Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014 Kitchen with a View blog in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 780 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: General Blogging | 2 Comments

Biscotti by Another Name

LeanneAbout 20 years ago, I received my highly anticipated December edition of Food and Wine magazine, looked through it and decided to make these cookies, although I had no idea what “cantuccini” was. It turns out that they are basically biscotti, but what a colorful and perfectly scrumptious biscotti they are! Back then, I had a difficult time locating raw pistachios, even in Seattle where I lived at the time. These nuts are essential in creating the vivid red and green that makes the cookies so incredibly beautiful. Luckily, I can now find them at Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway in the bulk department, here in Olympia. A warning however–shelled pistachios are quite expensive. I’ll venture to say though, that these treats are worth every penny. They are also very simple to make if you have a food processor and make great gifts packaged up in a cellophane bag. Have yourself a merry Christmas and happy baking!

Cranberry-Pistachio Christmas Cantuccini

1¾ cup unbleached flour
1 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dried cranberries
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups shelled, unroasted pistachios
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a large heavy baking sheet.

In food processor, combine the flour with 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and salt. Process for a few seconds to blend. Add the dried cranberries and process until coarsely chopped. Add the butter and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add the pistachios and eggs and pulse 10 times to blend. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse
5 times, just until the dough is evenly moistened.

On lightly floured work surface, divided the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-inch log. Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each. With your hands, flatten the logs to a width of 2-inches and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the logs to a rack to firm up slightly, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer the logs to a work surface. Using a sharp knife and a quick single motion, slice each log on the diagonal into ½ inch slices. Return the biscotti to the baking sheet, cut sides down, and bake just until the first hint of golden brown appears, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen

Categories: General Blogging, Kitchen with a View, Recipes | Leave a comment

Christmas Isn’t Just for Kids

LeanneI have a thing about traditions, especially at Christmastime. It was pretty important to me that there would be plenty of predictable things for my kids to look forward to each holiday season—going out to the tree farm the day after Thanksgiving, opening up a box on their advent tree every day, figuring out the Christmas wrapping theme for the year, and the list goes on. However, this time of year isn’t just for children and adults need special treats to anticipate as well! My eggnog recipe is a variation on a Martha Stewart recipe I found years ago and to say it’s boozy is an understatement. A once-a-year treat, this creamy, rich concoction is such a special tradition that I found a small milk glass punch bowl with matching cups whose sole purpose is to hold this spiked drink on Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve Eggnog

1 quart whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
12 large egg yolks
2 cups sugar, divided
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups golden rum
½ cup brandy
1 pint heavy cream
1 whole nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, heat milk and vanilla bean halves. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, cover and allow vanilla bean to steep for 30 minutes. Remove vanilla bean and with a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works really well for this), scrape the seeds out and add them to the milk.

Combine egg yolks, 1½ cups sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Return milk to a simmer. Add half the warm milk to the egg mixture, whisking on low until well blended. Pour egg mixture into the warm milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Pass mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Chill completely in refrigerator or over an ice bath.

Add rum and brandy to chilled egg mixture, mix well and refrigerate. Whip cream with remaining ½ cup sugar until stiff. Gently fold into egg-milk mixture. Transfer cooled eggnog into a small punch bowl. Grate whole nutmeg over the top and serve. Makes about 20 servings

Categories: General Blogging, Kitchen with a View, Recipes | 1 Comment

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