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These are not exactly a traditional biscotti.  There’s no corn meal in them (which I actually prefer) and so they’re softer than most variations.  I use raw sugar to sprinkle on the top which gives them an extra sugary crunch.  The recipe doesn’t say to dip them in chocolate, but what isn’t better dipped in chocolate? 

You really must try these…really.

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios coarsely chopped (2 1/2 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.  Place cranberries in a small bowl, and add boiling water.  Let stand until plump, about 145 minutes.  Drain and set aside  Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted wih the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medum speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in vanilla.  Add the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined.  Miox in the drained cranberries and the pistachios.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.  Shape weach piece into a 16-by-2-inch log, and transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart.  With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly.  Brush beaten egg over the surface of the dough logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar (I use raw).

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.  Transfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 mi8nutes.  Reduce oven temp to 300.

Place logs on a cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Arrange slices, cut sides down, on the rack.  Bake until firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.  Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on the rack.  Biscottie can be kept in an airtight container at room temp for up to a week.

Cooking tips:

  • You can use almonds and cherries instead if you prefer.
  • I use raw sugar to sprinkle on my biscotti because I like the large chunky texture.  It doesn’t matter which you use.
  • Buy your shelled pistachios in the bulk section of the grocery store.  If you can’t find them there go to your local Indian market.  Please, for the love of Pete, don’t buy a bag of pistachios and shell them yourself.  Unless you can’t find them.  Then make your kids do it or something.
  • These are great to give as gifts at Christmastime, or anytime for that matter.  I’m going to make an almond and cherry variation to take camping with us.  Hot chocolate and biscotti by the fire…CAN’T WAIT!

 

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Pan Pizza

This is the best homemade pan pizza I’ve ever had.  You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make this – but you have to have cake pans.  I know, cake pans!  That’s one thing I have in abundance!

Makes two 9-inch pizzas serving 4 to 6
Dough
 
1/2 cup olive oil  
3/4 cup skim milk plus 2 additional tablespoons, warmed to 110 degrees 
2 teaspoons sugar  
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for counter 
1 package  instant yeast  
1/2 teaspoon table salt  

Topping
 
1 (3.5-ounce) package sliced pepperoni  
1 1/3 cups tomato sauce (I use whatever I can find at the grocery store if I don’t have time to make it)         
3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese  


See Illustrations Below: How to Make Pan Pizza
1. To make the dough: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease large bowl with cooking spray. Coat each of two 9-inch cake pans with 3 tablespoons oil.
2. Mix milk, sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in measuring cup. Mix flour, yeast, and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter, gently shape into ball, and place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
3. To shape and top the dough: Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll each half into ball. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll and shape dough into 9 1/2-inch round and press into oiled pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm spot (not in oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.

4. While dough rises, put half of pepperoni in single layer on microwave-safe plate lined with 2 paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Discard towels and set pepperoni aside; repeat with new paper towels and remaining pepperoni.

5. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Ladle 2/3 cup sauce on each round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 cups cheese and top with pepperoni. Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is browning around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let pizzas rest in pans for 1 minute. Using spatula, transfer pizzas to cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve.

Cooking Tip

  • If you like your crust a little extra crispy, take them out of their pans when they’re done baking and put them directly on a rack of your oven for 5-7 minutes.  So good!!

 

 

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Chicken In A “Pot” Pie

This is a kid friendly meal with a little character.  It’s from one of my many Cooking Light cookbooks, which means it’s easy on your tush.  It also happens to be very easy to prepare – interesting, kid friendly and easy, nice combo, right?

I use these cookbooks a lot and rarely find a recipe I dislike.  Which would make you wonder why I’m not a skinny minny.  Answer: I can’t keep my hands off of all my other cookbooks.  Cookbooks don’t care about my weight, pant size, or self esteem.  They’re catering to Mouth, and she has bad judgement.

bread-bowl-and-carrots-001.jpg

Chicken In A “Pot” Pie

  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 C 1% low-fat milk
  • ½ C fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ C dry white wine (or use an extra ½ C chicken broth if you’re a goodie-goodie)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2/3 C chopped sweet onion
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 C sliced carrot1 C (1/8-inch-thik) slices zucchini
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. dried tarragon
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 4 (4.5 oz) country or peasant rolls (I use the little sourdough rolls from Safeway)
  1. Place flour in a small bowl; slowly add milk, stiring with a whisk to form a slurry.  Add broth and white wine
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion and chicken.  Saute 2 minutes; stir in carrot and next 4 ingredients.  Cover, reduce heat, and cook 4 minutes.  Stire slurry into chcken mixture and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 mintues or until thick, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cut rolls horizontally 1 inch from tops.  Hollow out bottoms of rolls, leaving 1/4 –inch-thinck shells.  Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 413

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