readingredhead: (Muse)
 The students in the class I TA for have their midterm tomorrow, and I decided to bake them cookies. I made just under four dozen in an hour and a half.

Molasses Crackles
makes ~2 dozen cookies

2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C shortening
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 C molasses

Preheat oven to 350F. Add dry ingredients to bowl and mix; then add wet ingredients and mix. Place even balls of dough on cooking sheets about 2" apart. Bake for 12-13 minutes; cookies will look slightly under-done, but that means they'll be just right once they've cooled.

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies (adapted from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook)
makes ~2 dozen cookies

1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/3 C granulated (white) sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 C flour
~1 C chopped pecans (I haven't actually measured this, might be a little less)
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl*, whisk the flour and baking soda together; stir this mixture into the butter/sugar mixture. Fold in the pecans. Place even balls of dough on cooking sheets about 2" apart. Bake for 10-12 mins, until edges are light brown. Let sit on baking sheet a few minutes to firm up before transferring to cooling rack.

*I didn't use the separate bowl and I'm pretty sure these turned out just fine.
readingredhead: (Grin)
So like I said in my previous post, I'm going to very interpret the "something" in the title of "National Create Something Month" very loosely...mostly for the sake of days like yesterday, when the only thing I created was dinner.

But trust me -- it was a good dinner.

There's a restaurant about ten minutes' walk from my apartment called Kitchenette that does the best savory breakfasts. Possibly the best sweet breakfasts, too, but I love them for things like biscuits and eggs and home fries. On weekday mornings, you can get the "Kitchenette Special" for $7.50: biscuit, bacon, two eggs, cheese, and coffee. (This is a steal in Manhattan.) My biscuits might not be quite as good as theirs, but we had heavy cream and I decided I would whip up a very easy biscuit recipe (five ingredients, less than 20 minutes!) and have Kitchenette Specials for dinner.

Kitchenette Special )

I suppose we could also count it as working towards creating something that I spent part of last night watching a punk rock band documentary and thinking about how I want to write a Romantic poets rock band AU...
readingredhead: (Grin)
A round-up post of sorts, dedicated entirely to all of the awesome things that [personal profile] pedantic_wretch and I have cooked and baked over the course of the past month, give or take.

Gingerbread Scones - Goes without saying that these are amazingly delicious, but they're also surprisingly not that hard to make. I have made many a batch in the past year-ish. Most recently, a batch traveled with me and my housemates to the midnight showing of the first part of The Hobbit.

Almond Horns - I actually baked these with my mom, who loves them as much as if not more than I do! I tried my first almond horn at the Hungarian Pastry Shop, literally two blocks from my apartment, and so I never bake them when I'm in NYC because they can be a bit messy and time-consuming, but Mom LOVES them and doesn't live here. We omit the dipped-in-chocolate step.

Beef Stew - This is one of my favorite things to make, especially in winter, and it freezes/reheats really well, which is a must for a grad student. I don't really use this recipe anymore, I've managed to change it and make it my own, but I'm lazy and don't want to actually write up all the modifications...maybe the next time I make it, I'll keep track!

Nantucket Cranberry Pie - Don't let the title fool you on this one, it's more like a thick-topped crumble. Pile cranberries, chopped pecans, and a lot of sugar in a pie pan, then whip up a deliciously almond-y batter that bakes on top of the cranberries. So easy, so ridiculously delicious.

Roasted Vegetable Minestrone - I modified this recipe a bit since [personal profile] pedantic_wretch isn't a huge squash fan, so we only used one large zucchini and roasted two red bell peppers instead of yellow squash. We also added more green beans than it calls for, a bit more pasta, and at least 1C less broth (I like soups to be very chunky). But by and far the best call was using Trader Joe's fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles instead of regular diced tomatoes -- added a really great kick of flavor and turned this into perfect sick food, all the vitamins in the veggies PLUS it clears out your sinuses a bit!

Bretzel Rolls - Are they bread? Are they pretzels? Who cares, they're delicious! Especially with some of Trader Joe's sweet and spicy mustard...mmm!

Pancetta, White Bean, and Swiss Chard Pot Pies - Oh my god, these are the BEST THINGS EVER. Made them at home, considering buying ramekins for Avengers Tower so we can make them here too. I was skeptical at first about making my own pastry dough to top the pot pies but it turned out to be pretty manageable, provided you have a pastry blender.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette - The dish that taught me I loved butternut squash. I only wish it hadn't taken so long for me to figure that out!

The previous two recipes are both in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, which Avengers Tower owns and which I bought as a Christmas present for my parents. Made a couple of other recipes from there that aren't online, but which I will post titles of to tantalize you into buying it:

Gooey Cinnamon Squares - Think snickerdoodle meets cake meets cookie bar FROM HEAVEN. Felt a bit labor-intensive, but then, I made them without a stand mixer.

Buttered Popcorn Cookies - Yes, these are cookies that include popped popcorn. Perfect combo of salty and sweet, not time- or labor- intensive.

Rosemary Gruyere and Sea Salt Crisps - Basically a much classier version of Cheez-its, without the weird orange coloring that suggests they must be bad for you. I'm not much for gruyere but found that these work equally well with cheddar (sharp gives a better flavor, mild gives a better texture). The first batch I made was mostly consumed before they could even cool down -- and it's not like the batches are small!

So as you may or may not have noticed from all of this, I've turned into something of a cook! I mean, mostly as procrastination or relaxation, but I do love good food and I'm starting to believe that it's a thing I can actually make for myself. It helps that both the housemates enjoy it as much as I do! I always have willing sous-chefs or taste-testers. 


readingredhead: (Default)

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