Posts tagged sweet
Sunday, April 17, 2011

matzo toffee with almonds and sea salt

matzo toffee with almonds

We’re in the thick of it here with Passover preparations. Andrew’s mother is at the butcher’s picking up kosher meat for tomorrow’s seder. We caramelized shallots this morning – they will be combined with roasted asparagus come tomorrow. There will be two types of haroset at the table. And tomorrow night Andrew’s family will host over thirty guests for a festive and boisterous first seder.

I like to think of Passover as an Jewish Thanksgiving – a loud, boisterous affair that, on the one hand, is big and chaotic, but on the other hand, has a linear order – what happens when you have to follow a script of sorts. In this case, it is a Haggadah. We will read from it, then we will eat, the read some more, and so on.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

matzo brei with pear, ricotta and dried cherries

matzo brei with pears, ricotta and dried cherries

Not many of my friends actually look forward to Passover. Most of them, in fact, regard it with disdain – it’s just another reminder of even more things they can’t eat for over a week. Even my tref-eating friends feel the need to adhere to as much of the discipline as possible. “If not this holiday,” said a friend last year, “then when?”

matzos

He has a point. A week of avoiding bread and pasta (which is the least of Passover dietary complications) – might work wonders for the waistline, but someone like me always ruins a low-carb proposition. “But you can have potatoes,” I exclaim to heavy eye-rolling. So much for that spring cleanse.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

malted guinness chocolate ice cream

malted chocolate guinness ice cream

I like to joke how I was Irish in my past life. Something about that country has a constant pull on my heart. The literature, the poetry, the musical cadence of the speech, the whiskey, sad Irish songs, and of course, Guinness. They all feel as familiar and like-home to me as if I’d actually spent time there. It feels like all those things are in my bones, the way Russian things feel – like they’re second nature.

I first tried Guinness with my friend Alex, who came to the US by way of Moscow and now lives in the UK. Alex is a good egg, as one would put it. We go back all the way to fifth grade. And it’s amazing to look back and say you’ve been friends with someone for 22 years, continent divides and all.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

meyer lemon and blood orange marmalade

blood orange and meyer lemon marmalade

It all started innocently enough over pedicures with one of my girlfriends. We were at our favorite place, tucked away in the West Village, having a girls’ Sunday. I had raved about the place to her in the past and wound up getting her and her mother addicted to the tiny place where the nail technicians meticulously transformed your feet from wintry paws to moisturized, groomed, sparkling, and, dare-I-say, sexy toes. Aside from my nearly-decade-long gratitude for their attention to my feet, I am a huge fanatic of their citrus tea, which they serve upon request.

blood orange and meyer lemon marmalade

It was over cups of this citrus tea, that my friend issued a challenge, or rather – suggested an idea for this blog. We deduced that the tea was probably citrus marmalade dissolved in hot water. It was simple – but strangely delicious, seductively fragranced, and highly addictive. “Why don’t you reverse-engineer it,” my friend said, “You’re pretty good at that sort of thing.”

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

chocolate-covered strawberries

glossy and chocolatey

For this Valentine’s Day, we’re keeping it simple. There will be no fancy dinner at a candlelit restaurant, no scheduled seating time. Instead we will be having a simple, quiet meal at home. I can’t think of anything more romantic than sharing a meal with my favorite person. Just the two of us, some food, wine, and excellent conversation.

red and lush
schaffenberger

Given that it’s our first Valentine’s Day together, we’re both a bit awkward about the whole thing. On the one hand, we want nothing more to show our love for one another. On the other hand, both of us, separately, always regarded Valentine’s Day with a bit of indifference. In my single days (and believe me I’ve spent many a Valentine’s Day single!) I never felt odd about not being one to receive flowers, chocolate, or not having a date.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

rice pudding with coconut milk

spoon!

I realize that rice pudding isn’t about to win the sexiest dessert award anytime soon. It’s dull in color, lumpy in texture, and offers no enticing shape. It’s a lump of gooey rice sitting in your bowl quietly awaiting its fate. If there was a pageant for dessert, rice pudding would lose the swimsuit and the evening gown sections of the competition. It doesn’t sparkle or wow with its looks.

unsweetened soy milk light coconut milk

But it would nail the questions category, and when asked what issue is important to its cause, the rice pudding would surely rise to the occasion. It is, without question, my favorite winter dessert, snack, comfort treat. I eat it warm after dinner, with the steam rising from the bowl; I sneak spoonfuls of it at night, cold, straight from the fridge; I could build a lunch around it with some sliced pears and bananas and a steaming cup of Ceylon tea. I could easily write odes to rice pudding, and I might as well have done so just now.

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