Archive for December, 2011

Individual Baked Eggs for New Years Day

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Once kids enter the picture, New Year’s Eve bashes tend to shift earlier, or vanish altogether, often replaced by cozy evenings at home. Truthfully, I don’t mind too much. When I was growing up, we would get together with close family friends, play games, eat junk food (potato chips and dip) and wait for the Times Square ball to drop. At 5-years and 18-months, the foodie tots haven’t reached the staying-up-till-midnight phase yet, so we’re planning to celebrate with them on London time before sending them off to bed so mama and daddy can enjoy some quiet (and maybe a little bubbly) while waiting for the ball to drop.

the breakfast trinity

New Year’s Day has become the bigger holiday for now, with a family-friendly brunch with friends. Here’s a shirred egg dish that elevates your every-day eggs into a celebration-worthy dish, perfect for starting off the year right. (I always thought that “shirred” referred to baking under cream, but apparently it’s just the baking technique. Nevertheless, the cream helps keep the eggs from drying on top, which is especially useful if your kids prefer their yolks well done.)

Serve these with coffee cake or leftover Christmas panettone (why yes, I did pick up another on sale…). Swap out the bacon for lox and you’ve got a classy, kid-friendly holiday brunch. Don’t forget the blood orange mimosas.

shirred eggs with lox

Recipe: Individual Baked (Shirred) Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 4 cage-free eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter and divide among 4 small ramekins.
  2. Crack one egg into each ramekin. Pour one tablespoon cream over each, and season each with a pinch of salt and pepper (I omit the pepper for the kids).
  3. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes, until white looks opaque and mostly cooked through. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over tops and return to oven for another 1-2 minutes. Yolks will still be soft at this point — cook 2 more minutes or so for firm yolks if desired.

Serves 4.

Happy New Year to you & your family!

Homemade Holiday: Cider Snap Cookies

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

The weather here’s been more wet and dreary than crisp and wintery of late, so comfort food in the form of holiday baking has definitely been in order. I’ve had a cider-based cookie in mind ever since I made boiled cider for those doughnuts a while back. I was envisioning something a little more crisp than your typical apple cookie, so I decided to substitute the boiled cider for molasses in a spiced cookie, resulting in a lighter, more soft and mellow ginger snap type treat.

cider snap cookies

Recipe: Cider Snap Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup boiled cider*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional cinnamon sugar/maple sugar for rolling cookies

Instructions:

*About the boiled cider: If you don’t have boiled cider prepared (or purchased), boil down 1/2 cup apple cider over medium heat until reduced by half and slightly thickened. Cool to room temperature before using.

1.  Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt together in a large bowl.

2. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add egg, boiled cider and vanilla and mix until well combined.

3. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined.

4. Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes to make it easier to handle. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls, then roll each quickly in cinnamon sugar or maple sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until edges are firm and cookies appear set in the middle, 10-15 minutes. Cool on cooling rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

Note: I mixed equal parts maple sugar and turbinado sugar for the coating, but a cinnamon-sugar mixture will work as well if you don’t have maple sugar on hand.

At Market: 4 Ingredient Kale Salad

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Hopefully by now you’ve consumed the last of your Thanksgiving leftovers, and perhaps you’ve already plunged head first into holiday baking. Me, I need a little time to detox, especially as I’m still coming off the dairy binge that was my November visit to Wisconsin. And there’s no better way to cleanse your diet than with this super simple massaged kale salad. (Look for kale at the farmers markets — it’s one of the heartier greens that can be grown after weaker varieties have called it quits for the winter.)

four ingredient kale salad

I’d seen massaged kale salads around the web, and a similar marinated kale version, but it was my friend Jill’s kale with apple salad that finally prodded me to make it. I started simple with just the four basic ingredients — salt, olive oil, lemon juice, and Lacinato kale — and proceeded to devour the entire bowl. Well that’s not entirely true, I had some competition from the foodie bebe. I don’t know if it was the bright green color that drew her in, but each time I’ve made this now she slurps it down like pasta. (She even had three helpings while sick with a cold this past weekend — hooray vitamin C!) We haven’t even branched out yet to add fruit or cheese. We also haven’t shared with the boy or kale-and-tofu-fearing husband yet, so I don’t know if the kale-salad love is limited to those without a Y chromosome. Let me know if you’ve shared it with the men in your life. For now, it’s our little girls’ lunch secret.

foodie bebe loves kale

Recipe: Four Ingredient Massaged Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, Lacinato or  curly preferred
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the kale and spin or pat dry. Cut the leaves off the stems and then into thin 1/4-inch ribbons.
  2. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Massage the salt into the kale for two minutes.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Toss dressing with the massaged kale and let stand five minutes before serving.

Serves 1 to 4, depending on your family’s love for kale.

More kale salad variations from around the web: