Category

Recipes

Food, Recipes

Heart Shaped Peanut Butter Cookies

It is officially the month of amore, with Valentine’s Day lurking just around the corner and it makes us all go a little heart shaped crazy. Not everyone is a fan of Valentine’s Day. It can be a bit commercial and overdone, but what I love about these cookies in particular is that you really don’t necessarily need a Valentine to make and enjoy these cookies. Go ahead and make them for yourself…self love, am I right?!

I always look at Valentine’s as a time to show just about anyone I love how much they are appreciated. I don’t like a whole lot of fanfare and grand gestures, but these cookies are an inexpensive and touching way to show you care. I pick up a heart shaped container from the Dollar General store, along with a bag of Valentine’s Day edition M&M’s, make a batch of these cookies and call it a day.

I always like to use a good peanut butter dough for this recipe, because it has some heft and will hold its shape really well for these particular cookies. You want them to look like hearts once they are baking, as opposed to amorphous blobs, and consistency of peanut butter cookie dough allows this to happen. This also means that you do not need a cookie cutter or any fancy tools, just your own two hands. The result is a really cute, rustic and homemade shaped heart that I find particularly endearing.

Jump to Recipe Read more
Leave a comment
Favorite Recipes, Food, Recipes

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!

Read more
Leave a comment
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?!

Jump to Recipe Read more
Leave a comment
Food, Recipes

Classic Strawberry Shortcake

I love strawberries. Anytime that they come into season, or taste sweet enough to eat, the chances are good that you will find several cartons lying in wait in my refrigerator. Although delicious on their own, I love visiting different dessert recipes featuring these beautiful, vibrant berries.

One that has stood the test of time for me is the classic Strawberry Shortcake. Equal parts dense, buttery cake, mixed with light, fluffy whipped cream, and sweet, tart strawberries, it is one of the most perfect and refreshing desserts in my book.

Recently, strawberries have been popping up everywhere in the grocery store and they have been super sweet and delicious, leaving me with a hankering for a good helping of this sweet treat. If you find yourself in the same boat, here is a super easy, one-bowl recipe that you can whip up quick as can be, and have a dessert on the table in no time at all.

This recipe is a visual stunner that will leave you looking like a baking pro. Little effort with big results…one of my favorite baking combos! If you haven’t ever tried making a homemade version, then you must give it a try. It is one of the easiest recipes you will find, and virtually foolproof.

Jump to Recipe Read more
Leave a comment
Food, Recipes

Classic Buttery Popovers

For the longest time, I have admired popovers for their delicious simplicity, but have avoided making them because they call for their own, special pan with high walls with a thin cylindrical shape in order for the dough to rise and cook evenly and properly. But, my desire for warm, soft biscuits finally overtook my hesitation. Hunger always wins for me! This recipe calls for the simplest of ingredients that about everyone has in their pantry or fridge. Though most recipes advise against using a muffin pan, I decided to go for it anyway and finally give these a try, despite missing the proper tools…and you know what? They tasted delicious anyway!

I dislike purchasing unnecessary kitchen equipment, as I feel you can generally make due with something that you already have, and stockpiling specialty items can quickly get out of control. That said, these were delicious enough to be worthy of their own special pan. They are the perfect mix of warm biscuit, with a chewier eggy texture that reminds me a bit of a souffle. Give them a try and whip up a batch using your standard 12-well muffin tin and see what you think. Be sure to have plenty of room temp butter ready to go. These are a definite vehicle for it!

Jump to Recipe Read more
Leave a comment
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.

Jump to Recipe Read more
Leave a comment
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.

Jump to Recipe Read more
Leave a comment
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.

Jump to Recipe Read more
Leave a comment
Food, Recipes

Red-Wine Braised Short Ribs

When I first started this blog in Washington, D.C., way back in 2011, I came across a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine for Red-Wine Braised Short Ribs. It was the stuff of legends. I made the recipe and it was utterly phenomenal. I carefully clipped it from my copy of the magazine and placed it in a plastic sheath divider and tucked it away carefully to revisit for years to come. It is quite honestly one of the best recipes I believe I have ever made. I even surprised myself, it was so tasty, just by following the recipe to a tee.

Fast forward to present time, many moves later that have landed me in South Carolina, I either lost track of my recipe book where this recipe was located, or it was a victim of a feng shui attack somewhere along the way. I have since searched high and low in the hopes that someday I would open the right box or drawer and it would be there atop the pile, glowing with a magical, glimmering light.

Well, needless to say, this never happened. And, unfortunately, I deleted the content from my old blog to start it fresh, so I lost the original blog post where I reviewed and posted the recipe. After some time, I finally succumbed to the idea that it was a fruitless effort and threw in the towel on the idea of finding the recipe.

Jump to Recipe Read more
1 Comment
Food, Recipes

Chocolate Butterscotch Haystacks

This recipe is a classic and when I stumbled across it just recently, you would have thought I won the lottery. My Mom used to make these for us as kids and I can’t say I have thought about them since I was in my early teens.

I remember arm wrestling my brother for the last one because they were that good. They have it all. They are salty and sweet. They are chilled, so they have a cool, crunch that hits all of the senses.

Haystacks are a blend of two of the most complimentary sweet and buttery chip flavors, combined with the savory crunch of Chow Mein noodles and salty peanuts. This recipe is also dangerously easy and calls for very few ingredients and kitchen tools, so it is the perfect dessert to whip up in a hurry for holiday parties, or as a treat for friends, family and kids. This recipe is ideal for making with kids, as they can have fun helping to assemble these cute little nests of goodness.

Jump to Recipe Read more
Leave a comment