Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's that time again...

If you have been reading the blog much, you know by now that Tuesdays I make something for Jeff to bring into the office for Wednesday Treat Day. This way we can get feedback on some of the new things we make from his co-workers. Today is no different.. so let's get goin'!

For this treat day, I wanted to go with something a little different so I choose Almond Toffee Bars. This bar cookie starts off with a crumbly almond flavored shortbread-like base. The cookie base is rich and buttery, but does not leave that greasy residue that sometimes happens. After baked until golden brown, a sweet caramel-like topping is made in a saucepan on the stove. The caramel is spread over the base and a sprinkling of raw almonds adorns the sweet concoction. The next part can be kind of tricky, because you really have to keep your eyes on it. To toast the almonds and set the caramel, the pan is set under the broiler for a very short time. The almonds take on a light color and are slowly surrounded by bubbling sugar. When cool, they can be easily cut into clean bars.

On we go to our veggie dinner - Smashed Potato and Broccoli Casserole. This kind of turned into a giant baked potato like dish. Potatoes are cooked until tender and then very coarsley mashed with some of the cooking liquid. Sour cream and Ricotta are blended in with some fresh dill to liven the potatoes up. This is a great way to get in some additional veggies; we used broccoli, but you could change this to cauliflower or the like. Gooey melted cheese tops this creamy dish with a bit of sharpness. To add some additional flavor and make it less vegetarian, I would mash the potatoes with warm chicken stock and add some crumbled crisp bacon. As is though, this is tasty comfort food.


  1. Oh yummy - there you go again with the casserole/strata/comfort food thing again. :)

  2. I LOVE toffee and I LOVE shortbread! What an explosive combination!

  3. I am a huge fan of any dishes with potato. Plus the description you wrote is just great so there it goes..another item to the list.

  4. Joe, the casserole looks great! Do you think it would work if assembled the day before and then baked?

    BTW, I love your blog! Great photos and vivid descriptions.

    Thanks for all your effort!

  5. Do other people bring treats as well, or just Jeff?

    p.s. where does Jeff work, so I can get a job there.

  6. Alysha - It's definitely been a comfort food week!

    Lori - They were so good! They went so fast at Jeff's office too...

    Valentina - I hope you get a chance to try it!

    EJ - I know what you mean!

    Pieces - I don't see why not, but I couldn't say for sure. It might take a bit longer since the spuds would be cold!

    EP - Not really, it's just something we started doing.. hee hee!