Category Archives: Life

cookie

Monk Fruit in The Raw Sugar Cookie

Another Eat Write Retreat challenge! I’ve recipes so many goodies from this conference, and it hasn’t even happened yet! This one is the “Show Your Raw Talent” challenge. I was mailed a bag of Monk Fruit in the Raw Sugar along with a recipe. I had to use the  recipe, make the cookies, and then decorate them all pretty! YAY! Only one problem: I am not very good at decorating cookies. So I decided to try, see what happens, and not get too worked up over it. If nothing else, I had the chance to try out a really interesting new product and make lots of delicious cookies!

cookie

I decided to just stick with classic black and white. The white frosting is a cookie decorating frosting I found at Michael’s, and it worked SO WELL. It dried quickly and was easy to write on with the chocolate. The chocolate swirls were made from melted semi-sweet Ghiradelli bars, and I simply filled a pastry bag, made a very small snip in the end, and had fun. The result is the simple, fun, loopy swirl joy fest. To make the shape I used round cookie cutters, cut out circles, then cut them again using only half of the cookie cutter. I thought this was a fun shape and I wanted them to be smaller.

I bet you want to see the recipe now, right? Check it:

Monk Fruit in The Raw Sugar Cookie
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted sweet butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high to beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is incorporated for 3 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, beating well between additions. Add the Monk Fruit in the Raw Bakers Bag and beat until just combined. Reduce the beater speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredient, beating until the mixture is clumpy. Stop blending and use a flexible spatula to complete mixing the dough by hand.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a counter covered with plastic wrap and divide it in half. The dough will be soft and sticky. Using plastic wrap to flatten the dough, shape it into a rectangle 4 to 5 inches wide by 6 inches long. Wrap dough and chill overnight in refrigerator.
  4. To roll, place one cookie rectangle on a floured non-stick surface. Working quickly lightly dust top of dough with flour and roll out with rolling pin to ¼ inch thickness and 12 x 9 inch rectangle. Using a large 3-1/2 inch cookie cutter, cut out 6 large cookies. Repeat with the second dough. Place cookies 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Let rest.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Bake cookies on center rack. Bake 10-12 minuted or until cookies are firm when pressed in the center and evenly pale gold in color. Let them rest 1 minute on the baking sheet. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Decorate.

cookie 2

 

Like I said, decorating isn’t really my scene. But I still think these came out well. The cookie was sturdy enough that it was easy to work with, and tasty enough that it was easy to eat. All in all, it was a good experience!

Wine Poached Figs

Wine Poached Figs in Prosciutto Pie Bowls

Figs! For my Eat Write Retreat Culinary Apps Challenge I received a box of California Figs in the mail and had to come up with an amazing appetizer featuring them. I have never  cooked with figs before, so this was actually really exciting for me. Since I have no notion of what to do with them, I can just go crazy, right? Right! Luckily there was a handy information packet included in the box with the figs. For example, I didn’t realize that they are known to be a part of a Mediterranean diet. This is quite useful, because I wanted to try to eat a more Mediterranean style diet for the next few weeks so I can learn how to cook fish. Now I have all these figs that I should try to incorporate into this plan! Also, just 3-5 figs give you 5 grams of dietary fiber, so that’s pretty awesome too!

 

Wine Poached Figs

When I think of appetizers, I always think of some sort of something on some sort of bowl or plate made of food. Real specific, I know. So for this challenge I decided to go with a bowl shape. In my research, I found lots of recipes with figs being wrapped in other ingredients, like prosciutto. I figured this is a good chance to change things up a bit and rolled prosciutto, Pecorino Romano cheese, and dried basil into a pie crust, and used that as a bowl. And it worked!  Bonus: the pie bowls can be made the day before!

Look! Prosciutto, cheese, and basil!

Look! Prosciutto, cheese, and basil!

The majority were shaped with the prosciutto facing up, because I was worried the cheese might stick to the pan. The four that faced down didn’t stick at all, and looked really cool. Next time I’ll definitely make them all like that.

bottom

See, these look just fine, and didn’t stick at all!

I wanted to make sure I kept the figgyness of the figs figgy. I like the texture of them and wanted to use other ingredients to enhance their flavor. I still felt the need to alter them in some way, so I poached them in white wine, honey, and a bit of orange juice. I used Pinot Grigio, and it was fantastic.

with wine

And then I obviously had a glass of wine too

With the shipment of figs I also received some tools from OXO. They really came in handy. Especially that measuring cup that twists up! It was perfect for measuring the honey and getting it to actually pour out of the cup. The cheese grater worked really well too!

Tray

And, to make this all even better, I made it for Mother’s Day so my parents were able to be my test dummies!

Ok, is it recipe time yet?

Wine Poached Figs in Prosciutto Pie Bowls
Author: 
Serves: 12
 
Savory prosciutto pie bowls and a figs poached in a lightly sweet dressing
Ingredients
  • 1 pie crust, thawed
  • 1.5 oz prosciutto, chopped
  • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 6 dried figs, halved
  • 1 cup Spring Mix salad, loosely packed and ripped into smaller pieces
  • Optional Garnishes: grated Pecorino Romano, and orange zest
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 450.
  2. In a small pan, cook prosciutto until it's lightly crispy, and remove to a paper towel lined bowl and let cool.
  3. Roll out pie dough, and evenly sprinkle cheese, basil, and ¾ of the prosicutto. Press into dough, then use a rolling pin to lightly roll ingredients into the dough.
  4. Cut into small circles, and shape to fit into mini-muffin pan cups. Lightly prick each with a fork.
  5. Bake 6-9 minutes, or until lightly browned. If made the day before, store in an airtight container.
  6. In a small saucepan, bring wine, honey, and orange juice to a simmer. Add halved figs, and simmer for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove figs, and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
  7. Toss salad with the remaining ¼ of prosciutto and 1 Tbsp of warm poaching liquid. Place leaves into pie bowls, and top each with a piece of fig. Garnish with orange zest and romano cheese.
White Wine Poached Figs
Cheesy Rice

Changes!

There are some changes happening to Cheesy Rice, as you may have already noticed! A few weeks ago I was talking with my friend Kelly about how I really wish I could come up with a good idea for a logo, and she turns to me and says, “Well, your site is called Cheesy Rice, right? Why not have it be chopsticks holding a piece of cheese?” And BAM I had a logo idea.

But then I remembered that I’m not an artist. So I asked my friend Vic if he would design it. He said yes, and then the next day it was done! Just like that! MAGIC. And it was perfect! Great! A logo! I immediately used it to design a business card, because I’ve always wanted business cards. Then I started working on incorporating it into my website layout.

cheesy rice1

 

Which led me to want to design a layout from scratch. Unfortunately, I don’t know  how to do that yet. So moral of the story is: please bear with me while I try to learn how to build a website/logos rock.

Visit Vic’s website to check out his art, and visit his Etsy shop to buy some of it. I’m sure if you harass him he’ll design a logo for you too.

Boston

Boston Area Food Festivals 2013

One thing I love about Boston is all of the summer time food festivals! It’s always nice to share, so here are a few I plan on going to, or would like to go to, this year. If you know of any others, please let me know!

The Hot Dog Safari – May 18th, 12-4pm – Lansdowne St. – $10-20 depending on when you get your ticket

This event is brought to you by the Phantom Gourmet! It looks like just a big fun festival of eating different local foods, such as hot dogs. According to the website, “The Phantom Gourmet Hot Dog Safari is MORE than hot dogs and ALL to benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This indoor and outdoor event features parties inside the restaurants plus food and fun all over Lansdowne Street.”

hot dogs

Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl – June 4-6 (12-8pm each day) – City Hall Plaza (Gov. Center T stop) – $10

I love love love love the Scooper Bowl! It takes place in City Hall Plaza, and it’s just tons of local ice cream companies handing out free samples of multiple ice cream flavors. It’s all-you-can-eat ice cream! And since it’s for charity the calories aren’t real. So eat as much as you can! This is my favorite event of the year.

The Cambridge Food Truck Festival – June 8 – 11am – Kendall Square

This is pretty much what it sounds like: a festival of food trucks in Cambridge. The areas best food trucks will be there, so stop by and try something new!

BBQ Beach Party – June 21-23 – City Hall Plaza (Gov. Center T stop) – $5 in advance, $10 at event

BBQ, Music, Drinks, Fun! The food isn’t free, but I think the summertime atmosphere will be worth the price. BBQ teams from around the world show up to make delicious food. I can’t even begin to imagine how wonderful City Hall Plaza will smell during this! This is another event brought to you by The Phantom Gourmet. Check it out.

Boston Jerk Fest – June 29 –  Benjamin Franklin Institute Technology (South End) – $15 adults, $6 kids, $35 all-access pass

This is a Caribbean style food-festival and will have tons of spicy awesome for for sale. It’s an indoor/outdoor event. It sounds both tasty and education, so hopefully I can check it out this year.  Plus, if you pay  $35 you get an all-access pass which includes the festival as well as the Rum & Brew tasting, featuring music and unlimited drinks!

Food Festival – September 29 – 12-4pm – Lansdowne & Ipswitch – $40 in advance, $50 at event – 21+

This one is a little more pricey, but the ticket includes sampling 100 of the Phantom Gourmet’s favorite foods, so….might be worth it! Also, it’s a 21+ event, and that just seems AWESOME.Drinks aren’t included in the ticket price, which stinks, but no kids around makes up for it. By request of the Phantom, please wear purple if you attend this event.

boston

Tabouli

Life!

I’m pretty freaking excited to be going to the Eat Write Retreat Conference in Philly this year. No lie, it’s going to be awesome. A whole weekend hanging out with other food bloggers, learning how to make my website awesome, networking, and eating? Yes please.

This past weekend I received my Culinary Challenge package for the conference. I’m going to have to come up with an amazing appetizer using the California Figs that were mailed to me, and then hope my appetizer is the best so I can win prizes. I have never actually cooked with figs before, so this is a really exciting challenge! With the figs I also received goodies like a tote bag, wine glass, stationary, measuring cups, graters, and a calendar. I love getting things!!

I also received a package for the conference’s Monk Fruit in the Raw challenge. With this one I have to make the cookie recipe provided, and then decorate it all fancy. I have no idea yet how I will decorate them, but I’m looking forward to trying out different techniques!

And so I shall be thinking, and recipe developing, and decorating, and thinking some more, and hoping for optimal sunlight during photographing time.

In the meantime, check out one of my first posts from way back in the day: Tabouli

 

Tabouli