Saturday, August 22, 2015

Smitten Kitchen V

I hate grocery shopping; motivation to finally accomplish this errand occurs because I am out of toilet paper, cookie butter, or coffee. The exceptions to the rule, are ingredients needed to make a recipe out of the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. I have the lofty goal of cooking every recipe out of this cookbook. My friends will not be surprised that I still haven't attempted a single salad recipe; but I am definitely attempting recipes in the sweets and party snacks sections; I know, shocking! Seattle's summer has been excruciating hot, and so I have limited my time using my oven for baking. I have been surviving on mostly cereal, ice cream, and fruit. However, on the few days that it rained or the sun was covered in clouds, I flipped through the pages of the cookbook to find my next food adventure.

Below are the latest scrumptious recipes from the cookbook:

Tomato Scallion Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese
  • Heirloom Tomatoes are in season and they were a great addition to this shortcake. I added a runny egg and smoked salmon to leftovers for the following days.

Avocado Tartine with Sesame Seeds
  • This recipe originally had seedless English cucumbers, but I tend to only eat cucumbers when they are hidden in my sushi rolls, so that ingredient was left out. I first saw avocado toast recipes on Pinterest, but the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and black sesame seeds really made this dish addicting. Prior to this recipe, I did not have black sesame seeds in my spice cabinet. This was another dish that for the leftovers I put a runny egg on it for breakfast.  

Chicken and Egg Salad Toasts with Lemon Aioli and Fennel
  • I am guilty of buying Trader Joe's White Chicken Salad and using it as chip dip; some of the salad does actually make it on bread to make a sandwich. Prior to this recipe, I had never utilized fresh fennel before; also, I admit if you shown me a fennel and asked me what it was, I most likely could not identify it. Therefore, thankfully Trader Joe's had them labeled in a plastic container so I didn't have to admit to others that I had only used dried fennel seeds before. I utilized the lemon aioli recipe again to make "hollandaise" sauce for some poached eggs for breakfast. I had a chicken salad recipe that I really enjoyed before trying the Smitten Kitchen one, and both are great substitutes if I am ever in a city without a Trader Joe's.

Jacob's Blintzes, or Sweet Potato Blintzes with Farmer's Cheese
  • I made several alterations to this recipe; the main one being that I substituted farmer's cheese with goat cheese. Why, you ask....because Trader Joe's does not carry farmer's cheese. These blintzes were tasty; however, they were a lot of work and my kitchen was an absolute mess. In addition, I found them to be a little too heavy for breakfast; they might have made a better choice as a brunch item.

Sesame-Spiced Turkey Meatballs and Smashed Chickpea Salad
  •  I rarely use ground turkey; I know, it's healthier for you, blah, blah, blah. HOWEVER, this recipe made me doubt that I used turkey because they were that delicious! They had a bit of a kick to them. It has been a while since I made them, and as I am writing this, I am reminded on how I devoured them, and I must make them again soon! The smashed chickpea salad I probably wouldn't make again. 
In the small skillet I am toasting the sesame seeds
The toasted sesame seeds have been added


Brownie Roll-out Cookies
  • Whenever I am baking with chocolate, I make sure that I am attending a potluck or something, because a few bites of anything chocolate and I am done. These were really easy to bake and were a less severe level on the chocolate-o-meter.

White Chocolate Pudding with Blackberry Curd
  • One thing that is really difficult for me to find is pudding that does not have a bad aftertaste. This white chocolate pudding...oh my goodness! I never thought I would rave about anything with the word chocolate in it, but this recipe must be the exception. However, I think I put too much fresh lemon juice in the blackberry curd, so it kind of overpowered the blackberry flavor, but was still delicious. When I make this again, I will most likely not put it in individual glasses, but rather just layer it in a bigger clear bowl.

Smoky Deviled Eggs with Pastrami Smoked Salmon
  • This recipe in the cookbook is actually titled "Smoky Deviled Eggs with Crisp Jamon and Crushed Marconas." The alterations to this recipe are due because I do not eat pork, and I have a nut sensitivity, so I tend to only risk an allergic reaction with desserts that require nuts. The Pastrami Smoked Salmon I bought at Trader Joe's. I tend to put this smoked flavored salmon in my egg white omelets, so I thought it would make a nice substitute/garnish to the deviled eggs. I have made this recipe twice, and the second time I put crisp turkey bacon on it.

Rosemary Gruyere and Sea Salt Crisps
  • I had ever intention of sharing these, allowing others to try them; but I ate ALL of them. They were so easy to make, because you put all ingredients in the food processor. In the directions, the author used a fluted pastry wheel to make the shapes of the crackers; I used a pizza cutter.
All the ingredients in the food processor

The dough that forms in the food processor
The best cheez-its you will ever taste!
French Onion Toasts
  • The only substitute I made to this recipe is that I used low-sodium chicken broth instead of beef broth. The first time I made this recipe, I baked the bread in the oven. The second time, I put them in my toaster oven, and they still came out tasty.

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels
  • I used only 1/4 of the chocolate that was indicated in the recipe. Also, I do not have a standing electric mixer, so I "mixed" the dough with a wooden spoon. I think by kneading the dough with a wooden spoon, the dough ended up too airy. The cooked pretzels still tasted fine, and I liked dipping mine in warm honey while I drank my coffee.
As you can see, the chocolate is very limited, and no two pretzels look alike

Almond Date Breakfast Bars
  • Due to my nut sensitivity, I did not use almond butter or thinly sliced almonds; however, I did use the almond flavoring. I used Trader Joe's Cookie Butter instead of almond butter. That's right, I made Cookie Butter Breakfast Bars, because Trader Joe's does not make them yet. The leftover breakfast bars I crumbled and added to my Activa Yogurt...the irony is not lost on me.

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