Thin Mints

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Is this- Yes, yes it is. These homemade thin mints are based off of my favorite girl scout cookie! Tis the season for girl scout cookies and sadly I don’t know anyone around who is selling them, so I had to take the initiative to finding a good recipe and making them myself. They aren’t as good as the kind in the green box, however they are pretty darn close and still worth eating.

As you can see from my photos, my chocolate work isn’t the greatest. I recommend tempering your chocolate for this recipe (if you know how to do that). I also prefer dark over milk chocolate hence why the cookies look darker. The outcome in the flavor is bitter due to the use of darker chocolate..If you prefer your cookies sweeter use milk or semi-sweet chocolate.

Yield: 30 Cookies

Recipe Adapted from: Handle the Heat

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Mise en Place:

-8 ounces Butter, room temperature

-1 Cup Powdered Sugar

-1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

-1 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

-3/4 Teaspoon Salt

-1 1/2 Cups AP Flour

1 Pound good quality Dark Chocolate (or semi-sweet)

-1 Teaspoon Peppermint extract, TT

-1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

Additional Tools:

-Sheet trays

-Cookie cooling racks

-Mixer

-Spatula

-2 Sauce pots

-Rolling pin

-Round cookie cutter

Method of Prep:

-In a mixer, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy.

-Add the powdered sugar and continue to cream. Stir in the vanilla extract, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix until cocoa powder is integrated and the batter is smooth and creamy, resembling a thick frosting.

-Add the flour and mix well. Turn the dough out onto your counter, gather it into a ball, and knead it together into a nice, smooth mass. Divide the dough in 2, flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough really thin. (Sprinkle a little flour on your rolling pin and counter beforehand to avoid sticking).

-Cut out cookies with round cutter, place on a sheet tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

-Meanwhile, prepare your chocolate coating. Using a double boiler, slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until it is glossy and smooth. Add in coconut oil (this gives the chocolate a beautiful shiny coat and a nice crunch once its hardened). Stir in the peppermint extract.

-Using a fork, gently drop the cookies into the chocolate coating. Flip to coat all sides. Lift the cookie out of the chocolate and try to carefully drain any extra chocolate on the cookie by gently tapping the fork on the side of the pot. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat for the rest of the cookies. Place cookies in refrigerator or freezer to set.

Remember: You are after a thin, even coating of chocolate..I was too heavy on mine 😦 For storage I recommend keeping in the freezer!

Enjoy!

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Kimchi

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I have a friend who was born and raised in Korea. She is now married and lives here in Florida. She does a lot of cooking at home and all she knows how to cook is Korean food. (Honestly I think she just misses home and cooking is the only thing that is home related that can keep her happy). I get invited over to her house for dinner at least once a week and If I am available, I of course go. The one item that is always included in dinner is kimchi. Kimchi is Korea’s national dish. It is fermented cabbage that is seasoned with many spices and is eaten as an entree, side item, or used as a garnish. There is an oriental market not far from here down in Fort Lauderdale and that is usually where I go to purchase kimchi.

I had a request from a friend on my facebook page to put up some posts on raw fermentation. I did a post a while back on sauerkraut so keeping in the cabbage family I knew this would be an excellent recipe. You don’t have to cook Korean food to enjoy kimchi. I love it on top of a bed of rice, or used as a topping on tacos. However you choose to eat your kimchi is up to you. (This recipe is super simple to make)

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Mise en Place:

-1 Napa Cabbage

-1 Cup Salt

-1 Gallon Water

 

-1 Head of Garlic, cloves all peeled

-1 Small head of Ginger, peeled

-1 Pack of scallions or 10 Each, sliced 2″ long

-3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

-2 Tablespoons Sugar

-1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

-1 Cup Fish Sauce

-1/2 Cup Red Pepper Powder

-1/4 Cup Roux (1/2 stick butter melted and 1/3 Cup Flour mixed in.)

-Small handful sesame seeds

Β 

Other Tools:

-Food processor

-2 Mixing bowls

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Method of Prep:

-Slice cabbage lengthwise in half, then slice each half lengthwise into 3 sections. Cut away the tough stem chunks.

-Dissolve the salt in the water into a very large container. (I separated the water between two mixing bowls for I didn’t have a large container on hand.) Submerge the cabbage under the water. Press down completely making sure cabbage stays under the water. You can place something on top if that helps. Allow cabbage to sit in the water for 1 hour. After an hour, mix the cabbage around and flip upside down so the top side is on the bottom and continue to soak for another 3o minutes.

-The cabbage should look lifeless when finished. RinseΒ  3 times and drain well. press firmly on top to get rid of extra water, set aside.

-Using your food processor, chop up garlic and ginger.

-In a large mixing bowl, add all remaining ingredients, including the roux.

-Place cabbage on top and mix well.

-Check seasoning and adjust if needed.

-Place in a container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Enjoy!

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Baba Ganoush

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How many of ya’ll are eggplant lovers?? I am not one of them, which is funny because this post is an eggplant based recipe. This is honestly the only form I will eat eggplant in (Don’t ask, I’m weird like that). I am an addict with middle eastern tapas such as hummus, tzitiki (spelling?), felafels and baba ganoush! Give me some pita, or even better, fresh garden veggies, hot tea and some peach flavored hookah and your in for a magical evening.

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Mise en Place:

-2 Ea Eggplant, roasted, peeled, and seeds removed

-10 Ea Garlic Cloves

-1 Bunch Thyme

-2 Tablespoons Tahini

-1/3 Cup Greek Yogurt

-1 Teaspoon Cumin

-S&p, TT

-Olive Oil, Garnish

-Smoked Paprika, Garnish

-Fresh Garden Veggies, pita or any item of your choice for dippins! πŸ™‚

 

Additional Tools:

-Sheet tray

-Food processor

-Mixing bowl

 

Method of Prep:

-Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

-Thinly slice your garlic and spread on the sheet tray. Place thyme on top of garlic and spread evenly around.

-Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and score along the inside flesh with a knife (making a criss cross pattern).

-Toss eggplant in mixing bowlΒ  with a small handful of salt and oil to coat whole eggplant. Place face down on top of the garlic and thyme on the sheet tray. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes or until soft.

-Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

-Remove skin from the flesh and try to get rid of as many seeds as possible (if desired). Set the eggplant flesh aside. Discard skins and thyme.

-Place eggplant flesh and roasted garlic from sheet tray in your food processor and blend until smooth.

-Add in cumin, tahini and yogurt. Mix together and adjust seasoning as needed.

-Place mixture in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and paprika.

-Dip and Enjoy!

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