Ginger Spice Cookies (Bon Appetit)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Food Librarian - Ginger Spice Cookies (Bon Appetit)

I donate a pint of blood every 56 days or so. I think it builds good karma (hee hee) and you get served a cookie and juice. It takes very little to amuse me.

I really love my blood donation center...Nurse Jan is so nice!

However, the "don't-pass-out-on-us" post-donation cookie is...well...you know...just okay. Oh, how Tuesdays with Dorie and this baking blog adventure has killed me. I can now taste chemicals in box cake mixes. I can tell if stuff is made with real butter or not. And I can tell those blood donation cookies wandered over from the hospital kitchen.

Today, after giving a few gallons of blood, it FINALLY dawned on me to bring in my own damn cookie!

Of course! I heart ginger so I tried Bon Appétit's Ginger Spice Cookies.

The batter comes together very easily. It has cinnamon, ground ginger and 3/4 cup of crystallized ginger. You need to chill it for at least 1 hour. I let it hang out overnight. In the morning, I shaped them into balls and rolled them in sugar. Bake until the top cracks but the center is soft and yummy. Using a small scoop, I got 53 cookies.

Food Librarian - Ginger Spice Cookies (Bon Appetit)
A Cookie for A Pint

You should definitely make these Ginger Spice Cookies. And don't forget that giving blood is easy and very much in demand! Only 3% of American adults donate. Your local hospital or the Red Cross will welcome you with open arms and orange juice. Just be sure to plan your treat. You deserve the best! :)

Recipe:
Ginger Spice Cookies
from Bon Appétit, March 2000

P.S. My TWD entry this week is a bit delayed! Sorry but I should have a double entry next week!
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Nectarine Buckle (Peach Buckle by Everyday Food)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Food Librarian - Peach Buckle with Nectarines

Oh, I'm such a wild girl!

Not.

I've been a pretty boring chica lately. Sometimes, I think my excitement for the day is driving 7 miles over the speed limit (with two hands on the steering wheel...)

Yesterday, I engaged my lead foot and did something crazy in the kitchen.

I switched nectarines for the peach.

I know!! C R A Z Y.

I'm sure this'll be on the next DVD of Fruit Gone Wild.

Food Librarian - Peach Buckle with Nectarines

I replaced the peaches with absolutely delicious mango flavored nectarines from Ken's Top Notch Produce at the farmer's market. This is breeding done right.

Food Librarian - Peach Buckle with Nectarines Food Librarian - Peach Buckle with Nectarines
Peaches or Nectarines are folded into the batter. The topping is sugar, cinnamon and sliced almonds. I've also made a Peach and Blueberry Buckle - that's yum too.

And why did I pick the Peach Buckle?

I don't want to go all TMI on you, but my gums are pathetic. For some reason, one speck of plaque on my teeth cause much, much misery. I need to get my teeth cleaned four times a year. I see my hygienist more than my relatives. I'm supposed to floss twice a day, Sonicare after every meal, use a prescription toothpaste ($17 a tube!), Waterpik, Sulcabrush and not snack too much (that one I can't handle). I'm probably the only one in the library with an electric toothbrush on my desk (behind my monitor - not next to the reference books, thank you very much). But last month I had more dental issues and mega sensitivity on one of my molars. My dentist said they need to cover the exposed nerves with a "buckle."

And what did I think when I hear "buckle"? Novocaine? No...Fruit Buckle!!

However, I later learned that my dentist was probably talking about the buccal surface of the tooth...oh well, I'm calling this My Buckle for My Buccal!

Food Librarian - Peach Buckle with Nectarines
Got peaches? Got nectarines? Got blueberries?
Got bad gums or need dental work?
Make this buckle! (and then brush and floss your teeth)

Recipe:
Peach Buckle
from Everyday Food
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Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Monday, June 22, 2009

Food Librarian - Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake

When I saw this cake on Blue is Bleu's blog and instantly knew I had to make it! Audrie is so great! I've enjoyed her blog for a long time and you should definitely check it out! Audrie said she got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen's blog.

Food Librarian - Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Not much to say...besides MAKE IT.
It's big. It's chocolate. It's cake. It's good. It's rich (1 stick of butter and 16 ounces of sour cream!) but not crazy, oozing rich. And my middle layer of cinnamon, sugar and chocolate chips didn't end up on the bottom! That's a good thing.

Food Librarian - Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake
My co-workers really liked this when I brought it in last week. It an easy treat to make and really delicious. Definitely give it a try!

And thanks to everyone for your well wishes about my Dad and our lengthy Father's Day visit to Urgent Care! I so appreciate it! He tells me he is feeling a bit better now...it's such a pain (literally) to get old. Dad now uses a cane to help him around, and I've nicknamed him (with love): The Turtle. He has a backyard full of summer crops (I'll profile those soon), and luckily my mom is helping him out!

Recipe:
Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake
from Smitten Kitchen
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Sorry Cake Slice & TWD

Sorry Cake Slice Bakers and TWD...my baking plans this weekend were destroyed by getting a bit sick myself, and then an adventure in urgent care with my parents. I thought I would take my dad out to lunch for Father's Day...only to be met by my mom who said we needed to take dad to urgent care for his swollen leg and pain in the knee. That turned into a 4 1/2 hour crazy day where most of the time was spent trying to "find" digital x-rays. Oh dear. Having x-ray vision would be most helpful for doctors...

Anyway, sorry I missed Cake Slice and will miss TWD! Can't wait to see what you have made!

- mary the food librarian
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Edamame Hummus (Ellie Krieger)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Food Librarian - Edamame Hummus

Yo Soy lover of Soy.

Come on, I'm Japanese American and grew up eating tofu by the square plastic tub-full. If my family laid those out cartons end to end, I'm sure we could reach the moon and back.

And I love the edamame. I just like saying the name. I like eating the whole edamame with sea salt and popping those beans out of their pod.

And I love hummus. Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans and me are friends. You remember Little House on the Prairie? Laura Ingalls' husband was Almanzo Wilder. My "English is my Second Language" mom always (I mean always) called him "Garbanzo." I can't look at hummus without thinking of Pa, Ma, Mary and Half-Pint.

So, when I saw this double soy delight by everyone's favorite Ellie Krieger, I was sold.

Food Librarian - Edamame Hummus

Edamame Hummus
From Ellie Krieger

2 cups shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions (for this recipe, I bought the shelled edamame, not the whole beans)

1 cup silken tofu, briefly drained of excess liquid
(I used Mori-Nu Silken Soft Tofu. 1 cup is about 1/2 a package.)

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

3 cloves garlic (Holy smokes, I used too much garlic or my cloves were extra large. I would cut this in half and then add more if necessary)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice, plus more, to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, plus more, for garnish

I whirled it all in a food processor for 2-3 minutes. Added lots of black pepper and topped with extra edamame.

Food Librarian - Edamame Hummus
I sliced some cucumbers for a super low-fat "chip." Make this delicious double soy treat!
It's Soy Soy good. (ha ha ha)

Recipe:
Edamame Hummus From Ellie Krieger/FoodNetwork Website
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Fresh Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Food Librarian - Fresh Cherry Upside-Down Cake

I missed a week of the Farmer's Market and was stuck buying produce at the local supermarket. And that is a crime during the summer. I picked up a $6 bag of cherries...and they sucked compared to what I can get at the Farmer's Market. Sad. So, I baked with them!

Food Librarian - Fresh Cherry Upside-Down Cake
Here is a fresh cherry upside-down cake from Bon Appetit. Find the recipe here on Epicurious.

Food Librarian - Fresh Cherry Upside-Down Cake
Placing these cherries (cut side down) on the bottom of the pan was probably the most time consuming part of the cake. Luckily, Racheal and Lee just sent me an awesome cherry pitter!!! Thank you Racheal & Lee! You saved me a zillion hours of work!

Food Librarian - Fresh Cherry Upside-Down Cake Food Librarian - Fresh Cherry Upside-Down Cake
The bottom (later the top) layer of the cake is a combo of butter and brown sugar with cherries on top. I think there is too much brown sugar (3/4 cup), but my co-workers liked the big o' layer. You melt the butter in the pan over low heat on the stove (see left photo). This always makes me nervous but it worked out fine.

The recipe says to use a 9" x 2" pan, but I used my 9" x 3" pan. If you have one, please use it. The second photo is from the oven, and this cake totally rises. I think it might overflow in a 9" x 2" pan.

Food Librarian - Fresh Cherry Upside-Down Cake
Make this cherry cake with your cherries...and go to your farmer's market for the best stuff! :)

Recipe: Cherry Upside-Down Cake
from Bon Appetit, June 1997
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Honey-Peach Ice Cream with homemade waffle cone - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Food LIbrarian - Honey-Peach Ice Cream

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Tommi of Brown Interior selected Honey-Peach Ice Cream on page 437 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. I really like Rainbow Brown's blog - be sure to stop by her blog and give her encouragement about getting an apartment with an electric stove. Oh dear.

Food LIbrarian - Honey-Peach Ice Cream

I got to use my new ice cream maker for the second time...and get sucked in by the glory of Target.

I went to Target yesterday and they are having a little summer appliance sale. My friend JustJenn has a bunch of great appliances like a Williams Sonoma Mini-Donut Maker they don't sell anymore! My newly adopted JustJenn motto when shopping: "When I see an appliance, I buy it."

Rival Waffle Cone Maker Rival Waffle Cone Maker
So, when I saw the Rival Waffle Cone maker, it went straight into my red Target cart. And it's on sale for $19.99.

Sweetness, come to Momma.

I so so so love the waffle cone. I love the cone MORE than the ice cream that comes in it.

These cones aren't as thick as the ones at the ice cream shop...but it could be the recipe and my technique! But I am happy with the cones. I have plans for the summer...stay tuned!

As for the ice cream, my peaches weren't the ripest...so it was nice but I think it can be improved with better fruit. Must make again! :)

Food LIbrarian - Honey-Peach Ice Cream
I picked up these cute ceramics at the Japanese store. Damn. I have been stimulating the economy lately...

Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers! And find the recipe for Honey-Peach Ice Cream in Dorie's great book Baking: From My Home to Yours or on Tommi's blog, Brown Interior.
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Broccoli Salad

Monday, June 15, 2009

Food Librarian - Broccoli Salad
I'm a guest blogger on Natalie's Oven Love blog today! She's having fun on vacation and asked a few friends to fill in for her! Be sure to check out her fun blog and the other guest bloggers! :)

I'm cross-posting this yummy pot luck recipe. You know you are going to get invited to a zillion pot lucks this summer...and this dish is super easy and refreshing. (It does have mayo in it so I wouldn't bring it to the 100 degree 4th of July outdoor pool party.)

Broccoli Salad

This recipe is from an article in Los Angeles Times years ago and it never disappoints. It was submitted by reader, Lisa O’Kane of Toluca Lake and also appears in the great cookbook, Modern California Cookbook by the Los Angeles Times. ("The Best of Lucks" article by Jennifer Lowe, Los Angeles Times, December 08, 1999)

This salad is great with bacon or veggie style. If you get a vegan mayo, you can make it vegan as well. Regular or golden raisins can be used, and you can throw in a few dried cranberries as well. I've seen a version of this salad at Souplantation. It's yum.

Food Librarian - Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad
Notes:
1. Make dressing and let chill for 2 hours.
2. Cook up bacon. I do this in the oven and it works great! Just place on foil lined pan and bake at 375 degrees until yummy.
3. All ingredients can be prepped and placed in baggies until ready to eat (or transported to pot luck)
4. Dress salad right before eating.

Dressing: Mix together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

Salad: Combine together:
1 1/2 to 2 pounds raw broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces (I buy the huge bag from Costco or purchase broccoli crowns)
1 cup golden raisins (or regular raisins)
1 cup salted sunflower seeds
1 small red onion, chopped
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine the salad ingredients. Dress with chilled dressing right before serving. Enjoy!!

Find other pot luck favorites in the Los Angeles Times article here.

Food Librarian - Broccoli Salad
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Shishito Peppers - A Japanese Treat

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shishito Peppers

My farmer's market has an Asian veggie stand. You can find all sorts of greens, bitter melons, eggplants, herbs, lemon grass, daikon radish, and all different varieties of bok choy. Once, I picked up a pack of fresh red chilis and asked the farmer if they were really hot.

He looked at me and asked, "Chinese?"

I said, "No. Japanese."

He shook his head "No"...[you aren't allowed to buy these]

I totally understood. The Japanese can't take the heat!

Japanese cuisine isn't spicy like Korean, Szechuan Chinese and Thai food. Of course, we have wasabi horseradish that can clear out your sinuses, but Japanese food doesn't use much chili powder. There is a great seasoned chili pepper called Togarashi that is perfect on top of a hot bowl of udon noodles though. It's serious yum.

It always cracks me up that when I go to Curry House for Japanese curry I can order it "HOT" because it's for the weak Japanese palate!

Shishito Peppers
So...if you aren't familiar with this pepper...I'd like to introduce the Japanese Shishito Pepper. According to Kitazawa seed company, these are "mini, sweet-hot, thin-walled green pepper is popular in Japan." They grow in the summer and are perfect appetizers. You might be able to find them at a sushi bar or izakaya place (izakaya is Japanese tapas/appetizers/bar food).

I think they are from the bell pepper family, but they don't taste like the green bell pepper (which I hate).
However, sometimes you'll hit a hot one! They are really thin skinned and I can casually polish off a whole bunch. Luckily, my father grows a couple rows of them and my mom spends her summer delivering brown bags filled with shishito to relatives and church friends.

These peppers can also be grilled, toaster-oven broiled, pan or deep fried. In addition to this simple appetizer dish, shishito peppers are fantastic tempura items. Gourmet has a recipe for Flash-Fried Shishito Peppers with Sea Salt but this is deep fried.

I don't have a recipe...but here's what I do:

Shishito Peppers

Find shishito peppers in a Japanese store, farmer's market, or grow them yourself.
Wash. Don't need to seed or cut.
Heat a pan really hot.
Add olive oil.
Turn on your fan or your smoke alarm might go off.
Add peppers. Stand back because splatter action will occur.
Fry up until charred a bit.
Plate.
Add sea salt.
Eat immediately.
Don't eat the stems/ends.

Shishito Peppers

Pick up some Shishito Japanese Peppers at the Japanese market or order it instead of edamame this summer at your sushi place!
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Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Friday, June 12, 2009

Food Librarian - Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Recently, I made Gourmet's Raspberry Buttermilk Cake, but the upside down Blueberry Buttermilk Cake version. All my fruit fell to the bottom so I served it as an upside down cake.

Esi of Dishing up Delights made it with strawberries. Check out her post for a cute mini version.

Food Librarian - Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
This time, I made it in an 8" square pan (squares make it easier to share with my co-workers). I also popped the cake (with sugar on top) into the oven for 10 minutes, then pulled it out, placed the raspberries on top, and then let it continue to bake for another 18 minutes. The raspberries still mostly ended up on the bottom...so that is just how this cake works.

Food Librarian - Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Note to readers: I'm sorry but my arms are acting up and need rest. I have recurring repetitive strain injuries that makes typing and using the mouse not fun. I have a special keyboard, mouse, etc. but sometimes I just need to take a big break and really limit my computer work (besides sitting in front of a computer at work for 8 hours a day! :) I'm sorry I'm not able to comment on your blogs. I do really appreciate you coming to visit and your comments!!! Take care, Mary the Food Librarian
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Stained Glass Jello - Laker Nation Style

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Food LIbrarian - Lakers Jello - Broken Glass Jello
Game 4 of the NBA Championship is on tonight!

My friend JustJenn made Marbled Lakers Cupcake for Game 2, and that inspired me to show my Los Angeles Lakers spirit.

Food LIbrarian - Lakers Jello - Broken Glass Jello

This is called Broken Glass Jello or Stained Glass Jello. Totally easy to make with boxed jello, Knox unflavored gelatin and sweetened condensed milk...and time.

Broken Glass Jello
I've made it with 4 colors before, and you can adapt it in a rainbow of colors.
Originally posted (with directions): Broken Glass Jello


Broken Glass or Stained Glass Jello
(Adapted from JustJenn)

4 small boxes (3 oz. each) of Jell-O or store brand "gelatin dessert" in different colors. (I used 2 boxes of 3 oz. lemon jello and one 6 oz. box of grape)

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (don't get evaporated milk)

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (that Knox stuff)

Food LIbrarian - Lakers Jello - Broken Glass Jello
For each flavor, dissolve one box of jello in one cup of boiling water. Pour into a container and chill (overnight is probably best, but I chilled it 3 hours until firm). I had four of these containers of jello.

After chilling the four flavors, cut them into small blocks.

Food LIbrarian - Lakers Jello - Broken Glass Jello
Carefully mix the blocks in a 9 x 13 pan.

Food LIbrarian - Lakers Jello - Broken Glass Jello
In a separate bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin into 1/2 cup cold water. After the gelatin blooms, add 1 1/2 cup boiling water and dissolve. Add the can of condensed milk. Stir and cool. Pour cooled milk mixture over jello. It does help to take the time to skim off any small bubbles that are created when you pour the condensed milk on the jello pieces. Chill overnight.

Food LIbrarian - Lakers Jello - Broken Glass Jello
Cut into blocks or shapes and serve! In this case, serve up and cheer!

By the way, did you hear this NPR Morning Edition piece by Tom Goldman? Anti-Lakers Sentiment Rampant Through NBA Fans. Eeck!! I'm a native Los Angeles gal so the Lakers have always been my team. Please don't hate me for it! :)
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Gourmet's Gingerbread for June Gloom

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Food Librarian - Gourmet's Gingerbread
June Gloom Gingerbread

Los Angeles is having a major case of June Gloom. In the last couple weeks we have had overcast skies, rain, foggy days, and even lightening. That marine layer just won't go away. There is only a 58% chance of sunshine in June in LA and I'm beginning to wonder if I need to take Vitamin D supplements instead of my daily dose outside. And perhaps a few hours in front of my Lowell Ego lights. Sigh. Just kidding...sorta.

This may sound very pathetic to some, but these lower temperatures and cloudy skies make me think of FALL. And what's the flavor of fall? Gingerbread.

I'm always looking for gingerbread recipes. I love ginger. I love unfrosted cakes (yeah, JustJenn, I'm not a member of Frosting Nation or "Legalize Frostitution" campaign). Gingerbread is the perfect combo of not too sweet cake, moistness, cinnamon and ginger.

Food Librarian - Gourmet's Gingerbread
This is Gourmet's Gingerbread from February 2009
Recipe by Ruth Cousineau

One of my co-workers said it tasted like little Ginger People chews were in the cake. Sorta like a soylent green ginger cake! :) This cake only uses ground ginger, ground cinnamon and molasses for the spice - making it really easy to assemble!

Food Librarian - Gourmet's Gingerbread
I dusted my squares with powdered sugar but a dollop of whipped cream would be nice too.

Food Librarian - Gourmet's Gingerbread
I find that cutting everything and putting them in cupcake holders makes for easy grabbing by co-workers and less mess. Good thing I picked up 1,000 of these at Surfas recently! :)

Hopefully the sun WILL come out tomorrow! :)

Recipe: Gourmet's Gingerbread
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Parisian Apple Tartlet - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Food Librarian - Parisian Apple Tartlet
Make this!
Make this!
Make this!

...and people will love you for it.

Food Librarian - Parisian Apple Tartlet

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Jessica of My Baking Heart picked Parisian Apple Tartlet on page 319 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Sorry, my arms are really acting up so I can't type much tonight (need to go ice and rest them).

Food Librarian - Parisian Apple Tartlet Food Librarian - Parisian Apple, Pineapple and Peach Tartlet
Puff pastry, fruit, butter, brown sugar. It is so easy you think you are forgetting something!

I made my delicious and super easy tarts with Trader Joe's all-butter puff pastry. Some TWD bakers made their own puff pastry! I don't want to make it myself because I seriously don't want know how much butter is in puff pastry. :)

Food Librarian - Parisian Apple, Pineapple and Peach Tartlet
The Trader Joe's puff pastry comes in squares. I made 4 circles and two rectangles with the dough. This one has fresh pineapple and yellow peaches. Delicious!

Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers! Thanks for a great pick, Jessica! For the recipe, buy Dorie's fantastic book or check out Jessica's blog, My Baking Heart.
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