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Dorie Greenspan
Meal Diary: Dinner - Chicken Tikka Masala with Grains
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Bored hath set in my kitchen, so away I went, to the ethnic foods aisle in the grocery store, which sorely lacks in Puerto Rican condiments and seasonings, but does contain some interesting Asian foods that seem interesting, albeit not exactly authentic.

Well, I found Tikka Masala sauce and got excited. I threw this together tonight and it was delicious and definitely not boring.

I browned 4 oz of chicken breast, cubed, added 1/4 cup of the Tikka Masala sauce, 1/2 cup of vegetable stock, and 1/6 cup of Near East Roasted Garlic flavor rice and bulgur wheat (this stuff actually comes in a box, but it was still good). A little Adobo thrown in there, a pinch salt and a long simmer until the grains were done and, yay! Dinner.

Calories: 315, Fat: 11 grams, Protein: 29 grams
posted by Rose @ 7:08 PM   0 comments
Meal Diary: Lunch - Chicken Sausage on Bread
Okay, so I pretty much don't eat sausage--at least not the non-veggie kind. Morningstar Farms makes an adequate veggie sausage and that works for me, except on the days that I want something, well, meatier.

Enter these new chicken sausages I picked up at the grocery store (I cringed, a little, getting produce from the store instead of the farmers market, but my choices were a little limited--at least I tried to get organic foods).

It was an easy lunch that I really savored. Cut the sausage in half, grill it up in a skillet, put it on a slice of Wonder Light bread and, easy-peasy, lunch!

Calories: 180, Fat: 7 grams, Protein: 17 grams
posted by Rose @ 7:03 PM   0 comments
Introducing the Meal Diary
Some days I eat some interesting stuff or put together a nice little combination. So I'll start blogging what I'm eating every now and again, as a meal diary.

I just think it'll be an interesting little addition to this blog.

Expect some more new topics around here...
posted by Rose @ 7:01 PM   0 comments
Cook the Book: Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
These made it into my Holiday Cookie boxes this year--it was one of the first recipes I bookmarked from this fantastic book.

It has been a man/boy pleaser from the start. It tastes a little like a milkshake, a little like a light brownie and don't think of using regular old grocery store chocolate for these. Honestly. Invest in some good bittersweet chocolate for a more grown-up taste. By the end of my holiday baking marathon, I was using bittersweet chips, but at the beginning I was chopping up Ghirardelli and Scharffenberger bittersweet chocolate bars.

You don't have to go as high end on the malted milk balls--Whoppers are fine, although I think you might consider buying these in bulk, because once you make a dozen of these, you're pretty much committing to making at least 10 more dozen.

The ingredient, oddly enough, that I had the most trouble finding was malted milk powder. I love the stuff, mostly because it's great for soda shoppe milkshakes at home. But once I went looking for it, I couldn't find it. Malted Ovaltine works fine, too, though, thank goodness. I did end up finding some for my last few batches.

This recipe is easy enough, a lot like making chocolate chip cookies. Have fun chopping up the malted milk balls--they will be easier to chop at room temperature because the chocolate coating is softer and doesn't allow the balls to roll around as much

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops
From Dorie Greenspan's
Baking: From My Home To Yours, page 85

Makes 30 cookies, but you can stretch it to make more


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup malted milk powder (or Ovaltine, regular malted or chocolate malt flavored)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups (6 ounces) chocolate covered malted milk balls (Dorie and I use Whoppers), coarsely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips or chunks

1. Position your oven racks to divide your oven into thirds and line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Dorie does not specify an oven temperature in this recipe, which I think is just an editorial oversight. I guessed 350 degrees and that worked perfectly.

2. Sift (or stir) together the flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until very smooth. I actually just hand mixed this and it was fine, not wanted to dirty my hand mixer a thousand times in my baking marathon--besides, I love hand mixing, so I can infuse a little extra love into the dough.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla (Dorie adds: Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled--it will even out when the dry ingredients are added).

5. Add half the dry ingredients, mixing until they just disappear in the wet ingredients (turn your mixer down low!). Add milk, mix, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Dorie says: The batter will look more like fudge frosting than cookie dough--and that's fine.

6. Add the malted milk balls and the chocolate chunks/chips, by hand.

7. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between spoonfuls. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and fron to back after 6 minutes. Please do this. It's a bit of a pain, but it works, because malted milk balls may burn when melted.

8. When done, the cookies will be puffed and set but slightly soft to the touch. Let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before using a wide metal spatula to transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.

9. Repeat with the rest of the dough, but let your pans cool first!

10. Hide from any men in your life (boyfriends, little cousins, uncles, dads, brothers, husbands, the mailman, neighbors, etc.) if you actually want to give these out or take them somewhere.

Any genius comments or recipe-writing is the sole ownership of Dorie Greenspan. The other stuff in italics is just me.
posted by Rose @ 5:47 AM   0 comments
Cook the Book: Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
Monday, December 03, 2007
After Thanksgiving I had canned pumpkin left in my cupboard and buttermilk in my fridge. The canned pumpkin was my back up, in case my roasted pumpkin didn't work out for pumpkin pie--but it worked out fine. The buttermilk was for the Cook's Illustrated Best Drop Biscuits, which I didn't make for Thanksgiving, but I did make later in the weekend. But buttermilk comes in such large quantities, I still had some.

So I went investigating into Dorie Greenspan's Baking book and found pumpkin muffins. And then realized that I have no muffin tins. None. How this happens in a fairly well-equipped kitchen (sans KitchenAid mixer and pastry cutter), I don't know. So I made pumpkin bread, instead. Now, in the cute photo, I have two loaves of the stuff, but in a repeat of the recipe, I made one and got a thicker loaf, which worked much better.

Pumpkin Bread
adapted from "Pumpkin Muffins" in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 13

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I didn't have this, so I just used ground nutmeg)
Pinch of ground allspice
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree (one 15 oz can renders enough for a double batch of this stuff)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup moist golden raisins (I only had regular, dried out purple raisins, but I soaked them in warm water for a few minutes and they plumped up nicely)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (pecans were left over from cornbread stuffing, so in they went)

About 1/3 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds, for topping (I skipped this because I didn't have it, but it looked delicious in the book).

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray loaf pan and center a rack in the oven.

2. What will we do with all those dry ingredients? Of course we'll whisk them together (that'd be the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices).

3. Beat (or hand-stir) the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until light and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add the pumpkin and buttermilk, stir.

4. Now add the dry ingredients a bit at a time and don't overmix.

5. Add the raisins and nuts.

6. Pour/spread into loaf pan.

7. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

8. Cool for a few minutes, remove from pan and let continue to cool.

Yummy warm from the oven or toasted and topped with a little cream cheese frosting, cream cheese being another ingredient left from Thanksgiving. Dorie's recipe for this, from "Bill's Big Carrot Cake" recipe (pages 254-255):

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound (3 3/4 cups) confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional and I didn't use it)

1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

2. Add sugar, beat until smooth.

3. Add the lemon juice.

4. Go ahead and add the coconut, if you must.

<--This photo is the dinner Lenny got the evening I baked the pumpkin bread (which I made in the morning). It's just plain scrambled egg, a piece of sausage I didn't use to stuff my onions for Thanksgiving, and two thick slices of pumpkin bread, toasted, with cream cheese frosting melting all over it like a glaze.

This bread got good reviews and has this amazing orange-mustard color when cut into. Without nuts and raisins, I baked up another round (making only one loaf) and served it for snack at my youth center, with the cream cheese frosting. It was demolished fairly quickly, although the kids hesitated at first--its color is pretty pronounced. But it has a nice texture and very wintry taste.

Now to get me some muffin tins...
posted by Rose @ 6:25 AM   0 comments
I'm Cooking This Book: Baking by Dorie Greenspan
Sunday, December 02, 2007
I have fallen in love with Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. It's a timely check-out from my public library, what with holiday cookie making around the corner.

I'm going to be posting recipes here, with this nifty little image. I am desperately head over heels for this book and I can't wait to share my forays into it.

I'll be adding a sidebar bit for it, as well.
posted by Rose @ 8:58 PM   0 comments
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