tops will stay put.

You need a pastry bag to make these cookies. If you don’t have one, you can put the batter in a ziploc bag and cut the corner off. You won’t have the control that you do with a pastry bag, but it should work for you.

French Chocolate Macarons

Recipe from where the recipe was adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovits

Macaron Batter

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar

Chocolate Filling

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch) ready.

Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn’t quite fine enough.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.

Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).

Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.

Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

To make the chocolate filling:

Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.

Yield: 15 – 25 sandwich cookies, depending upon how big you make the cookies

One year ago: Classic Potato Salad with Peas
Two years ago: Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cookies
Three years ago: Honey Cornbread Muffins
Four years ago: Pork Chops with Peach-Ginger Chutney
Five years ago: Blueberry Crumb Bars
Six years ago: Decadent Brownie Tart

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Shrimp and Grits


shrimp with grits

This is a really quick and easy weeknight meal, and if you’re a fan of both shrimp and cheesy grits, this is the recipe for you! I bought a big bag of grits from Trader Joe’s a while ago and wasn’t sure what to do with them until I found this recipe.

According to the Houston Press, “Shrimp grits started out as a seasonal fisherman’s dish of shrimp cooked in bacon grease served over creamy grits in the Low Country where they were also known as “breakfast shrimp.” The simple seafood breakfast became an iconic Southern dish after Craig Claiborne wrote about it in the New York Times in 1985.”

I buy my shrimp at Costco. The shrimp come frozen in a bag in their freezer section. I almost always buy frozen shrimp. I like to keep a bag in my freezer for quick meals like this. Most all shrimp that you see in a supermarket fish case or fish market has been previously frozen, so I don’t mind buying it frozen from the get-go. You almost never see fresh shrimp for sale, or at least we don’t in NY.

Shrimp and Grits
Recipe from Serious Eats

4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup stone-ground grits
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
32 medium shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
5 scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
5 oz. baby spinach (about 2 loosely packed cups)

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt, then grits and cook, stirring frequently, until thick, about 25-30 minutes.  Follow your package instructions for precise cooking time.  Stir in cheese. Keep warm.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, add to pan, and saute until cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Whisk flour into pan and cook, stirring constantly, until pale golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken broth, garlic, scallions, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and spinach to pan and cook until spinach is wilted.

Place grits on every plate and top with shrimp, spinach, and sauce.

Yield:  4 servings

One year ago: Lemon Ricotta Waffles
Two years ago: Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
Three years ago: Neiman Marcus Chicken Salad
Four years ago:  Pepper Jack, Chicken and Peach Quesadillas
Five years ago: Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
Six years ago: Grilled Tuna with Herbed Aioli

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

I’m back!

I know that I haven’t posted for a while. Things have been busy for the past couple of months. Great, but busy.  We bought and moved into a new house. We’re really excited about it. Even though we don’t have a lot of furniture yet, it truly feels like home. I LOVE my new kitchen. It’s the biggest one I’ve ever had, which isn’t hard when the only kitchens you’ve ever had have been in NYC apartments. Although my husband doesn’t have his good camera here, I hope to be back to posting more regularly now, even if the photos are taken with his iPhone.

This is one of my favorite brownie recipes.  I have made them many times.  They’re great to bring to or serve at a party. They are quite rich, so I like to cut into small squares, which end up looking really pretty on a serving tray. The original recipe calls for butterscotch chips, but I have made them with white chocolate chips also, for those who don’t like butterscotch. I prefer the butterscotch version, but both are delicious.

These brownies are cooked in a 9×13 pan, so when cut into small pieces, you can get about 50 brownies out of the recipe. They really are rich, so trust me, they’re fine being cut into small squares.   Wait until the glaze is firm before cutting them.  If you want to speed up this process, put the pan in the refrigerator.  The glaze will then harden quickly.  The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate chips. If you don’t have any, you can easily substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips.


Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies
Recipe from Taste of Home

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cups sugar
3 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate baking chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, cubed

In a microwave, melt unsweetened chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine sugar and chocolate mixture. Stir in egg whites and vanilla. Gradually add flour to chocolate mixture. Stir in chips.

Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack.
For glaze, in a microwave, melt chips and butter; stir until smooth. Immediately spread over brownies. Cool until the glaze is firm before cutting. Cut into small pieces, roughly 1.5″ square.

Yield: about 5 dozen

One year ago:
Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice
Two years ago: Quinoa Cakes
Three years ago: Two-Bite Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Four years ago: Fresh Strawberry Muffins
Five years ago: Curried Chicken Salad
Six years ago: Spinach and Bacon Quiche

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe