April 2008

Tutorial: Cream Puffs

Don’t run away! Cream puffs are super easy! You, too can make pastries! The very best part (well, aside from eating them) is that you can totally customize how big your cream puffs are and you can even make giant shells and use them to hold chicken or tuna salad and totally win friends and influence people. Mini Chocolate Cream Puffs For the pastry, you’ll need: ½ c. water ¼ c. butter 1/8 tsp. salt ½ c. flour 2 eggs …

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This is super-simple, but it’s always handy to have on hand; let’s say I’ve seen chocolate dipping go horribly wrong when people use butter or margarine instead of shortening or cooking oil! You can dip fruit, graham crackers, marshmallows, cream puffs, or your finger in this chocolate and it will maintain a nice, smooth consistency. 1 12-oz. package chocolate chips1 Tbsp. shortening or cooking oil Melt together in a double boiler or in the microwave, 1 minute at a time, …

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Guacamole

Guacamole is something that you don’t really need a recipe for. In fact, I’ve never in my life actually measured anything out when making it, and it’s really best to do it to taste but I realize that instructions like “add a little of this and a little of that” don’t work for everyone so I’m going to try to be as detailed as possible. It’s not hard to mash up an avocado and throw in some seasonings, but I’m …

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Posted in How To..., Kate

Hate measuring out honey, corn syrup, and other sticky substances? Here’s a hint: spray your measuring device with a coat of non-stick spray before you measure whatever you need and it will slide right out, mostly mess-free. And now you know.

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

I’ve had Monte Cristos on several occasions in my life; nearly all of them while at some eating establishment with the word “diner” in the title and where someone says “You’ve got to try their Monte Cristo”.It never occurred to me to try these at home until my friend Dawn, who is a great cook, invited me over for lunch last month and whipped up a bunch of these sandwiches.They were so yummy and it inspired me to make them …

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Posted in Condiments, Italian, Kate
Garlic Bread Seasoning

Okay, I’m throwing Sara a fast one because this is not what was planned for today. But I’ve come to realize that Johnny’s garlic bread seasoning isn’t available everywhere. This week, I have literally checked out every store in my area that supposedly carries Johnny’s and no one has it. And as much as I love it, I’m not about to shell out $7 to have a $6 jar of garlic bread seasoning shipped to me. So I decided to …

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Posted in Kate, Yeast Breads
Breadsticks (and Pizza Dough)

I’m starting to think that these breadsticks have actual magical powers. Seriously. These puppies have helped me make instantaneous friends at church functions when I’m the new girl and made sad people happy. My friend Natalie, who used to work as my secretary (when I was an apartment manager; I’m not cool enough to actually have a personal secretary), loved these breadsticks; I’m pretty sure she only put up with the mind-numbing inanity of the world of apartment managing because …

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Tutorial: Potstickers

These are fun little Asian dumplings and they”re surprisingly easy once you master the technique. There are several ways to cook potstickers, but I’m going to show you the method I use, because you don’t need any special equipment. After that, you can have fun coming up with your own fillings. I”m going to use one of my favorite fillings for Lemon Ginger Potstickers. These make a great meal along side a steamy bowl of rice, or a fantastic appetizer …

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Cashew Sweet and Sour Pork

We love Chinese food. And, living in the South, good Chinese food (like good Mexican food) is hard to come by. Don’t get me wrong, there’s good food here; the South isn’t known for awesome food for nothing. The ethnic scope of it is just limited. I wouldn’t say this is Chinese so much as it is “Asian-Inspired.” I got this recipe from Cooking Light a few years ago and it’s been a staple at our house ever since. And …

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Posted in How To..., Sara
How To: Work with Fresh Ginger

Both Kate and I love fresh ginger and use it often in our cooking. It adds a flavor and dimension you just can’t get from anything else. I know many of you have just never worked with it before and therefore may not know what to do with it. That will end today. No more excuses! Now in most cases, a dried herb or spice can be easily exchanged in a recipe for its fresh counterpart, but ginger is an …

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