Posts tagged baking
Wednesday, December 4, 2013

gruyere black pepper cookies

Gruyere Black Pepper Cookies

It kills me how early the sun sets this time of year. I’m particularly sensitive to daylight and the lack of it renders me almost comatose. I can’t wake up early and by ten pm I’m practically asleep.

Meanwhile the days seem to be asking a lot more of me. Slow down, I keep thinking, there are only so many hours in the day; I’m doing the best I can. But the best-I-can doesn’t seem to be cutting it these days, unfortunately. There’s packing and moving logistics: forwarding your mail, alerting friends and service providers of your address change, ordering new services; there’s work to be done, deadlines to be met, recipes to be tested and written up (not to mention the rest of writing concerning a book); there are seemingly endless edits of things; there’s a matter of getting some exercise (lest you start losing your mind); and so on, and so forth.

Slowly, our apartment is turning into a storage unit. Boxes are beginning to pile up. Things I’d normally put away are strewn about – I’ve all but given up on the place. I get that way before I move. My normal inability to digest clutter forces me to be constantly cleaning, tidying-up, curating so to speak, so the apartment doesn’t become a pig stye. But right before I move, I lose the ability to stay on top of it. Laundry, if it’s not easy to put away, starts to pile up in a messy lump. Right now, in our bedroom, a fold-out chair is groaning under the weight of unfolded sheets. Does it bother me to look at it? Oh, yes. Do I do anything about it? Most certainly, no.

Continue reading gruyere black pepper cookies.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

pie crust primer

Slightly misshapen ( but that's what I get for rushing) pie. Happy 4th!!

Of all the things in the world, there are only a handful I’m pretty sure of: my husband being an amazing and kind person; gravity; good bread and butter as significant factors in my level of happiness; my morning runs making me a saner, smarter, healthier person. Another thing I’m pretty sure of is that the world doesn’t need another pie crust recipe. And I’m happy to say – this isn’t one. The recipe included here is one that you will probably see in countless magazine issues, blog posts, and newspaper articles. If they promise you of pie crust nirvana, I wouldn’t buy it. Not because the recipe won’t provide it, but chances are, if you look at the crust recipe already in your possession, either you have it already, or it’s pretty close to what is being offered. After all, there are only so many ways you can reinvent the wheel.

You know what happens when I get overworked? I watch NCIS reruns on cable and I make pie dough by hand.

There seems to be, however, a proper lack of comfort level of how to make pie crust work with you and for you. The pie crust is generally thought of as “too much work”, as “finicky”, as “unpredictable”. While this here now might be the high pie baking time (what with all this amazing in-season fruit just begging to be pie-d (I just made it into a verb!), but because so many of us are enduring a merciless heat wave, it is precisely the high temperatures that not only seemingly threaten our pie crust success, but also deter you from setting foot in your kitchen never mind turning on your oven. And yet, pie must be made, I think. And I’m here to help you do it.

Continue reading pie crust primer.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

carrot almond cake with ricotta cream

carrot almond cake with ricotta cream

Last week, I made this cake, and I think you should make it this week. Trust me, I think you’ll be glad you did. I bet there are a few carrots that are lounging around in your crisper – everyone does. I wanted to tell you more about it a few days ago, but things, here, have been a little busy. For one, we’re going on our honeymoon in a few days, and as all weeks leading up to a vacation go, this one is frenetic and busy.

Since we got back from Florida, you could find me doing either of the following two things: learning the ropes for this new part-time position I’ve accepted (it’s not food related, but I’m loving it and learning a ton), or reading Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy. The latter has also been quite a thrill; I’ve been reading it the way one reads a novel, page by page, recipe by recipe. It’s part cookbook, part botany lesson, part gardening companion. For the record, and sadly, I do not garden since we live in a 650-square-foot apartment, unless you count watering my five-year-old jade plant, Harold (named for a children’s book character) once every four days gardening, in which case, yes, I certainly do dabble in the practice. Harold is a succulent and as far as plants go, you can have a black thumb and not kill it. And given how hot our current apartment gets, not even a sun-loving basil can make it through the scorching summer.

Continue reading carrot almond cake with ricotta cream.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

pear and cheddar scones

roasted pear and cheddar scones

See above there? Those are some delicious pear and cheddar scones. And what I’m about to talk to you about – has nothing to do with baking, scones, rushed breakfasts, or leisurely brunches. Nothing at all – except this is what has recently been plaguing my brain. So bear with me here…

What has been on my mind lately is how people living in small apartments work at home without having a designated space. There’s a blogger I follow who documents her life in a tiny apartment that she shares with her husband. The apartment, a studio in our neighborhood, is tiny, and she manages to make it look airy and large. Meanwhile, I trip over my own stuff, and our place is about three times the size, and to be perfectly honest here, it feels like a tight squeeze.

Continue reading pear and cheddar scones.

Monday, November 5, 2012

mushroom tart

mushroom tart

How did I get from reading someone’s personal blog to making a mushroom tart from her recently-released cookbook? Well, it’s a journey spanning slightly less than a decade. Yes, it’s been that long.

I remember a friend of mine, some time ago, telling me about this blog called Smitten. “Go,” she said, “The writing is hilarious, and I think you’ll love it.” I did and she was right—the writing was punchy and pithy, and its author not only made me laugh, but recognize my own erratic life in the big city. The blog was written by Deb Rothberg, a twenty-something, and the topics ranged from suffering through horrible dates to drinking bourbon on a cold wintry night. Being eerily familiar with the former, and quite enjoying the latter, Deb Rothberg was my kind of lady.

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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.