It’s Christmas! I love the holidays, and all of the food that comes with it. You may not remember the Italian Christmas Cookies I posted about years ago, but I do. Mainly because they are one of the few cookies I’ve made that were not a disaster (see: every other post I’ve made about cookies). I made these again this year, following my recipe, and they tasted good again! Win!* These cookies are dense and chewy, a texture I prefer to crispy. The dough will last in the fridge for a week, and so will the icing.
*I may have set off the fire alarm in the new kitchen while making these, but NOT because I burnt the cookies. New kitchen’s oven might be nicer, but the fire alarms are REAL assholes.
Happy Thanksgiving! In case you (like me) always find yourself surprised that this holiday has actually arrived, here is a stupidly simple recipe that can be made in 30 minutes or less. As long as you have sweet potatoes, you already have the other ingredients in your house. Enjoy it, and make sure to save a plate for the empty seats this holiday season.
Sweet potatoes – 1 lb per person (for the purposes of this recipe, 4 lbs)
1 cup whole milk (half and half or cream if you prefer)
1/2 cup room temperature butter, cut into pats (you can do this with less butter, but it’s Thanksgiving so chill out)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks of about the same size. Put the chunks in a big pot of water, boil the water, then turn the water down to high but not boiling. It shouldn’t take more than 8-10 minutes for the potatoes to be fork tender. Once they are, drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add 1/2 cup of the milk and all of the butter, mix with a hand mixer or a masher (I prefer a hand mixer with the beaters) – I like it pretty smooth with a few chunks, which just takes 20 second or so of mixing. Add salt and cinnamon, mix just to combine, taste. If you want a thinner consistency, add the rest of the milk. Add more salt and cinnamon to your taste. Voila!
Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone!
Posts to this blog have been spotty at best over the past year (or more), so here’s a quick update/excuse:
-Dave Copeland and I got married.
-I opened up the Whole Foods Market in Arlington, MA.
-We went on our honeymoon to Italy for 2 weeks (and ate our faces off).
-We bought a house, which MEANS we have a brand new kitchen for me to cook in!
In the foreground of today’s picture, you can see the table that my family had dinner on every night when my brother and I were growing up. The fact that it now lives in my house, and that I now get to serve dinner on it, is very special. Thanks to my mom and dad for keeping it in such good condition, and for giving it to us.
Here’s to many wonderful meals on our old table in our new kitchen!
I got this tart recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s “6 Ingredient” edition. It was ridiculously simple, even for those who are baking-challenged. You could substitute pretty much anything you want for the filling, use whatever you have in the pantry.
Chicken Tart – adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
1 raw pie crust (the kind you unroll from the plastic, they come in packs of 2)
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups chopped frozen spinach
1 wedge brie (or 1 block cheddar), cut into small cubes or shredded
2 cups cooked chicken (easiest way is to buy a cooked rotisserie chicken and pick it apart)
salt and pepper
optional: chopped walnuts or almonds
Put chicken broth, spinach, chicken, nuts (if you want) and half of however much cheese you choose in a microwave safe bowl, microwave for 45 seconds. Stir, add salt and pepper to taste. Lay out the pie crust on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Put filling in the center and crimp up the sides of the dough to contain the filling. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
Now, what do you do with the other roll of pie dough?
You make apple dumplings.
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored (or cut into quarters)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla (or more if you like more vanilla)
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp butter
whipped cream or ice cream for topping
Put vanilla, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan, heat slowly and stir until melted and combined. Remove from heat. Cut pie dough in half. (If you want to get fancy, you may want to then roll out the dough to make each piece a uniform circle, but you don’t have to.) Place each apple in the center of its half of pie dough. Spoon some of the sugar mixture on top of each apple until you have used about half of the sugar mixture. Roll the dough up around the apple and pinch it shut. Place dumplings in a pyrex dish or pan. Spoon remaining sugar mixture over top of dumplings. Cook at 350 for 40 minutes. Top with whipped cream or ice cream, or just eat plain.
Last year was busy. This year I hope to get back to more regular blogging and cooking. Here’s a start – photos from my Italian honeymoon, where my husband and I both had affairs – with food.
My brother is smarter, better looking, and more athletic than I’ll ever be. If he wasn’t such a great person I’d really, really dislike him. He’s embarking on new adventures this year, stuff that is intimidating to even the most self-assured individuals. My birthday wish for him is to remember that some days you’re the winner, and some days you’re the loser, but each day you get to play the game again. Happy birthday, I love you!