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Author Archives: joepara

Cathedral Cookies

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Cathedral Cookies

My grandmother made these every Christmas. They look like Church windows, Stained glass.

4 simple ingredients and a little time is all it takes to makes these delicious cookies

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1 package (10-1/2 ounces) pastel marshmallows

1 cup chopped nuts, optional

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter, cubed

 

 

Put the marshmallows and nuts in a bowl

In another bowl over a double boiler melt the Chocolate chips and butter.

 

Mix the Melted Chocolate into the Marshmallows. Refrigerate for an hour.

Divide the mixture onto 2 pieces of wax paper. Half on each piece

Roll into a log and put back in the Fridge

 

In another 4-6 hours you can slice the logs and enjoy

Italian Sesame Seed Cookies

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Sesame Seed Cookies

I do not roll these into a log like traditionally done. I scoop balls of them. Way easier. You get a consistent cookie size and they look awesome

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4 Cups Flour

1 T Baking Powder

½ tsp Salt

1 Cup Butter, room temperature

1 Cup Sugar

3 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Milk

1 Cup Sesame Seeds

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt in a bowl and set aside

In a mixer cream the Butter and Sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until smooth.

Add the Vanilla

Stir in the Flour Mixture and mix until well blended

Let this dough rest for 15 minutes now to let the gluten relax

Scoop Dough and roll balls into milk and then sesame seeds

Bake 10-12 minutes until bottoms are just lightly browned, tops will be pale

Cool 5 minutes on the pan and then completely cool on racks

 

Cherry, Hazelnut, Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Cherry, Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a drop cookie and you will find that a scoop is your best friend. You can get consistent sized cookies and cut your time making them significantly

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2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk chocolate chips

2 cups Chopped Maraschino Cherries, drained and dried well

2 cups Chopped Hazelnuts, or whatever your favorite is

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixing bow. Mix in the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla until combined.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips, cherries and Hazelnuts.

 

Portion 2 teaspoons of dough for each cookie and roll together to form a ball, spacing the dough balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.

Bake until the edges just start to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Hundreds and Thousands Cookies

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Hundreds and Thousands Cookies

This is a simple drop cookie. I have found the easiest way to make this and other drop cookies is with a small ice cream scoop. I can scoop all the dough out at once and put it on a plate and then reload pans as I clear them of cooled cookies. This is a nice soft sugar cookie.

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2 cups white sugar

1 cups butter, softened

2 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Nonpareils or colored jimmies for dipping the cookies into

 

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Scoop balls of dough and flatten slightly with your hand. Dip on side in Nonpareils or colored Jimmies.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a rack until completely cool.

These will keep for a week or more in an airtight container

 

Makes 10-12 dozen depending on the size of your scoop

Bigos

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Bigos

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Hunters Stew. This is the National Dish of Poland and will warm you from the outside in and give you a hug of Comfort. It is also very Paleo friendly

 

Salt and pepper, to taste

Vegetable oil, as needed

2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 lb smoked kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch slices

¼ lb bacon diced

1 smoked pork hock

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 ½ tablespoons whole caraway seed

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 large onion, sliced 1/4-inch thin

3 medium carrots, grated

32 ounces canned diced tomatoes, with juice

1 lbs cabbage, sliced 1/4-inch thin

2 lbs sauerkraut

3 bay leaves

 

In a pot over medium heat render the bacon until crispy, remove and set aside. Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper and brown in the bacon fat, add vegetable oil if needed. When browned remove from the pot and set aside with bacon. Add onion, carrots, and garlic to the pot and cook for a few minutes. Add the Pork Shoulder and bacon, the rest of the meat and then the rest of the ingredients. Stir well. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 hours.

Slow Cooker Cider Braised Pork Roast

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Slow Cooker Cider Braised Pork Roast

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Fall, apples and Pork just go together so well. This recipe combines a Pork Shoulder roast with Apples and Apple Cider to make a meal that warms you up on those fall days

 (3- to 4-lb) bone-in fresh pork shoulder

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 onions cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

2-3 crisp apples, skin can be left on or peel if you like

1 1/2  cups unfiltered apple cider

Season the pork roast with salt and pepper. Heat a pan on medium high heat until very hot, add the Olive Oil and then brown the roast on all sides. Remove from pan and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. in the saute pan add in onions, garlic and Apples, turn heat down to medium and saute for 3-5 minutes. De-glaze the pan with the apple cider and after scraping up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan pour the Cider mix over the Pork Roast. Set on Low and cook for 8-10 hours. You can take the juices out of the slow cooker and thicken with a cornstarch slurry in a pan on the stove

Grilled Beef Tri Tip Roast

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Grilled Beef Tri Tip Roast

barbecued-tri-tip-grill

The tri tip is a prized cut off the bottom Sirloin on the Steer. Hard to find in a lot of places outside the West Coast it is well worth seeking out. Ask your butcher for it. It is awesome just grilled and sliced thin with some chimichurri sauce on the side. Most Tri Tip Roasts are sized just right for a family of four to enjoy and make a good meal out of. This is a Santa Maria Style (California) version of it.

 

 

1 ¾- 2 ½ lbs. Beef Tri Tip Roast

1 ½ T Kosher Salt

1 ½ T Granulated Garlic

1 T Brown Sugar

1 tsp. Black Pepper, ground

1 tsp. Parsley Flake, dried

2 tsp. finely ground coffee (optional)

Olive Oil

 

Combine all of the spices (and coffee grounds if you are using them) in a bowl and mix together.

Rub the Tri Tip down with a little Olive Oil and then with the Spice Rub. Allow the roast to rest and come to room temperature while you prepare the grill.

Set up your grill for indirect cooking. If using a charcoal grill this means the coals will only be on one half of the grill. If using a Gas Grill just turn on half of the burners.

Once the grill is to temperature take the roast and sear it over the direct heat side of the grill for 5-7 minutes a side. You want a good crust on it.

Transfer the roast to the side of the grill that has no coals under it, or the side of the gas grill that is turned off, and put the lid on the grill. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the roast reaches 130°f internal when checked with a meat thermometer.

Allow the roast to rest on your cutting board, tented over with foil, for 15-20 minutes. Slice thin against the grain and serve with Chimichurri Sauce if you so desire.