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!
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