You know how I roll: it’s 10 p.m. and crap, I forgot to make the cookies I promised the PTA I’d bring tomorrow for Teacher Appreciation Week or some such made up holiday. (Not that I don’t appreciate teachers, because I DO. Bless them. Thank you, teachers everywhere. But do I really have to make cookies at 10 p.m.?) (Don’t answer that.)
This has become my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen, a site that I like because I feel confident that Deb cares just as much as I do about food being very, very delicious. And these cookies fit the bill: they’re classic, chock-full of chocolate, and chewy with a crispy edge. What more can you ask of a cookie? Well, I’ll tell you the final way in which they’re perfect: they’re made with melted butter. If you, like me, never plan ahead to have softened butter waiting on your counter to make cookies, this will mean something to you. And if it means nothing to you, lucky you, just go ahead and love these cookies for their other charms.
It’s been much too long since we’ve had a pizza recipe on this site. Weeks! I hope that you’ve been carrying on with your weekly homemade pizza night–do you have one of those? If not, do you have another special meal that you serve on a regular basis?
Whether homemade pizza is an occasional or regular indulgence for you, here’s a recent favorite of mine. Roasty-toasty broccoli, creamy-salty feta, perfect saucy egg on top. You might have to work on the timing to get your egg cooked perfectly to your liking, but in my setup (long-preheated 550 oven, hot pizza stone, thin homemade crust) the egg is still just perfectly runny at the moment that my crust crisps up, after about 5 minutes in the oven. Now that’s good fast food.
A ripe pear is a beautiful thing. You can’t really improve on the experience of just eating the luscious thing with a napkin handy. We all know that.
But sometimes, maybe once a year, you might want to try something different. I’m not saying better, although I truly love this recipe–but different. I try to reserve a few perfect pears each year to bake, always stuffed with this sweet hazelnut butter.
The recipe comes from Deborah Madison’s Seasonal Fruit Desserts, not to be confused with Rustic Fruit Desserts, which I was lauding last week when I made my favorite Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger. (And I also have the fruit-heavy Chez Panisse Desserts book. This may be an unreasonable collection given that, in the end, my heart belongs to chocolate. But I digress.) I never have the hazelnut oil that the recipe calls for so I used walnut oil this time, and I didn’t have Frangelico so I used water. And even so, they were perfect: sweet and nutty, soft and crunchy, maybe even as good as a ripe pear alone.
I like breads that are quick to make and bake. A homemade bread can be assembled and baked in the time that it takes to toss together a pot of soup or a nice salad, and that small amount of additional effort brings so much to the meal.
Some yeast-leavened breads can be made quickly; I mean, check out this oaty little number. And the speed of a beer bread is hard to beat–just stir, dump, bake–but then, of course, it tastes like a beer bread. Enter soda bread, the dowdy but delicious ready-in-an-hour bread of choice in our house. Or ready-even-sooner if you follow the method I used to make these whole wheat soda bread rolls.
This rye version comes from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day, and it has many redeeming qualities. It’s made with lots of whole grain rye flour, which gives the bread a dark, attractive color, in addition to providing flavor and health benefits. More importantly, though, it truly is a stellar vehicle for the herby mash of dilled butter and goat cheese with which Swanson pairs the recipe in her book. Or, you know, just butter. Or soup. Like split pea soup. Or (what? It’s not raining anymore where you are?) a brothy springtime soup with fresh peas and asparagus.Continue reading Rye Soda Bread (click for recipe)
And last but not least, the readers’ favorite: Homemade Matzo with Olive Oil (but I’ll just be calling them “Spiced Flatbreads” until Passover rolls around again)
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Is it wrong to make cake two days in a row? My weekend was just kind of like that. Watch for some healthy salads in the coming days to balance things out! Well, maybe.
Yesterday’s rhubarb cake was inspired by the new produce of springtime, but today’s recipe is inspired by old produce: a bunch of browning bananas. I tend to throw them in the freezer and forget about them, but it was my turn to bring snack to the soccer game, so I figured I’d toss the bananas into some healthy muffins. Instead, I made these cupcakes–a happy accident.
See, the recipe comes from the Moosewood Simple Suppers book, and it features four ripe bananas, olive oil, and yogurt. Healthy, right? I somehow glossed over the amount of sugar until I was actually measuring it into the bowl. These are cupcakes, folks, plain and simple. And good ones! And quick to make.
The cream cheese frosting is optional and we enjoyed most of our cupcakes plain. If you do choose to make the frosting, though, the recipe gives you the option of dressing it up with a splash of coffee or a spoonful of cocoa powder, either of which would be a worthy compliment to the sweet banana flavor.
Remember when my backyard rhubarb was barely poking its head up through the ground? I was happy to see the first signs of spring, sure, and new life unfurling is always inspiring, yada yada, but really? I was excited because I was already thinking about this cake.
It’s sweet and light, with barely-tart shards of rhubarb nestled in every bite. It’s topped with a crystallized ginger crumb that gives it a bit of a coffee cake appearance, which lets you get away with serving it for breakfast. (I’ve never understood why topping a sugary cake with MORE sugar makes it into breakfast fare, but I’m not complaining.) It’s a family favorite.