Thursday, October 02, 2014

Having Tea and Good Times in Boulder with Ethan + Emily's Monkey Bread Breakfast + Pecan Sticky Monkey Bread + Pumplin Pie Overnight Oats Recipes

Here is a post I started when Ethan was still home. In the crazy of being so busy, I never posted it:

Since I have not seen Ethan since March, and once he leaves again, I will not see him until Christmas, I decided to take a day off and spend it with him. I had been gathering ideas for what we would do when this day happened and so I was excited to put it into action.

Our first stop was to have tea and lunch at the Dashanbe Tea House in Boulder.
Natalie and I had brunch there one day and I know that Ethan would love it. After all, he is an adventerous foodie.

We enjoyed conversation, a fabulous lunch and several pots of different kinds of tea. It is a great place, but speedy service is not something they can brag about, so we were there for a few hours. It was all fine with us.

Then I took him over to the The Two Hands Paperie so that he could finally see why I love that place. He was happy to find a few new styles of his favorite Field Guide tiny notebooks and bought a few.

It also happen to be the same afternoon that Deedee Hampton, an narrative assemblage artist and Two Hands teacher happen to be in the middle of an Artist's Visit, complete with a little make-it-and-take-it project. I really enjoyed the pieces she had available. Each one is rich with stories about what the items mean and how she managed to come across them. I imagine that her house must be fun and colorful. Talking with her was inspiring. It made me wish that I had the tin working tools at home so that I could go home and make an assemblage, too.

It was also a lot of fun to make a small, tin bird.


We also did a bit of shopping in the Fjall Raven Scandinavian Hiking Goods store. He was thrilled when he discovered a wonderful daypack in the clearance room for a great price.
We also stopped at McGukin's Hardware store where he found a number of items on his shopping list, including a portable hammack and a Kuhl shirt that he loved.


Later in the week Ethan went on a day long biking adventure with Emily and another shipmate who happened to be in town. She also came over to make and share breakfast with us one morning.
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Emily, Ethan's favorite cook from the boat and a great friend, came over on Sunday morning to help us make breakfast. She specifically wanted to make her Monkey Bread since Ethan loves it. We had a great, silly time together.
She generously shared the recipe with us.
You cut up four containers of canned biscuits and toss them in a cinnamon sugar mixture.
Then she made a praline type sauce which was poured over all of the biscuits.
It bakes in the oven at 350 degrees until it is done. You have to be sure to turn it out of the pan soon after it is done so that it does not stick.
This is an unrelated cute picture of Ellie with some of the little kids at school. I just wanted to share that one.

Here's Emily's recipe:

Emily's Pecan Sticky Monkey Bread

4 cans Biscuit Dough
6 TBL Sugar
2 TBL Cinnamon, ground

1/4 cup Water
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
1 TBL Cinnamon

Preheat the overto 350 degrees.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar then place in a low flat dish, like a 9" x 9" pan or a pie plate. Cut the biscuits into 1/4ths and roll each chunk in the cinnamon & sugar mixture. Pile these in a bunt pan.

Make the praline style sauce by dissolving the sugars in the hot water. Add in the butter. Stir to melt and combine. Cook until it has thickened into a syrup consistency. Add in the cinnamon and pecans. Stir to combine. Pour over the flavored biscuit dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Serve immediately. Emily sets out toothpicks to make it easy for everyone to take individual pieces.

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Ellie and Kohlton also enjoy the following recipe for breakfast:

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
via: The Pink Sprinkle

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 TBS 100% maple syrup

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and stir well.
Pour into two half-pint jars or one pint size jar and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Serve cold or warm slightly in the microwave or on the stove.
Top with half and half, chopped pecans, or a drizzle of maple syrup.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wild Animals + Shirley Corriher's Touch-of-Grace Biscuits + Sausage & Kielbasa Soup Recipes

wild animals seem to be on my radar this week. Up at Snow Mountain Ranch we encountered a pair of foxes that were nearly as friendly as grumpy dogs. Outside of my window by my computer the fat squirrel and I eye each other, both waiting for the perfect moment to gather the grapes just at the moment when they are perfect and a few nights ago Larr, laying in bed watching the news, spied an unusual sight outside of our bedroom window.


At home I am often entertained by the squirrels who use the grape arbor by my window like a highway. Sometimes I they sit on a section by the window and smirk at the cats who are swishing their tails madly and making low, guttural noises in their direction. They don't usually give me the time of day, until it is time to start watching the grapes. Even as I type out this blog entry, I can smell them. It is a delicious aroma that makes my mouth water, even though I know that if I ate them now, the skins of the grapes would cause my mouth to it. Still. We are both waiting, hoping to beat out the other once the grapes are perfect.

A few nights ago Larr experienced a very different sighting. Our bedroom is on the second floor of our house and the addition stretches out from the house. As a result of that, there is a section of roof right outside of our bedroom window. While Larr was watching the news before going to bed, he heard a noise on the roof. Looking out, he expected to see Gorham, a local cat who is very friendly. Instead, he spied a rather large raccoon sauntering the roof like he was on a walkway during a pleasure walk. Now I think we know what trips the motion sensor lights so often.

It has been a bit colder these last two days, so I am Sausage and Cabbage soup, as well as homemade biscuits for dinner. I am posting the version of the recipe I made as I changed up the recipe I posted from the Cures.

Cabbage & Kielbasa Soup

1 large Red Onion, chopped
3 TBL. Olive Oil
2 tea. Garlic, minced
1 pnd Carrots, cut into coins
2 rings Kielbasa Sausage, cut into pieces or diced
1 med. Bunch of Fingerling Potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
6 cups Chicken Stock
1 head Cabbage, chopped
1 tea. Smoked Sweet Hungarian Paprika
1 tea. Nutmeg, ground
1 tea Celery Salt
Salt and Pepper to taste
Balsamic Vinegar, served as a condiment

Saute the onion and the kielbasa in hot oil in a soup pot until the onion is softened. Add in the garlic and saute a bit longer. Add the potatoes and stock. Simmer until the spices with the potatoes until they are cooked, about 30 min. Bring the soup to a boil and add the cabbage. Stir. Turn the heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes or more. The longer you simmer the soup, the more the cabbage will incorporate. If you make this in a crock pot, some of the cabbage will sort of dissolve or melt and begin to thicken the soup a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set out the balsamic vinegar so that it may be added for additional flavor, if desired. Serve with a nice bread, such as thick slices of French bread.

* I would have added caraway seeds, if I had any. I am also considering adding in apples.


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Shirley Corriher's Touch-of-Grace Biscuits
borrowed and modified from 52Food

Note: Corriher, ever the scientist and tinkerer, published one version of this recipe in CookWise in 1997, and a fairly different one in BakeWise in 2008. We tried and loved both, the newer one edged out (she knows her tinkering).

Makes about 12-14 medium biscuits

Adapted slightly from BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking(Scribner, 2008)

Butter for greasing, or nonstick cooking spray
2 1/2 cups Flour (She actually prefers a combination of flours that I never have. You can see the less modified recipe here.)
1/6 tea Baking Soda
1 TBL Sugar
3 TBL. Shortening (I use butter flavored)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 - 1 1/4 cup buttermilk,(I actually use 3/4 cup Buttermilk and 1/2 cup Heavy Cream) or enough for dough to resemble cottage cheese (if you are not using low-protein flour, it will take more than 1 cup)
1 cup plain all-purpose flour, for shaping
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and arrange a shelf slightly below the center of the oven.

Butter an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work the shortening in with your fingers until there are no large lumps. (I do all of this in my food processor with a few quick pulses.) Gently stir in the cream, then some of the buttermilk until dough resembles wet cottage cheese. It should be a wet mess -- not soup, but cottage-cheese texture. (If you are not using a low-protein flour, this may take considerably more than 1 cup of buttermilk.) Let this sit for a few minutes, until the liquid has a chance to be absorbed.

Spread the plain all-purpose flour (not self-rising) out on a plate or pie pan. With a medium (about 2 inches, #30) ice cream scoop or spoon, place three or four scoops of dough well apart in the flour. Sprinkle flour over each. Flour your hands. Turn a dough ball in the flour to coat, pick it up, and gently shape it into a round, shaking off the excess flour as you work. Place this biscuit in the prepared pan. Coat each dough ball in the same way and place each shaped biscuit scrunched up against its neighbor so that the biscuits rise up and don't spread out. Continue scooping and shaping until all dough is used.

Place the pan on the arranged shelf in the oven. Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Brush with the melted butter. Invert onto one plate, then back onto another. With a knife or spatula, cut quickly between biscuits to make them easy to remove. Serve immediately. "Butter 'em while they're hot." Note: Do not use self-rising flour for shaping, as the leavener will give a bitter taste to the outside of the biscuits.
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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Snow Mountain Ranch - Reflections on Previous Trips

I write this sitting at a table by The Buckboard, a tiny general store and cafe outside of the guest relations building for Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park. It is the annual weekend for the families of AVS to gather and have fun. We rent a large reunion cabin with many bedroom, a few bunk beds, lots of couches, a large fireplace and a nice kitchen with double appliances.
I’ve made this trip almost countless times, but this time it is different from any other. This time I traveled alone. Instead of listening to my family, or to the music the kids have picked out, or to the stories the kids and their friends tell each other, I am listening to Have Mother, Will Travel: A Mother and Daughter Discover Themselves, Each Other, and the World by Claire Fontaine and Mia Fontaine (Apr 2, 2013), a sequel to a memoir I read about a mother and daughter. In many ways this trip is bittersweet.
Driving up the mountain, the van is slower than it used to be, just like me, but we are both happy to make the journey. The aspen leaves have been turning a bright golden yellow hue and must be at their peak as they shimmer an almost unreal color of nearly neon yellow gold. Other aspens stand amongst them in a more stately. calm shade of red. If I had not been wanting to get up the mountain before dark, I would have stop to take some photos. I figure those can be taken tomorrow.

Going up Berthoud Pass from Denver the I think about time I took Ellie and Kohlton sledding at the top of the pass. They took a few epic lines down the mountain and ended up many more hairpin curves farther than I had expected. It was a fine adventure for them and I was happy to witness it, even from the distance of a driver not taking part. I think about the photograph of Ethan in his team uniform as he squats near a small mountain stream. It was taken on the way home after he and our friend, Greg, had raced at Winter Park in the Epic Singletrack Series. Snapshots like those play like short films in my head, preserving the time, the memory and my feelings. Coming back down the other side of the mountain, I am reminded of the trips on the road from the many times we went to Snow Mountain Ranch for bike camp or races. I think about the time when the kids were 13 and ten. We raced down the road next to the cars that held their team mates, both sets of kids making faces, silly noises and gestures. It was a full and wild time that I felt, even then, to be privileged to be part of. I think about the many times on that road when we were on our way to go camping the night before a race, of the time that a bear came knocking at the tent of one of our companions and I slept through most if it. I think about sitting around the small camp fires, enjoying s’mores and singing songs - as many as we could remember the words for. I think about the times when the drive home was silent because the kids were exhausted from the effort they put into their races. I think about the year that I visited the llama farm and brought home hand-dyed fibers that I later knit into a hat or the time when I escaped with a group of other kid-free mothers to sneak off to the hot springs less than a half hour away. That adventure felt so decadent at the time.

I also reflected on the place I am in my life now. The kids are nearly grown. Ellie and Kohlton have already spent the day up here because they can now drive themselves. Ethan is back on the boat working as the engineer, readying the boat for transit to San Diego. As I think about my life, I also listen to the book about a mother and adult daughter’s journey on an international scavenger hunt. Their first stop is in China, a place I plan to visit at some point in my life. I think about what my life will be like sans the nearly constant attachment to my children. It makes me feel both sad, and excited to launch that new journey for myself.

As I turn into the Snow Mountain Ranch property I realize that the state of the grounds is akin to a metaphor for my own adult life. When we first began to come to Snow Mountain Ranch we would turn off of the highway onto a thin, dirt road that was cut through a green, lush, dense forest of towering trees. After driving through that fragrant tunnel we would emerge into a new world where everyone felt safe, happy and ready for fun. Many years later there was a pine beetle infestation that felled most of the forest. For two years the entrance was like going through a bone yard of a long lost magical era. At times my life has felt the same. But time marches on, those trees were cut down and repurposed. Now there is a forest in miniature where the trees are much shorter than I and sport a bright, hopeful green.


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Here's one of the popular snacks that we made for the crowd.

Ginger Spiced Nuts and Chex Mix

½ cup Sugar
1 tea. Ginger, ground
½ tea. Red Pepper or Cayenne Pepper, ground
½ cup Butter, melted
2 cups Corn Chex
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Mixed Nuts
2 cups Pecans
2 cups Cranberries
2 cups Raisins
¼ cup Crystallized Ginger, chopped

Mix the Chex and nuts together, set aside. Stir the ginger and red pepper/cayenne into the melted butter.

Stir the butter and spice mix into the nut and Chex mix. Stir to combine. Stir in the sugar to evenly coat the mix.

Now you can

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Paper Flowers for Artistic Friends

Earlier this summer I made a few new friends with an artistic bent when I attended the Encaustics workshop at Anderson Ranch. In an effort to keep those connections going and to sort of help make creating art more of a priority for myself, I set up a small exchange of art through the mail. Afterall, who doesn't love getting fun mail in their mailboxes?
I had intended to make small bit of true art, but my life has been as such lately that settling in and making that kind of art was not possible. However, making paper flowers was and it was a lot of fun. So, I made a small bouquet of flowers for each person. I carefully packaged them with colored tissue paper and notes. I made the outside of the box beautiful as well with the hopes that receiving such items would bring them joy.

The boxes were supposed to be delivered on Saturday or Monday, but due to the size of the boxes, they were sent to their work locations. I have not heard anything back from them, so I am worried that they were delayed. I doubt they were lost. I look forward to receiving confirmation that they were received.

Now I am onto figuring out what to make for the next exchange.

Today has also been a very big day. Ethan returned to the west coast and is back on the boat. He will not be back until Christmas. It will be very weird to have Thanksgiving without him. We have not had that in 21 years. My students also staged a protest and walk-out in support and a show of concern with issues that are going on in my school district. I spent the day fielding questions about the issues and working hard to present documents that support both sides of each issue so that the students are informed enough to make their own choices on each topic. I think I may need a nap before I prepare dinner. I think it is going to have to be something easy and quick for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Emily Comes to Visit - Chatting & Snacking

When Larr and I had dinner at Cascades, inside of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, I started my meal with a charcuterie, cheese and fruit plate. It was so much fun to eat that I decided that I wanted to create something similar for Ethan when he came home. Ethan has been home for a while, so I was just waiting for the right night to fix up this treat.

On Wednesday I had jury duty and got out a bit early, so I decided to make a nice meal. Ethan called me that afternoon to let me know that Emily, his good friend and favorite chef from the boat, was in town. He asked if she could join us and of course the answer was, "yes, of course." So I set to work gathering the fun food and putting together a nice presentation. I always think of my friend, Natalie, when I do this kind of thing. She creates such treats for me often and with such lovely little bowls. Some time I will do this for her.
I enjoyed getting a chance to meet Emily in person and hear here stories of life on the boat. Since it is really just life to them, it was hard for them to come up with very many stories. Still, I liked hear about how the galley kitchen is set up, how she plans for, shops for and cooks for the crew. Ethan tells me that being the ship's cook is the hardest job on the boat.
I picked up most of the fresh stuff from Whole Foods where the produce guy and I tasted things to seek out the most interesting and in season varieties of fruits. I especially loved the Thomas Concord grapes. I also really like the figs, but everyone else was less thrilled about them. The mango was the best I have ever had.

Then I made my way over to the cheese and meat counter where the guys there let me have samples and offered suggestions. I told them about my plans and they were very enthusiastic assistants in putting together a great spread.

Emily told me a story about Ethan making breakfast on the boat one morning. On the days that Emily has off, other crew members have to step up to take her place for a meal and cook. Ethan has always loved to make breakfast, so he volunteered to take a shift. Emily explained that he would be making a fairly straightforward breakfast of eggs, toast, etc. She also handed him some cans of crescent rolls and told him to make them. He had never seen them so he cracked the can open. unwound the dough and seperated out the triangles. He then layed them out on a pan and cooked them until they were baked. He thought that it was a bit odd that they did not puff up. Later he learned that the triangles of dough were supposed to be rolled up and formed into crescents. Johan, the first mate, loved them. He told Ethan that his triangle toast was a lovely vessil to relay his marmalade to his mouth. Emily had to giggle at that a bit. The next time that someone was needed to take over a breakfast shift, Johan smiled and nudged Ethan to get him to volunteer as he wanted more triangle toast.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Lovely Fall Day + Green Chile Posole, Split Pea & Flaken Soup, Rosemary Lamb Kofte With Creamed Corn, Milk Stout Cupcakes

Yesterday was a lovely fall day. The trees are turning and we had a low key day.

Larr and Ethan went on a walk over Loveland Pass. Once they were done with the hike, they drove down into South Park and back home, going past George Town.

Kohlton finally got his truck all in order, so Ellie and Kohlton did a bit of shopping on their own. Then they hung out here and we went to the thrift store to consider Halloween costume options. They are as of yet undecided. For a while they were going to be Batman and Wonder Woman. Then they considered being Jay and Daisy from Great Gatsby, or Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. Nothing really seemed to fit the bill.
They did find a costume for Remmie at Target. He will be a linebarker.
We regrouped and had dinner. I made Lamb Kofte and served it with homemade creamed corn with lime and mashed potatoes. It was a hit. Then we had a fire and relaxed. I loved sitting together, relaxing, knitting while Kohlton played the guitar.


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Green Chile Posole
via: Tasting Colorado by Michele Morris

Pork:
4-5 pnd Pork Should Roast
5 TB Mesquite Liquid Smoke (I will use the liquid smoke from William-Somona, my favorite)
1 tea. Salt
2 tea. Cumin, ground
1 tea. Coriander, ground
2 tea. Chili Powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Spear the roast all over with the fork. Place the roast on two layers of foil. Combine the spices and liquid smoke. Rub the mixture all over the roast. Seal the roast in the first layer of foil and then the second layer of foil.

Place 1" of water in a broiler pan. Place the roast in the broiler pan with water and cook for 3 hours.

Remove the roast from the oven. Let it cool in the foil. Shred or cut into bite size pieces. Discard the fat.

Posole:
14 oz. Beef Stock
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 can of 28 oz. Hominy, drained
4 oz. Tomatillos, pureed
28 oz. Tomatoes, Mexican Stewed
3 bunches Scallion, finely chopped
1 tea. Cumin, ground
Salt and Pepper
28 oz. Green Enchilada Sauce
1/2 pound Roasted Chile Peppers
Cheese

Place the cooked pork in a stock pot. Add everything but the cheese. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour. Top with cheese before serving.
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SPLIT PEA AND FLANKEN SOUP
Via: Wall Street Journal, recipe by Jesse Schenker

Active Time: ½ hours Total Time: 3 hours Serves: 6-8

1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 pounds marrow bones (I could not get this, so I used soup bones instead)
2 pounds beef flanken or short ribs
Salt
2 Spanish onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch celery, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces
5 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 pound green split peas
½ pound barley
5 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Croutons for garnish, optional

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Make spice sachet: Place peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme on a cheesecloth square, gather ends and tie closed with kitchen string.

2. Roast marrow bones: Place 1 tablespoon oil and marrow bones in a large, lidded, heavy stockpot or Dutch oven. Toss bones to coat with oil. Roast in oven until golden, 30-45 minutes. Carefully remove pot from oven and place on stove top. Remove marrow bones and set aside.

3. Sear ribs: Season ribs with salt. Add remaining oil to stockpot and set over high heat. Once hot, add ribs to pot and sear on all sides, 12-15 minutes total. Remove meat and set aside.

4. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic to pot, stir and cook until onions are translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until fully incorporated, 1-2 minutes more. Return marrow bones and ribs to pot. Add red wine and deglaze pot by scraping browned bits off bottom. Add spice sachet, split peas, barley and enough beef stock to cover marrow bones and ribs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

5. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer until meat is tender and falls off the bone, about 2 hours. Remove all bones and sachet. Season soup with salt to taste. Before serving, stir in fresh dill and parsley. Garnish with croutons, if you like.

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Rosemary Lamb Kofte With Creamed Corn
via: Wall Street Journal, recipe by Jessica Koslow
Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

Lamb Kofte -
2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds
2 teaspoons toasted coriander seeds
2 teaspoons toasted fennel seeds
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1½ pounds ground lamb
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper, optional (4 parts sweet paprika and 1 part cayenne)
8 thick rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped from half of each

Creamed Corn with Lime -

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Kernels from 4 large ears corn
½ cup cream
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon sumac, optional (sub. lemon juice, if needed)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a mortar and pestle or grinder to grind toasted spices to a fine powder. Transfer powder to a large bowl. Add paprika, 1 tablespoon salt, cayenne, garlic, lamb and 1 teaspoon Aleppo, if using, to spice mix and stir to combine.

2. Make kofte: Evenly divide seasoned lamb into 8 parts. Mold lamb around portions of rosemary sprigs stripped of leaves to form uniform cylinders.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once hot, lay 4 skewers into pan and cook until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer skewers to a paper-towel-lined plate. Wipe pan clean, add remaining oil and repeat with remaining skewers.

4. Place browned kofte skewers on a baking sheet and transfer to oven. Roast until center of meat is just a touch pink, about 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in corn and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium and stir in cream, remaining Aleppo, if using, lime zest and sumac, if using. Sauté until cream thickens and kernels are tender, about 4 minutes. Off heat, season corn with lime juice and salt to taste.

6. To serve, divide corn among 4 plates and top each serving with 2 kofte skewers.

** Cook's Thesaurus (see below) says that a good substitute for aleppo is 4 parts sweet paprika and 1 part cayenne. I find this resource very helpful, in general. Link: http://www.foodsubs.com/SpiceME.html

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Milk Stout Cupcakes
via: Tasting Colorado by Michele Morris

Cupcakes:
3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 cups Sugar
2 cups Flour
1 tea. Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
12 oz. Milk Stout Beer (Left hand Brewery)
1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 TB Vanilla
3 Eggs
8 oz. Sour Cream

Frosting:
8 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 pnd Powdered Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the muffin tin with either cupcake liners, or by buttering and flouring the cups.

Combine the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda and salt (I omit the salt).
Whisk the beer, melted butter and vanilla. Add each of the three eggs one by one. Add the sour cream. Blend this into the dry mixture gently. Be careful to not over mix.

Fill the muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

To make the frosting, beat the powdered sugar into the cream cheese.