Thursday, December 23, 2010

Just in time for the holidays, you can tell your family exactly where to stuff your balls, in their mouth. After the first bite you won't have to tell them though, they won't be able to get your balls out of their mouth, they will just keep shoving them in there. 

Nuff Said.

Hey, and these are perfect for Valentine's Day, another chance to tell someone you love what they can do with your balls. The red center will really play nice with your romantic dinner setting too. As most readers of this blog know, I hate Valentine's Day, so I will not be making these for that occasion, but you should.

This particular holiday season I did a terrible job of not indulging at all of the parties that I went to. I think I may have to get myself a 3 month online subscription to weight watchers come the first of the year. Really, I've been that naughty. But, BUT, I did buy myself a treadmill for Christmas - so, I can certainly try to run some of this holiday cheer off. Not yet though - still have too many parties to attend in the next week. After the new year - after after.

Here's a link to the Bakeralla website with directions for the Balls.

Rating = So, so damn good.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Meringues - don't eat while wearing black.

God I love meringues - why, I'm not sure, it's not like they are filled with ooey gooey goodness, or taste of hot melted butter. But, man. I love them. This is a Tyler Florence recipe - although his were not dipped in the Christmas sprinkles - I added that bit of genius myself. I prepared these for my first ever cookie swap and hot damn do you go home with a for sure shit ton of cookies when you go to a cookie swap. I'm set for cookies until at least Easter, and that's with bringing a whole tray to work with me this morning to share with the office. People just loved me today, and the whole office was speeding down the sugar highway by 10:00...caffeine and a shit ton of cookies, a sure recipe for efficiency?

I've got the holiday spirit all up in my face right now - so, tell me what is your favorite Holiday song, mine is most definitely "We Three Kings" by Sarah McLaughlin and the Barenaked Ladies. I absolutely love that song. Although, as Hallie might attest it really doesn't scream Yuletide Cheer like the Slutcraker does. I'm just saying.

Here's the recipe, let me know if you make it.
Tyler Florence's Chocolate Dipped Meringues - with SPRINKLES!
Click Here

Rating = So Damn Good (come on, it's meringues)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

ad hoc in da house - my thomas keller experiment

Is there anything more daunting than having the boss and his wife over for dinner? Yes, preparing dinner for them when they are used to meals prepared by  the likes of celebrity chefs, like Thomas Keller. I've only had one Thomas Keller experience, I bought a $3 chocolate chip cookie at Bouchon Bakery when Chris and I went to Napa last year for our fifth anniversary. Besides that I have merely walked by The French Laundry, Bouchon Restaurant and Ad Hoc, three of his restaurants. Oh, sure I could have gone in to one of these restaurants for dinner, (had I made reservations months in advance), but a meal at one of his restaurants is my more than I budgeted for dinners for the whole week we were on vacation.

So, when i invited the boss and Mrs boss over for dinner, I decided to give them a little Thomas Keller in your face right from my own kitchen. 

I looked at a few of his recipes on line, and then borrowed the ad hoc at home book from the library. I decided on Iceberg Lettuces Slices with Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes, Creamed Corn, and Seared Scallops. When I tell you that the creamed corn is most likely the best corn I have ever had in my life, I'm not being even remotely overreacting. I did make slight changes to the recipes, he calls for heavy cream, in all instances I used whole milk, and I reduced the butter amounts in the dishes as well. 

Here are links to all of the recipes that I used.

Iceberg Lettuce Slices with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Creamed Corn - look there is a reason its called this - its a virtual orgasm in your mouth, get it, creamed, whatever.

Whipped yukon gold potatoes - the recipe called for putting the potatoes through a food mill or a potato ricer, I own neither of these, so I whipped them in a food processor - worked fine.

Seared Scallops - use the big ones U7 or U8

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but they raved about the food, and even when we saw them a few days later at the office, they still were saying how awesome everything was. Need to impress some guests - this is the meal to do it.

PS - we pared each course with a california wine - that was pretty cool too.

Rating - so so so damn good.

Friday, December 10, 2010

David Lebovitz's Roasted Figs

Call it a tendency to watch too many talk shows when I was little, but growing up, I had a fear of being abducted and probed by aliens. Blame, Phill Doahue, or who ever, but I just imagined one sunny afternoon, while sitting outside, reading a book, and sipping iced tea, a small being, with a large egg shaped head, large eyes and no visible mouth to speak of, would come up to me and beam me into his/her ship to take random tissue samples, perhaps an egg or two out of my uterus. This was the hyped imagination of a growing child, understandable. What is not understandable is the fact that I listened to a podcast the other day in which the fact was stated, and then discussed that a quarter of American's believe they have been abducted by aliens. What? I digress.

I didn't get into figs years after my fear of being abducted by aliens subsided, actually, not until recently did I really begin to love figs outside of the blanket of cake cookie that is the Fig Newton. Now I love them and cannot get enough. I used this particular recipe for roasted figs as a topping for a green salad with blue cheese - delicious. Now, go out and grab yourself some figs and get yourself a roasting.

Use a baking dish or pan that will allow you to bake the figs in a single layer. One that is 2 quarts (2l) should do it. Depending on where you live, fresh fig season is near the end of summer and mid-autumn and the best place to find fresh figs is at a farmers market.

1 pound (450g) fresh figs
4-6 branches fresh thyme
2 tablespoons red wine or liquor, such as Chartreuse, Pernod, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
three 1-inch (3cm) strips of fresh lemon zest

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

2. Slice the touch stem end off the figs and slice each in half lengthwise.

3. Toss the figs in a large baking dish with the thyme, red wine or liquor, brown sugar, honey, and lemon zest. Turn the figs so that they are all cut side down in the baking dish, in a single layer.

4. For figs that are softer and juicier, cover the baking dish snugly with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the figs are softened and cooked through.

For figs that are firmer, with less liquid, roast them in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

5. When done, remove the baking dish from oven, lift off the foil, and let the figs cool completely.
Variation: For more savory figs, replace the liquor with one or two tablespoons balsamic or sherry vinegar.

Storage: Roasted figs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Rating = Put Em In Your Face

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Polenta and Tofu Skilet & What to Make for a Cookie Swap & Alcohol Cakes

Tofu Polenta Bake with Bok Choy

Today as I drove to work, sitting in traffic waiting for a green light, I spied on the side of the road what honestly looked like the lower leg, shin portion of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. I'm sure it was just a piece of laundry exhaust pipe or something with a similar use, but looking quickly, it was the dismembered leg of the Tin Man. I immediately created a scenario in which the Tin Man, dazed and confused from walking aimlessly in the dark after losing sight of the yellow brick road in his search of the fabled land of Oz, stumbles into the road, and WHACK! is immediately creamed by an oncoming FedEx truck speeding to make an early morning delivery. All that's remains of the horrid scene is his leg, left without its body on the side of the road. Poor Tin Man.

I've been wanting to make this recipe for some time now, and the plastic log of premade polenta had sat on the shelf in the basement long enough, it deserved its day in the sun. This is another great recipe from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. If you haven't checked out her blog, please follow the link HERE to the recipe and spend some time looking around, I've enjoyed everything I've made from her site. And, Chris thought this was fantastic, there was not one bite left - no left overs - nothing. I will say however that if I were going to make this again I would double or even triple the amount of bok choy, just a personal preference for me. 

Cookie Swap - I'm taking part in a cookie swap in a couple of weeks, I'm thinking of making peppermint bark and chocolate dipped merangue cookies, got any other spectacular recipes that I can try my hand at?

AND - its that time of year again, the alcohol laden cake time. Do you have any recipes that are a must for the holiday season, all filled with boozy goodness? Send them along please.

Rating = Damn Good