Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Nothing but black smoke to report today.

Panzanella Salad
Makes 8 (1 cup) servings

It's worth it to take your time when making important decisions or preparing a great salad.  I've added an extra step to toast the bread, rub it with garlic and brush it with oil -- this keeps the bread crunchy and improves the overall experience of this classic Italian salad.

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb. Italian or French bread, sliced 3/4" thick
1 clove garlic
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1” pieces (4 cups)
1 cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced
2 yellow peppers, roasted, sliced
Small red onion, peeled, quartered, sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 400˚F.  Reserve 1 Tbsp. oil.  Mix remaining oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Place bread on baking sheet.  Bake 5-6 min. on each side or until crisp and golden brown around edges.  Cool 5 min.  Cut garlic on diagonal at one end.  Rub bread slices with garlic.  Brush bread with reserved oil.  Cut into 1-inch cubes.

Gently toss bread and vegetables with dressing in large bowl.




Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Papal Maple Cookies

Let the conclave begin!

Papal Maple Cookies

Create some excitement with this tender cookie that's both sweet and salty.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus extra in small bowl for flattening cookies)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. water
Additional Kosher salt for sprinkling

HEAT oven to 375°F.

BEAT butter, sugar and vanilla 3 min. or until light and fluffy. Add combined flour and salt; beat until combined.

SCOOP 1 Tbsp. portions of dough 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Dip flat-bottomed glass into bowl of sugar. Flatten cookies, one by one, dipping glass into sugar each time.

BAKE 12-13 min. or until bottom and edges are brown. Cool on baking sheet 1 min. before removing with spatula to wire racks.

MIX powdered sugar, maple syrup and water. Working quickly, brush onto cookies and sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt.

I use #70 cookie scoop.