Broiled lobster.


My husband prepared broiled lobsters for dinner tonight and with several requests… I promised to post the recipe.

First, line with foil your broiler pan.  Set aside.  Take your thawed lobster tails and cut the shell (with sharp scissors) and pull the lobster meat gently out and rest it on the shell as seen above in the photo.  Then you are going to butterfly cut a well or pocket into the meat (not going through the entire tail) and sprinkle with garlic salt, paprika and pour some melted butter in.  Broil, 3-4 inches away from the broiler flame, 1 minute per ounce.

Serve with clarified butter and enjoy!


Cherry & Pistachio (red & green) Christmas Biscotti.


I make these red and green biscotti every Christmas.  I just love the red and green combination of the tart cherries and the green pistachios.  Biscotti are super easy to make, although take a bit of time because of the double baking.  But the end result is so worth it.

My grandmother always used cornmeal in her biscotti recipe and it just adds a different texture that makes these cookies undeniably a favorite.  I hope you get a chance to whip these up before Christmas next week.  The batch does make a fair amount, depending on how thick or thin you slice them.  And they keep for several days.  Perfect for dunking in tea, coffee or hot chocolate this season.


2 cups of all purpose flour (I use King Arthur’s unbleached ap)
3/4 cup of stone ground corn meal
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup of pistachios (shelled and roughly chopped) – you can use more or less
1/2 cup of dried tart cherries ( you can always use dried cranberries if you have them on hand)


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line your baking pan with a Silpat or parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a dry mixture bowl combine, the flour, cornmeal, powder and salt together with a whisk.

In your stand mixer, blend your sugar and eggs together for 2-3 minutes or until fluffy.  Then add in the dry mixture.  Blend for 1 minute then add the nuts/cherries.  Blend until combined.  The dough will be sticky.  Wet your hands prior to removing the dough from the mixer, this will help you to work better with it.  Divide the dough in half.  Place both halves on your cookie sheet and shape into a 12 inch by 2.5 inch log.  Press the dough down to a thickness of about an inch or so.

Bake the dough for 32-34 minutes or until it starts getting a golden brown edge.  Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.  Then with a serrated knife, slice diagonal about 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick.  You don’t want it too thick or too thin so eyeball it.  Take each slice and lay it cut side down on your baking sheet.  They can be butted up against one another.  You can fit all of the slices on one cookie sheet using your space wisely.  Bake again for 20-24 minutes.  The cookies should be toasted and as they cool, will get a bit crunchier.  Store in a ziploc baggie or tupperware.  Great for sending in a care package or as a gift for friends and neighbors.


Israeli Couscous Edamame Salad.


I purchased some Israeli couscous about a month ago and today, finally, decided to finally do something with it.  Do you ever do that?  I was bound and determined to make something fun with it.  After all, it is pasta and how bad could it be?


1 cup of Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of water
1 handful of fresh parsley
1 cup of cooked edamame (shelled)
1 teaspoon or more if you like of ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Drizzled good quality balsamic vinegar (about 1/4 tsp or a little less)
Olive oil (about 1/4 tsp or less)


In a skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 cup of the couscous.  Stir to coat and let it toast.  Keeping a watchful eye over it and stirring frequently.  Once it has a nice toasted brown color, add one cup of water, bring to a boil.  Then turn to low and cover.  Cook this for about 8 minutes or so, the liquid will be absorbed (similar to rice).  Add more time if you need it.  Then remove and add to a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.  Adjust the seasonings as you wish.  Refrigerate or serve at room temperature.



i heart keenwah. I really do!


A few weeks ago, I was contacted by this company to try their product.  This isn’t that uncommon being a food blogger.  So it arrived and I remember exactly when I tried it… Black Friday.  The day after Thanksgiving when I was trying to be “oh-so-good” with the eating after the food-fest just the day prior.  We had just completed all of our Christmas decorating and I needed a snack.  BAM!  These popped into my head and I tore into the first bag (they sent me two).  I tried the almond first, my fave, and immediately I was in love!  I love quinoa!!!  It is one of the most perfect foods. Quinoa is the only grain that is a complete source of protein and the same kind of protein found in meat & dairy.  

The little delights taste like a quinoa brittle.  Sweet but not overly sweet.  Crunchy.  Just perfection!  I’m a huge quinoa fan and these honestly have my name written all over them! Here is the dietary information (also gluten free):


And here is a pick of what these little delights look like:

photo copy

Okay so now that I fell in love with these little treats… i heart keenwah wants to share a bag with one lucky U.S. fan of Knead to Cook.  So how do you enter?

1.  Like i heart keenwah on Facebook.
2.  Like Knead to Cook on Facebook.
3.  Leave a comment either on this blog entry or on my Facebook page announcing this contest.

U.S. residents only.  The winner will be selected Friday, December 14th at 8 pm EST.  The winner will have 48 hours to email me at [email protected] to provide shipping information.  If the winner fails to make contact within 48 hours, a new winner will be announced on Monday, December 17th at 8 pm EST.




Red & Green Christmas Chobani.


Take one single serving of vanilla or plain Chobani.  Divide it in half placing each in a separate bowl.  Add either strawberries or raspberries (handful) into the one bowl.  Using a hand immersion blender, blend it until all of the berries are blended.  Then add kiwi (I used two) to the other bowl and repeat with the hand immersion blender.  Layer in a cute bowl and top with extra fruit of nuts (I used sliced kiwi and chopped pistachios).  Chill until serving.  Kids love it and it won’t blow all of your gym efforts!


Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies topped with Sea Salt.

This could be the quintessential PMS cookie.  Salt, sugar… it’s perfection.  Even if you don’t suffer with that lovely disorder… anyone who loves bacon will be grabbing for one of these.  I don’t know why I thought it would be a great combo but it totally is and the smell is soooooo fabulous.  I ate one and stepped away.  I have to restrain myself or go back out to run again.  :)  Totally fun twist on a classic.

*Adaptation from Guittard.


1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of butter, softened
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons of light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces of Guittard Super Cookie Chips or regular dark chocolate chips
4-6 strips of cooked, cooled and crumbled pieces of smoked bacon
Sea Salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda and salt.  Set aside.

In your stand mixer, paddle attached, cream butter and sugars.  Then beat in the egg and vanilla until creamy.  Add the flour mixture, blend.  Blend well.  By hand, stir in the chocolate chips and bacon.  Drop rounded cookie dough onto your baking sheet.  Sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt on top of each cookie dough ball.  Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.  Let cool and then store in a container with a lid.


Peppermint Patty Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.

Who doesn’t love peppermint?!  My kids LOVE it!  And tomorrow starts our first winter swim meet and I’m always baking like a madwoman to prepare.  The kids swim and they eat… this is what winter swim (and summer) is all about! Some healthy snacks and some decedent ones for post race celebration.  These are a reason to celebrate!  I promise.


1 cup + 2 tablespoons of King Arthur’s all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of Smart Balance butter (or you can use regular butter)
6 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of peppermint extract
10 ounces of chocolate chips
1 bag of individually wrapped Peppermint Patties (unwrapped)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray your 9×9 glass pan with baking spray.

In a small bowl, mix flour, soda and salt.

In your stand mixer, beat butter and both sugars for 3 minutes.  Then add the egg and peppermint extract.  Add the flour mixture and beat on slow until incorporated.  Beat in the chocolate chips by hand.

Take half of the dough and place it in the prepared pan and smooth it out to cover the bottom.  Then lay the peppermint patties over top of the cookie dough.  You can spread them or butt them together.  Then take the remaining dough and place it on top.  It may not cover totally but it will melt and distribute.  Bake for 22-24 minutes.  Keep a watchful eye if they need to bake a few minutes longer depending on your oven.

*Chocolate chip cookie recipe is an adaptation from Guittard’s super cookie chip cookie recipe.


Drunken beef stew.

Beef stew is one of those staples of cooler weather.  I normally make this in the crock pot but in my cleaning frenzy today, I thought I would slow cook it in my Le Creuset Dutch Oven in the oven all afternoon.   It’s just one of those things that makes you feel good.  In the middle of holiday craziness, it is a welcoming aroma for sure.

Stews are typically cooked in the same manner.  So once you get down the main components, you can customize it to what your family would like.  One tip:  Always remove the beef from the fridge and let it come to room temperature prior to cooking.  Placing very cold beef in a hot pan with oil isn’t recommended.


2 pounds of stew meat
Red wine (about 3 cups)
2 bay leaves
All Purpose Flour (1/2 cup)
Olive oil
1 onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped (still remaining in large pieces)
5 carrots, cut into large pieces
2 sweet potatoes or white/red potatoes
1 tsp of whole peppercorns (white or black)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried Rosemary


To start, place your beef in a gallon size Ziploc baggie and add the wine,  salt/pepper, bay leaves, garlic and peppercorns.  Seal the bag and give it a good massage.  Place in your fridge from 2-24 hours.  Once done, place a strainer over a bowl and drain the meat/wine.  Reserve the wine.

In a separate Ziploc, add the flour and salt and pepper.  Add the meat and coat well.  In the meantime, in your Dutch oven, heat some olive oil over a medium flame.  Once the oil is hot, work in batches, browning the meat for about 3 minutes on each side.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a platter to rest.  Once all the meat is browned, add the onions, and carrots.  Add additional olive oil if needed.  Let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often.  Then remove the veggies and place with the meat.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Add the reserved wine marinade to the the Dutch oven and turn the heat all the way to high.  Bring to a boil and scrape up the brown bits that remained from cooking the meat prior.  This will add such great flavor to the wine for cooking.  Once the bottom of the pan feels cleaned, add all of the meat and veggies back to the Dutch oven.  Cover and place in the preheated oven.

Check on the liquid level about every hour and add additional wine or you can use beef broth as needed.  I let this cook for about 4 to 6 hours. Remove your bay leaves before serving.  Serve straight up or over noodles or rice.  Enjoy!


Honey Cayenne Roasted Almonds.

Just purchased several huge bags of raw almonds.  We love them for snacking and with our first swim meet this weekend – they are a go to, healthy snack.  These are super easy to prepare and you can control the heat.  These also package well for holiday shipping care packages.


3 cups of raw almonds
1/3 cup of honey
1-2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want them)
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons of salt


Preheat your oven to 350 and line your baking sheet with a Silpat.

In a small bowl combine the turbinado sugar and salt.  Set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl, add the almonds, cayenne and honey.  Stir to coat.  Then spread them out in a single layer on your lined baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes then give them a good stir.  Add back for an additional 10 minutes.  Once you remove them, stir them again.  Then sprinkle with some of the sugar/salt mixture.  While cooling, I keep stirring and adding additional sprinkles or salt/sugar mixture.  They will stick together but easily break apart.  Taste to adjust if they need more salt etc.


Homemade Bagels.

I admit, making bagels was one of those things I always shied away from because I honestly thought it was too difficult. I have bagel aficionados in my house and I was leery of the criticism as well.  We normally go to NYC several times a year and I always go to my favorite bagel shop and buy several dozen to freeze.

Okay so willingly, I searched the internet to view some bagel recipes, being a bagel-making virgin and all, and stumbled upon The Sophisticated Gourmet’s NYC version and happily started on my bagel journey albeit with a few adaptations.


2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 /1/4 cup of warm water (avoid hot but warm)
3.5 cups of high gluten flour (or bread flour if you can’t locate it.)  I used Sir Lancelot by King Arthur’s
1.5 teaspoon of salt
Egg, whisked for egg wash

Toppings for everything bagels:  In a bowl I mixed 1 tsp of each: caraway seeds, coarse salt, fennel seeds, cracked pepper corns, poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds.

Toppings for cinnamon and sugar:  1 tsp of ground cinnamon, brown sugar and regular granulated sugar.


In a measuring cup, add 1/2 cup of warm water and add the sugar.  Stir to dissolve then add the yeast on top and let it sit (don’t mix).  Let this sit for 5 minutes.  Then stir the yeast to blend.

In a stand mixer bowl, add the flour and salt.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and the pour the yeast/sugar mixture (after it’s complete) into the center.  Also, add the 3/4 cup water.  With the dough hook, mix to combine for about 6 -8 minutes.  If the dough is still dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time to add additional moisture.

Onto a floured countertop, remove the dough from the stand mixer and knead it by hand for about 8 minutes or until elastic.

Take a large bowl and oil the interior.  Add the dough and cover with a damp towel.  Set in a draft-free location.  I typically place it in the microwave.  Do this for one hour.  Punch down the dough after one hour and let rest for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove the dough and divide into 10 smaller round balls.  Place on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel.  After an additional 10 minutes remove each ball. Lay it flat and press with the heel of your hand to flatten the bagel a big (don’t crush it) on the floured countertop and press your index finger in the center and exaggerate the hole size.  Repeat.

Preheat your oven to 425.  On the stove top, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn the water down to a simmer.  Working in batches, add one or two bagels to the water and let it cook for one minute on one side then repeat on the other side.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the baking sheet with a Silpat.  Repeat until each bagel has been boiled on each side.  Take your egg wash and brush on the top of each bagel. Sprinkle your topping on each bagel.  Place in the oven and bake for 22-24 minutes.  Remove and let cool. Store in ziploc baggies.