Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ugly Sweater Cookies

Every year, Jamie and I have an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. This year, about a week before, a package arrived in the mail from Jamie's aunt Patti - an ugly Christmas sweater cookie kit! It's so adorable. It's really just a sweater-shaped cookie cutter, frosting, and sprinkles, but they were a hit. I had so much fun decorating them and they fit the theme to a t. Everyone gobbled them up.
She got the mix at CVS (I found this expired link googling) so you may be able to still get them! Such a fun alternative to the usual stars, bells, trees, and snowmen - though I do love those, too.
I love Christmastime, and so does Petunia.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Carrot Soup with Dukkah and Yogurt

This is a very simple soup that is jazzed up by the yogurt and dukkah. The dukkah adds a great spice and the cool, tart yogurt is a nice texture in the soup. 

Serves 2
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into slices
1/2 qt vegetable broth
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp turmeric 
Pinch cayenne
Low fat greek yogurt

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Spiced Syrup

It's the season of parties. Sometimes it's nice to give/get something other than a bottle of wine. I was going over to my friend Alice's last weekend and wanted to bring over a little hostess present. I always make ginger simple syrup for dark and stormies, but I wanted to make a spiced ginger syrup to be warming and holiday-inspired. This makes about 2 cups and it's great in cocktails. 

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
1 1/2" of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
A pinch nutmeg
A pinch allspice
3 cloves
3 peppercorns

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sunday Gravy

I'm not Italian, but I can get behind the idea of Sunday gravy. We had a slider of that name from a stand of that name at Smorgasburg on Sunday and I was inspired to make my own. I gathered all the good looking meats from the store and set out for a long, slow cook. The flavor is so deep and strong and wonderful. I served it with fresh rigatoni but feel free to use your favorite pasta. Also, you can play around with the meat choices. Any traditional braising cuts of beef and pork work well, and some sausage for an extra bit of flavor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Frersh Garganelli with Tangy Lamb Ragu

This is such a flavorful, hearty pasta - perfect for cold weather. Your house will smell amazing. I love using balsamic vinegar in braising. It adds such a nice flavor. I made the garganelli, but you can use rigatoni too. 

1 lamb shank
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 large onion, diced
1 small leek, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped 
1 celery stock, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fresh Garganelli

Sundays are great for making pasta. I was cooking a lamb ragu and thought garganelli would be fun and good for the hearty sauce. It's a lot like ziti and has a great texture. You need a gnocchi board or ridged surface for rolling them. 

Makes enough for 4-6 people
2 cups flour
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp olive oil 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Black Garlic-Roasted Cornish Game Hen

This is a simple and tasty weeknight dinner. I used black garlic, but you can swap in regular garlic - just halve it and mash it to a paste. The black garlic is a sweeter more subtle garlic flavor.