Tag: Salt

Weekend Finds 2:2:14

I’m writing this weekend finds quickly as I bake my cornbread for the Superbowl party. This past week was a busy one! It included 3 really good meals (chile rellenos for Grandma’s birthday, steak with balsamic reduction sauce, and cleanse chicken), and lots of new adventures. This morning, I also had breakfast (at The Sugar Cube, one of my favorite places) with some lovely Portland bloggers, specifically Rachel from Love, Rachel, Brooke from Babbling Brookelyn, Spencer from 12 oz Beehouse, Sarah from Will Run for Pasta, Erika from A Tiny Rocket, and Erin from Bakery Bingo. I love slowly getting to know more people in this community I am now a part of – everyone is so friendly, and it’s really nice to be able to talk shop with some of these ladies. Here are some of my discoveries from this week:

1. Superbowl

Superbowl food madness on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
At least I’m not making a stadium out of deli meats…

What are you making? I gotta say, I wasn’t really wanting to attend a Superbowl party, but then the restaurant decided to close (notoriously one of the slowest days of the year), and now I find myself making cornbread to take to a friend’s house. What a bizarre day that is just as much about football as it is about food.

2. Sarah Illenberger

Sarah Illenberger on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Three of my favorites of Illenberger’s work.

I love her imagination and use of food! I WILL have one of these in my kitchen one day. I swear. You can buy prints of her work here.

3. Kayden + Rain

Kayden + rain video on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
This Kayden + rain video is the sweetest. My new go to for when I’m feeling down.

I know this has nothing to do with food, but this video is perhaps the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever seen. A little reminder to enjoy the simple things in life.

4. Cleanse Chicken

Cleanse Chicken on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Beautiful cleanse chicken, roasted to golden perfection.

Jonah made this cleanse chicken, and it was really really good. I think we decided that next time we’d add a little salt and minus a little cayenne, but the long marinade (we went for close to 48 hours) made it so incredibly moist.

Weekend Finds 1:5:14

Wow, I had trouble writing that date. I think around New Year’s my brain has trouble figuring things out, and reverts back to whatever year it was two years ago. In this case 2012. Oof. Weekend Finds! This week, free of holiday treats for the first time in a long time.

1. Galette Des Rois

Galette Des Rois from David Lebovitz on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Galette Des Rois from David Lebovitz

Jonah’s birthday is tomorrow (!!!) and I thought it might be fun to try this traditional French Epiphany dessert for him (our plans also include dinner at Apizza Scholls with friends, then hopping across the street to Sapphire Hotel for drinks). Plus, it doesn’t even look that hard. And David Lebovitz is a genius.

2. SE Asia here we come!

Southeast Asia on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Southeast Asia trip planning

It has been confirmed, we are going to SE Asia at the end of March/beginning of April. I think we’ve decided what region we’re going to, but I’m going to wait to tell you. I wouldn’t want to jinx or spoil it! More details to come!

3. The Importance of Acid

The Importance of Acid on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
The Importance of Acid

Whenever I am asked to taste a dish and see if it needs anything (by my parents, Jonah, roommates…), my answer is almost ALWAYS acid (second most popular response is salt). It is really incredible what difference a squeeze of lemon can make, which is why I like to always have a few laying around the kitchen.

4. Getting thyme off the stem

Thyme Tips from the Kitchn on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Thyme Tips from the Kitchn

I recently made  more of the sea salt, thyme, chocolate chunk cookies (for a cookie exchange at work before the holidays), and while I love love LOVE those damn cookies, taking the thyme leaves off the stem is such a royal pain in the patootie. And I generally feel this way about thyme. I love the flavor of it, I love using it, but it’s so annoying. So I was pretty excited when I came across this little tip to make it easier to use thyme.

5. New Years Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
What are you New Year’s Resolutions? Watch more fireworks?

I have a few. 1) Cook more new things! 2) Drink more green smoothies, they’re delicious and healthy. 3) Start painting again. 4) Learn more about my readers. Who are you? Where are you from? What do you like to cook? Is there something you’d like to see more of on my blog?

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

In the summer, when the heirloom tomatoes are big and soft and perfect, there is perhaps nothing better to do with them than to make a caprese salad. For the past two summers, my little sister has worked at a tomato stand at the farmer’s markets in the greater Seattle area. And sometimes, if I’m lucky, when she comes to visit she brings me the most beautifully colored, gigantic, perfectly ripe tomatoes.

The other day after work, I went to the grocery store to grab some beer (it had been a long day – and I’m currently in love with Deschutes Brewery Chainbreaker White IPA… if you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it). At the store, I saw this giant pile of tomatoes and almost bought some until I remembered I had my own even better ones at home. So I bought the freshest mozzarella I could (my local grocery store doesn’t carry mozzarella de bufala, but if yours does, that’s what you want), brought it home, sliced up the tomatoes and cheese, drizzled a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and voila: the most wonderful summer salad, great for an appetizer or snack. (If you feel like buying basil OR you’re one of the lucky ones who has it growing in their garden, throw a leaf on top).

Salted Chocolate Cookies

Salted Chocolate Cookies

Salted Chocolate Cookies
Salted Chocolate Cookies

Salted Chocolate Cookies

If you are into salt, and want to venture into the world of fancy salt, a good start is Maldon. This salt is the saltiest, crunchiest salt I’ve tasted, and made from the sea! Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before, there are members of my family who are in love with salt. So when my dad came across a recipe for salted chocolate cookies, we decided we had to make them the next time we were together, which happened to be this past weekend. I mean, come on, the recipe even calls for Maldon.

Another wonderful thing that comes from this recipe is the discovery of the wonderful blog Orangette. I knew I would like this blog immediately for 2 reasons: 1) the salted chocolate cookies you will see below. 2) it is written by Molly Wizenberg, one of the founders of Delancey in Seattle. If you live in Seattle, I recommend that you immediately stop reading this blog, get in your car, and go to Delancey. Delicious salads, delicate and scrumptious pizzas, and lovely desserts. It’s ok, the blog will be here when you get back. Just go.

Now that you’re back, let’s continue. So these cookies are rich and light at the same time, and I am recently of the impression that salt makes everything better, so it’s a good sign that they’re decorated with fancy salt. Right?

Salted Chocolate Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies


8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
8 Tbl (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 Tbl sugar, plus more for rolling the logs
2 large eggs
¼ tsp table salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
Maldon salt, for finishing


First thing you’ll need to do is melt your chocolate. After you’ve cut it up, put it in a heatproof bowl that will fit securely on a small saucepan you’ve got. Put about 2 inches of water in the saucepan, bring it to a simmer, and put the bowl of chocolate on the pan. The bowl shouldn’t be touching the water, just getting the steam. You also want to make sure that no moisture gets into the chocolate as this will make it seize, which isn’t really good for anyone. Anyway, heat the chocolate and stir it occasionally until it is melty and smooth. Remove it from the heat (carefully, the bowl will be hot) and set it aside to cool.

Now, in a medium mixing bowl (not your electric mixer, mind you, if you’re planning on using one), combine the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Set aside. In your electric mixer, beat the butter on a medium speed until it’s nice and creamy. Slowly pour in the sugar (perhaps even while the mixer is going, just be careful not to get sugar everywhere), and continue to mix until the butter/sugar mixture is smooth and soft. Now add the eggs one at a time, mixing well to incorporate after each one. Add the salt and vanilla, and, making sure it’s cool (you don’t want it to cook the eggs), the melted chocolate. Beat to incorporate all of these things into one beautiful mixture.

Now beat in the milk, and lastly, the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until it’s just incorporated. Here’s a little note about electric mixers: sometimes I turn mine up higher to fling off the stuff stuck on the paddle or whisk and get it mixed in. I should not do this unless the recipe I’m following specifically tells me to turn the mixer up high. Why? Because by doing this, I’m adding air to the dough/batter, which can make the cookies (or whatever I’m making) a different texture than they were intended to be. So now you know.

Now comes a fun/weird part. Dampen a counter and lay out a big piece of plastic wrap (dampening it – wiping it with a wet sponge – will help keep the plastic wrap in place while you work) and dump 1/2 or 1/3 of your dough onto it. Now you’re going to have to mush and mold and roll the dough using the plastic wrap to shape a log. The size of the log totally depends on how big you want your cookies to be. Mine was probably about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Anyway, after you’ve smooshed it into a good log, you can wrap it up in the plastic wrap, twist up the ends, and stick it in your fridge to chill overnight.

When you’re ready to make some freaking cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also, remove your dough from the fridge. You’ll need that. Now, the recipe says to put parchment paper on your work surface, make a pile of sugar on it, and roll the dough in it. That did not work for me, though I did try. It probably would have worked better to put a cup of sugar in a shallow bowl and dunk the logs in that, but because I already had sugar all over my work surface (I also just used a cutting board instead of more parchment paper), I just decided to sprinkle sugar over the logs. Anyway, however you do it, coat your dough logs with sugar, and then slice them with a sharp knife into 1/4-1/3 inch slices. Put the cookies on the cookie sheet about an inch apart, and sprinkle each cookie with some Maldon salt. Note: the amount of salt we put on the cookies increased with each batch because we love the stuff so much.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes. The cookies should still feel soft to the touch, but look set. After allowing them to cool on the sheet for a minute, transfer them to a wire rack to cool. This recipe made SO MANY COOKIES. Seriously. Like… 5 or 6 dozen. And they are hard to stop eating, so be warned. Make them for a party or a gathering or something.