January 28, 2013
I´m finally mentally settling into summer vacation mode and these past few days, after a few sweltering ones last week, seem to agree with my mood.
My mom came over and we baked up a storm. I´m trying to get rid of an excessive amount of ingredients that decorate my pantry, from flours to nuts to dried fruit. Everything is being stored in jars, for the first time, and it makes a huge difference in how it keeps.
One thing I made, and am so happy with it, is the homemade amaretto I told you about last week. I´m never buying it again, I don´t care if it comes from Saronno, it´s too ridiculously expensive.
Ever heard of urban camouflage? Some are SO good, like the bulldozer and the gondola.
January 26, 2013
A few years ago I ventured into the gastronomic business with a small café, something you probably know if you come here often. I closed it (sold it) a few months ago, have absolutely no regrets whatsoever of any shape, size or form, just in case you´re thinking how sad, and got my life back.
Gastronomy. It´s a hard life, which you hear about endlessly, and yet nothing compares to reality. Especially when you dive into it with another job going on and not a drop of experience.
Molly of Orangette, brilliantly explains the feeling `A couple of years ago, not long after we opened Delancey, back in the days when I was still cooking there every night and trying to write on the side and living on pizza and cookie dough and adrenaline and contemplating a third career as a mass murderer, ..´
January 23, 2013
January 21, 2013
January 20, 2013
This was one of the most common dishes in restaurants when I was growing up, when there was not much middle ground, it was either the very fancy, expensive, sophisticated cuisine place or the neighbourhood restaurant, full of loud kids and smelling of frying oil, tomato sauce and barbecue. I rarely went to the former, my parents not fond of eating out nor particularly foodie types.
la Maryland, how it appeared
in the menu from what I recall, was pretty popular. It´s no doubt a retro
recipe in every way, from the deep frying to the combination of flavors. I
liked it and so did my older brother. So for us it was a treat. I suspect because we never ate it at home.
January 17, 2013
I admire Italians, profoundly, for taking simple ingredients and creating extraordinary dishes. Think osso bucco, polenta, rice, pasta with seafood, marinara sauce, ragú, and so many others.
Today I´m giving you a combination of flavors that is exceptional and that makes a hearty yet light dinner. This is my first contribution to #WeekdaySupper, sort of the younger, carefree sister to the more formal #SundaySupper.
January 16, 2013
Citrus and bundt cake go so well together that the minute I found out it was this month´s pairing for Bundt a Month, I decided I would bake something original, stay away from the lemon poppy or orange rum combinations that immediately popped into my mind. You know, they are so obvious, I said to myself, and I believe I´m capable of interesting combinations, a bit unexpected, like the cardamom saffron bundt or chocolate port.
I had started thinking grapefruit, because I want to use it more, it´s such a neglected citrus, but that obviously didn´t happen. Sometimes when I try so hard to come up with a clever idea I end up with a basic one. Orange and chocolate. And a marble bundt. Orange chocolate marble bundt cake, doesn´t get much less original than that.
January 13, 2013
Would you consider coming to a birthday where these soft pretzels with spicy beer cheese sauce are served? Even though said pretzels are not as soft, but just amazing-tasting, as the title implies they should be? And if that´s the case and you want to have options, and I tell you there are more than sixty other alternatives to choose from, would you come?
The Sunday Supper table, the wonderful group lead by Isabel and made up of amazing bloggers that got me ankle deep into this magic world of food blogging, is celebrating it´s birthday number 1 with a party! And really, you would be crazy not to come. After all, this is like the party that sums the usual party we have every Sunday, with a list of recipes taken from past events, each being made as is or with whatever modifications, by another fellow sunday supperer. Sort of a greatest hits album.
I made up my mind pretty quickly about choosing this recipe from Heather of Girlichef. She is a friend and an oh-so-talented baker. And baking is my thing.
January 11, 2013
I started out to make this with little interest really, as the title is no eye catcher. But it was our recipe for today´s FFWD group, so that´s what I was making.
As I read the recipe and started to set out the ingredients, it dawned on my that it was the apple `loaf´ I ate many times in the past, courtesy of one of my father´s ex wives (yes, one of them, there are a few...).
This is an interesting recipe, where very few ingredients bake a long time transforming themselves into something that you don´t expect. Just apples, butter and sugar basically, forgotten in a low heat oven and turning into a silky, caramelized dessert. And I really mean forgotten because it´s best to leave it overnight, and I really mean low oven, as in 100ºC /220ºF.
January 8, 2013
We´re having pizza today, topped with caramelized onions, or onion confit, dyed a wonderful purple color thanks to red wine that is added and, in my case, the red onions I used, and also creamy brie cheese and grated fontina.
The Tuesdays with Dorie group is starting this year with a savory recipe, by contributing baker Steve Sullivan of Acme Bread fame. Our host today is Paul of The Boy can Bake, and you can find the full recipe there.
January 7, 2013
We´re having the first party of the year, and it´s a Chocolate Party! How can I miss it, right? How can anybody miss it? And the guest of honor this month is coconut. They just like each other, chocolate and coconut, they really do.
January 6, 2013
Bucket lists. That´s what we decided to tackle as our first post with the SundaySupper group.
A new year, a new recipe crossed off the list. The List. If I ever thought that starting a food blog would shorten it, of course I was wrong by a gazillion light years. The List is relentless in it´s urgency, each item more important than the last one, which seemed so urgent at the time.
So, what´s on your bucket list as you start the year? You might find what you need today here, or you might just add a few dozen new ones. That´s how good the list of recipes is.
The List has two types of recipes, the ones I need to tackle because of a certain technique I want to master and the ones that just need to be made because I´ve been wanting to for ever, and that is a long time according to the years I´ve been cooking, like this monkey bread.
January 4, 2013
The idea of dried fruit soaked in booze reminds me of my paternal grandmother making our family´s treasured recipe for plum pudding, a recipe brought from Ireland by my great (or was it great-great?) grandmother. The funny thing is that was my mother´s side of the family, but turns out my father´s side kept the tradition alive.
Anyway, that´s not this cake of course, that one took days to make, a large part seeding raisins, because, according to those who had tasted the original recipe make by the original baker, it tasted differently with `those new raisins with no seeds´.
January 1, 2013
This bread reminds me of snow globes, those glass balls with snow inside, that you turn upside-down and make them come alive. Pandoro is an italian sweet bread, with a flavor unlike any other.
The bread is wrapped inside a clear bag, tied, and a packet of powdered sugar, usually vanilla flavored, is attached to it. When you´re ready to eat it, you empty the packet inside, close the bag, give it a few shakes and out comes a white bread, completely covered in the sugar.
It´s magical and festive. Let´s hope 2013 turns up that way too.
It´s magical and festive. Let´s hope 2013 turns up that way too.
Before you say anything, I know it´s upside down. The smaller part should be the top, but I serve it the other way around, because it usually doesn´t stand straight otherwise, and I don´t want a falling pandoro.
This bread is part of the Twelve Loaves baking group. The theme this month is a clean slate to start the year. Way too many options for a baking fanatic like myself, but then, I had wanted to make Pandoro in december, and since that obviously didn´t happen, this was the perfect occasion. Read below for details about this group.