Monthly Archives: September 2008

biscotti and my mom

my mom, Marie…well let’s just say she was a rock-star in the kitchen.  in addition to cooking for her large family of six children and husband, oh and most of the neighborhood…she became a pretty important fixture in charge of the kitchen at her church in Florida for many years. she cooked and baked for hundreds of people preparing special banquets, dinner parties and luncheons honoring the bishop, and priests from around the world. she was a discerning and particular chef and gourmand. going out to eat with her was not an easy task. even the finest italian restaurants would somehow fall short. she had very high expectations.  i must say, I think she has really rubbed off on her children.  her fine cooking and demand for only the finest, freshest ingredients has made it very difficult to eat out!  that’s why i go out for sushi and eat my meatballs at home!

my mother and I were really best friends, in so many ways.  we loved and shared our hearts and our kitchens with each other, we talked constantly about food and new recipes.  one thing that she loved to make with me was biscotti.  she would make them by hand with a wooden spoon.  i have developed some of my own variations on her recipes…

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quick pasta, steak and veggies

my very dear friend was having a small gathering for her husband’s brithday the other night.  she was going to have some of the items catered and some of the menu she was going to attempt to make a herself.  let’s just say that the kitchen is NOT her room of choice.  she really has no interest in cooking.  she is an amazing eater however!  she really has a tremndous appreciation for food and loves to come to my house and sample whatever new recipe i might be trying or go thru my leftovers. she can eat more than anyone i know and she is as skinny as could be.  lucky dog!  so I offered to help her make a few things…i love to cook, especially  for people I love…so the next day i made her a simple pasta: farfale with mozzarella, grape tomatoes and basil dressed with lots of peppery green olive oil, pecorino and black pepper…i also grilled a few flank steaks on the bbq and allowed them to rest, still hot in a bath of olive oil, balsamic fresh garlic and basil before slicing.  we served them with little rolls and a horseradish mayonnaise.  I also made a tray of oven roasted vegetables.

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dairy free, egg free, nut free

i tried another recipe…i wanted to try to substitute the “margarine” for olive oil.  i thought that I would make it a little easier to test this result if i resorted back to unbleached wheat flour.  the results are interesting; tasty, healthy, but not quite perfect.  i made three different cookies: a sort of thumbprint with dairy free chocolate chips in the center,  an orange flavored chocolate cookie with whole oats and a few flax seeds and an orange chocolate marble oatmeal flax.  

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dairy free, egg free, nut free…tasty? or taste free?

i am experimenting with one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes.  i am trying to convert it into a wheat-free, dairy-free and egg-free cookie.  i used oat flour and brown rice flour, Ener-G (egg replacement), brown and white sugars, and a canola based butter substitute.  I also added some dairy free chocolate chips that actually tasted great straight from the bag.

my first batch did not work out – my recipe did not translate exactly.  the flour did not hold up to the amount of sugar and the result was a thin deflated tweel.  so for the second batch i added more oat flour.  hmm pretty yummy!  i think they are still a bit too sweet -and kind of dry and powdery…my 5 year old however really likes them, he helped himself to two cookies!


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breakfast for dinner

eggs.  the ultimate comfort food.  fried up with lots of butter.  gas house eggs, or framed eggs…my mom used to make this for us all of the time.  one was never enough.  i made one tonight for my little girl.

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chocolate chip cookies

old fashioned
I love to play with recipes.  I recently made several batches of chocolate chip cookies.  I tried changing the ratio of butter & sugar to flour.  Then changing the proportions of brown sugar to white sugar.  The flavor of the brown sugar reigns supreme but the white sugar is needed to give the cookie a nice crunch.  I also played around with the flour, adding several different types (pastry, cake, bread) just to see how that might effect the cookie.  I came away with 2 very different cookies, one light thin and super crunchy, and the other more cake-like, old fashioned more room for your teeth to really sink in.  Both really yummy.   Not sure which one I like better, depends on my mood I think…

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