As I've mentioned before, I'm a complete Pinterest addict. Being a visual person, it works for me on all kinds of levels. But with more than 7,000 pins on my boards, I thought it was time to start unearthing the treasures, not just sharing the pretty pictures or inspiration but actually making or doing the things I've pinned. How else do you determine if something really works or if a recipe is destined to become an heirloom? I'm not going to set a schedule to these posts because I'm terrible when it comes to rules and deadlines here. But when I've done a few things that I think are worth sharing, I'll post.
Recently, it's been all about food. There was a lot of holiday baking going on and now it's really cold, so comfort food seems in order. Any of the following recipes will provide just that, a little comfort.
Scandinavian Almond Cake
I made this Scandinavian Almond Cake from Outside Oslo more than a dozen times over the holidays. It's super easy and quick to make, perfect for giving, and sure to become a staple in our household, in every season. You can order the traditional almond cake pan from Amazon. I ordered this one and I've been really happy with it.
1. This version is slightly different than the traditional Scandinavian cake, with the butter being creamed instead of melted. I think this gave it a lighter, moist texture that was perfect.
2. This recipe also calls for an additional 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract over the original. I had a nice extract from my local Fresh Market and the 2 teaspoons in the recipe were perfect. But if I were making it with a more readily available extract, such as McCormick, I might go with the traditional 1 1/2 teaspoons and see if that's enough. Just comparing them by smell, the McCormick brand seems more bitter than the Fresh Market brand.
3. I knew this cake had a reputation for being very delicate and breaking if it was removed from the pan before it had completely cooled. However, I had absolutely no problems. I sprayed the pan with Pam Bakers spray (which I find works better than Baker's Joy), then lined the pan with toasted, ground almonds, as specified in the recipe. I let each cake cool for 30 minutes, then popped them out. It worked like a charm, not a crack to be found.
4. One note about this recipe - it leaves out the step for adding the dry ingredients. I just put the flour, baking powder, and salt (I use kosher salt) in a bowl and whisked to combine. Then I added the dry mixture to the wet batter and mixed it on medium speed until combined.
Rosemary Butter Cookies
Apparently I've had this recipe from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies since 2005, but I have to admit, it was this lovely photograph from Cupcakes and Cashmere that compelled me to make them. I am so, so glad I did! I made several batches of these over the holidays as well, and this recipe is a keeper.
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
After all of the holiday baking, I'm happy to spend less time in the kitchen for a little while, at least when it comes to the everyday stuff. This slow cooker Honey Garlic Chicken from Just a Taste takes minutes to prep and it's just as satisfying as it looks. The only note I have is that I needed to reduce the sauce more than 3 minutes. Otherwise, it would have been too thin to cling to the chicken the way it does in the photo. Good, happy food.
Stay warm, people. It's cooooold out there!