Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of 2012: Top Posts and Favorites

10 comments:
2012 has been good a good year for food, and for my little blog.  I feel accomplished looking back at all the recipes I've tried, and the dining reviews I wrote for Globe South in The Boston Globe.  And the blog really took off this year, the page views for 2012 tripling the total of the previous 4 years combined!  Wow.

So here's a recap of the most popular posts of the year, the posts I think should have made it, and some other stuff.  Thank you all for reading, making the recipes, inspiring me and giving me brainstorms, and for your sweet comments.  Here's to 2013!

Most Popular of 2012

Best of 2012 Collage


1. Pumpkin Fritters with Rosemary and Cheese
The reception these got blew me away.  I was just playing in the kitchen and they weren't perfect, but I didn't know they would get so much attention.  Still heartened to hear some people tried it and liked it.

2. Key Lime Cupcakes
Who knew key lime would be so popular?  I tinkered with a lemon cake recipe and came up with this.  Definitely a keeper.

3. Plum Skillet Cake
This was not only beautiful and rustic, it was delicious.  Definitely repeating next summer.

4. Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
I don't like peanut butter with chocolate, but you guys really do!  And so does Joe, who I made this for around Valentine's Day.

5. Flour's Country Ham, Cheddar, and Tomato Quiche
I think the tall, fancy look of this quiche garnered lots of views, but I also like it in shallow tart pans with a higher crust-to-filling ratio.

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My Notable Mentions
(In no particular ranking)

Notables of 2012 Collage

1. Blueberry (or Raspberry) Roulade
I learned roulades aren't difficult at all.  And the light cake and whipped cream were nice complements for fresh summer fruit.

2. Braided Lemon Bread
Lemon curd and cream cheese are a match made in heaven.

3. Chicken Chile Relleno Pies
Deserved more attention than the little they got.  Full of bold Southwest flavors, and the cornmeal crust is definitely different and so good.

4. Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches
Panko makes these magic.

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Facebook Page


I finally created a Facebook page. Visit and "like" it!

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Restaurant Reviews I Most Enjoyed Writing
(A toss-up between the two)


Bloomy Rind
I've been back several times.  Their cheeses spoil you for supermarket varieties.  Their sandwiches are two cuts above.  They cut fresh samples of cheese to help you figure out what you want, and remember what you like.

Cafe Paprika
The owner/chef is particular, and practices balance, creativity, and restraint beautifully. Outstanding hospitality, fantastic tagines, and amazing desserts.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Vanilla Butter Cookies

8 comments:
Christmas Vanilla Cookie Sq

I got a late start and it took me forever, but I am finished with all things Christmas!  It has been a crazy month.  I planned a gazillion blog posts, but for almost the whole month only published one.  That doesn't mean I haven't been baking and cooking.  There was a whirlwind of parties and potlucks to go to, and that doesn't sound like much work at all -- until you're up at ungodly hours making hand pies or decorating cookies with royal icing.  But you still haven't made the family cookies or mailed them out.  And your twin sister keeps asking you where her annual cookie shipment is.

new austen collage

But I did have fun at all the parties!  Especially this one -- doesn't my book club know how to do a party?

Linzers

These are the Linzer Cookies my sister must have every year, slaved over by yours truly.  Hazelnut cookies are sandwiched with raspberry jam, and dusted with snowy sugar.

Eggnog Marshmallows

And I included Eggnog Marshmallows in the cookie baskets this year.  I didn't even like this picture, so I made another batch and saved a few.  I tried to think quickly (while I was rushed) of a place they would be safe from the cats until I had time to photograph them.  I put them in the toaster oven, and took care of some other tasks.  You can guess how this ends, right?  Joe went to preheat the toaster oven for something, and I ended up with toasted marshmallows.  I guess it's a funny story (if you're not me).

Christmas Vanilla Cookies

And every year I attempt fancy decorated cookies with royal icing, trying to make them look like the showpieces you see in catalogs.  Well, I failed once again, but here are the best and the simplest of the bunch, decorated by Joe and I.  The hour was late, one of the cats somehow had edible glitter on his coat, and I was laughing deliriously at some of our attempted designs.  At least they taste good.  I'm not a fan of sugar cookies; I find them too sugary and not very flavorful.  These are simple but tasty: buttery with a hint of vanilla, a bit of salt tempering the sweet.

Now it's time to sit back and celebrate.  Especially since it's my (and my twin sister's) birthday tomorrow!  (No way am I baking a cake.)  Merry Christmas, everyone.

Christmas Butter Cookies
Photo added Dec. 2013
Update December 2013: These cookies are made using the same recipe, but decorated with melted white chocolate. Apply white chocolate using squeeze bottles or an offset spatula, then sprinkle with colored sanding sugar, nonpareils, or edible glitter.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Boston Globe Review: Portuguese Bread and Pastries

4 comments:
Stoughton Bakery collage
Photos by Shirley Goh/Globe Staff

Writing this review took some serious eating, as you can see.  Stoughton Bakery specializes in Portuguese pastries and bread, as well as non-Portuguese fare.  Here you can see Portuguese English muffins, corn bread, and Portuguese sweet bread; cheesecakes, cookies, and pecan tarts; and Pastel de Nata and other custard cups.

Pastel de Nata is similar to a Chinese dessert, Dan Tat or 蛋挞, though I infinitely prefer Pastel de Nata.  In fact, Pastel de Nata has a following among Chinese people, who call it Poh Tat (phonetically it sounds like the shorthand for Portuguese tart).  It was my first time trying these, and I really enjoyed the experience.  But not the zillion pounds I must have gained on this assignment, even though I gave a bunch of food away.

Read all about it at: http://tinyurl.com/cwjy5ak.
If the subscriber wall locks you out, proceed to the free site: http://tinyurl.com/c7pgfea.

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Also, I've been featured on Cut Out + Keep as a Cooking Superstar!  Check out my feature and the recipes at: http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/superstars/what-about-second-breakfast.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Ginger-Molasses Cookies

13 comments:
Chewy Chocolate Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Add this cookie to your holiday cookie basket or plan it for your cookie swap. These are simple to make, and the sugar coating gives the cookies a festive shimmer. They are chewy bordering on crisp with an occasional chunk of chocolate. Even my chocolate-hater friend Dorothy loved them, especially the ginger -- they have both ground ginger and freshly grated ginger, but the flavor isn't overwhelming in the least.

Scoops
On the left, 2¼-inch scoop cookies; on the right, "tablespoon" scoop cookies.
The scoops of dough then get rolled in sugar and baked.
Use good chocolate and good cocoa powder. I used Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips (I didn't bother cutting up any chocolate like the recipe instructs) and Guittard cocoa powder. I actually don't have the size of scoop the recipe calls for, but I discovered that both your "tablespoon" scoop and a 2¼-inch scoop work just as well. The baking times are the same, but the small cookies come out a little crisper and the larger a little chewier. I preferred the chewy, while Joe could barely keep his hands off the crispy until I'd photographed them. Will you go for chewy or crisper?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Boston Globe Review: Coastal Cottage Tea

4 comments:
Windsor Tea Shop & Tea Room
Photos by Shirley Goh/Globe Staff

I love afternoon tea, with its scones and Devonshire cream and finger sandwiches.  But sometimes the city hotels are pricey or come with parking hassles.  At Windsor Tea Shop & Tea Room in Cohasset, you trade in fancy for a country cottage vibe, and big-city prices for lower ones with free parking.  And then there's the food.  Read all about it!

Read the review at: http://b.globe.com/10zQ1BI
If the subscriber pay wall locks you out, it's available at: http://bo.st/XDCfiI

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10 Recipes for Thanksgiving

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Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Butter
Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Butter
I'm really excited about this Thanksgiving!  I'm a traditionalist when it comes to the menu, so I've got to have my roast turkey, gravy, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and stuffing.  And lots of apple cider.  The vegetables and desserts can change.   One odd tradition my family has is fried shrimp.  That's right, batter-fried shrimp, on Thanksgiving.  I once asked my mom where the recipe came from, and she said she heard it on a Chinese-language radio program.  You know, back in the old days when folks  used the radio for entertainment.  But my siblings and I demand the shrimp.  And I always make an effort to watch the parade.  The Macy's parade in New York, of course!

Cranberry Apple Relish
Cranberry-Apple Relish recipe follows jump
One other tradition is what my twin sis and I called "Dinner Number Two" as kids, long before I heard of Second Breakfast.  My mom used to insist on serving dinner at 2 p.m. so she could clean up and enjoy the rest of Thanksgiving.  Weird, I know.  By the time night came, sis and I were hungry again.  We would eagerly reheat another plate full of Thanksgiving dinner and eat it in front of the TV, in the later years with reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Ah, good times.  These days Joe isn't really up for a second dinner with Fresh Prince reruns, but we still make all our favorite dishes.  What are some of your quirky Thanksgiving traditions?

Thanksgiving Collage

But you came for the recipes, not to listen to my babble.  Here are a few I've blogged, and a few tried and true that I recommend.  They're not terribly fancy, since I like the classics.  Happy eatins'.

1. Maple-Glazed Apple Crostata. For apple pie goodness that's quicker to throw together.
2. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting. Seasonal and lightly spiced.
3. Chocolate-Covered Pecan Bars. When you're feeling super indulgent.
4. Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Butter. Don't skip the honey butter. You'll be sorry you did.
5. Pecan Tassies. Not as eye-catching as the pecan bars, but way better and lighter.

6. Dry-Brined Turkey. I'm not a fan of finding a vat big enough to hold a turkey and gallons of liquid. And refrigerator space is prime real estate on Turkey Day. This dry brining from the LA Times is much easier and gives you a flavorful, moist bird.
7. Country Bread and Sage Dressing. I've made this Bobby Flay recipe on a few Thanksgivings. The sausage gives it nice flavor, but I've also omitted the sausage and swapped the chicken stock for vegetable stock for vegetarians. I like to add a diced Golden delicious apple, and toast the bread briefly in the oven first before proceeding with the recipe.
8. Dorie's Pumpkin Pie (or Tart). I haven't had the chance to do a new photo for this one, but don't be put off by my awful photography from 2008. This is my all-time favorite pumpkin pie, and I've made it many times. My mom prefers it warmed in the oven, but I like it cold from the fridge and dolloped with whipped cream. You decide.
9. Foolproof Turkey Gravy. It sounds so simple to make, but gravy is also easy to mess up.  This Mad Hungry recipe helps you get it right.
10. Linda's Cranberry Apple Relish.  I'll admit it.  I love canned cranberry sauce.  Previous attempts at homemade cranberry sauce didn't wow me, but this relish is good enough to eat alone by the spoonful.  Recipe after the jump!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chicken Chile Relleno Pies

5 comments:
Chicken Chile Relleno Pies

You want these.  They're among the best things I've made all year.  These Chicken Chile Relleno Pies are made of a cornmeal dough that's wonderfully sandy and a bit crumbly, and filled with roasted poblanos, chicken, cheese, and corn.  The ingredients, rather than standing out individually, all melt together into delicious, savory mouthfuls.  The poblanos and ancho chile powder heat it up with Southwest flavor.

The pies are admittedly labor-intensive and time-consuming, but you won't regret it.  Double the cornmeal dough recipe, which yielded only enough dough for me to use half of the filling.  Set aside time to make them all, then freeze and reheat to snack on whenever.  They would make a good potluck contribution, but if you're like me you'll hoard just about all of them.  This is the kind of comfort food you'll want to warm yourself up with all winter.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Meringue Pie

6 comments:
Pumpkin Meringue Pie

I loved the idea of a pumpkin meringue pie.  Traditional pumpkin pie topped with a cloud of airy meringue, lighter than the usual whipped cream and artfully browned in swirls and whorls.  I am sad to report that it was a huge disappointment.  I had two complaints: the meringue wept, and the filling was all right but nothing exciting.  My friends said it tasted OK and that I was prejudiced from the beginning because I was "mad at the meringue."  It's true, but I've had much better pumpkin pie.  Like my all-time favorite, by Dorie Greenspan.

The pumpkin meringue pie also took nearly half an hour longer to bake than the Epicurious recipe indicated.  I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the meringue, and an hour later it was weeping liquid like meringues sometimes do, and sliding around the top of the pie.  The browning using the broiler wasn't very even, so I might be motivated now to indulge some pyro tendencies and procure a kitchen torch.  A friend of a friend did recommend an Italian meringue recipe on my Facebook page, so if I ever feel brave enough to try a meringue again I think I'll do that.

What's your favorite pumpkin pie or Thanksgiving dessert?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Salted Caramel Blondies

11 comments:
Salted Caramel Blondies

These Salted Caramel Blondies tasted even better than I thought they would.  Did you know that feasting is an Election Night tradition in newsrooms?  I was thinking of a simple snack to make and found a recipe for these at Two Peas and Their Pod.  They were so rich, it worked to cut them into about a quarter of the size of the bars you see here.  And they fueled editors and reporters until our boatload delivery of Italian food and North End desserts arrived as the polls closed.  Around midnight, as the coffee supply was refreshed, a coworker was saying she could use a blondie but they were long gone.

I wasn't always a fan of caramel, finding it awfully sweet.  But salt adds complexity, and I'll even say sophistication, to caramel.  And although there are recipes out there that will call for homemade caramel sauce -- and I will often go for the made-from-scratch stuff -- I loved how the caramel sauce came together in the microwave in under 2 minutes by heating caramel squares with a bit of cream.  Perfect for when you've got a hectic Election Night, or just want to curl up with a book, a blondie, and a glass of milk.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bison Chili

7 comments:
Bison Chili

Forget ground turkey.  When you want a lean chili, try bison.  It's got that beefy flavor that poultry just can't imitate.  In addition to being leaner than beef, bison has the benefit of being free of antibiotics and hormone injections because the animals are a protected species.

Ground Bison

I won't lie to you: one drawback is the price.  Bison costs close to $10 a pound around here, and this recipe calls for 2 pounds of meat.  Eating healthy ain't cheap.  I initially thought about halving the recipe, but halving the cans of beans, hominy, and tomatoes becomes inconvenient.  What can you do with half a can of hominy?  But if you think of the cost in servings instead of the total, at 6 servings it works out to $4 a serving.  Not bad.

Bison Chili 2

I think the recipe loses a little of the rich mouthfeel that a traditional beef chili has because the bison tastes leaner, but that's the fat missing.  Joe gave a better review, saying he preferred this to traditional beef chili.  With the holidays coming up and winter being full of heavy foods, it's nice to have a leaner alternative when you want a hot bowl of chili on those wintry days.  Your waistline will be thankful.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Walnuts

And if you really want to be healthy, try this recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts that has dried cranberries and walnuts from Oh My Veggies.  It also has baked apple but I ate my last one, so I roasted some grapes with the sprouts.  I discovered on my Facebook page that lots of you out there are sprouts lovers!  Alas, this was my first taste of sprouts and I don't really dig them.  But I was in the minority -- two of my friends loved them and asked for the recipe.  And the flavors of maple, cranberry, and walnut are great.  If you like sprouts, you'll love this recipe.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Boston Globe Review: Eggs Benedict Eleven Ways

4 comments:
Nikos Collage
Photos by Shirley Goh/Globe Staff
Clockwise from top left: The Atlantic benedict has poached eggs and smoked salmon on rye with Hollandaise in a twist on the traditional; muffins; blueberry-stuffed pancakes; and bring a big appetite for the Lumberjack omelet.
This was a great place for weekend brunch.  You know how sometimes you regret eating at greasy diners or chains afterwards, thinking you could have made it better, and for less money?  This isn't that place.  Plus there's the 11 varieties of eggs Benedict.  If you're on the South Shore, visit Nikos in Weymouth.

Read the review at: http://bitly.com/TMicN5
If the subscriber pay wall locks you out, it's available at: http://bitly.com/U6w7rD

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

9 comments:
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Are you sick of pumpkin recipes yet?  Apparently I'm not.  Right now my friend Jacob must be thinking, "Where's the chocolate?"  I had actually planned a couple of savory, non-pumpkin recipes for this week, but then I wanted to bring a sweet to round out the pizza at an event for journalists I helped organize.  So I went with the seasonal favorite, pumpkin.  And who can say no to caramel cream cheese frosting?  The cupcakes were a big hit, and people asked permission to take home the last few.  Granted, of course.

Pumpkin Cupcakes on pedestal

This recipe from Tracey's Culinary Adventures produces a light and moist cupcake, slightly sweet and nicely spiced.  I thought it needed very little frosting, less than you see here.  The caramel flavor doesn't really come across in the frosting, so I would skip making the caramel and just go with a plain cream cheese frosting recipe.  Now, what should I make with the other half a can of pumpkin?

Reminder: I have a new Facebook page.  Please visit and "Like" it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Butter

8 comments:
Pumpkin Waffles

I love homemade waffles.  I grew up eating the kind you buy frozen, but there's no comparison with homemade.  Plus, when you have a little time on the weekends, waffles are really easy to make.  And these are pumpkin waffles.  They're spiced just like pumpkin pie, with cinnamon, ground ginger, and clove, and topped with a scoop of maple butter.

Waffles with Syrup

If you think that's decadent, I should tell you that the original recipe on Foodness Gracious included maple bacon butter.  Despite being a bacon lover, I decided to forgo the meat for breakfast.  And instead of using maple syrup to make the butter, I decided to try maple sugar, figuring the butter wouldn't get loose and runny the way it might when adding liquid.  Now, I actually never put butter on my waffles or pancakes, and I don't think it's needed here -- the maple sugar gets lost in the additional syrup you pour on top.  But I plan to spread this delicious butter on toast and English muffins, and it would be great on biscuits.  My other tweak is one I always use with homemade waffles, and that's to substitute half of the flour with white whole wheat flour.  Tastes just like regular waffles, and they're a little better for you.  Who's ready for brunch?

Handy tip: Freeze leftover waffles wrapped in plastic for a quick breakfast during the week.  Thaw on the counter, then heat in the toaster oven briefly.

fb

I almost forgot: I finally made a Facebook page for my blog.  Visit it and "Like" it?  I don't have any giveaways to entice you with, but I hope to see you on that end anyway.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Maple-Glazed Apple Crostata

11 comments:
Maple-Glazed Apple Crostata

I always look forward to baking an apple pie in the fall.  The oven warms the house, and fills it with the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg.  My favorite is a traditional double-crust apple pie, but it's kind of a production.  So when I don't have all day, I turn to open-faced pies like this crostata.  I had made an apple crostata previously with cranberries, but plain ol' apple is usually what I want.  This version is packed with apples.  The recipe calls for just dumping them all onto the dough, but I wanted a fancier look.  Unfortunately, shingling the apples instead of dumping them into one big mound meant not all of them fit, plus they were so packed in that the slices became vertical instead of slanted.  No matter, still delicious.  My aesthetic quibble was actually the crust edges -- I didn't think the crostata needed a 3-inch border like the recipe called for so I went with 2 inches, and you can see it came up short.  But like I said, still delicious.

Maple Apple Crostata

And it still managed to wow a crowd.  With the leftover apples that didn't fit, I made a halved recipe for the crostata, resulting in this smaller one we ate at home.  I used gala apples, which have great flavor and hold their shape well during baking.  And the bulk bag of organic galas cost the same per pound as the loose galas.  My one disappointment with this recipe was that you don't really taste the maple syrup you brush on the apples at the very end.  I suggest skipping that step, or using more syrup and then telling me how that turned out.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cocoa Brownies

8 comments:
Brownie stack

A while back I read that brownies made with cocoa instead of chocolate were superior, though I can't remember why.  In this recipe, Alice Medrich writes: "Cocoa brownies have the softest center and chewiest candylike top 'crust' of all because all of the fat in the recipe (except for a small amount of cocoa butter in the cocoa) is butter, and all of the sugar is granulated sugar rather than the finely milled sugar used in chocolate." The top wasn't as crackly as promised, but the brownies were wonderfully fudgy.

brownie stack 2

Medrich also notes that any unsweetened Dutch-process or natural cocoa powder works well in the recipe -- natural cocoa (this is the kind you usually find in your supermarket) will produce more flavor complexity while Dutch-process has a mellower, old-fashioned chocolate pudding flavor.  I went with a Ghirardelli natural cocoa powder, which gave the brownies a deep, bittersweet flavor.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boston Globe Review: Savoring Moroccan Hospitality

4 comments:
Moroccan Collage
Clockwise from top: Plate of goat cheese, feta, gorgonzola, pickled veggies, pita wedges, and olives; mocha latte with amaretto cookie; and Mrouzia chicken, topped with caramelized onions, plump raisins, and toasted almonds.
This has been one of my favorite assignments.  I also love the headline by my colleague Wendy that ran in the print edition: Savoring Morrocan hospitality.  It summed up both my experience and what I think the chef/owner's mentality is at Cafe Paprika, a Moroccan restaurant in Norwood.

Lahcen
I submitted a different photo of owner Lahcen Abaichi for the paper, but I wanted to share this personal one here. After his initial camera-shy protests, he said, "Wait, you have to get me with my photo of my mother."
You can probably guess at my verdict, but read all about it at: http://bo.st/PP3aRR.  I'm still thinking about those tagines and desserts.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Multigrain Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary

8 comments:
Focaccia

Have you ever had roasted grapes?  They're a revelation to me.  They give this bread wonderful jammy and fruity spots after they bake up and get soft.  And they're not like grape jelly, which I don't care for.  The next time you roast vegetables with olive oil, throw some grapes into the bunch.  This focaccia is great too, and although it's time-consuming it is easy.  Most of the time is inactive, so you can fold laundry or watch TV, but do plan ahead and start that pre-ferment about 12 hours before you plan the rest of the process.

Focaccia 2

In King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking, the intro to the recipe says: "This version, which is more than half whole wheat flour, may not reach the same heights as the fluffiest focaccia, but its creamy, chewy texture and fragrant flavor make it one of our favorites."  I love it.  It's not a proper focaccia, but it's crusty outside and soft and chewy inside.  The whole wheat gives it hearty flavor, and I used white whole wheat flour, which is just as nutritious as regular whole wheat flour but has a softer texture.  It's a more virtuous focaccia, and I prefer this to traditional focaccia.

Foccacia Collage
The focaccia right before going into the oven.  Top-right down: the pre-ferment is ready to use; the sticky dough; and the dough after a couple rises and folded into a packet.
The other reason it's more virtuous?  Very little oil.  Have you ever used the nutrition calculator at Panera and seen what a difference in fat it makes to swap in another bread for your sandwich?  Or maybe you've made focaccia before, and seen the dough sit in about two-thirds of a cup of oil and suck it up like a sponge?  Joe made Peter Reinhart's recipe years ago, but after seeing how much oil went into it we never made it again.  This recipe has no oil in the dough, and calls for oiling the sheet pan generously, whatever that means.  The first time I used about a quarter-cup, and it was unnecessary.  This dough doesn't really soak up the oil, so it just splatters in your oven.  The second time I used about a tablespoon and it worked out perfect, plus there were no oven splatters.  I've already made this twice, and it's going to make repeat appearances in my kitchen through the fall and winter.

Pumpkin Fritter closeup

On a side note, the Huffington Post featured my Pumpkin Fritters photo and recipe in a roundup of savory pumpkin recipes today.  To see it there or check out the other recipes, visit http://huff.to/NUilKQ.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Hobbit Day, and Second Breakfast Ideas

5 comments:
Image from Middle Earth News
Happy Hobbit Day!  Did you know there was such a celebration as Hobbit Day, or Tolkien Week?  Apparently September 22 was the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.  So have your second breakfast, followed by Elevenses, and get psyched about the upcoming Hobbit movie.  Bake up some Lembas bread, or try one of these recipes.

Ideas for your second breakfast:

Country Ham Cheddar Tomato Quiche

Country Ham, Cheddar, and Tomato Quiche - Nice and hearty, yet somehow fancy.

Austen Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Austen Cucumber Tea Sandwiches - They honor my other favorite English author, but they're great for breakfast or tea time.

Lemon or Raspberry Braid

Braided Lemon Bread - For lovers of lemon curd.

Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones

Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones - When you want bacon to start off your day.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits - Pastry flour makes these extra tender.

Cream Scones with Chocolate Chunks

Cream Scones with Chocolate Chunks - Indulgence for breakfast.

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns - You'll never eat the ones from a can again.

Maple Muffins

Maple Muffins - Perfumed with maple and studded with walnuts.

How are you celebrating Hobbit Day?