Monthly Archives: December 2012

Linzer Cookies

First, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I am wishing you all a Happy New Year.

As 2013 is nearly here, I am getting more excited about the possibilities for this blog and the direction I want to take it. I hope you join me on my journey.

And now for your regularly scheduled program. :)

cookies

My hubby and I were at the grocery store a few weeks ago and passed by some packages of linzer cookies. Upon seeing his eyes get wide like a kiddo on Christmas morning followed by a “mmm…we should get some of those!” I decided I was going to make some while we had a few days off for Christmas.

Unbeknownst to me, these cookies would be a lesson in patience.

I was bound and determined to make true-blue linzer cookies, made with hazelnuts, all from scratch. Cracking every nut myself.

It turned into a very long process of having to get a nut cracker from my mom as I did not have one, have Will crack all the hazelnuts because my arms have the force of spaghetti noodles, roast & grind the nuts, make the dough, sample the dough, let it chill, sample again, roll it out, sneak another sample, bake the cookies, taste test the cookies, assemble the cookies, eat the cookies.

Now let me remedy this by saying, the end result was directly proportional to the amount of time and energy (and sampling) put forth in making them.

They were marvelous.

So if you’ve got a day to enjoy a long baking process such as this, you should really try these.

Make ’em for your New Years party!

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I found this recipe on the lovely blog Eat Live Run. I actually found myself reading through many more posts on Eat Live Run and have added it to the cooking blogs I follow! Check it out!

Linzer Cookies; from Eat Live Run

2 c. flour

1 c. sugar

1 c. ground hazelnuts

1 egg

1 stick butter, softened

½ t. vanilla

1 ½ t. cinnamon

Pinch of ground nutmeg

½ t. salt

Raspberry jam, for the filling

Powdered sugar, for dusting the tops

THE PREP: Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla while mixing on low and mix until everything is well combined.

In separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredient mixture and blend on low until combined. Roll dough in a log form and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour but 2-3 hours is best.

Preheat oven to 350 and roll out half of the dough. Punch out circles with linzer cookie cutter (or regular cutter will work). Bake these circles for 12 minutes until edges start to brown.

As the first batch cools, roll out the second half of the dough and punch with the cookie cutter and this time punch out a smaller circle or shape in the middle of each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes.

When all cookies have cooled, spread a thin layer or raspberry jam on the solid cookies and dust the cookies with holes in the middle with powdered sugar and sandwich the two sides together.

Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies. You can freeze the unassembled cookies, if needed, and when it’s time to serve them, pull them out and assemble with the jam and powdered sugar.

TIPS: I added just a pinch of milk to make the dough stick together a little easier for rolling up in plastic wrap. Also, if you prefer a simpler alternative, I think you could easily substitute hazelnuts for almonds which are much easier to find at a grocery store and come without the shells.

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Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Jordan

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Broccoli, Cheddar, & Cannellini Bean Soup

This soup is essentially a lighter version of the classic broccoli cheddar soup.

I was a little under the weather when I made this soup. We did not have any cheddar and I reeeeeally didn’t want to go get any so…

I did without.

And guess what?

It was fine!

So never fear if you are out of cheese, you can still make this soup.

If this were a grilled cheese sandwich, not so much.

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I’m going through a thyme phase.

I originally wrote that as ‘time’ without even thinking. Somebody please slap my wrist.

Anywho, I am indeed going through a thyme phase by adding it to EVERYTHING.

And you know what?

You really can’t go wrong with it.

And you know what else?

It’s the secret ingredient to this soup.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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Broccoli, Cheddar, & Cannellini Bean Soup; adapted from Eating Well

3 garlic cloves, whole or roughly chopped

1 med/large onion, chopped

1 carton of chicken or vegetable broth

1 lb of broccoli crowns, trimmed and chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 can Cannellini Beans

1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1-2 T butter

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup milk or half n half, optional

The Prep:

Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onions & garlic and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Next, add the chicken or vegetable broth and thyme, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the broccoli and cover, let steam for 10 minutes or just until the broccoli has become tender. Transfer half of the soup and half of the cheese to a blender and puree to the texture you like. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the other half of the soup & cheese. Once all of the soup has been pureed, return it to the pot. Add salt & pepper to taste and the milk or half n half, if adding. Heat the soup for another minute or two if needed.

Note: While the soup looks super smooth in this picture. I will tell you that right below that silky surface is texture. And lots of it. You can puree on a higher speed to get it a little more smooth. It may be hard with the broccoli but I purposefully left some texture.

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Serve it with crackers, croutons, or a grilled cheese sandwich… if you have cheese.

Happy Wednesday,

Jordan

Pumpkin Spice Scones

I am not done with pumpkin just because Thanksgiving is over.

No, sirree.

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I mean it still feels like fall outside anyways, right?

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Trust me. You’re going to want to make these.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Icing from Brown Eyed Baker

2 c. all-purpose flour

7 T granulated sugar

1 T baking powder

1/2 t salt

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1/4 t ground cloves

1/4 t ground ginger

6 T cold butter

1/2 c canned pumpkin

3 T half n half

1 egg

Glaze:

1 c & 3 T powdered sugar

2 T milk

1/4 t ground cinnamon

1/8 t ground nutmeg

1 pinch ginger

1 pinch ground cloves

The Prep:

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger. Cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Whisk together the pumpkin, half n half, and egg. Fold into dry ingredients and form dough into a ball. Pat out dough in 1″ thick rectangle and cut into 12 triangles.

Bake 14-16 minutes at 425 on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Glaze: combine all ingredients and drizzle over scones

TIP: The dough is pretty sticky so make sure you put a decent amount of flour down before you pat it out into a rectangle. Also put some on top of the dough as you pat it and on your hands to keep it from sticking.

Now for the fun part…

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Get jazzy with the toppings!

Chopped pecans…

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Oats…

Lemme tell ya about oats. They are my hubby’s FAVORITE. I am always getting requests to add oats any way possible to muffins, desserts, pancakes, and scones.

I mean even pizza, spaghetti, mac n cheese, salads, omelets, tacos, casseroles, coffee, orange juice…

It’s just pure madness.

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I have no idea who would have eaten that bite. I pinky promise it wasn’t me.

See? You weren’t done with pumpkin either.

You just didn’t know it yet.

Enjoy,

*burp*

The Scone Muncher

The Power of Bacon

I named this blog Recipe or Not because I inherited my dad’s culinary curiosity.

Growing up, I had front row seats to taste-testing meals my dad would simply create on his own. No recipe needed.

I follow in his footsteps.

Sometimes I get the itch to throw the ol’ recipe out the window and start making a meal with only the cooking knowledge I have, the ingredients in the fridge, and sheer willpower to (hopefully) create something scrumptious.

Now I don’t want to lead you to believe that all of my recipe-free dishes will have you coming back for seconds.

But I wanted to share with you this short little tidbit of what I’ve observed:

If you have at least some basic cooking knowledge and know-how, your pièce de résistance won’t be completely inedible.

And anything less than savory can be redeemed by the power of bacon.