Archive for the ‘food’ Category

h1

low-carb chocolate madeleines

April 7, 2011

Being borderline obsessive, I knew that the moment I decided to significantly cut my carb intake would also mark the beginning of a feverish quest — to seek out then hone low-carb recipes which best mimic their high carb counterparts. It’s been a formidable challenge, not to mention a pricey endeavor, but so worth it as my energy level has skyrocketed. And today, folks, I have stumbled upon my greatest success thus far:

Low-Carb Chocolate Madeleines

1 stick of unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 c. granulated (1 for 1) sugar substitute of your choice*
3/4 c. brown sugar substitute. I recommend Ideal Brown.*
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. vanilla whey protein powder. I recommend Biochem Whey Protein Isolate
3/4 c. almond meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 330 F. Cream butter, Splenda and brown sugar substitute. Blend in the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the whey protein powder,  almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix by hand until incorporated. Your mixture should now have the consistency of chocolate chip cookie dough. Spray your madeleine pan with non-stick coating. Spoon the batter into the madeleine cavities ’til they’re about 3/4 full, then use your fingers to pat them down flat. They’ll rise considerably when baking, but the initial puffiness will subside quickly while they cool. Bake for about 10 – 11 minutes or until the edges have browned. Enjoy with a hot beverage of your choice and a good book. I recommend tea and Proust. 🙂

 

Yield: 20 madeleines

*UPDATE:  I originally listed Splenda as the granulated sweetener, but have since cut sucralose out of my diet. I currently use xylitol, but it seems a whole lot of people have also gotten terrific results in their sugar-free baking using Swerve (which contains erythritol), though I haven’t tried it myself. Regarding the brown sugar substitute, for whatever reason, Ideal Brown doesn’t appear to be available anymore—a shame, because it worked so well! I haven’t made these madeleines since running out of my stockpile of Ideal Brown, but I’ll probably give Just Like Sugar a go. Will update when I do!
h1

accidental oatmeal coconut lace cookies

January 24, 2011

These cookies are actually the result of a happy accident whilst I was attempting to bake another sort of snack entirely. To my surprise, these delicate, crunchy, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth-y cookies actually turned out so amazingly tasty, I almost shed a tear. They’re quite similar to Trader Joe’s Chocolate Almond Laceys, minus the chocolate. Though, I must admit, I believe these are better. 🙂

Oatmeal Coconut Laceys

3/4 c softened unsalted butter
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c flour
1/4  tsp salt
1/4 c flaked coconut
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 c finely chopped almonds (optional)

Cream butter and sugar. Combine flour and salt separately, then gradually add to the butter mixture. When the batter is well blended, mix in coconut, oats and almonds (if using). Spoon teaspoon-sized dollops onto ungreased baking sheet. The dough will spread very wide, so space cookies accordingly.

Bake in 350 oven for approximately 14 minutes, or until the edges are browned and crisp and the centers are golden. Cool and enjoy!


h1

this year’s christmas goodie line-up is…

December 25, 2010

…pavlova (the Australian/New Zealand favorite shown above), “tropical” mince pies, and two types of shortbread buttercream sandwich cookies. I’m exhausted, my kitchen’s in ruins, but my sweet tooth is sated!

My husband hails from Northern Ireland and for most people far from home, the nostalgia looms large during the holidays. I try my best to recreate the Christmases he’d grown accustomed to, and this year I attempted to tackle the mince pie — a British yuletide staple…but with a twist, of course, as the called-for raisins, dates, and prunes for the mincemeat filling aren’t exactly foods that make my mouth water. I, instead, used sultanas, pineapple, mango, cranberries and substituted macadamias for almonds. The result was rather good, I must say.

And finally, a duo of shortbread sandwich cookies: one filled with lemon buttercream and another a chocolate and mint buttercream combo. I altered Nigella Lawson’s Custard Cream hearts recipe (on the fly!) for both of these. As they actually turned out quite well, I’m upset with myself for not having written down my recipe alterations while I made them and I can’t quite remember the exact proportions. Ah well. Guess I’ll just have to make another batch of both. 🙂

h1

you too can make butter!

June 26, 2010

I made butter for the first time last week, and a few friends have jestingly accused me of being closeted Amish. Puh-leeze. I’m all about my kitchen appliances! I used a Kitchen-Aid electric stand mixer and this beautiful golden chunk of creamy heaven took about 7 minutes to make, start to finish. So easy. Just Google it, and you’ll find dozens of instructions how, either by using a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or simply shaking cream in a jar for roughly 2 years. Just kidding. Still, you’re not going to see me using that jar technique any time soon! Baked some bread to go along with it (bread machine of course) and pondered with delight on how easy it is for a modern gal to feel like a domestic goddess.

h1

Too busy to blog! But not too busy for cookies.

September 21, 2009

Still a homebody — but a very, very busy one. 😦 On top of the full-time office gig, I’m taking two classes this term; my band is regularly rehearsing, gigging and writing music; and my husband and I are currently in the midst of purchasing our first home where I will be able to have my own permanent craft room — woot woot!!! I did, though, find a way to sneak in a sewing project on the music front. I thought it would be great to use eco-friendly, recycled, handmade packaging for our debut EP — including lined zippered pouches made from the band’s old clothing. Check them out here.

I’m looking forward for the dust to settle, allowing me to get busy again with the sewing machine and knitting needles. In the meantime, here’s a recipe for yummy pistachio shortbread (from Epicurious.com) that I made for a dinner party my husband and I attended on Saturday. Super easy and delicious!

pistachio shortbread

h1

italian job

July 13, 2008

Another kitchen adventure today in the form of gnocchi (which, if you’ve never had them, are amazingly yummy potato dumplings) with gorgonzola sauce and peas. The peas are my own addition to the classic dish because, frankly, I can eat peas with just about anything. I admit, I didn’t make the gnocchi myself — no, the credit goes to my good friend Trader Joe — but I added some fresh herbs from the garden as well as spices from the cupboard. I like mine with extra nutmeg!

h1

green things growing

July 11, 2008

Yes, growing…as opposed to withering!


Miraculously, the herbs I planted a while back are actually flourishing, which I can’t say about many of their unfortunate predecessors — so today I’ve decided to reap the benefits of my newly green thumbs. There’s nothing like fresh, homegrown basil and oregano sprinkled atop a pizza. Well, my stomach is gurgling, so please excuse me now as I’m off to enjoy my dinner…