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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Wreaths

These cute little wreaths are glorified Rice Krispy Treats, made with cornflakes instead of rice, green food coloring and red hots. The trick is to get the red hots to adhere. Which is tricky indeed.

I got the recipe from "Rose's Christmas Cookies", which I bought "used" off of Amazon for a pittance before other people were thinking about Christmas cookies, at which point the demand and price went up. As I've mentioned on here before, I've had excellent results ordering "used" books off of Amazon. Typically they aren't "used" at all; they are overstocks. But you have to read the condition description.

I am a big fan of Rose Levy Beranbaum, and you should consider reading her blog, because she is extremely generous with her time, answering readers' questions.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pomegranate Cosmopolitans

We had friends over for dinner last night and I made Sheri's yummy crabcakes as an appetizer. I kept second-guessing wine choices to go with them, when it occurred to me to serve Pomegranate Cosmopolitans. Excellent decision! They were a total hit.

We had jamabalaya for dinner, along with a simple salad made with Boston lettuce, sliced almonds, & Honey-Mustard Sherry Vinaigrette from Fine Cooking #83. For dessert we had The Perfect Flan.

Pomegranate Cosmopolitans
makes 4

2/3 c. pomegranate juice
1/2 c. vodka
1/4 c. Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
ice cubes
4 lime twists

Place the first 4 ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice; shake to chill. Strain into Martini glasses. Garnish with lime twists.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thai-Style Chicken Soup

I read Cook's Illustrated, but don't cook from it often. On the rare occasion that I have, it's been really good, it's just that most of the recipes don't appeal to me. This soup from the January & February 2007 issue is delicious. Very aromatic, very flavorful, and just the right amount of heat.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Black Forest Crinkle Cookies

My dear mother-in-law gave me 2 pounds of dried Michigan cherries. They are plump and gorgeous, very different from what you'd buy at the grocery store. But what the heck am I going to do with 2 POUNDS of them? I froze some. I made scones with some. I'll make a cherry and pecan rice pilaf with some. That still leaves me with a boatload of dried cherries.

Thanks to Shayla, I have one more solution. These cookies are fabulous. I did make them a little large. Next time I'll use a smaller scoop.

Black Forest Crinkle Cookies
adapted from Cuisine at Home

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 stick (4 Tbl) unsalted butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 egg
1 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 Tbl hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried tart cherries

3/4 cup powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, melt the butter in 15-30 second increments. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the egg, coffee and vanilla.

Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and cherries.

Chill dough until firm enough to work with. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape dough into balls and roll in powdered sugar.

Place 2" apart on prepared baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies are cracked, yet still soft. Do not overbake. Leave cookies on the pan for a minute or so until they set, and then slide the parchment onto a rack so that the cookies can cool completely. Or eat one while it's still warm and gooey. I did.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Lentil Soup

Still craving soup, I clipped a recipe from Bon Appetit a week or two ago. Bleh. It's the most boring soup ever! Needs some herbs, some spices, anything! Garlic bread helped :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Double Ginger Crackles

Let the Christmas cookies begin! Gary requested Snickerdoodles on Thursday and they are already gone. Today I made Double Ginger Crackles, from Fine Cooking #75. Last year they were our favorite cookie, both to eat and also to give. I made so many batches that I lost count.