Denis took me on my errands today so I made him some cookies tonight. One of his favorites are my oatmeal chocolate chip so I made my oatmeal batter with 100% whole grains, then divided it in two so I could make my own favorites, too. To his half (the back row) I added toasted walnuts and chocolate chips. To my half, I added toasted walnuts, diced prunes and figs. They are so delicious! We’ve already had two each so I’d better put them away. These are definitely going in my next cookbook, which I’m trying to work on but there’s never time! Mine have whole grains and extra fiber so technically, I could have one for breakfast, no? How about with a hard-boiled egg and a glass of milk? Never mind, it’s as rhetorical question – my kitchen, my rules. Cookies for breakfast!
We have a new video! It’s French Toast made with melted dark chocolate but before you judge, let me remind you that dark chocolate has many anti-aging health benefits. It’s full of antioxidants like polyphenols, the same ones found in red wine and green tea; and flavonoids, the ones found in blueberries, which can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. So I have not abandoned my standards of nutrition – this is a healthy recipe using whole wheat bread and no butter at all. We made the video yesterday with Damon working the camera, lights, and audio and when we were done, he sampled the French toast and wound up eating the whole thing. We then made a second version with Denis standing by to taste it. He ate the whole thing. It’s hard to describe how delicious this is but Damon said, “It’s yummy and chocolate-y… it’s like eating dessert.” Denis said, “Make more.” Click here for the video.
It’s been a long week and I needed something relaxing to do so I decided to make pie. What was I thinking? I could have chosen something easier like creating an algorhythm for computational approximations of seismic reflection and velocity analysis but noooooo…I chose to make a lemon meringue pie. So last night after dinner, I started by assembling all the equipment needed:
-Pie pan – check!
-Food processor for the crust – check!
-Zester for the lemons – check!
-Juicer for the lemons – check!
-Sauce pan for the filling – check!
-Kitchenaid for the meringue – check!
-Whisk attachment for the meringue – check!
-Rolling pin, pie weights, bowls, measuring cups & spoons – check!
First, I had to make the crust and let it cool completely. It took over two hours to cool. Then I cooked the filling, topped it with meringue, and baked the whole thing again. By now, three hours had gone by. I removed it from the oven and of course, it had to cool completely before eating. I kept busy by washing the massive amount of dishes left behind, waiting for the pie to cool. I was dying for a slice but it was still hot. I took a bath… still hot. Did my nails… still hot. I tested some batteries, organized spices, sharpened some pencils… still hot. Finally I was exhausted and went to bed, feeling cheated, with no midnight snack. Denis was still up at 2 am and put it in the fridge. I only agreed to let him put it away if he promised not to eat any. (my kitchen, my rules) So today, we finally got to taste my lemon meringue pie. It was super good – the tart lemon filling balanced with the cool meringue – awesome!
*Note to lemon meringue pie-makers:
–Don’t make it at night.
–Don’t cut it until it’s completely cooled or you’ll be calling it a lemon meringue molten cake.
–Do it. There’s nothing like homemade pie… except good sex. No, I think the pie is better. Okay, pie, then sex.
It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m getting ready for our annual open house tomorrow. It’s a small group of about 35 friends (mostly the same ones every year) and it’s turned into a competition of how much can a person eat in one sitting! Lamb chops, sushi, paninis, crab cakes, deviled eggs… all devoured in a span of four hours. It’s actually two guys who eat most of the food and you know who you are. 🙂 The food is catered and I bake all the desserts. Today I made 40 97 macaroons, 48 lemon bars, 47 meringues, 49 pfefferneusses, 38 truffles, 48 seven-layer bars, and 51 chili-chocolate-cherry cookies. That’s 378 cookies! And it’s not enough! Let’s see…378 divided by 35 is 10 – almost 11 – desserts per person! Yikes!! Everyone needs to walk home!
(*Saturday morning correction: I made more macaroons last night – the chocolate dipped ones!)
I love baking! These are the first things I make at Christmas time and… they are the first to disappear! Mine is a healthier version of sugar cookies and if you try them, I promise that everyone will be asking for the recipe.
You don’t have to use pounds of butter to make a delicious sugar cookie – I use part canola oil but nobody has to know. I had planned to make a video but this recipe is so easy, and besides, I would have had to do the hair & makeup thing and who’s got time? I’m too busy looking for parking at the mall! Click here for the recipe.
Oh, and one more day for the Christmas Tree contest (below). Someone is already within ten of the correct number! See who it is on Friday.
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away so I’m sharing my recipe for fresh cranberries. Comparing fresh cooked cranberries to the canned stuff is like comparing Spago to DerWienerschnitzel. No comparison. None. They may seem very “fru-fru” but fresh cranberries are super easy to make (5 minutes), and you can cook them days before turkey day. Cranberries have more antioxidants than broccoli and they have a fantastic sweet/tart taste. Try it. It’s fun too – they pop while you cook ’em!
I’ve finally made a video of my recipe for homemade pizza! It has a crispy thin crust, the kind you can pick up and eat – no fork, no plate – and lots of pepperoni. I use a special pan for a crispy crust and wait ‘til you see my trick for prepping pepperonis (say that 3 times).
This is one pizza you can eat without thinking, “OMG, I just ate half a pizza and am going straight to hell.” More like, “Wow, I didn’t know healthy pizza could be this good!” Click here for the video.
I celebrated Independence Day by making my fall-of-the-bone baby back ribs. There’s enough for leftovers tomorrow! I also made potato salad, cole slaw, fresh corn, homemade bread, and we had fudge bars for dessert. I found some by “Skinny Cow” and they were low fat and really good. The meaning of the day was not lost, though. I remembered today, as I do every day, how lucky we are to live in this country and we should never take our freedoms for granted. I am grateful for many things, every day.