Did you have a merry Christmas? Or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, did you have a terrific Tuesday? I did. I got to spend time with friends and family and relax and eat good food. That’s what holidays are truly about. And I’m lucky enough to be off work for the next two weeks, and it’s a good thing too because I have serious plans for my kitchen and pantry…but more on that in a later post.
I promised you the third and final installment of our Citrus Dinner series—that is, the recipes and dishes we made for our citrus challenge, featuring delicious and fresh satsuma and clementine oranges from Whole Foods. Thus far we’ve covered a delightful Champagne Wednesday cocktail (berry punch with clementine simple syrup) and a wholesome cheese plate (goat cheese, olive oil, raw almonds, fresh satsumas), plus two main courses (clementine-roasted chicken with thyme, mushrooms and tofu en papilotte). Now, for the grand finale….
…dessert. Continue reading
I know what’s going on. Your path to life has taken a sour turn. Your mojo is running out of juice. Food has lost its a-peel. And my pith-y jokes…well, they lack a certain zest today. But it’s okay. I’ve got the cure for what ails ya. Because, my dear friend, when life has given you lemons, sometimes you wonder…”What the hell am I going to do with this? Make lemonade? Uh hello, that is so 1956. Laaaame.” Well today, we are going to save your relationship with the lemon.
Because after all, the lemon is a little culinary powerhouse. There is nothing it can’t make better. Not only is it full of vitamin C, and not only is it an awesome little addition to homemade cleaning solutions, and not only does it bring out the delicious flavors of foods it’s paired with, but its own flavor is bright and tart and yummy. To steal a line from Genie, the lemon is “phenomenal cosmic power, itty bitty living space.” Continue reading
Ogres have layers, bars have layers
It’s that time of year again. Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. Carnivale. For some people, “Paczki Day.”
I, for one, enjoy Mardi Gras. Who doesn’t like shiny beads and socially accepted overindulgence? Monks. But we just won’t tell them about it. Anyway, I enjoy the festivities. There is, however, one thing that has always somewhat baffled me about the way people celebrate Fat Tuesday here in southeast Michigan, at least.
Paczkis. The overwhelming obsession with paczkis. I mean…why?
Now don’t hate me. I know that already some of you are going, “Oh my god, you did not just say that,” and others are going, “You didn’t mean it; I forgive you,” and still others are going, “What the hell is a paczki? And how do you even pronounce it?” A paczki, pronounced here as puntj-ki, is a Polish pastry made of fried dough filled with jam. Continue reading
I’ll say that one more time: double chocolate chip almond cookie pie. Cookie pie. Cookie pie. Cookie pie.
This is a beautiful dessert, in so many ways. First of all, it contains some of the most important ingredients known to man: chocolate, double chocolate, almonds, butter, pie crust. All it’s missing is pork…and you could remedy that buy adding in crumbled bacon and/or using lard in your pie crust. Just something to consider. Secondly, it solves that terrible, gastronomical conundrum that is, “What do I want for dessert? A cookie or a slice of pie?” Welcome to the future, my good hungry friend! Who needs flying cars? You can have cookie pie. That’s two desserts in one. It’s like a culinary double rainbow. Plus, it offers twice the opportunity for supplemental dairy. I mean, pie needs to have one of two things to go with it: ice cream or whipped cream. Or ice cream and whipped cream. And cookies need milk. So you could have a slice of cookie pie with some whipped cream and a glass of milk. Boom. Done. Third, think of all the neatly paired colloquialisms you could make. “Any way you slice it, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!” And uh…um….ok, well maybe that’s the only one. Finally, this dessert is extremely easy to make, even for those of you who are baking-phobic. And do you know what you get at the end of this easy process? Flaky, buttery pie crust, crunchy top and a nice thick layer of chocolate in the middle. It makes a great alternative to the usual whipped chocolate or fruity pies. And if you’re tired of eating pumpkin after Thanksgiving and Christmas, then I believe this one is calling your name. Continue reading
I wasn’t doing a lot of baking for a bit there recently and in the meantime, my Calder delivery kept coming. By last Friday, I had amassed a small cholesterol-y fortune to the tune of about 4.5 pounds of butter in my pantry. I thought to myself, I should probably whittle that down before it goes bad. So I did what any other me in my situation would do: I made cornbread. And cookies. And those triple chocolate brownies that I’m convinced could easily be the flavonoid-filled death of some otherwise healthy person. But it wasn’t enough. By the end of the weekend, I still had a pound and a half of butter. At least that’s a reasonable amount for me. I can always make another batch or four of cornbread. I mean, it’s really good cornbread. But I also wanted to try something new. Frosting.
Generally, I don’t like to make frosting. I’ve tried before, for cakes and cinnamon rolls, and it always comes out “meh.” Seriously. It actually shrugs its sugary shoulders with a bored sounding “meh” as I spread it haphazardly across the top of some otherwise adequate baked concoction. The frosting is unimpressed with my meager talents at creaming various dairy products with sugar. Well that’s fine, frosting, cause I don’t like you either. Really, I don’t. I’ve never cared for frosting. Generally find it too sugary–I prefer the cake part. I don’t like filling either for the same reason. In fact as a kid, when given a Hostess cupcake, I would peel off the frosted design and then proceed to eat the cake around the filling and then throw the filling away. What can I say? That’s just how I roll. Non-frosted. Continue reading
M is for the many yums you gave me.
A is for the appetite you sate.
R is for the reason I go camping.
S is for the satisfying taste.
H is for the holidays that wouldn’t be the same.
M is for the merry times we share.
A is for the awesome mix of flavors.
L is for the lighting of the flame.
L is for the luscious, gooey texture.
O is for the om nom nom nom noms.
W is for the epic, epic WIN.
Marshmallow. Continue reading
I'm all thumbs today
You know what you shouldn’t do when baking something, especially for the first time? Read the line in the recipe that says to place the cookie dough on “buttered or cooking parchment- lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets” and think, “Well, I hate to butter a pan, I’ll use baking spray instead.”
This is really dumb for two reasons. One, cooking spray ≠ butter ≠ parchment paper. Two, if there’s a half pound of butter in your cookie dough, you probably don’t need even to butter the baking sheet at all. But hey, let’s say you haven’t eaten much that day and you just have an absolutely Stupid Moment and think it’s a good idea to apply baking spray to a cookie sheet before laying your nicely molded cookies on it. Let’s say this moment continues for about 20 minutes and culminates in you scratching your head as you see that your cookies have spread out to the point that they’re practically deformed and in no way resemble the cute little round “thumbprints” you intended. Then, minutes later (how many minutes, I won’t say), the light bulb in your head suddenly goes off in an epiphany of knowledge, fireworks boom, morning dawns and the nine choirs of angels belt out in heavenly voice: why the hell did I do that? I know better. What was I thinking? Duh.
And then you make a second batch of cookies. A week later. Because you were too tired/annoyed at yourself to make another batch of them that night. Continue reading