Sunday, August 2, 2015

Candied Ginger and Ginger Syrup

I'm not a ginger person, but my grandma loves it. When she was little, she lived on a farm and would have a lemonade-like drink with ginger instead of lemon. She swears that ginger can cure every type of upset stomach, indigestion, and even her arthritic pains. 
She's an amazing person. Always keeping busy and getting stuff done.
And enjoying the little things in life.

Seriously, she is so good at design and making things look good.
I wish I had her talent for composition.
Anyway, here is candied ginger (and ginger syrup)

This song (and singer) is also one of her favorites. 
Iz "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"


0.5 lb. ginger, chopped into small, thin slices
2 cups sugar, plus additional sugar for coating ginger if desired
2 cups water


Combine ingredients in sauce pan on medium high heat, until the water begins to simmer. Reduce to medium heat and leave simmering for 40 minutes or until syrup reaches consistency of thin honey. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  If desired, drain syrup while still hot and toss ginger in sugar leaving to dry. OR after cooling, store ginger in syrup.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Leftovers Club: Red, White, and Blue Biscotti

I made these for the Leftovers Club exchange this month. I sent these to Ginger. Be sure to check out her blog! It's fantastic! Also, check out the Leftovers Club. It's really fun. 

My partner this month is Ginger from Stark Raving Delicious. Definitely go check out her blog! (And make delicious lemon zingers)

If you, like me are going on a road trip this 4th of July, this biscotti is the perfect thing to munch on in the car. That sweet tooth that always seems to hit on long drives is perfectly satisfied with these.

And if your the type who tries to limit how much you eat out of sheer boredom in the car, these are also fantastic. You can limit yourself to a few or because let's be honest that's not going to happen  you can be comforted by the fact that you are at least eating dried fruit.

Or Option #3: accept that the foods that you eat only on road trips are worth overeating on road trips.

Willie Nelson "City of New Orleans"


  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 cups walnuts


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in blueberries, cranberries, and nuts by hand.

Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.

Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Artichoke Tapenade

This is my new go to snack food. Seriously, olives and artichokes? What could go wrong?
This dip has the sharp tang of olives and garlic while keeping the mouthwatering, mild sweetness left by the artichoke. The best of both worlds.

"Comeback Kid" Brett Dennen


5 artichoke hearts
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 cup pitted green or Spanish olives
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
2 to 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp freshly grated lemon peel (optional)
3 to 4 tsp.
1/3 cup olive oil
cracked or ground black pepper to taste


In the bowl of a food processor whirl the artichoke hearts, walnuts, olives, garlic, parsley, and lemon peel for a few seconds until everything is uniformly minced. Scrape down the sides and add the lemon juice and olive oil, and process or a few more seconds until the mixture forms a rough paste. Season with pepper to taste. Tapenade can be stored, covered, and refrigerated for up to a week

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

More summer grilling! This definitely spruces up your usual grilled corn.

I'm usually not too too much of a basil fan. The taste always has echoes of anise for me. Yuck!
But with the salt and butter and sweetness of the corn, it fits right in.

This recipe makes a bit of extra butter. The leftovers can be eaten on toast or other vegetables. 
So good!

"Blister in the Sun" Violent Femmes

From Food 52


8 ears of corn, shucked
Olive oil

For the butter:

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup basil, loosely packed
1 tablespoon sea salt


Preheat grill to medium hot. Roll corn in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. When grill is hot, add corn and close the lid. Rotate the corn a few times, until some of the kernels are blistered and the rest a bright and shiny yellow. This shouldn't take longer than 8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, or the corn will be dry. 

Meanwhile, add the butter, basil, and salt to a food processer and let it rip. You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice. When the basil is finely chopped and the butter has a light green tint, it's done.

When the corn comes off the grill, slather it with the basil butter. Sprinkle with a little more salt if desired. Eat immediately. 

Note: basil butter can be made ahead and extra basil butter will keep for about a week or two in the fridge. You can roll it into a log with plastic wrap and slice it off as you need it.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Spiced Fries

What goes better with the start of grill-out season than French fries?

But maybe this year, it's time to step up your French fry game with these.
Of course, I'm terrible at grilling, so I will be munching these with something simple like grilled corn or veggie burgers. There isn't so much finesse with those.

 Chili powder and cumin is my all time favorite spice combination, so of course, I loved these!
Seriously, the hotter spices with mellow potato is so good!

I changed these up a bit and baked them instead of frying them. They came out just as good and crisp.
But if you're set on frying them or you're just in a rush: use grapeseed oil heated to 350 degrees in a Dutch oven and cook them for 5-7 minutes.

Naked and Famous "Young Blood"


3 Idaho potatoes cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch sticks (about 2 pounds)
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup chickpea flour
4 cups vegetable oil
Spicy ketchup


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and soak the potatoes under cold running water for 20 minutes. Strain and pat dry.

Toss together the parsley, salt, chili powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine the cornstarch and chickpea flour in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and toss to coat.

Spray a baking sheet with oil, and spread the fries evenly on the sheet. Spray with oil.

Cook in oven for 35 minutes, checking every 10-15 minutes to turn fries to prevent burning, or until crisp.

Remove from oven and toss with spice mix. Serve with ketchup.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Murphy's Onion Soup

We've talked about my love affair with onions. 

And of course that translates to a love of onion soup.
And obviously, I'm always up for a new type of onion soup. 

I work at a library and this book and I have been skirting each other for months.
Almost all of the recipes use alcohol, but those pictures? *swoon*
(What can I say? I'm a visual gal)

I'm also a bit of a history nerd, so I love all the little Irish and brewing history facts in the book.
(Did you know the term "honeymoon" comes from the amount of mead made to last a month after the wedding? Or that the word "whiskey" actually comes from the Irish words for "water of life", uisce beatha, pronounced isk'ke ba'ha?

And fitting folk music to go with it:

Celtic Woman  "At the Celli"

Adapted from The Irish Spirit by Margaret Johnson (Serves 8 as a starter)


2 tbsp unsalted Kerrygold butter (or just unsalted butter)
3 large yellow onions, sliced
2 large red onions, sliced
4 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
3 cups homemade beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
1 cup Murphy's Irish stout
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Kerrygold Swiss or Blarney cheese for topping (instead of the usual Gruyere)


In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, shallots, and garlic, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the onions are soft but not browned. Add the bay leaves, basil, thyme, brown sugar, stock or broth,and stout. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the broiler. Arrange 8 flameproof crocks on a baking sheet. Ladle the soup into the crocs and sprinkle with the cheese. Place under the broiler 4 inches from teh eat source and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts and starts to brown. Remove from the oven. Using oven mitts to protect your heands, place a crock in the center of each of 8 serving plates and serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Buffalo Tofu Wings

We had wings like this at Northstar in Ithaca, NY, which if you ever get the chance, check it out!
They have a mac and cheese du jour and of course these wings are delicious.

If you can't make it out to New York, you'll have to suffice with these instead, which are an accurate replica of the real things.

Echosmith "Bright"


Buffalo Tofu Wings
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, pressed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons  hot sauce


Make the wings:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the tofu into 6 slices, then cut each slice in half lengthwise so you have 12 sticks. Place the tofu sticks in a shallow dish and sprinkle them with cornstarch, salt and pepper. Gently roll them to coat—they'll break easily, so be careful!
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the tofu wings in the skillet and cook them on each side until lightly browned and crispy, 3-5 minutes on each side.
Transfer the tofu to the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce and coconut oil until the oil is fully incorporated. Drizzle the sauce onto the tofu and gently toss to coat. Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking time, until the tofu is crispy.
 Serve with additional hot sauce, if desired, and ranch dressing with celery sticks.