Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pecan Sandies

The theme of this week has been to jump in head first. "Don't be afraid". "Go get it and give it a try." WOW!  I sound like one of those inspirational posters.  

This week I jumped. I took a jump with work, my workout, and setting boundaries. I found I can jump higher than I thought, literally attempting to double jump upstairs. (Warning, I almost fell over. ) I also found out that my experience in my job has helped me to jump forward in starting new projects and learning from experts. I jumped on setting boundaries, and learned that asking for what you want can actually get you what you need... Go figure! 

However, I did not learn anything from these cookies except that they full of butter and pecans and when they bake it smells like maple syrup. Enjoy. 
Ingredient prep.. super easy.
Someone was "helping" and also wanted to touch the butter. Don't worry it was saved. 
I love the light in the morning in my kitchen. Plus I love my husband's grandmother's old kitchen-aide.
Rolled into balls and flattened. Prior to baking. 
Golden and brown out of the oven and dusted, or not, with powdered sugar.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Maple Pecan Scones

Some days you just gotta give in. Have a sit down with your "kale juice loving self" and say, "Kale-self. I appreciate all you do. You make this lady feel like she is getting her veggies and doing something good. Thank you!" 

However, there needs to be some real talk, and it might be about butter and baked goods.  And it may make the house smell like a donut shop. To this part of myself I say, "YES!"  This scone is more of a biscuit with a maple glaze. Just make, eat, sigh, and then eat again.  Share with people you appreciate. Kale and spinach will always be there...however, these scones are a special hug. Enjoy! 

 Dry ingredients. Get on it.
 Butter...Yes, you mistress, you are an evil wonderful temptress, you smell and taste so good. I love to hate you. I do...(seriously, I love you. )
 Pecans, with anything are my go to poison. Add some maple syrup and it is over.  I think the glaze on this business is why it is super.
 In the scone zone.
The scones are meant to be more rustic, free form baked goods. Kind of like a biscuit. No worries about measuring or making perfect triangles. Just go crazy. 
Making the magic of the glaze. Super easy. 
Flaky, buttery scones full of pecans with a  sweet maple glaze. Heaven in a bite. Now if I could only make Kale taste this darn good. Enjoy!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Oven Roasted Whole Chicken with Root Vegetables

The other night I decided to make dinner. I know. What? Where is Matt? Why are you cooking? Is the Taco place down the street shut down?  I actually made dinner. And, it was a blast. I never have time to plan or cook for a busy weeknight dinner, but I had the day off and thought I would attempt to roast a chicken.  Plus, the left overs would be great in tacos. This recipe is super easy, full of veggies and from Thomas Keller...need I say more. 
 Veggies ready to chop. The chicken sat out of the fridge for about 2 hours before cooking to help dry it out. Thus, leading to a crispy skin. It worked!!!
 Leeks were cleaned and chopped. Although, I chopped them wrong and and they cooked down a bit too much. Note to self, follow the directions....Follow them!.
 Rutabagas and turnips cooked and quartered. Cutting veggies is like meditation.
 Piled high and ready to place under the bird
 The chicken was seasoned simply with garlic, thyme and salt and pepper. Then trussed. Yes, a new year, and a new skill learned.
After a small drizzle of canola oil the veggies and chicken were ready to roast. This is a very easy one pot dish. I must say, maybe I can cook more often. Popcorn and tacos are so 2012. Loves.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Olive Oil, Fig and Orange, Challah Bread a Challah!  We pretty much said/ate this all week. We have also said/ate, Kale, salads, egg whites, spin class and cyclocross. BUT...Challah bread was done and did, and good! Stuffed with fig, orange juice, and sprinkled with sea salt, this bread is awesome! Just like a family hug, a new manicure, or a new bike. Olive oil adds a nutty lightness, and makes this bread super delish right out of the pan. If you have any leftover bread the next day, try it toasted with some BUTTER. Yes, I did do that! Word. 
 Olive oil, figs and orange zest. Like a Fig Newton, but better. 

 I did not use a machine to kneed the dough. Just my hands and some help from Matt. Either way, just make sure the dough is elastic, prior to proofing.
 Once proofed, it is split and ready to roll. 
 Rolled out. The fig and orange spread is added. Rolled up, and then made into a rope. 
 An egg wash is added with some extra salt and cracked pepper. Super good. 
The next morning we toasted and buttered the Challah. It was awesome. What a way to ring in the new year. Calvin, even told me, "Mom, you made dessert for breakfast!" Enjoy this bread for a morning celebration, a fancy brunch, or just because the sun is out,  or your house is clean and you bought a new jacket. Enjoy!!!