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Posts Tagged ‘cinnamon’


Chewy Ginger Cookies - Meatballs&Milkshakes

These chewy ginger cookies are really gingery from three kinds of ginger, and you can make them crispy if you bake them longer. They are also apparently great with peanut butter slathered between to make a cookie sandwich. It’s not the holidays until we have some spice cookies around the house.

Chewy Ginger Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 stick butter

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger or chocolate covered crystalized ginger

1/2 cup raw sugar

Whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. In a bowl of a mixer, whip together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and add egg, molasses, vanilla, and grated ginger. Add flour mixture slowly, and beat until just combined. With the mixer off, stir in the crystalized ginger.

Roll into 1-1 1/2 inch balls and place on parchment covered baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Flatten a little and sprinkle the top with raw sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until they start to crisp on the edges but are still soft in the center.

Chewy Ginger Cookies - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Caramel Apple Cider - Meatballs&MilkshakesNothing says fall like apple cider. I love curling up with a book in my favorite chair with a hot, steamy mug apple cider spiked with homemade caramel and cinnamon. It also makes a great warm drink for holiday parties.

Caramel Apple Cider

1 cup apple cider

1 teaspoon caramel sauce

1 cinnamon stick

Warm the cider with the cinnamon stick to steep. Add the caramel sauce and stir.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 cup cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the sugar in a saucepan with the water until it starts to turn light brown. Carefully pour in the cream, it will bubble a lot. Add the vanilla and carefully stir. Allow to cool a little before pouring off into a container. It will last for a couple weeks in the fridge.

Caramel Apple Cider - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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This is another updated post, I thought it was time to give one of my favorite breakfast treats some better pictures. I love zucchini bread, and it’s always my go-to breakfast to bring on the road. We are off to the beach for a week and I’m bringing this loaf to munch on for breakfast.

Zucchini Bread

1 cup flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1.5 tablespoons cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce)

1.5 cups dark brown sugar

2 cups grated zucchini

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two loaf pans.

Combine the dry ingredients (first 7 ingredients) in a bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.

Whisk in oil and sugar and then add the zucchini and the vanilla extract. Add in the dry ingredients in two parts, and just stir to combine.

Divide the batter into the two loaf pans and bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing.

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Caponata is an Italian eggplant dip that I love for parties. It’s more healthy than most of my party appetizers and it’s vegetarian, so everyone likes it. This version has some Sicilian flavors (where the cuisine is highly influenced by its proximity to Africa), including some cinnamon, pine nuts, and currants. Red pepper flakes give it a little kick, as well. I recently made it when we had people over after a concert, and it was a big hit.

Eggplant Caponata

1 onion, chopped into 1″ dice

1 eggplant, chopped into 1″ dice

3 tablespoons pine nuts

3 tablespoons currants

1 tablespoon chili flakes

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons thyme

1/4 cup tomato sauce (your own or your favorite bottled)

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Saute the onion in a couple tablespoons olive oil until they soften. Add the pine nuts and currants. Continue to cook for a minute. Add the eggplant, sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, and thyme. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until the eggplant is softened. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, until all the flavors combine and cook down.

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The key to succulent, juicy pork like you get at restaurants is not to overcook it. Most people do. They recently lowered the FDA accepted temperature for pork to 145 degrees, which means it stays juicy and slightly pink. This makes the meat so unctuous and tender, you won’t miss red meat. Invest in a meat thermometer if you don’t have one; they’re cheap and take the guesswork out of cooking meat.

Add a wonderful spice rub and some sort of fruit, and I’ll be really happy. A delicious, cheesy smear of polenta under the medallions completes it and makes it the best pork you’ve ever had. My dad always made pork tenderloin stuffed with dried apricots and prunes. Definitely one of my favorites, and a great way to do it in the fall.

Seared Pork Tenderloin with Grapes

1 pork tenderloin

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup grapes, red or green

1 cup white, red or white

Combine the cocoa and spices together and rub all over the pork. You can let it rest for 20 minutes or go ahead and start searing. Sear all sides in an oven-safe pan in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, making sure to brown all sides. Add the grapes and deglaze the pan with the wine.

Move to a 375 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until it’s about 145-155 degrees in the fattest part. It will continue to cook as it rests. Slice medallions against the grain and serve with the sauce.

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Oatmeal raisin cookies are a favorite around the apartment, and I think this may be the winning recipe. I was planning on giving the whole batch to Gareth to take on his trip this week, and I somehow kept to the plan. But I think I’m going to have to make them again soon, because the one I ate hot from the oven was just delightful. The original recipe is based on one from Flour Bakery (I’m still baking my way through their book), but I had to make a couple changes because I didn’t have enough raisins. I think they may be even better.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 stick butter

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons oats (not instant or quick cooking)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons dried currants

Combine the butter and both sugars in a bowl and cream together with an electric mixer. Make sure you use room temperature ingredients so they combine properly. Add the egg and beat together.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the raisins, chocolate chips, and currants and stir together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix together. If you can, let the dough rest in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight.

Roll into 1 inch balls and flatten. Place on a silpat with enough space between because they will spread out. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees until they start to brown around the edges. Let cool.

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From time to time, we have Manhattans while hanging around the apartment. We never buy Maraschino cherries though, so they’re never quite right to me. This past Christmas, I was thinking about what I could make and give away. I usually do something chocolate or even cookies, but this year I wanted to do something different. I thought, why not try making my own maraschino cherries? Of course, I didn’t look for maraschino liquor, but brandy works just as well. And for those that like different bitters, you can use whatever spices you like in your bitters in the cherries to personalize them.

Brandied Cherries

1 pound cherries

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

pinch of salt

1 cup brandy

Heat the water and sugar in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Add the spices and turn off the heat. Add the brandy and the cherries and stir to combine. Put into clean canning jars and they are ready within 2 weeks!

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