24 Nov 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Lofthouse-Style Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

If you're a fan of soft and cakey Lofthouse-style sugar cookies, then this is the recipe for you! Add a generous layer of frosting and some rainbow sprinkles, and these cookies are ready for a party.

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24 Nov 2020 10:00pm GMT

15 Vegetarian Dishes Everyone Will Love for Thanksgiving

These Thanksgiving dishes will leave both meat eaters and plant-based diners full and returning for seconds. Many of these vegetarian recipes can work as a side dish or a holiday hearty main meal.

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24 Nov 2020 3:00pm GMT

23 Nov 2020

feedSimply Recipes

English Toffee

Homemade English toffee! Top this crunchy, caramel toffee with dark chocolate and toasted nuts. It's so easy to make and keeps for weeks. Ships well, too!

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23 Nov 2020 10:00pm GMT

2020 Home Cook’s Holiday Gift Guide: Dreamy Ingredients

Sometimes it just takes one special ingredient to give your favorite cook a much-needed boost. A next-level soy sauce, delicious berry preserves, a fancy olive oil - they deserve to try out the good stuff!

Continue reading "2020 Home Cook's Holiday Gift Guide: Dreamy Ingredients" »

23 Nov 2020 3:30pm GMT

22 Nov 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Popovers

The best popovers are tender and soft inside with a thin crispy outside. Make them plain, savory, or sweet, and serve them with custard, jam, or butter. Make a batch now and freeze some for later to serve at your holiday table, alongside a Sunday roast, or for a light breakfast

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22 Nov 2020 3:00pm GMT

21 Nov 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Vegetable Gratin with Blue Cheese Sauce

Parsnips, carrots, and fennel are thinly sliced, then dressed in a decadent cream sauce infused with sweet and earthy blue cheese. Topped with chopped pecans and baked until golden and bubbly, this is your elegant holiday side dish.

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21 Nov 2020 3:00pm GMT

5 Simple Meals to Make the Week of Thanksgiving

This week's meal plan offers easy recipes like salmon foil packets and meaty grilled cheese for early in the week, an alternative to cooking a full bird on the big day, and a filling soup to use up leftover turkey just in case you went all out for Thanksgiving this year.

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21 Nov 2020 3:00pm GMT

20 Nov 2020

feedSimply Recipes

One Simply Terrific Thing: A Discount On Our Favorite Flour Sack Towels!

Flour sack dish towels are so versatile, and we love this holiday Gardener's Delight bundle from our favorite maker, Kei & Molly Textiles. Get 10% off today!

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20 Nov 2020 3:30pm GMT

5 Ways to Explore New Flavors and Spice Up Your Holiday

Wishing you could travel this holiday? Looking for ways to celebrate BIG this year even though your gathering may in fact be small? We've got you covered with our favorite ways to transport the senses, explore new flavors and treat yourself this holiday season!

Continue reading "5 Ways to Explore New Flavors and Spice Up Your Holiday" »

20 Nov 2020 3:00pm GMT

19 Nov 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This Thanksgiving, make a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert! This cheesecake has all the best parts of pumpkin pie (pumpkin! cinnamon! nutmeg!) combined with the creaminess of cheesecake. Top it with caramel sauce and whipped cream.

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19 Nov 2020 10:00pm GMT

What We Cook With: Our Favorite Brands of Flour

In every home baker's pantry is a bag (or three!) of flour. From King Arthur to Gold Medal for all-purpose, from White Lily self-rising flour to Bob's Red Mill for spelt and buckwheat, here are the flour brands we purchase again and again.

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19 Nov 2020 3:30pm GMT

5 Thanksgiving Recipes That’ll Steal the Show

Prepping this year's Thanksgiving recipes using parchment paper roasting bags ensures the juicy turkey and flavorful sides are cooked naturally to perfection. Extra bonus? Cleanup is a breeze and the mess is kept at bay. Happy holidays, indeed!

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19 Nov 2020 3:00pm GMT

18 Nov 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Cranberry Sauce

This homemade cranberry sauce is classic. Made from fresh or frozen cranberries and ready in 20 minutes, it's a must-have for Thanksgiving dinner. Easy to make-ahead, too!

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18 Nov 2020 10:00pm GMT

8 Ways to Virtually Share Thanksgiving With Your Family This Year

From gratitude letters to a long-distance pie decorating contest, here are eight ways to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family this year, even if you're not physically together.

Continue reading "8 Ways to Virtually Share Thanksgiving With Your Family This Year" »

18 Nov 2020 3:30pm GMT

5 Easy Make Ahead Lunches for Family Home for the Holidays

Looking for some easy lunch inspiration to make ahead for the holidays? From frittatas and salads to soups and sandwiches, we're rounding up our favorites sure to fuel you and the family through the busy days ahead.

Continue reading "5 Easy Make Ahead Lunches for Family Home for the Holidays" »

18 Nov 2020 3:00pm GMT

Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is easy to make and comes together in minutes. A rich sauce gets a flavor boost from Dijon mustard. Serve this simple vegetable side dish alongside roast chicken, steak, or pork loin.

Continue reading "Creamed Spinach" »

18 Nov 2020 3:00pm GMT

06 Nov 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

The Best 3-Ingredient Cookbook Review & Roasted Grapes and Yogurt Recipe




The Best 3-Ingredient Cookbook by Toby Amidor is a book a lot of people could use right now. If you are feeling like you can't face cooking anymore, don't know how to cook, have very little in your fridge or pantry or are cooking for fussy eaters, it solves the question: What should I eat? Eat, not cook, because some of the recipes don't even require using the oven or stove.

I don't remember exactly when I met Toby but we have been on several press trips together. She's a dietician, but also a home cook and I can attest she thoroughly enjoys eating. Her recipes are good reminders of what you can do with very little but also include some really ingenious things you probably haven't seen before. She has a 3 ingredient oatmeal raisin cookie and two-grain free pancake recipes, one for pumpkin oat pancakes and another for peanut butter banana pancakes.

The book has recipes that are for every meal including snacks and treats, and have codes to indicate things like whether they are freezer friendly, food for meal prep, one pot, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free. They also include scaled-down versions for fewer servings. The book includes tips for new cooks, cooking for two and cooking for students. The recipe I made from the book was Roasted Grapes and Yogurt made with vanilla Greek yogurt, grapes and honey, it was a hit.



Roasted Grapes and Yogurt
Slightly adapted from The Best 3-Ingredient Cookbook
2 servings

Ingredients

1 cups seedless red and green grapes
3 cups vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons liquid honey
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and when shimmering add the grapes. Heat for 2 minutes then transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove skillet from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Divide yogurt into two bowls. Drizzle each bowl with a teaspoon of honey and then add top each bowl with the grapes and any liquid.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of the cookbook and this post includes an affiliate link.

©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

06 Nov 2020 9:27pm GMT

30 Oct 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Pasta with Eggplant, Olives and Capers Recipe


Pasta with eggplant, olives and capers

October is both National Italian Heritage Month and National Pasta Month. In honor of both, I'm sharing a recipe for pasta with tomato-based sauce, and hosting a giveaway and post sponsored by TheGreatestTomatoesofEurope.

While nothing can beat a fresh ripe juicy tomato, for sauce, canned tomatoes might be even better because they are peeled and cook so quickly. When it comes to Italian style tomato sauces you'll see many recipes specify San Marzano tomatoes. The official name is actually Pomodoro San Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP, in English DOP means Protected Designation of Origin.

A lot of tomatoes are labeled San Marzano, but are not grown and harvested according to the strict requirements of the DOP. If you try to find information about them it can be a little confusing and frankly, many food publications seem to miss the point of why you should seek them out. From a cook's perspective, it's all about consistency. Open a can labeled Pomodoro San Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP and you will get a texture and flavor that ensures an excellent sauce. What you won't get are tomatoes that were picked by machine before they were ripe, that are yellow and tough on top with remnants of skin and seeds, packed in very watery liquid, and that taste either bland or acidic when cooked.


Left: conventional tomato and Right: San Marzano DOP tomato

The DOP designation means they meet Protected Designation of Origin certification, with strict geographical and production standards. They are a specific type of tomato with a distinctive bittersweet flavor and low acidity, they have few seeds and a long shape, and meaty texture because they have only two seed pockets. They are grown in the volcanic soil of the Sarno Valley that is high in potassium and phosphorus. San Marzano tomatoes are harvested 7-8 times or more only by hand from July to September, to ensure they are perfectly ripe and only after sunset. After harvest, the tomatoes are peeled, placed in cans, and are processed for 13 minutes.


Canned tomatoes imported from Europe are more expensive than other canned tomatoes you may find, but you are getting a product that is consistently high quality and will ensure a great sauce for your pasta, especially if you're making a Southern Italian style recipe, like mine for pasta with eggplant, olives, and capers. Head to @cookingwithamy for details on how to win a gift pack of European products, including the tomatoes Pomodoro San Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pasta, etc. Additionally, the winner gets to choose a family, frontline worker, charity, hospital, or person to also receive a gift pack!


Pasta with Eggplant, Olives, and Capers

8 servings


Ingredients


1 pound casarecce or similar pasta

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup green or black olives, pitted and sliced

1/4 cup capers

1 medium eggplant (or 1/2 large eggplant) about 12 ounces or 4 cups, diced

1 28 oz can Pomodoro San Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino

Pecorino, grated


Instructions


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle or spray with olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through but still holding its shape.


Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions and drain. Add the olive oil to a large skillet, sauté the garlic for one minute, add olives and capers and cook for another minute or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, mashing them with a wooden spoon, and simmer for 10 minutes or until thick and saucy. Add the eggplant and stir until well coated.


Toss the drained pasta with the sauce, serve with cheese.


Enjoy!

©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

30 Oct 2020 8:29pm GMT

19 Aug 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Lay's Supports Iconic Restaurants & You Should Too

I don't have to tell you that restaurants are suffering. In the beginning of the pandemic many launched GoFundMe style campaigns to try and stay afloat. Restaurants also keep pivoting from offering pantry staples to meal kits, cooking classes, take out, delivery and more to make up for the loss of their normal business.

Independent restaurants numbered 500,000 before the pandemic and employed over 11 million people according to the Independent Restaurant Coalition and some industry analysts believe 2/3 of restaurants will not survive the crisis in the US. Yelp data shows 26,160 restaurants have closed as of the end of July. Restaurants are pushing for a $120B Independent Restaurant Revitalization Fund. You can ask your representatives to support this initiative.


Since 2104 Lay's has offered limited edition "flavor icon" potato chips that honor classic dishes. In past years there's been Everything Bagel and Cream Cheese, Fried Green Tomato, and even Crispy Taco. This year they honor four restaurants and dishes, and in light of the pandemic, they are giving a $25,000 Gratitude Fund to each of the Flavor Icons restaurants to put towards the various relief efforts that will help them recover from the impact of the pandemic. The potato chips contain no artificial flavors.


I got a chance to try four flavors:

Wavy Carnitas Street Taco flavored inspired by El Torito

Notes of bacon, onion and corn, which is interesting in a potato chip. Good for dipping.

My favorite of all the flavors.


Kettle Cooked New York Style Pizza flavored inspired by Grimaldi's

I get a combination of tomato sauce and cheese.

They would go great with a grilled cheese sandwich.


Philly Cheesesteak flavored inspired by Geno's Steaks

Very beefy, umami notes not as much cheese flavor as I expected.

I would actually like to try these with or in a roast beef sandwich.


Nashville Hot Chicken flavored inspired by Partry Fowl

Spicy! Not very chicken-y though.

These will be popular with barbecue potato chip lovers.


So what's iconic where you live? If you can, support the restaurants you love, for many of them, it's now or never.


Disclaimer: My thanks to Lay's for providing samples for me to try.


©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

19 Aug 2020 10:28pm GMT

28 May 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Pandemic Provisions

Shopping for groceries has changed and it may be permanent. Restaurant suppliers have had to pivot to stay afloat. The good news is that they are now selling more to consumers than ever before and most say they plan to continue to do so. I wrote about this development over at Martha Stewart, but I thought I'd also share a few of the places where I've personally been shopping and that have been recommended to me. The benefits include better social distancing but also fresher food and support for farmers, fishers and ranchers.

I've also been buying dumplings, ramen, baked goods and taking cook-along classes at home, I'll share the details on those soon along with a list of where to find great takeout and delivery options.

Fresh produce
I often shop at the farmers market, but right now I am really enjoying the produce boxes from Tomatero Farm. They are only $20 and are delivered weekly around the San Francisco Bay Area. They include a wide variety of produce and sometimes a basket or two of their fantastic strawberries. I find one box is good for almost 2 weeks for my household of two. The box varies from week to week. This week the box had fennel, zucchini, curly kale, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, a small cauliflower and savoy cabbage and 2 baskets of strawberries. I've also purchased the strawberries by the flat ($30). The boxes often sell out, so get on their mailing list and order promptly!

Seafood & meat
I've ordered from both Four Star Seafood and Water2Table. They both offer a lot of incredibly fresh seafood, some of it local, and great prices and service. I've enjoyed fresh local salmon and black cod as well as excellent shrimp, mussels and monkfish. Water2Table is located on Pier 45 where a massive fire recently took place, but they hope to reopen soon. Four Star Seafood also offers meal kits, pantry items, meat and even foraged ingredients. They each have different minimums, and offer delivery or pick up and shipping for the rest of California, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Arizona. I have also heard good things about ABS Seafood, a top choice for sushi grade seafood. They are also located on Pier 45 so stay tuned for their reopening. One more seafood purveyor I haven't used but was recommended is TwoXSea.

Duck
I just got my first order from Liberty Ducks, a local company based in Sonoma who is now selling directly to consumers. I believe the minimum order is $50 and they deliver fairly widely. The frozen product is particularly economical. You may want to consider sharing an order with family, friends or neighbors. They also ship nationwide.

Grocery
There are lots of options for grocery delivery from restaurant suppliers, but the one that intrigues me the most is Cheetah. They have an app for ordering and have turned their trucks into mobile delivery locations around the Bay Area. You order, pay and then head to a convenient spot for pick up and there is no minimum purchase requirement so you don't have to order more than you need. Some items are fairly large, but others are not. Again, I'd recommend you consider ordering with others if the quantities don't work for you. If you're looking for other restaurant suppliers with broader distribution, take a look at my article at Martha Stewart for tips.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

28 May 2020 3:08pm GMT

12 May 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Dijon Mustard Black Cod with Cabbage & Potatoes

Black cod sheet pan supper
I know a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of cooking fish. A fillet of fish can sometimes fall apart when you cook it and because it's expensive you don't want to ruin it by undercooking or overcooking. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, it's hard to mess up black cod. This recipe is actually a sheet pan supper, which makes both the cooking and clean up particularly easy.

Black cod also known as gindara, sablefish or butterfish, is incredibly rich. The names are a bit confusing since it's not actually butterfish or a member of the cod family. Butterfish is the name used for a popular misoyaki style of cooking it, popularized by Chef Nobu. It's also popular smoked like salmon and is sometimes just referred to as sable. It is sustainable and caught along the Pacific coast from Baja up to Alaska.

Recently I discovered several recipes for black cod using Dijon mustard. When I think about Dijon mustard my mind goes to sausages, and the combination of cabbage, onions, apples and potatoes. If there was ever a fish as rich as a sausage, it's black cod. The key to the recipe is layering most of the ingredients in thin slices so they cook quickly and evenly.

Note: You can easily scale the recipe up or down but do not substitute cod for black cod. That would be a big mistake. They are not the same species and cannot be cooked the same way. Black cod has 30 grams of fat in a 151 gram portion, whereas Atlantic cod has 1.5 grams of fat in a 231 gram portion.

Dijon Mustard Black Cod with Cabbage & Potatoes

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons oil, divided
1 medium savoy cabbage
1 large yellow onion, peeled
1 Fuji apple
4 Yukon gold potatoes
4 filets black cod, about 4 ounces each
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt

Dijon vinaigrette
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Remove the core from the cabbage and slice into thick slices, about 1/3 inch. Thinly slice the onion, apple and potatoes, you do not need to peel the potatoes or apple.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Pour the oil into a small cup or ramekin and spread about half of it around with a pastry brush, until the paper is well coated. Layer on the sliced potatoes, season with a sprinkle of salt, then layer on the onions, the apple and finally the cabbage. Brush the cabbage with the remaining tablespoon of oil.

Roast for 25 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking make the vinaigrette by combining the Dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil with a pinch of sugar. Whisk together until emulsified and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Evenly coat the top of each filet of fish with a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Place on top of the cabbage and broil just until the fish is cooked through and cabbage is brown in spots, about 7-8 minutes. Divide the vegetables evenly on four plates, top with a piece of fish and drizzle each portion with a tablespoon of the vinaigrette.


Enjoy!

©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

12 May 2020 4:22pm GMT

22 Apr 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Caesar Salad Recipe

Just as there are phases of grief, I'm pretty sure there are phases when it comes to food cravings while sheltering in place. I have officially reached the salad phase. When I got back home from a short vacation in Hawaii we were eating a lot of Japanese food. I cooked ramen, gyudon (beef bowl), Japanese curry and Japanese hamburger steak. After that, I craved carbs and it was pasta, rice, grits, tortillas, pizza, potatoes day after day. Along with the carbs, I wanted cheese. After all, what's better than carbs and cheese? Maybe a Caesar salad.

I guess Caesar salad is a transition from the cheese phase (with some croutons for carbs) into the salad phase. Caesar salad is a favorite in my house, but I usually don't make the real original Caesar. I doctor some mayonnaise with Worcestershire sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano and call it a Caesar. But it's not a real Caesar.

A really good Caesar salad makes a fine main course and never needs the addition of chicken. It only takes a few ingredients, but using high quality ingredients and taking the care to make the dressing and the croutons from scratch are well worth the effort. The usual way to make the dressing is by slowly whisking the olive oil into the other ingredients, but I found using a stick blender is faster, easier and much more efficient. If you don't have one, you'll need to mash the garlic, blend it with pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and then the egg yolk and finally whisk in the olive oil, a little at a time, to fully incorporate it into a smooth emulsion.

Note: This dressing in this recipe makes enough for 4 main courses or 6-8 as a side salad. The salad dressing will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.

Caesar Salad
4-8 servings

Ingredients

2-3 slices of sourdough bread
Cooking spray
1 egg
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
4 medium hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped
White anchovies, optional
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, optional

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into cubes and place on a foil or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Lightly spray the cubes with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes or just until golden and crisp.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the egg and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the egg, and cool it under cold running water. Peel and separate the yolk and white. Place the egg yolk into a large beaker or wide mouth jar. Add the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, pepper and Parmigiano Reggiano. Use a stick blender to blend and emulsify the dressing.

Toss the lettuce and dressing and add croutons. Add white anchovies and or shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, if desired.


Enjoy!

©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

22 Apr 2020 5:18pm GMT

21 Apr 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Ginger Matcha Walnuts Recipe

Ginger Matcha Walnuts
I received free samples of California Walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Walnuts and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Everyone has their own way of coping during a crisis. For me, it's time spent in the kitchen and lately, coloring. Yes, I've taken up coloring. The title of my coloring book is Meditations on Tea. Doesn't that sound soothing? Of course, I need a snack to keep me going. And since the coloring book is tea themed, I figured my snack should be too. While the California Walnuts contest is all about how walnuts can work well in savory or sweet snacks, I tend to prefer a balance of both so I leave it up to you to decide which category it fits in.

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the hardest to perfect. This recipe was no exception to that rule. I tried roasting the nuts in a pan and in the oven with a bit of oil, but I found that the oily surface of the roasted nuts made the matcha look very unappetizing. I messed around with the recipe several times before settling on both the technique and the ingredients.

I use walnuts in baking quite frequently so I often have them on hand. I also use crystalized ginger in my granola so I usually have a stash of it. I was inspired to combine the two along with matcha tea powder. It's all pretty healthy stuff and the toasty nuts which are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3, sweet and spicy ginger and just a bit of bitterness from the matcha make a tasty snack you can actually feel good about eating. Not quite nirvana, but it will do.


Ginger Matcha Walnuts

Ingredients

1 cup California Walnuts
1/4 teaspoon matcha
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the walnuts on it. Roast for 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove and let cool. Sprinkle with the matcha and salt and add the diced ginger, gently toss until well combined.


Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

21 Apr 2020 11:12pm GMT

17 Apr 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Lavender London Fog Latte Recipe


My thanks to Sonoma Syrup for sponsoring this post. I only work with brands I personally use.


While it may sound like a drink from England's Victorian era, legend has it that the London Fog latte drink, Earl Grey tea flavored with vanilla and topped with foamy milk, was invented in the late 1990s at a Vancouver cafe for a customer who was pregnant and did not want to drink coffee. We may never know if the story is true, but it is a very popular drink on the West Coast and especially in and around Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia.

The origins of Earl Grey tea are also a bit mysterious. It is said to be named after Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey who was a British Prime Minister in 1830. Who came up with the blend and why remains a source of some debate but there are ads referencing Earl Grey tea from the 1880s. Earl Grey tea is a Chinese black tea flavored with bergamot, a type of sour orange that is very fragrant, and possibly a hybrid of lemon and bitter orange, it pairs quite nicely with lavender or vanilla. In fact, both are quite frequently blended into Earl Grey tea.

Earl Grey is one of those teas that is complemented by either lemon or milk. A bit of sugar also rounds out the tangy citrus notes. The foamy milk in the latte version is supposed to be reminiscent of fog, but someone I know who normally drinks tea with lemon likes milky tea on rainy days. I also like Earl Grey tea with milk on cold days, it's invigorating and adds a bit of brightness and the latte version feels particularly cozy. For my version of a London Fog, I use lavender rather than vanilla. It enhances the fragrance and floral qualities. But you could try it with vanilla syrup if you prefer or maybe a bit of both! This drink is very good with shortbread cookies or scones.

Lavender London Fog Latte
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 Earl Grey tea bag
1/2 cup boiling hot water
1/2-1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Lavender Infused Simple Syrup, or to taste
1/2 cup milk
Culinary lavender, optional

Instructions

Bring water to a boil and place a tea bag into a cup. Pour the hot water over the tea bag and let it steep for 3 minutes and then add the syrup and stir. In a small saucepan or in a mug in the microwave, gently heat the milk until hot and use a milk frother or whip it in the blender until very foamy. Pour the foamy milk into the tea. Garnish with the tiniest pinch of crushed lavender if desired.

Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

17 Apr 2020 1:54am GMT

03 Apr 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Angkor Cambodian Sauces


For many years I've been wanting to write a cookbook about how to cook with condiments and sauces. I have a refrigerator and pantry filled with all kinds of ingredients from everyday ones like ketchup and miso to more unusual ones such as pomegranate molasses and preserved lemon paste. My Asian sauce collection is massive and I don't just use Asian condiments in Asian recipes but in all kinds of things. Which brings me to Angkor, a line of Cambodian ingredients.

A couple of years ago I met Channy and Kent Laux at the Winter Fancy Food Show. I was blown away by their first product, lemongrass paste which also includes garlic, jalapeno, onion, fish sauce (there's a vegan version as well), galangal and makrut lime, and couldn't wait to experiment with it. It's herbal and tangy with funky notes from fish sauce. Channy has shared a number of traditional Cambodian recipes on the site Angkor Chef but I knew the sauces would work in so many non-Cambodian dishes as well. Earlier this year I took some samples into the kitchen and began experimenting. Many of my recipes are now up on the Angkor Chef blog. This was not a paid project, I was just so enthusiastic about the products I really want to see them succeed and help to demonstrate how versatile the products are.

If you're looking to add new flavors to your favorite recipes, the Angkor line of sauces is really great. Here are some of the sauces and links to the recipes I created that use them:
1. Lemongrass Paste
This pungent, herbal and funky paste complements artichokes beautifully. I used some in both the steaming liquid and blended with mayonnaise and Greek yogurt for a dip. I also used it as a marinade for shrimp to use with tacos. It's great with any kind of seafood.
chrouk metae deviled eggs and macaroni and cheese
2. Chrouk Metae - Cambodian Hot Sauce
A spicy hot sauce, but thick and very fresh tasting, not overwhelmed by too much vinegar it also has a hint of garlic. I used this in both macaroni and cheese and in place of mustard with deviled eggs.
tuk meric eggplant salad and meatballs
3. Tuk Meric - Kampot Pepper Sauce
I am crazy about this sauce, it's traditionally used with fried foods and hard-boiled eggs. It is peppery but also has lime juice and sea salt. I used it in meatballs and it quickly became a favorite. I also used it to season a salad of grilled eggplant, tomatoes and green onions.
Tamarind sauce three bean salad
4. Tamarind Sauce
The tamarind sauce is for Cambodian wraps and spring rolls, but it is really a perfect dressing for salads. It has extra virgin olive oil, dried shallots, garlic, and chili as well as some fish extract. I loved it on a three-bean salad.

All of the products are available online, check their website for special offers.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated monetarily for this post, I did receive samples of the products.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

03 Apr 2020 8:57pm GMT

06 Mar 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Mint Matcha Latte Recipe


Mint Matcha Latte Recipe

My thanks to Sonoma Syrup for sponsoring this post. I only work with brands I personally use.

Growing up I loved pistachio ice cream, green marzipan covered princess cake, and shamrock shakes from you-know-where. Yes, green was my favorite color. I'm not sure I would have liked matcha as a child, but I certainly like it now. I usually make matcha with just water, but for St. Patrick's Day I created a minty green matcha drink as a treat.

Matcha is a Japanese green tea, ground into a powder. You can easily find matcha powder suitable for recipes at the supermarket nowadays. Matcha can be used in cookies, ice cream, cakes and more. It has a lot of health benefits including antioxidants and is reported to help protect the liver, boost brain function, may help prevent cancer and even support weight loss. In many recipes matcha is combined with milk, if you combine it with cow's milk the calcium counteracts the absorption of many of the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. Some non-dairy milk also has calcium added. But if you're not drinking it for health reasons it's fine to use any milk you like.

The flavor of matcha is usually pretty subtle in recipes, so I like combining it with other complementary flavors. Sonoma Syrup Peppermint Simple Syrup adds both sweetness and the hint of mint flavor that makes this drink so special. I particularly like using coconut milk in this recipe because while it doesn't have any real coconut flavor, it does add richness. This drink is intended to be served hot, but I tried it cold and it's good that way too!

Mint Matcha Latte
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 serving matcha powder, about a teaspoon
2-3 Tablespoons hot water
1 cup coconut milk (or other milk of your choice)
1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Peppermint Simple Syrup, or more to taste

Instructions

Heat the coconut milk until hot but not boiling. Meanwhile, in a mug whisk together the matcha powder and hot water until smooth. Add the hot milk and simple syrup. Whisk to combine and serve immediately

Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

06 Mar 2020 3:45pm GMT

03 Mar 2020

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Emma's Famous Beet Borscht Recipe


Emma's Famous Beet Borscht


There are a few dishes that I grew up eating that are my soul food. High on my list is borscht, a beet soup from Eastern Europe. I like it hot, I like it cold. I like it thin, I like it thick. I like it with beef, I like it vegetarian. And I particularly like it with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. The beets somehow transform mundane carrots, onions, and potatoes into something sweet, juicy and scrumptious.

I used to make borscht from a recipe from The Victory Garden Cookbook. It's a great recipe from a really great cookbook, but it is incredibly involved and time-consuming. To the rescue comes my friend, Emma. Emma is a colleague of mine so I get to see her fairly frequently at events around town. She is in some ways a bit like me - she is curious, has a great appetite, is interested in art and strongly opinionated. We don't always agree about everything but I am guaranteed a good conversation with Emma and I truly enjoy her company. Recently on a long drive together I learned about her life in Kiev and her story of coming to America.

So it should come as no surprise that Emma has a good recipe for borscht. The most common variety of borscht is from Ukraine. It's not just good, according to Emma, it's famous. She tells me I'll love it so much, I'll soon be making it once a week, just like she does. While it's not exactly a quick recipe, a big pot can be made in just about an hour. I used a bit more liquid than she did, adjust the liquid as you see fit. A few things to note, I peeled the potatoes but did not peel the beets or carrots. I also added water in addition to broth, and used at least a teaspoon of Kosher salt to season it.

Emma's Famous Beet Borscht Recipe
Makes about 6 servings
This recipe is adapted from Emma Krasov of Art and Entertain Me

Ingredients

1 32 ounce box chicken stock or broth
2-3 cups water
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2-3 red medium beets, scrubbed, tops and bottoms trimmed
1 medium green cabbage
1 large potato, peeled and diced
Fresh dill
2-3 Tablespoons of tomato paste
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Sour cream

Instructions

Heat the broth and water in a large soup pot. When it comes to a boil add the onion, carrots and beets. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the diced potato and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the beets with a slotted spoon and let them cool. Add shredded cabbage. Cook for 10-15 min. until soft but not mushy. Add the tomato paste and stir until it dissolves. Meanwhile, grate cooled beets on a big-hole grater. Sprinkle with lemon juice and add to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat for a couple of minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning again as necessary. At this point, Emma says you can add paprika, cayenne, more lemon juice, any herbs, but in small portions, to taste. Turn off heat, stir in chopped fresh dill. Serve hot, and garnish with sour cream. Keeps well for a week.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This post includes an Amazon affiliate link.

©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

03 Mar 2020 9:34pm GMT

19 Jan 2020

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Masala Chai Recipe

My thanks to Sonoma Syrup for sponsoring this post. I only work with brands that I personally believe in and use.
Hot, creamy, spiced, black tea is called masala chai in India. In Hindi chai means tea and masala means a mixture of ground spices. But in the US we often refer to masala chai as chai tea or chai tea latte. During Winter I crave masala chai. I first tried it in an Indian restaurant. It was rich with milk and very, very sweet, then in college, I discovered the pleasure of making it myself. I got the recipe long before the internet, from someone I met at a party. Calling it a recipe might be a stretch, it's more like general guidelines.

Funny that tea is not even mentioned in the recipe! But that ancient scrap of paper is the basis for my recipe, which is a combination of strong black tea and milk, flavored with cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and fresh ginger. I've tried many commercial versions of chai, but they often use flavorings or ground spices rather than crushed whole spices and I like mine much better. I find the chai at most Indian restaurants to be too sweet. Making it at home, I used to use white sugar, but Sonoma Syrup White Ginger, Pumpkin Spice or Vanilla infused simple syrups are even better because they add another layer of flavor.

There's no right or wrong way to make chai. You will see some recipes that use whole spices or grind them completely, some simmer the tea bags with the spices and some simmer the tea, the spices, and milk. The best thing about making masala chai at home is that you can adjust the technique and the spices to your liking, something you can't do with chai mixes, tea bags or concentrates. Just as I adapted the recipe I was given, you should do the same, experiment with different spices or different proportions to make it truly yours.

Masala Chai
Makes 2-3 servings

Ingredients

4 cardamom pods
4 black peppercorns
3 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
2 thick slices fresh ginger
2 cups water
2 tea bags of strong black tea or 1 Tablespoon loose black tea
1 cup milk, or more to taste (dairy or non-dairy, I use 1% dairy milk)
Sweetener-white sugar, Sonoma Syrup Pumpkin Spice, White Ginger or Vanilla infused syrup to taste

Instructions

Crush the cardamom, black pepper, clove and cinnamon and bash the ginger slices, but do not grind any of it completely. In a pot combine the water and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer over low heat, covered for 10 minutes. Add the tea and turn off the heat. Cover again and let steep for 5 minutes then add the milk. Strain and add sweetener to taste.

Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

19 Jan 2020 1:14am GMT

17 Jan 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Half The Sugar All The Love Cookbook Review


Sugar has been in the news lately and it hasn't been sweet. While it isn't a surprise to learn that too much sugar is bad for your health, it is a bit surprising to learn just how addictive and pervasive sugar is. In Make 2020 The Year of Less Sugar, a story that ran in the New York Times just a few weeks ago I learned that sugar lurks in 70% of packaged food, the many health risks associated with too much sugar as well as the "addictive nature of the fructose in processed foods and beverages."

The article recommends taking a 7-day break from added sugar, and then adding it back in but carefully. The New York Times also published a "7 Day Sugar Challenge" but if you're really serious about cutting the sugar, check out Half The Sugar All The Love, a new cookbook by Jennifer Tyler Lee, a healthy food advocate and Anisha Patel, an MD and Stanford professor who researches children's health. The book definitely slants toward families, but even a household without kids like mine will find the recipes appealing. I made the Double Chocolate Brownies, twice (!) and the Creamy Tomato Soup. I already had recipes I like for both of these things so it made for interesting comparisons.

The brownies are grain and gluten free, and have only 1/4 cup of maple syrup to sweeten them! The recipe uses almond butter and sweet potatoes and is fairly low in saturated fat. They are rich, not terribly sweet and very tender, but not caky. But my favorite recipe is actually the tomato soup which is incredibly smooth and well balanced without added sugar, but with a couple of carrots to lend sweetness to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Some of the recipes are truly a marvel, each one shows how much sugar is in it, and what the typical amount of sugar is. Some recipes have 1/4 or 1/2 the usual sugar but others have as little as 1/10th the sugar. I'm looking forward to trying the Cold Sesame Noodles, the Caramelized Pumpkin Bread, Pineapple Teriyaki Salmon Burgers, and the Maple Roasted Almonds.

I received an extra review copy of this book, so I'm going to give it away to one lucky reader!
Just follow Cooking with Amy on Instagram, like the brownies post, and leave a comment tagging someone you think would like the recipe to enter.

*Must be 18+ years and have a US address to win. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted directly. If the winner does not reply within 24 hours, a second winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram. The contest will end on 1/23/20

Disclaimer: This book was provided for me as a review copy. I was not paid to write this post but it does include an affiliate link.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

17 Jan 2020 4:45am GMT

30 Dec 2019

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White Ginger Turmeric Latte Recipe

Disclaimer: My thanks to Sonoma Syrup for sponsoring this post. I only work with brands that I personally use and want to share with my readers

I love the tingle and zing of ginger, especially fresh ginger, but lately, I've been using Sonoma Syrup White Ginger Infused simple syrup to add a bit of spice and warmth to Winter recipes. Just this past week I used it in both applesauce and turmeric latte or golden milk. Instead of using sugar in applesauce, I added 1/4 cup of the white ginger infused simple syrup to 8 peeled and diced apples and the juice of one lemon. This was a change from the usual cinnamon, and it was particularly good on potato pancakes.

I'm a bit of a latecomer to the pleasures of "haldi doodh" also known as turmeric latte or golden milk. A traditional drink in India, it is purported to have all kinds of health benefits including everything from warding off colds to curing acne to supporting weight loss. I can only speak to one benefit, which is aiding in sleep. Growing up I drank warm milk on nights I couldn't sleep. It might have been the power of suggestion, but I still associate warm milk with sleep. Turmeric latte is a soothing, relaxing and warming beverage, and my version is enhanced with the addition to ginger and black pepper.

Turmeric latte is a very flexible recipe. A pinch of black pepper and a bit of ginger both supposedly enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric but also complement the flavor of turmeric and milk. While adding sweeteners is not traditional in golden milk, it is used in a lot of contemporary recipes. Some recipes use maple syrup or honey to sweeten golden milk, but white ginger infused simple syrup is particularly good. Be sure to use really fresh turmeric powder in this drink, if you use between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon per serving it won't be gritty or require straining but it will be golden.

White Ginger Turmeric Latte
makes 2 servings

2 cups of milk, dairy or non-dairy
1/2-1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2-1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup white ginger syrup
Pinch black pepper

In a small saucepan combine the milk, turmeric, syrup and pepper. Heat over medium heat and whisk until frothy. When hot remove from the stove and taste. Adjust the amount of turmeric and syrup to your liking.


Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

30 Dec 2019 11:31pm GMT

23 Dec 2019

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated Review

Joy of Cooking was one of the first cookbooks in my collection. It's been a solid reference book for home cooks since it was first published in 1936 and was the cookbook I turned to when I was learning to cook. I turned to Joy to learn how to make biscuits, cobblers, pie crust, gingerbread, how long to roast a chicken or leg of lamb, and the general guidelines for everything from how long to steam an artichoke to how to make zucchini bread.

As my cookbook collection has grown and my cooking has become more adventurous, I stopped referring to Joy of Cooking which felt a little old fashioned, and a little too Midwestern. But the latest version has brought me back into the fold and here's why. The most recent version was updated by John Becker, the great-grandson of the original author Irma Rombauer and his wife Megan Scott. They live in Portland, Oregon, and the book now has more of a West Coast flavor than ever before- which is evident in recipes for things like poke and cioppino. They are young and adventurous and have thankfully dispensed with recipes that relied on things like Jell-o and canned soup while incorporating a very wide range of international spices and condiments so you'll find explanations of things like koji, amba and gochujang. The book has sections on canning, fermenting and even how to infuse vodka.


Recently I wanted to make kimchi but having never made it before I found the recipe in Joy of Cooking was perfect for a beginner. The book has caught up to where I am in my cooking and culinary explorations while still being a solid pick for the basics. Even if you already have a copy (or more than one) of Joy of Cooking, I recommend checking out the new one. There are 600 new recipes and it feels fresh and modern while preserving everything cooks appreciate about the book, especially the intertwining of ingredients and instructions and an approachable personality. Becker and Scott have done Irma Rombauer proud.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of Joy of Cooking. I was not compensated monetarily to write this review. This page includes affiliate links.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

23 Dec 2019 5:04pm GMT

12 Dec 2019

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Pantry Pasta Pomodorini Recipe

Pantry Pasta Pomodorini Recipe
I'm a big believer in a well-stocked pantry. I could probably cook everyday for a month without shopping thanks to my pantry full of beans, pasta, rice, condiments, jars of anchovies, cans of tuna, along with fresh onions, garlic and potatoes. I also have tomato paste, canned whole, diced, fire-roasted tomatoes and cherry tomatoes from Italy. I believe you can never have too many cans of tomatoes or too much pasta. No one will ever go hungry in my house.

There are probably a million things you could make from pantry staples, but pasta with tomato sauce has got to be one of the most comforting. This pasta recipe uses cannelini beans so it's kind of a mash up of pasta fagioli soup and pasta pomodoro. The beans add creaminess and starch to the pasta and also protein. If you haven't ever tried using canned cherry tomatoes, you really should. They have a flavor and texture that you won't get from regular canned tomatoes and they are perfect for a quick pasta sauce.

Pomodorini is the Italian word for cherry tomatoes. Another name for them is ciliegini. You won't find domestic canned cherry tomatoes, they are something uniquely Italian and have to be hand-harvested. They come packed in a sauce that is close to a puree of tomatoes. In addition to sauce, you could use them in place of fresh tomatoes with fresh cheeses like feta, ricotta or mozzarella, bake them on a pizza, use them with things that cook quickly like fish or seafood, or add them to chunky stews or casserole dishes. They are sweeter than other canned tomatoes and the skin helps them to hold their shape which giving them a sweet pop to recipes.


Pantry Pasta Pomodorini
Makes 2-4 servings

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 14 ounces can cherry tomatoes, "pomodorini"
1 15 ounces can cannelini beans, rinsed
3 cups ruffled pasta, I used sagne a pezzi but fiorelli, campanelli or even radiatore would work
Salt to taste
Grated cheese, such as Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, optional

Heat a medium skillet and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes, then add the beans and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. When cooked, use a slotted spoon or mesh strainer to transfer the pasta to the sauce. Add one ladle of pasta water and simmer for another 3 minutes. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and season to taste with salt and top with grated cheese if desired.


Enjoy!

Disclaimer: My thanks to Greatest Tomatoes of Europe for providing me with samples of pasta and tomatoes.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

12 Dec 2019 5:30pm GMT