main (303) dessert (180) soup (87) sides (65) starter (62) salads (35) mixology (25) breakfast (14)

Friday, December 31

Roasted potato & garlic soup

Potatoes, washed well, partially peeled, cut into bite-size chunks
1 pound
Carrot, trimmed, peeled,
cut in 2-inch lengths
Garlic, skinned, top trimmed
1 head
Olive oil
3 tablespoons
Pepper, freshly ground
Chicken broth
32 ounces
2 cups
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large pot, add potatoes, cover with water, and add a pinch of salt; bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Drizzle garlic with oil, wrap in foil, and place on baking sheet.
  5. When potatoes are ready, drain, and return to pot with carrots; drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir to coat.
  6. Place on baking sheet with garlic, and bake for 30 minutes; shake the baking sheet, and continue baking for another 15 minutes, until carrots are tender.
  7. Reserve two potatoes and a few garlic cloves, and then place remaining potatoes, carrots, and garlic cloves in a food processor.
  8. Add half-and-half, and pulse until desire texture is achieved.
  9. In the pot used for boiling, mash the potatoes and garlic.
  10. Stir in broth and pureed potato mixture, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer; cook 15 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Recipe inspired by a beloved dish from a chef moved on and restaurant long ago closed. Thanks to Mom for the Ninja food processor, which zapped this into the perfect soup consistency.

Tuesday, December 28

Sweet almond “biscotti”

Pictured with babe's bombe.
Flour, all-purpose
1 cup
Baking powder
1 teaspoon
¼ teaspoon
½ cup
Butter, unsalted,
room temperature
¼ cup
Almond paste, crumbled
6 ounces
Egg, room temperature
Almonds, sliced, toasted
2/3 cups
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until blended.
  4. Add almond paste, mix until completed combined.
  5. Mix in egg.
  6. Stir in flour mixture and almonds; mix until just combined, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl.
  7. Form dough into two 8-inch-long, 2-inch-wide logs, and place on a baking stone (or baking sheet lined with parchment paper), spacing 3 inches apart.
  8. Bake until golden brown and tender but set in the center, about 40 minutes.
  9. Cool on baking sheet.
  10. Transfer to cutting board, and cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices.
  11. For crisp biscotti, arrange slices, cut side down, on the same baking sheet; continue baking 20 minutes.
  12. Cool completely (biscotti crisps as it cools).
Recipe from bon appétit Desserts.

Babe's bombe

Pictured with sweet almond "biscotti".
Cranberry sorbet
½ cup
½ cup +
¼ cup
Cranberries, fresh or frozen (thaw first)
12 ounces
Orange or tangerine juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup
Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon
Ginger & white chocolate ice cream
Ginger, fresh, unpeeled, thinly sliced
2 to 2.5 ounces
2/3 cup
Milk, whole
1 cup
Cream, heavy
1 cup +
1 cup
Chocolate, white, chopped
4 to 5 ounces
Egg yolks, room temperature
Apricot sorbet
2 pound
1 cup
1 cup
Almond (or vanilla) extract
1/8 teaspoon
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar and ½ cup water, and then add cranberries and salt.
  2. Cover, and cook at a low boil for about 10 minutes, or until the cranberries are completely softened.
  3. Remove from heat, keep covered, and let the cranberries sit until room temperature.
  4. Pour everything into a blender, and puree with orange juice and orange-flavored liqueur.
  5. Chill thoroughly, and then freeze in your ice cream maker (follow manufacturer’s instructions accordingly).
  1. Cover sliced ginger with water in a medium saucepan; bring to boil, and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Drain off water, reserving ginger in the pan, and return to stove.
  3. Add sugar, milk, and 1 cup cream, and warm.
  4. Cover, and steep at low for at least an hour, or until you are satisfied with the ginger flavor.
  5. Place chocolate in a large bowl, and set a strainer over the bowl.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk yolks together; add a small amount of the cream mixture, whisking constantly; pour yolk and cream mixture into the cream.
  7. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spatula.
  8. Pour through prepared strainer over the chocolate (press through any custard, and ensure you scrape off the bottom of the strainer into the bowl); discard ginger.
  9. Stir until all the chocolate melts, and then add the remaining 1 cup cream.
  10. Chill mixture thoroughly, and then freeze in ice cream maker.
  1. Split apricots in half, remove pits, and cut each half into thirds.
  2. Combine with water in a medium saucepan, cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar; let mixture cool to room temperature.
  4. Puree in a blender, and then stir in extract.
  5. Cover, and chill thoroughly.
  6. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker.
  1. Using water, determine how much your bombe dish can hold (my loaf pan took 5 cups), and divide by 3 (1 2/3 cups) to determine how much for each layer.
  2. If you use a metal or glass dish, line with plastic wrap to help when removing the frozen bombe.
  3. Water or fruit-based sorbets tend to be icy and harder than ice cream when frozen. Add a little alcohol to keep it softer.
  4. Make a batch, layer (rap on counter top to kill any air bubbles), freeze, make the next batch, layer, freeze, make the last batch, layer, and freeze until ready to serve.
  5. Use a sharp knife that’s been dipped in hot water between slices to cut the bombe.
Recipe inspired by Ben who forwarded another amazing David Lebovitz's dish.


Sausage, andouille
16 ounces
Onion, large, chopped
Bell pepper, small, chopped
Garlic, minced
3 cloves
Rice, uncooked
2 cups
Chicken broth
32 ounces
Tomatoes, stewed, undrained, chopped
14 ½ ounces
Tomato sauce
8 ounces
Cajun seasonings
2 teaspoons
Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon
Shrimp, uncooked, unpeeled
1 pound
Green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons
  1. In a large Dutch oven, brown sausage over medium-high heat.
  2. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the drippings in the pan with the sausage.
  3. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes, until tender; add garlic, and sauté 1 minute more.
  4. Add rice and chicken broth; bring to boil.
  5. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in tomatoes, seasonings, and hot sauce.
  7. Peel shrimp, if desired, and devein.
  8. Stir in shrimp and green onions; cook 2 to 3 minutes, until shrimp turn pink.
Based on recipe from Southern Living’s 1001 Ways to Cook Southern.

apple pie

Flaky pie crust
Vegetable oil spray
Apples, sweet (Spartan or Golden Delicious),
peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 ¾ pounds
Apples, tart (Granny Smith or Pippin),
peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 ¾ pounds
Sugar, granulated
¾ cup +
1 tablespoon
Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon
Cinnamon, ground
½ teaspoon +
large pinch
Vanilla extract
½ teaspoon
Flour, all-purpose
1 tablespoon
Butter, unsalted, diced
3 tablespoons
Milk, whole
1 tablespoon
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F; spray 9-inch deep-dish glass pie dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Toss apples with ¾ cup sugar, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and vanilla.
  3. Let stand until juices form, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  4. Mix in flour.
  5. Roll out first dough dish on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round; place dough in prepared pie dish.
  6. Spoon in filling; dot with butter.
  7. Roll out second dough dish to 13-inch round; cut out shapes from dough for decoration, and drape dough over filling.
  8. Seal top and bottom edges together; trim to ½-inch overhang; fold overhang under, and crimp to decorate.
  9. Brush pie with milk.
  10. Stir remaining sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over pie.
  11. Transfer pie to a baking sheet; place in oven.
  12. Immediately reduce temperature to 375°F; bake until crust is golden brown, apples are tender, and the filling is bubbling thickly, about 2 hours. Cover the edge with foil if it’s browning too quickly.
  13. Cool 30 minutes.
Note: I used a slicing gadget to achieve super thin slices, which was a mistake. The apples turned to mush instead of retaining some texture. As a rule, nothing thinner than 1/4-inch slices, and go gentle on the tossing.

Recipe from bon appétit Desserts.

Monday, December 27

English shepherd's pie

Onion, diced
Olive oil
1 tablespoon
Lamb, minced
1 pound
Garlic, crushed
1 clove
Carrot, large, diced
Beef stock cube
Tomatoes, chopped
1 pound
Corn flour
1 tablespoon
Tomato puree
3 tablespoons

Pepper, freshly ground
Potatoes, peeled, chopped
2 pounds
8 tablespoons
  1. In a saucepan, heat oil; add onion, garlic, and carrot, and then cook until soft.
  2. Add lamb and stock cube, and then cook until brown and crumbly in texture.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and tomato puree; add corn flour.
  4. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until it thickens.
  5. In a large pot, add potatoes, cover with water and add a pinch of salt, and boil until soft.
  6. Drain, and mash with butter, salt, and pepper.
  7. Spoon lamb mixture into a casserole dish, top with potatoes, and place under a warmed broiler until the top is browned and crispy looking.
With every bite, I was thinking: It needs peas.