Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine’s Gifts for Foodies 2012

Valentine’s is coming up and we all need a few ideas of what to give to our friends, family and loved ones.  My lists are always related to Food and Kitchen.  Everything on my list(s) are things I truly like and can see myself getting.

Here are my top 10 gifts for Valentine’s, something for everyone in every price range.

  1. Heart sprinkles for your cupcakes – $5 – Decorate and enhance your cupcakes with these cute heart sprinkles.
  2. Valentine’s Day Wine Tote – $9.95 – Why not deliver your favorite wine in a special Cupid’s wine tote with arrows and the proverbial key to someone’s heart.
  3. Beer and Pretzel Treats – $18 – These are infused with Rogue’s Chocolate Stout beer and covered in salted pretzel bits, milk chocolate beer & pretzel truffles, brittle, caramels & marshmallows. Wow!
  4. Wiseman House Love Letter Collection Chocolate – $25 – It includes 16 pieces and features two limited edition truffles: First Kiss, a white chocolate truffle with a kiss of peach champagne, and Passion, a dark and white chocolate truffle made with real passion fruit.  It also includes favorites such as Dark Rufus, Apricot Adeline, Wild Woman, and Love Potion.
  5. Heart Shaped Spoons – $38 – I love these, so cute and adorable, server your chocolate dessert with these spoons.
  6. Silver Heart Cocktail Napkin Box – 42.50 – I need one of these.
  7. Inside Out Heart Shape Cup – $39 – How cute are these.  Never seen anything like it before and I think they are adorable.
  8. Five of Hearth Waffle Pro Iron – $69.95 – Who doesn’t love waffles?  Why not have a waffle iron that serves hears.
  9. Five Finger Fillet Kitchen Knife Holder – $69.99 – This is so cool looking would love to have one of these for my kitchen to hold my knives vs. the boring wood block.
  10. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Heart Shaped – $159.95 – Love Le Creuset pots they are so versatile and a must have in the kitchen.  Why not serve a special something in a heart shaped pot.

Need more?  Here is a link to all my Gift Ideas from previous posts.

Have other great ideas that are related to Food and Kitchen?  I would love to hear about them in the comment section.

One Year Ago: Valentine’s Gift for Foodies 2011

Monday, February 6, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits

Haven’t made biscuits in a years and I thought this would be the perfect recipe to double and freeze some for the baby arrival.  Love biscuits but I eat them like a sandwich with butter and deli on them – I am not a fan of the gravy on my biscuits, actually I really hate soggy bread. I changed this recipe from 340 F and to 450F and just made the cooking time shorter.  They turned out great.  I have actually already made a few batches.

Read more…

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip

Need a last minute dip idea?  I just tried this Blue Cheese and Bacon dip and love it and it is so simple to make.  Love the blue cheese and bacon flavor together.  I hope everyone will have a great Superbowl Sunday.  The first place i lived in when i moved to the US was Boston, i went to school in Boston, I met my husband in Boston – so that town is special to me and will always be.  The Patriots are who i am cheering for!

Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip

Adapted from: MyRecipes

Yields: 10 | Prep Time: 15 minutes

2 strips of thick bacon (2 oz.) chopped
1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper

Cook bacon in a frying pan over high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel. Pulse in a food processor to make fine crumbs and put in a serving bowl.

Mix together yogurt, cheese, 1/2 tsp. rosemary, and pepper in food processor.  Then add the bacon and mix.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp. rosemary.  Serve with your favorite vegetables, chips or crackers.

Some of my other favorite Dips:

Other finger food:

One Year AgoHard Meringues

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Best Ribs

These are my famous ribs.  I make them for special occasions usually Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That is because they take a full day to cook.  I started this tradition years ago and now everyone always requests them.  The secret formula to amazing ribs are long time + slow temperature = delicious.   And I have to add patience, you can not rush these things.  Trust me I have tried to do shortcuts to speed things up and they never turn out as good.

Some of the crazy stuff I have tried is to make them in two days, cook them in the sauce, boil them in water, BBQ them.  Never turned out the same.

But I love ribs so if you have an awesome ribs recipe please let me know, I am ready to try it out.

As far as the pregnancy is going – I have to say I have had it pretty easy, really no complaints.  No pains, no sickness, no nothing.  I was never sick and I usually get a cold during the winter, I have the best skin of my life, my face is baby soft. I have thicker hair and no headaches.  Now if I could only keep these hormones afterward it would be awesome.  The worst part has been that I haven’t been able to run, I miss running, hard to put on your shoes and socks, and sometimes the belly is just in the way.  But I am ready, I am really ready to meet this little person now, I am so curious of what she looks like and her personality.  Can’t wait!

The Best Ribs

Adapted from: Flavour Guy

Yields: 2-4 racks of baby back ribs (or 1 lbs per person) | Prep Time: 24 hours | Cook Time: 10 hours

2-4 racks of baby back ribs (1 lbs per person)

The rub (good for 10 lbs of ribs):
1 bulk of garlic
1 tbsp of Sea salt
1 tsp of cayenne
2 tsp of paprika
2 tsp of black peppar
2 tsp of onion power
2 tsp of thyme
2 tsp of majoram
2 tsp of celery seed
1/3 cup olive oil

The best thing is to make this in a mortar, but if you don’t have a big one then use a food processor, but only a few pulses, you want this to be chunky rub.

Take the bulb of garlic smash each clove with the side of a knife or cleaver, peel them and put a few in a mortar/food process. Mash these to a pulp with the sea salt.

Now add all the seasoning.  The 1 tbsp of each is an estimate, I usually just pour a little of each, just be careful with the cayenne.

If you like other seasons you can add that to but do not add sugar or honey that will make the ribs burn.

Add the oil – enough to make this into a paste. It should be moist but plentiful.

Massage this into the ribs on both sides. Stack them and wrap them loosely. Leave them in the fridge overnight.

Cooking the ribs:
Let the ribs come to room temperature and turn the oven to 250F. Stack the ribs on racks in the oven, fat side up. Leave lots of room for air to circulate. Put a drip pan underneath all the ribs but not directly on the floor of the oven. Turn the oven down to between 180 and 200 F. The ribs will cook for about 10 hours. Remember the formula: long + slow = delicious.

The Mop:
2 tbsp of butter
1 onion chopped
½ cup of water
1 tbsp + 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups of beef Stock
1 cup of canned tomatoes
Salt
Pepper
2 tbsp of honey

Using a pot melt the butter and add the chopped onion. When the onion is cooked (but not starting to brown), add the water, 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and the Worcestershire sauce. If you want the ribs spicy you can add cayenne pepper here.

Bring this to a boil and leave it on the side of the stove, at just barely a simmer. Add more beef stock (or water or chicken broth or whatever liquid is hanging around, as needed). I usually end up adding about 2 cups of beef stock.  Let the ribs cook for 2 hours. Then start basting the meat with the mopping sauce every half hour or so. Turn the ribs occasionally.

Finally, the sauce in the last hour add the canned tomatoes, a little of the drippings from the ribs. Add extra liquid if needed at this time.  Bring this to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard and honey.

The overall flavor should be a nice mix of sweet and sour. If it needs more sour add apple cider vinegar, if you want spicier add cayenne, if you want sweeter add more honey.  I usually add more drippings before adding more spice.  Now mix this mop in a food blender until it is smooth. Turn up the oven to about 225F and baste the ribs every 10 minutes starting a half hour before serving.

Take the ribs from the oven and leave them on warm platters. Remove as much fat as possible from the dripping pan. Deglaze the pan with a little stock and add this to the mop.  Server the mop on the side as dipping sauce, if the sauce is too chunky you can put it in the food processor again before serving.

Enjoy!

One Year Ago: White Bean Puree

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Babka

I am ready – ready for arrival of a little on in 3 weeks or less – the countdown has begun.  Nursery done, all the basic needs for a newborn are stored away, freezer packed – and just packed my bags this past weekend.  You would think I can just sit back and relax now – yeah right – I am in full force nesting – cleaning, doing laundry etc. etc. you name it, and I am still working too – hopefully not too much longer.

Here is one of my all time favorite recipes that I have been wanting to share with you for a while just never gotten to it – the Babka.

This is one of my true favorite sweet breads to make,.  There are no many versions of this and I usually make these for gifts for the Christmas holidays.  The Babka is the European cousin of coffee cake, the rich yeast bread derives its name from bacia, a Slavic term of endearment for grandma, which the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food points out may have been because the fluted tube pans in which babkas were originally baked gave the cakes the appearance of an old woman’s pleated skirt.

Today’s babkas come in all different shares, colors and flavors – sometimes round, sometimes loaf-shaped;  some have a streusel topping, others are frosted. I enjoy both the cinnamon and fruit-based but if you are like Seinfeld’s Elaine, the chocolate babka is king.

A few years back I was looking for a recipes and could not find one recipe that I liked so I combined a few of them on the internet and did some trial and errors and this is what I ended up with.  It is a little time-consuming but the bread is delicious.  I usually make it in bread format or bunt cake format.

I do this recipe with chocolate and without – it is really a personal preference they are both delicious.

Babka

Adapted from: LA Times

Yields: 2 loaves | Prep Time: 110 minutes | Bake Time: 60 minutes

Dough
1 ½ cup butter, softened
3 cup all-purpose flour
3 ½ cup bread flour
2 packets active dry yeast  (4 tsp)
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup warm water
½ cup milk
1 cup sour cream
2 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extracts
¼ tsp drops lemon extract
¼ tsp drops orange extract
¼ tsp almond extract

Filling
¼ cup butter, softened and cut into bits
1 to 1 ½ cup brown sugar
2 to 3 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ cup walnuts , coarsely chopped
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 egg

Dough:
Rub butter into flour until crumbly using dough hook of electric mixer, and set aside.

Combine yeast and warm water (lukewarm) and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then add sugar, salt, milk, sour cream, eggs, yolk, lemon juice, vanilla, citrus extracts, and almond extract. And mix all together.

Then stir in the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix to form a soft dough. Knead 5-6 minutes, then place in a greased glass bowl and cover. Let it rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Note: depending on your yeast it can take longer, it has taken me up to 90 minutes to double in size.

Punch down dough. Divide into 2 portions. Roll each portion out onto a floured work surface into 14×10 inch rectangles.

Assembly:
Sprinkle each rectangle equally with soft butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped nuts, and raisins. (Add chocolate chips here if you want). Roll long end up into a jelly roll.

Carefully place each into well-greased bread pan.

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Turn oven to 350F.

Mix the egg and brush dough egg and sprinkle with some brown sugar.

Place cake pans on a large baking sheet (this protects bottom) and bake at 350 degrees until done, about 1 hour.  Or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 20 minutes before you remove from pan. 

This is what my counter looks like when I am making those holiday gifts –

One Year Ago: Roquamole

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blueberry Scones

How was everyone’s weekend? I am on a count down to having a baby girl in 4 weeks and i can’t believe it.  Time is flying by.  But i am ready – the nursary is ready and this past week i got the rest of the things the baby will need for the first few weeks.  Now i am focusing on what will I need the first two weeks.  So i spent the whole weekend cooking and filling up my freezer.  I made a few large batches of chicken stock, lasagna bolognese, Swedish meatballs, chicken piccata and also some batches of these blueberry scones that are my favorite.  I think i should have food for a couple of days now.  I am sure i will make something else, and come up with something else i need.  But now i would like to just sit and relax for the rest of the weeks but i still have to go to work,  but i feel ready.  Hopefully no crazy nesting will kick in.  But then my husband thinks i have been nesting for the last few months.

But i would love to hear from you – did you do any crazy nesting things?  Did you re-organized your closet, wash windows etc?  Would love to hear your stories.

Seattle is getting hit by snow – we got about 4 inches of snow this weekend and are supposed to have a big one arriving tomorrow.  Seattle doesn’t handle snow very well – so if there is one inch on the ground the city pretty much shuts down.  But my dog LOVES the snow.

Blueberry Scones

Adapted from: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Yields: 16 scones | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes

4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp lemon zest
2 tsp salt
3/4 pound (3 sticks of butter) cold unsalted butter, diced
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 cups blueberries
1 egg beaten for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 4 cups of flour, 2 tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the cold butter at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add them to the flour and butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Toss the blueberries with 1 tbsp of flour and lemon zest and set them aside.

The dough may be a bit sticky.

Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is well combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into squares with a 4-inch plain or fluted cutter, and then cut them in half diagonally to make triangles. Then put the blueberries in the triangle and fold the top piece over to the long side of the triangle. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outsides are crisp and the insides are fully baked.

One Year Ago: Maple Spice Muffins

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Persimmon Bread

I hope everyone is having a great beginning of the year – I know I am getting ready for the little one arriving in a few weeks.  Can’t believe I only have 5 weeks left.  Time flies.

The other day I was looking through a Bob Appetite magazine and found this Persimmons Bread recipe there.   There are times when you see a recipe and want to try it right away.  Well, this was one of those recipes, especially when it says that you don’t need a lot of sugar because the persimmons are sweet.  The original recipe had 1 cup of sugar in it and I only used 1/2 cup, I think you can even make this recipe without sugar; it was sweet enough with the raisins too.

This bread was delicious, and is a keeper.

Persimmon Bread

Adapted from: Bon Appetite

Yields: 1 loaf pan | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Baking Time: 60 minutes

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for pan
3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus more for pan
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large persimmons
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
½ sugar cup sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Tap out excess flour.

Combine raisins and 2 tbsp. hot water in a small heatproof bowl. Let steep for 20 minutes to plump raisins (or microwave for 15 seconds).

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Scoop persimmon flesh from skins into a blender. Purée until smooth. Transfer 1 cup purée to a medium bowl (reserve any remaining purée for another use). Whisk in buttermilk and orange zest. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter in a medium bowl until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes longer.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until mixture is well combined. Gradually add persimmon mixture; beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, beating just until incorporated. Fold in strained raisins.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Let bread cool in pan for 20 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely on a wire rack.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Banana Bread

Monday, January 2, 2012

Best Recipes in 2011

 

This is the second year of Delishhh and I have had a blast!  It has been so much fun writing and creating this blog and there is more to come.  But first thank you everyone for being very supportive and giving feedback and comments.  You guys make it fun!  Next year will be a very exciting year for me with a new little girl arriving in February, so much to do and write about.

Here is the “Year in Review” of recipes.

The first ten recipes are the recipes that received the most traffic in 2011 with #1 being the winner.

10. Mango Gazpacho

9. Sesame Seed Snaps

8. Polish Cucumber Salad

7. Garlic Shrimp

6. Chocolate Gelato

5. Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread

4. Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

3. French Potato Salad

2. Baked French Toast

And the winner is . . . . .

1. Rosemary and Parmesan Crackers

The second list of the ten below are my favorites recipes of the year that didn’t make the cut of the top 10 list but that were some of my absolute favorites this year, in no particular order:

 

1. Tomato and Green Bean Salad

 

2. Ricotta Pound Cake

3. White Bean Puree

 

4. Strata

5. Apple Cake

 

6. Rhubarb Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

 

7. Rum Raisin Ice Cream

8. Lasagna Bolognese

 

9. Greek Lamb Sliders with Yogurt Sauce

 

10. Rugelach

I am looking forward to an exciting 2012 filled with some Global Recipes and Tasty Ideas! I am always open to hear what folks would like to read more about.

Happy New Year!

One Year Ago: Best Recipe in 2010

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rugelach

This year as a holiday gift i decided to make Rugelach.  This is one of my favorite holidays treats right behind the Babka.  For years i have made the Babka, then i did some Salted Caramel last year and i was playing around with Fudge this year – but after making all the different kind of fudge i went back to the Rugelach.  To me it is just such a delicious little pastry filled with fruits and nuts.  Since i am married to a person that comes from Jewish traditions i like to keep some of those traditions.  One of them is celebrating Hanukkah!  So Happy Hanukkah and in celebration of Hanukkah here is this awesome Rugelach recipe. This recipe is easy to make but somewhat time consuming due to the chilling but if you split it up in two days it is much quicker.

For those not familiar with Hanukkah, it is one of the less important Jewish holidays. However, Hanukkah has become much more popular in modern practice because of its proximity to Christmas.

Hanukkah falls on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Since the Jewish calendar is lunar based, every year the first day of Hanukkah falls on a different day – usually sometime between late November and late December. Because many Jews live in predominately Christian societies, over time Hanukkah has become much more festive and Christmas-like. Jewish children receive gifts for Hanukkah – often one gift for each of the eight nights of the holiday. Many parents hope that by making Hanukkah extra special their children won’t feel left out of all the Christmas festivities going on around them.

Everyone has different traditions – we light the hanukkuyah one night and eat Latkes and then we move on to my Swedish Christmas traditions.

As we say in Swedish “God Jul och Gott Nytt År”  or Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Rugelach

Adapted from: Baking with Julia Child

Yields:  About  48 pastries | Prep Time: 60 minute | Chill Time:  6 hours in refrigerator or 1 hour in freezer

The Cream Cheese Pasty
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
½ tsp salt
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Beat the butter, cream cheese, and salt together until smooth with a mixer, add the sugar and beat until light.  Once that is done switch to a paddle attachment.  Mixing on low speed add the flour, mixing only until the dough comes together.  Turn the dough out onto a counter and work it gently into a ball.  Divide the dough in half and press each half into a rough rectangle.

Wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate about 2 hour or 30 minutes in the freezer.  The dough can be wrapped well and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for a month.

Apricot Lekvar

Yields: 2 cups | Prep Time: 20 minutes

6 cups whole dried apricots
2/4 cups brown sugar
4 ½ tbsp of fresh lemon juice

Place the apricots in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and simmer until the fruit is soft, about 15 minutes.  Drain the apricots, reserving about 1 tbsp of the liquid, and put the fruit in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Puree the apricots with the brown sugar and lemon juice, adding a bit of the reserved liquid if the mixture seems too stiff to be spreadable.

This will keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

The Filling and Topping
1 cups granulated sugar
½ cup of brown sugar
3 ½ tbsp cinnamon
3 ½ cups coarsely chopped assorted nuts ( I used pecans and walnuts)
2 cups of apricot lekvar (recipe above) or apricot marmalade could work too.
2 cups of assorted dried fruits (I used golden raisins, apricots and figs)
1 large egg for egg wash

You are going to need 3 bowls here:

First bowl –   ½ cup of granulated sugar and ½ of the brown sugar and I tbsp of cinnamon and mix.

Second bowl – 1 ½ cups of the remaining sugar, 2 ½ tbsp of cinnamons and 1 ½ cups of the assorted nuts   and add to a food processor and pulses a few time until nuts are chopped and put back into your bowl.  This is for topping the rugelach.

Third bowl – put the remainder of the 2 cups of the nuts and all the dried fruit (2 cups) into a food processor and pulse a few times and put into a bowl.

Working with one pieces of the chilled dough at a time, place it on lightly floured work surface and let it soften for a few minutes.

Here you have two options of how to roll your rugelach:

Jellyroll – Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a rectangle 14 inches by 10 inches and ¼ inch thick.   Do not make it much thinner because you need a sturdy wrapper for all the chunky fillings.  Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough in half lengthwise, to make two 14×15 inch rectangles; leave the half in place.

Spread each half generously with one quarter (1/2 cup total) of the apricot lekvar.  Sprinkle one quarter (1/4 cup) of the cinnamon/sugar mixture from first bowl. Press it down lightly with your fingers.  Then sprinkle half (1 cup) of the nuts/fruit mixture third bowl and press it down lightly with your fingers.

Starting with he long edge of dough, roll up each rectangle jelly-roll fashion, tucking in any fruit or nuts that fall out along the way.

Cover the two rolls and put into your refrigerator until firm for about 4 hours or freezer for 30 minutes.

Repeat the steps for the second piece of dough.

The rolls can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

Brush the roll all over with the egg wash.  Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, slice the roll into pieces that are 1 to ½ inches wide.

Crescent shape – Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle and about ¼ inch thick.  Do not make it much thinner because you need a sturdy wrapper for all the chunky fillings.

Spread one quarter (1/2 cup total) of the apricot lekvar evenly.  Sprinkle one quarter (1/4 cup) of the cinnamon/sugar mixture from first bowl. Press it down lightly with your fingers.  Then sprinkle half (1 cup) of the nuts/fruit mixture third bowl and press it down lightly with your fingers.

Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or triangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut the dough into quarters, then to cut each quarter into 4 triangles.) Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each pastry becomes a little crescent.

Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the pastry, and refrigerate until firm for about 4 hours or freezer for 30 minutes.

Repeat the steps for the second piece of dough.

The pastries can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

Brush the roll all over with the egg wash.

Final Steps and Baking
Position the oven racks to that they divide the over into thirds and preheat the oven to 375F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon.  Although you can probably bake all the pastries at the same time I would do it in batches.

Tosh each pastry in the cinnamon/sugar/nut mixture bowl two to coat generously.  Transfer the rugelach to the prepared baking sheet, cut sides down for the jellyroll version, leaving an inch between each pastry.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom and from to back halfway through the baking period.  The rugelach are done when the tops are golden and bottoms are caramelized.  Cool the pastries on the pans for 5-10 minutes, then releases them from the sheet by running a think spatula under them.  Cool to room temperature on a rack. Repeat with the remaining rolls of dough.

The rugelach will keep for a week in airtight containers, seals in plastic bags; they can be frozen up to 2 months.

Here are a few extra tips:

  • Take the cream cheese and butter out of the refrigerator just 10 minutes before you’re going to use them – they should be still cold and only a tad soft.
  • Give the dough a leisurely chill in the fridge before rolling it out, it makes a big difference.  30 minutes in freezer is min, 4 hours in the refrigerator or overnight even better.
  • Refrigerate the pastries after you’ve assembled them – they’ll hold their shape a lot better if you bake them when they’re cold, trust me I have tried not to and they fall apart.

One Year Ago: Rice Porridge “Risgrynsgröt” and Swedish Santa Claus “Jultomten”

 

Monday, December 19, 2011

10 Best Hostess Gifts

Not only do we host during the holiday season but we go to others for the holidays, if it is a cocktail party, holiday party, Christmas party or new years party one is always wondering what to bring to the hostess.  99% of the time most people bring a bottle of wine since that is pretty safe.  But why not get a little creative and bring one of these items for your hostess during the holiday season, I would love to get any of these items.

What do you usually bring to the hostess?

Also here is a list of other gift ideas from previous years.

  1. Salted Caramels from Jon Boy – $8.99. – TheseSeattle made caramels are amazing. They are made with local cream, organic sugar, fleur de sel and organic brown-rice syrup by former local Whole Foods employee Jonathan Sue and business partner Jason Alm, these little boxes of 15 or so caramels pack in a whole lot of happiness. Today they are only selling these locally inSeattle, but you can get them online, and let me tell you, your hostess will not be disappointed.
  2. Black Tea Assortment Gift Tin from Mighty Leaf – $17.56 – This is my favorite tea these days and I always order my tea from there.  You can get all kinds of flavors and always very good.
  3. Infused Truffle Olive Oil – $23.95 – I think this is a great gift, we all use olive oil and sometimes I have a hard time buying myself some fancy olive oil and always end up with the basic.  However, I love getting this as s gift.
  4. Made in America Cookbook – $27.70 – An amazing cookbook which is a celebration of the contemporary American food landscape. 100 recipes by world’s leading chefs. Each recipe is enhanced with an introduction that includes the background and origin of the dish and a unique profile of the chef who has undertaken it, as well as sumptuous photographs of the dish, chef, and restaurant. Great cookbook for a chef at home.
  5. Eggs/Snaps Cups –  $29 – Why not get something very Swedish from Splendidwillow Avenue with a set of adorable Egg cups. Every breakfast table/tray deserves some fancy egg cups.
  6. Cucina Hand Soap Set – $42 – Love this soap in the kitchen. They come in all different flavors.  The scents are always refreshing and softens hands while bringing a Mediterranean touch to the surrounding decor of your kitchen.
  7. Cote Bastide Amber Crystal Potpourri – $42 – When you open this they look like a mix of amber and sea glass.  Almost like brining a box of gemstones but with amazing scent.
  8. Italian Herb Garden – $49.95 – What a great idea to have a little herb garden inside your house during the winter season.  I always forget to transfer mine inside.
  9. Truffles from Fran’s Chocolate – $50.00 – These amazing truffles makes anyone happy.  A complete assortment of handmade truffles and award-winning salt caramels. These are my new favorite chocolates on order.  I received these as a gift last year for Christmas and they were delicious.  Today if I want to send chocolates as a gift I go to Fran’s, perfect hostess gift.
  10. Laurent-Perrier Brut Rose with Gift Box – $59.99 – Laurent-Perrier Rose is the best-selling roseChampagne in the world and it is one of the few roses still made by the traditional “saignee” method. Fabulous Champagne to give to your hostess.

One Year Ago:  Swedish Christmas Glögg (Sweet Christmas Wine)

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