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Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

Don’t thumbprint cookies just make you feel like a kid again?!  Pushing your thumb right through the center of a precise round ball of dough.  Kind of like spending a day building sand castles at the beach. You step back to admire all of your hard work and in comes your brother runining it all with one STOMP on the top!  Okay, I guess it was just karma for me knocking over all of his lincoln logs

Putting a thumbprint in these cookies will probably only “ruin” your own work, unless you have a sous chef.  But it makes way for so much other goodness in the center of the cookie – jam, lemon curd, chocolate – the possibilities are endless.

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Really, I hate lasagna.  Mainly due to the fact that I really hate ricotta cheese, yes to the point it makes me gag if I try to politely eat it at a dinner party.  I was that girl in college who ordered my calzones with only mozzarella – bread and mozzarella – delicious after all of the carbilious cold ones had gone down!

But with my affinity for red sauce, and getting out of the rut of having it with the raviolis from the grocery store (love these, especially the pumpkin ones with a little sage butter on top!) I thought it would be fab with my polenta squares from yesterday.  Or maybe just the chub of polenta you have in your pantry :(, you don’t know what you’re missing…

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The day after Saint Patrick’s Day ended with this…

Pretty good for starting off like this…

Guess she overdid it on the soda bread.  Regardless, if Lucy, my cat, were human, these whoopie pies would be the ultimate hangover cure.  A little bit sweet, a lot a bit chocolate and a little bit alcoholic to help take the edge off the splitting headache. (Okay I know they told us that wasn’t true in alcohol 101 – but I beg to differ!) 

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!!  Yesterday was my first day in partial retirement.  Well, really more like part-time work!  Not only do I get to work part-time, I also get to bake…I mean work, from home!  So what did I do on my first afternoon free?  I spent a few hours reading about food – blogs, articles, cookbooks.  And I no sooner dropped it all when I read an article from last year’s Bon Appetit Magazine, A Slice of Ireland.  Andrew McCarthy, the author, talks about his trip ’round Ireland in search of the perfect brown soda bread.  He transported me to Ireland guiding you through the chewy and spongy soda breads to the dry and crumbly.  I was intrigued by his discussion of traditional soda bread becoming increasingly difficult to find in Ireland due to the invasion of caraway and raisins into the dough.  And thinking back on all of the traditional Irish food I have had during my lifetime, I had never had traditional brown soda bread.  And in an effort to not be a green beer drinking american on Saint Patrick’s Day (I’m wearing my pink UConn sweatshirt) I did it up the traditional way…

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Chocolate Mint Shortbreads

With Saint Patrick’s Day right around the corner and the anticipation of the much awaited for Girl Scout cookies, Thin Mints have weighed heavily on my mind and stomach.  And the feeling became urgent when I discovered Cakespy’s Homemade Thin Mints on Serious Eats.  Thus the journey to the perfect minty cookie began last week in my kitchen and a mere two pounds of butter and much of the refrigerator space were consumed in the process!

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Whole Lemon Bars

Fruit desserts aren’t normally my thing, I normally spend my time chopping chocolate, which to me doesn’t seem as bad as juicing and zesting six lemons!  But when I saw David Lebovitz made lemon bars on his blog with whole lemons, I wasn’t convinced.  I wanted to be but really, you can’t use a whole lemon.  There is all that sour pithy stuff inside, which is why you literally deconstruct lemons without the pith for any “normal” lemon bar.

I did just happen to have two organic lemons sitting in the fridge and a snowy day.  Not to mention the brand new 14 cup Cuisinart just waiting to broken from her box.   And she completed her work so quietly and nonchalantly – grace not expected from such a large machine!  Watch out 2 and 3 cup Cuisinarts you may soon be voted off the (kitchen) island.  I can hear them chopping (very loudly) in their sleep.

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