Coffee Cubes, by sharon

January 16, 2009

C and I keep making huge pots of coffee each morning that I don’t always partake in.  Which leaves us with a pot to throw out at the end of the day.  Now, we are spoiled, picky people and I feel bad throwing out what is essentially black liquid money.  So I dug up my ice trays and started freezing the leftover coffee into ice cubes.

So far, it is a great success.  I remember that a coffee shop in my hometown used to use these for iced and frozen drinks.  No watering down, just brilliant yum all the way through.  I grabbed about 6 of them today and poured milk, a dash of cream, and some dark chocolate syrup over them.  As the cubes melt, the coffee flavor gets stronger in your drink.  And I am always a fan of your drink getting stronger as time goes on, no matter what it is.

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Braised short ribs, by sharon

January 13, 2009

Molly and I haven’t cooked together in a long while, so I sent her this recipe and she came over yesterday so we could try it.  It was pretty good.  We both agree that either there was a tad too much thyme or it could have used more tomato paste, but it was still quite tasty.  The smell while it was cooking was amazing, and I knew it would be hard to sit around and deal with that for three hours, so I made some deviled eggs to munch on in the meantime.  We also had a green salad with a vinaigrette I made with white wine vinegar, the juice of half a lemon, and olive oil.  Good dinner!!

braised-ribs


The Nookie Cookies, by sharon

January 12, 2009

I was sitting around tonight, bored.  I had already made a good dinner (Raspberry Balsamic chicken, thanks Nancy!) but that was earlier.  I’ve been cooking for a few days now (yesterday was Short Ribs braised in red wine, thanks Molly!) and I guess I’m not tired of it.

I decided to hunt around my cabinets and see what was what.  Cookies sounded like a fair idea, but I had no clue what to make.  And then I spied two bars of Ghirardelli, one dark and one semisweet, that weren’t used up when I made chocolate pretzels around Christmas.  Score!  I threw those in the freezer for a while and then chopped them into chunks.

Normally, I would have made chocolate-oatmeal cookies but, alas, I didn’t have much oatmeal left.  And yes, I could have made regular chocolate chip cookies, but I wanted something special for when C comes home tomorrow from Florida.  More kitchen hunting led me to the fresh oranges I bought on Saturday.  Yes, indeed.  I shall make orange chocolate chip cookies!!

Both C and I love orange and chocolate together.  It’s not everyone’s idea of a good time, but in our house it’s a favorite.  Try it out:

Ingredients
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 1/2 cups flour
8 ounces of chocolate, chopped roughly or a 10-ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips
zest of 1-2 small oranges, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix butter and sugars.  Add egg, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix thoroughly.  Using a microplane, zest the oranges into the bowl.   I like to add the orange at this point and let it hang out for a minute or two so the oils really absorb into the rest of the batter.  Add the flour in 1/4 increments, mixing thoroughly each time.  Fold in the chocolate.

Drop by teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes.  I tend to go more toward the 14-minute mark, but I like a crispy cookie.  These come out very nicely scented with just a hint of orange in the dough which is offset by the darker chocolate.

Remove to a rack and cool thouroughly before storing.  I have no clue how long these will keep, because C makes sure they’re gone pretty quickly.


This might work? by sharon

January 12, 2009

Just this very morning I was talking to Molly online, bemoaning my breakfast choices. I didn’t want eggs, be they scrambled or fried, but having nothing but bacon seemed unreasonable and pretty lame. Molly suggests I make crustless quiche! After a few quick tips and pointers from her, I’m giving it a shot.

First, I chopped some bacon. I find it cooks faster that way and, really, if you’re going to crumble it in the end you might as well get that part over with. Once the bacon was cooked, I removed it to a paper towel with a slotted spoon. While digging through my fridge, I spied part of a red onion. Yes! I turned that into long slices and threw those into the bacon grease to soften and brown a bit. Those were also drained on the paper towel quite thoroughly. I split the bacon and onion between two rammekins and sprinkled some sharp cheddar cheese over that. Then I beat 2 eggs with some softened cream cheese, a dash of cream, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme that I happened to still have from last night. That got poured into the rammekins over the other stuff.
Now they’re sitting in a toaster oven at 350 degrees for . . . I don’t know how long. I guess I’ll check them after 20 minutes or so.
I hope this tastes okay!!!