Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year


Since the holidays are almost over, I am ready to start my healthy(ier) eating & exercise.  Lord knows that the last two weeks have been fabulous.  Between my mother & my mother-in-law, there has been a plethora of amazing food & leftovers, but I am feeling a bit glutinous.  Not to mention that at work, we have had a never-ending supply of chocolate, popcorn & nuts to munch on.  Although I tried to stay away from all the goodies, once the Cheryl & Co cookies (
http://cherylandco.com/) were delivered, it was all downhill after that.  These things are amazing....

Cheryl & Co's mission statement: Our mission is to be the best gourmet food and gift company, ever.  They aren't kidding!  These individually wrapped cookies are soft & you won't taste any artificial ingredients.  They bake from scratch.  They usually offer free shipping on a lot of selections and their prices are really great!  You get a lot of stuff in each gift.  Their frosted buttercream are so delicious, but they also have decadent flavors like Chocolate Peppermint, Cinnamon Pumpkin, Chocolate Buttercream Chip, Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter (yum!), and then more traditional: Chocolate Chip, Macadamia White Chip, Snickerdoodle, & Oatmeal Raisin.  And they are not all cookies- they also have stuff like: Oatmeal Scotchie Brownie's, Chocolate Pretzels, Lemon Cake, Cheryl's Oh's (cookie sandwiches!), etc.

Oh yeah, but this blog was supposed to be about being healthy...guess I got a little carried away with those darn Cheryl's cookies.

Maybe later.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate on Sale


Williams Sonoma has their hot chocolate on sale! 














This is my favorite, and this is a very good price!

You'll find many other items on sale online & also in stores tomorrow.

Cookie Time!















Sabl├ęs au Citron
(from Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan)
(makes 50 cookies) - These buttery, lemon cookies melt in your mouth!

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar (measured then sifted)
2 large egg yolks (divided use: 1 for dough, 1 for coating)
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-4 tsp finely grated lemon zest (to taste)
2 cups all purpose flour
approximately 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for coating)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth, add the confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in 1 egg yolk, followed by salt, vanilla and lemon zest. 

On low speed, add the flour and mix just until flour is incorporated. 

Turn dough out onto a counter, gather dough into a ball, divide in half, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill dough for 30 minutes in refrigerator.

Form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. (If the diameter is right, the length you end up with is fine. Mine are usually about 6 inches long.) Wrap logs in plastic wrap and chill dough for 2 hours in refrigerator. (Dough logs can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in freezer for up to 1 month.)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

If you are coating your cookies with sugar, whisk the remaining egg yolk until it's smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Spread granulated sugar out on a piece of waxed paper. One log at a time, unwrap your chilled dough log and brush lightly with the egg yolk. Roll the log in sugar, pressing gently to help the sugar stick. 

Slice each log into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Place on baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch between the cookies. 

Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes until they are set but not browned. (It's okay if the yolk-sugar edges brown slightly.) Transfer cookies to cooling rack. 

Notes: 
You can use a different citrus zest in this recipe. 
Definitely give the dough logs the 2 hour rest in the refrigerator. 
It's optional to coat the edges in sugar

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mushroom Panini

We made tasty Mushroom Panini sandwiches tonight.  We used sliced Portobello mushrooms and rather than provolone or swiss cheese, we used a Mexican Queso melting cheese for something a little different.  I found a crusty sourdough bread & spread melted butter with a little salt & pepper on the outside of the bread.

I made an olive tapenade (see below), layered the cheese & roasted portobello mushrooms (see below), and made our panini's.  Yum!  The cheese & olives together with the mushrooms were nice & salty, and roasted portobello's have such a nice meaty flavor.

Roasted Portobello's:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms (or a package of sliced portobello's)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
Brush portobello mushrooms with a brush or paper towel removing any dirt.
Drizzle or brush olive oil over both sides of the mushrooms.
Sprinkle salt & pepper on both sides.
Roast for 7-10 minutes (flipping once) until al dente (sides will begin to curl).

Olive Tapenade (you can add or subtract any of your favorite ingredients):

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 20 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (you can always use black, green or a mixed variety)
  • 1 Tbsp rinsed, drained, and chopped capers
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients- chop or throw into a food processor to combine. Mix well. Refrigerate and use within two weeks. Use as a spread for sandwiches, paninis, muffaletta or as a condiment.  

Yield: about 1 cup