Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lasagna Bites (an interpretation)

I was inspired by this idea I found on Pinterest. I couldn't find vegan wonton wrappers, but I've been on a puff-pastry bender lately and decided that would be a suitable substitution. It was! They were missing the crunchy bite of the wontons or the yummy crispy lasagna noodles at the edge of the pan, and they didn't quite stay closed during baking, but YUM.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Minty Chocolately cookies

Merry Christmas, everyone! I know you're probably sick of all the sweets already, but he's a cookie to top all cookies! I was looking around online for a recipe, and just couldn't decide. So I combined my favorite ones.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate powder
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp mint extract
1 cup almond milk
1/2 bag chocolate chips
Crushed peppermint candy canes

1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and chocolate. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter until creamy. Add vanilla, flour mix, and milk in batches.
3. Stir in chips. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes for the dough to get sticky.
4. Roll a large spoonful of dough in your hands and flatten into a patty. Press one side of patty in candy canes.
5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake at 325 degrees for 11-12 minutes and cool. 

So rich and sweet. A yummy Christmas treat.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wine of the Week - Pago Florentino 2009 Tempranillo


This is an excellent wine at an affordable price.  A great value!

A variety of rich berries on the nose, and an array of deep earthy tastes on the tongue - wood, smoke, some mushroom.  But laying overtop of everything is the taste of honey-sweetened bacon.  Perfectly balanced.  Eye-opening and crowd-pleasing.  Highly recommended.

14.5% alcohol, which you will barely taste.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chai Spice Snickerdoodles

Warning: These cookies get hard very quickly and the recipe makes 2 dozen. So make them the day you plan to serve them to some hungry people or sit in front of the TV all day watching a Biggest Loser marathon.

From The PPK

For the topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch cloves

For the cookies:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the topping ingredients together on a dinner plate. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together oil, sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix for at least a minute, until it resembles applesauce. Then mix in vanilla.
Sift in remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all ingredients are added mix until you’ve got a pliable dough. Get in there with your hands to mix, it’s the easiest way to get the dough to come together.
With clean, moist hands, roll dough into walnut sized balls. Pat into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly 2 inch discs. Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up, at least 2 inches apart (they do spread a little). This should be easy as the the bottom of the cookies should just stick to your fingers so you can just flip them over onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, they should be a bit browned on the bottoms. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Candy cane syrup

A few weeks ago, I came across this post for Candy Cane Syrup by Chica and Jo. We always have plenty of candy canes laying around...

Candy Cane Syrup

...and leftover ice cream from Thanksgiving - put two and two together and you get an awesomely sweet sugar high.

Ice cream with candy cane syrup

The directions made it sound like it would take just a couple of minutes, but I used 7 candy canes and it took quite a while for them to entirely melt. So allot yourself some time.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wine of the Week - STO "Viva Las Vegas" 2010 white


A simple and good white wine blend from our friends at Sort This Out Cellars.

With scents of golden apple and some celery that carry over to the taste, this wine has a light minerality that goes down smooth and a tasty, biting acidic finish.

13.5% alcohol

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wine of the Week - Carivintas "Emmett" 2011 Rosé of Tempranillo


The first thing I noticed on the nose of this wine was a funkiness.  In a good way.  Then came notes of watery tomato and some celery.

Very dry on the tongue.  There's a sharp bite up front that hits you hard.  This wine seemed like it may have been semi-sparkling, but I'm actually not sure; there's a strong possibility that it was just the dryness pinging my taste buds.  The overall taste was reminiscent of ale.  There were notes of lettuce, celery and other light greens.  The quickly-receding finish leaves your mouth feeling refreshed.  Save this one for a mild summer day.

13.9% alcohol

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter Stuffed Squash

I had the ingredients, but nothing to do with them. That's when you make something up! Here's a yummy and filling recipe full of winter vegetables and Thanksgiving ingredient leftovers.

stuffed squash

1 acorn squash
1 yam, chopped in 1/2" pieces
1 large carrot, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
1/2 leek, sliced
1 cup fresh kale
1/2 cup cooked lentils
Olive oil
Thyme & savory
Leftover T-giving gravy

1. Slice squash in half and scoop out seeds. Spray a cooking sheet with oil, and bake face down at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Go do something productive. 2. About 30 minutes in, cook the rest of the veggies and seasonings in an oiled pan for 15 minutes, or until softened. 3. Remove squash from oven. Scoop out the meat of the squash and mix with the veggies. Fill each squash half with veggie mixture. Drizzle gravy on top. 4. Reduce oven temp to 325 degrees. Bake stuffed halves for about 10 minutes and serve.