Archive for April, 2011

Recently I was sent “Goat: Meat * Milk * Cheese”  by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough in exchange for a review.  If you’ve encountered any of Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough books, you already know you’re in for a fun, hilarious, delicious round of good cooking!  This book is no exception.  This is their 18th cookbook and it’s all about Goat! Meat, Milk and Cheese!  According to Bruce and Mark, Goat is the world’s primary meat.  Upwards of 70 percent of the red meat eaten globally is goat!  Surprised??  So was I.

While I have to tell you that I couldn’t find any “Goat” meat in any of my local stores, they do give a list of suppliers in the book on where to obtain it.   Some investigation and a little research and you should be able to find a supplier locally, or at least semi-locally, and I found several places online where you can order.  (Thank goodness for Google!)  The milk, cheese and butter the recipes call for, are a lot more accessible in local groceries and I had no problem finding fresh Chevre.

Written in what I’d like to call classic Bruce & Mark style, the book is filled with hints and tips under the labels “more to know”,  “Less to do” and “Go all out” , perhaps suggesting a nice accompaniment to accompany the dish. Very helpful (and tasteful I might add).  And peppered throughout the book you will find, “Goat Stories”,  that is sure to leave you with a smile on your lips.

The book is broken down into chapters, starting with Meat:

Get your Goat, Hunks, Chunks, Curries, Mole, Ground, and If You’ve Got Nothing But Time – And Goat – On Your Hands

Next –

Milk & Yogurt – The Smell Of Goat In The Morning, Savories, and Sweets

and last but not least:

Cheese – Bits & Bites, A Match Made in Norway, Comfort Food, Little Nothings, and Bigger Somethings.

This time, we don’t get a meat dish with my review because I didn’t find any without having to travel a little farther than I could at this time,  but as far as the book goes, it’s in here. I can’t wait to get some local (semi-local in my case and still looking) goat so that I can try these goat meat recipes out.  In the meantime, there’s plenty of other recipes in the  book to make, using goat milk, butter and cheese.

The recipe I picked out – Rugelach!  Who can resist?

Goat Cheese Rugelach

From: Goat: Meat * Milk * Cheese

Here’s the classic New York deli pastry, reinvented with goat cheese in the dough, rather than the usual cream cheese.  When Bruce was testing this recipe, I inadvertently told my mother  about them one day.  She made me promise to put a bag in the freezer, in anticipation of their visit months away.  From then on, every time she called, she asked if the bag was still there. Sheesh, it’s tough raising parents.  – Mark Scarbrough

8 oz. (225 g) fresh chevre or soft goat cheese

8 Tbsp. (1 stick 115 g) cool goat butter (or unsalted cow butter, if you must), cut into chunks

1  2/3 cups (205 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 tsp. Salt

3/4 cup (170 g) raspberry jam

1 cup (225 g) sliced almonds (I had some chocolate covered almonds I ran through the food processor, chocolate can’t hurt!)

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1.  Beat the goat cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy and light, almost like beaten cream cheese, 4 to 5 minutes.

2.  Pour in the flour and salt; continue mixing at low-speed until a soft dough forms.  Scrape down the inside of the bowl, mix a few seconds more just to make sure everything is incorporated and the flour has all dissolved, then divide this mixture into thirds and form them into three balls.  Put  1 of the balls on a large sheet of wax paper, on your work surface.  Spread it into a circle about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick.  Fold the wax paper around it and put it in the refrigerator.  Repeat with the other 2 balls.  Chill them for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

3.  Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (175 C).  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

4.  Dust a clean, dry work surface with flour, then place 1 of the chilled dough rounds on it.  Roll into a 12 inch (30.5) circle.  Do it slowly and carefully, repositioning the rolling pin after each pass so the circle is as even as you can make it.

5.  Spread the circle with 1/4 cup (55 g) of the raspberry jam; sprinkle 1/3 cup (76 g) of the sliced almonds and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon over the top.

6.  Cut the circle into 12 pie-piece wedges, like long, narrowing triangles.  The best way to do this is to make 2 perpendicular cuts, 1 toward you and 1 parallel to where you’re standing.  The circle is now in 4 quadrants.  Cut each of these quadrants into long, thin pie-wedge triangles.  Separate the triangles from one another a bit and then roll each of them up, starting at the pointy tip and rolling toward the curved back.  Some of the jam will ooze out a little or just be exposed at the edges.  Set the rugelach on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

7.  Repeat steps 4 through 6 with the other 2 dough circles, re-dusting  your work surface with flour each time and making sure there are no little bits of dough anywhere that can cause subsequent circles to stick.  In fact, you can bake-off 1 batch of rugelach and save the other 2 circles in the fridge for other times in the days ahead.

8.  Once you’ve got all you want on the baking sheet, bake the rugelach until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack and continuing to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.  Seal them up in a plastic bag and store them at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for God knows how long, until your mother comes to visit.

As Mark Scarbrough says: The first-ever, all-goat book–meat, milk, and cheese! If you want to know the butchering schematics for goat and then a whole heckuva lot beyond–like how goat cheese is made, how goat milk differs from all other mammal milks, why it’s considered the “universal” mammal’s milk, how there’s a whole cheesy world beyond creamy chèvre–this is the book for you.

This book is well written, funny and chock full of delicious recipes, this is a book that will move you beyond, and into a world of Goat meat, milk, cheese and butter (lets not forget the butter here folks!).  While I was not able to find goat meat in any of my local stores, I do think this is a world that I need to explore. While you find a local source for the goat meat, this book is chock full of delicious recipes to get you started on the goat milk, cheese and butter.  I find this book a very welcomed addition to my cookbook collection!  The cookies?  Delicious!!,  Worthy Mom Fare. (But, sorry Mom, mine will never make it to the freezer!) – Fire up the Oven

You can find Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough at their website for additional stories, recipes and laughter.  You’ll also find a Blog Only Goat recipe: Fudgy Buck Brownies, made with fresh Goat cheese.

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Recently, I was sent “Sugar Baby Confections, Candies, Cakes & Other Delicious Recipes for Cooking With Sugar – By Gesine Bullock-Prado” in exchange for a review.   How lucky can one person be?   I was excited to rip open the package and dig this book out, and it does NOT disappoint!    Cooking with sugar can be scary, and while there are a few precautions you need to take, there’s a whole world of sugary confections awaiting you in this book!  This book will guide you through, and open up the world of cooking with sugar. You’ll find notes from the Sugar Baby throughout the book, with tips on assembly, where to find products, the how’s and the Why’s and the like to help you achieve the perfect result!

And, because Sugar Baby couldn’t contain every photo of each of the recipes in the cookbook, or the step by step procedures the author (Gesine) has even set up a companion website to go with the “Sugar Baby” at sugarbabycookbook.com.   Here you will find more help on how to achieve the perfect results in what your making.  I was extremely pleased to know that if I got stuck, there was a place to go for help and guidance!

This is a fun book!  Not only in making the recipes, but in reading them too!  She’ll have you laughing out loud as you read through the book. I love her sense of humor.  She even gives us a recipe for Bubble Sugar that she claims is so much fun, you’ll be inventing excuses just to make it!

There are over one hundred sugary substances to make, organized by cooking temperature and sugar concentration.  While essentially all you need is a pot (a heavy bottomed stainless steel or copper and preferably a thermometer and a stand mixer) and some sugar your ready to rock!  From Rock Candy, (which I’m working on right now) Fudge, Caramels, sauces, candies, pralines, and cakes to puddings, mousses, and the ever so finicky Parisian Macaron’s!  It’s all in here. This is one of those must have books!  If you like sugar (and who doesn’t in one form or another) this is the book to reach for.   She arms us with all the information, not to mention motivation we need to get into that kitchen and transform sugar into delectable works of sweet confections and desserts.

I am a Caramel Fan, and went a little crazy with caramel making.  I made Fleur de Sel Caramels.

I followed the recipe, omitting sprinkling the salt on the top of the caramels, following the requests of family members.  But if you decide to sprinkle the salt on top, it’s heavenly!

I also made the caramel sauce, not only because I like it on Ice Cream, but because I wanted to make “The Jackie, OH! Cake!  This cake is a blast of chocolate.  With bittersweet chocolate in the cake along with a substantial amount of cocoa (1 1/2 Cups) this cake will satisfy any chocolate craving you may have.  The cake is moist and fudge-y and the frosting is to die-for! You make an Italian Buttercream, to which a cup of Caramel sauce is added! I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to frost the cake, my family kept taking a spoonful here, and a spoonful there! Then cake crumbs are adhered to the sides of the cake.  I decided to crumb the top of my cake also, just to savor every last crumb of the cake!

And last, but certainly not least I made: The Best Ginger Cookies EVER!! After making and tasting these I will have to agree, that these very well may be the best Ginger Cookies ever!

The Best Ginger Cookies EVER

This was one of my most popular cookies at my shop in Montpelier – it’s a molasses cookie with ginger aspirations.  The crystallized Ginger is the “chip” in the mix, and it adds a tang and a chew unlike any other ginger cookie.  The cookie itself, without the additional ginger chunks, is crisp around the edges, chewy in the center, and full of exotically spicy flavor.Gesine Bullock-Prado

From: Sugar Baby

2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup molasses

2 eggs

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 tablespoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 cup chopped crystallized ginger

1 cup sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and six spices.  With the mixer on low-speed, gently add the flour mixture.  Be very careful not to overmix; stop the mixer just as you are positive that the flour is completely incorporated.

Fold in the crystallized ginger and chill the dough, covered, for a few hours or overnight.

Using a large cookie scoop, scoop the cookies and dip them in sanding sugar so that they are completely coated.  Place the cookies on a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches (5cm) apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  The cookies will crack a bit but should still be soft in the middle.  Place on wire racks to cool.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.

You can find the Author (Gesine Bullock-Prado) baking and cooking sugar at her website too!  You’ll find recipes, how to’s, humor, step-by-steps and the link to order her confectionery’s!

What are you waiting for, get in the kitchen and do some sugar cooking! You’ll be glad you did!

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How exciting!!  Today, marks my 100th post and my 1 year Blog Anniversary!!  I teased you with the pictures of the Asparagus Rolls in my last post and these are DELICIOUS!!  Definitely worthy of my 100th post and Blog Anniversary!!  Once you make these and cut them into spirals, it’s hard to quit eating them. Give them a try and see for yourself.  If you’d like to make your own puff pastry, you can find my favorite recipe here at my dessert blog.  There are several versions of Asparagus rolls out there on the web, following is the one I used, slightly adapted from JSOnline here.

Asparagus Rolls

You can make these a day ahead and refrigerate them unbaked. Then, all you have to do is bake and slice.


9 to 12 asparagus spears, trimmed

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp. minced Onion (Optional)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 egg, beaten


Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 13 to 15 minutes.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook 3 minutes. Drain and plunge in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and pat dry.

Unfold the puff pastry sheet onto a floured work surface. Cut in half. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, grated Parmesan, minced onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Spread half the cheese mixture over one of the pieces of puff pastry, leaving a ½-inch border along the long sides. Repeat with other piece of puff pastry.

Place three asparagus spears in a single layer in the middle of each piece of puff pastry. Cut more spears as needed to extend the layer of three spears the full length of the pastry. Fold sides of pastry in over the asparagus and seal edges with beaten egg, pinching together.

Repeat with other half of puff pastry.

Place rolls seam side down on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Brush with egg wash. Refrigerate an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place rolls in preheated oven and bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Slice each log crosswise into ¾-inch pieces.

To prepare ahead: Prepare asparagus rolls as directed above, stopping before baking. Place in refrigerator, covering with plastic wrap after an hour. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bake and slice as directed above.

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