broccoli and cheese soup

ingredients (makes 4 servings):
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
16 oz (1 lb) broccoli
1/2 cup milk
1.5-2 cups cheddar cheese (mr ben and i used a mexican cheese blend)
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
meanwhile, cook the broccoli, then blend or puree in a food processor. don't blend too long if you still want some bigger pieces of broccoli.
add broccoli to soup. add milk and bring to a simmer to heat through. add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.
ladle into bowls.
serve with bread if you like (i just toasted some bread and cut it into crouton size pieces).

recipe adapted from here.


brown butter chocolate chip cookies

ingredients (makes 2.5 dozen cookies):
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (1 pound) semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Once melted, continue to cook until it turns golden brown. Swirl the pan occasionally if needed so that it browns evenly. Watch it fairly closely, as it can go from brown to burned quickly. When the color has turned golden, small flecks speckle the butter, and it has a nutty aroma, remove from heat and poor into a shallow dish. Chill in the fridge until it becomes solid. You want it to be soft, but not melted. If it cool too hard, let it come back to room temperature before using.
(note: browning of butter takes a while, especially at such a low temperature. and then cooling takes even longer. i had to stick the butter in the freezer to cool faster.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Beat the brown butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium high speed with an electric mixer until light and creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla.

Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until just combined on medium speed. Add the chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.

Spoon by the tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

this is the brown butter...

recipe found here.


vanilla vanilla mini mini cupcakes

i know cupcakes are like totally out and pie is supposed to be the next big thing...
but i still love cupcakes.

especially when they are mini = less guilt.ingredients for cake (makes about 30 regular sized cupcakes):
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

directions for cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

ingredients for buttercream frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

directions for frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

recipe from martha.


ebelskivers (little round danish yummies)

ebelskivers have a pancake-like consistency. you will need an ebelskiver pan, one like this. or it's always nice to buy one from a local kitchen shop.ingredients (makes 20-25 ebelskivers):
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
2 Tbs sugar

2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
4 Tbs butter

Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, soda, sugar (dry ingredients)
Add eggs, buttermilk and melted butter (wet ingredients)

bake in ebelskiver iron and eat as many as you can. it's fun to butter
the pan often to keep from sticking.

fill pan holes just below the filler line. wait until the one side is cooked and rotate with a fork or easy kitchen tool so the uncooked batter will fill the bottom of the pan holes.

serve with syrup, powdered sugar, fruit, jam... etc. the options are endless.
recipe from my sister... and from her mother-in-law.