Recipe roundup

A year in review (and cookies)

For the end of Recipe Swap’s inaugural year, I’ve gathered all of the recipes (and a few of the gifs) I shared into one email. Some are links, some are my own, and some are from friends and family members.

I feel really lucky to have had the time and space to make things this year, and I hope that a drawing or recipe or recommendation in your inbox has made 2020 a little nicer for you. 

Recipes from others

In March I was eating scallion pancakes and chocolate chip cookies (go here if you’re vegan or gluten free). In April it was tahini chocolate chip cookies rolled in sesame seeds, plus caramel rolls for weekday breakfasts. You’ll find recipes from the summer below; skip to November and I was carefully packing apple slab pie alongside thermoses of soup for chilly picnics.

Recipes from me

Beyond Swedish meatballs

Makes about 16 meatballs

2 slices white bread

1 1/4 C milk, divided

1 package Beyond hot Italian sausage

1 egg

1 tsp salt

Black pepper

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (plus a little extra)

4 T butter, divided

1/4 C flour

Tear the bread into small chunks and combine with 1/4 C milk in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Let it sit for a few minutes, then add the sausage, egg, salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix on low speed about 1 minute. Divide the mixture into 1-ounce meatballs.

Heat two tablespoons butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs, leaving enough space that they don’t touch (do this step in batches if your pan is too small). Cook about 5 minutes, or until they’re brown, then flip. Cook until browned on the other side, then remove from the pan to a serving dish.

Turn the heat to low and add the remaining two tablespoons of butter to the pan. Swirl around until it melts, then add the flour and stir to make a paste. Slowly stir in the rest of the milk and continue stirring until the mixture thickens. Continue to add milk if your gravy is too thick. Add salt, black pepper, and grate a bit of nutmeg in and stir to combine.

Pour the gravy over your meatballs and serve!

Rolled ginger cookies, adapted from Grandma Shirley

(Makes a lot of cookies - I’d recommend cutting the recipe in half most of the time.)

1 C molasses

1 C sugar

1 C shortening

1 tbs vinegar

Bring these ingredients to a boil. Cool and add:

2 eggs

Stir into this mixture:

5 1/2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp salt

Mix well. Chill at least 1 hour (or overnight), then heat your oven to 375 degrees. Roll thick or thin. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters and bake 9 minutes for super soft cookies, increasing the time if you prefer them snappier.

Chocolate ganache

8 oz semisweet chocolate (feves, whole, or a bar, chopped)

8 oz milk (or cream or almond milk)

Place chocolate in a bowl. Heat milk in a small saucepan until it starts to get frothy but before it boils (it shouldn’t feel scaldingly hot to touch). Pour the milk over the chocolate and let it sit a few minutes, then stir. If the chocolate has broken or the mixture got too cool to melt all of it, just pour the whole thing into your saucepan over low heat and stir until it comes together. Chill until it’s the consistency you want for your filling or topping (I like to let it cool in the fridge maybe 20 minutes for cake filling, but if you wanted to drizzle it over the top of the cake I’d use it right away).

Pappa al pomodoro

adapted from Laura Giusti

8 cloves garlic, finely chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

500 grams ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 small handful fresh basil leaves, torn

freshly ground black pepper


1 quart water or stock

500 grams day-old bread, crusts removed, cut into strips

Sauté the garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the tomato, basil, and a few cracks of pepper and cook for 5 minutes, then season with salt. Add the water or stock and bring to a simmer. Add the bread and cook for a few minutes, stirring. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes, then ladle into bowls and drizzle each with olive oil. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature, but never chilled!

Thin buttermilk pancakes

adapted from Betty Crocker

Makes about 15 small-ish pancakes

1 cup buttermilk

2 tbsp butter, melted

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together buttermilk and butter, then add eggs and whisk until they’re incorporated. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk until there are no lumps.

Heat a skillet (this works best if your skillet is not nonstick) with a teaspoon or so of butter. Drop about 1/4 C of batter into the pan per pancake and spread it around a bit. When the edges set, flip the pancake and cook until golden on both sides. Continue until you run out of batter.

Serve with butter + a sprinkling of white sugar, peanut butter + maple syrup, or fresh fruit + sour cream.

Lemon ginger shrub

As recorded in May 2020

Last week I chopped up one lemon and an inch of ginger, dropped it in a quart container with an equal part by weight of sugar, and let it sit in the fridge. After a few days, all that turned into syrup and I strained it through a kitchen cloth into another container. Then I added another part of white vinegar and that was it, lemon-ginger shrub. I’m drinking it with tonic + bitters + simple syrup + mezcal. Not bad for home cocktail hour.

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