Sunday, December 7, 2014

Late to the Party: I saw Interstellar and I need a hug.

...it's just been raining... on my face

So, yeah, that just happened.  Oh my gods.  I need to mentally process this here.  The last time a movie smacked me in the face and heart and gut like that it was The Fountain but then it had that INFURIATING NON-ENDING and I will never get over that so okay let's just not get onto that tangent, let's keep to the matter at hand, shall we.

AHEAD: SPOILERS. GEEKING.  LOTS OF FEELINGS.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pining

I start this new post on an old topic with a sigh.  Is there anything more to say?  For this hippy in the city, the theme of isolation from nature comes back around each year to bite me again.  In the summer I don't want to go out anyway - I'm a Stark.  I don't do well with sweltering.  So I just save it all for the dream of a cold fall wind, or that rare heavy storm that brings a fresh breath of clean air in the thick summer heat.  

In fall, we have our brief bit of joy visiting the mountains I want to call home.  I run in forests and look out from the peaks and remember what I feel like when I'm where I'm supposed to be.  And then we come home to the city, and the few leaves that we have fall, and winter starts to seep in through the windows.  The days are all shades of grey clouds and slanting gold sunbeams and long shadows that make morning and afternoon seem frozen in the moment before twilight.  Bare branches show their intricate designs, where there are branches to be seen.  I love these days, because in my childhood so much of the year was this way.  But it's not the same here.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Grandma's Carrot Cake


So when my job told me they wanted a carrot cake, I knew there was only one choice.  My grandma's been making this cake for longer than I've been around, and it's always moist and carroty and perfect.  Well, I only made some teeeeny tiny adjustments.



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Brioche


I often debate whether brioche or challah is my favorite bread.  They share many similarities, for sure.  But brioche has that perfect illusion of lightness that can only come from a TON of fat.  Like slicing into a rich, buttery cloud.  Here I'm using Peter Reinhart's brioche recipes from his classic book The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  I say recipes, because I made both the Rich Man's Brioche and Middle-Class Brioche, the difference between the two mostly just being the amount of butter.  The rich man's brioche has a full pound of butter, resulting in an extremely moist bread with a more open crumb and a very intense buttery flavor.  Great for eating as-is, toasted or untoasted, or with jelly or preserves (my favorite accompaniment is actually a sour cherry compote which I sadly don't have at the moment.)

The middle-class brioche has only (hah) a half-pound of butter and is better suited to sandwich buns than its richer sister because the dough has a little more stretch and thus the bread holds together more, while the rich man's will pretty much crumble between the pressure of sliced meat and teeth.  It's excellent for French toast,  too.  The middle-class brioche is also a little easier to shape, because working with a really high butter content dough is kind of like trying to make pottery with clay that melts when you touch it.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rose-Scented Plum Crumble Tart




Good News, Everyone!  I'm a baker again!!  As in, professionally.  And also, much more frequently personally too.  It's amazing how doing what you love and feeling happy with your life puts some pep in your step to do more things you love... after a nap, of course.  I do often work at 3 am.  Expect to see a lot more recipes in the near future! Starting with this beautiful, easy dish from Martha Stewart, which I knew I had to make when a coworker made it and brought in a slice, and I had some plums wasting away at home!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Fudgiest Flourless Chocolate Cake


This recipe calls itself a cake.  It thinks it's a cake, I mean - it has eggs!  But let's be real.  It's oven-fudge.  Whatever it is, it's the most decadent thing you can make for a chocolate lover.  A few bites and you'll probably be set, so it makes a great little treat when you don't want to eat a lot of dessert.  And pairing it with some tart berries, a glob of ice cream, or a very big glass of milk will balance the richness.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

White Lasagna with Mushrooms and Chicken Sausage


I love mushrooms with a hobbit-like intensity.  One of the first things on my "when I win the lottery which will totally obviously happen even though I never play it" list is to eat a truffle.  I could probably give up meat if I could always have a delicious portobello (portabella? whatever) cap instead.  So when I saw this recipe for Super Creamy Mushroom Lasagna on Divine Cuisine I was instantly intrigued.  I also love "white" versions of Italian dishes (yummmm white pizza) so that convinced me I had to give it a whirl.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Slow-cooked Sausage and Onions with a Cider, Beer and Mustard Sauce



This Halloween I decided to try to recreate something Jay made for our Halloween party two years ago.  He cooks everything by just throwing things together until it tastes good, which often works out well but is not so helpful when it comes to recreating the recipe.  With a little trial and error I took a stab at it, and was pretty happy with the result, although there's one thing I'll definitely change next time.  After some initial stovetop cooking, you can finish this recipe in a slow cooker or continue to simmer it on low on the stove.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

One Pot White Bean, Escarole and Bacon Soup


 

Two years ago my friend Jo brought me this soup, and I never stopped thinking about it!  It's perfect for fall- it has the smoky bacon, hearty starchiness from the beans, a light broth with fresh herbs and escarole, and it would be awesome for dipping some fresh crusty bread in.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I have some problems with Doctor Who. Presented in gifs.



Um, hi.  So.  I fail at blog!!  I should say, I fail at blog and job simultaneously.  I'm going to work on that, I really am.  With recipes.  And stuff.  And maybe we'll actually get some spring and summer next year instead of two years of fall and winter...?

But first.


Regarding Doctor Who.  It should go without saying,



SPOILER SPOILERS HOLY CRAP SO MANY SPOILERS.  You've been warned.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Marinated Greek Chicken Kebabs

 

Well I promised something springy, but this recipe, from The Complete Book of Greek Cooking by Rena Salaman and Jan Cutler, is more of a head start on summer barbecueing.  However, even if it's still chilly where you are, if you have access to a grill, you should get these delicious kebabs cooking asap.  You won't be sorry!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Storm of Feels

Friends, let's talk nerdy.



SPOILERS FORTHCOMING for recent Doctor Who, old Game of Thrones, and mild teasers for A Storm of Swords / upcoming Game of Thrones (assuming they follow the book.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Irish Raisin Soda Bread



YOU GUYS!  I'm sorry I've abandoned this blog!  I had no intentions of doing so, but I've been extremely busy doing this whole baking thing professionally!  I've been working at an awesome French bakery and learning lots of fancy bread baking skills that I will someday be able to share with you, when I have time to breathe a little bit.  Baking all day is tons of fun, but also tons of hard work!

Monday, January 21, 2013

To match your nature with Nature

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."  - Henry David Thoreau