Monthly Archives: September 2014

Brown Sugar Shortbread with Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt


Brown Sugar Shortbread with Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt

Butter and sugar are two of the best ingredients in the world, in my humble opinion. While admittedly you can’t use them in everything its sometimes worth a try.  Putting butter and sugar  together is the beginning of something beautiful.  Adding salt and pepper to it is just fun.

9 oz. brown sugar

3 sticks softened unsalted butter

18 oz. all purpose flour

pinch of salt

Sea salt, Demerara sugar and cracked pepper for sprinkling

Cream butter and sugar together with a pinch of salt.  Slowly incorporate the flour, this is a very dry dough.  Divide dough in half and roll into cylinders.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.  The dough in now ready to slice.


Using a serrated knife, slice the dough into 1/4 inch coins.  Lay the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle a small amount of sea salt, Demerara sugar and pepper onto each cookie.

Bake at 390 degrees for 12-15 minutes, allow the cookies to cool on sheet, and then transfer to cooling rack.

An Apple for Your Thoughts?

Thank goodness for friends with apple trees!



Dried Apple Chips

Special Equipment :  Apple Peeler/Corer, Dehydrator

2 cups lemon juice

1 tablespoon cinnamon

20 Apples, Gala work nicely but any apple will work.

Combine cinnamon and lemon juice in a large to medium size bowl.  Core and slice  apples, submerging  the slices in the solution.  Lay the slices in a single layer on dehydrator trays.  Set the dehydrator for 145 degrees for 6 hours.  Chips can be stored in a resealable plastic bag for up to a month or popped into the freezer for up to six months.

Sliced apples dipped in lemon juice

Sliced apples dipped in lemon juice

Light, healthy and very addictive.






Smoked Brussel Sprout Kimchi



1/2 pound brussel sprouts

1/4 cup kosher salted

1  cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons Srirachi Chili Sauce
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
2 gloves garlic, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons smoke picante paprika


1/2 pound brussel sprouts

Using a mandiline thinly slice the brussels sprouts.  Put into a colander, and add salt mixing well.  Allow this to drain for 2 hours, until it is wilted.  This is an important step so don’t rush it.

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In a medium size bowl combine vinegar and sugar and allow to dissolve.  Incorporate chili paste, ginger, garlic and smoked paprika.  Take the sliced brussels sprouts and rise throughly, dry well.

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Mix vinegar solution with the now dry brussels sprouts and pack into a clean container, cover.  Refrigerate for minimum of 48 hours before use.  As this ages it will become spicier.

I like this as a condiment for fish tacos, or served with a cheese board.

As a final step I ran the completed kimshi through my Vitamix on setting 5 for a few pulses.  This gave the kimchi more of a condiment texture verses a slaw texture.

Chocolate.  Yes I am a person who loves chocolate.  But here’s the snag I  love dark chocolate. I can take or leave any other type. Dark chocolate is my weakness. When I came across the recipe for these cookies it was a no brainer.  Yvette Van Boven is one of my favorite authors and her “Homemade” series is hard to pass up.

This recipe gives all the best things about chocolate, bitter, salt and of course sweet.



Chocolate Chunky Cookies
Adapted from “Homemade Summer,” by Yvette Van Boven


2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or vanilla extract
6 1/2 oz. semi sweet chocolate, combined use.
(3 oz. of the chocolate is melts with the butter and combined into the batter. The remaining chocolate is finely chopped and folded into the batter as a final step.)
Please use the best quality chocolate you can find.


Preset oven at 350 degrees.


Combine flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl and set aside.


Melting butter over low heat, add 3 oz. of the semi sweet chocolate remove from heat and allow chocolate to thoroughly melt. Let stand until cool enough to incorporate into batter.


Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla together until foamy. Pour melted chocolate and butter mixture in, then stir in flour mixture.


Finally fold in the remaining chopped chocolate and chill batter for at least one hour.


Scoop dough into small balls, giving them each a bit of a roll between your hands. Place onto baking sheets and bake for about 12 minutes.


Makes about 30 cookies.