Category: fab faves
Tuesday, May 21
Last Christmas a friend gave us some Brown Butter Cookie Company cookies. Nate and I were both smitten at first bite. Nate is not easily smitten by food. If Nate has a hard time resisting a food, then you know it’s good. The cookies were rich and buttery with a hint of saltiness that was just the right amount. The cookies are also a little expensive and hard to get (they sold out online last Christmas!), so I savored every crumb not knowing when the next box would enter my life.
Have you seen the blog Yummy Mummy Kitchen? It’s beautiful and Marina, the blogger, is lovely. I connected with her when I was editing Daily Buzz Moms. (I also connected with her when I discovered that she is good friends with the Strong family, whom I’ve written about before. These are good people, folks. Salt of the earth.) Marina recently published her first book, The Yummy Mummy Kitchen. Marina kindly sent me a copy. Before we get back to the cookies, the book is beautiful. The day I got it I curled up in bed and looked through every page of the book. It transports you to her life in Santa Barbara and the recipes are inspiring. Bravo, Marina! Job well done!
So, as I was thumbing through the book, I immediately noticed a picture of some brown cookies that looked a lot like the Brown Butter Cookie Company cookies. Sure enough, Marina’s intro was all about how much she loves those cookies and how she had to figure out how to make them. I couldn’t believe that recipe literally fell into my lap. Oh, happy day!
I don’t know how many times I’ve made the brown butter cookies since getting the book. We probably shouldn’t keep track. But they are amazing and completely hit the spot. Buttery with a beautiful crumb, you’re going to become just as addicted as I am. My apologies.
Salted Brown Butter Cookies
From The Yummy Mummy Kitchen with a few of my notes
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (Jane note: I’ve used salted butter every time and the cookies are still wonderful, not too salty)
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Coarse-flake sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it starts to brown. When the butter has browned and is ready, the foam will have subsided and it will have turned a nutty color. Watch closely so as not to burn the butter. (Jane note: Stir regularly throughout the browning process. The butter will start to foam up, back off on the foam a bit, then foam up a lot. Just keep cooking and stirring. After about 10 minutes the foam will start to subside. You’ll still have a bit of foam, but you’ll at least be able to see what color the butter is. It should be browned and you will be able to smell the nuttiness of the butter. At this point remove from the heat.)
Pour the browned butter into a medium bowl and stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together. With a spoon, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined and uniform in color.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. Marina’s recipe says it yields 13 cookies. I literally do 1 tablespoon per cookie and end up with 18-20 cookies every time. Sprinkle with sea salt and lightly press it into the top of the cookies. Bake for 12 minutes.
To purchase Marina’s book, click here. There are tons more recipes where this came from!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 1:57 pm 2 Comments
Categories: fab faves, featured recipes, Recipes, sweet things, the goods, Way Gourmet Tags: brown butter cookies, cookbooks, cookie recipe, cookies, yummy mummy kitchen |
Friday, May 10
First off, as a fan of The Vampire Diaries (don’t judge), I am delighted that I get to use the word “epic” on my blog today. We’ll consider it an homage to Stefan and Damon.
Today’s giveaway is truly EPIC! And we are not using this word flippantly like the vampires do. It really, really is!
I’ve joined forces with some of my most FAVORITE blogging friends in the whole wide world to give away a Canon Rebel T4i SLR camera (with two lenses!) and an Epiphanie camera bag (the Charlotte in metallic chevron). First off, I’m totally jealous because this camera is better than mine. It’s got a big ole swivel touch screen and does amazing things with photo and video. And the bag…the BAG. Seriously, does it get any cuter than that? And you know how I love Epiphanie bags. They are the best!
Wanna get this sweet package to kick off your summer right? Here are the details!
- To enter to win the Canon SLR Camera + Epiphanie Bag you MUST enter using the rafflecopter entry form below. No other entries will be counted.
- The giveaway runs May 10th through May 24th.
- One winner will be chosen at random and notified by email once the big give is over. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.
- You can get extra entries galore – just check out the entry form. And you can feel good following all of these people on the interwebs…they ROCK.
- Giveaway is open worldwide!
Here are the amazing blogs that I’ve teamed up with. Seriously, every last one of these women is amazing and talented.
- Christine of Boston Mamas
- Allison of Petit Elefant
- Kami of NoBiggie
- Marie of Make and Takes
- Audrey of Mom Generations
- Kristen of Rage Against the Minivan
- Rachael of Todays Mama
- Meagan of The Happiest Home
- Heather & Whitney of Rookie Moms
- Pinterest You Are Drunk
- Eat Blog Run
Now go forth and enter the giveaway. GOOD LUCK!
Tuesday, March 5
The other day on Facebook I asked if anyone had a biscuit recipe to share. Responses came POURING in (click here to read them). I now have more “this is the best biscuit recipe” biscuit recipes than I can shake a rolling pin at! I’ve already made two batches of biscuits. I’ll just keep it up and let you know what ends up being my favorite recipe!
So, anyway, as I was making all these biscuits, I realized I should do a post about my Tupperware rolling mat a.k.a. pastry sheet a.k.a. pastry mat. My Grandma Blomquist gave me this rolling mat when I got married. I grew up watching both she and my mom use the exact same mat. And, I have to be honest, I didn’t really use mine much until recently.
I think I always just used the countertop or one of my cutting boards when I was rolling stuff out or working with dough. But I’m discovering that the rolling mat is actually pretty awesome. Here are the various reasons that I am fast falling in love:
- The rolling mat is easier to clean up than a messy countertop, especially if you have tile counters.
- It’s bigger than a cutting board, so you have a larger working area. The surface is also textured perfectly for working with dough.
- It has measured circles and a ruler along the bottom. This is incredibly handy!
- If you own a rolling pin, it won’t take up any extra storage space – just roll it up around your rolling pin for storage.
- Every time I look at it I think of my grandma. (Okay, maybe this isn’t as helpful for you, but you can think of me thinking of my grandma and that might make you smile, right?)
There you have it. Rolling mats a.k.a. pastry sheets a.k.a. pastry mats are great!
Oh, and this biscuit recipe from Homesick Texan was pretty darn yummy! More biscuit love to come…
Thursday, February 28
Remember the Favorite Things gift exchange I attended last December? (If you don’t, it’s worth checking out!) One of the ‘favorite things’ shared at the party was the Whirley Pop. I was not the recipient of that particular gift. I filed it away in my brain as something to get one day. My 5-year-old Anna loves popcorn more than Orville Redenbacher, so I figured it would be fun to have around.
Serendipitously, my awesome sister-in-law Jess gave it to us for Christmas! Score! We’ve used the Whirley Pop a few times now…and…
…the verdict? We love the Whirley Pop! It’s a fast, easy way to make popcorn from scratch. It takes about as long as microwave popcorn but is completely free of scary chemicals. You cook the popcorn over the stove while constantly turning a crank, which keeps the kernels from burning. It works beautifully and the popcorn is delicious, fluffy and crisp!
Parents, just so you know, kids get sick of turning the crank after about, oh, 10 seconds. You’ll end up doing most of the heavy lifting, but I’m pretty sure you can handle it.
My friend Linda in the Bay Area is a fellow Whirley Pop lover and recommended Crown Jewel Popcorn as a great source for buying kernels. They have all kinds of gourmet popcorn to choose from, with pretty names like Blue Sapphire and Fiery Garnet.
And, just so ya know, the Real-Theater popcorn kit that comes with your Whirley Pop…it’s not good. So, don’t waste your money buying any of those. Stick with straight-up kernels and then add your own butter!
And, for the record, even though this post sounds all pitchy, I have no connection to Whirley Pop whatsoever. We just love it and I wanted to tell you about it!
When we make popcorn with the Whirley Pop, we do a full batch with 1/2 cup of kernels and 1 tablespoon of canola oil, topping with 4 tablespoons of melted butter when done, along with a sprinkle of coarse salt. Buttery and delicious!
In case you were wondering, Anna is in popcorn heaven.
Thursday, February 14
Happy Valentine’s Day! You know I couldn’t let this day go buy without a little chocolate, right?
Before we get to the chocolate, though, I have a question. Why has no one ever told me how great cake pans with super square edges are? My sister Anne’s 8×8-inch baking pan has those super right-angled edges. Cate’s giraffe birthday cake this year was cut from an 8-inch square cake. I borrowed Anne’s cake pan knowing the squared-off edges would work better for cutting the pieces for the cake. Well, the pan worked fabulously for the cake…and then, last week, I used it for brownies and loved it! I had to return the pan, but you can bet your bottom dollar I will be buying one of my own, in the 8″x8″ and 9″x13″ sizes!
On to the chocolate. I tried Ruth Reichl’s “A Better Brownie” recipe last week. Awesome recipe, people. Nate, who does not have a sweet tooth, said to me that night, “Jane, these brownies are dangerous.” If you’ve got Nate jonesing for a dessert item, you know it’s good. They are super chocolatey and moist but still light in weight and texture. Such a great combination of qualities that you rarely find in a brownie. (PS…Ruth has lots of “How To Make a Better XXX” recipes on the Gilt Taste website. Definitely a good read!)
I’m putting the recipe here because in the past when I’ve simply linked to recipes, I’ve run the risk of the links disappearing for various reasons and forever losing recipes I love. Not that Ruth Reichl is going anywhere anytime soon…but who knows what those pesky links will do! I didn’t change anything about the recipe and I have absolutely nothing to add. Except that the recipe works beautifully as written.
Ruth Reichl’s “A Better Brownie”
From Ruth Reichl on Gilt Taste
- 2/3 cup (5 ounces) unsalted high-fat butter (like European or European-style butters)
- 5 ounces unsweetened excellent chocolate
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons best-quality vanilla extract
- 4 farm fresh organic eggs (Jane note: my eggs were not farm fresh, everything was fine!)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup all-purpose white flour, sifted (Jane note: I just now realized I forgot to sift the flour – whoops!)
Butter a 9×9 square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the bottom again and lightly dust the pan with cocoa powder.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Melt the chocolate and the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Beat the eggs and salt in a stand mixer. Add the sugar and beat on high for about 10 minutes, until the mixture has turned quite white. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs, beating on low until just mixed.
Gently stir in the flour until it just disappears.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place in the middle of the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes; the brownies will be quite fudgy and a toothpick should come out not quite clean. Cool on a rack.
Invert the pan, remove the parchment paper and invert again onto a cutting surface. Cut into squares.
Tuesday, January 29
I have a few new kitchen loves. Like, I’m really loving these things so I have to share them!
With this move we are finally living in a house. It’s short term until we find something more permanent, and it’s nothing fancy, but it’s a house. With a yard. And space for a family of five. It’s heavenly and I am feeling very grateful and blessed.
Included with the house is a kitchen, as is often the case. Again, nothing fancy, but it is definitely a step up from my previous kitchen, which served me well but was TEENY TINY. As in, I had one drawer and one plug and next to no counter space. Yeah, not missing that kitchen so much.
Our new kitchen isn’t huge, the cabinets are chipped, there is tile everywhere the eye can see (tile makes me nervous since it’s so easy to break things and I hate cleaning the grout, but I can deal), and the dishwasher doesn’t clean worth a darn. BUT, I have a full-sized oven! There’s a gas stove! There’s more counter space! There is TONS of light, perfect for a food blogger who photographs everything she eats! Here are my three most favorite features after one week in the new kitchen. You’ll see I’m pretty easy to please.
1. Kitchen Faucet with Pull-Out Spray. I hate dirty sinks. The pull-out spray on the faucet indulges my OCD to the max. It’s just so quick and easy to wash everything down the drain! It’s much easier cleaning off Owen’s high chair tray and comes in quite handy when washing dishes. I love that the spray hose is built into the faucet rather than having it off to the side, making it super convenient.
2. Clear drawers in the fridge. Okay, seriously, having clear drawers in the fridge is a revelation!
3. Pantry space. I filled the pantry shelves NO PROBLEM. So happy to have a dedicated place to store our food! Woohoo!
I also did a Trader Joe’s run the other night and found two new-to-me items that are pretty darn cool.
1. Baking soda in a baking powder can. Three cheers for easy baking soda measuring!
2. Small boxes of shelf-stable whipping cream. Talk about handy! I will definitely be keeping these stocked in my new pantry.
On a related note…it’s so nice to be cooking more regularly again. House is still a mess…but life is starting to feel a bit more normal!
Tuesday, January 15
I have a Bay Area bucket list. In the time we have lived here, we actually ticked off a lot of the items on the list, but not everything. Like Alcatraz…we never went to Alcatraz. And Chez Panisse. My heart hurts just a bit knowing I never ate there. One day…
Last week I was hanging out with my dear friend Rachel, talking about how fast my departure date was approaching. She suddenly exclaimed, “And we never made it to Fentons!” And I exclaimed right back, “Well, let’s go this week!” And so we did! Another Bay Area bucket list item checked off!
Rachel grew up in Oakland, where Fentons is located. Fentons is famous, a Bay Area staple. It’s been around since 1894, which in California is OLD. They make delicious, homemade ice cream. And it’s where Carl Fredrickson and Russell grab a cone at the end of Up. How could you not want to go to Fentons, I ask you?
We had a great time. We had to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ about 14 times, which was actually really fun. The restaurant has a busy, happy vibe. And the ice cream was, in fact, delicious. I got the Fudgeanna sundae with vanilla and dutch chocolate chip ice cream. Oh, that dutch chocolate chip ice cream was heavenly. I want more. Now.
The sundae was a bit top heavy and when the waitress handed it to me, I didn’t get a good hold on it and my giant scoop of dutch chocolate chip ice cream rolled onto Owen. He was NOT happy…until we filled him with ice cream. Then he was very happy! So, fair warning, the sundaes are HUGE and may attack you if you’re not careful.
Friday, January 11
It’s January, which means a lot of us are making resolutions! As we all know, many new year’s resolutions involve exercise. Today I have a fun giveaway to help kick-start your working out goals! (Even if you don’t work out, you’re still gonna love the hoodie…keep reading!)
We have these friends, Liz and Dave. We know them from way back when and they’re pretty much the BEST. They started a business a while back called Albion Fit. I have to share Albion with you. And not just because I love Liz and Dave. I also really LOVE what they’ve created.
Albion Fit is a line of activewear that is comfortable, functional and so cute. Dave is an uber-talented graphic designer and I love it when his designs pop up on the clothes. It makes me happy.
In addition to the activewear, Albion’s retro swimwear is, well, darling. (That’s a word that Liz uses. She also says things like “bless his heart…”) Anyway, I love their stuff and everything I’ve tried from them has been great.
On Wednesday, a cushy package arrived in my mailbox. I opened it to discover a hoodie from Liz.
Now, let me set the stage. I’ve been trying to find the perfect sweatshirt for years. And I found it just two weeks ago at the Stanford bookstore. A grey, basic Stanford hoodie that was super cozy, fit perfectly and was just what I’d been looking for all this time. I’ve worn it almost every day since I bought it. Until the Albion signature hoodie arrived, that is. I am not kidding, I love it more than my Stanford sweatshirt. I didn’t think that could be possible!
Here’s the thing. My new Albion hoodie is just as soft and comfy as my Stanford sweatshirt, but it’s cuter and much more flattering. It’s the whole package. It’s the perfect hoodie.
We have a lot of Albion love for you today, so get ready.
First, everyone gets $10 off your next order plus free shipping! Use the code TWFD10 (Applies to all orders in the U.S.)
Second, you know I love giving away my favorite things. This hoodie is no exception! One of you lucky, randomly-selected people will get a hoodie just like mine. Here’s how to enter!
- Leave a comment telling us something you love on the Albion website. That’s it! You’re entered!
- Additional entry: Pin your favorite Albion item on Pinterest!
- Additional entry: Follow Albion Fit on Pinterest
- Additional entry: Like Albion Fit on Facebook
- For the additional entries, be sure to leave a separate comment on this post for each additional entry.
- All comments must be made by Midnight, PT on Thursday, January 17.
Whether you work out or not, I’m certain you will find something to love on their site. Head on over to Albion and do some window shopping! And, after you get the window shopping out of your system, do some ACTUAL shopping and take advantage of the $10 off and free shipping with the TWFD10 code!
Good luck with the giveaway! Thanks, Liz and Dave!
Friday, December 14
Last night my friend Courtney hosted a gift exchange at her home. The theme was “My Favorite Things” and it was a LOT of fun. Everyone had to think of their “favorite thing,” valued at $15, and then we each brought three of that favorite thing to the party. Everyone presented their favorite items to the group, explaining why they were so wonderful, then we pulled names from a bowl and everyone went home with three gifts that were other peoples’ favorite things. It was super cute and I loved seeing what everyone chose to share!
I was already planning on telling you today what my favorite thing was (of course it’s chocolate), but as I was sitting there last night, this blog post kept growing in my head. First I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to do a virtual ‘favorite things’ gift exchange on my blog, where everyone comments and says what they would have brought to the party?” Then, as I furiously took notes on everyone’s favorite things last night, I realized I should be sharing that list with you, too! I mean, that is one totally awesome gift guide!
So, what began as a short “here’s my favorite thing” blurb has turned into a blog post with a three-fold mission!
- I will share my favorite thing with you
- I will share all of my friends’ favorite things with you.
- You will share YOUR favorite thing with all of us! Please comment and tell us what you would have brought to the “My Favorite Things” gift exchange. Your budget is $15!
I’m sure you dying to know what I took to the party, right? My gift included to two items made by Guittard: Cocoa Rouge and Super Cookie Chips. (Click through on those hyperlinks to read why I love them so much. AWESOME stuff.)
And now for the list of favorite things from last night! There are tons of great gift ideas in here…or even just ideas when you need to splurge on yourself a bit!
Time for the virtual gift exchange! Tell us what your favorite thing is! Your budget is around $15. Can’t wait to read about your faves!
- Reader’s Digest Children’s Songbook
- Frango’s Chocolates
- Therapeutic-Grade Eucalyptus Essential Oil and Lavendar Eye Pillow
- L’Occitane ‘Hugs & Kisses’ Shea Hand Cream and Lip Balm
- Kuhn Rikon Butterfly Rainbow Silicone Whisk (I got this and it’s AWESOME! The tines get into the corner of your pan, so excited!!!!)
- Mistral South Seas Hand Lotion
- Williams Sonoma Tuscan Fig Dish Soap and Cinnamint Lip Balm from Bath & Body Works
- Pride & Prejudice and a cool scarf (which reminded her of England)
- Philosophy Animal Cracker Lip Gloss and OPI glitter polish
- Mini Latte Bowls from Anthropologie
- Paper Source gift card
- Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Paste
- Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper
- Lush Jasmine Shampoo Bar and Veganese Conditioner
- Super Cute Rhinestone Owl Purse Hook (I got this and have been wanting a purse hook for ages!)
- Mary Kay Cellu Shape Contouring System
- Really cute reusable shopping bags
- Smiley Metal Dustpan
- Schwarzkopf Dust It (I have this, it’s cool stuff!)
- Salad Hands from Sur La Table and a Tangerine-flavored Balsamic Vinegar
- Nike Lightweight Running Arm Wallet / Phone Case (I got this…and I think it’s the universe telling me to get exercising again!)
Friday, November 30
Back when I chose the Ginger Epiphanie bag as my camera/diaper bag, I thought I’d found perfection. And the Ginger was perfect…for a while. Until this summer, when I got a new Epiphanie bag. The Lyric. I LOVE my Lyric. Love. Love. Love. It’s such a great bag and I gush about it so much, my friend Katja went and bought the same exact bag. And now we’re twins at school pick-up. ‘Cause we’re cool like that.
I love the pockets on the front…one for my phone, one for my keys!
Oh, Epiphanie, how I love thee. Let me count the ways…I love having a stylish bag that also keeps my camera safe…I love having those camera-lens-divider-thingys because they also keep my purse junk organized…I love the high quality feel of the leather…I love all the cool colors…I could go on and on!
This giveaway is now closed.
Let’s do a giveaway! One of you super duper lucky, randomly-selected commenters will get to choose your very own Epiphanie bag! Woohoo! Same drill as always. Leave a comment to enter. That’s it! If you feel like it, go ahead and tell us what your dream Epiphanie bag is. As much as I love Lyric, I think Charlotte has caught my eye. (Attention guys! They have a men’s line of bags now, too!) Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Thursday, December 6.
Plenty of space for my stuff. And when I have my camera with me, the bag is tall enough that all the stuff still fits on top of the camera, in the same organized fashion. It works really well!
Good luck with the giveaway! And big thanks to Epiphanie!