Pistachio Meringues with Rose Cream

Pistachio Meringues with Rose Cream

Merigues 004 614x410 Pistachio Meringues with Rose Cream

Pistachio Meringues with Rose Cream

This is the first time I have made meringues and they were surprisingly easy to make! They don’t take much hands on time, but you have to be able to give them 4 hours in the oven! They sound like they are very fussy little cookies to make, but they honestly aren’t. I mixed up a couple of the measurements because I’m not used to working in ml and grams. We have a kitchen scale, I’m just not very quick with it yet. And to top it off, the power went out at our house during the last hour of baking time, but the meringues came out unscathed and delicious.  I will post the rest of the dinner party photos tomorrow, but I wanted to showcase these in a separate post since I took some photos while I was making them. Now without further delay, the recipe. I found it here

 

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Chopped Pistachios

Before you start:

An impeccably clean mixing bowl is critical for success.  Any oil inside can slow the expansion of the egg whites.  To be sure you bowl is clean, simply swirl around a little white vinegar and rinse out with warm water.  Be sure to dry the bowl completely before using.

Eggs whip up best when they are at room temperature.  Get your eggs out and separate a few hours before you intend to whip them.  Keep egg whites in an airtight container on the counter until ready.

If you don’t have superfine sugar, put granulated sugar in a food processor or grinder for 30 seconds to make it much finer.

Don’t skip the step of leaving them in the oven for at least an hour after you turn it off.  This will dry them out sufficiently.  As a side note, I have been known to forget mine and leave them overnight.  They were perfectly light and crispy in the morning.

If you are not sure where to find rose water, check where the cocktail mixers are kept.

 

The ingredients:

For the meringues:

  • 200 ml egg whites (6 large eggs)
  • 200 ml superfine sugar / 190g
  • 200 ml confectioners’ sugar / 110g
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped pistachios (medium fine)

For the rose cream:

  • 4 oz. mascarpone cheese at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoon rose water (no that is NOT a typo, you need 5 tbsps of rose water. It seems like a lot, but that’s what you need!)
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 ounces heavy whipping cream
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Mixing the pistachios into the meringue

The method:

For the meringues:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment.
  3. Sift sugars and salt together.
  4. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a very clean bowl.
  5. Mix on medium low speed with whisk attachment until frothy.
  6. Turn speed up to medium high and mix until soft peaks form.
  7. Turn speed up to high and with mixer still running gradually (slowly) add in sugars.
  8. Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  9. Add vanilla and ? cup of the pistachios reserving remainder for sprinkling on top.
  10. Mix on high for 10 seconds.
  11. Put batter in piping bag and pipe into disks or kisses on the parchment.  Leave 1-2 inches of space between meringues.
  12. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.
  13. Bake for about 3 hours.  Turn off oven, but leave meringues for another hour.
  14. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

For the rose cream:

  1. Place mascarpone, rose water, and sugar in a bowl.  Mix on medium until smooth.
  2. Place whipping cream into a chilled metal bowl and beat on high until stiff peaks form.
  3. Gently fold whipping cream into mascarpone mixture.
  4. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

 

Merigues 003 614x410 Pistachio Meringues with Rose Cream

Pistachio Meringues before going into the oven

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Brunch after painting the baby’s room

IMG 2167 614x410 Brunch after painting the baby’s room

Mini-Quiche, Mini- Pop Tarts, Mini-Banana Muffins and fruit!

 

About a month ago our friends Kristi, Chris, Kathy and Martin came over to help us paint the baby’s room! We painted it “Miami Green” It really was a lot of helpers for not that much painting, but it was a lot of fun and after we finished painting the room we sat down to a delicious mini-food themed brunch. I didn’t help much the day we painted, but the night before I was in the kitchen for about 5-6 hours making mini-Pop Tarts, mini-quiches and mini-banana muffins for the brunch!

 

The food was so cute and the pop tarts were a lot of fun to make. The quiche recipe is easy and freezes well so you can make it a couple days before you will need it if you don’t want to bake the day of the brunch!

 

Now without further ado, the recipes!

 

MG 0640 614x410 Brunch after painting the baby’s room

Pop Tarts with their raspberry filling

Mini Pop Tarts on or off the Stick (I did off for the brunch, but put sticks in the ones I took to my niece’s birthday party the next day)

I found the recipe for these here. I know some people would make the dough from scratch, but come on, they are Pop Tarts and are therefore unhealthy, no matter how natural your ingredients are. And I used frozen raspberries this time because I had them on hand.

 

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Mini Raspberry Pop Tarts

FOR THE TWO-BITE POPTARTS
1 c. fresh cherries, pitted and diced
3 T. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 pkg. prepared pie crusts

FOR THE POPS
wooden popscicle sticks

FOR THE GLAZE
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
food coloring and sprinkles (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch and almond extract. Heat on stove over medium heat until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool. Unroll pie crusts and using a pizza cutter to slice them into 1 1/2?x 2? rectangles (I used a ruler to measure mine into equal sizes.  Just use a butter knife to score your pie crust before cutting).

Place a wooden popscicle stick on top of one of the cut rectangles, then spoon a small amount (about 1 1/2 tsp.) of cooled cherry filling into the center of the pie square, taking care not to get it near the edges.   Gently lay a second rectangle over the top of the cherry filling.  Press the edges of the rectangles together with a fork.  Transfer to a baking sheet.  Bake poptart pops in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or just until the edges begin to brown.

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to make glaze.  Tint with food coloring, if desired.  Spoon over cooled poptart pops, sprinkle with colored sugar, and allow to the glaze to harden slightly before serving. Enjoy!

 

For the mini-quiches I searched around and found this recipe here.

Crustless Zucchini and Basil Mini-Quiches
makes 48 pieces; adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine

1/4 c. cornstarch
1 1/4 c. whole milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 c. heavy cream
3/4 t. kosher salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
oil for the pan

1 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 zucchini, grated
1/4 cup gruyere or parmesan, grated
fresh basil, finely chopped

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare Batter: Put the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisking steadily, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the milk, mixing until quite smooth. Whisk in the whole eggs and egg yolks, mixing again until smooth, then gradually whisk in the rest of the milk, the cream, salt, and nutmeg. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to one day. If using the next day, be sure to re-whisk.

Prepare Zucchini Mixture: In a nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add grated zucchini, and stir until just softened, another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Oil mini muffin tins well. Put a pinch grated cheese into each muffin cup, a teaspoon of zucchini mixture, and pinch of chopped fresh basil. Pour 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup.

Bake until the quiches puff and start to turn golden, 15-18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then carefully run a paring knife around the rim of each muffin cup. Carefully lift each quiche out of its cup.

Mini quiches freeze very well. Let cool, then freeze in a single layer in a covered container. Reheat on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes.

 

 

And the mini banana muffins are just the banana bread recipe I posted previously, but in tiny muffin shape instead of a loaf. I baked them for about 10 minutes and then checked them. You should poke them with a toothpick to see if they are finished though. If the toothpick comes out clean, you are set!

 

Thanks to Kathy, Martin, Chris and Kristi for coming over to make our baby’s room a brighter, happier place to grow! The pozor thanks you as well.

 

 

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The Great Pea Dinner Party!

lo res peas 001 615x410 The Great Pea Dinner Party!

Sweet Pea Cocktail by Kathy and Martin

 

We had this dinner party a long time ago so I’m sorry for the delay! It was a really tasty party with a much wider variety of dishes than I thought we would have. It was a little too early to have garden fresh peas, but we made do with frozen and the results were delicious! Today we are having an edible flower themed dinner party so I’m excited to eat and photograph tonight! Here are some photos and some recipes from the last party.

 

Nick and I made two main dishes: A savory pea pudding we found on this website   and a Saffron Rice with Peas and Cashews from this site.

 

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Savory Pea Pudding--It re-heats very well!

Savory Pea Pudding: Budín de Chícharo

This is a Mexican classic, which can also be made by substituting corn or carrots for the peas. The recipe is adapted from The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy. Although it calls for sugar, this is a first course or side dish, rather than a dessert.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces Chihuahua or gouda cheese, grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 450º F. Pass the peas through a food mill or process in a processor.

Setting the whites aside, beat the egg yolks in a large bowl until they are thick. Add the sugar and beat until well incorporated.

Add the butter alternately with the flour, beating well after each addition. Stir in the pea pulp, salt, cheese and baking powder.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the pea mixture. Pour the mixture into a buttered 8 inch square baking dish.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350ºF and continue cooking for about 40 minutes longer. The top and sides will be brown and spongy to the touch, and the insides should remain moist. Serves 6 as a first course or side dish.

 

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Saffron Rice with Cashews and Peas

Saffron Rice with Peas and Cashews
serves 4-6
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups Basmati rice, well-rinsed and washed
1/2 teaspoon (2 pinches) saffron threads
1 cup unroasted, lightly salted cashew halves
1 cup frozen organic peas
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Wash and drain rice. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 4-quart pot. Add the rice and fry a couple minutes. Add the saffron threads and cashew halves and fry for another minute. Add the peas, fry for a few moments, then add the water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 18-20 minutes.

Take off the lid and turn the heat off. Stir in the garam masala and salt to taste. Let the rice sit to “dry” for a few minutes. Serve.

If we make this dish again I would double the garam masala and add and other ½ cup of peas and cashews. It was too much rice with not enough of the other ingredients.

 

Kathy and Martin made two drinks (featured in the first photo of this post) one with alcohol and one without. Here is the recipe in Martin’s words:

SWEET PEA COCKTAIL (not imaginatively named, but whatevs)

I found this on the wedding site The Knot, of all places, and executed it with minimal variation:

a bunch of sugar snap-peas

a 750-ml bottle of shochu

jasmine tea

agave syrup

A couple of days prior to the event, we opened a bottle of shochu and stuffed about six snap peas into it to infuse.  (I lightly crushed them a little first.) The cocktail as I made it was 1.5 oz infused shochu, .75 oz brewed and cooled jasmine tea, and a drizzle of agave syrup, shaken with ice and served on the rocks with a toothpicked snap-pea as a garnish.  Pretty good, I thought.

SNAP-PEA MOCKTAIL –Okay, this one was kind of weird.  I took about a cup of snap-peas and slaughtered them in the food processor.  Then I took about a half-tablespoon of wheatberries and roasted them in a dry pan until they were dark brown.  (The idea was to suggest the roast-grain flavor of the shochu.)  I put these and the processed peas in a glass pitcher and poured like two cups of boiling water over them, then let these steep for a half-hour or so.  Then I strained everything through an old (but clean!) T-shirt.

The mocktail was a shot of the chilled pea juice plus a shot of the chilled jasmine tea (see above) plus a half-shot of star-anise-&-lavender-infused simple syrup, shaken with ice, served on the rocks, snap-pea garnish.  It tasted . . . healthy.

 

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Green Pea Pancakes

 

GREEN PEA CAKE WITH STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

This was inspired by a dessert from a restaurant called Felidia that I found some pictures of online;but our version was probably rather different:

8 oz sugar snap-peas

2 c frozen peas

6 tbsp half-&-half

2 eggs

1/4 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

butter for skillet

 

We boiled some water and cooked the snap-peas for a couple of minutes to soften them up, then removed them into an ice bath and blanched the peas.  Then I accidentally slung a bunch of peas across the kitchen.  (This was not intrinsic to the process.)  Then we mashed the peas with a fork.

 

We put the snap-peas in a food processor with the half-&-half and processed them till smooth, as they say.  Then we added the eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt, and processed them to make a smooth battery-type batter.  Then we folded this into the mashed peas.

 

Were I to do this again, I think I’d process at least half of the peas, as well, instead of just fork-mashing them.  This would, I believe, enable smaller, crisper, more maneuverable cakes.

 

But I digress.  We melted some butter in a big skillet, poured the batter in about a tablespoon at a time, and basically cooked these rascals like little pancakes until they were browned on both sides.  Then we let them cool a little — b/c you know how I am about melting ice cream — and used them to make little ice cream sandwiches with sliced fresh strawberries and strawberry ice cream.  The result was . . . colorful, if nothing else.

 

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Pea Dinner Party plate

 

Chris made chickpea pancakes and brought a couple of chutneys and spreads for on top of them. Very tasty!

 

Heather and Fernando brought a delicious roast chickpea appetizer (in the center of the plate) and made chickpea chocolate chip cookies that were nutty and sweet. All in all a great party! I can’t wait for the next one!

 

 

 

 

 

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Cooler weather and dreams of radishes

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French Breakfast Radishes

 

This heat has me longing for cooler weather so I thought I would post a picture from my spring harvest. It was taken in June when the weather was temperate, rainy, but cooler. Here’s a post I meant to put up earlier in the year, but it slipped into the wrong folder so now here is it!

 

A lot of people, myself included, would say that when they think of spring vegetables peas are the first thing they think of. I wish that was true! But honestly the first things to come out of the ground in the spring are: radishes, asparagus and rhubarb! Nick and I have eaten our fair share of all three in the past couple weeks, but radishes are the only vegetable that we have harvested from the garden!

 

I went to the plot to plant my broccoli and I noticed all these little red things sticking out of the ground! I thought someone had put pebbles there for some reason, but then I looked closer and remembered that I had planted radishes there! They are beautiful little French breakfast radishes. They aren’t too spicy, but they aren’t bland either. The only bad thing about them is you have to eat them so quickly or they start to go a little soft!

 

I’m so proud of my little radishes for making it through this totally crazy spring! Everything is a couple weeks late because it has either been too wet, too cloudy or too hot for the plants to do much.

pin it button Cooler weather and dreams of radishes

Zucchini and Corn Salad

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Zucchini and Corn Salad

 

Welcome to summer! It is officially the hottest day of the year in Chicago since 1999!  I’m never a huge fan of crazy hot weather and now that I’m 7 months pregnant 100 degree temps and 110 heat indexes make me melt and swell at the same time. I feel like Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate factory, but at least I haven’t turned blue!

 

While I have been complaining about the heat, the summer veggies seem to be rejoicing in it.  This salad celebrates two of the best summer vegetables: Zucchini and sweet corn! For extra protein you can add some feta cheese and pine nuts (if you can find some that aren’t too pricey!) If you don’t want to go that extra mile, no problem, it is delicious as is.

 

This is a nice side salad that would go well with tacos or other Mexican food. Here is the recipe!

 

Warm Zucchini Corn Salad

4 Servings/1 pt. ea. (about 2/3 C)

1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn, boiled and cut from the cob.
2 1/2 cups diced or shredded zucchini
2 T green onion, chopped
1 t. olive oil
1 T lime juice
1/8 t. freshly ground pepper
1/2 t. salt
4 T fresh cilantro, chopped

Toss corn, zucchini and green onions with olive oil. Pour into large skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until zucchini is fork-tender. Remove skillet from heat, and mix in lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.
 

 

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Pineapple-Cashew Stir-Fry

IMG 2163 614x410 Pineapple Cashew Stir Fry

Pineapple-Cashew Stir Fry

 

Of all the recipes we have tried over the last few weeks, this is far and away the best.  It has two of my favorite ingredients: pineapple and cashews, is fast to cook and is the kind of dish where you have to remind yourself to slow down while you eat it.

 

Lately I’ve been trying to build up a repertoire of fast, nutritious recipes because I’m already starting to think about how I will be able to feed Nick and myself when the baby arrives. We’ve already decided we would spend a good bit of time cooking and freezing meals in August for the first few weeks, but I think we’ll also make a bunch of grains and beans ahead of time too so that we can just thaw them and throw together a meal like this after the initial shock of parenthood has worn off, I think cooking will be rather therapeutic. We’ll see though!

 

Anyway, this one is good for a quick weeknight meal no matter what you are expecting. The recipe is from the Veganomicon.

 

Quinoa

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained

1 cup pineapple juice

1 cup cold water

¼ tsp soy sauce

 

Stir-fry

4 ounces cashews, raw and unsalted

3 tbsp peanut oil – we used sesame oil because of Nick

2 scallions, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 hot red chile, sliced into very thin rounds

½ inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 cup frozen peas or cooked edamame

½ cup fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin shreds

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

10 oz fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size chucks—this will be able two cups (we used canned pineapple so we would have the juice too.)

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp vegetable stock

1 tbsp mirin

lime wedges for garnish

 

Prepare the quinoa first: Combine the quinoa, juice, water and soy sauce in a medium-size pot. Cover, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir a few times, lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 12-14 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is plumped and slightly translucent. Uncover, fluff and let cool.

 

Prepare the stir-fry

Use the largest nonstick skillet you have or a wok. Have all of the ingredients chopped and ready. Place the cashews in the dry pan and heat over low heat, stirring them, until lightly toasted, 4-5minutes.

 

Remove the cashews from the pan, raise the heat to medium and add the oil, scallions and the garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle add the sliced chile pepper and ginger. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes then add the bell pepper and peas. Stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes, until the bell pepper is softened and the peas are bright green. Add the basil and mint and stir for another minute before adding the pineapple and quinoa.

 

In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce the vegetable stock and the mirin. Pour over the quinoa mixtures. Stir to incorporate completely and coat the quinoa. Continue to stir-fry for 14 minutes, until the quinoa is very hot. Serve with lime wedges and additional soy sauce and season to taste.

 

 

 

pin it button Pineapple Cashew Stir Fry

Edible Flower Salad and the Garden

 

MG 0656 614x410 Edible Flower Salad and the Garden

Edible Flower Salad

Our garden has been kicking ass and taking names this year! Our lettuce has supplied us with more than we could possibly eat; our nasturtiums are blooming like crazy and have a variety of tastes. Red is spiciest, orange is medium and yellow is fairly mild. I still have a hard time eating flowers though! I look at them and think, “I’m not suppose to eat this, it is too pretty!” But then, I remember how tasty they are and savor them, knowing that their season is fleeting and this is one thing you can’t just go get from the store. We made this salad for a barbecue we went to last Saturday. It looks sort of magical in the dusk light, doesn’t it? The salad was simple, lettuce and flowers from our garden, sliced strawberries from the store and a honey mustard dressing too. The dressing is so deceptive though! It is the color of avocados, has an avocado on the front and so I’ve been calling it “the avocado dressing” for years! I JUST discovered that there are NO avocados in it. They just tell you it is good on avocados. Boo. It is still really tasty though!

 

MG 0748 614x410 Edible Flower Salad and the Garden

Here is our garden a few weeks ago!

Later this summer we are having an edible flower party so I’m hoping some of the blooms will still be around so I can use them in the dishes I decide to make. We also planted some little violas for eating too. They look so amazing next to the vivid warm colors in the nasturtiums.

 

We also had a good crop of radishes; peas and our first carrot emerged from the dirt yesterday! And our little alpine strawberries have been producing tiny delicious little berries for about 6 weeks now and how no signs of stopping. Those are amazing to munch on while weeding our little plot! It is so amazing how much you can fit into such a small space!

 

As we approach mid-summer I am already dreaming about the green beans, the basil and the ripe tomatoes. Our spring veggies have been great so I’m hoping our summer ones will be nice too!

pin it button Edible Flower Salad and the Garden

Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms

MG 4775 614x410 Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms

Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms

 

There was a period of time this year, maybe about a month ago, where I had time to experiment and try some recipes that I’ve had bookmarked for ages, but hadn’t been able to try. This is the first of a series of recipes like that.  I think this was my favorite of the dishes I tried. It is a creamy polenta with roasted mushrooms and kale chips! The BEST part about this dish is how fast it is! If you don’t add the kale chips or already have them made, it is even faster! And this dish also has a fried egg on top, which to me, is equal to heaven.

Here is the original link to the recipe.

It says it serves 3, but we just made two fried eggs and had a little left over polenta.

Parmesan Polenta with Eggs and Roasted Mushrooms
Serves 3 (main course portions)

1 lb mushrooms
1/8 c olive oil
1/4 tsp pepper flakes
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 c polenta
1 c milk
1 c water
pinch salt
1/2 c shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
3 eggs
chives for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 475.
2. Chop mushrooms into 1/2 inch pieces.
3. Toss mushrooms with oil, pepper flakes, and salt on a baking sheet.
4. Spread in single layer and roast until browned, about 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, whisk polenta, milk, water, and salt together in saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, covered.
6. After reaching a boil, turn heat to low and let sit with lid cracked for 15 minutes.
7. While polenta is cooking, heat nonstick skillet over medium heat and crack the eggs so that they are sunny side up.
8. Cook about a minute and then add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet. Water will sizzle – cover so the yolks steam and set to your liking. I like mine somewhat viscous so I wait for the steamed yolks to ‘skin’ over with egg white. This will happen naturally with the method above.
9. Mix Parmesan into polenta, plate on a dish, spoon mushrooms over and top with egg. Garnish with snipped chives. Eat and enjoy!

 

I added the kale chips because we had a big bunch of it and I had been meaning to try making the chips for a long time! It complimented the mushrooms perfectly and I’ve become obsessed with making sure I get veggies, protein and carbs with every meal now because I want our little baby to grow nicely. So far she/he seems to be growing at a good pace and also seems to have gotten enough protein because she thinks she is a boxer. She is frequently kicking and punching me while I’m editing pictures or replying to emails, while I’m driving or while I’m reading. I don’t think she likes to sit still either! Anyway, this dish was a hit with me, with the pozor (that’s what we call the baby) and with Nick. You should make it tonight!

 

 

pin it button Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms

Chewy Orange-Almond Cookies

 

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Chewy Orange-Almond Cookies

 

The recipe for these light little cookies came into my inbox at just the right moment! I had told my sister-in-law that I would make a dessert for her son’s baptism and I had originally planned to make my sugar cookies  and cut them out in the shape of crosses and then decorate them with his name and the date, that kind of thing. But it seemed like a lot of work and I have made those cookies so many times, I didn’t want people to get sick of them! So when Martha Stewart’s daily cookie email came, I knew I had to make these instead.

 

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shredded orange with almond and flour

 

They are light, fragrant and tasty! I encourage everyone to make these at least once a year. They would be perfect for Easter, baptisms, baby showers, wedding showers, or even just an everyday cookie. They freeze beautifully so they are great to have on hand for lunches or a last minute dessert!

 

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Make sure you whip the eggs long enough or your cookies will spread.

 

I have translated the recipe here because the one I have the link to doesn’t really tell you how to measure the flour properly. That is the one draw back to Martha Stewart recipes, you have to read them carefully before you start baking or you’ll find yourself yelling in the kitchen, “What the hell am I supposed to do with the ¼ cup flour? Eat it? throw it away? And what with the egg whites, Martha? When do I add those?!”

 

I don’t think her copy editors get paid enough or something, but there are frequently mistakes in her recipes so if you do end up subscribing to her daily cookie email or any of her holiday newsletters, proceed with caution. The recipes are delicious, but need to be proofread! Here is the link if you want to see the original.

 

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Chewy orange almond cookies

 

 

And now, the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 ounces sliced almonds, about 1 1/4 cups
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Zest of 2 oranges, finely grated, about 4 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed
  • 3 large white eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, blend 3 1/2 ounces almonds (about 1 cup) with a 1/2 cup of the sugar until almonds are finely ground. Transfer almond mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in flour, orange zest, and crushed anise seeds.
  3. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar to soft glossy peaks. Fold egg-white mixture into dry ingredients until just blended.
  4. Spoon level tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using remaining 3/4 ounce almonds, arrange 3 sliced almonds on each cookie. Sift confectioners’ sugar over cookies. Bake until cookies are lightly browned along edges, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from sheets with a spatula.
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Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango

Quinoa 614x410 Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango

 

When I get invited to a barbecue I immediately start going through my list of recipes: potato salad, macaroni salad, lentil-beet salad, tofu burgers, etc. I love all of these recipes, but they have to make room for one more because this spring I found a perfect picnic salad recipe in the Veganomicon—Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango.

 

The wonderful thing about this recipe is how flexible and quick it is to make. You can use any left over grains, beans or fruit you have in the house. Lately we’ve been using a lot of quinoa though because I need the extra protein, but imagine Israeli couscous, bulgur or wheatberries would also be nice!

 

It is perfect for picnics because there is no dairy, it is fast and tastes better at room temperature than it does chilled.

 

And now the recipe!

 

1 mango, peeled and cut into small dice

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced as small as you can get it

1 cup chopped scallions

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

¼ tsp salt

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled*

1 (15oz) can black beans drained and rinsed

Spinach

 

Combine the mango, bell pepper, scallion and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, grapeseed oil, and salt, and stir to combine. Add the quinoa and stir until everything is well incorporated. Fold in the black beans. You can serve immediately or let it sit for a bit for the flavors to meld.

We also added two handfuls of spinach just because we had it on hand. I think it is best to add the spinach right before you serve it so it doesn’t get too oily or wilted.

 

*if you don’t already have some cooked quinoa, don’t fret! It is very easy. Just bring 1 cup of dried quinoa and two cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Once it has started to boil, lower the heat so it is simmering and cook for about 15 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. Then remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Set it aside and let it cool while you prep the other ingredients for the recipe!

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