best homemade guacamole

January 17th, 2020 · 14 Comments

I love guacamole. 

In fact, the word ‘love’ might not be strong enough.  I’m enthralled, enraptured and a little bit obsessed with this recipe, in no small part because it’s one of the best-tasting good-for-you snacks I can imagine.  Avocados are full of healthy fats, and guacamole is basically just a combination of a few simple, fresh ingredients, tossed and served up.  It doesn’t get much yummier than that.

A few tips on storing guacamole without the avocados turning brown — first, don’t make this until the last possible minute.  But if you have to make it ahead (or, even more rarely, if this doesn’t get eaten in one sitting), save the pits and store them in the same container.  Rub some saran wrap with a little bit of lemon juice, and cover the top of the guacamole that would otherwise be exposed to the air, and then add an airtight lid. 

And on day two, throw this on some tortilla chips, add some sour cream and cheese, and viola — nachos!

Best Homemade Guacamole

INGREDIENTS

2 ripe avocados
1 shallot, minced
1 plum tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly grated black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cut avocados in half and remove the pit.  Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a mixing bowl.  Add the chopped onion, cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, salt and pepper and mash with a fork until chunky and mixed.  Serve with chips or chopped veggies.

Tags: appetizers · food · salads · side dishes

truffled eggs en cocotte

January 15th, 2020 · 8 Comments

truffled eggs en cocotte from sugarlaws

I know no one is reading this week because you’re all busy cooking Thanksgiving dinners!  And as much as I wish I could share with you a perfect, foolproof roasted turkey recipe, this lovely little egg dish is all I have this week.  Don’t worry, though — lots of other great holiday treats coming up!

There’s a restaurant near us that makes this amazing truffled egg dish, perhaps one of the most awesomely decadent breakfasts one could imagine.  So this was my super easy, home cook alternative — a little truffle oil goes a long way, and it’s a great staple to keep in your kitchen.  With mushrooms, with eggs, and even drizzled on a salad, it’s such a great, elegant addition to a simple dish!

truffled eggs en cocotte from sugarlaws

truffled eggs en cocotte recipe

INGREDIENTS
4 tsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large mushrooms, sliced
4 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
2-3 tbsp truffle oil

DIRECTIONS

Butter four ramekins. Put a few mushroom slices in the bottom of each ramekin and top with 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 teaspoon butter in each. Break 1 egg into each ramekin, then top each with salt, pepper, one teaspoon of truffle oil and and another tablespoon of cheese.

Preheat the broiler and then place the ramekins in the oven.  Broil the eggs for 5 minutes, or until whites are just set.  Allow to cool slightly, and serve with additional cheese and a small drizzle of truffle oil.

truffled eggs en cocotte from sugarlaws

Tags: food

Braided Bread

January 13th, 2020 · 20 Comments

Braided Bread from Sugarlaws

First, some very good news.  I have moved to a new blog hosting company — which means, happily for me, that I will never have to deal with the old (awful) blog hosting company ever again.  Happily for you, this should mean that you don’t see any more terrible error messages about CPU quotas, server unavailability, or my blog being disabled (no, I was not expecting that, and yes, I screamed and cried). 

So, with that taken care of, I give you this awesome braided bread recipe.  I’m excited to post this because it seems that nearly every time I post a bread recipe, it’s extremely popular.  And I know exactly why that is — it’s because freshly baked, homemade bread is quite possibly the most wonderful creation on earth.  I can resist most of the things I create in my kitchen — I managed to go several days before polishing off the flourless chocolate cake I just posted, and I’ve navigated countless batches of cookies and cakes without completely gorging myself. 

But fresh baked bread?  Somehow it never even lasts even overnight. 

So after a rough week, this was my ultimate comfort food.  Soft and slightly dense, it’s a serious breakfasty bread that could use a smear of jam and not much else. 

Braided Bread from Sugarlaws

Braided Bread

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (approx 2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm milk (microwaved for 20-30 seconds)
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, beaten

DIRECTIONS
Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes until milky.  Add flour, butter and salt to yeast mixture; mix until evenly incorporated.

Knead the dough until smooth (about 5-10 minutes).  Cover dough with plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Punch the dough down and divide it into four equal portions.  Roll each quarter of the dough into a long rope, approximately 12″ long.  Place all four ropes on top of a greased baking sheet.  Take the top end of each rope and press together to join them.  Braid the dough by taking each outside rope and moving it to the center (I don’t know how to better describe braiding, but if you don’t know how, google it!).  Tuck the ends below the braided strands if any are uneven.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.  While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the dough for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.  Brush the beaten egg onto the dough to create an even, glossy layer.  Put the dough back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm, if possible.

Serves 8.

Braided Bread from Sugarlaws

Tags: breads · food