A couple times each year, once in January and then again in July, I take a very detailed inventory of my pantry in order to cull foodstuffs that have been part of the family for far too long and are in need of either being used or pitched. As I REALLY hate tossing perfectly good grub, January and July tend to be months where new and unusual foods are cooked up in these parts.
I made a bunch of these little darlings early in the holiday season and kept them in my fridge as a little sweet insurance in the event of impromptu visitors. That's one of the things I love about the holiday season, people just popping by for a cup (or four) of cheer, perhaps dropping by some treats, but usually just pausing for a bit to say hi and "where the hell did that year go?".
Now that most people's New Year's resolutions about eating healthier and shelling out for a gym membership have been summarily dismissed, how about we get back to some fun, sugar and fat fueled cooking. I made this little number as a dessert over the holidays - just about mid-binge - and it was a solid hit with everyone at the table. The meal we had just enjoyed was similarly rich (in good holiday form) so I was a little concerned that talk of dessert would be met with moans and pleading from the table that no one could stand to eat another bite.
Just because I've decided to cut back on sugar and fat in my post-holiday diet doesn't mean I've taken all the fun off my table.
Case in point, this Sriracha Salt!
After what feels like eons of eating nothing but festive cookies and cakes, vats of cream laden vegetables, and a kaleidoscope of well marbled holiday roasts, this week I officially cried UNCLE.
I've never been one who went in for New Year's resolutions, preferring instead to make minor (or major) course adjustments in my life when I feel they're needed, and have never been comfortable waiting until January 1st of any given year to set them in motion. That said, I'm not looking at my recent dietary makeover as part of a resolution, but rather a bold exclamation point to what has been an unusually rich holiday eating season.
Not sure whether it's my age, or that this year's culinary indulgences ran somewhat richer than average, but all I can say is it's time to stop the fat and sugar train so I can get off before I do permanent bodily damage.
I don't have a lot of time today, but did want to wish everyone out there a joyous holiday season! As another year wraps to a close, we at Oui, Chef are grateful for the friends we've made here, and look forward to cooking more great food with you in the new year.
This buche de noel is one that Jackson and I whipped up a few years back, and was enjoyed after our Christmas Eve dinner. It is a combination of a few different recipes we found, inspiring a whole new holiday treat. It has a chocolate genoise cake layer, a filling of white chocolate mousse, and a coffee buttercream frosting....a few meringue mushrooms for decoration and you have a festive dessert worthy of any holiday table.
When I was but a wee lad my favorite store-bought snacks were Oreos (and this was long before any of that Double-Stuff business), and Drake’s Funny Bones. While Oreos in a multitude of varieties are still with us, sadly, Drake’s the makers of Yodels, Ring Dings, and Devil Dogs stopped producing my childhood addiction years ago. Everyone knows what an Oreo is, but for those who’ve never heard of Funny Bones, they were sort of like a chocolate Twinkie that had been filled with peanut butter cream, then dipped in melted milk chocolate.
To be honest, if I had one now I’d probably gag on it due to its overt sweetness and weak, milk chocolate flavor (I am decidedly a dark chocolate kinda guy), but as I kid….I gotta tell you, they were the bomb!
Alas we have come to the third and final cookie I made for this year's holiday swap, and I'll have you know that this one was the clear winner among all voters under the age of 20 in my giving universe. My original plan was to make a peanut butter filled version of Thomas Keller's TKO's (his version of an oreo) as the 3rd cookie in my trio, but when I saw these little monsters posted by my friend, Sally, on her terrific food blog Bewitching Kitchen. One look at her post and I knew that these would be a hands-down winner with the kids, while also being a bit more holiday-ish in feel. In addition, I figured they'd survive shipping better than the relatively fragile TKO sandwich cookie.
Today I present to you MY second favorite cookie of the three I made this year to satisfy the requirements of our family holiday cookie swap. I emphasise the MY in the prior sentence, because by most accounts the cookie I will be sharing next, a mint-chocolate offering, was the runaway winner of the popularity contest this year; but as I've stated here before, my being one of the very few folks on the planet not enamored of the combo of chocolate and mint, those cookies fell to a distant third place in my personal ranking of this year's cookies.