» Archive for the 'Holidays' Category

Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 by Gabi

Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread

With three days before Christmas, while the southern plains are pummeled with snow storms, Chicago enjoys a strange mild winter with temperatures in the mid 40s with no precipitations! As much as I enjoy a white Christmas, and believe me, we have quite a bit of those in Chicago, I also appreciate spending time in the kitchen, baking, instead of shoveling snow.

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Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 by Gabi

You know that fall is approaching when you start baking. Lately the temperature in Chicago was more baking-friendly so I thought it was time for another BBA Challenge dust-off here with a delicious Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche.

This is a protein-intense bread, surely because of the cheese overdrive content but worth making it again… annually. No, really I would make it more often but it requires attention and time. I really liked the asiago cheese in it because it gives an assertive taste, but you can simply substitute it for any other cheese from that same family (like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano).

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Panettone – Not Your Momma’s Fruitcake

Thursday, December 24th, 2009 by Gabi


Merry Christmas! This is the second time me baking the Panettone from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice for the BBA Challenge. I didn’t blog about it since there were some things I wanted to tweak and adapt from his original formula (that, with all respect to the man, doesn’t even come close to the quintessential Panettone Milanese). Quite a few changes. Now I know why Nicole calls the BBA Challenge a ‘challenge’…

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The Humble Chocolate Tart

Monday, December 21st, 2009 by Gabi
Chocolate Tart

Chocolate Tart

Don’t be fooled. This humble chocolate tart is packed with enough potential to turn even the most chocolate-disciplined person into a dessert-ivore. So much more that is so easy and fast – if you read my previous post on baking short crust sweet pastry tart shells and you have two or three of them in the freezer.

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The ‘Light’ Bacon Explosion

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 by Gabi

Bacon Explosion

Bacon Explosion

Had to do it. I knew it was going to come. The notorious creation of the BBQ Addicts, The Bacon Explosion a scandalous arteries clogging log of sausage, with crispy bacon bits, wrapped in … you guessed a layer of thick bacon! No trace of a vegetable in sight! None.

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Give Brine A Chance

Monday, November 24th, 2008 by Gabi

The Great Comission

I was commissioned by my family to take care of the turkey(s) for this Thanksgiving. They either trust me, or they are completely blind.
Either way, I will have take care of this in one way or another. Nobody showed any interest of preparing it a certain way or purchasing a certain type of free-range or kosher bird so, I took myself some liberties (freedoms).

Brined Turkey

I started off my difficult quest of assuring my family’s thanksgiving turkey happiness by consulting several reference blogs, recipes, techniques, etc. since these days everything can be found on the Internet!
From the very beginning I was in a disadvantage first of all because I never roasted a turkey, I am not an American and on Tuesday (tomorrow) I’ll make my 40’st meaning that it is downhill from there.

Among my findings were, of course the traditional smoked turkey, Martha Stewart turkey, Adobo, deep fried turkey, rotisserie turkey, etc. But there seemed to be a common opinion thread everywhere that the brined turkey produces the juiciest bird. Of course if that is made well.

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Sarmale Recipe Success!

Monday, October 27th, 2008 by Gabi

Well Ladies and Gentlemen,

What looked like a failed cooking afternoon turned around unexpectedly into a success story. The Sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls) turned out as it should – the rolls didn’t fall apart, they remained stiff, retaining their initial shape, the taste was full of cabbage flavor with a flagrant tomatoe aroma. One thing that I should have added more was salt. But better less than over-salted.



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