Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fifth Blogiversary!

Hungry Cravings is celebrating its fifth blogiversary this month. Back when I started it, I never would’ve guessed that I’d still be at it five years later. This little blog has seen me go from aspiring writer to published cookbook author, and it has taught me a thing or two about the art of food photography. Though work keeps me busy and posts here are less frequent than they once were, I look forward to each opportunity to check in more than ever.

So I dug through the freezer for the last of the huckleberries we gathered last summer. I’d been saving them for a special occasion…a special occasion just like this one!

Lemony Huckleberry Crumb Bars
Printable Recipe

6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, shredded, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen huckleberries
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish and line with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer about half of the dough to the baking dish and press into an even layer. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Toss together the huckleberries, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Spread the huckleberry mixture evenly over the crust and then spread the remaining half of the dough evenly over the huckleberry layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

Using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the pan and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut into portions and serve.

Makes 12 bars. Huckleberries have a short summer season. Use frozen huckleberries the rest of the year, but do not thaw them. Small blueberries make a fine substitute if huckleberries are unavailable. These bars are best on the day they’re made.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blog Touring and Guest Posting

Flavored Butters is on an “I Can’t Believe it IS Butter” blog tour! Today’s stop: I’m Denise’s guest over at Chez Us. Please come join me there. My guest post is all about making and using sweet flavored butters and includes the Passion Fruit Butter recipe from the book.

Also on the blog tour…

· Creative Culinary featured the Citrus-Vanilla Bean Butter.

· A Little Loveliness highlighted the Whipped Vanilla Bean Butter.

· A Well Crafted Party posted the Whipped Vanilla Bean Butter.

· Willow Bird Baking presented both the Coffee Butter and the Salted Caramel Butter.

· Celebrations at Home offered up both the Gorgonzola-Chive Butter and the Bed & Breakfast Butter in apricot.

· Divine Party Concepts spotlighted the Whipped Chocolate Butter.

So it looks pretty safe to say that the Whipped Vanilla Bean Butter is becoming a crowd favorite! To go with all that vanilla, I’ll leave you with a little bit of chocolate!

Of course, the recipe for this Whipped Chocolate Butter appears in Flavored Butters.

Thanks to all of the wonderful bloggers for hosting a stop!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bonus Butter

My new book is part of The Harvard Common Press’s 50 Recipes series. I tried to sneak in 53 recipes thinking there’s no harm in giving people more than what they paid for. But I was busted. My editor caught me and made me do some cutting—when they say 50 Recipes, they mean 50 Recipes. It wasn’t easy deciding which three had to go. One recipe that ended up being sacrificed was the Black Garlic Butter, not because it’s somehow inferior to any of the others, but because black garlic is a bit hard to come by. The butter is in fact quite delicious, so I thought I’d offer it up here as a bonus recipe. (By the way, if you’re wondering why in the world anyone needs 50, let alone 53 recipes for flavored butters, here’s an explanation.)

Before I get to the recipe, I have to say how grateful I am for the warm reception Flavored Butters is getting in the media and blogosphere. I’ve been called a “butter goddess” and a “butter genius”, and it might just go to my head! (But more likely, it'll go to my butt!) But seriously, I have to thank The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the shout-out, the Chicago Tribune for the great review (and the dozen or more other media outlets that picked up the story), The Kitchn for another fantastic review, and the Akron Beacon Journal for the mention in this article on herbs and gardening. I also want to show my appreciation to The Best Cookbooks List, Magnolia Days, and Fake Food Free for jumping on the butter bandwagon—the support means so much! And while this has nothing to do with Flavored Butters, I owe one more thank you to HuffPost Taste for including my Passion Fruit-Coconut Bars in their passion fruit recipe roundup.

And now to the Black Garlic Butter. Black garlic, which seems to have originated in Korea, is a product of fermentation.

The ink-colored cloves have a soft, gelatinous texture and a complex sweet and mellow garlic flavor with candy-like hints of molasses, caramel, smoke, and fruit. Roasted garlic fans would certainly love it. Blend black garlic with butter to use as a spread for crostini or as a sauce for seafood such as grilled or seared* scallops.

Black Garlic Butter
Printable Recipe

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 cloves black garlic
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Combine the butter, black garlic, and soy sauce in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Form into a log and refrigerate until firm before slicing and serving, or use another shaping method described in Flavored Butters.

Makes 8 servings.

*For everything you ever wanted to know about searing, plus dozens of fabulous searing recipes, check out my first book Seared to Perfection.

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