Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Giddy's Got the Cookies!

Sigh! Will this winter never end? H and I have always loved the winter months, but this constant onslaught of nor'easters and bitterly cold weather is beginning to wear very thin.

So, what's a housebound gnome to do? Can't get my fingers dirty in the garden yet, so why not play with something chocolate to pretend they are covered in warm, wonderful garden soil.

As you may have noticed in many previous posts, I am a huge fan of Zoe Francois' baking. Her blog, Zoe Bakes is wealth of yummy recipes, helpful hints and makes great reading on a long, snowy day. The other day, she had a recipe for Chocolate Ginger and Grapefruit Biscotti. Perfect! H is of Italian heritage and I love chocolate, ergo, a great combination!

OK, I rooted through the pantry and unfortunately, I did not have crystallized ginger and no candied grapefruit. However, I did have a knob of fresh ginger in the fridge and some dried apricots in the pantry. Perfect!

First, I peeled and diced the fresh ginger, added it to a saucepan with 2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar and simmered it until the ginger was soft and the water had all evaporated, leaving a nice, sweet coating on the ginger. I let it cool while I added the rest of the ingredients, substituting diced dried apricots for the candied grapefruit. (see recipe on Zoe's blog).

After shaping the dough into two logs and placing on a parchment paper lined half sheet, I baked them for 35 minutes.....

I let the logs cool for about 1/2 hour and then, with a serrated knife, sliced them and returned the slices to the baking sheet, popped them back into the oven for 15 minutes, turned them over and baked them for an additional 15 minutes.

The resulting biscotti were deeeelicious dunked in a nice morning caffe latte or better yet, a nice glass of wine for a late afternoon break!

Next, H was determined to brave the cold and grill hamburgers. Would I please make some hamburger buns, he asked? No problem, says I.

I think I have this recipe just about down to how I like it. The trick is to make a very loose dough and handle it as gently as possible. The resulting buns are so superior to the ones you get in the store and hold up much better to those nice, juicy burgers.

The tiny Maine shrimp posted on a previous blog came in handy for a salad the other day.

Little Sluggo watched all the goings on from his perch in the kitchen window......

While Spike kept a close watch on Sluggo as he is often the first to find a fun time!

Give a cat a box and he's happy for hours!

And so goes life in the Great Frozen North! Spring is on it's way!

Life is good!

Hugs, Giddy


glbuzz said...

I feel your pain with these nor'easters, Giddy. They just keep coming this year. Hubby and I also loved winter until last winter with all it's snow storms and now this winter is turning out just as bad. Guess we are getting old (grin).

In this household, cooking and baking just doesn't work. We eat to much and exercise too little so can't put the temptation out there (no willpower). How DO you and H stay so thin with all those great things that you make??

Giddy said...

GL, first of all, I give most of my baking creations away, either to my knitting friends, clinic friends, or animal shelter friends. H and I work off most of our calories by shoveling this never ending snow or working out on our stationary bike and nordic track. We'd rather go hiking outside, but it's not possible lately with all the ice on the roads and trails.

WiseAcre said...

I feel your pain. We didn't get nearly as much snow but the cold has made up for it.

I did the baking thing for a while but am 'sweet enough' now. (yes this man bakes) See the link on my blogroll for HoneyB's blog for some goodies.

Hope you catch some of the warmer temps we're supposed to get this week. It's time to get out of the kitchen and go outside to make garden mud pies.

Anonymous said...

You are right about shoveling off the calories this winter! I haven't had to use my exercise equipment in quite a while.

Both of those recipes look good. My one try at biscotti didn't turn out so well, but yours sure looks tasty, so I might try it again.

It is melt good today. We might get an inch or so tomorrow, but I'll bet it is mostly rain here.

jenn said...

I'd never heard of candied grapefruit! But, honestly, I think I'd like the apricot variant better. I'm a sucker for apricots and chocolate.

I continue to bury myself in my gardening magazines and dream of spring... at this point, even mud sounds delightful.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Giddy .. get the heck over here with Sluggo and Spike (the girls want to meet them !) and back cookies for me ???
It all looks so good : )