Tag Archives: dessert

4 Ingredients 4 Dessert

Shortbread&StrawberriesA special edition!  We’ll be posting a new blog next Sunday.  But we had to share this recipe TODAY.  It’s that simple and delicious.

We’re in the midst of a little kitchen re-do and have been frantically figuring out how to live for a couple of weeks with little access to life’s essentials (i.e., food).  Plus, we’ve had a few good friends who are bucking the system (we have lots of “Bucks” in our lives, including the real buck who tried eating plants in our front yard at 5 this morning) – and they have suggested that even our simple recipes at biglittlemeals.com are not simple enough.

Well, here you go: the simplest, most d-lish sweet we’ve fixed in a long time.  Instead of clearing out our kitchen drawers this morning, prior to the contractor coming tomorrow a.m., I opted to make this shortbread.  It took me all of 5 minutes to get it made and in the oven!  And strawberries are in season (at least in California).  Nothing could be a more perfect match.  The shortbread is addictive; what more can I say.

All the credit goes to Melissa Clark from the NYTimes.  She’s one of our absolute favs in regards to recipes.

And go Warriors.  And have a great week.

Super Simple Shortbread

  • Servings: 24
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Ingredients

  • 2 c flour
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup), cut into 1″ chunks

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  In a food processor blend the flour, sugar, and salt.  Add the chunks of butter and pulse until the mixture just barely starts to come together.  It will be crumbly.  Be careful not to over-process.

Press the dough into an ungreased 8″x 8″ pan or 9″ pie pan and then prick it all over with a fork.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the edges are golden but the rest is still pale.  Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.  Cut into squares while the shortbread is still warm.

See the NY Times article by Clark for lots of fun additions/changes you can make.

Recipe brought to you by Andy and Ann and Big Little Meals

“Borta Bra Men Hemma Bäst”

Silas&MiaJapaneseRestaurant

Izakaya Amu  in Boulder, Colorado

  • “Borta bra men hemma bäst,” said my Swedish grandparents: Away is good but home is best (and get your mind out of the gutter, if you’re giggling about “bra men! :).
  • Lots of fun restaurant-eating with teens, tween, and extended family went on this past week.  But we’re all glad to be home.
  • Be sure to read Andy’s advice to Raggedy Ann: Tidy vs Messy in Lagniappe.
  • And in Food for Thought – will salt help me lose weight????? Geez, I wish.

We’re back from our “Go for the Gold” family vacation in Colorado (Ft Collins and Boulder) and are delighted to be back to home-cooked meals. After arriving in Glen Ellen late Thursday evening – after a long day of travel – we pulled out some frozen Baked Penne and Sausage Pasta, popped it in the microwave (though the oven would have been better yet) and soon sat down to a leisurely, simple, and delicious dinner – with a glass of A&D pinot noir from the Napa Valley (we are seldom traitors to Sonoma wines, but the A&D was too tempting to pass up).

We’ve had 6 days and 6 nights of restaurant food, which is unusual for us. We normally do AirBnB kinds of stays and cook even when we’re on holiday. And as much as we love Colorado, we have to say that fabulous dining experiences were not the norm.

But there are some definite highlights in case you’re in the area. In Ft Collins: a “Havana Daydreaming” Cuban breakfast sandwich at Snooze on Mountain Ave, a Lavender Sour cocktail with ginger cognac and house-crafted lavender sour at Social in Old Town Square (I’d like another one right now!). In Boulder: Japanese sashimi and yakimono at Izakaya Amu near the Pearl St Mall,  warm wood-fired Montreal-style bagels from Woodgrain Bagels on Arapahoe, and our NYC son says you must try the Coleslaw Salad w/Peanuts from Eureka.

We didn’t ignore sweets either.  I’m a huge fan of little local bakeries – if their treats are buttery/yeasty/not too sweet/delicious. The Little Bird Bakeshop in Ft Collins had a to-die-for Bostock –orange-soaked brioche with almond cream.  And back home in Sonoma our fabulous little Sonoma Crisp Bakeshop has yummy almond croissants and perfect morning buns. I’ve attempted making both croissants and morning buns and don’t recommend it – unless it’s for a really REALLY special occasion. BUT, using the recipe we’ve provided below,  you can have a brioche bread pudding ready to bake in just a few minutes.  Just purchase a loaf of already-made brioche at your market.

Here’s today’s quiz (you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the classroom out of the teacher!). What do all of those foods from restaurants and bakeries have in common? Well, they are either too complex or too time-consuming for most of us to do at home (well, I do make a mean and easy coleslaw!). And that’s what made those eating-out experiences special: we would not cook them at home. Most of the other meals we had in restaurants paled in comparison to our simple homemade dinner Thursday night. Big Little (easy, tasty) Meals. Go for it. Continue reading

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies

Brownie_icecream

 

If you haven’t already discovered this recipe, let me introduce you to the simplest, tastiest, fastest brownies ever.  Remember how I said I miss Ladies Home Journal?  Well this recipe first appeared in that magazine – in 1975.  I’ve tweaked it just a touch.

Katharine Hepburn's Brownies

  • Servings: 16 squares
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Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ c flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 c walnuts, chopped (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter an 8″ square pan. Melt the butter and the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir in the sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the flour and the salt and the walnuts, if you are using them.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Cool on a rack, then cut into 16 -20 squares.  The brownies will keep well-covered for several days and will freeze well.

Recipe provided by Big Little Meals and Andy and Ann

 

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