Honestly, I didn’t eat fabulous things while in Antwerp and in France. The fanciest meal I had was on my last night there. I had duck confit, which is one of those dishes that I usually think about ordering but then go order something else. A couple of the people I was traveling with convinced me to order it (the other choices were salmon and cod). It was good, and needed the accompanying sauerkraut to help cut the fattiness… but honestly? Chinese roasted duck, the duck that I grew up with, is much tastier. The flavor is bolder. However, the duck confit was wonderfully tender which is something you won’t get with roasted duck.
So, here are my pictures:
Breakfast at Hotel Banks, Antwerp:
(cookie recipe inside this entry)
Lunch at Ra, a concept store in Antwerp:
Dinner at Bofinger restaurant, Paris:
Sorry it took me so long to post those pictures. I was just being lazy about editing.
Today, my friend “oh_cake” (http://oh-cake.livejournal.com/) was hosting a cookie swap. Usually, my go-to cookie recipe is a rosemary butter cookie. This weekend, I thought I would try something totally different: orange cardamom butter cookies. It was delicious and everything I wanted it to be. It’s like a grown-up creamsicle, and it’s softer than how my butter cookies normally turn out. Give it a shot, and tell me what you think. (^_^)v
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom (or to your preference)
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
finely grated zest of 2 small oranges
1/4 cup milk
Whisk the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together in a bowl, and set aside.
In a new bowl, use a mixer to combine the butter and sugar until creamed. Since my kitchen is a cold New England kitchen, this step was difficult. Butter is never going to be soft if your house is never warmer than 65F because paying for oil heat is painful. I tried pounding the butter into the sugar first with my pestle, before taking the hand-mixer to it. It never got creamy, but the butter combined easier than those times where I didn’t pound the butter.
Add the orange zest, the eggs, vanilla, and the milk. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until just blended. Don’t over mix it. Personally, I like to do this step with my hands. It’s sticky as hell, but I can get the dough to combine more evenly. Not everyone has a stand-mixer, you know.
Chill the dough for a couple of hours or overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment.
Scoop about 1.5 teaspoon of dough per cookie, and and roll it into a ball. Space the cookies about 2 inches. Then, smoosh it with your palm a little. They will spread a little upon baking, but not too much.
Bake for 9-10 minutes at 350F.