Well, good morning there! It’s Monday, but that’s OK. After a refreshing weekend, tasty food, vanilla cookies and these beauties, today looks to be a good day. Rachel agrees.
I spent much of this weekend in the kitchen. Not just mine, but also in my Uncle Sal’s kitchen, learning how to make sfiuncini, a simple Sicilian pizza with a thicker crust and minimal toppings. I’ll share more about this project soon, including how to fit 5 pounds of flour into a stand mixer! Sal has owned several pizza restaurants, and I remember making our own pizzas in the kitchens when we were young, so I was excited to learn about this less known pizza. It’s my aunt’s favorite, and Emma and I agreed that this pizza was so, so good.
I also tried to pare down some of my CSA box from Saturday, which contained lots more green things. And I mean lots. The middle shelf of our refrigerator has not an inch of space right now, so I have lots of eating and cooking to do this week. But I’ve mapped out a few recipes and will share the results: fresh mint ice cream, a snap pea-radish salad with sesame dressing, vegetable korma, apricot breakfast crisp, spring rolls, etc. It’s going to be a good week. Wanna come over for dinner?!
BUT. This is what I want to tell you about. A few cookbooks appeared on my desk at work, and I’ve decided to share them with readers of fredericksburg.com. The first is called Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques, by Shauna Sever. It’s full of fun information about vanilla (I never realized that the beans were actually from a select few types of orchids that thrive near the equator) and lots of vanilla recipes.
I tried out the Vanilla Creme Sandwich Cookies yesterday. Making them was actually quite simple, though they required a few steps spread throughout the day. The vanilla flavor (1 tablespoon in the cookies and a half of a bean in the filling) really comes through, and after opening up the container this morning before bringing them to work, the kitchen smelled absolutely wonderful. If only there was a way to share scents via the interwebs!
To find the recipe — and enter to win this book — head on over to my Front Burner blog and leave a comment. The giveaway is open through 7 p.m. Wednesday, and then I’ll draw a name at random and announce the winner on Thursday. Good luck!