Trying out recipes to pass on to you.

your new fancy snack

Posted: August 8th, 2009 | Author: leah | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

I wanted to see “Julie & Julia” on opening night—and honestly, alone. Most movies I don’t mind seeing with friends. Movies I know I might geek out at…not so much. I also knew I wanted to sneak in some sort of snack. So as a little tribute to Julia I planned to make gougeres  after work to take with me. Also known in my house as “cheesy poofs.”

It’s no boeuf bourguignon, but choux pastry is French. And you’ve had it before if you’ve had an éclair or a cream puff. But when you add something like cheese and make them bite sized–voila! A cheesy puff! Hee!

This recipe comes from my Williams-Sonoma “Bride & Groom Cookbook.”

You will need a medium saucepan, baking sheets, a box grater, parchment paper and a wooden spoon. So far so easy, right?


 For ingredients you’ll need:

½ cup water

3 Tbsp butter (I use unsalted)

¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp flour

1 1/3 cups grated Gruyere cheese (other hard cheeses like parm can be substituted but this one has a nice salty nuttiness too it and melts well. I subbed cheddar once and it was a failure. I can find Gruyere at my local grocery story in Oklahoma so I bet you can, too)

¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper (adds a nice mild curious kick)

½ tsp salt

Preheat the oven to bake and 375 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. I was out and used foil with no major problem.

Combine the butter and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once, quickly stirring with a wooden spoon until batter is glossy and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan. The dough will form a ball around the spoon.

 Remove from the heat and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until thoroughly incorporated. I recommend the eggs be room temp or they start to chunk up like mine did. It isn’t the end of the world, but not preferable.

Stir in cheese, cayenne, and salt.

Use 2 spoons or a pastry bag without the tip to form 1-inch balls on the baking sheet.  

Bake until balls double in size and turn golden brown and knife inserted comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly or completely before serving. (fun story, I had my oven set to broil and miraculously they didn’t ruin. They were done in about 18 minutes though. Follow directions!)

These are delicious the next day, too! Just zap them for 12 seconds in the microwave or a few minutes in the toaster oven.

Feeling fabulous? Cut these in half and add a bit of a filling—maybe a dollop of veggie cream cheese and a slice of ham? Crab or chicken salad? Stick a cute toothpick through and you have a nice out of the box offering at your next party (though they are DELISH alone and with everything from beer to sparkling wine to orange juice.)

the barter is back

Posted: June 27th, 2009 | Author: leah | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments »

it seems like every other person i talk to has some form of garden this year. so do i—it consists of a thriving mint plant, a wispy chive plant, dead parsley and stunted rosemary. brown thumb=me.

now that oklahoma is getting a real surge of heat, the summer veggies are out of control and everyone is complaining (though secretly proud) about having too much produce. more squash than they can eat. tomatoes, though still green, fat and heavy on the vine. lettuce! radishes! onions! peppers!

insert– me. <<waves hand>> “can i help you with that problem of yours?”

someone took me up on my offer to trade baked goods for bounty. the lovely b. shep and her husband gave me all kinds of goodies and in return i made them the lemon cheesecake bars i’ve been eyeing in this month’s bon appetite. and you should, too! only minimal baking so the kitchen won’t get too warm. ingredients you likely have in your fridge right now. and if not, cheap to get. these will be a hit at your summer party. or for a midnight snack apparently as shown in the evidence i found in the fridge this morning. tsk tsk. glad there was extra and that the hubs enjoyed.

link to the recipe:

i doubled the recipe, baked in a 9×13 pan and topped with blueberries and mint from my own “garden.”

b. shep also made me this lovely gift with a “knives” theme–a shout out to our culinary gang! she makes tons of creative switch plates like this one and lovely jewelry to boot. check her blog here:
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