coconut macaroons

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An amazing thing happened last week.  I had a Saturday off, I had a fresh batch of coconut macaroons and there was light.  The macaroons were a result of a Thursday night gluten-free cooking class (best present ever).  Since Jon and I both participated in the class we ended up with about 60 coconut macaroons.  I took a batch to work where they were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone from residents to social workers to administrators.  A few were enjoyed by guests we had visiting for the weekend and the rest – well – let’s just say that my lunches were pretty sweet last week.

coconut macaroons
yield: about 24 cookies

recipe notes:  The original recipe calls for a 250 degree oven, however we baked ours at 300.  This gave them a crispier shell.  The recipe recommends baking 25 to 30 minutes.  We started checking them around 25 min.  If you want softer cookies, take them out when they’re soft but if you want them crispier on the exterior, keep them in & turn down the oven temp to 250 for another 5 or so minutes.

2 egg whites
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded dried coconut
1/2 – 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
chocolate, for dipping (optional)

1.  Preheat an oven to 300°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.

2.  In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they just barely hold soft peaks. Beat in the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, stir together the 3 cups coconut and just enough of the condensed milk to make a sticky batter. Fold in the egg white mixture.

4.  Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Dip the spoon into cold water every once in a while to prevent the batter from sticking.

5.  Bake until the cookies are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the oven off. Prop the oven door ajar and leave the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool completely on the pans, then remove the cookies from the pans.

6.  Optional:  Melt some chocolate in a double broiler.  Dip cookies, cool on baking sheet.

Source: Williams-Sonoma

links this week

sesame instagram

Hi there, friends!  I hope you’ve all had a good week.  Yay for Friday.  We’ve been doing a good amount of cooking here, but not snapping many photos (except via instagram, of course) so I don’t have any new recipes for you now (pictured above are sesame noodles).  Am hoping to catch up this weekend 🙂  I’ve got my eye on a crepe recipe that I think will be wonderful.  A little more of what’s caught my eye this week:

  • I think I found my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Can’t wait to try them!
  • And if we’re using almond butter in cookies, why not almond paste in cake?  (also, I love the photos in this post)
  • We just finished this classic last week in book club and I cannot wait to see the movie.
  • First, I read an article about him the New York Times, then heard about him on npr, then finished his book (which I would recommend to everyone), but this colbert interview is probably my favorite.
  • I will always be in awe of Annie’s parties.  How amazing is this bridal shower?
  • I’m really excited to start our garden this year (now that it’s finally warm).  I think these plant markers would be a fun, easy DIY.

Wishing you a weekend full of sunshine – we’ll be back to cooking soon 🙂

kitchen goals: meal planning {week 1 recap}

meals

The first week of meal-planning came and went so here’s a brief recap of how it went:

Sunday: Fried Rice – It’s one of Jon’s favorites and it’s the easiest way to use up anything left in the fridge before the week begins again.
MondayChickpeas & Spinach over Rice Noodles – Love this recipe…and did you know that rice noodles contain 20% of your daily value of iron?  Will be cooking with these more.
Tuesday: Honey & Harissa Rice Salad from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – Um, this was amazing.  Don’t know if I’ll make it again soon given the change of seasons, but I’ll be sure to share next time I do.  Also, excellent as a cold salad for lunch the next day.
Wednesday:  Frittata, made from Monday’s left-overs that didn’t get finished for lunch.  Might have been my favorite meal that week.
Thursday: Corn & Black Bean Quesadillas – A riff off an old college favorite.  Always delicious.
FridayCorn & Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Rescuing the last little sweet potato from the back of the cupboard was an excellent way to end the week.

All in all, it was a good week.  I used up all the left-overs either as lunches for work or re-invented later in the week (see Wednesday).  To be fair, it was just me the first week as Jon was traveling for work, but we’ve been doing well the past two weeks since he’s been home so I’m hoping we can keep it up.

 

 

 

 

links this week

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I hope you all had as relaxing as a weekend as I did.  When a weekend comes along when I have both Saturday and Sunday off work, it’s a treasured occasion and I made the most of it.  I’ve got lots of good things coming your way later this week, but in the meantime, here’s some things from around the web I’ve post-marked recently.

– Loved thekitchn’s weekend meditation this week.

– Which leads me to the latest addition to my kitchen wish-list.

– And speaking of a couple cooks, I’m super excited for this new project.

– Made this popcorn for a girls night on Saturday and didn’t really want to share it.

– Discovered this gluten-free blog last week and am pretty much in love.

– Finally caught up on this show Friday night.  Are you kidding me?

– Checked out another book from the library.  Is it weird that I’m enjoying reading what is essentially a dictionary?

That’s all from me for now.  Wishing you a happy, happy week.  Spring is coming soon, friends!

 

the simplest salad

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I have a tendency to over-complicate things.  I read extensively about simple ingredients like spinach, I go through a set of tabs every other week while book-marking recipes and I have an entire notebook that is pretty much just lists (of favorite meals, of recipes to try, of fruits & vegetables – categorized by season – that I love to eat).  The ironic part is that all my reading and book-marking and list-making is done in an effort to make things simpler.  Because when you finally find those “go-to” recipes, and fill up pages and pages of them in your kitchen notebook, it becomes a little bit easier to make a really great meal out of almost nothing.

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And by almost nothing I mean a bunch of greens and some basic pantry staples.  This “foolproof vinaigrette” is, indeed, foolproof.  It’s simple enough to whip up quickly on a weeknight, engineered well enough to last all week in the fridge and delicious enough that you’ll want to make it for guests.  Or just eat it four nights in a row – on the side of whatever else you happen to make (or not make).

the simplest salad
yield: enough dressing to cover 8-10 cups greens (for me, this was 4 servings)

recipe notes:  This is a perfectly delicious vinaigrette to make and eat at once, if you need 4-6 servings of salad.  I’ve also found that it keeps very well, perhaps even improving, over a week in the fridge, as the ingredients have had time to get to know each other a little longer.  When I make an individual salad for just me, I pour about a quarter of the vinaigrette (about a Tablespoon) into a large-ish bowl.  I then pour the greens on top, toss them about gently (with a wooden spoon or tongs) and then plate it.  If you need to make it a meal, top with a poached, fried, soft- or hard-boiled egg, serve alongside toasted crusty (gluten-free, if need be) bread.  Or, add some leftover anything (parsnips & carrots, chickpeas, roasted mushrooms) and toss.

for the dressing:
1 Tablespoon wine vinegar (red, white or champagne will work)
1 1/2 teaspoons very finely minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon regular or light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

for the salad:
8-10 cups greens, washed & dried (I love spinach, but whatever fresh greens you have on hand will work perfectly, as well)
a few shaves of parmesan (optional)
a pinch of cracked red pepper (optional)

1.  Combine vinegar, shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper to taste in a small nonreactive bowl.  Whisk until mixture is milky in appearance and no lumps of mayonnaise remain.

2.  Place oil in small measuring cup so that it is easy to pour.  Whisking constantly, very slowly drizzle oil into vinegar mixture. If pools of oil are gathering on surface as you whisk, stop addition of oil and whisk mixture well to combine, then resume whisking in oil in slow stream. Vinaigrette should be glossy and lightly thickened, with no pools of oil on its surface.

3.  To dress the salad, first pour vinaigrette into a large bowl.  Pour the salad greens over the vinaigrette.  Using tongs (or even just two wooden spoons), toss the greens gently with the vinaigrette, coating evenly.  Shave parmesan over top and a pinch of cracked red pepper.

source: Foolproof Vinaigrette recipe from America’s Test Kitchen (steak frites episode)