Moving to www.44dinner.com

I’m not exactly techy…anymore. But, I’m finally moving from the wordpress.com domain, to a self-hosted one. Whatever that means. But, it does mean I have more flexibility, if nothing else. Let’s just say, I’m learning a lot and I’m calling help desks. I think I’m their worst nightmare.

So, click here, and you’ll get to the new site. All of the posts, comments, recipes and photos are on the new site. See you there!

Hot Fudge Sauce


I have a new favorite hot fudge sauce. After years of using the same chocolate sauce (which is still fabulous and I haven’t given it up), I’ve found the thick, rich, chewy hot fudge sauce for which I have searched – for years.

It is smooth, in spite of the fact that it uses cocoa. It is rich, despite the fact that it doesn’t include an excessive amount of butter and has no cream. It has a thick, velvety quality that might normally come from the addition of corn syrup – but that isn’t in the recipe, either (yea!).

When it hits your ice cream, it sets up, but doesn’t completely harden (like a ganache would). This sauce works well inside of and on the side with our secret family ice cream cake – no thin sauce will do for that!

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Alfajores – Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies


The first time I had an alfajor cookie was at our local tacqueria. Two thin shortbread cookies with that mellow caramel, dulce de leche, in between, rolled in powdered sugar (as if it weren’t already sweet enough). It was soooo decadent and delicious. As is my usual, I thought, “I can make these”. But, finding a recipe was difficult. And, seemingly, there are several different varieties of alfajores depending on the country of origin.

There are cookies that are more crumbly, others that are more crisp. There are those that are flat, others that are domed. Alfajores can also be rolled in shredded coconut on the edges, instead of powdered sugar. I’ve seen recipes for the cookies to be dipped in dark chocolate. One can use dulce de leche made from cow’s milk, or the kind made from goat’s milk (cajeta). Many recipes use a lot of cornstarch, and little flour – perhaps because corn is such a staple of South America. Then there is also a Spanish variety that is not a cookie at all, but a candy made of almonds, sugar and spices. I received some Spanish alfajores as a gift last year when I was in recuperation mode.


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Menu for the Week


For some reason, it has been hard to get back on track with writing. I’ve taken a lot of pictures, but I really haven’t been inspired to write about much of what I’ve been cooking. On the other hand, some meals have been very memorable – like the shellfish stew last week. I also made a pasta dish with sardines (inspired by Mark Bittman’s) that was fantastic, but I took no pictures, made no measurements and won’t be able to make it again unless J is out of town again. Additionally, I’ve been keeping the sugar companies in business by making lots of jam (more than 3 dozen jars). And, birthday cakes. For Grandma’s birthday, I made a new hot fudge sauce for the secret family ice cream cake. It was so richly chocolate flavored, thick, and luscious that I made it again yesterday for J’s end of school party. This sauce is the one for which I’ve been searching.
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Passover Brown Butter Almond Cake


I was determined to try a different recipe for WG’s birthday cake this year. His birthday fell during Passover and he keeps the holiday rather strictly. I didn’t want him to miss a birthday cake, though. We asked him what kind of cake he wanted, but he left it up to us. Grandma and WG are chocoholics, but we had a bunch of passover brownies during the holiday (not to mention matzo toffee crunch). So, I decided to try to make a good almond cake, cloaked in chocolate ganache. I went hunting on the internet for a recipe, but none suited my fancy. By combining a few, I came up with something that worked for us. I think it is a winner. In fact, I would make it all year round!
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Teriyaki Chicken

Last night I made something that I have never made before, strangely enough: Teriyaki Chicken. I love it. I order it when I am not in the mood for sushi at a Japanese style restaurant. I even bought a Trader Joe’s frozen chicken teriyaki for the girls’ lunches (very good, I might add).

I was perusing some old cooking magazines when I came across a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated for chicken teriyaki. Their recipes are always very well tested and authoritative, if occasionally quite complicated. The chicken teriyaki was not complicated. However, it vociferously called for skin-on chicken thighs instead of skinless, and I bought skinless (health week, remember?). And the sauce sounded incredibly sweet. So, I went on a search for another recipe.
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