December 29, 2014

Roasted Fennel

Roasted Fennel

1 bulb fennel
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the green stems of the fennel. Reserve for another use (garnish or to flavor vegetable broth). Chop the white bulb into large chunks. Drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast fennel for 30-40 minutes until browned on the edges and tender.

December 23, 2014

Gingerbread Cookies

This is the first time I've made gingerbread cookies. I thought they would be easier than sugar cookies to decorate with my toddler, simply because just using icing is fine. It's hard to find a good substitute for all the junky decorating supplies (dyes, corn syrup, etc.). The listed frosting recipe makes enough to decorate the cookies sparsely, like in my photo. If you wanted to cover each cookie, you may need to double the frosting recipe.

Gingerbread Cookies
from Dishing Up the Dirt

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. molasses (blackstrap is fine)
1 1/2 tsp. vinegar (white or apple cider)
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine butter, sugar, molasses, and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat and let cool. After cooling transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Sift together all the dry ingredients.
Stir egg into cooled molasses mixture. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until the dough comes together.
Flatten dough out wrapped in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 1-2 hours.
Roll out the dough over a lightly floured surface until about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on a prepared baking sheet. Re-roll unused dough to make more cookies. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 8 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack. Once cool, frost and decorate as desired.

Royal Icing
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. confectioner's (powdered) sugar, sifted

With a hand mixer, beat the egg white with the extract until frothy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, smooth, and shiny. Turn to high and beat approximately 5 minutes till stiff and glossy. Add food coloring, if desired, and transfer to a pastry bag to pipe onto cookies.

Egg Drop Soup

This is a very basic recipe for egg drop soup that I know I will make repeatedly because it is so easy. When possible, use homemade stock for maximum flavor and health benefits.

Egg Drop Soup

4 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 green onions, chopped
Salt and white pepper, to taste

In a small cup, make a slurry by combining the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of chicken stock. Stir until dissolved. Bring remaining chicken stock, grated ginger and soy sauce to a boil. Slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture while stirring the stock, until thickened. Reduce heat to a simmer. Pour in the eggs slowly while stirring the soup in the same direction. The egg will spread and feather. Turn off the heat and add the green onions. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.