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Recipe: Experimental Jam Tartlets

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Once upon a time, I did not like pie. When I think back to all those pie-less years of my youth, I die a little on the inside because what I was really missing out on was crust. I freakin’ LOVE crust.

Naturally, last weekend when we made an apple crumb pie, I made a whole crust recipe (Joy of Cooking – basic shortening crust) knowing full well that I would use the other crust if I had it. By last night, it was practically calling to us from the fridge – please! bake me! put me to good use! OK FINE. If I have to. Lacking the necessary ingredients for any real pie, we ended up making tiny, baby pies with jam – because everyone knows that things taste better in miniature form. Really, they were more crust than filling – and that’s the way I like it. All you need is a crust, already chilled, and some of your favorite jam or jelly.

let me have the recipe already!

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Recipe: Mushroom Risotto

why, hello.

I’ve always wanted to make risotto – but it had always seemed like a recipe I would have to conquer, instead of just make. It seemed intense with all that standing over the stove, the constant stirring for 20 minutes. Ok, perhaps I was just lazy. Anyways, I finally decided yesterday to make Mushroom Risotto – and it turned out pretty well, I think. It was thick and creamy, the rice still had a bite to it, but the mushroom flavor could have been more pronounced. As my boyfriend said, “I would not be disappointed if I were served this in a restaurant” – that’s a pretty good review, right?

I adapted a recipe by Tyler Florence, combined with a couple of Gourmet recipes….er, basically, I followed a basic risotto recipe but wung it when it came to details. If I were to make this again (and I probably will), I would probably put in the dried porchini mushrooms that Tyler Florence called for, to get more mushroomy goodness. This was an easy, if slightly labor-intensive, dish and well worth the end results.

let me have the recipe already!

Recipe: Homemade Granola

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My daily breakfast is always plain or vanilla yogurt, with an almost equal amount of granola on top. Here, yogurt is really just accessory to the granola – at least, when it’s homemade granola. I’ve tried just about every store-bought granola variety out there – and have been disappointed or unable to eat it because almost all of them have nuts (I’m allergic to tree nuts).

Someone gave me this recipe years ago, and the rest is history! This is the basic recipe – but you could, of course, add whatever dried fruit, nuts, or seeds you wanted.

let me have the recipe already!

Recipe: Hermit Bars

mine turned out fatter and thicker than this
mine turned out fatter and thicker than this

When it comes to baked goods, especially those that I make myself, I tend to lean towards the simple variety, the comfort foods of baked goods, if you will. You know, stuff that your grandma probably makes – nothing over-the-top but just simple, maybe elegant, home baking.

So, when I found an old recipe for hermit bars, clipped out of a newspaper years ago and shoved in the “recipes I might one day find again” box, I instantly desired to make them. If you haven’t had hermit bars – and, it’s surprising how many people haven’t – they’re typically a chewy molasses cookie in bar form, usually (hopefully) with raisins. Mine turned out quite well, if I do say so myself – thick, chewy, a bit spicy, and with a satisfactory hermit-to-raisin ratio (read: raisin in every bite).

let me have the recipe already!

Recipe: No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

I’ve never been a huge fan of regular cheesecake – it’s a bit too rich for me and, honestly, I like the crust more than the actual cheesecake filling. But, if I could have a small bar of cheesecake, with equal amounts of graham cracker crust and cheesecake filling, maybe then I could enjoy it.

let me have the recipe already!

Recipe: Local Watermelon Salad

A refreshing summer salad, courtesy of Garden at the Cellar.

watermelon-salad

let me have the recipe already!

Recipe: Guacamole Salad

The NYT did a great feature on 101 Simple Summer Recipes, all of which are ridiculously easy and take less than 10-15 minutes. Most are some variation on pasta, sandwiches, or easy salads – nothing fancy, but they sure are easy.

One of my new favorite recipes that keeps me out of the heat is Ina Garten’s Guacamole Salad (shown) – essentially, deconstructed, chunky Guac with some black beans thrown in.

let me have the recipe already!

To-Bake List

Despite the heat, I’m really in the mood for baking today…

To Bake List:

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies (in this month’s Real Simple)
Salted Oatmeal Cookies (thanks to Cupcake Queen at 52 Cupcakes for the recommendation!)
Apricot Berry Crumble over at Kitchenography

And, in case You are baking today too, check out Spatgirl’s post “Cookie Baking 101: So You Think You Know How to Bake Cookies?” – she knows her cookies!

UPDATE 6/28/07: The Peanut Butter Brownies are REALLY tasty – nice and fudgy – and super easy to make.

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Revised

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies was in the June issue of Cooking Light. I always, always, always use the Tollhouse recipe, but I’m willing to try most anything when it comes to cookies. Though the recipe is only slightly different from the original – only half the butter, more brown sugar, and egg whites – the cookies definitely taste different. They’re chewy in the middle, a little crispy on the edges, and just a tad sweeter than usual.

let me have the recipe already!

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