Batter Licker

June 26, 2010

blueberry muffin-top browned butter cookies

Filed under: cookies,dessert,fruit — Tags: , , — Kristen @ 1:14 pm

Blueberry muffins and chocolate chip cookies better watch their backs because this blueberry-studded cookie is seriously coming after them and has a good chance of stealing their limelight. Plump, sweet berries are enveloped in the crunchy outer and chewy-soft inner of this nutty, toffee-tasting browned butter cookie dough.

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These summery little treats bring the best of part of blueberry muffins – the blueberries – to the table in a form that’s easier to snack on than a giant blueberry muffin that you can’t possibly finish and less shameful than munching on itty-bitty, bite-sized ones until, oh look at that!, they’re all gone. And, more importantly, with blueberry cookies, you can personally ensure that each and every cookie has several bites of blueberries to it. Even if you’re not the baker, you can visually assess each cookie before you commit. Gone are the days of sad, fruitless hunting through a muffin to in a vain attempt to find the juicy blue pearls of sweetness you desire.

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Not that the muffin doesn’t have its charm. (more…)

June 21, 2010

tamarind barbecued chicken

Filed under: chicken/turkey — Tags: , , , , — Kristen @ 11:02 pm

It’s officially summer, which means grilling time. I love the smoky flavor that barbecuing imparts to unsuspecting fruits, veggies, and meats, not to mention the relative lack of clean-up involved. And on top of that, there’s the 30 or 40 minute grill preheat time during which I can sit back and relax with Jay, friends, and an adult beverage or two.

But seeing as I’m confined for another five weeks of delicious bar exam preparation, I encourage you to make the most of summer grilling on my behalf, starting with some Tamarind Barbecued Chicken.

Next time you’re planning to grill up some chicken for friends, make things a little more interesting with this version made from tamarind paste, which is now widely available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and many other markets.

The sour tang of tamarind combines with the spicy zing of habanero peppers and the sweet nectar of agave (or honey) in a marinade that lends the chicken a complex flavor.

Serve it up alongside Slaw with Thai Peanut Sauce and grilled peaches to complement the tamarind. (more…)

June 13, 2010

open-faced quesadilla with steak, roasted red peppers, summer squash, and blue cheese

Here in law-law land, discrimination is frowned on. So if the sandwich can be open faced or crostini-fied and the pizza can be stuffed or calzoned, then it’s only fair that the quesadilla have an alternative, more revealing serving method of its own. The open-faced quesadilla proudly showcases its ingredients by allowing meats and veggies that are normally trapped in tortilla to parade around in their vibrant colors, which makes for a more appetizing dish. And it’s healthier too.

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One less tortilla means two things: less calories in your quesadilla without eliminating any of the good stuff inside; and less concern about indulging in a second round. To make it even healthier but no less flavorful, you can use a stronger cheese but much less of it (hello, blue cheese!), and then spread a layer of Greek yogurt on the tortilla. As it bakes, the yogurt develops a texture that’s firmer than normal but still creamy like a soft cheese, and retains a subdued tang that goes well with the sweet smokiness of roasted peppers and caramelized onions and the buttery sweetness of summer squash.

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The blue cheese puts a twist on the otherwise more traditional steak-peppers-onions combination. Just a few crumbles of the sharp, salty, yet creamy cheese bring much more flavor than handfuls of cheddar can muster. Bonus: it allows you to use up the sad little clump of blue cheese that’s been sitting – unloved – in the corner of your fridge from that one time several weeks ago, when you splurged on off-season pears because you just had to have a gorgonzola and pear salad … five days in a row … and then, having tired of blue-veined cheeses, you relegated the poor chunk to the back of the fridge. (more…)

June 10, 2010

cherry and chocolate chip brown butter bars

Filed under: bars,dessert — Tags: , , — Kristen @ 10:58 pm

It’s time for a little somethin’ somethin’ from the good ol’ days. Three weeks ago, I wore a very warm and very black with very purple velvet graduation gown that looked much more Harry Potteresque than esquire. Then, I pranced across a stage, shook the hand of our interim dean (the contracts professor with whom I had very little “one-ness” of understanding first year of law school), and proceeded outside to take a very large number of pictures with family and friends.

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Post-ceremony and post-photo-taking, my mom treated family guests and myself to a very delicious dinner at Waterbar, where we enjoyed a very beautiful view of the bay at sunset. And then, I did something very dumb: I invited everyone over to our teeny-tiny apartment for homemade brown buttery, cherry and chocolate heaven. And they ate it. All.

Anyway, as it turned out, this invitation impliedly (eek! lawyer talk! down, boy! heel!) extended not just to dessert, but also drinks. I had temporarily forgotten: when it comes to celebrating anything, my family is full of lushes. (Isn’t yours?) (more…)

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