Saturday, April 28, 2012

Court's Clicks: 4/28/12

Nothing quite so sad as finding an orphan page of a favorite book torn, crumpled, and water stained.  It does, however, make for an interesting picture, an image--a moment that made me stop and take a photo.

On a completely unrelated note, links!

Cake or pie?  Can't decide? Neither can I, and now we don't have to thanks to this Brownie-Bottom Coconut Chocolate Cream Cake.

I have enjoyed adding kale to my salads lately, but adding it to these Loaded Sweet Potato Skins sounds much tastier. 

But back to pie and its relatives--check out this Brussels Sprout and Grape Galette, buttery pastry dough and a sweet and savory filling!

Remember the Mint Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge I made around Christmas?  Well, I think this Mocha Coconut Fudge will have to replace it on my next holiday plate of goodies.

Happy Friday Saturday! (woopsies...running just a tad behind tee-hee).

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cream-less Creamy Carrot Soup

Sometimes, things are not as they appear.  Through close observation and experimentation, we come to know the truth and even learn how to fudge our own little lies.

As children, we rudely discover that yellow snow is not, in fact, lemon sorbet.

At some point in middle school or high school, we lamentably learn that a D+ on an assignment is--oh, actually it is still a D.

As we apply to college, the tables turn.  Eighteen years of being duped was not for naught, my friends!  Remember that semester we went to debate team meetings once or twice as freshmen?  Through harmless equivocation, this becomes "Extensive training in leadership, rhetorical strategy, and discourse" on our applications.  Hello, First Choice School.

It's OK.  This soup lies too.  But, let's consider it a white lie.  

It's just a white bean lie.  

It's a very creamy, protein-laden, white bean lie.

Cream-less Creamy Carrot Soup
Inspired by shutterbean

Yields: about 4 cups


4 cups peeled and sliced carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (or dried ground sage)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 16 oz. can white beans (I used great northern beans)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water (plus additional water after cooking, see below)


Sauté carrots in olive oil in a large pot for about 10 minutes, stirring throughout.  Add spices and allow carrots to cook for an additional 10 minutes, until they become tender.  Continue to stir mixture occasionally to avoid burning.

Add beans and 1 cup of water to pot.  Bring soup to a boil, and then reduce to simmer.  Cook soup uncovered for about 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Soup will be ready for blending when carrots are soft and have started to break down.

Blend soup in batches in a blender, or allow soup to cool completely before blending all at once.  

Add 1 to 2 cups of water to soup while blending until soup reaches desired creaminess.  

 This soup tastes wonderful with a piece of crusty sour dough bread, or with a little sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Court's Clicks: 4/20/12

This friend sat with me during lunchtime last Monday.  OK, so maybe he just wanted another cracker.  It was a nice photo opportunity at any rate.  

On to the links!

I hope you'll excuse this possibly probably inappropriate transition, but, birds--eggs--eggs benedict--my favorite breakfast food of all time via The Pioneer Woman.

The sun is shining brightly again.  I wore shorts for the first time this year on Monday.  These easy-to-make Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches would make the transition into bathing-suit season less traumatic.  

Ever have trouble deciding what sweet your sweet tooth is actually craving?  Settle the dilemma with these Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting!

I will eat PB&J sandwiches for any meal, even dessert.  Why not make your dessert into a PB&J sandwich?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Croissant Cheeseburger Ring

This recipe comes from my first cookbook.

I bet you didn't know that I was a published cookbook author, did you?

Well, a lot of food bloggers are doing cookbooks nowadays.  I did things a little out of order, however.

You see, I co-authored my first cook book in the 6th grade--with 29 other eleven-year olds.  It was a class project.  We all contributed our favorite recipes.  There were six chocolate chip recipes.  Somebody wrote a recipe for PB&J tortillas sandwiches.

I typed up this recipe, a childhood favorite.  I drew illustrations for my page; a ketchup and mustard bottle, and little puff pastry triangles in the shape of a circle.

When my teacher distributed the final print copies of the cookbook to our class, my classmates flipped wildly through the book looking for their recipes (self-gratification of seeing one's name in print, guilty).  But when they looked through the rest of the recipes, I was proud when several took notice of mine.  "CHEESEBURGER ring?"  Sixth graders, after all.

Cheeseburgers.  Croissants.  Destruction of French cuisine avec le cheeseburger.  Je suis desolée.  I can only hope my 7 years of dedication to learning French can make amends for the fact that I still love this meal; refrigerated pastry dough, pasteurized cheese, ketchup and all.

Croissant Cheeseburger Ring

Adapted from The Pampered Chef recipe for "All-American Cheeseburger Ring"

Yield: 16 slices (Note: I usually make a half-recipe, but I included the full recipe below).


1/4 cup onion, chopped
3/4 pound ground turkey (ground beef, or soy crumbles work well too!)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons sandwich mustard
5 slices American cheese, folded into eighths
2 packages of refrigerated crescent rolls


Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.

Cook ground meat in a frying pan until no longer pink.  Drain pan, then add ketchup, mustard and cheese.  Stir mixture until cheese has melted.  Set aside.

On a stoneware baking sheet (or greased cookie sheet, checked throughout baking for over-browning of pastry), arrange crescent triangles in a ring with wide ends touching.  

Scoop meat mixture onto wide end of each crescent roll.  Pull tip of triangles over the top of the filling.  Tuck and pinch the top layer of dough under the wide end of the pastry.  It is OK for the filling to not be completely covered.  

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 deg. F., or until pastry is dark golden brown on top.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Court's Clicks: 4/13/12

Friday the 13th!  Eeeek!  It started scarily enough, anyway.

Today, I woke up to the sound of thunder (keep in mind that I was sleeping with earplugs).  At first I thought it was the garbage truck dropping the dumpster on my car or something.  Nope.  Just your usual irate weather.

That's OK, though.  I needed a little excitement because most of my week has looked like this:

Library time.  Lots of reading, and lots and lots of writing.  In two of my classes I have to write my autobiography (one in English and one in French--as if I can even understand my life in my native tongue bahahah).  Oh, and then I did some self-imposed autobiographical writing to boot.  

Rainy days make doing homework a bit easier, I suppose.  Of course, with homework comes procrastination, which means blog surfing.

I present the fruits of my labor:

If you are a LOTR geek like me (in which case you should need no explanation of the meaning of "LOTR") then don't hesitate to check out this cake!

I feel like I link to this blog practically every Friday, but the recipes look just too good not to do so.  Case in point: Dry Roasted Edamame with Cranberries.

Finally, another reason for joy: Joy the Baker's Ten (Super Rad) Blog Post Ideas.  I'm definitely planning to use some of these to spiff up the 'ol blog a little in the future.

Happy Friday!  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sweet and Salty Oatmeal Cookies

One of my earliest childhood memories:

The scent of cookies baking pulled me from the warm sheets of my toddler bed to the kitchen.  

A kiddie table figured at the center of the linoleum floor.  A thick patchwork quilt of green and white cotton dotted with pink flowers sat upon it as a makeshift table cloth.  

Seated at the table were a teddy bear, a blonde Cabbage Patch Kid, and a stuffed tiger missing an eye.

My pink plastic teacups were placed around the table, but the centerpiece of this grand party was a large plate of these Sweet and Salty Oatmeal Cookies.

After a kiss atop my head (never mind the unfortunate 90s hair-do--a feminine mullet), into my teacup Momma poured 2 parts milk, 1 part tea, and 1 part sugar.  

She moved to the oven to retrieve the second pan of cookies that had just finished baking.

Cookies for breakfast!  I think I can say with confidence that I have the best mom ever (for this, and many more reasons).

Before you shake your head in disdain, let me assure you, these cookies really aren't that unhealthy.  And even if they were, who cares?  It's not like I ate them for breakfast every morning as a child.  

I ate Lucky Charms too, tee-hee.

Salt on a cookie is like fairy dust.  It sparkles.  It works magic, making sweet cookie dough turn into cookies exploding with sweetness and crunch when baked.

Also, as a general rule, your stack of these crispy cookies should be at least as tall as your glass of milk.  Just a pro tip I though I'd share.

Sweet and Salty Oatmeal Cookies

Yields: about 42 cookies (I usually make a half recipe however--turns out fine)


1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups oats


Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.

In a large bowl, mix butter, shortening, sugar, egg, and vanilla.  

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and oats.  Mix dry ingredients into creamed mixture.

Roll dough into balls and using your lightly floured hands, pat dough to about 1/2" thick.  Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges start to brown and set.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Court's Clicks: 4/6/12

Here was the view from my kitchen window one morning this week. 

Bread on the roof.  Birds on the roof.  My favorite: bird arriving on the scene to eat bread, wings outstretched.  I imagine him singing for joy as he raises up his wings.  "Manna from heaven!"  Something like that.

Not too many links this week.  

School has started up again, and once more my free time has dwindled to the point where my fun consists of taking five minute breaks to play Words With Friends (too addicting) in-between writing my autobiography in French, practicing ballroom dance steps, and readingreadingreading(alwaysreading).

Here are a few links, however, that still managed to catch my eye.

Through blogging and having a "smartphone" I have already seen how the Internet and technology has become such a part of my life.  Watch this video from Google to see how it may also change our eyewear.  

As for good eats, this Pasta Fagioli Soup is not really a recent recipe but would still be the perfect accompaniment to a hunk of crusty bread, not unlike that over which the actors of my morning entertainment were fighting.

Happy (Good) Friday!

"Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.  When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” " Mark 15:37-39 NLT

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oven Roasted Teriyaki Tofu

I am nearing the close of my third year of college, and I only just cooked ramen for the first time.

I don't know how I've avoided this dorm room staple this long.  It wouldn't be enough to just plop the brick of noodles in a pot of boiling water.  No, this ramen has been fancified.  (P.S. I made that word up).

In the past, I've mentioned my dislike of slicing raw chicken.  It just feels wrong.  Tofu feels right.

When acting as the blank white canvas for a deep and rich paint of teriyaki sauce, tofu tastes right.

Some people say that when served plain, tofu tastes like nothing.  That's a pretty harsh judgment, in my opinion.  Sure, it soaks up pretty much anything you douse it with, but on its own tofu has a clean and subtly nutty flavor.  

Still, a little sweet teriyaki sauce can't hurt.

Some time in the oven and these lovely little bricks turn into something special.  Soft and succulent on the inside, with a nice crust on the outside.

Ramen may soon become a weekly staple for this college student after all (or at least present a nice alternative to the beloved PB&J).

Oven Roasted Teriyaki Tofu (Fancified Ramen)

Yields: 4 servings


1 package of extra firm tofu
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 packages of ramen noodles
1 bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
toasted sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.

Slice tofu into cubes or sticks (I made 2"x1" sticks).  Drain tofu on paper towels.  Use an additional paper towel to pat down top of tofu until sticks/cubes are still wet, but not dripping.

Using a brush, brush teriyaki sauce lightly over all sides of tofu cubes.  Transfer cubes to a pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Brush teriyaki sauce over the remaining "unpainted" side.

Bake in an oven at 400 deg. F. for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, turn tofu slices over and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare ramen noodles according to package but without seasoning packet.  Prepare vegetables according to package.

Top noodles and veggies with additional teriyaki sauce if desired, and tofu slices.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and salt.