Monthly Archives: July 2012

Scrumptious Cereal Bar Treats

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I’ll be honest: I had really no idea what to call these. I debated between Anti-Rice Krispie Treats, Everything But the Kitchen Sink Treats, and the very accurate This Is What Happens When You Have Extra Marshmallows and a Box of Cheerios Treats. Well, if you, like so many of us in the summer, are faced with an abundance of marshmallows after a bonfire or celebration of sorts, here’s a suggestion. Add Cheerios + espresso +Nutella + shredded coconut + marshmallows + butter + drizzled chocolate, receive heavenly gooey treat things that will make your mom roll her eyes and make cutting remarks about cavities. It’s a good combination, but feel free to adapt the recipe and take as many culinary liberties as you would like.

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Summer Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese

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Well hello, my fine friends. I hope you all have been enjoying your summer as much as I have and have squeezed in plenty reading, swimming, and of course cooking if you are able. As it is tomato season, and as we have been rather dessert-heavy for the past few posts, Caty and I decided to concoct this savory tart and it was a raging success. In my opinion, anyway.

This light tart is a perfect combination of fresh vegetables, salty goat cheese, and buttery crust. We layered goat cheese on a simple dough crust with caramelized onions, arranged thinly sliced tomatoes on top, and drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and garnished with garden-fresh basil. It was delectable; the perfect dish to bring to a July luncheon. Really, though, one could eat it at any time of the day. I certainly would have had some for breakfast tomorrow had there been any left. Alas, it was demolished in twenty minutes flat after we deemed it ready for the eating.

I hope this delights you as much as it delighted us.

Summer Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese
Crust recipe courtesy of Food and Wine online magazine
(http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/all-butter-pie-dough)

For the crust:
1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
3 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 of a white onion
6oz. goat cheese (chevré)
2 tablespoons chopped basil
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. For the crust: In a food processor, pulse the flour with the salt. Add the butter and pulse until the size of peas. Drizzle in the water and pulse until the crumbs are moistened; turn out onto a work surface. Gather into a ball, flatten, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pie crust to 1/4 inch thick on floured work surface. Place in and mold to ungreased tart pan (the buttery dough requires no additional grease.)
3. Place tart pan/crust in freezer for 15 minutes.
4. Bake crust in oven for 25 minutes, or until it turns a light golden brown. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Let crust cool for 10 minutes or so .
5. Chop onion. Heat in pan with salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil until they turn light brown and caramelized.
6. Spread goat cheese evenly over crust. Top with caramelized onions. Layer tomato slices on top.
7. Drizzle with olive oil, and generously sprinkle salt and pepper on top to taste. Bake for 25 minutes. Garnish with  basil, and serve to adoring family and friends.

(Celebratory) Mocha Pudding and Our Blog’s First Birthday!

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A year ago, Georgia and I made a pitcher of lemonade that would change our lives. Yes, that sounds quite dramatic; but it’s true. That pitcher of lemonade, as you may remember, if you’ve been following us since the beginning (thank you!), was our first foray into the world of food creation as a team. Neither of us had planned to start a food blog, but we did. I had brought my camera to Georgia’s that day and began messing around with it, trying to be “artsy” with my photos of squeezed lemons and the ubiquitous mason jars we used to serve the cool beverage. After a short discussion about the possibility of food blogging, we agreed to create our own food blog.  The name came to us quickly. We wanted something fresh, something creative. “Remember,” I began warily, “when we were in kindergarten, picking strawberries in my garden, and my dad said that it was the ‘Wright time for a Schnack?’” Well, once we realized the ingenuity of that phrase as applied to a food blog, there was no turning back.

Who knew that eleven years later, Georgia and I would be still be friends, using the moniker for a food blog, and that our first creation would be minted strawberry lemonade. Life is strange sometimes, isn’t it?

This year of blogging has strengthened our friendship, which I am so thankful for. Whoever said that there’s nothing like food to bring people together hit the nail on the head. I feel that we have both grown as people and as artists. Our photos, once pretty terrible, have become significantly better—though we are still developing our food styling and photography issues and know we have a long way to go until we can reach the professional level of some of our favorite food bloggers. We’ve had some minor disagreements about what’s going to taste good (though I often pressure Georgia into giving in and letting me try something ridiculous). We’ve learned that cooking takes time, tripods are your friends, it’s not possible to leave Whole Foods without fancy chocolate and it’s best to read a recipe entirely before starting to cook. But above all, I think our first year of blogging has been a huge success. We have no idea what the fall will bring, when we go our separate ways (Caty, to college in New York City, and Georgia, to Spain and college the following year), but we can assure you that Wright Time for a Schnack is not over. Never in a million years did Georgia and I think our blog would be as successful as it is. Thank you, everyone, for following our blog, trying our recipes and giving us your support. We truly appreciate it.

To celebrate our blog-iversary, we decided to make mocha pudding. This is actually the second time we’ve made pudding from scratch in the last couple weeks—we had a patriotic pudding pop experiment for the fourth of July that unfortunately did not freeze in a timely enough fashion to make it to the blog. This mocha pudding is just as (if not more) delicious, however, and made the perfect decadent dessert to round off our year of blogging with. It’s the kind of concoction that brings the table to a happy silence as it is joyfully consumed.

Happy one year, blog. Stay sweet, everybody!

Mocha Pudding
Adapted from Endless Simmer

1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso powder
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine cornstach, sugar, salt, milk and espresso powder in a heatproof bowl and whisk vigorously until combined.
  2. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water (do not let the bowl of pudding touch the water) and cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in vanilla and chocolate. Serve warm or chilled and top with whipped cream, if desired.

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

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Welcome to the deliciousness tour. Here on the left, folks, we have the world’s most amazing chocolate cookies, brought to you straight from the virtual pages of the New York Times and constructed in the kitchens of Wright Time for a Schnack. Though it is difficult to resist consuming all the cookie dough in the 24-hour refrigeration period between prepping and baking, our specially trained chefs exhibited an inordinate amount of willpower and prevailed against temptation. They were finally rewarded today with what are described by Chef Caty as the best chocolate chip cookies in all the land–large, flat, chewy, chocolaty disks of pure heaven. If you, too, wish to follow the recipe below, you may find yourself soon swearing off of other cookie recipes–you have reached the holy grail of pastry.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
From The New York Times 
 
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.
 
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
 
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
 
Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.

Chilled Snap Pea Soup with Lemon and Mint

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Summertime is simply wonderful. I love everything about this season–the weather (that does include the oppressive New England humidity, but that’s our little secret); salt-water hair, lazy days and basking in the sun. Summer provides so much inspiration for cooking and creating food. Fresh ingredients abound, the fruit is ripe, the grill is on, and the patio table is set for an evening of dining al fresco.

So yes, I truly love everything about summer, especially the food. Today Georgia and I took advantage of fresh sugar snap peas from the garden and crafted them into a deliciously refreshing soup with notes of fresh mint and lemon. It’s a beautiful shade of green, set off by a dollop of fresh creme fraiche (or yogurt, or heavy cream, if you’re not that fancy).

This is a lovely soup to make for a hot summer day, as the only cooking it requires is blanching the peas in boiling water for several minutes. The rest of the preparation is only a matter of blending the ingredients together. You could also serve this soup hot on a cool summer night.

If this soup knocks your sandals off and the flavors make you want to grab summer by the hands and dance around with it, then, yes, you’re making it right.

Enjoy!

Snap Pea Soup with Lemon and Mint
From The Year In Food, serves 4-6

1 1/2 pounds snap peas, stems removed, rinsed
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ming
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup creme fraiche, heavy cream or yogurt

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and blanch until tender but still bright green, about 6-8 minutes. Drain immediately and place in a bath of ice water in order to retain the color and to prevent further cooking.
  2. Heat a stock pot over medium heat and cook the shallots until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from heat.
  3. Add peas, broth, parmesan, mint, lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper to taste to the pot. Blend with an immersion blender or blender until it reaches the desired consistency. Whisk in the creme fraiche and serve, garnished with a dollop of creme fraiche and mint.