Delicate sublime taste, a cinch to prepare. Recipe is here (I didn't add any more liquid at the end).
Fine Cooking has directions for boiling or roasting your chestnuts (which are available at Trader Joe's and Hannafords supermarkets). For roasting: first soak the chestnuts in warm water for 20 minutes or so. Drain and dry off. Cut an "X" into the flat part of the shell (careful!!), cutting through the shell. Put in a baking sheet and roast at 400 deg F for about 30 minutes. While still warm, remove the shell and inner skin. Roasted chestnuts smell veddy, veddy nice, and they have a slightly nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Try it, you'll like it!
I added quail meat to my last batch of roasted chesnut soup, and it was killer.
We do way more baking around Christmas time and I'm always on the lookout for new cookie recipes. Ideally, the recipe should be pretty easy to make, work every time (reproducible) and have a unique yummy taste. A friend gave me this recipe for English Ginger Snaps, it came from Maida Heatters Book of Great Cookies. They are super fantastic. It's the only cookie recipe I've ever seen that calls for black pepper, and the pepper really gives it a kick. The cookies are rolled into balls which form perfect rounded mounds as they cook. Very pretty, great spicey fragrance as they cook, and delicioso!
Please pass on your fave cookie recipes in the comments, or mail me a recipe or a link. I need more, more, more!! Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas!
2-1/4 cup flour 6 oz butter (1-1/2 sticks!) 2 tsp baking soda 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 egg 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 cup molasses 1 tsp ginger 1/2 tsp cloves 1/4 tsp allspice 1/4 tsp black pepper
Cream the butter and sugar together (learn more about that here), then add egg and molasses. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and spices, and then add to the creamed butter/sugar mixture. Chill the dough in the refrigerator about a half hour. Roll a rounded teaspoonful of dough into balls approximately one inch across. Optional: roll the balls in granulated sugar. Bake at 370 deg F for 10-12 minutes. Don't overbake! I use parchment paper on a heavy cookie sheet. This photo from BB's Blog is exactly what they look like.
The recipe comes from the Jan/Feb 2008 Cook's Illustrated. Fun magazine, they really explore technique and science in their recipes. I'm not terribly skilled in the kitchen, and this load of bread came out great for me (1:2 whole wheat to white flour). Not much work, delicious texture and taste, crisp crust, consistent results. What's not to like?
Photo from Jugalbandi, who have their own version of the recipe.
I'm not a food Nazi, and I generally don't favor legislation to ban certain foods. But I have to admit, I've been carefully reading food labels lately, trying to avoid eating stuff with lots of sugar, especially with high-fructose-corn syrup (HFCS) added. And that HFCS crap is in everything. More often than not , there's high sugar levels in foods labeled "healthy, " "organic" or "low fat." There more sugar in a single serving of Paul Newman's tomato sauce or Stony Field flavored yogurt than in a candy bar! Yuckkk! As Real Age recommends, "Stay away from foods that have more than 4 grams of sugar in them."
"Here is a Muslim riddle. When one criticizes the practice of Muslim women wearing the burka or hijab, Muslims quickly respond that their religious symbol or choice is being attacked, but when girls like Aqsa die for refusing to accept the same religious symbol, Muslims quickly respond by saying their religion has nothing do with the death."
Go here for the story behind the Xmas song, Do You Hear What I Hear? It was written in New York 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis, by a French man who had been drafted into the German army in his youth. What a story! Hat tip tip to Jill of Estate Vaults.
According to SiteMeter, quite a few folks come here wanting to know what wine to drink with chocolate. Up to now, I've only written about the health benefits of red wine and chocolate. Here's my two cents on combining the two. First, only small portions of both. It doesn't take much to go from sublime-and-delicious to too-much-of-a-good-thing.
Light chocolate desserts (ex: milk and white chocolate mousse) - Try Moscato d'Asti, inexpensive Muscats such as Brown Brothers Orange Muscat, raspberry and cherry beers.
Rich chocolate desserts (dark chocolate mousse) - Try Californian ornage, black Muscat, Mavrodaphne (sweet Greek red wine), Recioto (sweet Italian wine) or raspberry liqueur.
Super-duper rich chocolate desserts - French vin deux naturels such as Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury, vintage character port, Australian Liquer Muscat or Porter.
Truffles - Cognac and cigars.
But what are the chances that you'll be able to find the specific wines and ports listed in a British book from 2000 in your neighborhood packie? Slim, I'm bettin'. If you're close to Nashua, New Hampshire, do what I do: Go to the Trader Joe's in Tyngsboro, buy some chocolate from their terrific variety, walk over to The Wine Society in the same shopping plaza, and ask their very well-informed staff for the perfect wine. I recently picked up a bottle of Barros Ruby Porto from Portugal to drink with solid dark chocolate, and a bottle of Viticoltori Dell'Acquese Brachetto D'Aqui to have with chocolate mousse. Can't go wrong with the Wine Society guys.
More wine/chocolate recommendations from Ira's Dessert Blog here.
I'm so there. Good news for me and my fellow wine drinkers:
"A new study finds that moderate red wine consumption, specifically Cabernet Sauvignon, might help reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's disease. The new research, done only on mice, will be detailed in the November 2006 issue of the FASEB Journal and will be presented at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting next month in Atlanta. "This study supports epidemiological evidence indicating that moderate wine consumption, within the range recommended by the FDA dietary guidelines of one drink per day for women and two for men, may help reduce the relative risk for AD [Alzheimer's disease] clinical dementia," write Giulio Maria Pasinetti and Jun Wang of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine."
Nice that red wine is part of a healthy diet! I'm doing my part. I'm not being glib here, my father is in the moderate stage of Alzheimer's Disease, and we toured the VA Geriatric Adult Day Care just last week. Not a pretty sight, but it's time for adult day care now.