Delicious, Easy-To-Make No Bake Brownies aka “Date Nut Balls”

I just got this new cookbook. It is beautiful.

It is called Superfood Kitchen. By Julie Morris.

And this is the first thing I made.

YUM!

Bet you can’t eat just one!

Ingredients:

1 cup (packed) soft Medjool dates (about 10 or 11), pits removed
1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 Tbsp – 1/c cup cacao nibs (use quantity to taste)

Directions:

Place walnuts in a food processor and grind for a couple seconds to form a coarse flour. Add pitted dates, cacao powder and salt, processing until a moist, crumb-like dough has formed. Depending on the natural moisture of the dates, you may need to add a touch of water (1 tsp at a time) to get the crumbs to “stick” when pinched together.
Spread the crumbs into an 8×8-inch pan, sprinkle with cacao nibs, and press firmly into a solid brownie layer. Cut into bite-size squares and serve. Alternately, press and roll brownie dough into small balls to make brownie bites.
Yield: about 24 small squares

Pork Chops with Mushroom Bread Pudding from Food & Wine

If you like pork chops and mushrooms and bread pudding, you’ll love this!

From a cookbook I use all the time: Food & Wine, Quick From Scratch One-Dish Meals Cookbook

Ingredients:

  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 1 rib celery, chopped
  4. 3/4 pound mushrooms, cut into thin slices
  5. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  6. 1/2 pound baguette (or other crusty bread), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 quart)
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  9. 1 1/3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  10. 3 eggs, beaten to mix
  11. 2/3 cup half-and-half
  12. 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  13. 4 center-cut pork chops, about 1-inch thick (about 2 pounds in all)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 325°. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or a gratin dish of similar size. In a large nonstick frying pan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until the mushrooms start to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the bread cubes, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  2. Stir together the broth, eggs, and half-and-half. Pour the mixture evenly over the mushrooms and bread. Put the dish in the lower third of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in the frying pan over moderate heat. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper over the pork chops. Add the chops to the pan and brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chops from the pan. Remove the bread pudding from the oven after it bakes for 25 minutes and set the pork chops directly on top. Return to the oven and cook until the meat is done and the pudding is just set, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Mittineague Park

This morning.
If you are looking for distinctive portrait,
nature, or documentary photography,
or someone you know is looking
for photography that helps to create
a more artful and beautiful life,
please contact me.

Holiday Easter Bread

Delicious!!!

Pretty easy to make, but boy did I dirty so many mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, etc!!!

And I made one large loaf rather than two.

TOTAL TIME
3 ½ hours

For the Sponge

  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (125 grams)

For the Dough

  • 1/4 cup currants (30 grams)
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins (100 grams)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries (125 grams)
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots or dried mango (30 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon rum (Note: I used Grand Marinier)
  • 2 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (500 grams), plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds (70 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Sugar or pearl sugar for topping, optional

Preparation

1.
Make the sponge: Put 1 cup milk in a medium bowl, add yeast and let dissolve. Whisk in 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour. Cover bowl and leave in a warm place until doubled in size and very frothy, about 30 minutes.
2.
Put currants, raisins, cranberries and apricots in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Leave 10 minutes, then drain. Return to bowl and stir in rum.
3.
Beat 2 eggs and 2 of the yolks. Add the beaten eggs, melted butter and almond extract to sponge and stir together. Stir in dried fruit.
4.
In a large bowl mix together 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, anise seeds, cardamom, orange zest, lemon zest and almonds. Pour sponge mixture over flour mixture and combine, stirring with a spoon or hands until it forms a shaggy, slightly sticky mass. Dust lightly with flour and turn dough out onto a clean work surface. Knead for a few minutes until smooth, dusting with a minimal amount of flour if necessary, to make a soft dough. (If desired, dough may be refrigerated overnight in a large zippered storage bag. Bring to room temperature and proceed with recipe.)
5.
Put dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch down dough and knead lightly. Divide dough in half with knife and form two loaves; they can be round, braided or free-form. Place side by side on a large parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a 4-inch space between them (or use 2 smaller baking sheets). Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place a rack in the middle of the oven, and heat oven to 350 degrees.
6.
Make the egg wash: with a fork, beat together the remaining egg yolk and the milk. Uncover loaves and brush generously with egg wash. Sprinkle each loaf with 2 tablespoons sugar (or 1 tablespoon pearl sugar), if desired. Bake on middle rack for 45 minutes or until loaves are a dark, glossy brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
YIELD
2 loaves, New York Times, March 22, 2013, David Tanis 
Original article can be found here.