desserts

miss american [flag] pie.

July 8, 2015

miss american [flag] pie.

This pie, you guys. This pie was completely last-minute, and a perfect example of how I will do whatever it takes to complicate a holiday. This pie was unnecessary: we had desserts. Giant dark chocolate-walnut brownies (on the blog soon), pillowy chocolate chip cookies, from-scratch fudge sauce, and 5 pints of homemade Jeni’s vanilla bean ice cream – 5 pints! We were golden. We were set.

But then I wanted pie, and I wanted it badly. Enough to lie and say I needed to make this for this blog. For science. For the world.

Continue Reading…

feast magazine article

feast magazine, july 2015: halva-buttermilk cake with honey-chocolate ganache.

July 2, 2015

halva-buttermilk cake with honey-chocolate ganache.

I just want to kick this off by saying that when I wrote my Feast article this month, I included a pretty amazing pun. It fit perfectly into the article, made for a snappy intro, and was an accurate depiction of how I feel about the ingredient at hand. I never thought it would make it in.

I was wrong! my beloved editors kept it, and not only that, they managed to throw it on the picture description as well, which means it’s in there twice. They get me: they really get me. So I’d encourage you to click over and read it because it’s not to be missed.

Also, clearly I just enjoy taking photographs of round foods jauntily positioned to the right – all the time. This whole gallery thing I have going on at the top of the site now is a real eye-opener to my habits.

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desserts

the best white cake ever, circa 1958.

June 29, 2015

the best white cake ever, circa 1958.

I get stuck with food; often there’s so many things I want to make I get frozen in place, paralyzed, not knowing what to do first. I’ve found a cure for it, almost like hitting a personal reset button on my recipe brain, and it seems to really do the trick. The prescription:

  1. Unearth a favorite vintage cookbook, preferably one which focuses on foundation recipes.
  2. Find the simplest, most cornerstone-like recipe from any given genre of food. Not simple like easy, but simple like basic: it needs to be multi-purpose and practical.
  3. Make the recipe, and make it as directed, with zero to minimal adjustments, if you can. Your goal is to stay true to the recipe, not reinvent the wheel.
  4. Eat what you made, and think hard about it. Is it better than the present-day version? In what ways? Was it harder/easier to make than its modern-day counterpart? How do you think this recipe from decades ago got to where it is now, and why?

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general information and events

sidepost: trends in food + an appeal to future food trends.

June 23, 2015

own all the cookbooks.

When I saw Eventbrite‘s  Trends in Food study, it got me thinking about food trends I’ve noticed around here (both locally and in blog world), and I thought I’d do a little rundown for you. Always nice to take a  break from the norm during summer, right? I can’t tell you what food events or festivals to go to this summer – I’d go to all of them if I could, but I will probably go to none. Instead, I’m going to write about what I know: cooking, recipe, and restaurant trends I’ve seen happening recently. Continue Reading…

breakfast, brunch

the family crumb cake.

June 13, 2015

my family's ny style crumb cake.

When I was little, I had no idea where our coffee cake came from, beyond the obvious fact that it came from my mom’s oven. Once it was out of the oven, it went directly into our mouths, and that was that. As I got older, I realized this was the same cake my grandma and her sisters made, making it probably the first “passed down from generation to generation” recipe I knew about.

My family on my mom’s side hails from New York. Queens, to be precise. I had no idea how much this would affect my breakfasts at the time, but now I totally get it. Because that crumb cake I grew up with is considered the classic New York Style crumb cake.  Continue Reading…

the just one question project

the just one question project: question 8.

June 10, 2015

hey there! it's JOQ TIME!

You guys: you’re the greatest. When I sent out the email for the Just One Question Project reboot, I thought “ugh…awkward rejection in 5, 4, 3, 2…” but that rejection never came. In fact, I got some really thoughtful, detailed, lengthy (Ashley! I love you!) responses, which is more than I could ask for. I’m grateful to all of you for being excited about this. Let’s away to the charts, shall we?

*and bear with me with the charts, please: I have to find the app I used to use for these because I don’t feel like I’m getting them exactly the way I want. Next time they’ll be fixed. Continue Reading…

desserts, jeni's spinalong

The Jeni’s Spinalong series: grilled cantaloupe sorbet.

June 1, 2015
summer!

summer!

It’s June 1st, which means lots of things in the midwest: children yell at each other from bicycles and skateboards, neighborhood pools are packed with bodies and beach balls, and markets are filled to the brim with fresh fruit and vegetables and it is amazing.

And it’s time for a new installment of the Jeni’s Spinalong. Hooray! Remember that time I made this sticky bun ice cream with cinnamon-pecan swirl? That was the inaugural Spinalong post, and this is the second in that series. Continue Reading…

feast magazine article, sides

feast magazine, june 2015: savory tomatillo crumble.

May 31, 2015

savory tomatillo gratin.

Summer is coming, and it’s bringing these tomatillos, a.k.a my Mystery Shopper ingredient for the June issue of Feast. Let’s get to it.

This Month’s Mystery Ingredient: Tomatillos

Also Goes By: Tomate Verde, Husk Tomato, Mexican Husk Tomato, Husk Cherry, Jamberry, Ground Cherry. They are not American green tomatoes, just so you know.

Hails from: Mexico, but grown all over the Western Hemisphere

Recipe: Savory Tomatillo Crumble

Continue Reading…

mains, soups

JFK’s new england fish chowder.

May 29, 2015
summer in a little be-handled bowl.

summer in a little be-handled bowl.

For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with encyclopedias. What can I say? I love information. We had a set (a few sets, actually) when I was younger, and one of my favorite things to do (I’m showing my nerd here) was to think of something I wanted to know and head to those spectacularly weighty books to locate the answer to my question.

I still do that, only now, it’s via Google or Wikipedia. I ask questions of it in the way that a certain soon-to-be 5-year-old asks me things. What do birds eat besides worms? How much does Canada weigh? Why don’t I see wooly bear caterpillars and fireflies as much as I used to? Things like that: the internet has answers for everything. And I’m on a never-ending quest to know everything. Continue Reading…

appetizers, feast magazine article

feast magazine, may 2015: rose hips (and two ways to use them)

May 6, 2015

roasted grape + rosemary crostini with rose hip puree.

So I wrote this whole thing about how May snuck up on me and how I’m in the middle of another project that’s simultaneously awesome and butt-kicking and super fun and how I’m going to get back to regular posting soon.

Oh! and then I wrote about how I haven’t even watched the April episode of Feast TV, in which my publisher cooks my dang rack of lamb from the April issue. They pick my recipe to make and I can’t even see my way clear to watch it; that’s like some next level Beyonce-esque stuff. What a diva! So I belabor that point for a paragraph or two…

And then I thought: no. Nope! I’ll get back to posting when I get back to it. Whenever that is. Spoiler alert, I have Chinese Almond Cookie Ice Cream sandwiches to post, Just One Question Project answers to think deep thoughts about and then publish, and social media platforms to wholly ignore. And I just got the new Milk Bar Life cookbook, so you’re in for a fun summer. Maybe I even redesign the blog! Maybe I don’t! This is all happening. Continue Reading…