3/22/2015

Downtown Dining Week: A Hit and A Miss

How was everyone's Downtown Dining Week? I always look forward to this food festival in Edmonton, but I don't always get to take advantage of it, so I made sure to do so this time around.

On Thursday, I was on my own for dinner, and decided to grab dinner at Pazzo Pazzo Italian Cuisine (10016-103 Avenue). It was my first time to the place, and I actually had an expired Groupon that I needed to use up. Unfortunately, because Downtown Dining Week is already a promotion, I wasn't able to use my Groupon, but from the quality of food and service I received, I don't mind coming back at all!
Pazzo Pazzo is tucked into one of the small streets across from Churchill Square, so if you weren't actively looking for it, it'd be easy to miss.
Pazzo Pazzo is a fine dining restaurant just a couple of blocks away from the Edmonton City Centre, . The interior had your typical fine dining ambiance with slightly dimmed lighting and various areas for seating. I had my dinner a bit earlier that night, so there weren't too many people dining at the same time as me, but it was kind of nice how quiet it was.
Even though I was dining alone, I got my own mini loaf of bread, and it was delicious. I only had a couple of slices before my other courses started arriving, and I'm glad.
The first course was a salad, and you had a choice between a Caesar salad or Mista. I opted for the Mista, and the dish is quite deceiving. The portion of salad could probably have been the size of 2 starter salads, but I quite enjoy my veggies, so I didn't mind. The salad had Romaine lettuce, Roma tomato, celery, onion, and cucumber, topped with a Mista vinaigrette dressing and some shaved Parmesan. The only thing I didn't like was that there was probably an entire Roma tomato in it, but it's more of a personal preference thing. It was light, refreshing, and delicious.
For the entree, you had a choice between Penne Pazzo (chicken, broccoli, tomato cream sauce) or Stuffed Pasta Shells (ricotta, spinach, "Gigi" sauce - I don't know what Gigi sauce is though). I opted for the Penne Pazzo, and this dish is even more deceiving than the salad. There was enough pasta to serve 3 people, I swear. The thing is that while there was a lot, it was consistently good throughout - the pasta was cooked perfectly (al dente), the broccoli and chicken were cooked perfectly, and the tomato cream sauce was divine. The chili flakes and black pepper that you see on top is all my doing. While it tasted delicious, I have a hard time tasting the same thing over and over when there is a lot of food to be had, so I had those added for later on.
The service was excellent - it was neither overly or under attentive. My server was just attentive enough to meet my needs, without interrupting my meal too much. The food was great too, although the portion was quite large. I feel like I had read something about that in a review somewhere, but took it too lightly. The third course of the meal is a dessert, which for Downtown Dining Week was tiramisu. Unfortunately, seeing as I was so full from the bread, salad, and maybe 1/3 of my pasta entree, I couldn't even make it to the dessert. My server kindly offered to pack my tiramisu in a box, as well as the remaining 2/3 of my main dish, and even the bread!
When I came back from my dinner, it looked practically like I had gotten take-out!
A few hours after I had digested my dinner, I was able to share the tiramisu with P. The whipped cream deflated in the fridge over time, but it tasted pretty good. The additions of strawberries and rolled up chocolate were a nice touch.
This is how much was leftover from my dinner - 2 whole lunch tupperware containers stuffed to the brims with pasta! P and I enjoyed our lunches of pasta and bread the next day. 
Needless to say, my overall experience at Pazzo Pazzo was excellent! I will definitely go back, especially if I want to have a really good lunch for work the next day ;)

Unfortunately, my second Downtown Dining Week experience was quite far from being as enjoyable as the first. P and I spent the last day of Downtown Dining Week at Chop Steakhouse & Bar (10235-101 Street) for lunch. I had skimmed through the Downtown Dining Week menus beforehand, and Chop had the most options for entrees, 6, in fact, and I also had two amazing experiences at the location in Ellerslie with my parents.
Chop Steakhouse & Bar is located on the main and second levels of Sutton Place Hotel. This is the upstairs entrance.
We decided to sit in the lounge area, because most other customers were sitting there and the place is huge.
P and I waited 20 minutes before being provided with menus after being seated. While I understand that restaurants may be lower on staff for Sunday lunches, there were maybe 3-4 other tables of customers in the restaurant, yet another 15 minutes after ordering, we finally received our glasses of water. At the same time that we were served the water, our server indicated that she had forgotten what P ordered, and had also forgotten to place our order. As a result, a table of customers who arrived a while after we did, got their meals first. From what we noticed, the bartender frequently needed to leave the bar to run up to the kitchen and serve orders that were ready.
The first course was Watermelon and Feta Spring Salad - the salad was actually quite tasty. It wasn't overdressed, there was a nice play of flavours between the greens and fennel, and the watermelon and feta. However, half of the bowl's underside felt kind of crusty, and P mentioned that his case was the same.
Of the 6 sandwich options, P picked the Beef Short Rib. It looked quite good. P said that the bun was nicely toasted, and levels of flavour and moisture in the sandwich's filling were good, however, it wasn't very hot, temperature-wise. I stole a couple of bites, and agreed with his comments.
Seeing as the name is Chop Steakhouse & Bar, I opted for the Steak Sandwich. Unfortunately, it was quite disappointing. I asked to have my steak prepared medium-rare, but the steak was more or less between being medium and well-done. There were only a couple of bites of steak where the red/pink was actually visible. Even so, a well-done steak can still be moist, but mine was not. It was difficult for me to get through the steak, so distracting my palette with the fries and a couple bites of P's sandwich certainly helped. The fries were actually quite good, and P thought so too. They were nice and crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside, which is how I believe fries ought to be. It made up for the fact that they had run out of mashed potatoes, hence the fries. 
Overall, the food was decent, but my dry and overcooked steak demoted my rating quite a bit. The service, however, was rather dreadful. I normally feel much more reluctant to mention my disappointments, but I feel as though this was an exception to that feeling. I regret not consulting Urbanspoon, and solely relying on my previous experiences at another location, as most of the reviews reveal that service has been consistently unimpressive. I think that if I do want to go to Chop Steakhouse & Bar, I will steer clear of the downtown location, and re-visit the one in Ellerslie where they seemed more familiar with the concept of proper customer service.

I hate to end Downtown Dining Week on such a sour note, but I am definitely looking forward to more food festivals coming up this summer in Edmonton!

-M

Pazzo Pazzo on Urbanspoon Chop Steakhouse & Bar on Urbanspoon

3/15/2015

Love for the Locals: YEG Coffee Week

Hello readers (if you're still out there)! It's been too long! But, I had to come back for Pi Day, obviously. I've been quite busy lately because life happens, but things have hopefully settled down for the next little while. I hope to put out new posts at least on a monthly basis from this point on :)

As many of you know, YEG Coffee Week has been all the craze! The mission of YEG Coffee Week is as follows:
"Yeg Coffee works to connect and build a vibrant community, that works to motivate, educate and support both coffee professionals and enthusiasts as well as our local community."
Basically, between March 7-15, anyone can grab a coffee stamp card, and get $1 off their coffee at any of 25 participating local cafes in Edmonton, 1 in St. Albert, and 1 in Sherwood Park.
The participants of YEG Coffee Week!
Even though I'm strictly a tea drinker, I tagged along with P who has been having too much fun with YEG Coffee Week. You'll see what I mean if you check out his tweets over the course of the week. As a result, I managed to drink tea and have some nibbles at 3 local cafes I hadn't been to before, which is awesome.

Since it was Pi Day, I wanted to have a tart or pie of some sort, and what better place to look than the quaint little French Quarter in Edmonton? P and I made our way over to Cafe Bicyclette (004 - La Cité Francophone, 8627 rue Marie-Anne-Gaboury/91 St. NW), right by Campus Sainte-Jean for brunch. The cafe is in a building called "La Cite Francophone", which is a cultural centre that houses some studios, offices, and shops, as well as a farmer's market on Sundays. It really is a cute place, and I decided upon walking in that I would be back again. I also wanted to go there because in addition to being a part of YEG Coffee Week, Cafe Bicyclette is a participant in the mini festival dubbed the "Farewell to Winter Patio Party", and so, out on the patio, we sat.

I don't know what's gotten into Edmonton this year, but it was a absolutely gorgeous day.
The sign for Cafe Bicyclette.
The patio!
I have a thing for blackboard menus. I really do.
A slice of banana cream pie and my chai latte with soy milk. Both delicious and wonderfully textured. The tea was so smooth, and you know that it's good foam when it stays around until you get to the bottom of your cup. The pie was beautifully balanced with a perfect ratio of pastry to banana cream filling, while not being too sweet.
P opted for a classic latte. Oh, and the dark chocolate croissant. The thing I love about French patisserie is that they're decadent, but still light, and the sweetness is always more on the milder side. The croissant itself was just how it should be - golden, crispy, and flaky on the outside, and fluffy, moist, and soft on the inside. And imho, dark chocolate is the only way chocolate should be.
We also shared this lovely little crepe with a Saskatoon berry-cream cheese filling, lightly drizzled with maple syrup. The great thing was that there wasn't too much cream cheese, so not only did it play well with the Saskatoon berries, but I didn't have to worry as much about my lactose intolerance. Comfort is nice.
Overall, a lovely little place! As I said before, I knew when I walked in that I would want to come back. The food and service were wonderful, and they're open every day of the week! I would love to come back and try more of their savouries the next time around <3

After we finished, P and I decided to grab another cup of coffee (and tea for me), but thought we'd try another place on the list. P chose Credo, the acclaimed #1 place for coffee in the city. It has shown up in numerous foodie posts, and I was curious to see it for myself as well! Credo currently has 2 locations in the city, strategically placed on 2 particularly artsy/trendy streets - one on 124 Street (10350-124 Street) and one on the (10)4th Street Promenade (10134-104 Street).
Inside Credo. (Outside of Credo, we/I got distracted by this adorable golden retriever named "Blue", who sat on my right shoe to be petted.)
(Look at P's coffee card! All of the little coffee cup icons on there are stamps. That's how many places he visited for coffee this week, and YEG Coffee Week still has one more day!) P's Finca Takesi Typica - apparently it's from the highest coffee farm in the world??
P's coffee after he added cream, and my London Fog Rooibos with soy milk. Yes, London Fog Rooibos. At Credo, you can choose between having the classic Earl Grey or Rooibos in your London Fog! For the sake of having something a little bit different, I opted for the latter. It was a bit of an acquired taste on the first sip, but by the second, it was pretty good!
The foam was perfect. The bubbles were incredibly fine, and this spoonful sat there without diminishing at all while P took this photo. Yum.
I have somehow become a hand model for P, but I don't think my career is particularly promising since I still bite my nails...
It was definitely worth the visit to Credo! I know that I'm not much of a judge since I'm not a fan of coffee - not even good coffee (for shame, I know) - but P said that it was very good. I feel that I will be back, even if just for the foam...

Last Sunday, closer to the start of YEG Coffee Week, P and I stopped by Farrow (8422-109 Street), a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop that's open every day of the week except Tuesday, but only for lunch time. The guys running the place give off a very chill, laidback vibe, while offering great service and delicious food. Farrow is actually run by the same people behind Three Boars Eatery, but that's a story for another day, when I manage to visit them as well.
In front of Farrow. The area with the wooden wall is already the start of the patio for the Three Boars Eatery. Farrow is tiny!
What you see in the picture is essentially the size of the place, but somehow, it doesn't feel crammed inside. 
There was a cactus in the corner with a toque and sunglasses like a G, so I asked P to take its picture.
P's pour-over coffee getting poured over. In the afternoon that day, Farrow actually held a little session on pour-over coffee.
Farrow's kitchen busy at work, constantly putting out sandwiches. These guys are sandwich machines!
Our sandwiches and P's pour-over coffee! I love that they wrap the sandwiches in meat-packing paper. And their stickers. It's all just awesome. From the looks of it, they have 3-4 sandwiches every day, all cleverly named - 1 is brekkie-inspired, 1-2 are for meat-eaters, and 1 is veggie-friendly. On that note, the veggie one for last Sunday was "Romaine Calm". Yup.
My sandwich, the "Grick Middle". It had thick-cut bacon, a fried egg, smoked cheddar, arugula, tomato jam, and rosemary aioli, all on a soft, but toasty bun. It was just right. The savoury overpowered the sweet but in a really good way.
Hole-in-the-walls have these crazy magnetic forces on me, so I will be back. I can't get over how they pass orders to each other on a clothes line. I also need more Grick Middle in my belly!

All 3 of these stops for YEG Coffee Week were absolutely worthwhile. I recommend visiting all of them - not necessarily all 3 in one day, but maybe...

Thanks again to P for his amazing photography! Please check out his website for more of his work!

-M
Café Bicyclette on Urbanspoon Credo Coffee on Urbanspoon Farrow Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

1/17/2015

Love for the Locals: Ampersand 27

For my pre-birthday birthday dinner, P and I finally got around to trying out one of the newer additions to Whyte Ave -- Ampersand 27, and it was definitely the perfect choice for the occasion.

(My birthday present to myself was a brand new phone, so rather than the mediocre pictures you've seen from my Samsung Galaxy SII, these photos are coming to you from a fancy schmancy Nexus 5.)

Ampersand 27, or &27 is certainly "crafted to be different". Something like a fine-dining tapas-style restaurant, it is located on Whyte Ave at 10612-82 Avenue, where Murrietta's used to be. As you sit and enjoy your meal, and look around at, well...everything, you can't help but feel how well the food and space complement one another, courtesy of Chef Patron and Owner, Nathin Bye.

We started off the meal with our drinks, which they charmingly referred to as "Causes, Cures, & Remedies". P opted for a glass of Merlot, while I indulged in a virgin rendition of one of their cocktails - Hot Days. The regular Hot Days includes a concoction of Appleton Rum, Giffard Apricot, Pomegranate Honey Reduction, Almond Milk, and Earl Grey Ice. While the regular cost for one of their cocktails averaged at about $11.50, they only charged me $4 for a virgin one. It was a great deal, but I'm sure I was missing some extra notes by passing on the rum and brandy. Perhaps there will come a day when I choose a boozy drink with the actual booze in it :)

Ampersand 27 also serves Q water in its still or sparkling form, for which they charge $1. There has been some criticism due to the fact that they charge for water, but part of the proceeds from the water sales goes to the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation.

The dinner menu, for the most part, is a collection of share-able items, which means that you can try multiple inventions of theirs at the same time. P and I decided on the Seared Albacore Tuna from "Share & Share Alike", creating our own "Charcuterie" board, and the Seafood Paella from "Larger Provisions".

To really top off the experience, Executive Chef, Greg Myshynuik came around to greet customers at their tables including ours. He asked us if we had just ordered charcuterie, and before we could say "Seared Albacore Tuna", he recited the rest of our meal from the top of his head. He also said that he would check to make sure our food was coming out in a timely manner, and that it did.

Charcuterie - There was a full page of items for you to put together your own charcuterie board. We chose the Chorizo ($3.90/50g), Britannia 5 Year Aged Cheddar ($6.82/50g), Rustic Marble Rye ($3.50/6 half slices), Smoked Rainbow Trout ($3.94/50g), peanut fries ($5.00/elliptical bowl the length of P's forearm). As tempting as things like fresh boccocini can be, I'm glad that they have options like aged cheeses, as one with a sometimes disagreeable stomach. There isn't much more to say than that it was all very delicious. Of course, my favourite part was definitely the peanut fries. They are your standard shoestring potato fries, but are fried in peanut oil, and then topped with a touch of salt and what they called "chipotle honey dust". I'm pretty sure that just means it's some form of magical fairy dust that's edible to mortals. These things are crazy addictive, and now, P and I have somewhere to go for some really good fries at night!
Seared Albacore Tuna - Pickled Hearts of Palm, Citrus, Seaweed, Cashew Puree. It felt almost as if the dish was situated on the ocean floor. I wasn't a huge fan of the "hearts of palm", but it was likely because they were pickled, and I'm just not a fan of pickled things. Really, I just wanted the tuna, and it was amazing.
Seafood Paella ($28) - The seafood paella changes daily, so the price will vary by market price. Ours had mussels, clams, and chorizo. The rice had a divinely smooth texture with so much flavour, yet not too much. Yum.

Homemade saltwater taffy accompanied the check - one was root beer, and the other was cucumber-gin. I've found that out of all of the boozy things I've taken a sip of, I've enjoyed gin and tonic the most. P says it's because it tastes more herbal rather than old things and wood. That said, I opted for the cucumber-gin taffy.

My favourite part of the restaurant. Apparently it was meant to emulate a forest scene with mountains and a river with a starry night sky, and I love it.

I'm not sure how it's possible, but while everything at Ampersand 27 looked beautiful, it also tasted beautiful. It felt as if each morsel had been cared for individually...Bravo.

P and I were so full after indulging in our savoury dishes, that we had to opt out from ordering dessert. But don't you worry - we will be back.

If you're in a mood for indulging your eyes and tastebuds simultaneously, but don't necessarily have a huge budget, I'd recommend a visit to Ampersand 27. And please try the peanut fries for me :)

-M

P.S. Check out the winter issue of Fine Lifestyles Magazine for a featured article on Ampersand 27, and more amazing photography by P!

Ampersand 27 on Urbanspoon

1/05/2015

Looking Back: 2014

Similarly to last year, I can't believe it's already 2015.

This past year has been quite something! As I opened my doors to new opportunities in life, I also opened my blog up to new horizons in BC, Ontario, and Quebec with my temporary move for school and professional development adventures, made and reunited with some wonderful friends, and made and ate some delicious things!

More accomplishments(?) for 2014 include the following...

  • My blog is now over 2 years old!
  • I fell in love with a place called, "The Bag Lady" in London, Ontario.
  • I spent Chinese New Year with extended family in Toronto!
  • I made my first loaf of sandwich bread and made it into French toast for my friends who didn't go away for Family Day.
  • I made some *bleep* good butternut squash soup for the first time thanks to my purchase of a Magic Bullet.
  • I grew my own basil and dill plants, named Hazel and Phil, respectively, but I lost them to aphids because I'm a terrible gardener/horticulturist.
  • I messed up a few batches of my go-to scones because I was too lazy to go out and get shortening or butter.
  • Some guy gave my dad some rhubarb, so I made pastries with it.
  • P and I made a freaking amazing masterpiece for Halloween - the Gastronomicon/Necro-om-nomicon, and devoured the entire thing...*grin*
  • I made lasagna for my parents and they didn't hate it!
  • I put potato chips into cookies and they turned out amazingly. There's no going back now...
  • I made some horrendous samosas that don't deserve to be called samosas - they were so bad that I couldn't even eat a whole one myself. The rest are currently sitting in the deep freeze, and P has said that he will take them, but I am afraid that they will just suffer the same fate as the black bean cookies of yesteryear.
  • Rather than letting my Tim Horton's giftcards from Christmas presents and badminton tournament prizes go to waste (because I am not much of a fan anymore, on the account of my parents going to Tim Horton's several times every week), I used them to provide breakfast and coffee to those who aren't as fortunate as me to have a safe and warm home with more than enough food.
  • P is still my #1 food companion/photographer/fan, and I hope that won't change.
  • I'm nearly at my 100th post! That day will probably call for confetti or something.


Things I want to work on include the following...

  • Getting a personalized domain site up and running!
  • Consistently using better quality photographs when I can afford it. (I still use the camera on my Samsung Galaxy SII, because that's all I have ._.)
  • Try more weird foods and discover new flavours in the world!
  • Find more hole-in-the-wall eateries, because more seems more doable than "all".
  • Broadening my knowledge of culinary techniques and fearing nothing!
  • And as always, maintain my blog so that I can
    • Remember what I ordered at a place I visited for the first time
    • Remember what something I ate looked like
    • Remember the good times and company I've had
    • Remember food and restaurants that I will rarely get the chance to visit
    • Document my culinary ups and downs in the kitchen
    • Share with others
    • Stare at them when I'm bored and there's nothing new on r/food
    • And lastly, to remember places I like to eat at and those that I do not like to eat at and should never go back to.
Thank you to everyone for supporting my continued blogging, especially P and friends who have to wait for me to take pictures of their food before eating. Here's to another year of wonderful food and friends and friendly foods! :)

-M

12/19/2014

B-b-b-baking: Merry Mayhem and Magic

Yesterday was the most intense 90 minutes of constant baking I've done in a while - what I do for Christmas parties... I went to a Christmas party yesterday, and I unfortunately still don't have the funds to buy fancy gifts for everyone, so this year's holiday season is going to be filled with snail mail and baked goods. I was at a meeting in the morning, which ran quite a bit longer than I had anticipated, and I had somewhere else to be just before the Christmas party in the later afternoon, but somehow, I managed. However, because I was in a bit of a hurry, the pictures suffered a bit - not that they are usually that amazing anyways considering how I use my phone camera...

I decided to try two new things this time around - cookies with potato chips in them and biscottis. Yes, potato chips. But let me explain. I had been introduced to the idea of putting other obscure things in cookies about a year ago when my cousins took me to a place called Momofuku Milk Bar in Toronto. They had something called a "Compost Cookie", which had pretzels in it in addition to the potato chips. But when you really think about it...it's not actually that weird. Salty sweet things and molecular gastronomy have surfaced in the culinary world, and it isn't uncommon! Kettle corn has a good mix of caramel and butter and salt, crispy bacon strips are being put into icecream sundaes, so why not potato chips in cookies? So, I gave it a shot, and they were actually amazing. It was your traditional chewy, chocolate chip cookie, but with an extra element of salt and crunch! Magic. And on the slightly less exciting side, I decided to make biscottis. I hadn't made them before until yesterday, but had been wanting to try for a while. They didn't turn out half bad either :)

What I learned yesterday about potato chips in cookies and biscottis:
- Potato chips, of the kettle-cooked, thick-cut variety do belong in cookies at least sometimes.
- Mixing the mix-ins into cookie dough is better with hands because you get a more even distribution, but your hands can get sticky, but whatever.
- Biscottis are essentially a twice-baked biscuit, but because they are baked twice, it takes a tad longer to make them.
- Biscottis are a lot easier to make than one would think - you should give it a try too!!
- It is apparently possible to bake a batch of drop cookies and a batch of biscottis within 90 minutes. It's just kind of stressful. (Holiday baking should be more on the stress-free side of things.)

Chocolate chip potato chip cookies, in all their glory.
First stage baked biscotti. The once thinner logs expanded into blobs of biscotti biscuit thing. You should bake it until it's a bit golden brown, but I didn't have time for that. Yours will likely look miles better than mine!
After being sliced, they looked more biscotti-like. They would have looked a bit better if I wasn't in such a hurry, or at least I'd like to think so? Into the oven for the second, and final bake!
A drizzle of white chocolate makes them a bit more magical, don't you think? I decided on white chocolate since there was dark chocolate in the cookies, but you could go with any chocolate, or multiple kinds of chocolate if you wanted to :)
Chocolate Chip Potato Chip Cookies (Adapted from How Sweet It Is)
*Makes 16 large cookies*
1 1/2 all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups crushed kettle-cooked thick-cut sea salt potato chips
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare 2 cookie sheets with olive oil or parchment paper. (I had to use olive oil for most of the baking because I ran out of parchment after one cookie sheet!)
2. Mix olive oil and sugar in a medium bowl until combined.
3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
4. Add flour and baking soda and mix gently until combined.
5. Fold in crushed potato chips and chocolate chips. It's easier to ensure a more even distribution if you use your hands, but it gets a little messy.
6. Drop 16 balls (about 3-4 Tbsp big) of cookie dough onto your cookie sheet, leaving space in between them to expand.
7. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. You don't want to make the cookies too crunchy so that you have a good textural contrast, so don't wait until they're golden brown. Well, you could, but trust me. It's better this way. :)
8. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Cranberry-Almond Biscottis (Adapted from All Recipes)
*Makes ~24* (I made 23, But I could have totally made another one if my slicing was better.)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup whole roasted almonds

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare a cookie sheet with olive oil or parchment paper.
2. Mix olive oil and sugar in a medium bowl until combined.
3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
4. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix gently until combined.
5. Fold in dried cranberries and almonds.
6. Shape the dough into 2 equal sized logs about 12 x 2 inches, Try not to make the center taller than 2 inches.
7. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Use a sharp knife (or cleaver) to slice the logs diagonally into 1 inch thick pieces. You can make them thicker, but be aware that thicker slices will take longer to bake/dry.
9. Place biscotti slices flat on the cookie sheet. Reduce heat to 300 F and bake for about 10 minutes or until they are dry and a bit golden brown around the edges.
10. To make them slightly fancier, melt some chocolate with about 1 Tbsp olive oil, and drizzle over top. Allow to cool completely, and enjoy with some coffee or tea!

P and I were at Winners looking for Christmas cards and stuff, and I came across these cute little trays. For $4, you got 4 easy-to-assemble cardstock boxes with 4 strands of red ribbon, 4 snowman tags, and 4 tall cellophane bags. I used the tags to label them so that people knew what they were at the party. :D
Thank you, Winners for your cool cooking and baking stuff, and for encouraging my obsession with stationery and crafty things  don't really need, but buy from you anyways.
All ready to go! Chocolate chip potato chip cookies on the left and cranberry-almond biscottis with a white chocolate drizzle on the right! (I labeled the cookies as "chocolate chip" before the "potato chip" part, so people wouldn't be like "potato chip cookies...hmmm" and would instead be like "chocolate yay!!")
Happy holidays and may your homes smell oh so very magical~