It's so freakin cold here in NYC .. I mean it's insanely cold outside. That being said, I enjoy baking more when it's cold outside & have been having a lot of fun in the kitchen :) With Thanksgiving coming up I was really excited to be sent a new cook book to review here on the blog! One of my favorite things about Around the Table, is that Martina McBride takes the time to include ideas for different themed food gatherings & even includes playlists for each of them. I haven't always had the best track record with baking cookies, sometimes they end up puffy like a cloud, and other times they end up being really flat and crunchy. I've made her Triple Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies on two separate occasions & they came out perfect both times!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons (11⁄4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1⁄2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 17 × 13-inch rimmed baking
sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a
medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated
sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
Add egg, vanilla, and orange zest and beat until blended. Add the flour
mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in the chocolate chunks,
1/2 cup of the milk chocolate chips, ½ cup of the white chocolate chips,
and the cranberries.
3. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared
baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or
until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes,
then transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.
4. In separate small bowls, microwave the remaining ½ cup milk
chocolate chips and ½ cup white chocolate chips at high power for
1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Using a small spoon, drizzle
the melted chocolate over the cookies. Let stand until the chocolate
sets, about 1 hour. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight
container at room temperature.)
Another recipe that I tried out from Around the Table was the Asparagus with Toasted Almonds. I've never "shocked" vegetables before, but it was a nice alternative to sautéing vegetables like I usually do. Toasting the almonds made the whole kitchen smell good, and thanks to this recipe I am now obsessed with shallots :) The recipe is listed below along with some pictures of the final product! Both of these recipes are easy to follow, and would be great additions to any Thanksgiving Feast .. Enjoy <3
· 1⁄3 cup sliced almonds
· 11⁄2 pounds fresh asparagus spears, ends trimmed
· 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 large shallot, thinly sliced lengthwise
· 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
· 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
· 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a small, dry skillet over medium heat and toast the almonds for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until light golden brown. Transfer to a plate to cool quickly.
2. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and let the water return to a boil. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness, until bright green and crisp-tender. Drain and plunge the asparagus into the ice water to shock, or stop the cooking.
3. Heat ½ tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until it begins to brown. Turn heat to low, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until very soft and evenly browned, stirring often. Remove the shallot from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil and the asparagus to the pan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, turning often, until heated through. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, and the salt and pepper, tossing the asparagus to coat as the butter melts.
5. Place the asparagus on a warm serving platter and sprinkle with the reserved shallot and toasted almonds.