Herbed Crackers

Oh, holy shit ya’ll. I just tried this fantastic cracker recipe from the Oh Dear Bakery blog.  Instead of the Italian seasoning, I used a littled dried minced garlic and TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute, and added some coarse black pepper on top with the salt.  These are fast. And addictive. Make at your own risk.  I could not stop eating them as I was shooting. Bill said they’re yummy.  Well, I’m off to make a whipped cream cheese with lemon zest, dill and shallots to schmear on these fuckers. And to taunt Bill, obviously.
Make these. They’re awesome.


They put the crack in cracker.

[yumprint-recipe id=’9′]

Walnut Black Pepper Biscotti


Anybody out there old enough to remember SOAR? The Berkeley Searchable Online Archive of Recipes, that has since become RecipeSource? It was (is) this wonderful place created to preserve family recipes, back before the explosion of the interwebs and when you still *really* needed cookbooks.  I used to read that for fun – they have it sorted by geographic region and ethnic groups. It was a fascinating place to browse.  So, back when dirt was new and I wanted a good biscotto, that was where I went to look and found this marvelous recipe and printed it out on my dot matrix printer. And saved that paper for years. These are fantastic biscotti – crunchy, but not so hard they break your teeth. Dippable without disintegrating – truly a work of art. 

I eventually lost that recipe, and despaired. But was saved by our Google Overlords. I found it again at Cooks.com (because for the life of me I cannot find it again at Recipe Source – weird, I know.) Biscotti are pretty damn easy to make, and have a big wow factor. Although I swear anything that isn’t a chocolate chip cookie seems to have a big wow factor because no one cooks any more. But, hey – that’s why I blog!! Shall we?

Cream the butter and sugar.


Add the eggs and vanilla.


Sift your flour with the salt and leavening, grind the pepper and zest the orange.  


Chop the nuts. Please forgive me, I apparently saved the shot of the chopped hazelnuts for another recipe and not the walnuts – but we’ll include them here just for continuity.


Mix in the dry and the nuts. 


Flour your hands and make a log.

Biscotti 7MED

Bake it, cool it and slice it in even pieces. Save the biscotti butts for taster-testing. 


Bake ’em a second time (that’s the bis to the cotto), and away we go – snack time!!


Here’s the recipe. Try them – they’re easy. Some like to dip one side in chocolate, but I think that overpowers the wonderful play of the heat and the orange with the toasty nuts and butter. But hey, that’s probably just me.


Baklava, and why not!

I usually go nuts with the cookies for Christmas. Make dozens and dozens. Ship them off to friends and family. But this year, I just wasn’t feeling the cookie love. We tried some candied orange peel (delicious!), and then when I was at Caravan the Force of the Baklava was too strong to resist.  Of course, the problem with that is that there is now half a tray of baklava in the house…..




This is just AB’s recipe, basically. Except I skip the almonds and use 9oz ea pistachios and walnuts. Oh, and use orange blossom water instead of rose. This is one of those things like cheesecake – people ooh and aah, and it’s really a simple simple thing to make. It just has a lot of steps, but they’re not impossible complicated ones. 

Thaw the fillo:



Whiz the nuts, spices and sugar in the robot:



 Brush the layers with butter, and put in some of the nut mix every few layers:


 Remembering to bless each layer with some orange blossom water

Score the tops, bake:

baklava7Make the syrup


Pour it over the cooked pastry, garnish with more chopped nuts and let it soak up the syrup for 8+ hours




God, I love this stuff. Crunchy, nutty, buttery, sweet, exotic with orange blossom. Yum.


 Alton Brown’s recipes are always awesome – give it a try. You will become very popular.

Blueberry Cobb

Not much of a post this week – just a quick snapshot and link.


Chopped romaine with blanched petit green beans, roasted hazelnuts, cubed leftover roast chicken breast and some chèvre.  Tied together beautifully with this blueberry vinaigrette (although I added a tsp. of toasted hazelnut oil)