Monthly Archives: February 2010

Hamentaschen

Every year we make the same hamentaschen recipe. Not because it’s the only one we know, but because it’s really the best. I can’t say I know where this recipe came from, all I know is that it has been photocopied many times, and the instructions are cut off on the side of the page. We’ve been able to figure out what to do. Oh, and the original recipe calls for margarine – yuck! We use butter instead. Continue reading

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Spicy Italian-Style Cauliflower

I have never cooked cauliflower before. I didn’t even know if I liked it when it wasn’t breaded and fried. Turns out I do.

When I got the Williams-Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook and flipped through the pages, I knew I had to try their recipe for cauliflower. It seemed really easy and I already had most of the ingredients in my kitchen. I picked up a head of cauliflower on my way home from work and in a half hour, this dish was ready. Continue reading

Spaghetti & Meat-and-Turkey-Balls

If you grew up in the Blanco household and it was a Monday night, you would know what you were having for dinner: spaghetti & meatballs, of course! Now, I don’t actually remember the last time all six of us actually sat down on a Monday night and ate spaghetti & meatballs, but I know we all remember that’s what we’re supposed to eat.

Well, mom’s recipe for meatballs is exactly what a meatball sounds like; ground beef shaped into balls. I wanted to make mine a bit more sophisticated, so I took the advice of my Food Network friends (okay, maybe they don’t know who I am, but I feel like I know them so well!) and used two kinds of meat and some seasonings before cooking them slowly and for a looong time in garlic-y and wine-y tomato sauce.

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Mini Shells with Mushrooms

I used to think I didn’t like mushrooms, but here I am posting yet another mushroom recipe. I’ll admit it, I hate raw mushrooms. But when cooked, they have an amazing flavor that goes really well with pasta.

On my birthday I went for dinner and ordered a pasta with portobello mushroom sauce. It was delicious, but way too creamy and rich. I decided to recreate the intense mushroom flavor in my own pasta dish, without adding loads of cream. Here’s what I came up with.

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Cookies and Cream Gelato

You didn’t think I was going to throw away all those biscotti crumbs, did you?

I know cookies and cream ice cream is typically made with oreo-like cookies, but this cookies and cream is much better than any you’ll find in a store. With creamy gelato and crunchy biscotti, you can’t get any better.

Gelato is Italian ice cream and is pretty similar to the ice cream we eat around here. It is typically slow churned and therefore less airy than ice cream and has less fat (cream) compared to the amount of milk. It’s really very good. This recipe yields a very rich egg-y custard. If you’re not into that, choose another vanilla ice cream recipe. I happen to think this is awesome. Continue reading

Kosher.com Gourmet Hamentaschen Giveaway!

What is your favorite hamentaschen flavor?

We tried to make them with pumpkin once, but they didn’t turn out as well as we’d hoped. Maybe because the pumpkin butter just wasn’t very good. Apricot is always a favorite, as is chocolate (one Hershey’s kiss in the middle or lots of chips mixed into the dough both work).

What’s your secret ingredient? We put orange juice in the dough. Not much of a secret, but it’s something different than your ordinary cookie.

Comment on this post with a link to Kosher.com for your chance to win a tin of gourmet hamentaschen! Make sure to leave us with your contact information so we can notify you if you win. We’ll be picking the winner at random on Monday, February 15.

Edit: And the winner is: Melissa! Congratulations, and enjoy!

Homemade Marshmallows

I like making candy. I never really thought marshmallows were candy until I made them, but now I know they are. Making them involves cooking sugar and corn syrup to the “soft ball” stage, and anything that involves cooking sugar and using a thermometer is candy to me. The result is just very different than some candies we’re used to!

At first I thought making these would be hard. Plus I’ve never used gelatin before, but making marshmallows is surprisingly easy and very fast (except for the 4-hour waiting time while they set). Try it at your own risk – you’ll want to make them all the time. My favorite way to eat them is in hot chocolate. You can also add them to your ice cream, melt them on top of brownies, or make s’mores…the possibilities are endless. Did I mention they taste better than store bought ones? Continue reading