Thursday, November 17, 2005

Back in the kitchen...

I made quite a few things today to try and get caught up from not being able to use the kitchen much the past couple of days. Since Wednesday Treat day was pushed to Friday, this morning I got some made so the co-workers will give Jeff a reprieve.

Let's start off with Key Lime Coconut Snowballs. These are a quick no-bake item that has great key lime flavor. If you can't find key limes, by all means use regular limes - I do think the small ones give a little more acidity and cut the sweetness better. I have not been thrilled with bottled key lime juice so again I would just squeeze the persian limes. *Note to self... must buy a small citrus reamer for stuff like this! The soft sweet balls, rolled in desiccated (unsweetend) coconut, are pretty balanced in flavor. I used Trader Joes thick graham crackers which I find have a better flavor than regular crackers. The texture is almost like cookie dough.

I mentioned I picked up the Martha Christmas Cookie magazine a couple weeks ago and this is the first (of many I'm sure) cookie I made. Cashew Caramel Cookies turned out to be such an awesome cookie. Making fresh cashew butter was key to impart such a rich flavor. Even after using more than half of the cashews for the butter, there is a generous amount of remaining bits in each cookie. The cookies are not crispy or soft, but they are a firm chewy cookie. Adding a soft caramel drizzle puts these over the top.

The caramel does set a little, but does not get hard so you have to store them in a single layer at room temperature. If you are going to freeze these - do them on the cookie sheet and when frozen you can stack them between wax/parchment paper. Definite repeater.

So let's head on to dinner! Tonight's dish of Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Crisp Bacon was a fun way to get some veggies in. Although it does end up using quite a lot of dishes and is a little time consuming, I think it was worth it. I did have to tweak it here and there, but overall it is pretty solid. The sauce was a little thin even after my changes but the pasta did soak up quite a lot after sitting a few minutes. The bacon adds richness while the parmesan lends a nice bite. Jeff does not usually care all that much for brussel sprouts but he gave this one a thumbs up!


  1. The cashew caramel cookies are on my to try list. The lime coconut cookies seem similar to some orange ones I've made since I was a child. Yum.

    Question: How do you make your recipes links as seperate pages,without the recipe pages themselves showing up on your front page? Does that make sense?

  2. I have that cashew cookie recipe in my recipe notebook, was just looking at it today... might have to give it a try!

  3. As soon as I saw Martha's Holiday Cookie Magazine on the shelves I snapped it up.

    The cookies look "wicked!"

  4. JJ - I will send you a note to explain how I do it! Thanks!

    Michele - Try it! They are so good!

    Cookie Jill - I picked it up and put it down a couple times while I was browsing in the store but ended up just getting it. Worth it for this cookie alone :)

  5. I have that magazine... and along with the other 5 or 6 books... I am coming up with my list of cookies this Christmas... it is a new thing for me but sounds like a lot of fun to do. The one I am dying to make from the MS mag is the lime meltaways... I have lemons and oranges too... I want to try a few different flavors. It sounds so fun! Keep trying the recipies out so I know what ones are good ;)

  6. Joe, the cashew cookies look great! And I love cashews! I saw the magazine in the store and thought it was very nice but ended up not getting it, now I am definitely considering buying!
    Glad to see a review for the lime balls, I saw that one on the magazine and was curious to know how they would be like (texturewise), thanks for the review!

  7. Hey I saw this recipe for the Penne with brussel sprouts in CL and was planning to make it. I'll probably "unlighten" it a bit. I did think it looked delish in the magazine, so I was glad to see that you liked it.

  8. Chole - I have the meltaways noted as well to make! Let me know if you try them first!

    Ana - Thanks! Get it - I really think it's worth every penny!

    Kalyn - Yep! Just watch the sauce as it is quite thin if you follow it from the magazine version.

  9. The Brussels Sprout Penne sounds like a good idea for tonight. :-) The photos lovely with the grated cheese.

  10. Joe--You are obviously reading the same issue of Cooking Light I am, as I also made the brussels sprouts pasta (also found the sauce quite thin--I think making a roux would work better than their method) and marked the key lime snowballs for later. The cashew cookies look great! Was just dreaming of chicken and dumplings earlier this week...

  11. Pearl - Thanks!

    Lisa - This issue was quite good! Good idea with the roux too! Thanks