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Archive for the ‘Cooking Light’ Category

I just canceled my Cooking Light subscription. Again. They kept sending me renewal notices for a year at $20. I’ve been subscribing to the magazine for at least 10 years. A new subscription is $9.99. HALF the price. Last year when this happened, I called, complained, and paid the lower rate. This year I keep returning the notices with a nice little note explaining my position. I haven’t heard a word from them. Yet. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to Eating Well, Bon Appetit. and Food and Wine.

But, before I let it go, as I still have a few months left, here’s a recipe we made tonight for dinner. Very simple, very tasty and very fast. Mongolian Beef with Green Onions. We served it over rice with some extra hot sauce and a nice Pinot Noir.

So, Goodbye Cooking Light. It’s been a good ten years, but I’m done. And BTW, the redesign? I don’t like it. Makes the magazine hard to read. All your pages look like ads. I’m disappointed. But keep posting those recipes to your website. I’ll find them there instead. And I’ll save that 20 dollar bill for more groceries. Thanks.

Oh – one more thing. Go the the Food & Wine website and sign up for their weekly newsletter. It’s the only one I receive that I look forward to, that I actually read. It’s great. Enjoy!

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Every year around this time I start to bake. I really don’t bake that often the rest of the year, but come December my kitchen is transformed with flour and powered sugar and cookie cutters. I always make Gingerbread Men. And usually the family specialty, Bon-Bon Cookies. After that I switch it up each year. This year I pulled recipes from Cooking Light, Martha Stewart and the Food Network. Here is the list I plan to make, we’ll see if I get through all of these.

Gingerbread Men

Key-Lime Thumbprints

Espresso Crinkles

Bon-Bon Cookies (recipe follows)

Meringues

Macaroons

Sea-Salt Caramels

Chocolate Truffles

There were also a few interesting options in the Star Tribune Taste Section last week. Guess I’ll see how much flour I’ve got.

Bon Bon Cookies
For the cookies:
1 cup butter, softened
1 to 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla
3 cups floor
1/4 tsp salt
Candied cherries

For icing:
1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbsp cream
1 tsp vanilla
Food Coloring

To make the cookies:
Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. If dough is dry (and it almost always is) add 1 or 2 Tbsp cream (you’ll have cream on hand for the icing). Wrap level Tbsp of dough around one candied cherry and roll into a ball. Place each ball about 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

For icing: Mix together sugar, cream, vanilla and food coloring. If you want two colors of icing (we always used red and green for the holidays) divide the icing before adding the food coloring.

When the cookies are still warm, but not too hot to handle, dip the rounded tops into the frosting. Sprinkle colored sugar or other decorations onto frosting immediately, before the frosting is set. Allow to cool and dry completely before storing.

Makes 3 dozen.

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Yep, Frozen Soup

We swapped our soup the other night. And from left to right, there is Jen’s Winter Golden Soup, Jaime’s Red Lentil with Lemon Soup, Jackie’s Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon and Kathryn’s Pumpkin Coconut Soup. I brought epicurious.com’s Pasta e Fagioli. I can’t wait to try all of them, and the hardest choice I had all day was which one I should pull out of the freezer first.

I’ll post reviews as I try them, can’t wait!! (Recipes after the jump)

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Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day is overrated. Restaurants are crowded, expensive and the staff would rather be home with their sweeties instead of bringing me plates of overpriced goods. So, this year, we stayed at home and cooked. And man, it was good. (Oh, and the photo? That’s Dog, with his V-day gift. Stuffed chocolate-covered strawberries. Woof!)


We started with Crab-stuffed mushrooms. Yes, I found them in the produce department at Lund’s, but still, they were darn good. The cashier at the store jumped out of her skin when he rang them up, demanding to know exactly where in the store I was able to find them. They were good, especially with some of the Ginger-Habanero hot sauce from St. John Spice.

Then we moved on to the main dish. The Truffled Shrimp and Crab Risotto from Cooking Light. The only change I made was to add just a bit of Parmesan cheese at the end. But I have to admit the reviewers were right and that the crab was barely noticeable in the dish. Next time we’ll scrap the crab and add more shrimp. And for those that think Risotto is intimidating, it’s not. It’s tedious. but really easy, and really hard to mess up. Just keep stirring. With it, we sliced up a tasty baguette from the Birchwood Cafe. I started my day with one of the special Strawberry, Banana, Chocolate Chip muffins and grabbed the bread while I was there. Can you imagine a better muffin to start Valentines Day with?

And then there was dessert. Almost as good as chocolate-covered strawberries, I made these great little (light) cakes from Cooking Light. The batter is made on the stove-top and was really easy. It calls for some chocolate chips, but I couldn’t help imaging how it would have been with cinnamon chips and a dash of cayenne. They’re so different, and so light, I think we’ll be trying that next time. Regardless, there are two more in the kitchen, waiting for tomorrow night. Hello Friday!!

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So for dinner the other night I chose an easy new recipe from Cooking Light. Husband had a hockey game, so I started it while he was gone and let it simmer for an hour. I don’t usually cook with chicken thighs because of the whole bone-thing. But these were boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and really easy to work with.

This dish is inspired by North African Tagines. I don’t have a Tagine, (a north-african cooking vessel) but my sister does and we used it last time I was in Colorado. I liked this recipe, because I was able to do the whole thing on the stove. It would be great in the summer to keep the oven off.

I think the distinct flavors of cinnamon, cumin and coriander really came through. I used organic dried apricots which had a much softer consistency than other non-organic ones I’ve used. I made both couscous and white rice to serve with it because someone under this roof does not like couscous. You’ll also see I served some Naan. I picked this up at SuperTarget (not where I normally shop, just had to mention that) a few weeks ago and just kept it frozen. It was the hit of the meal. Huh.

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