Monday, November 15, 2010

Cranberry and Walnut White Chocolate Bark

Cranberry and Walnut White Chocolate Bark

Sometimes the simplest recipes bring the most delightful results.  I like to add just a touch of home baked to entertaining menus or gifts and this recipe is a perfect way to do just that.  The bark is easy to make and looks gorgeous in a little cellophane bag or a metal tin tied with a ribbon and a card.  I like to make these to give as gifts or just have in my home for when friends come over.  I particularly love the colors of this combination for fall but you can add anything you like from other candies to all sorts of nuts and dried fruit to make a bark that you'd like to bite.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Barefoot Contessa's Pecan Squares

The Barefoot Contessa’s Pecan Squares

Thanks to a very thoughtful early birthday present, I decided to make my absolute favorite Ina recipe inspired by my new cookbook.  I haven’t always loved the Barefoot Contessa, in fact at first I really didn’t like the idea of anyone being barefoot in the kitchen.  But her recipes are absolutely indulgent and amazing.  Some of them are a bit complicated but her focus on classic flavor combinations that sing is the most signature aspect of her cooking that makes all recipes so magnificent. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Little Bites of Chocolate

Little Bites of Chocolate

These little bites of amazing are so so unbelievably indulgently good.  Zero talent is required to make them, no oven is required to bake them and you really can’t even mess up the quantities.  I hesitated to even include them on what I am trying to craft as a reliable, established and upper-crust food blog.  But, I realized that I want to make cooking and crafting your own food enjoyable, and this is an excellent way to start.

An intern in my office brought these Little Bites in to work one summer day, and my colleagues, and I, went ballistic over them.  Free office food, much like free samples, has an ability to transcend all barriers separating our hands from our mouths.  It hardly matters in the office setting if you’re even hungry, if there is food it will be eaten.  But these Little Bites were so impressive that I tried them out at a bake sale a week later and won a $10 gift certificate for bringing the best selling contribution. Money. In. The. Bank. 

So having built up this much hype, I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Crunchy Panko Crusted Chicken Strips

Freshman year of High School a lunch period changed my life.  A friend of mine with Russian parents brought a very peculiar sandwich to school:  two slices of white bread, a lettuce leaf and a chicken cutlet coated in a fried egg.  It was at that initial big-bang moment when I realized just how interested I was in food.  Looking back, I spent that entire week just thinking about that egg and how exactly it got itself fried and perfectly wrapped around a piece of chicken.  It was intriguing!  And it launched my foray into the world of shnitzle.  Baked, fried, spiced…I love a chicken and I’ve tried it all. 

BUT…this is by far my favorite recipe for anything related to the nugget.  Forget egg mixtures, boring bread crumbs and a bubble bath of oil.  This recipe is brilliant because: #1 An egg really doesn’t have all that much flavor, and it has a high fat and calorie content.  #2 I’m scared of deep frying; I don’t want to get burned or fat.  And #3 This is quick, easy to manipulate and bite for bite delivers maximum flavor potential to a piece of white meat.  SPOILER ALERT: The trick here is coating the chicken not in egg, not in milk, butter milk or the cream squeezed out of anything but pure flavor…mustard, spice, honey and lemon juice.

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