Friday, October 30, 2009

Smoked Mozzarella Fondue

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When we go to Olive Garden (never. Brian hates it. HATES it. He's so picky.) I always drool over the smoked mozzarella fonduta appetizer. Then one day, back in the I Suck At This Cooking Stuff days, I wandered online to search for a recipe. It's melted cheese. It couldn't be that complicated to make, right?

Right! This is such a fast recipe to throw together. The most time-consuming part is grating the cheese.

Sidebar: I have a confession. I loathe grating cheese. For some reason, I'm very, very slow at it and it takes me half the time of preparing and cooking a dish to grate the dang cheese.

Just a suggestion- if at all possible, purchase slightly more of the smoked cheese than you need. If you're anything like us, you'll end up eating half of it while it's being grated, then you'll need to go buy more for the actual fondue. Not that I've ever done that....

Smoked Mozzarella Fondue
print this recipe

Ingredients:
3 C shredded smoked mozzarella cheese*
3 C shredded provolone cheese*
1 C sour cream
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
3 T. grated romano cheese
3 T. grated parmesan cheese
diced roma tomatoes and chopped fresh parsley for garnishing, if desired. I leave these out
1 loaf Italian or French bread, sliced into pieces. I prefer them a bit thicker- 1/2 inch or so

* Note: You can use either smoked mozzarella or smoked provolone, but just use one of the cheese smoked. Otherwise the flavor gets a bit overwhelming.

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 450°.

Grate the cheese and set in a large bowl. Mix together the mozzarella, provolone, sour cream and spices until well combined.

Lightly oil a 9x9 glass pan. Pour the cheese mixture into the pan and bake for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the bread into 1/4 inch thick slices (or however thick you'd prefer). Set them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Add the bread into the oven and bake both the fondue and bread for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly bubbly on the edges and the bread is toasted.

Garnish with tomato & parsley and serve. (I skip the garnish)

Source: Unsure. I believe I got the recipe straight from Olive Garden's website a few years ago.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chicken noodle soup

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It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing colors, the temperatures are dropping. And the cold and flu season is upon us. Just ask my 4 month old, Madeline. Thankfully, just in time for this nasty illness season, I discovered this recipe for chicken noodle soup- the age old Mom Cure for ailments :)

I found this actually freezes nicely, but you wouldn't want the noodles to be too squashy when you freeze them. The first time around the noodles were a bit more al dente than I would have prefered but after freezing and reheating they were perfect!

Ingredients:
2 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (I used leftovers from whole roasting chickens)
olive oil
kosher salt
ground black pepper
2 quarts chicken stock
1 C medium-diced celery
1 C medium-diced carrots
2 C wide egg noodles
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Coat the chicken with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until no longer pink in the center. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Once the chicken is cooled enough to handle, remove the bones and skin and cut up or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces (or whatever size you desire in your soup).

In a large soup pot, simmer the chicken stock, adding the carrots, celery and noodles. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are completely cooked. Add in the chicken and parsley and simmer until fully heated. Serve.

Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chicken Piccata

This recipe comes from another of my ridiculous library book stack. I'd been going through the cookbooks and marking pages with sticky notes and I actually bypassed this one. Brian's always telling me that he doesn't like lemon, so a chicken flavored with lemon would be something he'd NEVER want to try. Just like he hates baked eggs. No frittatas or Quiche for us!

Then a few days later I was watching clips of Food Network shows online (oh, if I only had cable and watch the whole thing!) and a clip of Ina making this recipe came on. Brian walked by and said "Wow, what is THAT?!" I slyly said "Chicken piccata" and left it at that. He sat for a moment and said "you should try it". OK! Bwah ha ha.

I did end up telling him ahead of time that there was lemon in this chicken, and he agreed to at least try it. After his first tentative bite, he loved it. In fact, he ended up taking the leftovers cold the next day for lunch (and said it was even better than the night before. We're such leftovers people). So, the lemon recipe was a success. Now if I could only get the man to try a frittata.

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Chicken Piccataprint this recipe

Ingredients:
2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
Good olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
Sliced lemon, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 400°.

Pound the chicken breasts to about ¼ inch thickness. Coat lightly with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl mix together the flour, ½ t. salt and ¼ t. of pepper.

In another small bowl beat the egg with ½ T. of water.

Pour the breadcrumbs into a 3rd small bowl.

Dip the chicken into the flour and coat, dip into the egg mixture, then coat with the breadcrumbs.

Heat the 1 T. olive oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the chicken until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan in the oven for about 10 minutes to continue to warm/cook while preparing the sauce.

Wipe the pan clean, then melt the butter. Add in the wine, lemon juice, lemon halves, ½ t. of salt and ¼ t. of pepper. Bring this to a boil, then lower to a simmer for about 2 minutes, until the sauce is thick and reduced to about half. Add in the last 2 T. of butter and mix until it's melted and blended in. Discard the lemon halves.

Remove the chicken from the oven pans, drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with the parsley and serve. Garnish with additional lemon slices if desired.

Source: Barefoot Contessa at Home, by Ina Garten

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bacon-Wrapped Herbed Venison

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At the rate we're going, Brian's venison is going to be gone before bow season even ends! This was our 2nd attempt at a new venison recipe and, sadly, I can take very little credit for this. The entire concept was Brian's (which I believe he adapted from his brother). Kudos, men. It was fabulous. The only change I made to Brian's concoction was to add the thyme and pepper. And, in case you were wondering, this was even better cold the next day!

Ingredients:
1 ½ venison backstrap (or any kind of steak)
½ lb bacon
kosher salt
pepper
thyme

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 350°.

Lightly salt and pepper the venison. Wrap the bacon strips around each piece of venison steak and secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle with a touch more ground pepper and a dash of thyme.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until just slightly pink in the middle (or longer for a more well-done steak).

Source: Original Brian recipe, adapted from a concept by my brother-in-law.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sweet Potato Leek Soup with Turkey Kielbasa

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Colored for Halloween, flavored for fall! I loved this soup (especially the kielbasa & sweet potato flavor combined). Next time around I'm going to make a few tweeks- I think I might actually do less of the leeks since they overpowered the sweet potato flavor I love so much- but overall this was a perfect fall soup. Thick and hearty!

 Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 1 pound turkey kielbasa, chopped into medium dice
4 medium leeks, roots removed, white and light green parts roughly chopped and thoroughly cleaned of all grit (dark green parts discarded)
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
A couple dashes hot sauce
A pinch nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, divided
5 leftover sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Sour cream, low-fat or regular, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Pour olive oil into a soup pot. Heat over medium-heat, then brown the chopped kielbasa until it is slightly browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.

Add the chopped leeks, thyme and garlic, hot sauce, nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until the leeks are tender.

Transfer the leek mixture to a food processor and blend with 2 cups of chicken broth and blend until smooth. Add in the sweet potatoes and more chicken broth and continue to puree, adding more broth as needed. You may need to do this in batches (I had to and my processor is huge). Transfer everything back into the stock pot, bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for a few minutes.

Transfer to bowls, top with kielbasa and sour cream.

Source: Rachel Ray

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cranberry Turkey Ring

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Thanksgiving. A time of year to celebrate and be grateful for the family and loved ones you hold dear. A time to reflect on all of the things you're thankful for. A time to buy the biggest, fattest turkey you can find, as to feed the army of people coming through your front door!

But what happens when everyone's left, the Thanksgiving dust has cleared and you're left with, oh, 12 lbs of turkey still waiting to be eaten? You make Turkey Ring of course!

I love this recipe since it's so easy and it uses up that leftover turkey everyone's looking to be rid of. This time around I just baked turkey breast filets since they're what I had, but it works equally well with thawed out, frozen turkey leftovers. I think I'll also add some dried cherries to the mix next time to add a smidge of sweetness.

Cranberry Turkey Ring
print this recipe

Ingredients:
2 packages (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
½ Cup Mayo
2 T. honey Dijon mustard
½ tsp coarsely ground pepper
2 Cup (12 oz) Chopped turkey
½ Cup sliced celery
3 T. fresh parsley
½ Cup sweetened dried cranberries (and a smidge of dried cherries)
1 Cup (4 oz) Swiss cheese
¼ Cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 egg

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 375°

Unroll the crescent roll container and separate the rolls. Place 8 of the triangles in a ring, wide edge of the triangle facing inward, around a circular baking stone with the corners touching. The points of the triangle will hang off the edge of the stone a bit.

Arrange the additional 8 triangles in the center of the ring, seaming wide and to wide end, points inward. Do not seam the sides of the inside triangles, only the wide ends.

In a medium sized bowl mix together the mustard, mayo and pepper. Chop the turkey, celery & parsley and blend in with the mayo-mixture. Grate the cheese and mix in as well.

The original recipe calls to add the walnuts after the mixture is on top of the crescent rolls but I prefer to add it right into the mix.

Scoop the turkey mix onto the center of the wide-end seams. Fold the tips of the crescent roll triangles over each other to make a wreath and seal together. When you're done the crescent rolls should cover the turkey mix completely. Seam together the edges.

In a small bowl, separate the egg white and discard the egg yolk. Beat the egg while, then brush on to the top of the ring.

Bake for 25- 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Source: Pampered Chef via my mother-in-law

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coffee Ice cream

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A few miles from my house we have an amazing ice cream shop. But not just any ice cream shop. It's the ice cream shop that won Best Ice Cream Shop on Good Morning, America last year. So, as you can imagine, it's got some daaang good ice cream. Being that it's only a few minutes from our house we go there pretty often during the summer.
Then, about a year ago, Brian bought me the kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment and I could make that delectable ice cream at home! I had some success last year with cinnamon ice cream and chocolate ice cream. Then over the summer I bought The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and discovered that the ice cream recipes in this book- and this coffee ice cream in particular- were as good if not better than the ice cream shop options!

This coffee ice cream is my absolute favorite ice cream I've ever had. It helps that I use a local grass-fed, organic dairy's cream. It's fresh and not homogenized, and ultra creamy. it makes the best ice cream (I've done extensive studies. :) ) and I like that I can make it decaf since I am sensitive to caffeine. This is one ice cream that I pretty much always have in the freezer.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole coffee or espresso beans (I use Starbucks decaf espresso beans)
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee

Directions:
In a medium sauce pan heat the milk, whole coffee beans, salt and ½C of the cream until warmed (but not boiling), then cover and set aside to steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Pour the rest of the cream into a bowl and set a fine mesh strainer over the top of the bowl.

Re-heat the coffee bean/milk mixture until warm again. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl beat the egg yolks. Pour the coffee bean mix into the egg bowl. Stir constantly or you'll end up with scrambled eggs. Scrape everything back into the sauce pan and continue to heat, stirring constantly until the cream coats your spatula well.

Pour custard through the strainer into the cream, then press the coffee beans well to extract all of the coffee flavor possible. Discard the beans and mix the vanilla and ground coffee into the custard.

Place the mixture in an ice bath until cooled, then refrigerate until chilled completely. Transfer to your ice cream maker and freeze according to the ice cream maker instructions.

I personally prefer to eat the ice cream directly out of the maker- it's like a slushy coffee milk shake (as shown above in the photo) but this does harden up to a thick, creamy solid ice cream after just a few short hours. Enjoy!

Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

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Ahhh, the cinnamon roll. I actually made these little babies back in May, but have taken my sweet old time to add them to the blog. I don't think I need to tell you that they were amazing. However, the icing recipe that was listed in the original was not my favorite. It tasted, to me, like eating straight powdered sugar. Bleh. So, if you have a great icing recipe, please share!


My instructions are for the cinnamon rolls, but the recipe in the book also includes sticky buns with a caramel glaze that I'll be making very soon.


To make the rolls


Ingredients:



6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter or margarine (I prefer shortening)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon extract OR 1 teaspoon grated zest of 1 lemon
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast (the original recipe doesn't recommend using active dry yeast since it doesn't have as many living cells)
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature OR 3 tablespoons powdered milk and 1 cup water (I did whole milk but next time I'm going with buttermilk for sure)


For the filling
6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
walnuts, pecans, raisins or any other filler you'd like- I left these out this time

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream together the shortening, salt and sugar using the paddle attachment. Mix in the egg and lemon extract/zest until well blended and smooth.

Add in the yeast, flour and milk to the bowl and mix until well combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead until smooth and tacky. Add more flour if the dough is still sticky.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough ball in and roll it around to coat lightly with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 2 hours. The dough will roughly double in volume.

Transfer the dough to an oiled countertop and roll out with a rolling pin, lightly dusted with flour until it is a 12x14 inch rectangle, about 2/3 inch thick.

Sprinkle the cinnamon & sugar, along with any fillings you'd like, on the dough (make sure comes all the way to the ends. A few of mine were blah because there was almost no filling on the ends! also, next time I'll make sure to use ALL the cinnamon/sugar mix. It looked like a lot when I was doing it so I left some out. Don't do that. Trust me on this. Now's not the time to diet)

Roll up the dough into a spiral log, then with the seam side down, slice the log into 8-12 rolls, about 1 3/4 inches thick, then place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place the buns about 1/2 an inch apart and make sure they aren't touching.

Proof the buns at room temperature for 75-90 minutes or until the rolls have doubled in size. You can also put them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just pull them out of the fridge 3-4 hours prior to baking so they can warm and proof.

Pre-heat the oven to 350° with the oven rack set to the middle level. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before glazing with the icing.  Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes.

For the white fondant icing

Ingredients:
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon or orange extract
6 tbsp. to ½ cup warm milk

Directions:
Sift the powdered sugar over a bowl. Pour in the lemon/orange extract. Starting with 6 tablespoons, slowly add in the warm milk while mixing, adding up to 1/2 C, making a smooth and thick paste.

Using a fork drizzle the icing over the top of the warm buns.

Source: The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Venison Stew

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Every year when fall rolls around, Brian heads out to his family's cabin for deer hunting. For the last several years when he's shot one we end up cooking the venison in the same way- pan fried in olive oil, covered in saltines and egg. It's amazing, but sometimes a girl needs a little variety in her dinner, right?

This year, I convinced Brian to let me try a few new things with the venison he gets. We'll still make our old, delicious standby, but I had some recipe ideas that were begging to be made. The first one he's agreed to is this venison stew.

The beauty of this recipe is that it was made in the crock pot. I love when I can throw things in a crock pot, work all day and come home to a fully cooked meal. You just can't beat that. Thankfully, Brian loved this and is already agreeing to try some of my other recipes in the coming weeks.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs venison steaks, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
3 T. flour
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 t. basil (NOTE: the seasonings are an estimation as I eyeballed it instead of measuring)
1 t. thyme
1 t. onion powder
1 t. oregano
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 C red wine
2 C beef broth
2-3 drops hot sauce (I used Louisiana hot sauce and was a bit heavy handed with it- I did much more than 2-3 drops and it was HOT! but really good)

Directions:

Place the venison in a gallon-sized ziplock bag and cover with flour, salt and pepper. Toss until well coated, then place in the crock pot.

Add in the veggies and the rest of the spices, then the wine and broth. Mix until evenly dispersed.

Cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Just prior to serving, mix in the hot sauce.

Source: A Laura's Recipe Collection original

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken

Ok. I have a bad Foodie confession. Are you ready to mock me? I have a ridiculous fear of raw meat. It's bad. Every time I make something involving a meat product, I have to have Brian clean it and cut it up for me. The only time I can make an exception to this is when handling ground beef. I can make meatballs using ground pork sausage and ground beef, and that's about it. Everything else skeeves me out so much that I go into the other room until Brian's done cutting.

As I'm sure you can imagine, this poses a few problems. For one, my husband is an avid hunter. When he brings home the deer he's shot, he has to cut it up and get rid of the nasty, disgusting parts... I mean the non-meat stuff. This involves him usually throwing a whole deer leg or shoulder on my nice clean kitchen table (he covers it first! and cleans it thoroughly!). And that leads to me wanting to freak out irrationally and faint.

The other problem being, well, the ridiculousness of it. I love to cook. Hello, this should be something I can handle!

Enter: The dreaded chicken! I've only made a whole chicken once before with somewhat disastrous results. It was dry, bland and just  not good.

A few weeks ago I was online late-ish at night and wandered to my local library website. You can search through the books they have and reserve copies. Well, I happened to find that the library carried a whole TON of cookbooks that I've been coveting for a while, so click, click, click- I had cookbooks held for me! The next morning I got up and checked my email and had 14 emails from the library stating my books were ready! Oh my gosh. I'd reserved 14 cookbooks! Ha ha!

So off I went to pick them all up. Turns out each cookbook was a) hardcover and b) heavy and enormous (or I'm a wuss. You be the judge). I walked out with a stack of cookbooks that I couldn't see over and the minute I got home, started marking the pages of recipes that I wanted to try. (In a few of them, I only left 2-3 pages unmarked. I best get cooking!) One of the very first I came across was this recipe for Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken. It looked so good in the cookbook! It looked so tasty! I couldn't wait to make it! Oh Brian! I need your help!

But then, the unthinkable happened. (Dun dun dunnnn) Brian decided that "as a cook, you have to know how to do this stuff, even if it's gross or hard. If you ever want to get better you have to be able to tackle this sort of thing". What does he know, anyway!?

Well, crap. So here I was with a raw chicken, still in the package, sitting on my counter top and the oven heated and waiting to go. I took a deep breath and cut the packing off. Then I gingerly picked out the giblets and reached to pick up the chicken to rinse it. As soon as my hands grasped around the middle, I shreaked and dropped it in the sink. OMG that is GROSS!

I'll spare you the rest of the boring details (having already inundated you with boring details so far) and suffice it to say I powered through (while saying aloud POWER THROUGH, LAURA! POWER THROUGH! despite my husband's teasing) and finished the chickens. Yes chickens. I ended up doing 2 at once (which, sidebar: two chickens at once takes about 20 years to finish cooking. Dinner was at 9pm that night)

I'm happy to say that not only did I POWER THROUGH, LAURA! POWER THROUGH! but that the chicken turned out amazing. So juicy, so flavorful. It was better than I'd even dreamed. This will definitely be a returning meal in our house. Despite the raw-meat handling it requires.

[caption id="attachment_590" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="I'm so sorry for the hideous photograph. Like I said, dinner was at 9pm that night and we were starved!"]012[/caption]

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges ( I skipped this)
Olive oil

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 425°.  Remove the giblets from the chicken and set them aside. Rinse the chicken and remove any feathers, then pat dry with a paper towel.

Salt the inside and outside of the chicken, then stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and bunch of thyme. Tie the legs of the chicken together with twine and tuck the wings up underneath the chicken.

Butter the outside of the chicken and again coat with salt and pepper.

Coat the veggies with the olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme, then place the in the bottom of the roasting pan and put the chicken on top.

Cook the chicken for about 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear. Remove the chicken and veggies and place them on a platter and cover with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Serve!

Source: The Barefoot Contessa Cookboook, Ina Garten

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Buttery & Delicious Peanut Butter Cookies

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When I was growing up, my mom would often make cookies (She still does, in fact) and I have vivid memories of walking in the front door and smelling peanut butter cookies baking (odd, since she made chocolate chip considerably more often). More often than not, my mom would surprise me with a little dough ball she'd wrapped and put in the fridge. Because, you know, peanut butter cookie dough is one of the best things EVER.

So, these cookies started off on the right foot when I was mid-way through rolling one of the balls and I hear Brian behind me saying class="mceItemHidden"> "Mmmm. Mmmm this dough is amazing. Best peanut butter cookie dough ever." After he proceeded to eat, oh, a million cookies-worth of dough I baked the rest, then burned my mouth eating one of the cookies almost-directly from the oven. Totally worth it, too. :)

Ingredients:
1¾ all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup vegetable shortening
1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
Granulated sugar, for rolling cookies

Pre-heat the oven to 375° then prepare the baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda, then set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth, then beat in the egg.

With the mixer speed on low, slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined.

Roll each scoop of dough into a ball, then roll around in the granulated sugar in a bowl. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue until the cookie sheet is full, then using a fork, make the criss-cross pattern on each cookie.

Bake for 7-8 minutes until the cookies are just starting to brown. Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire cooling rack. Avoid burning mouth by waiting until cookies are more cool before taking a huge bite. Not that I know this from experience or anything... :)

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Monday, October 12, 2009

Panera's French Onion Soup- revisited



I've had this recipe on my blog since near-inception, however I had just copied and pasted the original recipe. I felt the recipe deserves a re-introduction on here! This soup is remarkably easy to prepare and is relatively quick. It's the ultimate in comfort food! We felt it was a great way to welcome the autumn season.

Panera Bread's French Onion Soup
print this recipe


Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
4 medium yellow onions, sliced
2 cans (14 oz each) beef broth
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 drops Tabasco sauce
Focaccia (or other bread, for croutons)
shaved Asiago Cheese (We usually just use swiss)

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan, then add the onions. Saute over medium heat until the onions are soft and slightly browned.

Pour in the remaining ingredients into the pot and stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes, uncovered.

To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 425*.
Slice the bread into 3/4 inch slices. Butter each side of the slice, then cut into cubes.

Bake the cubes for 15 minutes or until they are browned and crispy.

Once soup has simmered and croutons are done, top with shaved cheese and serve.

Source: Original source unknown