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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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Valentine’s Day Baking: Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Almond Cookies

Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Almond Cookies

So here’s the thing about these cookies. I actually made them last year, fully intending to post them at that time and then this happened and I kind of lost interest in getting a Valentine’s Day post together. But this year, I decided that since I had liked the cookies and I had some nice photos, I would go ahead and post it. Early. And then I forgot.

So now, completely in character (procrastination, yay!), the day before valentine’s day is when I’m going to post about heart-centric cookies. But it’s okay. This cookie could really work for any holiday, even a non-holiday. First of all, the hearts don’t need to be pink or red. How about purple hearts? Black hearts? White hearts for an anniversary celebration.

And also, who says you have to use a heart shaped cookie cutter at all? The technique will work with any small cookie cutter – four leaf clovers, a fleur de lis, a pumpkin. Really, any not too complicated shape that you could easily fill in with glaze would be perfect.

When I made mine, I liked a cleaner look so I used a slightly smaller round cookie cutter . . . → Read More: Valentine’s Day Baking: Heart-Glazed Cornmeal Almond Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Generally, my cookie repertoire is fairly boring – chocolate chip, peanut bitter, an occasional oatmeal raisin. But sometimes, especially during the holidays, I like to mix it up a bit. These Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies do just that and are quite festive as well! Of course, now I have a bunch of extra candy canes lying around the house, which will probably mean making some peppermint bark.

The original recipe called for the melted chocolate to be drizzled on top of the cooled cookies, but I think it makes much more sense to just spread a layer of chocolate on top – more surface area for the candy cane pieces to stick to. I also made mine about twice the size called for, (I used a small scoop that equals about two tablespoons), because bigger cookies are better cookies. Right?

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Adapted from . . . → Read More: Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Spelt Biscuits with Sage, Orange Zest, and Black Pepper

Spelt Biscuits with Sage, Orange Zest, and Black Pepper

I have a new favorite baking product – and it is Spelt Flour. I’m not quite sure what it is about it, but everything I’ve baked with it just has a velvety, rich, full flavor that I am in love with. When using, I’ll typically replace one half of the white flour in a recipe with the spelt flour. I have been experimenting with it for awhile now in pie/tart crusts, scones, cookies and now…biscuits!

For this recipe, instead of using half spelt flour and half regular flour, I used light spelt flour mixed with just a little unbleached, white flour. Light spelt flour has most of the bran and germ removed, so the end result won’t be as heavy as using regular spelt flour. I wanted these biscuits to be on the fluffier side, so I decided to go this route.

The result was a flakey, flavorful biscuit! It may seem like there’s a lot going on here (there is — sage, orange zest, black pepper) but it works.

Make a batch now to freeze for Thanksgiving or just use them for weekday breakfasts with orange marmalade or . . . → Read More: Spelt Biscuits with Sage, Orange Zest, and Black Pepper

FFwD: Chestnut and Pear Soup

French Fridays with Dorie: Chestnut and Pear Soup

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie was a fairly straightforward soup – Chestnut and Pear. In fact, the hardest part was finding the jar of chestnuts (New Seasons, but I also saw them at Cost Plus). Like I do for a lot of the FFwD recipes, I cut this one in half and we still ended up with about three generous bowls of soup.

Honestly, I was a little unsure about this one. In a jar, chestnuts just look really, really unappetizing (at least to me). But, once you add the onions, rosemary, broth, and garlic (if there wasn’t garlic in the original recipe, I’m sure I added some), it was really good! Mostly savory, with just a little sweetness from the pear.

My photos are below and everyone’s posts are here. And like always, French Fridays recipes are in the cookbook, Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

French Fridays with Dorie: Chestnut and Pear Soup

French Fridays with Dorie: Chestnut and Pear Soup

French Fridays with Dorie: Chestnut and <span style= . . . → Read More: FFwD: Chestnut and Pear Soup

Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks for St. Patrick’s Day

Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks for St. Patrick's Day

Over the next couple of days I’m going to be posting two ideas for St. Patrick’s Day meals and this first one uses two very Irish ingredients — Guinness stout and lamb. It does take awhile to cook but the reward is worth it.

Of course, there’s also the challenge of finding a pot big enough to fit the lamb shanks in (usually my downfall), which is definitely tricky, but again, very much worth it in the end. If you have leftover braising sauce (and you probably will), it’s great used in lentil soup. Just thin with a little more chicken broth and cook your lentils in it. Mmmmm….lamb-y.

On the side — Polenta & Cabbage: This is sort of a colcannon-type dish but with polenta instead of potatoes. Just cook up a batch of polenta like usual (one part polenta whisked into four parts boiling liquid), and when it’s almost done, saute some sliced cabbage in separate pan, using about a tablespoon of butter. Add salt and pepper and let it get a little golden in places. Add the cooked cabbage and butter to the polenta and stir in . . . → Read More: Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks for St. Patrick’s Day