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Crispy, Cheesy, Potato Shallot Galette

I believe the title to this post really sums it all up. If you are a potato lover like me, this recipe is a MUST make. If you have a cast iron skillet and a mandolin, you will end up with a showstopping side dish.

I will admit that I actually made an error when making this recipe the first time, and the photos show you the end result. I should have sliced my potatoes much, much thinner, but it turned out to be a pleasant error. While the dismount of this galette was a major fail, it was absolutely delicious, crispy and cheese, so I see it as a win.

Essentially, if you would like to make a traditional galette that flips from the pan and looks like a giant potato cake that you can serve in slices, you want to use a mandolin to slice your potatoes razor thin. By doing so, it allows the potatoes to kind of meld together while baking and form the desired galette formation that slides beautifully from the pan when flipped.

This was actually my first official galette on my own, and as you can see, the potatoes were sliced a bit too thick and they came out as a beautiful cast iron skillet full of roasted potatoes, which is ok too. You can see that mine are too loose to flip onto a plate, so if this happens to you, I suggest serving right out of the skillet on the table…just be sure to use caution with the hot pan and dress it appropriately with towels. To be honest, I may intentionally make this mistake in the future because I was so pleased with how these turned out. They were an absolute hit with my family.

I will try a proper version next time around and post my results, but trial and error is the best way to learn, especially when the result is delicious, crispy, cheesy potatoes!

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Favorite Bakeries, Favorite Recipes, Recipes

Honey Oat Cookies

There are many bakeries that are on my list to try in 2024, and Back in the Day Bakery is at the very top. Over Christmas, a good friend gifted me their lovely cookbook, which is chock full of the most delicious baking recipes, both sweet and savory. I love to sit down with a cup of tea and peruse my cookbooks. It is one of my very favorite past times. This book already has recipe after recipe earmarked to add to the 2024 baking roster for my very own little test kitchen, right here in Bluffton, SC.

I have to give kudos to my friend Savannah in giving me this cookbook. Not only is it completely up my alley, but I honestly (and I’m not sure how) had never caught wind of this landmark bakery that exists right here in my own back yard!! It is a stone’s throw from my home, located in the beautifully eclectic downtown Savannah, GA. I will be publishing a list of bakeries that I wish to visit in 2024 for inspiration, to hold myself accountable for a few road trips this year, but this one will easily be added to the top.

When I cracked open this cookbook, I was impressed with how organized the chapters are laid out and assembled, by category and flavor. It appeals to my categorical Virgo nature. There are many intriguing options within this book, but this recipe for Honey Oat Cookies grabbed me as the first to try for a few reasons.

First, I absolutely LOVE the combo of oats, honey and chocolate. It is a such a hearty and delicious combo, especially with the hint of cinnamon, crunch of coconut and tinge of sea salt added in. Even if you aren’t a big coconut fan, as I know many are averse to the consistency, these have just the right amount to add flavor without overwhelming the cookie. Second, it is the beginning of the year, and with all of the oats involved in this recipe, it is practically health food, am I right?!

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Favorite Recipes, Food, Recipes

Perfect Golden Potato Latkes

Few things in this world bring me as much joy as the simple, crispy, golden potato latke. We are in the midst of Hanukkah and this simple recipe is one that is mired in Jewish tradition. I grew up on the shores of Long Island, NY, and although I am not of Jewish descent, I grew up celebrating its many traditions with friends, as Hanukkah is celebrated as vibrantly as Christmas there.

I can remember the lighting of the candle each night and the prayer that was recited. I just love traditions of any kind, and as with any culture, there is always a food involved when it comes to the holidays. I have yet to meet a Jewish friend whose family doesn’t have its very own latke recipe. The goal is always to get them “just like Bubby (Grandma) made them,” and you could get into a very heated debate about the proper way to make them.

I could eat these crispy little morsels by the dozen. If you have never had one, think of it as a small, pancake shaped hash brown patty. I have eaten plenty, but realized recently that I have never made one, so I felt this would be an appropriate time to try. I had bag of russet potatoes and a few onions left over from Thanksgiving, so all of the stars aligned.

I searched for the most traditional latke recipe and landed on one I found on The Kitchn website, as it stuck to the original methods the closest. made mine with what I had handy, so I used vegetable oil for frying and plain breadcrumbs as a thickening agent. I have to admit I winced a little. Traditionally, latkes call for crushed Matzoh (a dry unleavened cracker) to be used, as most Jewish households have some leftover from Passover, so it is handy.

I LOVE Matzoh, but didn’t have any available in my pantry, so this time around I used breadcrumbs. Tradition also calls for using schmaltz as the frying agent, which is rendered chicken fat. This is also a staple in traditional Jewish cooking. I did not have this handy, so I went with my trusty vegetable oil. Someday I will try the full traditional recipe, but these turned out to taste simply amazing.

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Favorite Recipes, Food, People, Recipes

Mom’s Molasses Ginger Cookies

My Christmas holiday doesn’t officially start until I take my first bite of my Mom’s legendary gingerbread cookies. These are made with sweet, thick molasses, which gives them the most scrumptious chew in the center, juxtaposed perfectly by crisp edges to nibble and the crunch of sweet granulated sugar on top. These remain the top requested cookie from my cousins and family members each year after decades of baking.

My Mom used to toil to assemble giant cookie baskets each Christmas for friends and family, and I remember every square inch of our countertops being covered in cookies of any and all varieties, from Rugelach to Peanut Butter Balls, but this gingerbread cookie was the one I always plucked from the pile as they cooled (when Mom wasn’t looking, of course). If you are a holiday cookie maker, give this one a try. The tang of ginger mixed with the warmth of cinnamon and cloves is irresistible. This recipe is worthy of a spot in the annual lineup.

Pro Tips

Be sure to leave time for chilling the dough when you set out to make these, as it is a crucial step in the process to achieve the correct consistency in your cookie.

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Favorite Recipes, People, Recipes, Uncategorized

Simple Scottish Shortbread Cookies

This recipe is a must for the holidays, and a perfect slightly sweet treat for the winter months. Traditional shortbread originally hails from Scotland, and this firm, biscuit-like cookie pairs perfectly with both hot tea and whiskey, making it the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. My Mom is an exceptional baker, and my family has gathered around a plate of her shortbread cookies and a hot pot of tea for as long as I can remember, as we discuss life’s mysteries, accomplishments, failures, loves, losses…you name it. Once you have tried this combo, it is hard to turn back. Nothing compares to gathering around the kitchen table and sharing a cookie and conversation. Make a batch of these and keep them on hand for just those occasions.

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Favorite Recipes, Food, Recipes

Cowboy Cookies

We are far from living on a ranch and wearing chaps here in sunny Hilton Head Island, but I have been channeling my inner cowgirl this week with the household menu. First, we kicked it off with the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s Hamburger Soup recipe, which has been featured as our absolutely delicious dinner all week long. The second installment is the Cowboy Cookie recipe from Baking Yesteryear, by B. Dylan Hollis.

Let me start by saying that I have eaten a whole lot of cookies in my lifetime, and I am on the continual quest for the perfect cookie. This is about as close as I have gotten, to date, and I don’t make blanket statements like these lightly. It is the kitchen sink of cookies, and it fittingly eats like a full meal, as it was made for hungry, hard-working cowboys out on the range.

This cookie gives a little extra heft and a whole lot of sweetness. It is basically an oatmeal cookie on steroids, and there is nothing I like more that a mash-up cookie that throws a multitude of ingredients into the bowl. This offers the perfect balance between slightly savory oats, warm pecans and buttery base, against the sweetness of a massive amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips, rich brown sugar, coconut, and my personal addition of raisins. It is quite possibly the perfect cookie. I am currently obsessed.

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