{TWD} Coco Loco

coconut butter thins

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection was the oh so delectable Coconut Butter Thins. These cookies are so delicate that Dorie Greenspan almost didn’t include them in her book Baking…From My Home to Yours. That would have been a tragedy. These cookies are so buttery with a great crispy texture. These are the kind of cookies you can eat and eat until you are only left with crumbs.

Coconut Butter Thins are a shortbread cookie flavored with coconut, lime, and lots of butter. There is also a hint of coriander which knocks these cookies out of the stratosphere. I don’t recall ever baking with coriander. Now I’m going to add it to my baking repertoire. It paired well with the other flavors and brought them all to the next level.

coconut cookie scraps coconut butter thins ready to bake

Instead of squares, I used my round cookie cutters and made little circles. Because of the circle shape, I had dough scraps which I reshaped and made more round cookies until I didn’t have any more scraps. Although these scrappy cookies didn’t hold their shape too well {even after refrigeration} and were a little “ugly”, they were still mighty tasty.

ice cream sandwich

This week I also  made Toasted Coconut Ice Cream from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop and created little ice cream sandwiches. No surprises, the ice cream was great. It’s a custard-based ice cream in which the cream is infused with the flavor of toasted coconut and a scraped vanilla bean {from Tahiti–my supply is getting low, oh no} with a hint of rum. You can find the ice cream recipe HERE.

toasted coconut ice cream

Thank you to Jayne of The Barefoot Kitchen Witch for selecting this recipe. It’s another winner! Please visit her blog for the recipe.

Millet Fried “Rice”

Millet is a grain seed that you probably know most commonly from bird food. It’s also a nutritious whole grain with loads of B-vitamins that has been becoming more and more popular in whole-grain cooking.
millet
This week I made Millet Fried “Rice” from Super Natural Cooking. This was my first time cooking/eating millet and I loved it. It has a nutty taste, almost earthy but not too earthy. Just the right level of earth.

The stir-fry is made like regular fried rice. The grain is pre-cooked, you cook the egg and tofu cubes, chop the veggies and throw everything together. I’m excited  about using millet in more recipes. everybody loves sandwiches recently posted about using millet in granola which I’m making the next time I need granola.

millet fried rice

You can find the recipe for Millet Fried “Rice” HERE. Enjoy! It’s wonderful.

{DB} Lasagne Verdi al Forno (Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna)

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge

Lasagne3

This was a fun Daring Bakers‘ challenge. I’ve never made pasta before and don’t own a pasta roller. I debated about buying one, but decided against it. Because I rolled and stretched the dough by hand, I decided to mix and knead using my stand mixer. Hey, I’m lazy! I had to add an extra egg to make the dough moist enough, but other than that kneading it was a breeze.

fresh spinach lasagne

I made half the dough into short lasagne to fit my short baking pan. I made the other half into tagliatelle (or is it pappardelle?) because I wanted to roll it up and slice it and pick it up with my fingers  like I’ve seen so many TV chefs do (I’m picturing Jaime Oliver here, yum).

Fresh spinach pasta

I hung the pasta up to dry using chopsticks and my fruit basket. My husband walked into the kitchen and got scared for a bit. He thought I was going crazy and setting something up like a weird horror-movie Children of the Corn type sculpture. After I explained what I was doing he calmed down.

pasta drying

I made the béchemel sauce as directed. Instead of the meat ragu, I made Salsa di Pomodoro Invernale the vegetarian Winter Tomato Sauce from The Splendid Table to which I added a package of Trader Joe’s dried wild mushroom mix.  What was great about this is that I was able to spread out the making of all the parts over a few days so assembling and baking the lasagne was a breeze.

Lasagne

The lasagne baked beautifully and the béchemel sauce smelled wonderful with a hint of nutmeg. Individually, all the components were tasty. We’re having it for dinner tonight. I can’t wait!

Pane Siciliano and Panzanella

Pane Siciliano

There is something relaxing and cathartic about baking bread from scratch. It is intensely satisfying getting the “feel” and knowing when the dough needs more flour or more water or more time. I love baking bread.

Unfortunately, I sometimes bake too much bread. You may think it isn’t possible to bake too much bread–but my friends, co-workers, and family are bombarded with lots of baked goods from me. There is only so much I can give away and my freezer can only hold so much.imgp4033

I recently made Pane Siciliano from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. The recipe made 3 loaves. Without thinking clearly, I baked the bread the same weekend I made croissants. I went a little overboard that weekend. Anyway, you probably know which we ate first.

We ate one loaf. It was good very good. It’s the first time I used semolina flour. Almost a week went by and my poor loaves were still sitting on the counter. I have plenty of bread crumbs in my freezer. My husband suggested French Toast, but I was thinking panzanella.

Springtime Panzanella

I made two different panzanella recipes, both from 101 Cookbooks: Spring Panzanella and Strawberry Panzanella. Both were delicious, but the strawberry one was killer. What made both of these even greater was that all the produce was locally grown bought at the farmer’s market and the bread homemade. How cool is that?

Strawberry Panzanella

Recipes

Spring Panzanella

Strawberry Panzanella

I’m submitting this to Yeastspotting, a weekly round-up of yeasted goods and bread.

Help! Do you know what these are?

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I bought these at the farmers’ market and I don’t remember what the vendor said they were. She said they are medicinal and good for digestion, etc. and that you can make a tea by throwing 25 of these into a pot of water and seeping them. My husband thought she said goji but these are too big based on what I’ve seen on the internet.

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They taste like some sort of dried fruit. Almost like an apple but not as sweet. They are about the size of a golf ball and are very light in weight. There is a pit inside.

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Hopefully the vendor is back this week so I can find out, but in the mean time I wanted to make scones or something with them and call them something else other than “scones made with mysterious dried fruit-like thing with quasi-medicinal traits sold out of a van at the farmers’ market”.

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