Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Brownies

I spent Thanksgiving alone in the city last night. BP II went back to his hometown and I was stuck working on Black Friday. My market isn’t even open. Anyway, the commute would have been too long for me to go home and then come back on Friday. So, I was just going to treat it like a day off and relax. Which is exactly what I did. I caught up with all my reality TV shows, watched Nights in Rodanthe, called my parents and cleaned my apartment; however, I was bored by 6. Normally I like some alone time but this was too much. I had no where to go. All the stores were closed and everyone was having fun with their families. I was getting hungry but didn’t exactly feel like eating. I decided I was going to try and bake something. I went though all my cookbooks to see if it was possible to find something sweet to bake with what I had in the house. I figured that I could swing some brownies. I didn’t have chocolate but I had coco. The result was good but the brownies were a little too cakey for me. I think next time I will try adding some vegetable oil. But they were good and definitely served their purpose.  Chocolate makes everything better.


¾ cup of granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp of salt
4 oz of coco
½ cup of butter
1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup of flour
1 TBL of brewed coffee


1.) Melt the butter on the stove top. Add coco and combine.

2.) In a large bowl, mix together the two sugars, vanilla and salt

3.) Add coco and butter combination to the sugar bowl. Stir until ingredients are completely integrated.

4.) Add the 4 eggs and stir.

5.) Slowly add the flour

6.) Add the coffee at the end and stir to incorporate

7.) Bake at 325º for 40- 50 minutes until center is set.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ginger Snaps

I wanted to do something special for my Dad because I will be missing Thanksgiving this year. Thanksgiving has always been his holiday (my parents are divorced split holidays) and I will be relaxing at home while he runs from appetizer to dinner to dessert to cocktail. His favorite cookie is the ginger snap and around this time, he keeps the familiar orange box in his car around the clock. I wanted to bring a batch for him when I went home last weekend but I hit a slight snap in the recipe. I printed one off courtesy of Alton Brown only to discover that the measurements are in ounces. I don’t have a food scale. (Although on a side note, I do have some friends who might have a food scale but they use it for very different reasons) I understand why AB wanted people to weigh the ingredients because it gives a more precise measurement and with baking precision is key. However, I did not want to go and buy a food scale so I opted for a different recipe.

During this process, I made t he mistake of mentioning to my portfolio manager that I was making ginger snaps. Turns out that ginger snaps are his favorite cookie as well. Everyday I came to work, “where are the cookies?” And everyday I would come in with a different excuse but finally last night a got around to making them. I was surprised because no butter was involved and I do not think I have ever made a cookie without butter before. I decided to try a test batch on the people from work and yes, my portfolio manager before I send them home to my dad.

The result was phenomenal. I am normally not a fan of ginger snaps. I prefer chocolate and sweet in my cookies. When they came out of the oven, the smell of fall filled my apartment. (and smoke because for some reason my oven is smoking) When I brought them to work, one of my co-workers said it was the best ginger snap she ever had. The only thing is that I wish they stayed soft a little longer. I know that ginger snaps are supposed to be a firm cookie but that is just my preference.

Mom’s Ginger Snaps

1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup white sugar for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oil, molasses, and egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger; stir into the molasses mixture. Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Roll each ball in white sugar before placing 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until center is firm. Cool on wire racks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Infamous German Potato Salad

I really like German Potato salad. I think it is a nice change from the typical potato salad that is smothered in mayo. However, perfecting this recipe eludes me. Sometimes it turns out well and other times it is a disaster. It seems so easy, a couple basic ingredients added to a hot pan, stir, add to potatoes and voila! But no, this is my moby dick.

Take the first time I tried to make this dish. (Wayne’s World Time Warp inserted here) BP II and I had just begun dating. It was a weeknight and I was making my polish kielbasa and sauerkraut dish. I thought a German potato salad would really bring the dish together. I found a recipe online and thought this would be great. Everything started off fine, browed the bacon and reserved the fat. When I added the water, vinegar and cornstarch the lumps would NOT go away, no matter how hard I stirred. I thought it was a fluke dumped the bad batch and tried again. I was out of bacon grease so I used butter as the fat to make a roux. I did everything the same and again the lumps of cornstarch would not go away. I am starting to panic now. BP II is in the living room waiting… the kielbasa is done… the sauerkraut is done… what am I going to do? I try the sauce one more time and it happens again. In a fit, I take out my roommate magic bullet and try and blend these lumps away. But the sauce was too hot and when I tried to remove the blending bottom…..POP… the sauce went everywhere. I started to cry. I felt so defeated. BP II came over and saw the disaster that was my kitchen and the tears. The jig was up. He now knew what an unstable crazy person I was. But he wiped away my tears and together we made another sauce for the potato salad. It was not that great, but it worked. When we sat down to eat, he quietly whispered in my ear, “After this is over, I will make fun of you relentlessly but for now I will let it go because you are obviously unstable.” Now isn’t that the man you want to marry?

That event will forever be known as The German Potato Salad Incident. Since then however, I have made the dish several times and it comes out great. I really like how the vinegar adds that savory element. I am telling you really good. Anyway, I made this dish last night. And like I said, sometimes it turns out well and sometimes it turns out ok. I do not know why. Last night was an ok German potato salad. I did not add bacon because I feel like I have been eating a lot of bacon. I save my bacon fat now, so I just used a little of that for the fat element. It probably would have been fine except I did not cook the potatoes enough. What an elementary mistake. How did this happen? The curse continues.

Here is the recipe. See if it works for you.

German Potato Salad

4 potatoes
4 strips of bacon
1/3 cup of chopped scallions
1/3 cup of water
¼ cup of vinegar
1 TBL of cornstarch
1TBL of sugar


• Boil potatoes until tender, but still a little firm. About 15 minutes. Let cool and cut into 1 inch cubes

• Combine water, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch to a bowl and set aside

• Cook bacon in a pan until crispy. Remove and set on paper towel to drain.

• Add vinegar and water mixture to the hot bacon grease. Stir until the sauce begins to thicken. About 3-5 minutes

• Add potatoes, chopped scallions and bacon to pan. Stir until sauce is evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper.

Seems easy right? HA!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Apple Honey Spice Cake

Karen made apple honey spice cake but unfortunately was too sick to make it to the club meeting. Her co-workers benefited on Monday though because they got to eat it. The reviews were good so I can’t wait until the next meeting to sampler her food. She was kind enough to share her recipe.

Sorry, no pics.

Apple Honey Spice Cake

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup apple cider
1 cup honey
2 cups grated apple (about 2 medium apples)
Butter for greasing 9 X 13-inch baking dish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Use a large mixing bowl to combine 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp kosher salt, 2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp each of ground ginger and ground cloves.

Then add 1 cup of light brown sugar to that and use a whisk to mix that up.

Use another mixing bowl to combine 3 large eggs with 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup apple cider and 1 cup of honey and whisk it up.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Kristen K. (yes, if you have been counting there are 3 Kristin’s in this cooking club) is one of the cutest people ever and has a knack for meeting every person on the food network. She got this recipe from runners kitchen and these little cookies are power packed with good things for you. BP II loved these cookies, so much so that when I suggested we bring the leftovers into work, he propositioned I bring in the muffins I made for his breakfast instead. (Sad face)

I got to give it to Kristen K. She hit a home run. Even after a couple days in a Zip top bag these cookies are still moist.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1.5 cups whole wheat flout
.5 cup of all purpose flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
¾ teaspoon of ground ginger
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
¼ cup of wheat germ
½ cup of canned pumpkin
¼ cup of molasses
1/3 cup of canola oil
¾ cup of granulated sugar, reserving ¼ cup
2 tablespoon water


• Preheat oven to 350º, lightly grease a large cookie sheet

• Sift together dry ingredients (flour through wheat germ), set aside

• In a medium bowl, whish together pumpkin, molasses, canola oil and sugar

• Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients, add 2 tablespoons of water near the end to help dough come together

• In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup of sugar and dash a dash of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg

• Roll tablespoon size balls of dough (use your hands) lightly into the sugar mixture

• Place dough ball on cookie sheet and flatten slightly using tine of fork

• Bake for 10-12 minutes, cool for 1 minute on baking sheet, then finish cooling on a wire rack

• Enjoy

Apple Pie

Sue’s apple pie was amazing. She had never made a pie before and wanted to practice for her boyfriend’s birthday dinner this weekend. Sooo cute. Anyway, I think the pie was really good and she will knock his socks off. This recipe is very similar to the apple pie I made a couple weeks ago.

Apple Pie

2- 9 inch pie crusts
½ cup of unsalted butter
3 teaspoon of flour
½ cup of granulated sugar
½ cup of brown sugar
6 granny smith apples, cored and sliced into wedges
¼ cup of water (1 TBL spoon less if you add vanilla)
1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon of nutmeg (optional)

• Preheat oven to 450º

• Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour to form paste. Add water, sugars and bring to a boil. Add spices if you like. Reduce temp and simmer.

• Place pie crust in bottom of pie dish and fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with lattice crust. Pour sauce over

• Bake for 15 minutes at 450º , then lower temp to 325º and bake for 35-45 minutes or until apples are soft

Butternut Squash, Apple, and Onion Galette with Stilton

My dish was a butternut squash, apple and onion galette with blue cheese. I wanted to do something different and well let’s be honest, if I talk about food all the time and start this cooking club, I feel like I had to rock out something good. This dish was good but I would not say amazing. Honestly, I thought other people’s food was better. However, it was different and I got to try something new, which is what the cooking club is all about. I made my own dough again by hand and I must say that I am starting to get the hang of it. I think I forgot the salt though. So that is an unknown. I got this recipe off the food network website and I did not make any deviations, except not use a food processor.

I also got a lot of flack for not making a turkey. But in my defense, what am I going to do with an entire turkey? Yes, BP II offered to help by eating turkey sandwiches and all things turkey but truth be told he is already bored of the leftovers we have! Sweet potatoes again? Yes, sweet potatoes again because I got 5 lbs of them and someone has to eat it. Also, this is not the THANKSGIVING. It is a small gathering of thanksgiving themed items. Therefore, I believe there has been no crime committed by me hosting this event and not making a turkey.

Butternut Squash, Apple, and Onion Galette with Stilton


Dough :
 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced (1 stick)
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 large baking apple, such as Rome Beauty or Cortland
1 small or 1/2 medium butternut squash (about 3/4 pound), halved, seeded, and skin on
1 small yellow onion, peeled, root end trimmed but intact
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/3 cup crumbled Stilton or other blue cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)


For the dough: Pulse the flour and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few bean-size bits of butter in it. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times more; don't let the dough form a mass around the blade. If the dough seems very dry, add up to 1 tablespoon of cold water,

1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing briefly. Remove the blade and bring the dough together by hand. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

For the filling: Halve and core the apple. Cut each half into 8 wedges and put them in a large bowl. Slice the squash and cut the onion into wedges so that both are as thick as the apple wedges and add them to the apples. Add the butter, rosemary, and thyme and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch disk. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and brush with mustard. Starting 2 inches from the edge, casually alternate pieces of apple, squash, and onion in overlapping circles. If you have extra pieces of one or another, tuck them in where you can or double them up to use all the filling. Fold and pleat the dough over the edge of the filling. Bake until the crust is brown and the apple, squash, and onion are tender and caramelized, about 55 minutes. Scatter the cheese over the filling and bake until melted, about 5 minutes more. Cool the galette briefly on a wire rack. Cut into wedges and serve.

Roasted Cauliflower & Brussel Sprouts

 Kristen C.’s made Roasted Cauliflower & Brussel Sprouts dish. I have never had a brussel sprout before and I must be honest, they frighten me a little. What do you do with this little ball of leaves? Well, the answer is roast them. Although, this proves my point that if you roast anything it is delicious. Plus, they are in season so I might have to make some little green leafy ball of my own.

Roasted Cauliflower & Brussel Sprouts

1 Medium Cauliflower (florets only)
1-1.5 brussel sprouts, halved
3 Shallots thinly sliced

Preheat Oven to 400º. In a roasting pan, mix cauliflower, brussel sprouts and shallots in a large bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil and mix until vegetables are coated. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes or until vegetable are tender.

Baked Corn

Kristen L. (or Klamp to me and forever on this blog) made a baked corn dish. I thought it was a really great new twist on a corn dish that can be used all year long. This dish looked really great and actually, her boyfriend texted halfway through the event to ask if he could start nibbling on the extra one she had at home for their dinner. Unfortunately, for him that one contained raw eggs and would probably end with a Salmonella spell. I am sure he enjoyed it when she cooked it for supper that night.

Baked Corn

2 Eggs
1 cup of sour cream
½ cup of melted butter
16 oz of canned corn (do not drain)
16 oz of creamed corn
1 package of Jiffy corn bread mix

•Mix all ingredients together and pout into a greased baking dish. Bake at 350º for 35-45 minutes or until lightly browned on top and firm in the center.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

We will start with whipped sweet potatoes by Christine. She claimed that the traditional marshmallow topping was left off by accident; however, I kinda like a simple sweet potato dish. They are sweet and perfect just the way they are. No need for the candy on top – in my opinion.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

2 LBS of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
¼ cup of dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup of butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ of condensed milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp of cinnamon

• In a large pot, combine sweet potatoes with enough cold water to cover; over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer until potatoes are tender, 30 minutes.
• Drain, mash, let stand until slightly cool, 15 minutes

• Preheat oven to 350º and butter baking dish

• In a food processor, whip potatoes, eggs, sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour mixture into baking dish and bake until top is browned and mixture is set in the center. About 40-45 minutes.

The First Meeting

On Sunday was the first meeting of my cooking club. The theme was Thanksgiving and I was very impressed with what everyone brought. Everything was so good and not one repeat. I thought for sure that there would be a double pumpkin pie or sweet potato. We even had someone bring vegetables! I don’t even think anyone had any disasters either. Well at least none were shared with the group.

The event started off with champagne punch drinks- which is pretty much just rum and orange juice topped with champagne. But when we ran out of champagne, I just kept drinking the rum and OJ concoction without skipping a beat. Nothing better then getting a little tipsy on a Sunday afternoon before you eat some delicious treats.

Friday, November 13, 2009

When you are to lazy to cook

Lately, I have been so run down and have absolutely no energy. I get home from work and all I want to do is sleep. As you can imagine cooking as become a low priority on weeknights. I just want to make something quick and easy, not spending my entire night slaving over the stove. Usually, I will just make a big pot of soup once a month and freeze the leftovers. Then on weeknights buy a loaf of bread, take the soup out of the freezer, simmer on the stove for 30 minutes until hot and call it dinner. However, that routine has become a bit tired and then I saw my crock-pot. It has been sitting on this lone shelf in my kitchen since I moved into my new apartment. Of course, the shelf is so high I need a ladder to reach it but one ambitious morning I had BP II take it down for me. (Yes, a weekday morning before your boyfriend goes to a bank meeting is the best time to ask him to do things for you< insert sarcasm here>) I decided to make a quick and easy pot roast in the crock-pot so when I got home, dinner would be ready. I happened to have left over chuck roast from the red wine stew I made awhile back in my freezer. The previous night I had cut up and onion, celery and carrots to make the morning easier. (As we all know, I am NOT a morning person. The less I have to do in the morning the better.)

I placed the chuck roast in the crock-pot, followed by the cut of veggies. I then added one can of cream of mushroom soup, ¼ cup of water and a package of onion soup mix on top of that. Placed the lid on top and went to work. When I came home, the whole apartment smelled of pot roast. I gave it a quick mix with a spoon and saw how the pieces of chuck roast were just falling apart. I happened to have some mashed potatoes leftover from a previous night, so I just served them alongside the pot roast. (If, I did not have the mashed potatoes, I probably would have added some boiling potatoes in with the veggies to cook with the pot roast.)

This was so yummy. It made so much food and was able to make a casserole with the leftovers another night. That’s right, I made a dinner out of leftovers and then another dinner out of those leftovers.

On another note, I am hosting the cooking club this Sunday. Totally freaking out about what to make. BP II told me I had to make a turkey because I was the host; however, this is not THANKSGIVING. So we will see what happens.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanks Mark

I really like Mark Bittman's blog on the New York Time's website. I think he is fun, witty and makes me feel like cooking is accessible to everyone. I think everyone can relate to the quote below. 

Worry Less, Cook More

By Mark Bittman

I recently did an interview with Time Out New York, and I thought that cooks who worry about perfection might find this part of it useful.

Question: “What would you say is the most important skill to develop in the kitchen?

Answer: “The ability to go in there and start. I am the least impressive cook you will ever see. I am completely without knife skills, I screw things up all the time. When I’m in the kitchen I’m not obsessively trying to create the perfect dish; I’m trying to put dinner on the table. Comparing yourself to the people who cook on television is like comparing yourself to Andre Agassi. If you can drive you can cook.”

Classes for Amateur Cooks

I have wanted to take a cooking class for some time now, just to learn some basic skills to build upon. The problem is they are just so darn expensive. The French Culinary Institute looks like it has some great courses but the knife course  is $540 for 15 hours. Sure, I would like to learn how to bone a fish or prepare a rack of lamb but I think 15 hours would be a bit much for me. And the food technology course is 3 hours for $150. They sound great and I bet I would really enjoy them but it just seems like a lot of money to spend. Maybe I am just cheap. But I am lucky that there are so many great programs for amateur cooks in New York City. It is also pretty amazing to be taught by some of the best chefs in the world. Well, If you have a spare $200. (This is a recession people) I really like this one from The Institute of Culinary Education. The Mastering Pan Sauces class looks really fun. In 8 hours you could learn so much. I know how to make some very basic sauces but I wonder how I could make it better or just something different. I want to be able to cook a pork loin and have a variety of options of what to do with the juices. I eventually want to not need a recipe and just be able to just wing it. Knowing what flavors work together and how to build off of a basic roux. I prefer my food simple. I like to taste the meat and that is why I generally don’t use sauces. However, sometimes a piece of meat will come up a little dry and a good sauce would be beneficial. If I do not have a recipe, I freak out. How much wine or vinegar? How much chicken stock? I think just having two or three sauces down could do wonders for my cooking. Maybe I will ask for a gift from BP II? :)

The City Cook

Monday, November 9, 2009

Butternut Squash Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes. I am really a complex carbohydrate lover. BP II is not a huge fan. He prefers his potatoes roasted or baked. I was really craving them and thought they would go perfectly with my pork loin that I was serving that night. I decided to “compromise” by trying to spice them up a bit and see if we can teach old dogs new tricks. The result was a beautifully colored, yummy mashed potato that pleased everyone in the household.

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
¼ cup of sour cream
3 TBL butter
Salt and pepper to taste

1.) Boil potatoes for 15 minutes, add butternut squash and cook for an additional 15 minutes of until potatoes and squash is soft.
2.) Drain and return to pot. Add sour cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

And best of all, I can make a whole new potato dish tonight with the leftovers.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

I have had this unfulfillable craving for all things pumpkin. I think it is the time of year. I want to get all the fall I can before it turns to winter and eventually Christmas. I feel like the past couple months have just gone by so quickly. So I am trying desperately to hold onto the little bit of fall I have left. Even my pumpkin spice candle ran out and now Bed Bath & Beyond only has evergreen and gingerbread scents. Anyway, back to the food. I happened to buy 2 cans of pumpkin puree during my whole foods excursion. I used one for the pumpkin pie and I have been hunting for the perfect recipe to use the second. When I came across the chocolate pumpkin cupcakes I knew that this was the one. It had everything I wanted. Chocolate, icing and PUMPKIN! The result was a huge hit. It had a lovely note of pumpkin in the chocolate that was something different and a bit unexpected. Obviously I knew there would be a pumpkin taste but I was surprised how well the two flavors went together. Also, the cupcakes turned out soooooo moist.

I added a tablespoon of coffee to the batter after everything was combined. I learned from The Barefoot that coffee “awakens” the chocolate flavor and makes it more complex. I thought this was just rubbish and then one time I was making my Guinness cupcakes and I forgot the coffee- everyone noticed. There was just something missing. Now, every time I make something with coco I add the tablespoon of coffee.

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes. You can find the original cake recipe here. Country Living
1 1/2 cup(s) flour
2/3 cup(s) cocoa
2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 cup(s) buttermilk
1 cup(s) canned pumpkin
2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
3/4 cup(s) butter, softened
1 cup(s) dark brown sugar
1 cup(s) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk


1. Preheat oven to 375º

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Stir the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Beat the butter and sugars together using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and yolk, one at a time. Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour and buttermilk mixtures in thirds.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a tester, inserted in the center, comes out clean--about 15 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

• 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
• 2 C. powdered sugar
• 1/4. t. vanilla extract
• 1/8 t. ground cinnamon
• 1/8 t. fresh ground nutmeg

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If frosting is too soft, chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes.

I also spoon the icing into a Ziploc bag and snip off a corner. It turns into the poor man’s pastry bag.

Editor's note: Thank you BP II for the wonderful photography

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mom’s Nuts and Bolts

For as long as I can remember my mom has made nuts and bolts for family events. I have a big family and we always get together on special occasions. We gather and my grandmother’s house, sit in the kitchen, laughing and talking. Some of my best memories are at those family functions. My cousin Kristin and I were inseparable. We would tease my younger brother insistently and put on these ridiculous plays in the foyer that the adults would watch from the stairs. I would always know it was time to go to Gram’s when my mom was finished making the nuts and bolts. As soon as they came out of the oven, I would sneak the hot pretzels into my mouth. Later, my mom had to start adding more pretzels to this mixture because I would eat them all before we left the house. When I left to college, after a weekend at home my mom would send an entire batch of pretzels with me to share with my roommate.

I was getting ready to go to a concert in Connecticut my cousins (Kristin and her brother) this past summer and was looking for camping food for the weekend. I immediately thought of nuts and bolts. Perfect for finger food snacks but also a great throwback to a time that seems light years ago.

The Traditional Recipe

3 TBL Worchester sauce
1 cup of butter
1 TBL or paprika
1 TBL of garlic salt
1 TBL of Onion powder
3 Cups of rice chex
3 Cups of corn chex
2 Cups peanuts
3 Cups of pretzels

Bake at 250º for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.

This is great to use up leftover snacks in your pantry. When I went to the concert I added some Sunchips and almonds. I have also made batches with just pretzels (because they are my favorite).