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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Spicy Pineapple Lime Spritzer

I recently moved into a new apartment and my new roommate dude has been experimenting with lots of craft cocktails. I, on the other hand, have been experimenting with craft mocktails (although I have not been shying away from taste testing his wonderful creations). This one is the best yet. Its summery and fresh and tingly and perfect. The bubbles in the water and the kick of the cayenne make it outstanding. Safe enough for a kid but made for an adult. And look, you didn't hear this from me, but adding a splash of tequila won't ruin it.

1 cup pineapple juice
1 or two juicy lime, juiced
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup seltzer water

In a cocktail shaker add the pineapple juice, lime juice, and cayenne pepper. Shake vigorously and taste to spiciness (you want it to have a bit of a kick, so if it doesn't, add a bit more cayenne and shake again). Pour over 2 glasses with lots of ice and top with seltzer water. Drink and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

A few things happened recently that led to these cooking being baked (and then blogged).

1) A few weeks ago I was at a brunch party and one of the guests (shout out to Megan!) brought these mystery shortbread cookies that tasted sort of savory-- and sort of like they had pepper in them-- and I couldn't quite place the taste-- and I kept wanting more-- and then she told me that they were made with dried tea leaves. WTF. They were wonderful, with such a lovely subtle flavor that keeps you reaching for more.

2) Fast forward a few weeks. I've been a bit under the weather for the past few days with a cold and have been drinking lots of tea, which, of course, reminded me of these cookies and so I thought: why not?

3) I am home sick from work and bored, so what else was I going to do? So, I baked*. And then I blogged. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

These cookies really are amazing and take only 20 minutes to make (TOTAL). They are not very sweet, but in a perfect way. I made a small batch today, which yielded approximately 15 2-inch round thin shortbread cookies. You could easily double the recipe, and/or cut them into different shapes and sizes. Recipe adapted from Food Network.

1 stick butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 (heaping) teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 bag of dried Earl Grey tea leaves

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the salt, flour, and tea leaves and mix to combine. Make sure all the ingredients come together well into a dough ball.

Remove the dough and roll into a 1/4 inch thick disk. Use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut into circles and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. You will know they are done when the edges are slightly browned. Let cool and then serve and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.

* Yes, cooking when under the weather means that other people don't really want to eat the food you make, but that kinda works in my favor-- because now the cookies are all mine.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pasta e Fagioli

So, its been nearly forever since I posted a new recipe on this thing. To be honest, I've been thinking more about the blog recently... missing the time I used to dedicate to my kitchen, missing the motivation to try new recipes, wishing I could get back into it. This, combined with the fact that I was (sort of) holed up in my apartment all weekend due to snow storm Jonas (25 inches in NYC!) AND that some of my dearest friends from grad school were visiting (who were major tasting partners during my prime blogging days), made me decide to snap a few photos of my kitchen creations this weekend and write a post or two.

I made this soup under the tutelage of my lovely friend Erin. Her whole family is Italian and she is one of my best experts on all foods within this cuisine. It reminded me how much I have missed cooking with her. The soup was wonderful. Warm and rich and perfect for a cold and snowy day. It was also incredibly easy and fast to make. I highly recommend it.

4 ounces pancetta, diced
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup white wine
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
6-7 cups chicken broth
2 (14oz) cans cannellini beans
8oz ditalini pasta (or other small tube pasta)
grated parmesan
fresh parsley

In a large soup pot cook the pancetta over medium heat until it is lightly browned and has rendered much of the fat. Remove the pieces of pancetta, save for later. Add the chopped onion, celery, bay leaf and some salt to the pot with the pancetta fat (add olive oil if needed) and cook until softened and just lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add some white wine to deglaze the pot. Add the crush tomatoes, 1 can of beans, and a few cups of the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Using a blender/stick blender puree some of the soup-- this helps to thicken it up. Return to pot, add the remaining chicken broth, some crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper (to taste) and the other can of beans and boil for about 20-30 minutes until the soup tastes really great.

Meanwhile, boil some water with salt and cook the pasta until al dente. When it is ready, add the pasta to the rest of the soup, give it a stir, let it cook another minute or two and taste for salt and pepper. Serve in bowls topped with pancetta, parsley, and parmesan cheese. And it goes really well with a piece (or two) of quick parmesan toast (baguette cut in half length-wise, add a bit of olive oil/salt/pepper/garlic powder/grated parmesan and bake in 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned).