Citrus butter cookies

August 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Rakesh will probably tease me to death after reading this post because just last night I was complaining about how difficult it’s been to lose the last six pounds of my pregnancy weight. Ahem. But I couldn’t let another summer go by without making these cookies. It just seems too inappropriate to let the recipe linger past the warmer months ( although in Dubai, the heat can go well into October. So who am I kidding?).

They are just what the name implies: citrusy and buttery. And I mean bring on the butter, baby. Butter and sugar mix with copious amounts of orange, lemon, and lime for a treat that says, “I don’t taste as guilty as I sound…”

Now if I’m honest, I will say that one of the reasons I’ve been avoiding these cookies, delicious as they are, is because of the glaze. I absolutely hate working with icing (confectioners) sugar. It gets everywhere. Even the air feels sticky. So I adapted the recipe to minimize the mess. I also have learned to sift the sugar over a bowl in my sink to try to contain the inevitable tuft of fine powder getting everywhere.

Citrus Butter Cookies slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond

I found that this recipe created around 3 dozen cookies.  I baked a dozen, then formed a log out of the remaining dough on parchment paper, and froze it for slice and bake cookies later.

For the Cookies

  • 4 sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbs orange, lemon, and lime zest (1 Tbs each)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs orange, lemon, and lime juice (total)

For the Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • splash of whole milk
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon of egg white
  • Extra zest, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light.  Add the egg yolks and mix until combined.  Add the 3 tablespoons of citrus zest.  Add the flour and salt and mix until combined.  Finally, add the 2 tablespoons of juice and miz until dough is formed.  Scoop out heaping teasoons of the dough, then roll them into balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-13 minutes then allow to cool completely on a cookie rack.

To make the icing, combine all the icing ingredients and whisk thouroughly to desired consistency.  If it’s too runny, add more sugar.  Too thick?  More juice or milk.  Drizzle the icing across the cookies and sprinkle zest before the icing sets.

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Apricot breakfast crisp

August 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

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There’s this unwritten rule that whenever I purchase furniture from IKEA, I have to assemble it twice:

The first time, I assemble it the way I think it should go together.  The second time, I read all the instructions all the way through, then assemble it while following the over simplified illustrations.  I don’t know why I cant just go through step-by-step the first time and save myself loads of precious time (it’s hard to do anything with my sweet little girl awake and vying for my attention).  Does this happen to anyone else?

Obviously this happened to me today as I tried to put together a cabinet for our office (i.e. the corner of our bedroom, where the desk and computer are).  All this while dealing with a baby that can’t sleep unless I rock her to the brink of a coma, and is crying for her nap.

Thank goodness I’m not as careless in the kitchen.  I read and re-read recipes before I intend to make them.  I delve into cookbooks as though they were novels, carefully reading every cooking note and ingredient list.

You might know that I am currently in the midst of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman of Smittenkitchen.com.  She is a fantastic blogger and amazing cook.  All of her recipes are delicious and easy to follow, with simple methods and ingredients.  Perfect for this mommy!  I got the book last Saturday and have already cooked five recipes.  The one I’m sharing today is her Apricot Breakfast Crisp.  I mixed it together in, literally, five minutes the otherday then into the oven for another 30.  I wasn’t sure how I would like it cold, but it is even better!

Apricot breakfast crisp from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

For the fruit

  • 1 pound apricots (about 8-9)
  • 2 Tbs turbinado sugar
  • 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

For the topping

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs sliced almonds
  • Yogurt, to serve

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (205 celsius).  Pull apart the apricots at their seam, remove the pits, and tear them one more time, into quarters.  Place the fruit in a small baking dish.  Stir in the sugar, flour, and nutmeg

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and stir in the sugar, followed by the oast, then the flour, and finally the salt and almonds until large clumps form.  Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit.  Bake for about thirty minutes.  Eat warm or chilled with a scoop of your favorite yogurt.

Jalapeño cheddar guacamole chicken burgers

August 7, 2013 § 1 Comment

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Sophia is finally sleeping again during nap time and bed time. To say I’m relieved would be a vast understatement. I’m ecstatic!  The amount of time I have to myself again is so greatly appreciated, I’m starting to feel guilty about it. Shouldn’t I want her to be awake spending time with me?  Of course, I do have to hold her during eighty percent of nap time. Here’s the proof:

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With her rediscovered love of sleep, I’ve made ice cream, pita bread, oat bread, installed furniture, and experimented with these burgers. Because Rakesh doesn’t eat beef, we typically have two types odd burgers–lamb rosemary burgers, and chicken scallion burgers. He’s a bit of a flavor fanatic and once he tries something he likes, he’s wary of changing it up. Lamb burgers are always lamb and rosemary, chicken burgers are always chicken and scallions.  But this was different. It has jalapeños and cheese inside. And my favorite guacamole slathered on this light as air brioche burger buns.

Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Makes 4 burgers

  • 500 grams ground chicken (I use light and dark meat)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs pickled jalapeno, minced (if using fresh, use one whole jalapeno, seeded)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Divide into four patties.  Cook over medium high heat 4-5 minutes per side.

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs tomatoes, small dice
  • 2 Tbs yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 Tbs cilantro, minced
  • 1 green chili
  • Juice of 1 lime

Mash avocados lightly with a fork.  Stir in remaining ingredients until just combined, leaving chunks of avocado.  Season with salt and pepper.

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