Monthly Archives: February 2013

Staying classy

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A great friend of mine graciously gifted me with the Santa Monica Farmers Market Cookbook for Christmas last year. Now, I typically cannot commit to a recipe without an overload of imagery (of both process and final product – note to foodisbomb.com) but the recipes in this cookbook have made me finally overlook my pictorial needs.

In a genius move, each recipe is grouped not only by course but also by season, with notes on picking the freshest batch of the bounty. These shortbread cookies are categorized as “evergreen” and thank god because they are so simple and perfect for any occasion. Even just having some frozen dough on hand for an impromptu tea or wine sesh with friends would be absolutely clutch.

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Something about eating a shortbread cookie makes you feel so proper: perhaps it’s the way you have to daintily hold each cookie between thumb and index finger while ever-so-slightly cocking your chin out to gently take a bite (and avoid an unnecessary crumb attack). Or, maybe it’s because they are always an accessory to a high tea or coffee date. Whatever it is, these cookies are definitely a snack to stroke our inner elitist, which is ironic since they are unbelievably easy to make.

I drizzled some orange honey on top for a little extra somethin-somethin but I also think these would make great jam sandwich cookies.

Happy shortbreading my classy friends!

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from the Santa Monica Farmers Market Cookbook

1/2 cup roasted and unsalted pistachios
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup pistachio meal
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbs honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside a good 24 whole pistachios and finely chop the rest. Sift together flour, salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar on high speed untel blended. add the pistachio meal and beat until creamy. On low speed add the flour mixture.

Scrape dough onto parchment paper and shape into a log about 8.5″ long (like a sushi roll). Make sure there are no cracks in the dough. Brush all sides with the egg. Roll the dough in the chopped pistachios and chill for at least an hour.

Take the dough out of the fridge and let sit for 10-20 mins before slicing into 3/8″ rounds. Place on an ungreased baking sheet 1″ apart and press one pistachio in the center of each cookie. Bake for 16 mins or until cookies are slightly golden and puffed. Let cool and drizzle with honey to your hearts content.

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New Year, New Recipes

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Call it bandwagon health, but when the new year comes, I do like to challenge myself to a month of (semi) healthy eating. It’s not because a new year brings promise of being a different person, or losing x number of pounds – it’s because, for one, the holidays are an unhealthy time from which you do want to recover, and for 2, the healthy recipes in cooking magazines can be seriously great. Magazine after magazine of delicious new and different healthy recipes leave me inspired and with a Pinterest board of ideas that can last all year. Last year, I found a month-long cleanse recipe issue of Whole Living and challenged myself to make each recipe in it (although I was allowed to eat other food on the side – you can’t live off of beet soup and smoothies). But by far, the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse is the favorite that I look forward to with each new year.

In this year’s issue I found a recipe for white bean chili with root vegetables, and I was instantly on board. For one, it’s been chilly enough in San Francisco that I’ll try anything with soup, and for two – chili. This one has a ton of flavor for a veggie chili, mostly coming from massive amounts of ancho powder. While my ambitions to use dry cannellini didn’t exactly pan out (you have to remember to soak them the night before!), a mix of canned black and kidney beans was a perfectly delicious substitute. The chili has a ton of seasoning, the root vegetables blend in really well, and when you top it with some sliced avocado it’s perfection. This is a perfect example of how flavorful those healthy new year recipes can be!

White Bean Chili with Winter Vegetables
From Bon Appetit

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and 1″ of pale-green part, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 2 large or 3 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise if large (remove woody center, if needed), cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 1–1 1/2 tablespoons ground ancho chiles
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I used Mexican oregano)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 3 cups of cannellini beans (or two cans of whatever beans you have on hand)
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, chopped

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks, garlic, and 2 Tbsp. water. Cook until leeks are softened, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and parsnips; stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add ground chiles, cumin, oregano, and 2 tsp. salt. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Fold in beans. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to allow flavors to meld, about 30 minutes (if using soaked beans, cook until tender, which may take a few more minutes). Season with salt. Garnish with avocado and cilantro.