Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Soft sugar cookies


There’s a lot of sugar cookie recipes out there, but I don’t often see soft sugar cookies. These sugar cookies are easy to make and decorate, and are soft and chewy all the way through. This is BF’s favorite cookie recipe, so of course I made to make him some cookies to take home for Christmas.

The cookies came out perfect. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to decorate them. I did some with non pareils and some with sanding sugar.  I like the look of the nonpareils the best. Next time I might try some regular sprinkles or the little christmas trees or gingerbread men sprinkles I had.

Soft sugar cookies (from Lovin’ from the Oven)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
14 Tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
sprinkles for decorating

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together and
set aside.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs, until combined.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined. Refrigerate dough for about an hour.

4. Heat oven to 350°F. Using palms, roll 1 Tablespoons of dough at a time into balls, then dips tops of balls into sprinkles. Place balls on baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart.

5. Bake cookies about 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cucina Urbana revisit

Cucina Urbana
505 Laurel St,
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 239-2222
http://www.cucinaurbana.com

After a wonderful dinner at Cucina Urbana about a month ago, BF and I couldn’t wait to go back. Luckily, we were able to squeeze in a visit before Christmas.

BF and I decided to try some different dishes than last time. We started off with the daily board special, which consists of three appetizers that change daily. On this occasion, there was a bruschetta, a smoked salmon and fried sweet breads.

My favorite was the bruschetta. Usually the bruschetta I eat is made with oilive oil and tomoatoes. This one was really different, but it was really good.

We also ordered some truffle oil fries. I had seen this on the menu and thought a side order of fries for $7 was a little pricey. However, I changed my mind once they arrived because we had a huge serving of fries. The fries were thin, crisp and drenched in truffle oil. Delicious. We couldn’t stop eating this and ate every last fry.


For my main course, I chose the mushroom corzetti. This was my first experience with corzetti. When my entree arrived I was surprised by how soupy it looked. Tucked underneath all the sauce were some large rounds of pasta. The pasta tasted homemade and chewy. I could have done with less sauce, but overall I liked my dish.

BF ordered the guanciale and farm egg pizza. The egg yolk was served raw on top of the pizza. The brie in the pizza made it a little on the salty side, but what made it worse was the guanciale. Guanciale is an unsmoked italian bacon. This was our first experience with guanciale and we couldn’t believe how salty it was. Each chunk was crusted with salt. Also a lot of chunks were just chunks of pure fat. We didn’t like the pizza too much because of how salty it was.

The service was friendly and efficient and we got our food fairly quickly even though the restaurant was full. While one of the entrees was a miss, we’ll be back again to try some more dishes.
Cucina Urbana on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Silkie Chicken Tea Eggs


Have you ever heard of silkie chickens? You can look at this article to see what they look like. Silkie chickens have very puffy feathers and get their name because their feathers feel like silk.

However, this is not all that makes these chicken unique. While the feathers are white, the skin and the bones of the chicken are actually black. These chickens are eaten in chinese cuisine, and are supposed to have a lot of health benefits.

My aunt has a lot of farmland where she raises silkie chickens, geese, and has many fruit trees. It’s been a while since I visited her place, so I don’t have any recent pictures of her chickens.

However, she made these tea eggs using the silkie chicken eggs. Tea leaf eggs are a common chinese dish. Hard boiled eggs are stewed in tea leaves, some salt, soy sauce, and some chinese spices. The eggs are stewed with the shell on, but first the shell is cracked in many places. As a result, when you peel off the shell of a cooked tea leaf egg, it has a beautiful pattern on the egg white exterior.

I love tea leaf eggs. These eggs didn’t taste differently, but they were very tiny. About half the size of a regular chicken egg. You can view my mom’s tea leaf egg recipe here.