Monday, September 13, 2010

Best Ever ShortBread Recipe Baked by a Kid

My parents are usually the ones writing on this blog post, but tonight, I made something that I would like to tell you about.  It is called Cinnamon Walnut (I left the nuts out) Scottish Shortbread, and it is from one of my favorite children's cookbooks called, Emeril's There's a Chef In My World!  Recipes That Take You Places!

Why It's The Best:  I love shortbread, and this recipe is really good because it has cinnamon, and allspice in it, which makes it taste extra good.  It tastes buttery and light, and was easy enough for me to make without any help.  You have to make sure not to overmix it, though, because it will become tough, and you want your shortbread to be light and flakey.

How I Know:  Because I'm a kid, and I've tasted lots of shortbread, and this is the best so far.  It was extra good because my mom had some left-over homemade cream cheese icing, which I decided to spread on each piece of shortbread.  Then, I put a couple of fresh rasberries on top, followed with another piece of shortbread (kind of like a cookie sandwich).  We ate it when it was still warm, and it was wonderful.

Craving Level:  Seriously... I'm a kid -- I could eat it everyday, but, sadly, my parents would never allow me to have it that often.  So, we'll say... twice a week.

One More Thing:  If you have a child in your life that likes to cook (and learn about cool places), you should definitely get them this cookbook.  Each recipe is from a different part of the world, and the page that the recipe is on tells you what country it is from, a little bit about the origins of the recipe (or just some neat facts), and then shows you a picture of the flag.  So, you can learn more about the foods the rest of the world eat, while becoming a really good cook!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Best Ever Crab Melt

It's the time of the year when we just can't find enough ways to eat blue crab.  This recipe is a new favorite, and comes from a cookbook that we really love.  Writing this post also led to an interesting discovery.

The Neiman Marcus Cookbook was a limited edition book, and to our surprise, has become a collectors item.  Originally published in 2003 to mark the 50th Anniversary of Neiman Marcus's first restaurant, the Zodiac Room in Dallas, it contains recipes drawn from all of the chain's 42 locations.  It's been a good investment, beyond the wonderful meals we've made, and we've now learned that it has actually appreciated in value.   

The list price for the cookbook is $45, but the least expensive new one on Amazon is $86, the most expensive is $212, with "used" books starting at $54.32.  It's an expensive cookbook (it is Neiman Marcus), but worth it ...and it may be one the few that will provide any monetary return on your investment -- should you ever want to part with it, but trust us, you won't.   

The cookbook contains a number of winners.  Jen used to work at Nieman's and the Tortilla Soup (pg. 19) was always a favorite for lunch in the "Neiman's Cafe".  The Chicken Salad recipe (pg. 90) is a classic, and the chocolate chip cookies are well known, and delicious.    We recently discovered a new favorite and wanted to share it with all of you.

What:   Crab and Shrimp Salad "Melt" on Sourdough Bread (click on the recipe to enlarge)

Why it's the Best:  The method of cooking the shrimp makes it so flavorful, and when combined with fresh lump crab, tangy mustard, cheese, and all of the remaining ingredients, the end product is truly delicious.  Then, putting the mixture on a fresh slice of sourdough bread, and baking puts this already great "salad" on a whole new level.

How We Know: The cookbook made Oprah's favorite things list for 2003, who can argue with that.

Craving Level: Monthly during crab season.

Reviews:  Cookbook reviews by buyers