Archive | Baking/Cooking RSS feed for this section

How do you spell love? B-u-t-t-e-r

27 Nov

When it comes to cooking and baking, I like to live by the motto, ‘more is always more.’

Forget the recipe- if you really love something (like I love vanilla) a little extra pinch or two isn’t going to ruin your recipe.  Now I wouldn’t go completely overboard on anything and everything, but I think a ‘liberal’ amount rather than a perfectly measured amount of that one ingredient you really love (an extra handful of chocolate chips, a dash more nutmeg or cinnamon, a splash more of vanilla…) will only make you love what you’re making that much more!

And let’s be honest, whoever said ‘less is more’ was a fool when it comes to to the good things in life- more is always more… which leads me to a confession.  I have another great love in baking/cooking– butter.  Blame it on my southern heritage and the south’s collective love of all things delicious and fattening, but I just love the taste of butter.  And gladly, I’m not alone in my butter love.  My entire family (even the dog- we once caught him eating an entire stick of butter we had left to soften on the counter) loves butter.  We’re generally pretty health conscious and don’t go slathering everything in sight with butter, but the holidays are a time to indulge.  So naturally, almost everything in our Thanksgiving feast includes- yep, you guessed it- heaping amounts of butter.

The three Walker children showcase our favorite butter-filled Thanksgiving recipes- enjoy!

Proud of my first turkey!

Roasted Turkey:

(recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa here)

– 1 13 lb. turkey

– salt, pepper, and thyme

– 1 onion, quartered

– 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise

– 4 celery stalks, cut in half

– 1 stick of butter (Barefoot Contessa only called for 1/2 a stick… she doesn’t know what she’s missing!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Find someone less squeamish than you to take the innards out of the turkey.  (still working up to that…)

2.  Give the turkey a nice bath- inside and out.  After he is clean, pat dry.

3.  Put the turkey in a large roasting pan.  We used a disposable pan for less cleanup- put a little water in the bottom of the pan and then cover with tinfoil.  This will help keep the turkey nice and moist.

4.  Salt and pepper the inside cavity of the turkey.  Throw in a little thyme as well.  I just used judgment here- the turkey certainly doesn’t need an entire bottle of salt, pepper, and thyme, but just a pinch isn’t going to do it, either.

5.  Stuff the cavity with the onion, garlic, and celery.

6.  Melt the butter, and brush the turkey with the butter.  Sprinkle on a bit more salt and pepper.  Here’s what I think made the turkey- when I had thourughly brushed the turkey all over with the butter, there was plenty still left, so I just poured the remainder all over the turkey– mmm mmm good.

7.  Place turkey in oven and bake at 350 for 3 hours and 15 min.  I brushed the turkey with the butter drippings (that collect in the bottom of the pan) every 20 minutes– and man was he golden brown, moist, and delicious when he was done!

Lawson, the #1 family biscuit maker

Now it may come as a surprise, but my baby brother is the best biscuit maker in the family.  He’s been known to wake up on Saturdays and make biscuits for his college roommates, and I think his biscuit making skills helped him to win the heart of his current girlfriend.  I mean, who wouldn’t want a good lookin’ boy who can cook?

Company Biscuits:

(recipe from Shem Creek)

– 1/2 cup sour cream

– 1 stick butter, softened

– 1 cup self-rising flour, sifted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Combine, roll out and pat dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/2 inch thick.

3. Cut with small floured cutter (we like smaller biscuits and have found that using a jigger to cut the dough makes the perfect size)

4. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Our eating suggestions: take two and butter ’em while they’re hot!

Elliott- very excited about her favorite peas

Even our vegetables have butter in them over the holidays.  Like I said, ‘more is more’- if you’re going to indulge, make sure you fully commit!

Curried Peas

(recipe from 100 Years of Florence Cooking)

–  3 cans green peas

– 1/2 to 3/4 cup crushed salted peanuts

– 1 stick butter

– 1 teaspoon curry powder (or more to taste)

Directions:

1. Melt butter in saucepan

2.  Add curry, peas (liquid drained), and nuts.

3.  Stir gently and heat until thoroughly hot.  Enjoy!

So there you have it- butter, butter, and more butter.  And some pretty easy recipes to try, too! Happy Holidays!

Advertisements

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies!

16 Nov

Yes, you read that correctly.  Bacon + Chocolate combines for the perfect little cookie.

My sister first told me about this little bit of culinary heaven (she’s known for her baking, not her decorating) and I knew I had to try it!  What’s not to love?  Bacon and chocolate are perhaps two of my favorite foods, and I’ve always loved a sweet and salty combo!  Don’t be worried about the saltiness of the bacon overwhelming the chocolate– you candy the bacon (read: fancy way to say ‘you put brown sugar on the bacon’) so it’s more of a smoky sweet flavor! Mmm… hungry yet?

And to make these cookies even better, they are just about the easiest things in the world to make! Seriously, just look at how easy!

You’ll need:

1 package of bacon (thick or regular, it’s up to you)

The Toll House Cookie recipe (find it here)

Brown sugar

Umm, that’s it? YES!

Directions:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 375.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place bacon strips on top, slightly apart.  I cut the bacon strips in half to make them a little more manageable.

2.  Sprinkle and pat the brown sugar down on each strip of bacon- basic rule of thumb when deciding how much is enough- you want the bacon to be covered with brown sugar, but not drowning in it!

3.  Bake bacon at 375 for about 12 minutes, and then flip for another 12.  You want the bacon to be fully cooked, crispy, and a dark brown color when it’s done.  Set the bacon aside to cool.  (And just try to resist tasting a bite of bacon…)

4.  Make Toll House cookie recipe according to directions, omitting the nuts.  My only suggestion is to add an extra helping of vanilla.  I love vanilla and always add at least double the recommended amount for every recipe I make!  This may be an old wives’ tale, but I’ve heard that the sweet smell of vanilla makes people think of comfort and home… a perfect scent for any baked good! And whether that’s true or not, I just think everything tastes better with a little more vanilla!

5.  After the bacon is cooled, chop into small pieces and add to cookie dough.  Plop cookie dough by the spoonful onto a bacon sheet covered with parchment paper.

6.  Bake cookies at 375 for about 10 minutes, cool, and enjoy!

My roommates and coworkers agreed that the bacon flavor wasn’t overwhelming, and added a nice little ‘flavor surprise’ in an already delicious chocolate chip cookie!  The next time I make these cookies I may add a little more bacon (admittedly a measure in self-control as I ate too many ‘tastes’ of bacon before baking the cookies!)  To make an even more interesting cookie, I think I’ll chop up some pretzels and add them to the mix to really make this cookie ‘sweet and salty!”

A very happy roommate! 🙂

%d bloggers like this: