December 13th, 2012

To all of my loyal readers (besides Mom & Dad)…

I sincerely apologize for not blogging for the past few months and sharing my food adventures solely through Instagram. Fall has been hectic, living up the post-grad life and discovering what the “real world” truly is. But alas, it’s a weak excuse. And for that, I am giving the gift of a promise this year: a promise to have the redesigned wikiKitchen up and running in January!

But a promise is only worth so much. So I decided to treat a few fellow food bloggers by participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and taking it one step further. What beats receiving a dozen cookies from a stranger in the mail? Receiving an assortment of cookies from a stranger in the mail! Baking five different kinds of cookies in one day is no easy task though, so I partnered up with my mom so her swap-mates could also enjoy the variety of cookies (and yes, she really does refer to me as “the spawn” on her blog).

So, what did my lucky swap-mates (Melissa’s Cuisine, Bonibella, and Aubrey of Real Housemoms) receive? (Click the images for recipes!)

  • Cocoa Almond Cookies – A must-have for those who like nutella but love Trader Joe’s cocoa almond spread (remember to substitute it in the recipe!)
  • Meyer Lemon Butter Cookies – A melt-in-your-mouth kind of cookie (my mom’s fave!)
  • Pistachio Fudge – An easy-to-make holiday treat
  • Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies – A festive cookie that can be easily customized when it comes to shapes & lettering

And for the final cookie, saving best for last: Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies. When we read they were the best snickerdoodles in the world, we had to try them! Let me tell you, brown butter really does make the world of baking a better place. The few leftovers we had of these snickerdoodles were the first of the cookie assortment to go in our house! But I can’t blame ’em. These cookies achieve perfection when it comes to texture and flavor.

And for those of you wondering what I received in the mail? Lemon crinkle cookies (and chocolate-covered almond toffee!) from Sushi Day (a fellow UC Irvine anteater – zot zot!), vanilla crescent cookies from Bailey Bakes, and chocolate peppermint crackle cookies from A Kitchen Addiction.

Stay tuned for the wikiKitchen redesign! But until then, enjoy the world’s best brown butter snickerdoodle cookies.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies
From Ambitious Kitchen
Makes 18-24 cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt

For rolling mixture:
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined.

Chill your dough for 3 hours or as long as possible in the refrigerator, or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are super eager (this is what I did seeing as I had four other types of cookies to make in the same oven!).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Meanwhile mix 1/4 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Bake longer if you like crispier cookies. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

September 3rd, 2012

When I don’t have time to prepare a meal, I usually head for the blender. In a matter of a few minutes, I can have all my necessary daily nutrients blended up into a tasty smoothie. Almost no effort and I can whip up a quick and healthy drink? Count me in!

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August 18th, 2012

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…salsa verde! Ay ay ay! I know I’m not the only one who gets excited over salsa verde whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant. Tangy, fresh, and a little zesty…how can you resist?! If you love salsa verde, thank the “little tomatoes” called tomatillos.

For tips on buying, prepping, storing, and cooking tomatillos, check out my post at Small Kitchen College.

I included some tasty tomatillos recipes, too! Corn cakes with homemade tomatillo salsa, anyone?! Easy. Delicious. Yum.

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August 1st, 2012

Alcohol-infused ice pops. Wait, but alcohol doesn’t freeze…right? Actually, Erin Nichols shows that you can with her cocktail-inspired ice pop recipes.

I was ecstatic to be chosen as the SKC contributor to review this book! My 21st birthday is in a few weeks, and I have been waiting for this day more than ever. Graduating from college as a 20-year-old really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…especially when you couldn’t legally drink with your friends during college and still can’t drink with them after graduation.

What is one to do during that awkward phase before turning 21? My solution is boozy ice pops (after all, Erin Nichols claims you can’t a get a hangover from them!). Check out my review of Poptails: 60 Boozy Treats Served on a Stick at Small Kitchen College…there’s a Tequila Sunrise poptail recipe at the end!

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July 18th, 2012

You can’t call yourself a true garlic lover until you’re daring enough to try garlic ice cream…and like it. I fell in love with garlic ice cream back in 2006 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, one of the largest food festivals in the United States with food, drinks, arts & crafts and live entertainment.

Garlic ice cream is really an acquired taste that people often find difficult to describe.  It’s cool, smooth, and creamy (like all good ice cream should be), but it also uniquely combines a sweet vanilla flavor with a rich, buttery garlic flavor. Whatever the exact flavor is, it grew on me.

I just had to attempt to recreate my beloved garlic ice cream from Gilroy at home. The result? Even better than the original! If you have an ice cream machine and are adventurous enough, try my roasted garlic ice cream recipe at Small Kitchen College.

And for those of you who are road trippin’ down the California coast around July 27th, 28th, or 29th, you must stop by Gilroy, the “Garlic Capital of the World,” and try the infamous garlic ice cream!

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