Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Marshmallow Treats

This book Tracey references in her Tortilla Snowflake recipe, inspired this special treat. I was looking for an Easter treat, and these little bird nests looked so cute, easy, and delicious. The recipe in the book used candy coating. I thought, why mess with that when this was the perfect opportunity to leverage the delicious butter/mallow binder in rice crispie treats? So I stole the ingredients and wrapped it in something else, and added a dash of almond extract. Of course!

Vi and Abel had a great time helping with these. Vi's idea of help was eating every crumb of flake, noodle or rouge egg that hit the table. She's lucky she's so cute.

Happy Easter!


Spring Marshmallow Treats

3tbsp unsalted butter
1 package large marshmallows
2 tsp almond extract
Blue and green food coloring
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 package small malt eggs

Place 1 cup sweetened coconut and a considerable number of drops of green food coloring in a zip lock bag. Shake until coconut is completely coated. Set aside.

In large pot, melt:
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 package marshmallows

2 tsp almond extract
Dashes of green and blue food coloring, until the desired shade

Stir in:
4 cups corn flakes

Shape mixture into small nests. Press thumb in center of each while still warm.

Sprinkle coconut in center of each nest and press small malt eggs into nest.

Store extras in air-tight container.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cassoulet-Style Italian Sausages & White Beans

I had a meeting until 5:30pm today, and as I embarked on my crazy commute (from basement office to basement stairs, take a right) a delicious aroma began to fill my nostrils. That smell that draws you in and makes you instantly hungry. Nothing like the aroma of a delicious dinner to erase the stresses of the day from your mind. If not for a few moments.

Rich and Vi threw this together. It's a recipe from my new favorite cookbook Perfect One-Dish Dinners. Ok, it's my new favorite, yet this is only the second recipe we tried. 99% of the pages are dog-eared. Pointless, I know.

I realize that 10 out of the last 15 recipes we've posted here include beans. At risk of further alienating some of our readers (sorry you two), I give you another post with beans. If you haven't tried any of the other bean recipes here, I implore you to try this one. So much flavor, so easy, so cheap, kids eat it. Do it.


Cassoulet-Style Italian Sausages & White Beans
Serves 4ish (her recipe serves 8, we paired down the sausage, tomatoes and beans. Basically, it's scalable.)

1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian Sausage links (kind of figure 2 links per person)
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 med onion chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
2 cans white beans (we used cannellini), rinsed

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425.

Toss all ingredients (except beans) in roasting pan and roast until sausages are browned and tomatoes have reduced to a thick sauce (i'd break-up a few at this point), about 45 mins. Pull out, add beans, mix lightly, return to oven to bake 10 more mins.

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs (see below) and serve. In hind-sight, this would be excellent with crusty bread and crisp, fresh steamed green beans sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Toasted Breadcrumbs
Melt 2 tbsp butter in med skillet on med heat
Add 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
Sprinkle with salt
Mix almost constantly and until the crumbs are golden brown (about 15 mins)