Thursday, January 27

Peanut Butter & Honey Cookies

Two recipes in one week??!! This is a new one for us. But I promised you at least one a week for the remainder of the year, and I didn't hold up my end of the deal last week, so now you get two this week!


Remember that peanut flour I bought back in October? Well, after one or two attempts at incorporating it into my chocolate chip cookie recipe, the bag just sat on the shelf for a while. So the other day after stumbling upon it again I decided to come up with a cookie recipe that would highlight the flour in all of it's peanutty glory. These cookies were soft but not crumbly and not overwhelmingly sweet... exactly what I was looking for.



Peanut Butter & Honey Cookies


Ingredients:
1 cup peanut flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup honey

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine both flours, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and honey.
- One the mixture is smooth, beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Then mix the dry ingredients in slowly.
- Form the dough into balls and then squash them down into discs, press them with a fork if desired.
- Set cookies about 1" apart on a cookie sheet (these don't really spread, so you can keep them close to each other) and bake them for 10 minutes, or until their bottoms are a nice golden color.
- Let them cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, January 26

An (I've Made Some) Meatloaf Recipe!

Shawn has made meatloaf three times now, and if I may use a cliche term, the third time is definitely the charm. The first loaf was made with a mixture of ground turkey and beef, and although tasty, we didn't like the lean-ness of the turkey meat... it didn't hold up well in a meatloaf. The second loaf was all beef - that one was tasty too, but something was still missing. So when we stumbled upon a 'meatloaf mix' of ground beef, veal, and pork at our local farmer's market meat counter, we just couldn't resist.

We bought two pounds of meat with the intention of making burger patties with one pound and a meatloaf with the other pound... but that idea went out the window once we got home and decided that we'd rather just make one giant meatloaf and have leftovers to hold us over for the week.

And so, the spicy pepper & onion meatloaf was born.



Meatloaf


Ingredients:
1 cup of chopped sweet onion
1 cup of chopped bell peppers (we used red and yellow)
3 tablespoons butter
2 pounds ground meat (we used a mix of beef, pork and veal)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1/2 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon worcheshire sauce
a squirt of chili pepper sauce
about 1/8 cup combined spices of your choice (we used dried basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper)
3/4 cups bread crumbs

- Prepare all of your ingredients before you start anything. (It's just easier and makes putting the loaf together go much quicker.)
- Sweat the onions and peppers with the butter in a frying pan, you want to get them juicy so they add more flavor to the loaf.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your choice of spices with 2 eggs, ketchup, mustard, crushed garlic, worcheshire sauce, and chili pepper sauce. Once everything is well combined, mix in your meat, onions and peppers, and then the breadcrumbs.
- Shape your loaf - we bake ours on a cookie sheet, you can also bake it in a loaf pan if desired.
- Glaze the loaf - it's what keeps it moist! Shawn used a mixture of ketchup, mustard, salt, and worcheshire sauce which he kinda painted onto the loaf.
- Bake it at 350 degrees until it's done! (for us that was 25 minutes, pull it out for a re-glaze, and then bake for another 25 minutes).


All the ingredients you'll need.



Sweat your peppers and onions.



Mix your spices together.



Mix mix mix.



Make your glaze.



Glaze it up!



P.S. Any other ATHF fans think our 'meatball' looks like meatwad? :)


Here's the recipe for the buttermilk mashed potatoes pictured above too:

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes


Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper

- Boil the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes or so.
- Mash up the potatoes and stir in the butter and buttermilk; you can add more or less buttermilk depending on the consistency you're looking for.
- Season to taste.

Thursday, January 13

Fleur de Sel Caramels

If you follow the food blogging world at all you've probably seen this recipe (or variations) pop up pretty often in the past two or three months. It certainly intrigued me enough to try it when I first spotted it on Tastespotting. (ha ha ha, yes, I did.)



I think Shawn and I both feel pretty much the same about caramels... the store-bought ones are ok but not really worth spending money on, otherwise caramel is best as a sauce, and only lightly applied at that. But then I made these caramels and our opinions quickly changed as we gobbled them up, one right after the other, piece by piece, square after square, (ok, I think you get the point). And then we did it all over again when I made a 9" x 13" batch of them two weeks later! (Hey! I gave at least half of them away!) Seriously though, these are deliciously salty in such a sweet way, and the best part is - they don't even stick to your teeth!



Fleur de Sel Caramels

*You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe!*

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla x
1 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water

- Line an 8" square pan w/ parchment and butter liberally.
- Bring the cream, butter, vanilla extract, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan then remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil in a medium sized pot and let it keep boiling until the bubbles turn a light caramel color.
- Stir the cream mixture into the caramel and let it all simmer until the mixture reaches 248 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring often.
- Pour the caramel into your prepared pan and let it cool down on the counter for about 20 minutes, then sprinkle some fleur de sel on top and let the caramel cool completely.
- Once cool, cut into 1" pieces and wrap each piece in wax paper squares (4"x4").
- Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 5

It's already 5 days into 2011?!

First of all, Happy New Year, faithful readers! Albeit already being a few days into it, but a happy start none the less.



Since we like to change the blog's look fairly often, I figured it was time for a new layout - the winter theme was nice, but the santa hats and mistletoe were no longer in season, so our first layout of the new year pays tribute to the 70's. Shawn wanted a 60s/70s couch type of look, and I think that has been achieved.



We brought in the new year with some tasty spicy tilapia and season 3 of 30 Rock (which we've really been into as of late). A nice relaxing New Years eve at home on the couch was an enjoyable contrast to my last two new years eves spent working in a pastry kitchen. Shawn and I actually got to kiss at midnight! Cliche, but enjoyable regardless. Once midnight hit and our neighbors finished setting off sparklers in the courtyard, we called it a night. (Geez, we're like an old couple already!) I had work at 8am though so a late night was not in the cards.



Neither one of us is really into making resolutions, but I definitely have a few goals I'd like to focus on this year... new habits I'd like to form, if anything.

In terms of the blog, I'd really like to start posting at least one recipe a week. We make so many tasty things that I hardly have time to keep up with it all! Recipes I keep intending to post get lost in a shuffle of other pages of recipes... and thus our blog is left fairly devoid of recipes, despite our 9 month trek into the blog-o-sphere. If I can kick it into gear, we could have 52+ recipes on here by the end of the year!

Another thing I'd like to do is start bringing lunch with me to work. I work in a coffee shop and although we do sell bagels and panini sandwiches, those aren't the types of foods that are going to keep me alert and energized throughout my 8-hour work day. Shawn and I eat a lot of bread and cheese throughout the week already, and I'd really like to bring more fruits and veggies and 'whole' foods to snack on when I'm not at home. Just because Shawn doesn't enjoy munching on leafy greens and root vegetables, doesn't mean I can't prepare a salad of them for myself to bring to work!

I'd also like to play around with more bread-making! I'm not quite sure what 2011 has in store for us, but I'm excited to see what I can do with it.

(30 Rock image courtesy of Yahoo TV)


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