Monthly Archives: November 2012

Let the Christmas Cookies Begin: Lemon-Iced Cookies

It’s raining hard here, which means it’s really almost Christmas in San Francisco. Isabella and I did some Christmas window shopping this weekend. Ingredients for Christmas cookies are showing up in our kitchen; Christmas tree is being purchased tomorrow.

Above is a picture of Noel’s version of Gran Fran’s lemon-iced cookies. Delish! Noel’s an excellent baker, so I left the documentation to her. My cookies never quite look as good as hers, though they do taste delightful.

I wanted to share a recipe, but also these gems of Christmas-pictures past of the Claro kids. These were on Facebook already, so I figured my siblings can’t complain about me posting them here….

 The little one in the grey dress is me. Kind of looking like a crazy monkey. I think there is at least one picture of each of my sisters wearing this dress. I know there are shots of me in the dress with the cherries Noel is wearing, and the blue dress Danielle has on. I never had the pleasure of wearing the funky heart-printed one Nicole has on, nor Chris’ very awesome plaid pants.

How about those late ’70′s collars? I see tinsel on that Christmas tree. No idea Gran Fran used to allow that, must note for future Christmas

Gran Fran wrote a wonderful post that evokes memories of grandmas getting ready for Christmas in their community. The recipe for her lemon-iced cookies was included in the post. They’re a wonderful addition to your traditional Christmas cookie repertoire. 

And, finally, a picture of my daughter and her two local cousins enjoying some sparkling cider (no, it’s not beer) at Thanksgiving dinner. These are who I bake for these days. Not too shabby, huh?

So let’s start this Christmas season off right and get some baking done!

(All pictures are cookies made with standard all-purpose white flour. You can replace white flour with Gluten Free Pantry’s All Purpose Flour Mix)

Angeletti –Lemon-Iced Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I use Gluten Free Pantry’s All Purpose Flour Mix)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  •  2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Colored sprinkles (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift togther flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar  until fluffy
  4.  Add eggs one at a time; mix well after each addition.
  5. Mix in vanilla.
  6. With mixer on, gradually add flour mixture; beat until dough comes together.
  7. Gently roll bits of dough into  1 to 1-1/2 inch balls  and place  on lightly buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. To cool cookies, transfer them to wire cooling rack set over a sheet of waxed paper.
  9.  In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, lemon rind, and lemon juice to form a smooth glossy icing.
  10. When cookies are cool, dip tops in icing and return to wire rack.
  11. Shower with colored sprinkles if desired. Let cookies remain on wire cooling rack until icing is firm.
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Trout Fried with Oatmeal: The Breakfast Book


Here we are again, it’s Cook the Book time. This chapter of Marian Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book is all about breakfast meat. Somehow, I found a fish dish.

I’ve never made trout before. My favorite way to eat it is smoked on toast with mayo. The recipe I found calls for trout, but it’s encrusted in oatmeal and then fried. All signs pointed to yes for me, so I gave it a try.

The flavor was great, the fish was moist. The almond milk I used added a little bit of nuttiness to the oatmeal, so it was all good. If I could just get past the smell of the fish itself, this would be one of my go-to breakfast dishes.

My mother always has something to say about how fishy fish can smell. I hadn’t ever experience this level of fishiness-of-the-fish before. Whoa! I made this two times because the first time I made it, the smell turned me off so much, I was afraid to eat it. The second time, I made it as soon as I got it home from the market, but the smell was the same. I do have an extra sensitive nose, which may have contributed to my reaction.

You may have a different experience, so I ask you to please give this a try, and to let me know. I hope you enjoy the flavor as much as I did!

Check out the posts by my cook the book partners:  RachelAimeeEmily and Claudie.

Trout Fried with Oatmeal


  • 1/2 cup milk (I use Almond Milk)
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shortening, or a combination of oil and butter
  • 4 trout
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Pour the milk in a large deep plate and spread the oatmeal on a piece of waxed paper. If you want a finer-textured oatmeal than the flakes, whir the rolled oats in a food processor.
  2. Put the shortening in a large skillet and heat it over high heat.
  3. Dip each trout in the milk and then in the oatmeal, coating each side completely,
  4. Put the trout in the hot shortening and turn the heat down to medium-high.
  5. Salt and pepper hte trout and cook for 3 to 4 minutes; then turn the trout and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the other side – don’t overcook.
  6. Remove from the pan and serve with lemon wedges.
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Thanksgiving: All the Recipes You Need

Thanksgiving is here.

It’s time to make all the wonderful dishes you and your family and friends love. Here’s a guide to many of my favorite recipes.

Enjoy and drop me a line with your favorite dishes.

Cranberry No-Cook Relish

Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon

Sweet Potatoes Three Ways: Mashed, Baked or Oven-Fried

Cornbread, Porcini Mushroom, Chestnut, Bacon and Sausage Stuffing

Roast Chestnuts

Gluten and Dairy Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

Apple Sauce with Chili


Bacon-Wrapped Turkey





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Bacon Wrapped Turkey and How I learned to Cook It

Thanksgiving, 1992, San Francisco, CA, my first away from home as a newly minted full-grown adult. I figured I would make the turkey, since of my 3 roommates, 2 were veggie, and one had no interest in taking on the bird. And so, I got us a huge frozen turkey that sat in our fridge for a few days befoere Thanksgiving.

The big day arrived. I went to the fridge and found that the turkey was nowhere near thawed. It was around 8am PST and our party started at 6pm. The phone (which had a very long cord, we for some reason didn’t have a cordless, and no cell phones yet) was dialed and Gran Fran came on the line (it being 3 hours later in NY, her turkey was well on its way. Must also mention here, that Joe was well out of the house, too, since he cannot be in the house with odor of the roasting bird.)
“Well, you’ll need to run cold water on it to get the ice to thaw. And, to make sure it’s ready to cook, you don’t want to give everyone salmonella.” (note: Gran Fran is very wary of all manner of undercooked food for fear of diseases.)
OK, so the turkey is huge, our sink is not. Into the bathroom I go with the turkey, dragging the phone through the length of our flat. The bird is dumped into the bathtub, cold water is run over it for an hour or so, and it is thawed. (Picture my two veggie roommates coming into the bathroom and seeing me wrestling with a gigantic turkey. Needless to say, as soon as it was thawed, I was back in the bathroom armed with bleach and tub cleanser to get all meaty-juices off the surfaces).
The turkey made it into the oven around 10am, plenty of time for it to cook through. I went about my business to make other dishes, and help get the house ready for our guests. We were dressed up and the house lit with candles just in time.
The turkey had a beautifully browned skin, the meat was moist, the side dishes were delicious.
But, I had forgotten one thing. The paper wrapped innards were still in the turkey cavity. Oy, this was a tough one to explain to the guests. Suffice it to say, the turkey had been cooked for so long that the innards had been cooked, too, no danger of salmonella. But, boy, what a discovery was made when that cooked white sack was found!
Luckily, we were mostly a bunch of out-of-towners on our first solo Thanksgivings, so all was ok, as long a the wine and beer kept flowing and the pies made their way to the table.
Now, 20 years later, I have perfected many a turkey, but my all time favorite is this bacon wrapped version. The skin is rubbed with brown sugar, sage and cayenne pepper. Spicy, sweet and wonderful. I did also use butter, which I don’t usually do for poultry, but it really added a great depth of flavor. You can stick with just the bacon to moisten the turkey, but I have to say the butter added amazing flavor.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Bacon Wrapped Turkey

serves 6


  • 1 turkey breast
  • 2 turkey legs
  • 2 turkey thighs
  • 1 1/2 pounds bacon
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cayenne
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees f
  2. Place bacon on a rimmed backing sheet in a single layer.
  3. Bake bacon for five minutes, just until the fat starts to liquify in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Put the butter, brown sugar, cayenne, sage and garlic in a food processor and pulse until a paste has formed.
  5. Place the turkey in a large baking dish.
  6. Coat the pieces with the brown sugar mixture. It may not adhere 100%, but you should try and put some under the skin of the turkey where the flavors can really permeate the meat.
  7. Remove the bacon from the oven, let it cool a bit and then start wrapping the turkey with the bacon slices. If you have enough bacon, create a lattice by laying one piece of bacon over another to create a shell over the turkey. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just try to cover the whole surface of the turkey. This helps keep the meat moist.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour. Check on the thighs after 45 minutes, they may cook a bit quicker than the breast.
  9. Remove from the oven, let rest for ten minutes, tented under aluminum foil, and then serve!
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