Sunday, December 8, 2013
Peanut butter and jelly—the classic combo
When I was a kid, my mother would bake batch after batch of cookies during the weeks leading up to Christmas. A dozen varieties at least, usually more.
The assortment varied from year to year. But she always included these PB&J Thumbprint Cookies. How could she not? Everyone in the family clamored for them.
Try them and you’ll understand why.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
This bourbon-based champagne cocktail brightens up the holidays
Like bourbon? And champagne? Then we’ve got just the drink for you.
The Seelbach was invented around 1917 as the signature cocktail of the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Rumor has it that F. Scott Fitzgerald hung out at the hotel bar while writing The Great Gatsby (remember, Daisy Buchanan hailed from Louisville). And that Gatsby character? He may have been inspired by a gangster Fitzgerald met there—presumably while enjoying this flavorful elixir.
True story? Who knows? What we do know is that sometime during Prohibition (when the hotel was forced to close its bar), the recipe for this drink was lost. Then a hotel manager rediscovered it in 1995.
Lucky for us. Because on Kitchen Riffs this year, we’ll be doing nothing but cookies and cocktails from now until Christmas. As a bonus, all the cocktails will be made with champagne (or sparkling wine, to be more precise).
So stock up on bubbly and grab your party hat. As Gatsby might say, “Time to enjoy some holiday cheer, old sport.”
Sunday, December 1, 2013
This classic flavor combo is great for Christmas—or anytime
Back when having fresh fruit during winter was a luxury, good children often found an orange in their Christmas stockings. And if they were very good, a bar of chocolate.
So if you’re looking for a cookie that evokes holiday traditions, what could be more appropriate than one that highlights these two retro-favorite flavors? Like this Double Orange Dark Chocolate Cookie.
Fortunately, these days oranges and chocolate are both abundant all the time. Which is a good thing, because the flavor of this cookie is so rich and intense, you’ll want to make it year round.
It’s a great treat when you’ve been good. And maybe even better when you’ve been bad.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
A tasty fate for leftover veggies
What’s the best thing about big holiday meals (like Thanksgiving, for instance)? Leftovers, I’d say.
One of the best ways to use leftover veggies is to mix them into a frittata. If you don’t know frittatas, you should—they’re a baked egg mixture that you start on the stovetop (in a heatproof skillet), then finish in the oven. They resemble omelets, but are much easier to make for most people. They’re also exceptionally versatile—tasty when eaten hot, cold, or in between.
If you serve Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving, chances are you’ll have some left over—because who loads up on veggies when the table is groaning with turkey and dressing? You probably wouldn’t think of eating those little cabbagettes for breakfast. But bake them into a frittata, and you could. Or just wait until lunch or dinner, because frittatas are perfect anytime.
In fact, this dish is so good, you may find yourself cooking Brussels sprouts more often. Just so you’ll have some on hand for your next frittata.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
A healthy vegan snack that’s tasty enough for meat lovers
With party season around the corner, it’s time to start searching for snacks and nibbles to serve. If you’re in the US, the first big holiday happens this Thursday: Thanksgiving.
So here’s a handy appetizer idea. These Spicy Roast Chickpeas (a/k/a garbanzo beans) make the perfect starter. Their zing helps stimulate appetites, but their low-fat profile keeps things light and healthy.
They’re also easy to make. Which leaves you more time to wrestle with that turkey.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Better than pumpkin—really
What’s for dessert this Thanksgiving? Pie, of course—why even bother to ask? And pumpkin will be the pie of choice for most households throughout the US.
But how about an alternative that’s even tastier? That would be Sweet Potato Pie, a favorite in the American South. Sweet potatoes have deeper, richer flavor than pumpkin. And our gluten-free walnut crust is both tastier and easier to make than the traditional pastry shell.
So welcome to the best Thanksgiving dessert. Ever.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Parmesan and cayenne ramp up this savory side
Sweet potato casseroles rule at Thanksgiving. Which is no surprise—they’re festive looking and tasty. But when topped with marshmallows (as they so often are), they’re sweet enough to serve as dessert.
So how about a savory alternative? This casserole highlights the deep, rich flavor of sweet potatoes—while rosemary adds a herbal note, Parmesan cheese provides richness, and cayenne pepper gives it just a bit of a kick.
You can do most of the prep and assembly work for this dish ahead of time (even the night before), and then just pop it into the oven when ready to serve.
Which makes it one less thing to worry about on the big day. Works for me!