Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pistachio, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Cookies

I baked! :D I went to a friend's cookie swap before Christmas and baked cookies for probably the fifth time in my life.  This recipe is perfect for a novice baker because there aren't a lot of ingredients and there is a little room to change it if you want.  For example, I used cranberries instead of cherries and added a little extra white chocolate.  I prefer the tartness of the cranberries over sweet cherries. I used white chocolate chips because it was faster than chopping a baking bar. The dough can stay in the freezer for a week or so if you want to make another batch later.  These cookies are small and crunchy, it's hard to eat just one.  I think they're perfect for Christmas because of the red and green from the cranberries and pistachios.

Here are all the ingredients you need!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dinner FAIL (Dan Dan Noodles)

I love dan dan noodles.  So, when I saw Martin Yan's recipe in my copy of Feast, I was eager to try it out.  However, I made one critical mistake.  I saw "sesame paste" in the ingredient list and figured hey, tahini is sesame paste, right? Wrong.  Well, yes, tahini is sesame paste.  But, it's not the same thing as East Asian sesame paste, as I was about to discover upon eating my rather unappetizing looking creation.  The sauce smelled quite good when it was sitting harmlessly in a bowl.  Sesame, soy sauce, and  hint of spice.  But, as soon as I cooked in the work with the chicken, it became a gooey, sticky mess.  It was even harder to toss it with the noodles.  But I soldiered on, determined to enjoy my noodles.  After taking a few bites, I found myself trying to like it, but the rational part of my mind realized that this was a massive dinner fail.  The tahini was too creamy, it felt like I had taken my noodles and smothered them in bleu cheese dressing.  The sesame taste was overpowering.  The texture was weird. And it just looked nasty. 

This does not look like the pictures on Google image search...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Braised Chicken with Green Chiles, Chorizo, Turnips, and Leek "Noodles"

I'm not a fan of turnips.  I don't hate them as much as I hated cauliflower, but I avoid eating them.  I think it's because the only way I've ever eaten them is in my least favorite family holiday dish.  It consists of boiled carrots and turnips mashed together with salt and pepper.  Blech!  However, this Turkish recipe appealed to me because it left the turnips in larger pieces and there was no mashing involved.  Plus, it involved spicy sausage, which is always a good thing. The original recipe calls for sucuk, a Turkish sausage.  I couldn't find one, so I substituted another spicy sausage, chorizo.  I thought it worked really well.  But, I've never had sucuk so I have no basis for comparison. 

The chicken is braised with turnips, onion, tomato, long green chile peppers, and a bay leaf.  I thought the vegetable mix looked quite pretty in the bowl.   This was a great dish to eat on a cold night.  It was very hearty and had a nice kick from the chiles and chorizo and a little tang from the few squeezes of lemon juice.  It also made my kitchen smell wonderful!

This combination of vegetables is great for a cool fall night.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...