Spring has finally arrived!
I love this time of year and start looking for the signs of spring weeks before it officially begins. Checking the trees for little leaf buds, waiting for the daffodils to push their way out of the ground and watching the birds collect materials for their nests. That's actually what inspired this weeks recipe.
Months ago I was on the coast visiting my dad. My dad likes to shop so we usually spend part of our time snooping around the little stores that dot 101. We ended up in a cute little kitchen shop where I found an adorable bird cookie cutter. I have had it tucked away in my cabinet waiting for the perfect moment to use it, when I saw the birds hopping around with their beaks full of nesting material I knew the time had come.
The recipe is from a WWII edition cookbook and I imagine making these cookies when the cookbook was published was a real treat.
When I was finished mixing the dough it seemed very soft and since most rolled cookies have you chill the dough before you roll it, I put it in the fridge and waited. And waited. And waited. The dough remained soft even after chilling it overnight. It's roll-able but very soft, you will need plenty of flour to keep it from sticking.
Since the recipe calls for sprinkling the cookies with sugar I did part of them that way and then used the recipe below to decorate the remaining cookies. My mom used to sprinkle sugar cookies with Jello powder. They always came out brightly colored and very flavorful. I think its the only way to get really good grape flavored cookies, if you ever wanted to have grape flavored cookies.
The recipe just says to roll out the dough but doesn't give you a thickness. The picture above shows how thick I rolled the dough. I don't think it matters too much how thick you roll the dough as long as you adjust the cooking time. I baked my first pan for 10 minutes and it was too long. I ended up cooking the rest for 8 minutes but ended up with more than 30 cookies.
I love all the pictures on Instagram of incredibly detailed cookies and wish I had the patience for decorating all my cookies like works of art, but I don't. And as a mom, I also don't think I would be willing to spend that much time making beautiful paintings on something that will be eaten in 30 seconds. I think it's time to start sharing pictures of real, homemade cookies and put an end to cookie shaming.
Have a beautiful first weekend of spring and keep playing with your food.
As a kid my mom always tried to celebrate every holiday, St. Patrick's Day was one of the easiest. She would put up some shamrocks on the walls and dye our breakfast green. I still hang the shamrocks but I always try to be a little more authentic for the meals, although I have broken out the green food coloring once or twice. Among my collection of cookbooks I have plenty of Irish ones, but for this holiday I usually go with classics, Corned Beef and Cabbage or Irish Stew. This year I stuck with the Irish Stew. I love the simplicity of this recipe, and imagining my great-great-great-great grandmother back in Ireland stirring her pot of stew.
For fun here is some information on the history of St. Patrick and on the history of St. Patrick's Day.
Irish Stew with Dumplings
I love this recipe so I left it pretty much alone. The only change I made was I used almond milk in the Dumplings instead of milk. I am actually kind of surprised how well the dumplings came out. I have had some horrible disasters replacing milk with non-dairy substitutes(white sauce should not be made with rice milk). I have been allergic to milk my entire life and have gone through periods where my reactions were small and I could eat dairy and barely notice it, but I also have periods where I have horrible reactions, I am currently in a horrible reaction stage so I cant even touch dairy without reacting to it. Because of this I experiment with non-dairy options, sometimes they come out, sometimes they don't. This one was delicious.
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! And play with your food.
Good Morning! (I still have 8 minutes before I cant say that, stupid daylight savings time.) If you haven't gone a read my review for The Elimination Diet, you should, but the experience as a whole has been great, I will even use the term "life changing". I think my husband had the biggest eye opening moment when he found out his beloved coffee doesn't work for him. I use the term"life changing" because it changed the way we all see food. We now check every label, try to make even more stuff from scratch and pay more attention to how our bodies feel after we eat. Which for me makes the experience one I would recommend to everyone.
This is a quote from The Elimination Diet and it pretty much sums up how I have felt about food for a long time and have been slowly working towards. Convincing the rest of my family has been the difficult part, The Elimination Diet made it just a little bit easier.
Now that I am slowly finishing off the elimination diet process I have been really wanting to get back to retro. I am going to be changing how I do things a little bit, let me know what you think.
Home Front Macaroni
I decided, after playing with fruit juice and gelatin for a couple of days, to chose a simple, easy to alter, Betty Crocker classic(you cant go wrong with Betty Crocker).
Since we only recently started eating pork again I went with sausage over beef and my husband requested gluten-free pasta, those were the only changes we made.
If i decide to make this again, which I probably will, I will change one thing, dont add the full amount of salt. when the dish had finished simmering it was really salty. I think I would add about half and then add more if needed.
I have found in many older cookbooks the seasoning is usually a little off and this is no different, I'm not sure if there is a difference in salt between now and then but beware.
I decided to go with a vintage French Salad Dressing recipe from the same cookbook. I love making salad dressing now because you can make them to fit your mood.
French Dressing(American Version)
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar(I used tarragon)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine.
Have a great week! And remember to always play with your food.