Tuesday, March 31, 2009

yeah, you were so good


As a younger woman, I would easily have destroyed the entire yield of this Caramelized Tofu recipe, even with the addition of 2 bundles of soba noodles. It was that good. However, as a someone who doesn't bounce back that quickly from overeating, and as someone who has to learn how to share now, this ended up being the perfect amount of dinner for both me and Matty.

I used extra-firm tofu which I sliced and then laid on a load of paper towels to drain slightly while I prepared the Brussels sprouts. While the water (salted and ginger powdered) was boiling for the soba, I sauteed the tofu in some sesame oil, and pretty much continued to follow the recipe to the letter.

After the noodles were done cooking, I drained them and tossed them with a little olive oil and a little fish sauce. I puffy heart fish sauce. I don't think it tastes/smells fishy at all (but then again, I did grow up with it). What it does do, is lend an amazingly complex, round taste that salt could never dream of doing.

I was glad to have the soba noodles to both provide texture contrast as well as ground the meal. And everything comes together in about the time it takes to make them, so why not add them? :)

This meal was very economical as well - I used half of a $1 block of tofu and half a pound of Brussels sprouts that came out to just over $0.50. The addition of soba noodles might bump up the cost a bit, but I only used half the package (and in this case, already had it in the pantry). Sesame oil is also a relatively pricey initial purchase, but a little goes a long way, and I don't use it very often - the bottle I have has lasted for at least a year.

All in all, I can't complain - full belly, full wallet (well, full for me, anyway) and full of happiness that I did my body good.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

want some of that sugar


I remember the days when I still had the energy to party-hop. Or even show-hop. I'd go to the early show, drive across town for the next one, hang out there and maybe even have a drink or seven before driving back home and repeating the next day. These days, I can hardly be bothered to leave the house, and two birthday parties mean not much else than cookie-baking madness that morning and maybe one itty-bitty whiskey.

Our good friends Brandon and Daisy were both celebrating their birthdays tonight, and I definitely had to represent because Matty was out of town.

I brought Bowling Brandon these delightful little Mocha Rounds. They were very quick to whip up, and after a couple hours in the fridge, were an absolute dream to slice through. I don't generally prefer my cookies crisp, so I was pretty generous with the slices and took them out of the oven a touch early.

They're not really super-decadent - probably extremely good with a cup of coffee, but to put them really over the top, I dipped them in melted dark chocolate. I hate melting and dipping things, but I felt it needed a little more oomph to be good enough for gifting.


Now these Coconut Cookies are an entirely different story. They are plain-looking and just of the simple slice-and-bake variety, but they may be my new favorite cookies ever. Even I'm surprised a non-chocolate cookie could gain that distinction.

The soft ones, sliced thickly and straight from the oven, were swoon-worthy. Absolutely to die for. Just perfectly rich and sweet and comforting. Even the crisp ones were amazing, with a strong taste of butter and the nice chew from the coconut. I used unsweetened coconut, and didn't feel like I missing any sugar. Those sticky packages of sweetened coconut kind of scare me anyway.

I couldn't stop myself from eating about a half-dozen "imperfect" ones before packing them away for Daisy's Double Quinceanera party.



I'm going to have to eat nothing but cardboard for the next month to make up for all of them, but I'd say they were well worth the punition.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

all i ever wanted


This Mushroom Casserole rocked my world. Ms. Heidi Swanson, I bow down to you.

Growing up, I didn't really have casseroles built around canned soup. I did have canned soup every now and again, though, and that was proof enough that there was no need to be finding new ways to include it at dinnertime. I'm also currently on a somewhat unrealistic, but quite serious, campaign to lose weight before the first wedding of the season at the end of May. Now, cottage cheese, sour cream and Parmesan may not be the first things that should be going into my mouth, but the low-fat versions of same are a step in the right direction. And the fact that no canned soup is required is another step. See, two steps in the right direction already!

My casserole turned out to be as much about the wild rice I used as it was about the mushrooms. You see, wild rice is not rice at all, but rather a North American marsh grass. Who knew? Not me. Thank goodness the packaging on the 3 cups of full-cooked wild rice told me so. It leant a great flavor and really cool texture to the dish.

I could have eaten the entire mixture pre-baking time. What? Totally like carbonara. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't because the baking filled my kitchen with some of the loveliest aromas it has ever known.

Next time I make this, I would love to add something green to it. I'm thinking kale, and I'm assuming I'll have to saute it down a bit first to prevent my casserole from turning into a soupy mess. I am also very fascinated by the fully-cooked freekah that's available at TJ's. I kind of want to eat it just because it's called "freekah," but it also looks mighty tasty.

Or, I might just make it exactly as I did this time. Because obviously, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.


EDIT: Okay, I just walked back into the house and the smell of happiness nearly floored me. If I didn't have to go to sleep right now, I would easily devour the entire casserole on my own. I suppose, though, that with Matty finally home from SXSW, I should share.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

i'm not the one you want


I hate cabbage. Even when the very life of my tongue depends on it at our favorite Thai restaurant, I will not go for the cabbage wedges on ice that the proprietors have so thoughtfully included in our spicy meal. Besides, it's much more fun to pretend Thai iced tea does the trick.

I kind of think it tastes like feet. When we were kids, there was this stuffed cabbage soup that I sort of enjoyed, but strangely enough, I started hating it as a got older. I think it mainly has to do with the fact that cabbage has started to only present itself as a secondary ingredient of over-mayo'ed coleslaws.

However, I am determined to conquer my food fears, and with Matty still on his way back from SXSW, I thought I'd experiment with my taste buds with this Okonomiyaki.

I grabbed a coleslaw mix of broccoli, carrots and cabbage from Fresh & Easy because I don't think they had whole cabbage heads. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that there actually wasn't that much green cabbage there - the green in the package was all shredded broccoli stems, and there were only a few shreds of red cabbage. I'm sure red cabbage tastes like feet, too, but I don't have very much experience with it, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

I also didn't realize until I got home that I forgot the leeks. Oh well. Funky coleslaw mix it was.

It turned out surprisingly tasty and particularly good with a nice slather of sour cream over it. If I were to make this again, I think I'd serve wedges of it alongside a main - it gets kind of monotonous eating it as an entree.

Unfortunately, it doesn't solve my cabbage problem - there wasn't enough in there. It was just broccoli and carrot bits, things I already know I like. Oh well. Still got another one for the repertoire.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

less is more


Yes, I did make green food last night in honor of St. Patrick's Day, but the photos came out of kind of gross, so I waited until today's lunch to debut this Spaghetti with Creamy Pea Sauce. Even got to add some extra green with a couple handfuls of spinach leaves.

I thought this was delicious. It tastes like peas, for obvious reasons. I used milk just to cut down on some fat, and I left the puree as is instead of straining it. If there's anything I hate more than having to wash the blender (which I already had to use in this recipe), it's washing a strainer. If I had to do both in one sitting, I might never cook again.

I think the next time I make this, I'll use whole-wheat or brown rice pasta, just to give it another dimension of flavor. Or maybe add some nuts. It could use something to balance out the sweetness of the peas. Obviously, that's what the prosciutto in the original recipe was for, but I think I can experiment with non-meat options. If I'm feeling particularly indulgent, I may go for the cream and the straining - it would definitely make for a better picture as the sauce more lovingly coats each piece of pasta. However, my hips don't have eyes to see no damn picture, but they definitely appreciate me subbing in for fewer calories when I can.

Monday, March 16, 2009

one more time


Ahi again? Oh yes. Poor us.

Matty went fishing once or twice while he was out in the Keys, and his parents FedEx'ed the bounty to us. I've bookmarked quite a few fish recipes, and will be happily pounding through all the tuna and the bit of mahi mahi that's currently residing in our freezer.

I can't imagine having ahi cooked all the way through, so we have these pieces a quick sear in some butter and pulled the Lemon Caper Sauce from "Two Dudes One Pan" via Leite's Culinaria. A quick roast of some skinny asparagus over some plain toasted orzo rounded out our meal.

Initially, I was a little hesitant about using the recipe since it called for a white fish. I didn't know how tuna would go with the pungent sauce. Turns out I worried for naught. It was delightful. The butter cut a lot of the lemon and capers' acidity, leaving just enough to provide surprising (as opposed to shocking) counterpoint.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

make it better


We had this salad while we were waiting for the Bacon Explosion to smoke. I guess the greens made us feel like we could offset the effects of the sausage.

It was delicious, and just enough to fill us up without overdoing it. (We saved the overdoing it for later). I think if I were making a dinner salad (as opposed to having this almost as an appetizer), I'd chunk up some jicama and avocados and toss them in with the greens.

Citrusy Ahi Tuna Salad
Serves 4

2 ahi tuna filets
sesame oil
salt + pepper
bag of mixed greens
1 grapefruit, supremed
2 blood oranges, sliced

For Dressing
1 shallot, sliced thinly
1 sprig of mint, minced
orange muscat champagne vinegar + olive oil

Combine all dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add olive oil and vinegar to taste. Add greens and toss to coat.

Heat sesame oil in small skillet. Salt and pepper both sides of the filets. Sear for about a minute on each side, or until it's done to your liking. (We prefer it to be cold in the middle). :)

Divide greens among 4 plates. Arrange tuna, grapefruit and orange in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing to you.

overkill


The Bacon Explosion. Given that those closest to me and I are such barbecue fiends, I'm very surprised that it took a New York Times article to bring it to my attention.

It is ridiculous. It should be called an Artery Explosion. But I kind of love it.

I couldn't find bulk Italian sausage, so we just took the casing off 2 pounds worth of regular sausage. Because I didn't want to contaminate another bowl, I put each link directly onto the bacon weave and kind of squished it all together. However, the links remained kind of separate on the bottom (the side against the bacon), so it proved messy to roll - the sausage blanket, if you will, broke up where every link used to be. Next time, I'll mash it all together in a bowl first to form a more uniform layer.

This is obviously not good for you. However, all things in moderation, right? You definitely feel every calorie and every gram of fat that a slice of this creation packs. I couldn't eat very much of it at all (just a small slice in a potato roll). And I feel bad enough about it that I'll be eating salads for the rest of the month (with small nibblings to finish up the rest of the log, of course). :)

let's put it all together


Will you forgive me that for Pi (3.14) Day, I don't bring you pie? How about a cake made of something you'd more likely find in pie?

You see, I fully intended on making a pie to celebrate today, but I didn't want to spend money on new ingredients, when I had perfectly lovely ingredients at home just begging to be used. Pretty little yellow key limes that Matty brought home for me from the Keys.

I really didn't want to make key lime pie. I had just made key lime cheesecake, and as good as it was, I didn't want something that lime-y again just yet.

Let's see...more lovely ingredients begging to be used...Oh yes. My friend Donna has a friend in Hawaii who has his own macadamia...grove? Orchard? Just farm? He grows macadamias. She knows I bake, so she brought me a Ziploc bag full. I still had about 3/4 cup left after whizzing some for the cheesecake pop topping, so I went searching for a key lime macadamia non-pie recipe.

And found Coconut and Lime Macadamia Nut Cake. Hell yeah. And it looks like pie.

Since 7 oz. of macadamias is supposed to equal about 1 1/2 cups, I used a leftover bag of walnuts to make up the remainder. I also don't think I had 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, so I just threw in whatever I had left.

The cake's a little fussy because you have to deal with the egg yolks and whites separately. The whites don't very easily fold into the yolk mixture, either since the yolk mixture is very thick. You just have to be patient with it so as to not deflate the whites.

I thought the effort was well worth it. The texture was very similar to that of the Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake. No surprise, really - made up mostly of not-so-finely ground nuts with a batter lightened by egg whites whipped to stiff peaks.

The lime flavor was in there (and obviously heightened by the addition of the lime glaze), but I felt the cake was more coconut-y than anything else. Maybe the combination of macadamias and walnuts somehow elevated the coconut flavor, even though I didn't have very much coconut in it at all.

The glaze was delicious. I mean what's not too like - a little lime juice with a LOT of sugar. Aesthetically speaking, I would have preferred a thicker glaze, but taste-wise, I think any more glaze would have overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the cake.

All in all, it was exactly what I was looking for - a delicious way to clean out the pantry.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

ch-ch-ch-changes


I really wish I had found this luscious pile of comfort food earlier in the winter. I would have had time to experiment with all kinds of variations. This variation was built upon necessity - Matty doesn't like chickpeas, and I couldn't find dried chorizo, although the idea of simmering it in apple cider endlessly fascinates me.

Then I found this amazing-looking jalapeno bread - it was braided, and very dense. It cut very cleanly. I'd compare it to a brioche, but with bite. I may be going back to TJ's soon just to grab some to just eat out of hand.

I absolutely loved everything about this dish. There was a good balance between soft, eggy pieces and crunchy, crouton-y pieces. I almost wish there was more black bean flavor, so I may add another can the next time, but for now, here's my take on bitchincamero's casserole:

Black Bean & Cilantro Sausage Casserole
serves a lot more than you think it will

olive oil
2 onions, chopped roughly (I sliced each half into 4 and then in half again - I wanted bigger onion pieces)
2 15-oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cilantro chicken sausages, cut into 1/2-inch slices (got mine in a 4-pack from TJ's)
one loaf of jalapeno bread, cubed (hurry it seems like a limited-edition item)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups cream (only to get rid of some I had in the fridge - I'd normally use lowfat milk)
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. pepperjack cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add black beans and sliced sausages and heat through. Add bread and stir. Pour out into a 13x9x2 pan.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and stock. Pour over bread mixture. Sprinkle grated cheese over.

Bake for 40 minutes or until casserole is set.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

pink - it's my new obsession


I'm really sensitive to caffeine. I never drink coffee. If I need a pick-me-up in the afternoon, I'll wander into the office kitchen and grab a Diet Coke.

Somehow, I got tricked into having some Vietnamese coffee after dinner last night. Right before Matty left for rehearsal. So here I was, wandering the Interweb all by myself with a nice case of the shakes. After I got bored of doing that, I posted on my Facebook status that "Ngoc can't decide if she should bake or go to bed."

Apparently, I surround myself with bad influences - a couple folks commented right away that I should obviously bake. So, I gathered my over-caffeinated self up and got to work and turned some very sad strawberries into Strawberry Cake. (I went on a health binge a couple weeks ago and overloaded on some fruit. These strawberries were shriveling up right next to equally shriveled peaches).

Now here I must echo almost everyone's sentiments on this cake. I've always wanted to make a strawberry cake, but did not want to fool around with any that involved a box of Jello powder. It just didn't seem right. I'm so very glad to have found this recipe, and hope to have an occasion to bake a pink cake for someone sometime soon. I can only imagine how dramatic a 3-layer pink cake would be. In yesterday's case, 45 mini cupcakes and 12 regular sized cupcakes accompanied by a caffeine overdose was enough drama for me.

It smelled like pure love baking up, and tasted so light and sweet. Even with the crap strawberries. I had some extra chocolate ganache in the fridge, so I decided to frost the little cakes, but I think I'll use white chocolate or cream cheese next time. The dark chocolate on this go-around overwhelmed the mini cakes (but were okay on the regular-sized cupcakes).

I think I shall try this with those poor languishing peaches. As soon as I finish eating 45 mini cupcakes and 12 regular sized cupcakes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

you have everything


As we try to keep things budget around here, you'll probably see a lot of carb-centric recipes. Blast them for being "bad" for you, but bless them for being oh-so-good on the wallet. I mean, I probably used less than 25 cents worth of the box of orzo I bought for last night's dinner.

This rice spaghetti package cost a little bit more than that, but I only used half the package for this recipe. Ground pork costs a bit less than ground beef, and I subbed in some frozen peas and corn that I already had in the freezer for the bell pepper strips. Everything else I already had - rare for a girl who makes near-daily trips to the grocery store (as opposed to stock-piling ingredients in the fridge and having to work around that) in order to feed her and her man's food whims.

Which leads us to Curried Pork Noodles. They're my favorite noodles to order in Chinese restaurants (where they're often called Singapore Noodles), and since part of budgeting means eating out less, it's nice to be able to recreate them at home.

And this recipe is as good as anything I've had at a restaurant. It's also a definite plus that the entire dish can be made in the amount of time it takes to boil water and make pasta. Especially tonight, since I had a limited time to make dinner between the time I got home and the time Matty had to leave for a rehearsal clear across town.

This meal is fairly virtuous, too. Look at all those vegetables, and I also used a very lean ground pork. Wow - a recipe that saves money, time and calories. What more could a girl possibly want?

Monday, March 9, 2009

creme de la crop


This photo of Orzo with Creamed Corn Sauce does not look awesome, but the dish still tasted pretty great. It looked delicious as I read the recipe from my September 2008 issue of Bon Appetit, but I wasn't really sure what I thought of it as it was cooking.

You see, I really hate the smell of warm milk. And that cream/corn mixture simmers for a little while. However, all doubts were cast off as Matty and I took our first couple of bites. And to think, I used frost-bitten frozen corn that had been in the freezer for heavens only knows how long (so, no cob to be simmering in the cream). Can't wait to make it again with fresh corn this summer.

The link provided above goes to La Vegan Loca, the first site that came up when I Googled the recipe to show to my friend Christina. Obviously, it's a vegan version, but it got me really excited about the idea of using coconut milk the next time I make this. Summer corn + coconut milk + pasta can not equal anything but pure love.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

you promise me heaven then put me to hell


Oh boy, you guys. These babies tasted as good as they looked.

Two major reasons for celebration today: having dinner with family for Dad's 65th birthday (he gets to retire this year)! And Matty is finally home from his Keys vacation. This has truly been the longest week in creation without him here. You'd think I'd get used to it after the years of touring. Nope.

So one of Matty's favorite things is a slice of chocolate-covered frozen key lime pie on a stick. If I had known he was going to be taste-testing various brands and FedEx'ing a case of his favorite in dry ice to my office next week, I might not have tried to ease him back to being in LA with these Key Lime Cheesecake Pops.

I was initially going to recreate the actual pie on a stick, but when I Googled it, all I found were reviews of East Coast outposts that sold it and references to the Cheesecake Pops from Stick, Chewy, Messy, Gooey (which I'm a proud owner of) that the Daring Bakers made back in April.

I couldn't really stand the thought of so much cream cheese and so many eggs in the original cheesecake recipe, and I didn't want to just add key lime juice to any old recipe and see what happened, so I'm glad I had bookmarked this Key Lime Cheesecake from Smitten Kitchen months ago.

The cheesecake itself is very straightforward. No water bath to mess with - just mix and bake. Since I was forming this into pops, I didn't bother with the crust. The cheesecake batter just went straight into a 9-inch cake pan. (I didn't use a springform pan - since I wasn't worried about getting neat slices out of the pan, I didn't want to risk a leak). I let it cool to room temperature and then popped it in the fridge to cool overnight. I'm actually surprised it made it to pops form because it smelled so heavenly - fresh, sunshiny lime with the faintest hint of vanilla behind it, it took all my willpower to not sneak a slice before I went to bed.

I started forming the pops in the morning, and let me tell you what a glorious mess that made. I made about 10 balls before I had to just give up and wash my hands to start with a clean slate. The 9-inch cheesecake yielded 20 pops with a generous scoop leftover - my breakfast of champions.

Since it was all so sticky, I wasn't really able to form smooth balls. I knew that I would have to add fancy toppings to save its appearance. As you can see from the photo, I covered white chocolate with macadamia nuts and sprinkles and covered dark chocolate with graham cracker crumbs and more sprinkles. The macadamia-topped ones were by far the best - the rich, sweet crunch contrasted wonderfully with the tart, creamy filling and the chocolate crunch. I was hoping for more flavor from the graham crackers, but I think I processed it too finely. Perhaps next time, I should leave bigger chunks.

They were a huge hit with the family, and you can bet Matty was thrilled. I don't know that I'd go through the trouble of making the pops again, but I am definitely already planning on making the cheesecake itself again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

all will be well


I love noodles. All kinds. Every kind. So much so that every time I eat noodles, I get the hiccups. My mother says you get them because you're swallowing too much air, i.e. you're eating too fast. It's entirely too late for me to be looking something like that up to see if it's rooted in science, but hey, it makes sense.

Now this photo might look like nothing more than a bowl of greasy noodles, but for me, it was an indication that something was finally going to go right for me today. (I guess I shouldn't be so dramatic - choir practice went pretty well). :)

I was just having such a crap day. The kind of day that requires chocolate just to get through. And 72% of my DV of saturated fat later (thanks Ritter chocolate bar), I was still almost too cranky to go to choir, even though it's usually the highlight of my week.

I'm glad I went, but that did mean that I didn't get to have dinner until 10p. I had leftovers galore, but I needed the therapy of cooking. (I also kind of needed to imagine that I was zesting someone's face while I zested the lemon for this Lemon Bucatini, inspired by Bitchin Camero. A little.)

The lively lemon smell was just about therapy enough. You can't stay cranky very long when pure sunshine is wafting all around the kitchen. I used 2 T. of butter, a splash of champagne and the zest of one lemon to 1/2 lb. of bucatini. Definitely salt the pasta water well and add more salt to the sauce, if necessary.

Dinner turned out to be just so simple and pure and solid. Very few and very basic ingredients, but ingredients that seemed so right for each other that their joining created something mightier. No frills, but still special. Here's hoping it's a metaphor for tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

lover-ly


I just had such a fun evening singing with my friend Kat that these Brown Butter Gingersnaps were almost an afterthought. We did manage to take a break to make ourselves vanilla Organic Rice Divine sundaes with a big ol' gingersnap on the side.

First of all, the Rice Divine could be its own post. Our friend Naomi turned me on to the carrot cake version first. As soon as we left her lovely presence, I had to detour to Whole Foods to pick up a carton. I ate almost half of it that night.

I originally had dreams of creating carrot cake rice cream sandwiches with the cookies, but Whole Foods would not be so kind to me this evening. They were out! So I had to settle for vanilla because none of the other flavors sounded complementary to the ginger cookies. "Settle" is the wrong word. It was amazing - very clear vanilla notes and no weird bean-y after taste like soy ice creams have.

And now on to the cookies. They are quite good. I had one warm out of the oven (with a little of the carrot cake ice cream) last night after I baked them, and the ginger notes really stand out. I didn't really notice the brown butter flavor, but I was happy enough with the aroma of the kitchen from browning the butter anyway.

A word to the wise, though - my cookies spread quite generously. Don't know if my batter was too close to room temperature. It's not a huge problem, but do leave plenty of space on your cookie sheet so you don't end up with non-round cookies.

Today, the cookie was still wonderfully chewy - a quality I greatly admire in a cookie. I left the batch with Kat and Brandon, but I'm kind of jonesing for more, so I may make another batch to take to my dad's birthday party this weekend.

Brown Butter Gingersnaps
from Nook & Pantry
makes 18 cookies

1/2 c. unsalted butter (1 stick)
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 t. ground ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. granulated sugar for coating

1. Put 6 T. of butter in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook the butter until the foaming and bubbling subsides and the solids start to brown, stirring occasionally. Take the butter off heat and continue to stir until the solids are an even brown. Add the remaining 2 T. of butter to stop the cooking. Set aside to cool.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt until evenly combined.

3. When the butter is cool, stir in the brown sugar, molasses, egg, and vanilla. Whisk to evenly combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix until no streaks of flour remain.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Chill the dough for 15 - 30ish minutes, or until you can handle it without the dough sticking too much to your hands.

5. In a shallow bowl, add roughly 1/4 C of granulated sugar.

6. Take roughly 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball. Then roll it in the bowl of sugar to cover. Place on baking sheet. Space the cookies 2 inches apart. You should get around 18 cookies. Flatten them with the bottom of a drinking glass until they are between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch thick. For chewy cookies, bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes, or until the edges are cooked but the center is still soft. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

twisted over you


Soft pretzels sounded good today. I don't know why. I'm not a huge pretzel fan - I find it to be more of a vehicle to get melted butter or spicy brown mustard into my mouth, and that's it. I wish I could say these pretzels changed my mind.

And maybe they would have, but I forgot to add the salt to the dough. Ugh. I skipped "salt" twice - once in the ingredients list, and once in the directions. I mean, really? Thank goodness I was liberal with sprinkling salt on top of the pretzels.

The ones I wrapped around turkey franks weren't too bad. Then again, I did kind of drown them in spicy brown.