Wednesday, October 31, 2012

almond cake

almond cake

A couple of weeks ago, while picking up a coffee at an East Village cafe, the Bluebird Coffee Shop, I ate the best almond cake of my life. The experience was so monumental, that I couldn’t stop talking about this amazing cake. I talked about it to anyone who’d listen, I’d use superlative adjectives, I’d gesticulate wildly. You’d be surprised by just how few people want to hear about the “best almond cake” they’ll ever have. Kind of blew my mind.

I became besotted with this almond cake so much, that I did something I’ve never before in my food blogging and writing career have done—I gathered enough courage to ask the café, outright, for the recipe. And lo!—they gave it to me!

Continue reading almond cake.

Friday, October 26, 2012

homemade cheese crackers

boo!

I’m not sure if starting with this: “I made cheese crackers that taste just like the ones from a box!” works effectively as a selling point. But I mean that in the best possible way. Sometimes, I get an itch to recreate my favorite manufactured snacks at home. Usually, they come out better and more revelatory than the store-bought varieties. Marshmallows, for instance, become light and ethereal instead of dense and gummy.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

cranberry snacking cake

i stole a piece already

This just might be the easiest cake to make period. Something to have on hand that you can whip up when company unexpectedly shows up as a fail-safe quick dessert. I wouldn’t be even the tiniest bit surprised if that, besides apple pie, of course, becomes your other favorite Thanksgiving dessert, (because no one grows weary of pie). Or perhaps, this snacking cake can become your morning-after-Thanksgiving coffee cake; you know, while you wait for the pancakes. It could also become your there-is-nothing-exemplary-about-today-so-I’m-going-to-make-cake cake, or your it’s-gray-depressing-and-cold-out-and-I want-my-house-to-smell-nice cake. Any of those descriptors can apply. But honestly, do you really need a reason to bake in this weather? I didn’t think so.

Also, something of an important thing to note: In the time that it took me to write out the above paragraph, you might have made your first cranberry snacking cake and I’m not even slightly exaggerating.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

sauerkraut

russian sauerkraut

I was all set to write about sauerkraut yesterday, but then something happened. We came home to find our cleaning lady asleep in our bed. And that proved to be a very distracting thing.

Given my ethnic roots, my relationship with cabbage is so strong, I should have been incredibly focused. After all, Russians and cabbage are linked at the hip. We stuff it, we saute it a number of ways, we make soup out it.

Our Brooklyn apartment is small, so when you walk through the door you are immediately standing in the open kitchen, which becomes our living room/home office. Without moving, you can also see into the bedroom where half of our bed peeks out.

When we came back home yesterday mid-afternoon, after working at a coffee shop since the early morning, as soon as we unlocked the door we felt immediately that something was amiss. Bags of garbage were strewn about the kitchen and the entryway, the vacuum was in the middle of the living room, the furniture was off kilter, and every single light in the apartment was on. And then we saw someone’s feet on our bed. It took us a few seconds to figure out that they looked like our cleaning lady’s feet and then we looked at each other and silently mouthed in unison, “Holy crap, our cleaning lady is IN OUR BED!!!”

Continue reading sauerkraut.