Brie. Smashed potatoes. Together. Hell yeah. The stuffed here is more like topped, but man, these are still good.

Bless Tieghan, but pretty much everything after the brie in the original recipe I omitted, because FFS, white truffle oil??

Brie Stuffed Crispy Baby Potatoes
Makes 1.5 lbs of brie smashed potatoes. Hell yeah. 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs baby potatoes (aka, one bag at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 T fresh chopped thyme (substituted dried)
  • 8 oz brie, cut into small wedges
  • (white truffle oil, pan fried sage leaves, crushed pink peppercorn if you want to go the full mile on garnishes)

Preheat the oven to 400. Take the baby potatoes, olive oil, and sea salt and pepper, and toss them together in a small bowl (pic 1). Put them on a lined baking sheet (pic 2), and roast for about 30 minutes (original recipe recommended 20, I found it took longer) until the potatoes are fork tender.

Just before the potatoes come out, combine the melted butter, crushed garlic, and thyme in a small bowl. Using a potato masher or a fork, gently press down on the potatoes and smash them until they’re about .25 inches thick (pic 3). Drizzle the butter mixture over the potatoes (pic 4), and then roast for another 20 minutes, until golden and crisp (pic 6).

Cut up the brie into small wedges (pic 5), enough for each potato, about five minutes from the potatoes being done. Then, take them out of the oven, top with brie (pic 7), and put back in the oven for 5 more minutes, until the brie melts all over the smashed potato (pic 8).

And then, enjoy your ridiculously rich cheesy potato!

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Ye gods, I actually made a new recipe and posted it within twenty four hours. This is kinda new. 😛

I basically spent last evening listening to the Los Campesinos! Christmas EP that they released last year, watching the snow outside, and making these (and one other thing I’ll be posting today). I haven’t felt all seasonal like this in years, and ngl, it’s a real welcome feeling right now.

And these may be my new default sugar cookie recipe. The Chinese five-spice powder adds a lovely twist to the standard sugar cookie recipe. (And using my few cookie cutters reminds me I need to get more from that place.)

Chinese Five-Spice Sugar Cookies
Makes appx 20ish cookies

Ingredients

  • 1.25 c flour
  • 2.5 t Chinese five-spice powder
  • pinch salt
  • .5 c sugar
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 large egg at room temp
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt in a bowl, until combined completely (pic 1). Using your mixer (sweet sweet stand mixer here), beat the butter and sugar together until creamed, and then add your egg and vanilla extract and mix until it’s good and fluffy (pic 2). Then, slowly add your flour in (pic 3), and mix until everything is just barely incorporated (pic 4).

Then, shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic (pic 5, I didn’t have my normal plastic wrap on me), and refrigerate for about an hour.

When you’re ready to make your cookies, heat the oven to 375. Take your dough out of the fridge, unwrap it, and roll it out to .25 inch thickness (pic 6). (The recipe recommends sticking it in the freezer at this point for five minutes to firm it slightly; I did not do this, but did put the dough in the freezer between batches to refirm it, as the dough does go soft quickly at room temp.)

Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out cookies, and place them on the baking sheet (pic 7). Reroll the leftover dough and repeat until you have enough cookies to fill a baking sheet. (You will be doing this in two batches or so, minimum.)  Bake for 13 minutes, until golden brown on the edges (pic 8). Immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool, and then enjoy with a nice glass of milk.

As frustrating as dealing with my landlord can be (“I’ll maybe fix the peeling ceiling after the holidays,” oh and there might be mice as evidenced by the large trap placed right by a hole in the back stairway, and one running through the bedroom, that trap seems super helpful), one of the things I love about where I live is the neighborhood. And specifically, the middle eastern bakery/grocery that’s a ten minute walk up the street. They do amazing, cheap hand pies that are great for lunch or breakfast, wonderful sides (dolma! baba ghanoush! pita!), they have a small fuckton of spices, and they have a lot of reasonably priced staples. Like say, the black lentils that are central to this recipe.

This is a simple, cheap, low energy, but amazingly filling recipe. I’ve been perfecting it over the last few months to my and boything’s taste, and the recipe as I have it currently is beyond perfect. My spices are a bit more haphazard than the ingredients list below suggests in terms of amounts, but I promise you you can adjust this to your own taste, easy. Throw this on the stove while a Destiny 2 or Overwatch session is going on, and voila.

Punjabi-Style Black Lentils
Makes enough for two and then a little meals for two

Ingredients

  • 2 T ghee (regular butter or oil also acceptable)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • .5 T ground cumin (original says seeds, I went with what I have on hand for simplicity)
  • 1 in piece of ginger, grated (original says finely chopped, I go with the ginger grating trick mentioned earlier in the blog these days
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 t ground tumeric
  • 1 T garam masala (usually more)
  • pinch ground chile powder
  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 t sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 c dried black lentils
  • 3.5 c water (reduced from original recipe bc now I just use a whole can of diced fire roasted tomatoes, which is an extra cup up from the original recommended amount
  • 4 t salted butter
  • 2 T heavy cream (can be omitted if people don’t like it)

Over medium heat, melt your ghee. Once warm, add the onion and cumin, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned in places (pic 1). Add in the ginger and garlic, cook 1 minute more until fragrant, and then add the remaining spices (pic 2) and can of tomatoes (pic 3), and cook 3 more minutes, scraping up any bits that may be stuck to the pot. Add the salt, water, and then the lentils. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot. Cook 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender (see pic 5). If you want a looser dal, add more water. Adjust the spices and seasoning to taste.

To finish, ladle the dal into the bowl, add 1 t butter and .5 T heavy cream, and stir in to melt (see pic 6).

The version I made of this was severely parred down, as the boything doesn’t like mushrooms, I wasn’t sure about the beets in this, and honestly the pomegranate arils seemed more decorative than anything else. I’m probably going to try this again with the beets and maybe the mushrooms, not real sure about the pomegranate arils. (If anyone has insight on this, please feel free to chime in!)

The resulting pasta was, and is, still pretty amazing, and definitely something I want to try again. Please note below – parentheses used in this recipe will be used to indicate omitted ingredients, or instructions for the omitted ingredients.

Caramelized Balsamic Goat Cheese Pasta
Makes: pasta. However much you want. Look, it’s been forever since I made this.

Ingredients

  • 4 T olive oil (2 T if omitting the beets)
  • (4 medium red beets, quartered – omitted)
  • ((1 T chopped fresh thyme (substitute dry if you don’t have fresh), omitted bc not using beets)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 lb long thin pasta (like spaghetti)
  • (8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced – omitted)
  • 2 T butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 c balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 T honey
  • .5 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • .5 c crumbled goat cheese
  • (pomegranate arils for serving – omitted)

(If using the beets – preheat your oven to 350, toss together the olive oil, beets, thyme, sea salt and pepper, put on a baking sheet, and roast for 25 to 30 mins, till tender and lightly charred.)

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring salted water for the pasta to a boil. Add your pasta, and cook according to package instructions until al dente, and then drain. Just before draining, reserve 1 c of pasta cooking water.

While you wait for the water to boil, melt the butter, and add 2 T olive oil in a pot over high heat. (If using the mushrooms, add them here and cook until just barely caramelizing on the edges, appx 5 mins.) Add the garlic slices like in pic 1, and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Remove the (mushrooms) and garlic. To the same pot, add the balsamic vinegar, honey, and red pepper flakes, like in pic 2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, and then cook for 5-8 mins until the balsamic has reduced by about a third and is sticky to the touch – see pic 3 for the example of this in progress, and pic 4 for what this looks like towards the end. Then, reduce the heat to low and stir in the pasta and garlic(/mushrooms). Toss to coat. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it out with a bit of the pasta cooking water. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Serve the pasta immediately, topped with crumbled goat cheese, (roasted beets, and pomegranate arils).

This was one of the few attempts I made at cookies this year. (I really need to try to do holiday baking this year. We’ll see if I have the time/energy, but I’m at least thinking about it, which is a good sign.

This was the recipe I used to break in my stand mixer (STAND MIXER Y’ALL), and with a combination of lemon curd and white chocolate chip, it’s hard to get better than that. And what better way to start than by making your own lemon curd to make these? I’ll link my recipe in the ingredients list.

Lemon Curd White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes at least two batches of cookies

Ingredients

  • 6 T butter at room temperature
  • .5 c white sugar
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • .25 c lemon curd
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 1.75 c flour
  • .75 t baking soda
  • dash baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c white chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350. While it warms up, cream your butter and sugars together, and then mix in the egg, lemon curd (making of pics 1-2), and lemon zest (pics 3), followed by the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Then, slowly fold in your white chocolate chips (pic 4).

Roll the dough into small balls, and place on your baking sheet (see pic 5 for size). (If you’ve got parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, put that on, but otherwise, straight on the sheet is totally fine.) Bake for about 8 to 12 minutes, until they’re lightly golden brown on the edges (pic 6).

And then enjoy your amazing spring-esque cookies!

Happily, kind of, I am currently so far behind on this blog that this has now completed the loop to this being back in season! Go me!

Egg nog. Dutch babies. This is pretty much an A+ combination on all fronts, especially as the cold finally starts to settle in over Chicago. So make this this weekend, and treat yourself. You’ve earned it.

Egg Nog Dutch Baby
Makes one dutch baby

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c egg nog
  • 1 c flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • 1 T sugar

Preheat your oven to 400, place the butter in the cast iron skillet, and place the skillet in the oven to melt the butter (see what pic 3 looks like for what this will look like after the oven has preheated).

Combine all other ingredients in the blender (pic 1), and blend until combined (pic 2). Once the oven has preheated, swirl the skillet to coat it in butter, and then pour the batter into the hot skillet (pic 4).

Place back into the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and puffed (pic 5), and then om nom it!

This is one of those absurdly simple, “how in the hell did I not think of this thing sooner??” breakfasts. And yet, it took me stumbling across a photo of this somewhere for doing this to cross my mind.

I’m not kidding how simple this is. Take bagel. Put larger hole in bagel if necessary. Crack egg in bagel. Fry. Enjoy egg and bagel.

Egg in a Bagel Hole
Makes two bagel halves, enough for a good breakfast

Ingredients

  • one bagel, sliced in half
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, pepper to taste

Take a pan and melt half the butter in it. Take a bagel half, and, if you don’t think the hole’s big enough, make it a little bigger, enough so that an egg yolk can fit in the center. Place the bagel inside down in the skillet, crack the egg into the yolk, season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan, and cook until the egg yolk is done to your liking.

Do the same thing with the other bagel half.

Voila: breakfast.