This recipe is from the wonderful cookbook Plenty. It comes together quickly once you have gathered the ingredients. I substituted edamame for the fava beans that I could not find. I would use less tomatoes the next time I make it I think, but that is my own preference. This is a showstopper of a recipe as there is so much flavor and color! The recipe says it serves two generously but I think it could easily serve four as a main course and six as a side.
Vegetable Paella
3 T.olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 fennel bulb, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/4 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. ground turmeric
1/4 t. cayenne
1 c. arborio or short grain paella rice (Calasparra)
6 1/2 T. good quality sherry
1 t. saffron threads
2 c. boiling vegetable stock
3/4 c. shelled fava beans (boiled, drained and each bean squeezed out) or edamame
12 plum tomatoes, halved
5 small grilled artichokes in oil, drained and quartered
15 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
2 T. parsley, roughly chopped
4 lemon wedges
Heat the olive oil in a paella pan or large shallow skillet and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the peppers and fennel and continue to fry on medium for 6 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add bay leaves, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne and stir well. Add the rice and stir thoroughly for 2 minutes before adding the sherry and saffron. Boil one minute and add the stock and 1/3 t. salt. Reduce heat to a minimum and simmer very gently for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Do not cover pan or stir while the rice is cooking. (Cook the fava beans as per above). Remove paella pan from the heat and scatter the tomatoes, artichokes and beans over the rice. Cover pan tightly with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove foil, scatter olives on top and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges

Momofuku is David Chang’s restaurant in NYC and he is amazing. His pastry chef Christina Tosci. They are delicious! A little time consuming because you need to chill the cookies before they bake but I found two hours is enough. I used Heath toffee pieces instead of the butterscotch chips as that is what I had. The graham mixture is interesting and I saved it and made 2 more batches of cookies so I wouldn’t waste it. I also made the cookies the first time with 1/3 c. measure but much prefer a smaller cookie so I used my small 1 1/2 inch scoop that was perfect!
225 g butter, at room temperature (16 tablespoons (2 sticks))
200 g granulated sugar (1 cup)
150 g light brown sugar (2/3 cup tightly packed)
50 g glucose (2 tablespoons)
1 egg
2 g vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)
225 g flour (1 1/3 cups)
2 g baking powder (1/2 teaspoon)
1.5 g baking soda (1/4 teaspoon)
4 g kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
150 g mini chocolate chips (3/4 cup)
100 g mini butterscotch chips (1/2 cup)
1/4 recipe Graham Crust (page 112) (85 g (1/2 cup))
40 g old-fashioned rolled oats (1/3 cup)
5 g ground coffee (2 1/2 teaspoons)
50 g potato chips (2 cups)
50 g mini pretzels (1 cup)
For the graham crust:
190 g graham cracker crumbs (1 1/2 cups)
20 g milk powder (1/4 cup)
25 g sugar (2 tablespoons)
3 g kosher salt (3/4teaspoon)
55 g butter, melted, or as needed (4 tablespoons (1/2 stick))
55 g heavy cream (1/4 cup)

For the graham crust:
Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
Whisk the butter and heavy cream together. Add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The butter will act as a glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters. The mixture should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand. If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1. tablespoons) butter and mix it in.
Eat immediately, or deploy as directed in a recipe. The crust is easiest to mold just after mixing. Stored in an airtight container, graham crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or for 1 month in the fridge or freezer.
For the cookie:
Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. (See page 27 for notes on this process.)
Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crust, oats, and coffee and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels and paddle, still on low speed, until just incorporated.
Be careful not to overmix or break too many of the pretzels or potato chips. You deserve a pat on the back if one of your cookies bakes off with a whole pretzel standing up in the center.
Using a 2.-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature— they will not bake properly.
Heat the oven to 375°F.
Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center. Give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.
Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.
In a pinch, substitute 18 g (1 tablespoon) corn syrup for the glucose. For the “coffee grounds” in this cookie, we tested the recipe with freshly roasted and ground artisanal coffee from Stumptown as well as with crap-tastic coffee grounds that you can find just about anywhere. We discovered that it doesn’t make a difference what kind you use; the cookie is delicious every time. Just make sure you don’t use instant coffee; it will dissolve in the baking process and ruin the cookies. And, above all else, never use wet, sogalicious grounds that have already brewed a pot of coffee. We use Cape Cod potato chips because they aren’t paper-thin, and so they do not break down too much in the mixing process.

I was desperate for a lobster roll and resorted to ordering the special New England Hot Dog Rolls that are split on the top. I ordered two dozen on line and paid about $24 including shipping. The rolls arrived with a price tag on the outside that said 2 for $3!! I basically paid $1 a roll but I think they were worth every penny! I splurged and bought lobster meat at Whole Foods and made the traditional lobster roll. We have also loved these perfect buns with bratwursts or hot dogs.
NE Hot Dog Rolls

Grilled NE Hot Dog roll

Lobster Roll

I have been reading the Yellow Table blog for the last year or more and really enjoy all of the recipes. Recently, the author Anna Watson Carl finished a very successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money to self publish her first cookbook. I was very excited to contribute! Anna and her editor Lauren asked for volunteers to test the recipes and I felt fortunate to be chosen. I was given an Elegant Fall Dinner Party menu and it did not disappoint. I had never cooked branzino before and it was easy and delicious. I also loved that I could make a few things ahead of the dinner party. Look for The Yellow Table cookbook to come out this fall-you will not be disappointed!

Crostini with Brie and Sundried Tomato Walnut Tapenade
Lemon and Herb Roasted Branzino with Brussels Sprouts
Citrus Roasted Carrots
Butterscotch Pudding with Kahlua, Whipped Cream and Caramelized Pecans

Crostini with Brie and Sundried Tomato Tapenade
Elegant Fall Dinner
Butterscotch Pudding

I tried this recipe from Food 52 on a whim as I haven’t baked much using coconut oil instead of butter. This is a really easy recipe and delicious! I had not heard of a snack cake before but think it means you can eat it all the time! After my first bite, I thought ‘oh oh’! I think for non chocolate lovers that you could replace the chocolate chips with chopped pecans. I used bittersweet chips as that is what I had.

2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)

killer dessert

killer dessert

2 cups dark brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
10 T. coconut oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 handfuls shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Mash bananas in a bowl and push them to one side to make room for the “liquid” ingredients. Add the eggs, dark brown sugar, vanilla, and coconut oil. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet banana mixture. Stir with a whisk just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and coconut. Stir one last time to evenly distribute the add-ins. Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle (from a height) with fine or flaky sea salt to lightly dust the surface of the cake. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (mine was done after 45 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

This is an easy tasty recipe from Taste. I made the mixture in the early afternoon and then cooked the meatballs for dinner. I used a 1″ scoop and they were the perfect size. David enjoyed them with pasta and I had them on bibb lettuce with fresh tomatoes.
Chicken meatballs
1⁄4 cup
 (2 fl. oz./60 ml) grapeseed oil, plus more for oiling the baking sheet
1 lb. (500 g) ground chicken
2 Tbs. panko bread crumbs
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
1 Tbs. minced lemongrass, white part only
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
14 small lettuce leaves
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly oil a baking sheet.

In a bowl, combine the chicken, panko, soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, cornstarch, cilantro, ginger, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Roll into 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls.

Warm a large sauté pan or frying pan over medium heat. Add the 1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) oil and heat until it appears to shimmer. Add the meatballs and sauté, turning the meatballs to brown evenly on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Drain on paper towels. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Arrange the lettuce, green onions, and limes on a platter. Serve the meatballs in a bowl on the side. Instruct guests to place a meatball in a lettuce leaf, top with green onions, squeeze with lime juice, fold and eat. Serves 3 to 4.

I hadn’t made lavender shortbread in years and this was a great year for two lavenders that edge my front porch. After harvesting some for the lavender shrub post, I decided to try a simple recipe from renown pastry chef, Gale Gand. I think this could be a perfect base recipe for shortbread and plan to try it with pistachios soon.
Lavender peak
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried or fresh lavender flowers

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter until soft in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add 1/4 cup sugar and mix until incorporated. Stir together the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix at low speed just until the ingredients are almost incorporated, then add the lavender, and mix until the dough starts to come together. Flour a work surface, turn the dough onto it, and knead it 5 to 10 times, to bring the dough together and smooth it out.

Reflour the work surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a little less than 1/4-inch thick to fit an 8 by 8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment. To transfer to the pan, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, lift it up, and unroll into the pan. (Or, press the dough thoroughly into the pan with your fingers.) Prick the shortbread all over with a fork, or use a pique-vite (dough docker) if you’ve got one, to prevent any buckling or shrinking. Sprinkle the surface evenly with 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, deflate the dough by knocking the pan once against the oven rack then rotate the pan to ensure even cooking and a flat surface. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until golden all over and very lightly browned. As soon as it comes out of the oven, sprinkle the surface evenly with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Let cool about 5 minutes. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 3 rows by 5 rows making about 1 1/2-inch by 3-inch bars. Let cool completely in the pan. Remove from the pan and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

This is a delicious sauce on almost anything-fish, pork, beef or lamb! There are a zillion variations but I used a recipe from Taste. There are many recipes that vary the herbs and also add a little bread for thickening. It is the perfect sauce for anything hot off the grill! This is a sauce you should make at least one hour but not more than few hours before serving so the flavor is fresh and the color vibrant.
Salsa verde
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 c. packed parsley leaves
1/4 c. mint leaves
1 anchovy, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes, drained and patted dry
1 T. capers
1 t. dijon
1 1/2 t. white or red wine vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
Pulse garlic in a processor, add parsley, mint, anchovy,capers, dijon and vinegar. Pulse until smooth. Add olive oil until thick and blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Have you ever had a shrub? They are a fruit based mixture that you cure for a few days and then add vinegar and steep longer and end up with a lively shrub that you can add to club soda or a cocktail. I am crazy about these and we briefly had a great Thai restaurant that had four shrubs on their menu. I have been making these as I see the perfect fruit come to market. So far I have strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cherry and I just made this wild lavender kumquat shrub! I first started making these from my favorite blog, use real butter and haven’t stopped. They seem to last forever in the refrigerator and it so refreshing on a warm day.
Summer shrubs 2014
The basic recipe is equal portions fruit and sugar to soak and then strain the fruit out and combine with the same amount of vinegar of your choice. The lavender shrub I made today is the wildest combination of ingredients and I can’t wait to try it! The inspiration was finding gorgeous California kumquats in the market and then I made an early harvest of lavender from my garden. I ordered the blood orange balsamic vinegar online as I was so excited to try the recipe!
Lavender shrub
1 c. brown sugar
2 T. pink peppercorns (very interesting-not real peppercorns-tons of flavor
2 T. ch. lemongrass
4 T. dried lavender
1 1/2 c. chopped kumquats
Mix together, kneading with your hands gently in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Strain the liquid and add:
2/3 c. blood orange balsamic vinegar (I am sure you could sub. regular)
1/3 c. cider vinegar
Pour into a jar and use as you wish.

This is a winner and simple to make. From the wonderful blog Taste from Williams Sonoma!
Blueberry Lemon Bread
Lemon-Blueberry Drizzle Bread

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g.) plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) granulated sugar
1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup (4 oz./125 g.) fresh blueberries

For the syrup:
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. granulated sugar

For the glaze:
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) confectioners’ sugar
3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350° F (180° C). Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm.) loaf pan.

In a bowl, sift together the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until lightened. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla and stir until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the 1 teaspoon flour. Gently stir into the batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the bread to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto the rack.

While the bread is baking, make the syrup: In a small saucepan, boil the lemon juice and granulated sugar over medium heat until syrupy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a wooden skewer, pierce the sides and bottom of the bread all over. Brush the bread generously with the syrup.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice. When the bread is completely cool, drizzle the glaze over the top. Makes 1 large loaf.


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