All posts in brunch

tsoureki! [greek easter bread.]

tsoureki.

Hello, and welcome to perhaps the only recipe I’ve ever made which makes use of not one, not two, but all three of your stand mixer’s standard attachments. Hooray! It’s like the Holy Grail of Baking.

People of Greece: I want to thank you for this bread. Thank you for making this an essential part of your Greek Easter celebration, thank you for its incredible flavor, its delightful sweetness, and most especially for my ability to make it on my very first try without utter failure. I would have cried had it not worked out, because just the scent of the dough was enough for me to long for it. Seriously, this may be my most favorite sweet dough ever. And I’m going to show you how to make it. Continue reading →

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feast magazine, march 2014: cheese-filled pannenkoeken + lemon-blueberry sauce.

cheese-filled pannenkoeken with blueberry lemon sauce.

Full disclosure: I’ve fled Saint Louis for the sandy beaches and international octogenarian culture of southwest Florida. Everyone is down here, friends: license plates from almost every state were represented in a downtown parking lot yesterday, including some from Canada. I hear there’s another round of bad weather headed for you, so I’ll spare you the weather report from here; it would just make you angry. My own personal weather report, however, is warm and happy, with a sun index of 9 and a 5% chance of returning to my homeland before May. Winter may not be over, but I’m pretty over winter. Continue reading →

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[virtuous] fig + millet donuts.

[virtuous] fig + millet donuts.

I looked out the window the other day around 5:30 pm and saw something foreign: the sun. it was still light outside, even after 5 pm. Granted, this is wonderful news, but so much more is expected of you when the days are longer and it starts to warm up, right? You have to dig out from under your mountain of blankets, for one. You probably have to stay up past 9 pm; saying it “feels later” because it’s been dark since midafternoon just doesn’t work as well when it’s not dark. Perhaps most importantly, you need to start thinking about putting on actual pants. Sans stretch. With actual waistband. Whatever shall we do?!?
Continue reading →

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blood orange + rosemary cake.

blood orange + rosemary cake.

It’s mid-January, or as I like to call it, “Let’s All Go Crazy Over Unusual Citrus” season. It’s like a friendlier version of the Hunger Games, where markets hide small quantities of short-seasoned produce here and there, and we see who can find things first and subsequently make and publish recipes for said thing before it disappears again.

Let’s be clear: no matter how incredible the produce, it’s slightly ridiculous. Most of this hard-to-find produce tastes very similar (if not identical) than its readily-available relatives. Nevertheless, we cave. Continue reading →

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individual winter root vegetable souffles.

winter root vegetable souffles.

The one thing I’ve noticed since I started writing for Feast is that I look at the magazine from a different perspective than I used to. Unavoidable, perhaps, because now I know them and talk to them, and they’re real people to me, whereas before they existed only in the abstract. So the magazine, for me, has become a way to see what all the other kids’ assignments were for that month. When it comes out, I look through it to see what everyone did, and how it all came together into one finished piece. On one hand, it’s a cool perspective to have, because you get to see people’s work more as an extension of who they are, and as a way of getting to know them. The downside of this is that I don’t ever seem to just thumb through it like I used to, seeking out what I may like to make from the plethora of recipes showcased each month. I miss doing that. Continue reading →

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easy cranberry + walnut sticky buns: happy thanksgiving, Canada!

cranberry walnut sticky buns.

Happy Thanksgiving, my Canadian friends! As it turns out, you win at holidays this weekend, because in America, we’re celebrating a real jerkface; federal holiday and all. I’ve been thinking a lot about our collective Thanksgivings, thanks to this helpful comparison slideshow, and I think you really do it right. American Thanksgiving is, after all, dangerously close to Christmas and Hanukkah, causing us to overeat, overspend, and generally overdo the entire holiday season. It flies right past us in a whirl of dishes, decorations, and dramatic weight gain; it’s a wonder we don’t all walk around with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder once everything has come to a close. Or maybe we do: I think we call it “January.” Continue reading →

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pumpkin + caraway pan scones.

pumpkin + caraway pan scones.

Please allow me to introduce to you my opening shot for pumpkin season: the pumpkin pan scone. It’s not what you think, for there’s not one speck of cinnamon, allspice, or ginger to be found here. Nary a sprinkle of sugar in this little guy; just pure pumpkin, in a semi-savory dish perfect for any time of the day or night.

I’ve realized in the past few years that we (and I mean “we” like Americans) sometimes have too narrow a view of pumpkin and what it can do for us. We’re perfectly willing to whip up all sorts of squashes and root vegetables into savory dishes, but the pumpkin? Always the sweet treatment. Which is great, by the way, because I love it this way; I happily count myself amongst the pumpkin-spice-crazy crowd. Custard pies, cheesecakes, bars, you name it: sweet and delectable, to be sure – but there’s so much more it can do.  Continue reading →

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butternut squash + apple muffins with a cinnamon-vanilla doughnut glaze. also, writing is wonderful.

butternut + apple muffins with cinnamon vanilla glaze.

BIG NEWS, FRIENDS: I am now an esteemed journalist. Well, maybe not “esteemed” as of yet; basically, someone actually put my words in print and I didn’t even beg them to.

Just yesterday, the September issue of Feast Magazine hit the stands, and I am listed in it as a contributing writer. You saw me contribute to their online site a few months back, which was thrilling in and of itself, but being in the print edition is huge. And, best of all, I’m in it twice: once as part of a feature on kitchen gadgets alongside some of my favorite local bloggers, and again in my own column, which I’ll be writing every month. As you may guess, I’m writing this on a cloud floating high in the sky above my desk right now; I am elated.

So let’s talk about the articles, shall we?  Continue reading →

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black plum mini-strudels.

black plum mini-strudels.

Somehow, with all the food and food learning this blog has produced, my favorite thing has been learning how to copycat things that one could normally buy at the store. It’s like a specialized hobby within the more general hobby of baking and cooking. Maybe it’s lazy, because I’m taking someone else’s idea and just trying to figure out the details, but the end result is the same: I get to make my favorite things at home, which means I get to eat them at the peak of freshness. Continue reading →

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sourdough ciabatta.

sourdough ciabatta.

There is something to be said for people who rush to your aid even though they have never met you in person. A few weeks back, I had been attempting (and failing, in various and really disgusting ways) to make a successful sourdough starter. By the second or third attempt, I was convinced the entire thing wasn’t for me. What was I doing wrong here? Bread starters are supposed to smell all luscious and warm hearthy; mine smelled like I poured beer over some yellow cake and abandoned it in the sink for a few weeks. I’m not going to lie; I may have cried a little bit. Because here I thought I had gotten over the yeast part of things (where nothing ever rose correctly), but now it seemed as though the universe was telling me that the gates were locked on anything sourdough-related.

But I love sourdough breads the best.

Continue reading →

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