Friday, January 27, 2017

Book Club! Book Lovers Never Go To Bed Alone.

Ah, Book Club night! I love book club night. Tonight's book was The Art Forger by Barbara A. Shapiro. We did not seem to stay on the topic of the book that much. But it was fun to get together with friends. And I love the fact that Kelly made one of my favorite things for dinner. Panna Cote. Oh, this was so delicious. And I got a container to bring home!!!

And one soup was not enough. Kelly also made a Thai Chicken Soup. Wow. This is something I have never made. It was perfect. But the Panna Cote was my favorite! Thank you Kelly for dinner and for sending the recipes typed out!!!

Panna Cote/ Escarole and Bean Soup
2 heads of escarole chopped and soak in a big pan to get the grit off
2 boxes of good chicken stock
2 - 4 garlic cloves sauteed in olive oil, stay with it, you want it soft not browned
½ pepperoni cut into little pieces
2 cans of small white beans or white beans, I drain and rinse one can, the other I dump the whole can helps to thicken it
Salt and pepper
Cook for about½ hour
You can serve it as a soup with parmesan cheese on top OR
Scoop into a baking dish, top with crusty bread, parmesan cheese and bake at 375 till hot .

Easy Thai Chicken Soup
2 cloves of garlic/ smash
2 boxes of good chicken stock
1 or two boiled chicken breasts cut into cubes
1 cans of coconut milk
1 tbs. fish sauce
2 tsp. red curry paste (Traders Joe's)
2 red bell peppers sauteed till very soft do not brown ( you can use green, I used one green) didn't have 2 red.
Squeeze of lime
Fresh ginger or powdered, I used powered about a tsp.
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
A few mushrooms
I put in about¾ cup of cooked jasmine rice/ you can use rice noodles.
The rice thickens the soup if you like it thicker make a cornstarch rue
I used a combo of two recipes, google Thai chicken soup, most call for Lemongrass, I do not care for the taste and leave it out.

My contribution was cookies! I tried a new recipe. Authentic Italian Butter Cookies. A new favorite recipe I might add! Also made Nutella Biscotti as a backup in case the Butter Cookies were not up to par. For the butter cookies, I added some Chocolate Sprinkles just for variety.

230 g butter at room temperature
1 tbsp. of vanilla extract
320 g flour
1 tbsp. of fine salt
100 g granulated sugar
Powdered sugar (for decorating)

Cut the butter into cubes and place them in a mixer, with the salt, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract.

Mix them until they blend, forming a cream.

Sift the flour, add it to the mixture and continue to mix until it has a crumbly texture.

Place the dough on a lightly floured pastry board. The dough will be very soft and easily workable. Compact it, to make it smooth, then use your hands to flatten it.

Cover it with a plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator, to harden for at least half an hour.

Afterward, take the mixture from the fridge and cut it with a knife in 4 cylinder shapes of 3 cm diameter, then cover the rolls using plastic wrap and place them in the fridge again for 3 hours, so that the dough is compact enough.

After the three hours have passed, place each cylinder in granulated sugar, making sure that the surface is even.

Using a knife, divide the cylinders in discs of 2 cm thickness, then place the cookies on baking paper over a tray.

Bake them in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (392 F) for about 15 minutes, until they get lightly browned.

Remove them from the oven, then immediately place them on a rack, so that they keep their sandy texture.

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