Monday, December 30, 2013

Veggie Soup With Chanterelles

My parents moved back to their hometown of Rimersburg, Pennsylvania this summer. Their food situation is pretty much a fantasy to me. My grandmother, uncle, and now my mom upkeep my grandmother's large gardens and orchards. My uncle also raises bees in hopes to make honey, my dad and some of his brothers hunt more deer than they have room for, and a couple of the uncles are really into mushrooming*.

The gardens give my (huge) family far too much produce and fruit to keep up with, so my mom does a ton of canning. I saw my parents at Thanksgiving and mom brought everyone crates of canned veggies and fruit. One of the highlights were a couple of jars of chanterelles.

I don't know what pulled this soup together so well, but this is hands down the best vegetable soup I've ever made. I followed a recipe something like this. Mine has carrots, portabello and chanterelle mushrooms, sweet potato, celery, onion, zucchini, jalapeno, and garlic. I used low sodium organic chicken broth as the stock. I sautaeed the veggies in a few teaspoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. I let them brown well and added a bunch cippolini onion & rosemary salt one of our other grandmothers gave us. The broth turned out rich and delicious. I hope this wasn't a fluke. I'm crediting the butter, cippolini onion salt, and chanterelles (and their juice from the jar). It's delicious.

*My uncles got really into mushrooming several years ago. They're known to pull off the side of the road and look around for mushrooms anytime they're going anywhere. My favorite story is when one of my uncles took another out in the middle of nowhere to his "chanterelle spot". They walked pretty far into the woods and when they found some, my uncle said, "listen, don't you dare tell anyone about this spot!" and the other responded, "well I don't know where the hell we are so don't you worry".

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

omfg, these are so good. A close rival to my favorite coconut oil chocolate chip cookie recipe.

 Really good chocolate chip cookies are dangerous in our house..they are usually all consumed within 2 days. I cut the recipe in half and sent some home with our friend Greg to help save us from eating a dozen cookies in a day.

 I turned in my final grades on Friday, so the past couple days have felt like non-stop celebrating. Gouda & crispy prosciutto burger for lunch? YES. Delicious IPA at 2pm? YES. Buy a bottle of champagne while at the grocery store? DUH.

 I'm looking forward this week to lots of crafting, baking, seeing Neil Degrasse Tyson on Tuesday (!!!) with family, tagging along to a metal show, and seeing Mark Kozelek (where I'll probably cry the entire way through the show like last time).

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 1/2 dozen; can easily be cut in half

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup  sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Continue to cook until the butter turns golden brown. Stir or swirl pan occasionally. Watch the butter closely - it burns easily. When the butter is golden in color and has a nutty aroma, it's done. Pour into a shallow dish and allow to cool in the fridge until soft (no longer melted).

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.

3. Beat the (softened) brown butter and sugars with a mixer. Add eggs (one at a time) & vanilla extract.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Add the chocolate chips.

5. Spoon onto your cookie sheet leaving a couple inches between each cookie. Bake 10-12 minutes.