Posts by Beth

Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

Posted by on Sep 8, 2021 in beef, Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, main dish | 0 comments

Everyone probably has their own take on classic Italian Meatballs. This is mine!

What I love about the recipe is that it, 1) tastes good, and 2) is convenient. I can mix the meatballs up ahead of time and stash them in the fridge or even the freezer. They can be cooked straight from the freezer, too! Just cook them a little longer.

Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

I always go with 93% lean ground beef, but use whatever kind you want–even do a meat of beef and pork or ground sausage. Consider this recipe a template. Mix it up, switch out or increase seasonings, whatever.

Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

These are great with all kinds of dishes, too. Use them with the standard spaghetti or other Italian pasts, or on zoodles, or with sauce on some submarine sandwich bread. They are even good heated up, eaten by themselves!

Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

These gigantic meatballs are easy to make. If you want, form them early in the day and stash them in the fridge. Meatballs can also be frozen, cooked or cooked, and heated up later–and they can be taken straight from the freezer, too; just add a few more minutes to the cook time. This is also a great recipe to double to feed a crowd.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: beef, cheese
Servings: 8 meatballs
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • food scale
  • 9×13 dish or large rimmed baking pan

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for pan and hands
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups panko
  • 1/2 cup milk or water
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ounce Parmesan or Grana Padano, freshly grated, roughly 1/2 cup
  • 1 pound ground beef

Instructions

  • Move rack to top third of oven and start to preheat at 425-degrees. Rub or brush a 9×13 casserole pan or rimmed baking sheet with oil.
  • In a large bowl, use a big spoon to mash together the 2 Tablespoons oil, eggs, panko, liquid, salt, pepper, seasoning, garlic powder, and cheese. The goal is to create a smooth paste. Add a handful of meat. Mix in, and gradually drop in the rest of the meat to thoroughly combine.
  • Use a food scale to weigh the meat, then divide that total by 8 (or any other desired increment). With oiled hands, press together meatballs, weighing each to create ones of equal size.
  • Bake meatballs for 20 minutes. Use a metal spatula to carefully flip over each for the browned-bottom is on top. Bake for another 6 to 10 minutes, until meatballs are fully browned. An instant read thermometer plunged into one should read over 160-degrees.
  • Serve as desired. Leftovers are great to refrigerate or freeze.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Posted by on Sep 1, 2021 in biscoff spread, Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

    These Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are embodied with extra cookie dough flavor thanks to the miracle of cookie butter.

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    It always seems someone is always discovering cookie butter for the first time, so I shall repeat: this stuff is basically ground-down cookies blended with oil, giving it the same consistency as peanut butter, but without the health benefits. And oh yeah, it’s delicious.

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Ccookie butter can be found under the Biscoff brand at many grocery stores (and sometimes in a store generic brand) and at Trader Joe’s as Speculoos. You can use it just as you would peanut butter for sandwiches or for baked goods.

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    It’s fantastic stuff paired with chocolate, as in this recipe. It makes cookies taste more… cookie. Once you try it, you’ll know what I mean.

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    This recipe makes a nice, big batch of crispy, chewy cookies. Use any kind of chocolate chips that you want–or use a mix! It’ll all be good.

    Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    These firm, chewy cookies have amped-up cookie dough flavor thanks to cookie butter, the fantastic jarred concoction found near nuts butters in the grocery store. Using a tablespoon scoop, this makes about 44 cookies.
    Course: Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: chocolate, cookie butter, cookies
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • tablespoon scoop

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 cube), room temperature
    • 1/2 cup creamy cookie butter
    • 1 cup brown sugar packed
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 eggs room temperature
    • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
    • 2 Tablespoons water
    • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 bag milk chocolate chips or semisweet chips, about 1 3/4 cups

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 375-degrees.
    • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    • In a big mixing bowl, beat butter and cookie butter until completely blended. Add the two sugars. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
    • Use a tablespoon scoop to dole out dough onto a cookie sheet, giving each one room to spread while baking. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, until golden, then let them sit on the sheet another 5 to 10 minutes to set. Transfer to rack to completely cool.
    • Store in a sealed container at room temperature. They will keep well for up to 3 days.

    *OM NOM NOM!*

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      My Virtual CoKoCon Schedule for September 4th through 6th

      Posted by on Aug 30, 2021 in Blog, public speaking, writerly advice | 0 comments


      CoKoCon is September 3rd through 6th! The convention is online and totally free. To attend, you must register and use their Discord server. Find out all about that on their website. Please also check out the charity book auction, which will benefit a great local group, the Joshua Tree Feeding Program.

      Here’s my final schedule. I say final, but of course, things may change and the internet may choose to be fickle at the worst possible time. Find the full schedule for the weekend here. All times are Pacific time.


      Saturday, September 4
      2:00pm – 3:00pm Steampunk in the Round
      What is it that makes steampunk a lasting trend? We’ll discuss: The evolution of steampunk, how do you see it in a few years? The literary and media side of steampunk. The commercial side of steampunk. The splinter divisions of Steampunk. Q&A with audience.

      3:15pm – 4:15pm The Wonderful World of Cheese
      Join author Beth Cato and friends as she leads a lively discussion on the world of cheese, from its early history to modern day.

      5:45pm – 6:45pm From the Paddock to Pern
      Judith Tarr. Tamora Pierce. Robin McKinley. Mercedes Lackey. Our panelists discuss the impact of “horse girl” fantasy.

      Sunday, September 5
      10:15am – 11:15am Book Discussion: The Calculating Stars
      Join avid reader and sometime blogger Michael Senft, and Nebula and Dragon award nominee Beth Cato (The Clockwork Dagger, Breath of Earth) as they discuss Mary Robinette Kowal’s award-winning “Lady Astronaut” alternate history.

      2:00pm – 3:00pm Author Self-Care: COVID Edition
      Surviving the past year has been an ordeal for everyone. Our authors talk about how COVID affected them, and what they did (and are still doing) to cope with pandemic, lockdown and deadlines.

      4:30pm – 5:30pm Writing Speculative Poetry
      Join our panelists as they discuss writing speculative poetry, as well as share their own works.

      Monday, September 6
      2:00pm – 3:00pm From Tabletop to Text and Vice Versa
      Whether Dungeons & Dragons or Final Fantasy, our panelists discuss how gaming influenced their writing, and how their writing influences their gaming.

      #SFWAPro



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      Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

      Posted by on Aug 25, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, yeast bread | 0 comments

      My no-fuss Food Processor Brioche Rolls recipe will dazzle your mind because they are SO EASY. Enriched doughs like this have a reputation (that is well-earned) to be time-consuming and aggravating. Not anymore.

      Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

      The food processor is what makes this easy-peasey. It mixes the dough in no-time, and aerates the butter and eggs into the flour and develops that all-important gluten.

      Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

      These rolls are good for any variety of uses, as they can be eaten with things sweet and savory. As the bread is nice and durable, we found they worked well for shredded pork sandwiches, with barbecue sauce and all.

      Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

      Once these are baked-up, they are fantastic to freeze and thaw, too. They really are best eaten within a day–I suppose they still had to be fussy in at least one way!

      Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

      Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

      This brioche dough takes minutes to make but needs 24-hours to develop in the fridge. Two versions are supplied below so that the amount of rolls can be customized. A 1-pound batch makes 4 rolls, wherein the 2-pound batch makes 8.
      Course: Bread
      Cuisine: French
      Keyword: yeast bread
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • food processor
      • food scale

      Ingredients

      1-lb batch

      • 1/4 cup warm water no hotter than 130-degrees
      • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast 1 packet
      • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 2 large eggs room temperature
      • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted

      2-lb batch

      • 1/2 cup warm water no hotter than 130-degrees
      • 4 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast 2 packets
      • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 6 Tablespoons white sugar
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 4 large eggs room temperature
      • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted (1 1/2 sticks)

      For egg wash

      • 1 large egg room temperature
      • 1 Tablespoon milk or half & half

      Instructions

      Follow these same directions, regardless of the batch size.

      • Affix steel S-blade inside food processor.
      • In a cup, stir together the dry yeast and water. Place the flour in the work bowl, followed by the yeast-water, sugar, and salt. Pulse a few times. Add the eggs and spin until they are mixed in, no more than 10 or 15 seconds.
      • Start the processor on low and pour in the melted butter in a solid stream. Stop mixing after about 20 seconds. The dough will be very sticky and fluid.
      • Apply nonstick spray or butter in a big mixing bowl. Pour in the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it has tripled in size, no more than 3 hours. Keep an eye on it, because it can expand fast.
      • Flour hands and punch down dough.
      • Cover bowl with plastic wrap again, and stash the bowl in the fridge. Keep it there overnight, at minimum, or up to a day. It will rise a bit but nowhere near as much as the initial rise.
      • To make rolls, prepare a baking sheet with parchment or nonstick spray.
      • Prepare egg wash. Crack egg into a bowl. Beat in milk. In addition, add water to a small saucer and set it within reach.
      • Grab small handfuls of dough. To get amounts even, use a kitchen scale to measure out 4-ounces worth. Working fast, pat into a ball. Dip fingers in water then stroke dough to smooth out rough spots. Set rounds on prepared sheet, spaced out. If the dough gets too sticky to work with, place in fridge briefly to chill again.
      • Once rolls are formed, brush them with the egg wash. Let them rise for an hour, until nicely puffed.
      • Preheat oven at 400-degrees.
      • Gently brush on more egg wash. Place in oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until browned and set. Doneness can be double-checked by jabbing a thermometer into a subtle spot along the bottom to ensure the middle is over 190-degrees.
      • Rolls are best eaten within a day, but they keep very well frozen. Eat them warm or at room temperature.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        CLOCKWORK DAGGER ebook on sale for $1.99!

        Posted by on Aug 21, 2021 in Blog, clockwork dagger | 0 comments

        My novel The Clockwork Dagger is currently on sale for $1.99! I have no idea how long it will be at that price. This is the first book in my series that’s been described as Agatha Christie meets Final Fantasy.

        Please, if you haven’t read it yet, grab it while you can! And please spread the word, too.

        #SFWAPro

        Clockwork Dagger
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