Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's Up and Running!

After much work and effort we have MOVED! I knew coming into this that this would be a temporary home as I was setting and sorting things out.

You can now find Kimberli's Kitchen as part of The MacKay Way.

Kimberli's Kitchen:

The MacKay Way showcases Creative Outlets in the Kitchen. Garden, Home and On the Road.

Have any questions? You can reach me at

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kitchen Sink Cookies Featured Today on FoodWhirl

visit Link

I'm excited over here in Kimberli's Kitchen that my Kitchen Sink Cookies are featured today at in there Sweet Treats category. Stop on by and give them some love... and... if you're clever and can find the click through at the top of this page, you can get a sneak peak at the new website!

Time to get back to coding... the 4 sections of the new website won't code themselves!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Won the Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to both Kimberlee over at Free Spirit Eater and Erin of Dinners, Dishes & Desserts for this award!

As I accept this award I must first note the rules... (this goes for all who receive this award as well). You must thank the person who awarded you by linking back to their post, you have to say 7 things about yourself (let's assume they should be interesting), and last but certainly not least, you have to pass the award down to 15 other new or newly discovered by me blogs.

Shall we?

7. I have made approximately 90 round trips to China, landing either in Hong Kong or within China itself. I haven't been since December and could list a dozen foods I miss.

6. I'm known as a bit of a renaissance woman. I'm a milliner, fashion & accessories designer and knit wear designer by trade. I garden, cook and create as much of the time as possible.

5. I teach custom cooking classes to people in their own kitchens (so they can gain confidence there.)

4. I had my first recipes published when I was 9 years old.

3. My 104 year old home is under MAJOR renovation. We use flashlights a lot. Weird fact: It has upset my cats, who are brothers, and they both have lost a little hair in the same place over it. The only room not under the reno plan these next few months is the kitchen (thank heavens for small blessings!)

2. I collect and read cookbooks, cover to cover, as though they were novels. (I do read other genres as well, of course). I will be reviewing cookbooks on the new website (see #1). If you have a cookbook that you would like reviewed, please contact me.

1. Although I've been a blogger since 2002 with over 80,000 hits on my original blog, I'm building a website that will showcase all of my passions in an easier to maneuver way. This is the first step in my master plan to take over my destiny during my much unexpected career change. Stay tuned! This all will move over there soon!

Who am I passing this Versatile Blogger Award along to (in no particular order)?
1. Food Blog and the Dog shows how versatile vegetarian cuisine can be.
2. Miss Bosslady at Mind Over Batter seems to look at food through some tasty eyes.
3. Creative Kitchen Adventures exuberance is contagious.
4. Liren at Kitchen Confidante has great insight.
5. Betsy Life runs the wonderful Seasonal Potluck.
6. Kelly of Eat Yourself Skinny has a wonderful outlook.
7. Lindsey over at Gingerbread Bagels has posts that make me so hungry.
8. Bread and Milk and Blackberries is having great bread adventures.
9. Roxana at A Little Bit of Everything -- that's the perfect name.
10. ElinLuv of ElinLuvs Sweet Delights & ElinLuvs Tidbits Corner has a nice mix of things.
11. Karen at Tasty Trials has one of the same goals I do, to write a cookbook, and writes of her own creations (unless otherwise noted.)
12. I love the Gourmatine blog. Just beautiful.
13. Paula at Gapey's Grub does some beautiful photography, and she's a sock knitter to boot!
14. Sasha at A Kitchen in Brooklyn for her fun posts.
15. Michelle at Taste As You Go has a great site and is a Red Sox Fan to boot!

Gingerific Snaps Cookies

I love ginger. This cookie is so terrifically filled with ginger that I had to call it Gingerific! The baking of these cookies brings who ever is in the house to the kitchen rather quickly. The smell of the wafting through the house is magic!

Cocoa loves the new kitchen island as you can see. He loves to keep me company as I cook, tucked under, out of the way, always with that one leg hanging down. He's my guard cat placed between myself and the door. Occasionally he'll throw out a soft meow to let me know he's still there.

The search for the best ginger snap started many years ago. My father's favorite cookie was a crisp yet soft centered ginger snap he would describe to me from his childhood. I must have tried 25 recipes over the years. I'd bake a batch and bring or send them to him for a taste test. Over and over we did this until the base for this recipe was discovered in the King Arthur Flour's 200th Anniversary Cookbook. Many of you know I read (cover-to-cover) and collect cookbooks like a comic book collector does. (Yeah for the cookbook shelves in the new kitchen... which are almost full... must make room for more.) This is a WONDERFUL cookbook and worthy of space on your shelf.

Today I thought I'd share this household favorite on Sunday, May 8, the last day of National Cookie Week. Enjoy!

This is an adaptation of that recipe from King Arthur Flour's 200th Anniversary Cookbook.

Gingerific Snaps
Makes 10-12 dozen

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) of butter at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark unsulphured molasses
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons powdered ginger
1 1/2 cups chopped crystallized ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Rolling sugar (I mix this up twice per batch)
Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1/4 teaspoon kosher large flake salt
Mix it well as not to have patches of salt.

Let's get to it:
In a large bowl combine the flour, soda, salt, gingers and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.

Cream the butter until fluffy then add in the sugar and mix together until its light and airy. Next add in the eggs and beat until well mixed. Don't rush this part as it properly aerates the dough.

Add in the flour, about a cup at a time, until all is well mixed.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours (even over night is OK.)

About 10 minutes before you plan to take the dough out of the fridge, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Roll the dough into quarter sized pieces between your hands then roll them in the Rolling Sugar mixture listed above.

Place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet or ungreased silpats. I gently flatten then a little (just a little as they do spread a little as they cook.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

The bottoms will be light browned. Taking them out at this point will leave the centers chewy.

If you want them only crispy, you can experiment with baking them longer. I recommend them chewy. They. Are. Wonderful.

Art by Gerard Conte ©2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Kitchen Sink Cookies

There are times when I need a break from chocolate chip cookies. Call me crazy, OK, I'm crazy. As I've been looking out in cookieland this week during National Cookie Week I've seen a lot of great chocolate options, but I've decided to provide yet another no-chocolate cookie. It is chock full of tasty bits though, so I'm not sure you'll miss the chocolate!!

So far, this has won the YUMMY AWARD of the WEEK around The MacKay Way. They are that good! Bake up a batch, turn on the milk tap and dive in... we did!
Kitchen Sink Cookies

Makes 5-6 dozen (which you'll find to not NEARLY be enough. Perhaps pencil into your calendar now to make them up again early next week.)

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk (reserve the white for that omelette you've been craving all day!)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 cups of oatmeal
1.5 cups of unsweetened grated coconut*
1 bag, 11-12 oz. of butterscotch chips (I've seen bags in both sizes
2/3 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (I like the small sort you find in India markets called Char Magaz)
1 1/2 cups of toasted and candied pecans (see below for instructions
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toasted & Candied Pecans:
1 1/2 Cups of pecans as listed above, chopped
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
large dinner plate

Preheat oven 375°F.

Toasting & Candying Nuts:
Break the nuts into a few pieces by hand or with a large knife. When candying them, I prefer to break them by hand and have less "nut dust". Have all items at the ready, including the dinner plate and stirring spoon when you begin this part. Put the nuts into a small, dry, frying pan over medium high heat and cook until they begin to toast. Be sure to stir the nuts as you cook. BEWARE: Nuts will go from toasted to burned quite quickly. When they begin to toast, lower the heat to medium and dump on the brown sugar and mix quickly. When I say quickly - I mean it will burn super fast so stir like hell and pour the contents out onto a plate immediately to begin cooling. DO NOT touch any nuts that spill onto the counter or that remain in the pan. You WILL get one heck of a sugar burn, and sugar burns suck. Let the nuts cool and break them up once cooled.

Let's get on with it, shall we?
Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside for now.

In a mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugars and mix well. Add the eggs (including the additional 3rd yolk) and vanilla and mix on medium speed until the batter is fluffy. Add the flour a little at a time until all is well blended.

Kitchen towel flour saver
TIP: When I add the flour to the mixer, even though I have a splatter shield, I place a towel over the mixer to help keep the flour from invading the entire kitchen.

After the flour is mixed in, add the coconut followed by the oatmeal, mixing between additions. Finally, add the butterscotch chips, pumpkin seeds and candied pecans and give it a quick mix.

Place by tablespoon full, flattening slightly with damp fingers, onto ungreased cookie sheets. They do not spread very much. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown around the edges. Allow to cool enough on a wire rack that you don't burn your tongue snarfing one down.

Happy National Cookie Week!!!
*Unsweetened coconut can be found in the freezer section of your local Indian market.

Art by Gerard Conte ©2011

Kitchen Sink Cookie on FoodistaKitchen Sink Cookie

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Buffalo-Turkey Tacos for Cinco De Mayo

My feller loves tacos. He likes them crispy (I prefer them soft). He loves beef over any other filling... or so he thought. In an effort to make them a bit more healthy I pulled out the big buffalo and turkey guns! I like to use ground buffalo meat in place of beef. It's healthier for you and has great flavor!

For him, the tacos were served traditional style... all of the ingredients stuffed into the shell.
For me, I made a taco salad with one of the shells broken into bits in one of the layers (as shown above.) I've been working all too hard at the gym to blow it on too many taco shells!!

The meat mix fills 12-16 shells when served as traditional crispy tacos.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 cups onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. ground buffalo
1 lb. ground turkey

Taco seasoning:
2 Tablespoon dried oregano
1-2 Tablespoons chili powder (depending on how spicy your chili powder is)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 Tablespoon freshly grown black pepper

Taco Fixin's:
tortillas (crisp or soft)
lettuce, chopped
tomatoes, diced (I seed large tomatoes)
cilantro, chopped
mixed cheeses of your choice, shredded
sour cream

In a mortar and pestle, grind together all of the ingredients for the taco seasoning. Set aside.

Heat your favorite large frying pan and add the olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. Add the garlic, stirring, and cook about 45 seconds. Add onions, half of the taco seasoning and cook, stirring often enough to make sure the onions don't brown too much, until they are translucent. Set aside the onions and garlic for later.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

When you add the seasoning to the meats, put the taco shells into the oven to heat through, 3-4 minutes.

In the same frying pan, cook both ground meats, breaking up as they cook. When half cooked, add the remaining taco seasoning. When the meats are cooked, add the onions and garlic and cook long enough to heat through. Taste to see if any additional salt is needed and season to your taste.

Serve tacos as usual or make up a taco salad.

Tip: You can add a can of kidney beans to the half-cooked meat for more protein.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I won, I won!!

Congratulations to Becky over at Baking and Cooking: A Tale of Two Loves
Her online bake sale raised $590 for The Relay for Life!!

My bid for the Cocoa Brownies with Brown Butter and Pecans (shown at the right) from Molly over at Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips was the winner and soon I'll be digging into some tasty looking brownies!!

All in a days work and for a GREAT CAUSE!
If you'd still like to donate -- there are a few items at the online bake sale up for grabs still (minimum bid $15.)

Currently still available at the time this was posted:
Lemon Bread
Old Fashioned Ginger Snap Cookies
Lemon White Chocolate Graham Cookies
Triple Chocolate Vegan Banana Bread
Ranger Cookies
White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
Vegan Earl Grey Tea Shortbread
Oreo Sugar Cookies
Tapioca Parmesan Branches
Fight Back brownies

If you simply want to give Becky a donation, no baked goods involved, you can do so at her Relay for Life page!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Snickerdoodles - A Modern Twist, Version 2

I grew up having various types of Snickerdoodles. What are Snickerdoodles? In my experience in growing up in northern New England, they are a spiced cookie with a cake like texture.

I have tried many many recipes over the years. They've been altered, rewritten and altered again. I like this one, but I think it's one or two versions away from being perfect!

Being that it's a cake like texture anyway, I chose to substitute a good portion of the sugar and butter typically called for with some of my homemade, unsweetened, apple sauce. I also added some chia seeds. Grind the chia seeds. I DON'T recommend adding more than about a teaspoon of whole chia seeds as too many will alter the texture of the dough into a bit of a slimy mess (they absorb moisture and become a bit gelatinous).

Many Snickerdoodle recipes have cream of tarter in them but none of my favorites did, so I have foregone it in this version.

One of my feller's coworkers came over after work and enjoyed these, saying they reminded him of his time in college in New England. In contrast, my feller really didn't like them at all. He didn't like the cake like texture. You win some, you lose some.

These are probably the healthiest of the cookies I'll be posting this week... considering the butter and bacon that lay ahead... but back to the cookies at hand!

Snickerdoodles - A Modern Twist - Version 2
Yield: 6-8 dozen

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup reduced fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3.5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon chia seeds, ground (use a mortar and pestle if needed)
1/2 teaspoon lg flake kosher salt

Spiced Rolling Sugar
1/4c sugar
1T cinnamon
1/2t freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Beat butter then sugar then add eggs and mix until creamed. Add in the apple sauce, milk and vanilla and beat until well blended.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, spices, chia seeds (ground) and salt.

Add flour mixture to the wet mixture, a cup at a time until just blended. If the dough is a little too sticky you can pop into the fridge for a few minutes, but I liked the texture better if I didn't pop it into the fridge. Shape into teaspoon sized balls and roll in the spiced rolling sugar. Place 2
inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until set and crackled. Cool on a wire wrack.
As shown in the photo at the top of this post, I like to serve them with homemade apple sauce for dipping.
Art by Gerard Conte ©2011