Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Southern Tea Cakes



Southern Tea Cakes

Slightly adapted from Country Weekends by Lee Bailey
Makes about 30 cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Coarse grind sugar for topping (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together on high until light and creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar and add to the batter, mixing well. Combine the flour and salt and gradually add to the mixer on low speed until the ingredients form a stiff batter.

Remove the dough onto a sheet of plastic, shape into a disk, wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the dough out on a floured board to 1/4 inch thick. Cut 30 (2 1/2”) rounds using a plain or fluted cutter. Sprinkle the tops with coarse grind natural sugar, if desired.

Place the cookies on lightly buttered or Silpat lined sheet pans, leaving about 1” between cookies allowing room for them to spread slightly. Bake at 350° for about 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack. Store cookies in container with a tight fitting lid. The favor of the cookies improves if they are made a day or two ahead of serving.

Photo from Bijoux

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thai Chicken Salad

A great salad to bring along on a picnic or enjoy on early Fall boat outings. 

Serves 4


2 chicken breast halves, each 1/2 lb.

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 small head green cabbage

1/2 small head iceberg lettuce

1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

3 Tbs. fish sauce

1/3 tsp. Asian sesame oil

2 tsp. sugar

2 Tbs. seeded and minced serrano chili

1 small avocado, pitted, peeled and finely diced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Place the chicken breast halves, skin side up, on a rack in a small roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until the juices no longer run pink when the chicken is pierced to the bone with a knife, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove and discard the skin. Remove the chicken from the bone and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Place the cabbage half on a cutting board and, using a large knife, slice across the cut side into the thinnest possible shreds. Measure out 2 cups; reserve any left over for another use. Cut and measure the lettuce in the same way. Set aside.

In a bowl, stir together the vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the dressing. Add the cabbage, lettuce and chili and toss to combine. Add the diced avocado and gently turn the salad to distribute evenly.

Divide the salad among 4 individual bowls or plates. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.

Serves 4.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Art Of Entertaining

I will be speaking this Friday, September 14th at 1:00 p, m, at the Dawson County Arts Council on the Art Of Entertaining. I will be sharing my tips on how to tailor the perfect event.   For more information and directions click  HERE

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tomatoes Provencal

Just five minutes into the cooking and these babies had my Georgia home smelling like a French country house....in the middle of a lavender field in Provence, in summer, right before lunch!
The following recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, French Essence by Vicky Archer.  I couldn't resist posting it even though I said I wouldn't be back 'til next week.  If you have never baked tomatoes this way you owe it to yourself to do so before the current crop is gone. Bye!

Tomatoes Provencal
For 10 people I would cook 15 tomatoes
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F or 150 C
Choose tomatoes that are as ripe and as red as possible without being over… I always buy them 4 days before I need them and leave them on the table in the kitchen to ripen
Wash them and cut the tops off… about one third into the tomato
Place the tomatoes face up on a flat non stick baking tray
Add 5 or 6 generous cloves of garlic to the tray
Splash olive oil over the tomatoes… a generous pour but don’t drown the tomatoes…
Sprinkle liberally with sea salt … this salt makes all the difference… and Le Saunier de Camargue is my favourite…
Bake in the oven for at least 4 hours… and then turn the oven off and leave them in there for another hour or so… they can even be cooked overnight but remember to drop the temperature right down..
Serve on a platter and scatter fresh basil on top…
These tomatoes are delicious served warm or cold… their caramelised texture is perfect with barbecues… or as an accompaniment to salads… Try them… I think you will love them… x

Recipe and foto V. Archer French Essence


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