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Sophisticated Your Chocolate – Sweet and Savory Chocolates

Have you heard about the Three Pleasures – a dessert challenge that circled in 2016 challenging chefs to create healthier dessert options using the Three Pleasures – dark chocolate, fruit, and nuts? For a cooking demo I’m working on we’re using these three ingredients as a healthier dessert option for diabetics – and if you just want to be healthier in general while satisfying your sweet tooth. While thinking of dried fruit and nut options for a chocolate bark I decided to get a little crazy and thought – what if I add herbs?!

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In my humble opinion, the herbs were a genius way to go. Although I do always enjoy the peanut butter chocolate combo and find it hard to resist chocolate and caramel, the herbs have me thinking in a whole new way.

Since I only made 4 of each flavor (I can’t be tied down with only one flavor and 24 chocolates – I need variety!), they aren’t exact recipes, but I can tell you what you’ll need for each along with the base of: a dark chocolate of at least 60% cocoa, bitter sweet will also work; mini muffin tins; mini muffin papers; and non-stick spray.

I chopped and melted ~12oz of chocolate over a make-shift double boiler – glass bowl set over boiling/simmering water. Melt until just melted – don’t sit there and stir the chocolate for too long or it will eventually start to separate out and become hard because there isn’t enough fat to prevent over working. I then mixed about 2oz of chocolate with each of the described combinations. Spray your muffin paper with the non-stick spray before putting in the chocolate – it just makes them easier to remove. Let it set and then enjoy.

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Walnut and goji berry – no additional spices, just toasted walnuts and gofi berries. I started you off with and easy one.

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Lavender Blueberry – crush 1/2 tsp of edible lavender and mix in with chocolate – sprinkle top with additional lavender and top with dried blueberries. Crushing brings out more of the oils from the lavender along with the flavor (better than finely mincing).

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Chili Cherry Pecan – mix chili powder in with chocolate, about 1/4 tsp (or as spicy as you like), top with dried cherries, pecans, and dusting of additional chili powder.

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Lavender Thyme Pistachio – crush about 1/4 tsp edible/culinary grade lavender, finely mince 1/4 tsp fresh thyme, and mix with chocolate. Top with toasted pistachios and sprinkle with additional lavender. I’m also lucky that the Los Poblanos lavender farm is only a few miles away so I can get some culinary grade lavender at their store too. 🙂

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Rosemary Sea Salt – mince ~1/4-1/2 tsp of fresh rosemary and mix in with chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt and place a sprig of rosemary for decoration – it’s a little too strong to eat with it, but looks pretty.

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Last but definitely not least – I tried my hand with some edible flower over a cluster of dried cherries, blueberries, and pecans. The flower helps to hide the lumpy shape of the cluster.

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Each chocolate is perfectly portioned for a great after dinner treat and the jazzed up flavors do make me feel more sophisticated. Each chocolate is about 1/2 oz of chocolate. Aren’t they gorgeous looking! Although I think they’re all delicious, I think my favorite at this time might be the lavender and blueberry. It just makes me think of the coming spring and makes me happy.

What are some of your favorite more “exotic” chocolate flavors? Have you ever tried to mix your own flavors at home?


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Miso Sauced Soba Noodles with Crispy Tofu

This week’s meals have had a distinct East Asia theme – Monday night I was at work so long that I said screw it and picked up some dinner from Thai Spice rather than cook. My go to is the Pad Woon Sen with chicken or tofu – I prefer the cellophane noodles to thick pad thai noodles. C really likes the Tom Kha with tofu – and that’s a development after four years, C will eat tofu as the protein of the meal… Umm, yeah blew my mind too.

Then on Wednesday I was able to finally test out this vision I had for a recipe I’m doing for a cooking class – and obviously I’m going to share it on the blog too. 🙂

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The idea started when C and I made the Spicy Ramen recipe from Pinch of Yum. While the ramen was good, I couldn’t help but just stand by the counter dunking my tofu into the miso sauce – without putting it in the broth. When looking to create my own version, I decided to go away fro the traditional ramen noodles because they can be really high in sodium and some fat. Since the miso is salty enough, I decided to go for a soba noodle. It was definitely the right choice.

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If you’re not sure if you’re a tofu fan, it’s probably because you’ve never had it prepared correctly – lots of places just deep fry the heck out of it and it’s like biting in to a sponge. Umm, no, just no. That texture is for dips, mousses, and sauces, not the “meaty” portion of the meal. The key is to press the tofu to get rid of excess liquid and prevent that spongy texture. I also prefer the baked or grilled tofu to the pan fried – for some reason I have better luck with the first two methods.

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Miso Sauced Soba Noodles with Crispy Tofu

Serves 2 very large or 4 normal portions

Ingredients

  • 16 oz firm or extra firm tofu
  • Vegetables of choice – I used a convenient mixed stir-fry blend with broccoli, sliced carrots, pea pods, and kale
  • 2 large shiitake mushrooms, cut thinly length wise (optional)
  • Green onion for final taste and garnish

Spicy Miso Sauce

  • 1/2 small or 1/4 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c red miso paste
  • 1/4 c yellow miso broth concentrate (can use this for both misos if can’t find the red)
  • 2 T sambel oelek – chili paste – if using a garlic chili paste, omit garlic cloves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 T mirin – like rice wine for cooking
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1T (scant) toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp red curry paste (optional but encouraged)

Directions

  1. Begin by draining and cutting your tofu into eight slices (dividing the width of the tofu block). To compress tofu if you don’t have a fancy contraption, lay tofu slices on a level surface on top of some towels and paper towels, then place an addition layer of towels and paper towels on top of that. Place a large board – I use my cutting board over the top – then weigh down with heavy books. Cook books work great! Wait at least 30 minutes.
  2. While you’re pressing the excess liquid out of the tofu, you can get started on the miso sauce and preheat the oven to 400F.
  3. In a food processor, puree all of the spicy miso sauce ingredients. It will be a thick sauce. Scrap out into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Once the tofu is sufficiently pressed, you can arrange to slices on a non-stick baking sheet or one covered in foil and lightly oiled. Brush tofu lightly with olive or vegetable oil, then brush on a layer of the miso sauce. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until they’ve reached your desired level of crispiness.
  5. While the tofu bakes, start a large pot of water boiling for the noodles.
  6. In a large pan, sauté the vegetables and mushrooms until cooked but vegetables are still slightly crisp. You can also cook the mushrooms separately first and then add back in at the end of the vegetable cooking. Add a tablespoon of the miso sauce to the vegetable pan and stir. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve.
  7. Once water has reached a boiling point in the large pot, add in soba noodles and cook as directed – cooked through, but not mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Drain noodles and place in very large bowl.
  8. In the very large bowl, toss together the noodles and vegetables with 1/3 c miso sauce to start. Add additional sauce until noodles have reached the desired level of flavor, some additional splashes of water may be needed to ensure even sauce coverage. You will have left over sauce – don’t worry that’s a good thing to save for later. 🙂
  9. Plate noodles and serve with crispy tofu – brush tofu with additional miso sauce layer once out of oven.

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Seriously in love with this sauce. Beware it is really salty, because well, miso is salty and full of umami goodness.  The miso paste will have a more concentrated flavor as will the red miso, so if you want to just do the yellow or the broth concentrate, that works too! And miso is a really good health food – it’s fermented which means it has some of those good bacteria, it also is packed with nutrients including iron, calcium, potassium, and B vitamins. Maybe I should start switching all of my regular broth recipes to miso?

I’d also recommend making an extra 16 oz of crispy tofu to dunk later in the left over miso sauce – as Martha would say, it’s definitely a good thing.

Do you ever get on a theme week with food? With leftover miso paste, what are some of your favorite dishes that require miso?


Turning 30

Today I turn 30. (And my little niece just turned 1.)img_1776

Is it time to hyperventilate yet? I’m entering another decade!

Just kidding, I’m actually really looking forward to it and have be ok with it since I’ve been trying to act older than my age for probably 10 years now (I guess I was pretty comfortable at 25/26 though).

Although I’m a planner – I’ve come to realize planning 5 years in the future is not super advisable, let alone looking at the next potential decade, so I’m going to write a bit about my secureness in where I am now at 30.

  • I know what I want and don’t want in my career.
  • I love the job I currently have.
  • I no longer care what another person’s opinion of me is – and really haven’t for a while.
  • I’m with a great life partner – the happiest thing is when I can see us as old people together (we’re both pretty old souls – or maybe it’s just wanting to go to bed at 9pm)
  • Most of the time I walk around wondering how and when I became an adult and really disliking some of that reality. (When did the wrinkles show up!? I’m expected to know how to figure out insurance and investing?)
  • Some days I sit in my PJs for half the day ignoring the fact I am an adult – sometimes you just need a break.
  • I will march to the beat of my own drum and conductor dance to it’s music. And acknowledge with those actions I have become my mother.
  • I know that life isn’t always happy or perfect, but that’s kind of the deal.
  • I may be compassionate and sometimes nurturing but don’t think I’ll ever be a mother.  (Sorry, Mom and sisters – not a burning desire I have.)
    • Because everyone’s life and dreams are different I respect others and hope they do the same for me.
  • I’ve been blessed to find a partner that likes our little family the two of us and our dog (maybe a second sometime in the future).
  • I absolutely adore my niece and nephew and being an aunt (and think my friends’ kids are the cutest). It’s been my dream in life to be an auntie and be able to take them on trips, spoil them, and help pay for their college. I’d give those kids a piece of any organ.
  • I’m more comfortable in my body and being completely content when it’s not perfect.
  • My yoga practice has helped tremendously in “letting things go that no longer serve me” and holding on to someone else’s idea of how I should be or look REALLY doesn’t serve me.
  • Practicing the yoga yamas and niyamas  – especially after reading The Yamas and Niyamas by Adele have made me more aware of my actions.
  • I accept all the bumps in life and don’t regret anything – it brought me to where I am now and it’s exactly where I am meant to be.
  • As much as I am the “master of my own destiny” I’ve had too many “fate/coincidences” not to believe it plays some role.
  • I will always be young at heart and forever an old soul – do those two conflict?
  • My main goal in life is to adventure – and I have a hard time understanding people who would turn down an opportunity to travel.
  • I don’t like the idea of being too attached to any one place – sometimes a change of scenery is a good thing. This is why a travel – so when I come home I can see and appreciate the world for how unique it really is.
  • Some goodbyes are for the best – lives and people change, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great story worthy of telling.
  • With the happenings of the last week, I am deeply saddened for the future and wonder how a place that used to be a place of refuge and hope is now a place of hate and fear. (Welcome to the second dark ages.) Everyday I wake up to a new policy and feel sick to my stomach – it goes against every fiber of my being – we are taught to be compassionate, loving human beings, to see the good in someone first, not judge them based on their sex, skin, sexual orientation, religion, or country of origin.

Ok, now breathe (deep yoga breaths every damn morning, afternoon, and night). Maybe 2017 and the year of being 30 won’t bee so bad?

PEACE. LOVE. HOPE.


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Roasted Poblano and Cauliflower “Cream” Soup

It’s January and it’s cold. Of course being winter, that’s not really surprising, but I’m always unpleasantly surprised whenever the temp drops below freezing. And with all of the chill, it has me thinking about soup – and why not a hot soup that is spicy as well. 🙂 Win, win?

When looking for more flavors of New Mexico to incorporate into cooking classes at work, I had an inspiration for a healthier poblano cream soup. When looking for an option for a cream base alternative, cauliflower immediately popped into my head. Maybe cauliflower is still a hit vegetable in 2017? It’s so versatile – everything from pizza crust to “rice” to cream soups. And you definitely won’t miss the full fat – the cauliflower puree is so creamy it still feels just as decadent with less than 200 calories for 2 cups – or about 1/8 of the recipe.

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They say you love things more if you’d put a lot of work into it or paid a high price. I went into a battle for this soup – while chopping the poblano peppers, some capsaicin sprayed into my eye and boy did it BURN. I flushed my eye out for a good 20 minutes until it felt even remotely back to normal. Blood, sweat, and so many tears.

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Roasted Poblano and Cauliflower “Cream” Soup

Makes about 8 – 2cup servings

Ingredients

  • 3-4 poblano chiles, roasted (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (~8 cups), cut up
  • 4 c chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 c additional water as needed
  • 1/2 c cream or half & half (optional)
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 4 c corn, I used frozen, but fresh is also great!
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions

  1. If roasting your own poblanos, there are a couple of options – you can grill them on an outdoor grill, under your oven broiler, or over the flame of a gas stove top. If using your gas range, the large burner works best – place 2 poblanos at a time over the flames, rotating when one side gets sightly charred with tongs. Set chiles aside to cool until ready to use.
  2. In a large pot with a bit of oil on the bottom, sauté the onions until translucent and soft.
  3. Add in the garlic and wine. Cook to reduce the wine until almost all has evaporated.
  4. Add in the cauliflower and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until cauliflower is very soft.
  5. While your cauliflower is cooking, in a separate pan, cook the celery until soft.
  6. While the celery cooks, remove the seeds from the chiles (use gloves and eye protection if you have it) and chop into whatever size pieces you like best. Set aside momentarily.
  7. To the celery pan, add the corn and dried spices. Cook until corn is soft, then add in the chopped/diced poblanos. Cook until warm or “cream” soup is done.
  8. Moving back to your large pot, once the cauliflower is soft it’s time to puree.
  9. In three batches, blend all of the large pot contents – adding additional water to make it the consistency you want. Depending on the power of your blender, you may need to add even more additional water or other liquid in order to puree.
  10. Once the contents is all pureed, dump everything back into the large pot and add you cream or half & half.
  11. Add the corn and poblano mixture to the cauliflower cream base, stir to combine and bring the temperature back up to almost boiling.
  12. Garnish with green onion, parsley, or any other large pieces of the roasted poblano.

Nutrition Based on 1/8 of recipe with Half & Half (~2 cup serving)
Calories 174, Total Fat 3g, Sodium 233mg, Cholesterol 6mg, Carbs 32g, Fiber 6g, Protein 7g

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I also love, love, love this new patterned tray I found at World Market – not sure why I hadn’t been there in so long, but it took all my restraint not to walk out with an entire cart of items. But I did practice restraint and managed to make it out with just this tray and the ottoman it’s sitting on.

Stay warm out there!


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Double Cherry Scones with Mascarpone

I’ve been waiting to share this with you all for a while and I’m not really sure why I was holding on to it for so long? They’re pretty delicious. And they go great with a cup of coffee or Earl Grey tea – with honey and almond milk.

Since it’s winter and there never seems to be enough light, I had finished these scones the evening before and as I’m about to leave for work the next morning I notice that the light was perfect, so I set up my space in front of the living room window – because that’s where the morning light is and snap a few of these… causing me to be a few minutes late for work. But it was worth it?? My neighbor across the street was leaving at this same time and I’m sure wondered what the heck I was doing. Oh well, all in the name of that “just right” food pic.

These scones have twice the cherry since I couldn’t decide if I preferred dried or “fresh” – and why not both? And I think it was a terrific decision.

Double Cherry Scones with Mascarpone Drizzle

Makes 8 scone wedges

Ingredients

  • 1 c all-purpose flour (may need a couple extra Tbsp for high elevation)
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/2 c +2 T buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c dried cherries
  • 2/3 c fresh or frozen cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten with a splash of water
  • 2 T large granule sugar, such as turbinado

Drizzle

  • 4 oz mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 T milk or heavy cream
  • 2 T soft butter

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, cover the dried cherries with boiling water and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender, a fork, or 2 knives until the mixture forms a course meal. Using a food processor for this portion is also acceptable.
  4. In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, vanilla, and the egg.
  5. Drain the water from the dried cherries and discard.
  6. Mix dried and fresh cherries into the liquid mixture. Add this mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined (flour is all incorporated) – do not over work the dough or the scones will be tough.
  7. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with 2 tsp of flour and pat into an 8-10 inch circle.
  8. Cut the dough into 8 wedges (I like using the pizza cutter for this or a large chopping knife). Arrange wedges 1/2 in apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Separating the wedges is important or it won’t bake evenly and middle will be mushy.
  9. Brush egg white over wedges and sprinkle with course grain sugar.
  10. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until golden.
  11. While the scones bake, in a small bowl combine the mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla. Careful to add the sugar in slowly to prevent a powdered sugar covered kitchen.
  12. While warm, drizzle mascarpone topping over scones.

 

 

What the scones look like without the drizzle – still just as pretty.

Enjoy!! Now if only I were eating this while sitting in a nice comfy chair at my favorite coffee shop. Scones are my coffee shop kryptonite.

What is your favorite coffee or tea shop treat?


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Making an Epic Cheese Board

I’ve been drooling over the massive cheese and veggie boards coming through my Instagram feed and finally gave in and just had to make one. Lucky for you, you now have a easy reference point for where to start – and just in time for New Years.

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I sheepishly came home from Whole Foods with $100 sunk into this, but it definitely does not need to cost that much if you stick to some basics and self control. (I have no self control.) We brought this all over to a friend’s house for a game night and definitely didn’t need dinner after.

Making an Epic Cheese Board

Serves – 6-8 comfortably

You’ll need:

  • 4-5 types of cheese – I recommend at least one soft like brie, one hard like Manchego, a blue of some kind, and one of your other favorites. I did a Brie, Bleu soaked in brandy, Manchego, aged cheddar, and a goat chèvre.
  • 2 types of meat – salami or summer sausage always works great, but pancetta or even a fancier jerky could also work.
  • 2 types of olives – we did more since we’re a bit olive obsessed, but choosing a green (Castelventrano is growing as my current fav, I just love the nuttiness of it) and a nice kalamata will work well.
  • Apples, pears, and/or grapes – fruit adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Dried fruit – at least one variety. I really like dried apricots, prunes, or cherries.
  • A nice sliced baguette to hold the meats and cheese.
  • 2 types of crackers – I really like one to be more of the water cracker variety and the other to be a bit more seedy. I chose a rosemary cracker and a gluten free Nut Thin.
  • A fruit spread. I chose a Quince paste, but you can use anything you prefer.
  • And optionally but highly recommended if you have a cheese like chèvre – honey.
  • I almost forgot – wine! I like a nice red, but go with whatever floats your boat. A nice sparkling grape juice could also work.

Since this was going to be eaten up right away, I didn’t have my natural light to highlight all of the beautiful colors. But in the end, it’s not what it looks like but how it tastes – and this tastes darn good. I also added some dolmas since they were on sale and I absolutely love them after spending a semester in Greece.

Maybe a roasted veggie board is next on my list? Gotta keep things balanced with all of the high fat cheeses, meats, and olives.

What’s your favorite indulgent snack? 

 


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Christmas Cookies: Swedish Kringla and Pumpkin Gingerbread

So if anyone else is like me, you’re way behind on your Christmas festivities (like started everything the weekend before the holiday late). I heavily rely on places with 2-day shipping because I never know what to buy until last minute. Time also ran way away from me this year – where has 2016 gone?

Luckily, I never need an excuse to bake and whipped up a few batches of some favorite Christmas cookie – one old and one new.

Let’s start with the old. This Kringla recipe is actually a recipe I shared on my old blog before, but just had to again. They have a light soft texture, mild flavor with a hint of buttermilk, and generally can be sprinkled with various colored sugar. The recipe originally came from a secretary in my dad’s office who’s a fantastic baker.  She used to send home tins full of Kringla during the holidays and one year sent the recipe too.  I took that recipe and have made them every Christmas since.

Kringla
Makes ~4-5 dozen

Ingredients

1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 egg yolks
1 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour*
3/4 buttermilk

Directions

Mix butter, egg yolk, salt, sugar, and a small amount of buttermilk in a mixer until fluffy.  Add remaining buttermilk, soda, and mix slightly until well blended.  Add 1 cup flour and baking powder, beat until well blended.  Stir in 2 cups of flour.  Chill several hours.  Form and bake at 350F for 8-9 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown but tops remain light colored.

To form the figure 8 shape, roll a heaping teaspoon full of dough into a “rope” twist into an “8” shape and lay on parchment lined baking sheets.  Sprinkle with colored sugar as desired.

*If you’re making these at high altitude add ~2-3T of additional flour.

This second holiday cookie recipe is just as easy to make. I had a vision to use pumpkin in gingerbread to use up some that I had from baking all of my Halloween and Thanksgiving pumpkins. I found a Spiced Pumpkin Gingerbread recipe from Ella Claire and decided to do a couple of tweaks to make them a tad “healthier”.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cookies

Makes ~2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c butter
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. cloves
  • 3/4 tsp. nutmeg

Directions

  1. With an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugar, and molasses. Add the pumpkin and mix well. Add the egg and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all of the rest of the dry ingredients. Slowly mix your dry ingredients into your butter mixture until combined.
  3. Wrap in wax or parchment paper and throw in the refrigerator for at least 3 or 4 hours until it firms up. Or overnight
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly flour your work surface and split your dough into thirds. Lightly pat the top of one section of dough with flour and roll out until it is about 1/8″ thick. I tried 1/4″ thick and my first sheet of men turned out a bit to blobby.
  5. Cut into desired shapes and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool completely.
  7. Pipe your favorite icing onto each of your cookies into desired design. I cheated and used a store bought Pillsbury cookie icing. I’ll admit I’m not an icing expert – about the best I can do is ganache and cream cheese frosting – neither requires hardening.

I think they turned out pretty good. I opted for the traditional gingerbread man and a snow flake design – and I’m really digging the snow flake!

Who can resist a man in a suit? I certainly couldn’t.

Completely yummy and now almost completely gone – I guess that means I just need to make more!

What are your favorite holiday cookies? Does anyone else have to hide the cookies in the freezer to keep the temptation off the counter?


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Lefse (Lefsa)- My Favorite Scandinavian Heritage Food

I have been waiting for the perfect time to share this recipe and since the holidays are here, I’m SOOOO excited to bring this to the blog. Lesfe is a potato flat bread, but don’t even try to confuse this with a tortilla, naan, or a cracker – it’s like none of those. Since I’m 100% Scandinavian (Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch) there are some holiday traditions I am determine to keep in the family. (For those readers not in the States and might find it weird that Americans classify themselves by where their ancestors came from – it’s just a way to hold on to family and still think of the home country – even if no one has lived their in 100 years.)

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Being away from my community of Norsk folk, I become nostalgic. Although homemade lefse is always just as delicious as I imagine. And because I’m a bit of a food snob (ok, a lot of a snob), the store bought, factory made is just not even close – usually way too thick and you can taste the preservatives. The real deals don’t stay but for a few days unless quickly frozen.

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So anyway, when I was home in Minnesota with my family for a week in July, I asked my Mom if we could make some lefse. 🙂 Luckily I could twist her arm into a batch or three.

When making proper lefse, you start with the potatoes. Half mealy such as a russet and half waxy like a red or yukon (might have some golden lefse). Make sure everything is peeled – this is something that the added fiber from the skins will not improve.

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After cooking, rice the potatoes. And yes, don’t just mash, they need to all be of the same consistency. Measure out 3 cups of the riced potatoes.

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Add in your butter, salt, sugar, and cream and let cool. Set in the fridge or outside (if the temp is cold enough but not in those -20F – that’s quick freezing and we won’t need that).

When you’re ready to start making the lefse, stir in the flour and portion into 1/4 cup balls – you should get about 13-15 balls in one batch.

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I want to talk real quick about the equipment needed for lefse – because it’s very specific. You need your pastry board, rolling pin covers/sockswaffled rolling pin, lefse turning stick (trust me, this is magic), and your lefse grill (this is not a pancake griddle and is different that a crepe grill, it’s a lefse grill- you can see the very thin concentric rings).

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For people just starting out, here’s a great starter kit, minus the waffled rolling pin – but it does come with the rolling pin sock/cover which my Mom says is really important!

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Store the dough you’re not using in the fridge if you’re making multiple batches. Then take and roll out the dough, flipping occasionally until it is about 1/16-1/8 of an inch thick. Using your stick, transfer over to the hot grill and lay flat.

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If you’re getting any bubbles, just tap the bubble to release the air. Once you see some dark brown spots starting to form on one side, flip it over to the next. If you’re a real pro at this or have a helper, you can have one person rolling while the other watches the grill. And then have two grills!

After removing from the grill, it’s easy to stack them to keep them warm and from drying out. Cover with a towel between additions.

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And I can’t forget the most important step… eating! Now although I saw it on a menu at Cafe Broder in Portland, IMHO fish does not belong in or on lefse. Although it may be used like bread or a tortilla, I feel that lefse is not a device for a sandwich. My family puts butter and sugar/honey on theirs and eats it tightly rolled.

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Lefse (My Mom’s carefully honed recipe)

Makes about 13-15 lefse (I recommend you make for double or triple the recipe)

Ingredients

  • 3 c potatoes, boiled & riced (use half waxy and half mealy potatoes)
  • 4 T butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 c cream
  • 1 1/2 c flour

Directions

  1. Peal and boil potatoes – for three cups you should be safe with 4-5 large potatoes.
  2. Rice potatoes and measure out three cups.
  3. Add butter while hot.
  4. Add the salt, sugar, and cream; cool in refrigerator. If you double the batch, leave in refrigerator overnight.
  5. When ready to roll, mix in the 1 1/2 cups of flour per 3 cups or riced potato mix.
  6. Measure out 1/4 cup mix for each lefse and roll thin.
  7. Bake on a 450F lefse grill. Turning when dark brown spots appear.
  8. Store lefse for 1-2 days in an airtight container or layer and freeze.

For the finished product photos, I have to give credit to my Mom and Dad. In July I completely forgot to get a finished product shot – I was too excited to eat them. When talking to my parents yesterday, my Dad said they were making lefse this weekend so I begged them to style a few shots for me. And I think they turned out fantastic! They’ll be instagraming and styling the rest of their food soon I’m sure. 😉

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What are some of your holiday food traditions?