clementine madeleines

....that would be a good band name. someone get on it.

twas a snow day and i was stuck at home with the dying urge to bake (read: make the house warmer). early on i thought about madeleines, and when i say i thought about madeleines, i mean i obsessed over their cakey french goodness for hours. i went to the kitchen and crumbled in disappointment, no lemons. i may or may not have cried in the fetal position in the corner for a whole minute...as i saw them: those sexy little clementines in my fruit bowl. 'twas done. i knew what i had to do. and i bring forth to you, my lovely reader, the clementine madeleine with almond extract. FRACK these things are good.

auditory pairing: generationals - bobby beale

clementine madeleines 
yields ~20 madeleines

- 2/3 c all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1/2 sugar
- zest of 1.5 clementines (they're small!)
- 2 large eggs at room temp
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 3/4 stick (6 tbsp) butter, melted then cooled
- confectionar's sugar (for dusting)

1. butter and flour your madeleine pan, place in freezer
2. in a small bowl, rub the clementine zest and sugar together between your fingertips, until sugar is fragrant and moist, set aside
3. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt
4. in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and zest, along with eggs. using whisk attachment, beat on medium-high (8) speed, until lighter in color and thick (about 3 mins).
5. beat in almond extract
6. with a silicone/rubber spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients (i added in 3 steps)
7. once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, gently fold in the melted butter
8. take a piece of saran wrap and press it onto the batter, set batter in fridge for at least 3 hours
9. preheat oven to 400F, dollop a small amount of batter into each shell of the pan (try not to overfill, overfill prevents those lovely lady humps from happening)
10. bake 8-12 minutes, until edges look a little golden and humps form
11. remove tray from oven, remove madeleines and set on rack to cool
12. dust with powdered sugar (optional)


black bean tortilla soup and vimto snow cones!

ever get so hungry you CAN'T even THINK straight? not me, ever. and by not me i mean always. and by ever i mean lay off me i'm starving.

this soup takes 10 minutes start to finish. it's healthy and fast. just the way i like it.

auditory pairing: love is all - dust

black bean tortilla soup
yields 4-6 servings
from fitness magazine

- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3.5 c chicken broth (or 1 bouillon cube with 3.5 c water)
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can black beans, 15 oz
- 1 can diced green chili peppers, 4oz
- tortilla chips 

1. saute the onion, garlic, and cumin in 2 tbsp olive oil
2. add the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, and green chili peppers
3. bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 mins
4. serve with tortilla chips

and now.....


- snow 
- vimto syrup

1. pack some fresh snow into your cup of choice
2. pour vimto syrup over
3. EAT!


maamoul (traditional lebanese date-filled cookies)


"varry good yasmeen!"

my dad then takes back the package, opens it up, and shares some store-bought maamoul with me. that was one of the first words i learned how to read in arabic as a kid. really the first words i picked up were all either food or cusswords (and i mean DURRTAY cusswords), so typical of a lebanese household.

these traditional orange blossom-laced shortbread cookies stuffed with dates transcend race, hombre.

yields ~24 cookies

cookie dough:
1 c semolina/farina
2 c all purpose flour
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tbsp orange blossom water
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c milk

date filling:
2 packages ziyad medjool baking date paste (13oz each)

also needed:
cooking spray
powdered sugar (optional)
maamoul molds

1. preheat oven to 450F. mix all dry dough ingredients, add the milk, orange blossom, and butter. mix with hands. 
2. depending on the size of your molds, take about a heaping teaspoonful of dough, roll it into a ball, then start to form a hole in the middle.
3. take about a teaspoon of date paste and place inside hole. close seams of dough.
4. spray maamoul molds with cooking spray, and press dough and date ball (that was made in step 3) into mold
5. tap mold onto the counter and the formed maamoul will fall out, place on parchment-lined cookie sheet, follow steps 2-5 for the remainder of dough and date filling
6. place cookie sheet on center rack and bake for approx 20 mins. cookies should be lightly golden but not brown.
8. once done cooking, allow cookies to cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional)




moroccan spaghetti

as the weather in nyc change from cool to "nowhere to hide" cold, i hazily relive the dog days of summer by remembering what i cooked and what my inspiration was. i remembered cooking a vegetarian dish, with the intention of adding it to our "kinda growing" recipes for our meatless mondays, otherwise known as "mea-mo", which sometimes become "mea-tue", "mea-we" and well, you know. . . marrakesh was an inspiration but i mostly wanted to use the cinnamon, turmeric and cloves that have been gathering dust in the pantry. and, almost perfectly enough, i have this book of vegetarian recipes called "the accidental vegetarian" by simon rimmer that i stumbled upon barnes and noble a few years back.

auditory pairing: rock the casbah - the clash

in this recipe, you would need about 10 oz of dried spaghetti, 1/2 c of olive oil, 1 finely chopped onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 8 finely chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1 tsp of ground cumin, a pinch of turmeric, 1 c of toasted, slivered almonds, 1/2 c of cooked garbanzo beans, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh mint leaves, salt and pepper.

1. cook the spaghetti in boiling water, i add salt generously in the pot.
2. meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft.
3. add the tomatoes, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric over a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes kinda break down.
4. season the sauce with salt and pepper and then add the almonds and chickpeas.
5. drain the pasta, fold the herbs into the sauce and mix with the pasta.

it's of that crazy casbah jive good.


almond panna cotta with blueberry lime sauce

know what's cool and hipster-like? not eating pumpkin pie on thanksgiving. now don't get me wrong, i will kill a b*tch for some pumpkin pie. but it's just so booooooooooring to eat it on the day of giving thanks. panna cotta with blueberry lime sauce? WIN. 

on the real: the lime zest takes this sauce to a new level of awesome.

auditory pairing: the antlers - bear

almond panna cotta with blueberry lime sauce
yields 8 servings

panna cotta
- 4 c half & half (or heavy cream if you're feeling randy)
- 1/2 c sugar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 packets powdered gelatin (4 1/2 tsp)
- 6 tbsp cold water

1. spray 8 ramekins with pam
2. in a large saucepan heat cream and sugar until sugar fully dissolves (medium-high heat, few minutes)
3. remove from heat and stir in the extract
4. in a small bowl add the 6 tbsp cold water, sprinkle the gelatin over it. let sit 5-10 mins.
5. after gelatin has set, stir into the cream and sugar mixture until the gelatin completely dissolves.
6. pour the panna cotta into the ramekins. chill in fridge for 3-4hrs, until panna cotta has set.
7. when ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of each ramekin and invert onto a plate

blueberry lime sauce
- 2 c blueberries (1 pint)
- 2 limes
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch

1. zest each lime, take one of the limes and juice it. set juice aside.
2. in a large saucepan combine blueberries, lime zest, juice of 1 lime, and sugar
3. let simmer over medium heat for 10 mins (if blueberries frozen add 5-10 mins more) stirring occasionally
4. once the blueberries have softened and released their juices, add the cornstarch to thicken
5. refrigerate until ready to use
6. pour over inverted panna cotta and eat QUICKLY!



pumpkin cookies!

halloween's my middle name. no, really. my last name may or may not be cookie. i ask you, what better treat is there to savor on all hallow's eve then a ridiculousy soft, perfectly spiced pumpkin cookie dotted with gooey dark chocolate? can you really think of something better? i thought not. eat them warm, or cold (i've even ate them semi-frozen... side note, these freeze really well). i especially enjoy them for breakfast, but that's just me, i mean i told you my name was cookie. also these are even kinda good for you. promise! no tricks here, just treats ;)

auditory pairing: karen elson- the ghost who walks

Pumpkin Cookies (adapted from Spork or Foon)

2 c. all purpose or whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 eggs
3/4 - 1 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola oil (i like to use bertolli extra light olive oil)
1 c. canned organic pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. ghiradelli 60% cacao chocolate baking chips* (or your fave kind)
1/2 c. raisins (optional)

* you could also do a full cup of chocolate, or of raisins, or leave them out totally. i like to mix, or make half the batch with chocolate and half with raisin)

- Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare parchment covered baking sheet.

- Stir flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together in medium bowl.

- In separate large bowl, beat eggs and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light colored, about one minute. Mix in oil, pumpkin, and vanilla at low speed and blend well. Be sure to scrape bottom/sides of bowl to ensure spices are well mixed.

- Add in flour mixture a bit at a time, until evenly incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips/raisins by hand.

- Scoop up 1/4 c. size amounts of dough and place about 2.5 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet (these cookies cook up big, and they will spread).

- Bake about 16 minutes, or until tops of cookies feel firm and center is dry when tested. Allow to cool on sheet (or transfer paper to counter) 5 minutes, then remove with spatula to cool on rack.

- Cookies will keep covered at room temp up to 4 days. They also freeze well in an airtight freezer bag- allow to thaw, or nuke them for a few seconds, and they come back to life!

Enjoy! and Happy Halloween :)


broccoli cheddar soup and puff pastry pies!

do you see how much i love you? i'm giving you TWO recipes in one! you can either stop at the broccoli soup part, or use said soup to make the most delicious puff pastry pot pies (p^4) p-ever! that's right, i said puck you, miss.


auditory pairing: cee-lo green - puck you

broccoli cheddar soup (scroll down for p^4)
yields 10 servings

-1/4 c butter
-1 onion, diced medium
-2 tsp garlic, fresh chopped
-1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
-1 lb fresh broccoli florets
-4 c chicken/veggie bouillon
-1/2 c all purpose flour
-1.5 c fat free half and half
-8 oz shredded sharp cheddar
-salt, to taste

1. melt the butter over medium heat. add onion, cook until softened (few minutes). 

2. add garlic and pepper, cook 1 min

3. stir in broccoli, stir in bouillon, bring to a boil, then simmer 10-15min until broccoli is tender

4. whisk flour into half and half until dissolved (i first whisk all the flour into 1/4 cup half and half until a paste is formed as shown in the picture above, then add the rest of the half and half). stir into soup stirring frequently until thickened.

5. reduce heat to low, stir in cheese until melted. fix seasonings. CONSUME!

puff pastry pot pies
yields as many as youd like to make. 
one puff pastry pack will yield 9 pot pies.

-puff pastry pack

6. prehear oven to 400F. roll out puff pastry sheet. slice into 9 equal portions.

7. roll out second sheet and do the same.

8. grease as many ramekins as you wish (in this case, 9 [in my picture i only made 3 so i used 2/3 of one sheet to have 6 squares]).

9. fit one square rolled puff pastry into each ramekin. fill with soup. and top with second square of puff pastry.

10. bake 20-25mins until puff pastry is GASP...puffed, and golden.



blueberry kilogram cake

see what i did there? i'm so droll.

sorry for the hiatus. i was on a lengthy mission to pluto, when news finally got to me that it's now considered just a dwarf planet. i guess my mission was all a LIE. but on the real, my dad had been fighting cancer and finally lost his battle in june. r.i.p. best daddy ever.

back to being droll. this blueberry lb cake is boss. so make it with double rainbow conviction.

auditory pairing: local natives - wide eyes

blueberry pound cake
adapted from rasa malaysia (love that site)
yields 1 bundt cake

-1 c butter, softened
-2 c sugar
-4 eggs
-1 tsp almond extract
-3 c flour, divided
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen

1. preheat oven to 325F. cream butter and sugar. add eggs one by one and beat until light and fluffy (should look like the second photo). add almond.

2. sift 2 c of the flour, salt, and baking powder together. add this to the creamed mixture and beat.

3. dredge berries in remaining 1 c of flour. gently fold floured berries into batter. 

4. grease the bundt pan with cooking spray. dust with flour. pour batter into pan.

5. bake 1hr to 1hr 15min, until cake is set (check with toothpick/skewer). set on rack to cool a bit, then invert onto platter/plate.

6. eat it, eat it good!



what what in the....

butttttt, before i continue with this post, let's get one thing straight. my first true love is crusty, crunchy, yank with your teeth artisan bread. however, there is a soft spot in my heart for soft rolls (zing!). there's something about that marshmallow-y texture that makes a person want to shove at least five at a time in their oral orifice...then try to whistle. and if they choke, they can always mutter the safe word: whiskey

auditory pairing: tune-yards - jumping jack (i'll need to do 563 sets of 965405943 of these)

soft white dinner rolls
adapted from king arthur flour
yields 16 rolls

-2 1/2tsp instant yeast
-7/8c to 1 1/8c lukewarm water (the lesser amount in humid/summer, greater amt in dry/winter)
-3 c unbleached all-purpose flour
-1 1/4tsp salt
-3 tbsp sugar
-6 tbsp unsalted butter @ room temp
-1/4c nonfat dry milk
-1/2c mashed potato (wrap a potato tightly in plastic wrap, microwave for 3 mins, remove skin, mash into a fine paste [i use mortar and pestle] and measure out 1/2c)

1. combine all ingredients and knead by hand, in mixer (5-7min on on speed 2), or bread machine on dough cycle (if using bread cycle, make sure to add ingredients according to manufacturer's instructions).

2a. if mixing by hand or mixer, lightly oil a bowl and place dough inside, gently cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to double in bulk, about 1hr.

2b. if using bread machine, skip 2a, as the dough will do its first rise in the machine.

3. while the dough is rising, lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

4. gently deflate the dough a little and transfer to a work surface sprayed with a little cooking spray. divide into 16 pieces.

5. shape each piece into a ball by pulling the dough into a small knot at the bottom. place 'knot' side down.

6. here's the kicker, only 15 rolls fit in the pan...so like...play ball with the 16th piece. or put up your nose, or save it in the freezer for a day when youre feeling like wasting all that energy and heat on baking one roll. 

7. after fitting the 15 rolls in the pan, loosely cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. allow them to rise until theyre touching one another and are very puffy (1hr-ish). preheat the oven to 350F during this time.

8. bake rolls 25 mins until theyre golden on the top, and lighter on the butt cracks (teehee!)

9. remove from oven, let cool if possible for a few minutes, then stuff 5 in your mouth and say whiskey.

fyi, these can totally be made bigger for hamburger buns, or tinier for little trolls that haunt your basement.



effing awesome molasses cookies

yes, that is the whole title...like a pimp named slickback. but i digress (pronounced, dee-hress). these taste like ginger snaps without the lame "snap" part. i want none of that in my cookies. only two things in the world should be hard, and cookies are not one of them. hiyooo!

p.s. i know some of you out there are only friends with me because of these cookies, if you suddenly stop talking to me, I'LL KNOW WHY!

auditory pairing: she wants revenge - tear you apart (the cookie, of course)

effing awesome molasses cookies
yields ~2dozen

-1/2c butter, melted
-1/4c veggie oil
-1c brown sugar, packed
-1 egg
-1/4c molasses
-2c all-purpose flour
-2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1/2c white sugar, for rolling

1. combine butter, oil, brown sugar and mix for 5min with whisk attachment in kitchenaid, until mixture lightens in color

2. add egg, mix until combined, then add molasses

3. in separate small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt & spices...add slowly until fully incorporated

4. place mixture in fridge 30min to firm up (preheat your oven @ this time to 375F)

5. take about 1/2tbsp into a ball and roll in white sugar, place on baking sheet

6. cook for 7 minutes, it will still be soft, and look a tiny bit brown. let rest 5-10 min to complete cooking.

heres some snow boobies i made during rva's snomg3 for your enjoyment: