Sunday, December 19, 2010
December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?
Huh. I guess it's kind of funny that this is the prompt today because I am sitting here with a kleenex stuffed up my nose and a split lip from too much mouthbreathing. Not a beautiful sight. So? What healed me this year?
Adrenaline, mostly. I got a wisdom tooth pulled while I watched and spent the rest of the day spitting blood while debating the nature of dissent. I muscled through three days of exam hell, wrote two conference papers, and finished up three whole term papers without getting sick or losing my mind. I just kept typing.
I tried to make 2010 my bravest year ever and I think I definitely succeeded. I watched a DVD of butoh dancing when I had no Saturday plans and did not feel bad about it. I went to the desert and when Adam locked my car keys in the trunk I didn't whine or scream. We climbed rocks and sang. It was great. I went on blind dates. I joined ukulele club. I picked up the phone.
So thank you, hyperactive autoimmune responses, for providing me with these amazing moments of heart-pounding, time-slowing clarity. I guess my body knows how to take care of itself best when it is standing up to fight or running like hell-- which is how I have spent the last several months.
In 2011, I want that yoga-studio cool, an aware patience not because of looming panic but just because. If this kind of kickass devil-may-care attitude can become part of my personality and not just a way to fight off the specters at the gate, maybe in 2011 I will take the most terrifying risk of all: letting them in.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)
REVERB 10 is kind of awesome: i love to look back and forward (bad buddhist, fortunately i am not one) so any kind of writing exercise that encourages me to do so is kind of awesome. Also I am so over writing about Adorno... and its been 12 hours. 20 more hours, 10 more pages. So excuse the diversion.
Seems only fitting to talk about not the parties that blew me out of left field-- the art car saloons at Burning Man that zipped around the desert in a blur of vodka and endorphins, leaving only the zigzag trace of purple lights against the night like a photograph of fireworks. No: this party was someone else living through all my expectations and longings about what summer in New York is or could be or should be--like a picture postcard and allowed me to laugh at myself and be myself at the same time. Beautiful.
I crashed a stranger's birthday party this summer. She was one of these just-so people and it reminded me that while my fantasies-- in which I wear party dresses and demand RSVPs and curate experiences-- usually cause me stress, anxiety, and frustration, they could actually be real. Sometimes experiences really are just-so. And so this girl wore a big structured poofy dress and a summer hat and drank sangria from a bag in Brooklyn Bridge Park, it was a joy to watch. After dreaming about Pimms Cups in San Diego for months and months, we trekked through the heat to a liquor store in Park Slope with handwritten notes beside particularly exotic cordials and bought Pimms and made pasta salad. We got there late, as the sun was setting and the grass was getting wet and I ate most of the pasta salad that we had made with my hands, picking out salty chunks of feta and olives and leaving the cucumbers and tomatoes. Because who cares.
The lights on the bridge twinkled, ivy-league fops wore boat shoes, someone handed me a crazystraw and I realized-- hey! sometimes life really is as magical as you want it to be. If only you stop wanting it to be.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I do this thing where I am a total baby-- whatever emotion I am experiencing I assume this is how it's always been and how it will always be. So now the term ends and I am a mess of emotions, cloudy memories are fuzzing around my head with nary a brilliant idea to be seen, my desk is covered with dishes that remind me that not only do I sit and eat at my desk, but I have been putting the most remarkable crap into my body-- white russians, premade sandwiches, stuffing. And I try to remind myself that I haven't been this hollow for the last ten weeks.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
In between the scribbled affirmations, naps, old seasons of Parks and Recreation, stolen cigarettes, crumpled to-do lists, and stacks of library books, there have been moments of real joy... more of them than I even let myself remember. Like starting to make pickles. They're easy!
(so far I have pickled parsnips, carrots, and cucumbers: all delicious)
--1 lb produce
--1 cup water
--1 cup (apple cider) vinegar
--a couple tablespoons each of sugar, salt, dill, and garlic, to taste. Here is a good starting ratio
... 1/4 c sugar
... 1.5 T salt
... 1.5 T dill or dill seed or mustard seed or fennel seed
... 2 cloves garlic
+ Boil all that stuff into a brine. Try not to get a whiff of the boiling vinegar unless you want to feel really awake.
+ Throw in the vegetables (cut into sticks or chips, I should add) if you aren't using cucumbers, cook for about 5 minutes.
+ Arrange your pickles-to-be in clean jars, cover with brine and throw in the fridge. They will be pickled after a day and stay good for about a month, as far as I can tell from the internet. Mine haven't made it that long.
PS my camera died again hence blog death PPS sepia for vintage hipster homemaker appeal!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
+a bag of carrots
+a half-inch or so of ginger, grated. what i like particularly about this soup is that it is not like BAM carrot ginger soup, just slightly interesting and really carrot-y.
+stock or its equivalent
+some rice or grains. i used spelt grains. probably buckwheat or wheat berries would also be good. nutty! texture!
-- peel and chop your carrots, throw them in a pot with some olive oil. dump in a few handfuls (a cup?) of rice or grains. i was kind of weirded out by this idea at first but i think it makes the soup way more interesting without a laborious "onion-chopping-and-browning" phase.
--cover with stock and about extra two inches. if you are using can/box stock you might want to dilute it so your soup doesn't get too salty.
--cook for about half an hour until the carrots are soft and the grains are done. cool.
--then blend/puree. if it is too thick, add more stock. if it is too bland, add some salt and pepper. if it is too delicious to be such a bootleg crisper-drawer-reject dinner, then yeah: i hear you.
Monday, November 1, 2010
half confession, half recipe:
midnight buffalo salad
--a few handfuls of greens
--about a tablespoon of blue cheese dressing
--unscrew the cap from the bottle of frank's redhot and enter the big leagues. a two second pour.
i invented this monster in a fit of despair this spring after eating all the vegan buffalo wings i had made. honestly i can't stop eating this. pathetic or ingenious? is hot sauce on salad a thing?
Saturday, October 30, 2010
did you know that christopher walken loves to cook? i did. happy halloween guys! i have been living off snack-sized candies and i hope you have been too.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount Saint Alban, KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist and author. He famously died of pneumonia contracted while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat.
i am actually obsessed with bizarre deaths and am thinking about writing a poem cycle about them. tolstoy, bacon, aeschylus, isn't it heartbreakingly beautiful and funny and sad?
Monday, October 18, 2010
but mostly because she has this kind of magical aura of peaceful wisdom. The cardinal example in my mind: one time she made this a lasagna based on carrot puree and it was so good and strange and new and she was like "oh, yes, I learned how to make this on a fellowship in Rome" and I knew right then that I wanted to be an academic. Not for the international travel, but in order to have the free time and gentle disposition to cook mysterious dishes like lasagnas based on bechamel. After years of fantasizing about this carrot lasagna, I decided to copy it with the sweet potatoes that were kicking around my house. If you make your own ricotta, this is incredibly cheap and delicious.
SWEET POTATO LASAGNA
+ 3/4 lasagne noodles (not no-boil)
+ ricotta cheese (a tub, or however much a half-gallon of milk makes)
+ 2 sweet potatoes
+ 4 cups of milk
+ cracked black pepper
+ parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 a cup? As much as you have or want)
+ a clove of garlic, minced
+ 5 T butter
+ 4 T flour
-- Boil the lasagna noodles until al dente then fish them out and try to lay them on paper towels so they don't stick to each other. YEAH RIGHT.
-- Microwave or bake your sweet potatoes until they are done, then take the skins off and mash them.
-- Preheat the oven to 375.
-- Now start making a bechamel sauce. Yes! Maybe this is old-hat to "real cooks" but to me they are just kind of magical, kind of like the carrot lasagna itself. One time my friend Adam's mom made us Hollandaise sauce in a hotel suite and my heart just melted. Strong, brilliant women cooking elegant food with love makes me so happy to be alive.
-- Anyway it's totally not hard, even though it does seem kind of mysterious. Heat up the milk with garlic in the microwave or another saucepan. Melt the butter in a pot on the stove and add the flour a little bit at a time, whisking until it's smooth. Let it get kind of toasty and brown, about 6 minutes. Then add the hot milk a little at a time, again making sure everything is smooth and not doughy or gross. Once you have added about half the milk you can just dump in the rest, but keep whisking (or stirring. I don't have a whisk actually. Bootleg) Let it simmer/cook for 10 minutes, stirring & making sure that the milk doesn't get cruddy on the bottom. It should look really thick and creamy, which is also kind of awesome given that you can make this with skim milk. Then remove from heat and season with salt & pepper & nutmeg. I think a lot of black pepper really makes it. Foux de fa fa, you made a classic white sauce!
-- Now layer the lasanga noodles, the mashed sweet potatoes, the cheeses, and the bechamel sauce in a pyrex or whatever. Bake for about 45 minutes until the top is bubbly and your house smells like melted cheese in the best possible way.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
such is the spirit of a grad school dinner party. but it was great-- i feel really proud of myself for taking initiative. i spent a lot of last year just kind of waiting for the kind of community that i felt in new york to spring up around me.
HENCEFORTH I ASK NOT GOOD FORTUNE. I MYSELF AM GOOD FORTUNE
and there has been a lot of it: laughter, hilarious shortie overalls and the antics they lead to, books and ideas, researching south africa and armchair travel, meeting like minds at conferences, not getting a cold that i thought i was going to get. being both very busy and very quiet and still. om!
so pick up the phone and invite some people over! it's as easy as making this dessert.
BREAD PUDDING (via bittman)
+ 8 slices of whatever bread that you have lying around. I used whole wheat thus making this totally "breakfast food"-- basically the same as toast, eggs and milk AMIRITE?
+ 3 cups milk, skim is just fine if that's what you drink normally. Again-- breakfast!
+ 1/2 a stick of butter (4 T)
+ 3 eggs
+ 1/2 cup sugar
+ 1 1/2 t cinnamon
+ a pinch of salt
-- Oven to 350. Grease your baking pan (I used two loaf pans because I was ALSO making lasagne, so groove as your soul sings) and tear the bread into little bits in the pan.
-- Melt the butter with the sugar and cinnamon and salt and add the milk until it gets hottish.
-- Pour this mix over the bread and let it get soggy for a little bit. Push down the bread that doesn't cooperate. Discipline!
-- Beat the eggs and then stir them into this gloppy mess... you could ALSO break up a chocolate bar and add some chocolate chunks at this point. It would probably be a good idea. I would encourage that. You could also dust some cinnamon-sugar over the top. I didn't do this, actually, but it sounds really good right? I think so.
--Bake for 45 minutes or so. It can be kind of wobbly but should be mostly set. Bread pudding keeps for quite a while (if you aren't eating it for breakfast) too, which makes it even more clutch in the "use of leftovers" department. Which is key if you are basically kind of unemployed.
Monday, October 11, 2010
September, where did you go?
I took a test and it was ok until the end. I am taking too many classes. Two of three have mentioned Kant which makes me feel wriggly in a bad way. My internet was down so I spent a lot of time alternating between being super productive and slipping into disconnected emo fits. Now it's fixed and the repairman gave me wine suggestions: hilarious and strange. Gaucho Malbec? Anyone?
Food! I have been eating pupusas and donuts and guava cheese pie. I made gnocchi without a recipe and that seemed to work out okay. A lot of weekends in Los Angeles: professional development to gettin rowdy. Thinking of ways to use up the colossal bean collection I seem to have amassed. Guys, what do you do with a lot lot lot of white beans? Email me.
Anyway, I make muffins kind of a lot but there aren't really any recipes up on the blog because mostly they have sucked. I try to make them too healthy, then they are too dry, or I add too much fruit and they are soggy. Anyway, I am quick-bread-tarded. These muffins are a beacon of hope! They are delicious and maybe even okay for you. Muffins, tea, leaves, acoustic music! Let's pretend it's fall.
+1 to 1 1/2 cup of mashed very ripe bananas (3 bananas)
+1/2 cup wheat or oat bran
+1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
+1/2 cup sugar
+1/4 cup milk
+1/2 t salt
+3 t baking powder
-Preheat the oven to 400 and prep yer muffin tin/muffin cups/etc
-Mix together the wet ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients: try not to have big chunks of baking powder (nasty!) but no need to sift in advance
-Swiftly and decisively fold the dry into the wet. Lumps are ok. Fill your muffin tin. If you like big muffins (hahaha. I don't even know what that might refer to but its sounds awesome. Actually this whole line is chock full of weird double entendres. Eeeee) then fill the tins all the way, none of this 2/3 nonsense.
-Bake for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool a little, then scarf one down with a glass of milk while quickly flipping through "A Very Short Introduction to Kant".
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Well, I made it out of the desert unscathed. In fact, some of the best things about Burning Man were moments of food-sharing: a fried bologna sandwich first thing in the morning, getting the last marshmallow and roasting it on the back of a stranger's bike, the guys who brought a SOFT SERVE MACHINE to the middle of nowhere and let me have as much ice cream as I wanted, despite the half-hour line winding around the block behind me. I think I had about four-cones worth of ice cream in my mug, and I ate it as I walked back to camp-- sweaty and exhausted-- while I cried.
First-year exams are in two days. My normal reaction, I guess, to anything, is to prepare foods just in case. Just like during the "great quick-bread frenzy of late August" the oven is again in high gear while my actual work-ethic dwindles... there are worse things, I hope, than compulsive cookery.
These cookies are nothing new in the blogosphere, but maybe you haven't made them yet. They are far better than Tollhouse or the How To Cook Everything cookie (my two standbys), even if you only let the dough rest for a few hours. Other than the rest-time, the key is the saltiness (something my mom discovered a long time ago, I have to say), the quality of the chocolate, and the audacious chip to dough ratio. This version-- halved-- makes enough cookies for a weekend of self-indulgent critical-theory-agonizing cookie-monstering.
THE KING OF CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoons baking soda (Yeah, sorry. Easier to think it through in fractions I think)
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 + 1/8 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1/2 cup regular sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 + 1/8 pounds (10 oz) dark (at least 60%) chocolate chips, chunks, or feves, as classy as you can afford. So in my case... Trader Joes.
1. Cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla. Then add the dry ingredients (making sure there are no unseemly clumps of baking soda!) and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate gently and swiftly.
2. NOW! Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate as long as you are able. I don't know what it is about aged dough but it does make a difference. 12-72 hours is best but even 2 or 3 hours in the fridge makes a difference.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop the dough into golf-ball sized cookies. You might want to flatten them slightly, as the "aged" dough is fairly stiff. Sprinkle the tray with some sea salt-- never a bad idea, actually, in general.
4. Bake about 18-20 minutes, let cool, eat them all.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Bourbon Beet Bread / Muffins
(adapted from but probably not endorsed by James Beard)
+2 cups (whole wheat) flour (or a little less)
+1/2 cup butter (yeesh!)
+1/3 cup bourbon (double yeesh! if you actually plan to eat this for breakfast, use milk. I mean, or not, I won't judge you)
+1 t baking soda
+1 cup finely grated/pureed roasted beets (I had three roasted beets leftover from the market, hence this weirdass combination. Carrots or apples, for that matter, would probably taste less vegetal. Because right now these muffins taste like, well, beets.)
+1/2 t salt
+1 t ground ginger
+1 cup sugar/sweetener (I am almost out of agave and can finally transfer back to the good old granulated stuff... winging these baking substitutions by the seat of my pants is getting old. All my fave cookies have been coming out "fine" but not "perfect" and I think the secret might be "actually following a recipe". Or actually resisting the urge to dramatically cut down the oil and sugar to "see what happens." I can tell you right now that what happens is that things become less delicious. )
+2 eggs lightly beaten
-Oven to 350, mix all the dry stuff and add the wet stuff. It's ok to stir this puppy until its pretty well combined, you have James Beard's seal of approval, thank goodness. He also suggests that you make toasted cream cheese sandwiches with basically every bread in the book, which strikes me as both ultra-elegant and midwestern-grandpa at the same time.
-For muffins, bake about 20 minutes. For a loaf of quickbread, an hour.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
why has it taken me so long to discover this blog? how completely right are they about this? my hands are the best pastry cutter in the whole world. sometimes i even wash 'em first!
Monday, August 9, 2010
This time last year, I had a real job. Hard to believe, I know, but I actually held down steady employment, learned how to make the most beautiful spreadsheets, and kept my shoes on for basically a whole day. It was a great job, and driving by the office on my way to get ice cream by the sound makes me crazy nostalgic for those days. The best, of course, were when I would set up the catering from the Sono Baking Company and hide the tomato tartlets in the back, hoping that there would be one left over for my lunch. These little buttery monsters inspired larceny in my soul, so you know they're good. And now the cookbook is mine all mine... thanks, Mom!... so my east-coast send-off has been filled with the treats I have grown to love (to steal).
Lily's first cookbook book jacket photo, right? I love it.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Ok, so maybe I am biased because I lived for ten years without peanut butter in baked goods and now that I can have sunflower seed butter my brain has melted. YOU MEAN AS GOOD AS THIS IS IN A SANDWICH IT IS BETTER WITH SUGAR AND BUTTER? You see where I'm going here?
I feel like I am justified in making up lost time... which is also how I feel about my massive consumption of blue cheese dressing, turnips, and vanilla malts. I am not so slowly turning into my dad, which is somewhere between awesome and terrifying. Basically, I have made these cookies 3 or 4 times since March, tweaking the recipe to Ultimate Perfection. They never last more than a day or two.
OFF THE CHAIN SUNFLOWER-SEED BUTTER COOKIES
(adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance, delicious)
+1 cup flour (rock out with your whole wheat or spelt out, if that's your thing... these cookies are so good you will just be like what is that wholesome nutty taste? and not like ew a vegan cookie)
+1 cup oats
+1 t baking powder
+1/2 t salt
+1/3 cup veg oil
+1/3 to 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter or of course peanut butter or some other nut butter, what the hell.
+1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)
+1/4 cup milk or soy milk or even water
+1 t vanilla
OK so preheat the oven to 350.
Mix together all the goopy/wet stuff with the sugar. Add the dry ingedients... the dough should be kind of stiff. Flatten into discs however big you want... Domestic goddess Isa notes that these can be those HUGEASS cookies that people pay good money for at bakesales or fancy stores, so if you want to grab a massive hunk of dough and smoosh it down to a cookie that is the size of your head and 1/2 inch thick, go for it. I usually make them your average cookie size. Bake 8-10 minutes for normal/petite/snack cookies, 12-15 minutes for giant/bake-sale/june gloom cookies. Next step: grinding own sunflower seed butter in NEW FOOD PROCESSOR. Yeah bitches, first an apron and now this.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I don't know why, but the zucchini I just made was a freakin revelation. I swear if this was on the side of my plate at a bougie farm-to-table restaurant I wouldn't raise an eyebrow. You know how their side vegetables are always just unreal? These were like that. Here is what I did differently than normal, maybe you can recreate the magic that just happened. Or maybe you know how to make zucchini taste like this normally, in which case, hat tip!
CUBES, not slices. Pretty big chunks.
SALT IT. for like half an hour, then drain out the water and rinse and dry
BARELY ANY OIL. i just used what was left in the pan after cooking some other veggies
FIRST LOW HEAT, then HOT. i didn't start out with a super-hot pan, but after it hadn't browned after a few minutes i pumped it up and let them get kind of brown/charred/grilled tasting.
Over & out,
America's Test Kitchen
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Actually, here's a story. The first time I almost went to school in Chicago, I dragged my family out to visit on the train for spring break. There were a lot of brisk walks and Greek classes and pretentious conversations... The upshot of the whole thing was hanging out with my friend from the suburbs and bumming around and eating at the original pancake house. So, so, so very good. Google now tells me that there are a bagillion franchises-- even one in the S.D.-- but at the time it seemed like a magical, midwestern unicorn of a restaurant.
Oh, right, but the story. So I ate a dutch baby at the original pancake house and it was the first time I had had such a thing and it so filling and delicious that I took my bacon with me in a napkin. And stuck it in my parka pocket. Obviously! Later, we are in the fake coal mine in the museum of science and industry and a bunch of other tourists are like, why does it smell like bacon? And the tour goes on and all of a sudden the whole tour is laughing and wondering about the bacon smell. And that's when I realized that carrying around meat in your pocket is not "what normal people do."
Anyway, I just loved everything about this: the fact that it was easy to make after hours in the car, watching it puff in the oven, nibbling at the sides while standing over the stove waiting for it to cool off. The custardy texture in the middle. Eating something covered in powdered sugar for dinner. Yes indeed, the dutch baby is perhaps the new king of breakfast-for-dinner for one or two people (or breakfast for breakfast! or breakfast for dessert!) which we all know is the best meal in the world. Come to think of it, why don't people have breakfast-for-dinner parties more often? It is basically the easiest and cutest thing. Invite me!
* 3 tablespoons butter, melted
* 1/2 cup flour (whole wheat is delicious here)
* 2 T (heaping? yes I think so) sugar
* 1 T vanilla
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
* 2 large eggs, room temperature
* Lemon and powdered sugar, or some berry compote, or nutella. Or. Mmmmmmm.
Preheat oven to 425. Let the eggs and milk hang out and room temperature-ize for as long as you can stand it. Melt the butter.
Oh yeah, you better be rockin some kind of ovenproof skillet. Scoop out 2/3 of the butter (that's 2 tablespoons for those of you low-scorers. Oof, SAT joke! That hurts. I'm embarrassed for myself) and put it in yer pan and let that heat up in the oven.
Mix up the rest of the ingredients, butter last so it has time to cool. I am talkin about some real deal mixing. Like in a blender or food processor or with a mixer. Or with a whisk I guess. Take a full two minutes even with a machine to really get the batter all congenial.
Now pour that into your pan (hot hot hot!) and bake for 25 minutes, until it is puffy and golden-brown around the edges. Serve with something delicious, like powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon. So yuuuuummy: tastes like living the dream.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I like to be out of the house, but if I am in the house, I would really like to be cooking and eating then cooking some more. So the last couple days, in the face of literally thousands of pages of reading for this summer, I have been cooking up a storm. First the curry, then the tortillas (too dry), then those snack cookies again, then THIS QUICHE. My goodness! I was worried about the green beans since I bought them the last week of class up at a farmstand in Irvine and those long days are now a distant memory. But they are still delicious! Then on Monday some buddies and I drove to the mountains-- it was beautiful and California is strange and at its best when not paved. Anyway, I bought some eggs from a sweet old lady just like in Wendell Berry's fantasy and got home and realized I already had a dozen eggs in the fridge. Oops.
I am not Gaston, I mean this time two years ago I wouldn't even EAT eggs. But I made a quiche and even though it used up less eggs than I thought it would, it was a much better way to pass the time of day than reading Diderot... More importantly, though, it was really, really, very good.
GREEN BEAN AND GARLIC QUICHE
+ A good couple handfuls of green beans, enough to make like 2 cups chopped
+ A whole head of garlic
+ 5 eggs (3 whole, 2 egg whites)
+ 1/3 cup milk/half&half/cream
+ Some cheese, 1/2 cup? I used some frozen cream cheese from a smoked salmon binge that I had been hoping would thaw okay and it worked fine. If I were you, though... gruyere!
+ A pie crust that you will make while the veggies are cooking (see below), or one from the store
- Oven to 425
- Steam those green beans until they are bright green and done to your liking. My liking is overcooked, so I'll just assume you know how to cook vegetables to your liking, right? I mean what is this. Sometimes these vegan blogs assume you don't know how to do ANYTHING RIGHT, and just because I don't doesn't mean you need to tell me how to cook a goddamn green bean I can google it ON MY OWN thanks.
- Now is a good time to make that pie crust (see below)
- OK now put those aside and refill your little pot and boil some more water while you separate the garlic cloves, you don't need to chop them or take the skins off. Just free them.
- Now boil the garlic cloves for like 10 until they are squishy. Squish them out of their skins by holding the bottom part.
- Meanwhile beat the eggs with the milk and cheese. Add the mashed roasted garlic and bite-sized chopped green beans. Salt and pepper that baby up right.
- Roll out that nice & cold pie crust and just kind of press it as best you can into a cake pan or a pie pan or a quiche pan or what have you. It can be a kind of Frankencrust, I am not going to call the crust police and no one will see it. Or if you went out and bought a pie crust, you know, that's cool too. Or if you are still doing Atkins and are SO EXCITED about crustless quiches like the rest of the internet... that's not so cool but also fine.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the crust is browned and it smells good and everything. Cool for a bit before eating it.
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 T ice water
1/3 cup butter/shortening
Cut in the fat, mix in the water, roll into a ball (add more water if you need to), chill (in the fridge).
Sunday, June 13, 2010
It's weird to write about food for school-- which is to say, I hope, for a living. I don't have any particular qualifications except brio, so writing a bibliography last week was certainly humbling. I did, though, stumble upon this essay by Wendell Berry, which is like a better, shorter, less condescending version of the Omnivore's Dilemma. If you are into that kind of thing-- or especially if you aren't-- check it out.
P.S. If you care, I have been eating this couscous and this sorbet and they are both amazingly delicious.
So while I finish up writing, enjoy:
Eating with the fullest pleasure — pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance — is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
William Carlos Williams
faintly ironical smile
if I should
buy a shirt
your color and
put on a necktie
where would they carry me?
As usual, William Carlos Williams can say how I feel better than I can. Thanks, Elise! Any day that I get a poem in my inbox is a very good day indeed.
Friday, June 4, 2010
I was really surprised that people hadn't had or heard of icebox cake before. I want to say that my grandmother used to make it but honestly I have no idea. I know my mom has been making it whenever we come home for the last few years now, and it is awesome. The chocolate version, made with these:
tastes oddly like coconut, in a really great way. The basic premise is that the cookies get soft and cake-like and everything is much more magical than the sum of its parts. Just try it. Last week I made a fruity version with graham crackers and it was (kind of to my surprise!) equally as awesome as the chocolate version and way easier than making biscuits for shortcake. I made the strawberries into a compote because that's what a classy lady on the internet told me to do, but you probably don't even have to do that, you could just slice them and throw them in.
A container of strawberries, hulled (and sliced)
1/2 cup sugar
Get the sugar and juice and the berries a cookin' on medium-low as you soon as you start slicing strawberries. Throw them in the pot as you go, so that some of the intact after letting it bubble for awhile, like 10 minutes. This isn't rocket science, so taste it and see if it needs more sugar or lemon or to cook longer.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ICEBOX CAKE
+strawberry compote, or a bunch of chopped strawberries
+a box of graham crackers
+2 cups of cream worth of whipped cream, sweetened to taste
In a casserole dish or cake pan, spread a thin layer of whipped cream, then a layer of graham crackers. Then a layer of whipped cream AND strawberries. Then graham crackers. Yeah, you get it. End with a layer of whipped cream. Let it chill in the fridge overnight, then dig in.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
ah! kind of like the artichoke, this is a no brainer, but strawberries and whipped cream!
final result (icebox cake!) forthcoming, but honestly, just standing around my kitchen at 1 this morning just stirring and eating and tasting and chopping: it's summer. it's summer and derrida can't compare to just slightly-under-whipped cream. i've got several muumuus in rotation and a ukulele. summer's the worst but i'm hanging around.
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
Pour the cream into a bowl and beat it (mixer purchase is useful here. or a whisk) until it thickens. Add the sugar. Keep beating until it holds soft peaks, then add the vanilla. When the surface just begins to show the designs from whipping, stop and see if it holds stiff peaks. Stop before it gets grainy. Still-creamy whipped cream is part of the magic of making it yourself.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
a steamed artichoke and homemade mayonnaise
Why don't I make more artichokes for myself? I had this bias like "artichokes are too much work" "they are too expensive" "I don't know how to steam them." Let me tell you, f that noise. If you want to have the best dinner in the world. Go buy an artichoke. Yeah. Now stick it in a pot with a few inches of water, slap a lid on and let it steam for like half an hour. Now eat it. Yeah. Delicious. Maybe some melted butter. Or. You know what is better than butter? Mayonnaise.
I had a running joke with my babysitter when I was little that I was hiding a tub of mayonnaise in my bed that I would eat after she left me alone. I wasn't even really a particularly fat kid either, so I don't know how she intuited my love of mayo, but there you go. The past two times I have made mayonnaise it has been emulsified (i.e. not a total disaster) but ends up kind of blob-like, so maybe you should look elsewhere for your mayo guidance if you want something peaky-perfect. This worked totally fine for dipping vegetables in, and it tastes... delicious... so who's counting.
+2 egg yolks
+1 cup neutral oil or a mix of neutral & olive oil if you want your mayo to taste very pronounced
+1 or 2 T vingear or lemon juice
+1/2 t or so salt
+a little mustard
Whisk/beat the yolks, acidic thing, mustard, and salt until the yolks look sticky. Then add the oil a drop at a time, literally, keeping it emulsified and not letting it break up or get all nasty. Go slow. If it breaks up, you are screwed, so don't let that happen. If it does, beat another yolk in a separate bowl and then add your oily, un-creamy mess a spoonful at a time, keeping it carefully emulsified the whole time. Store in the fridge (or your bed) for the next few days.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Okay, so with that in mind. This is easily the best pizza I have ever made, and potentially the best pizza I have ever eaten. I KNOW! I know. I wasn't expecting it to be so good at all. I bought the fennel on a whim because I was thinking of my grandmother, who used to carry around sliced fennel and eat it daintily for lunch. After a couple weeks of zigzagging around my house and wishing I was somewhere else and sucking up energy from the universe, sitting quietly in one place and just being there and eating something so delicious was really awesome. Wow, holy California, did I just talk about energy? I think I did. But seriously, if this pizza can snap me out of break-up anomie, it's gotta be pretty delicious.
Fennel, shallot & gouda pizza
(makes one small pizza, like lunch for two with a salad or lunch for one with a lot of happy chewing sounds and a tummyache)
-a bulb of fennel
-a bunch of mild semi-soft cheese. Trader Joe's fans should be apprised of Panquehue, it is cheap as hell and pretty delicious, especially melted. Gouda, Havarti, or any other laid-back snack cheese would do the trick.
+Preheat your oven to as hot as it can go.
+Slice the fennel vertically and place the slices in a hot grill pan or skillet, get a good sear on them.
+Meanwhile mince those shallots
+OK now throw some stock into the pan and the shallots and let the fennel soften for a bit, like 10 minutes? They should be tender and barely sauce-y.
+Now toss your pizza dough out and put it on a baking sheet or in that same oven-proof skillet, spreading the fennel-shallots on top. Grate the cheese on top, too.
+Bake for 15 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted and the crust is brown.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Carrot Ginger Cookies inspired by 101 cookbooks and carrots languishing in the crisper
1 cup (whole wheat) flour
1 cup oats
1 cup finely shredded carrots (2 hefty ones)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup veg oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, maple syrup, or agave
2 t real (!?!) grated ginger (otherwise these would be boring as all get out, I suppose if you don't keep a knob of ginger in the freezer for times like this you could just dump in a bunch of pumpkin pie spices and do okay for yourself)
Oven to 375.
Mix it all up, dream about summer. Oh yeah, mushy baked good dough, it is almost like being on an island somewhere with Paris Hilton singing island tunes in your ear. That's hot.
Press them into pretty flat discs, since they don't collapse on their own. Bake for about 10 minutes-- they won't really brown, so watch closely.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
first, there was the summer between junior and senior year of high school, when anything seemed possible. i made mix tapes for my car, which i had just learned to drive, of wistful love songs like beyond the sea and i believed them. the night before my mom's wedding my friend and i stayed up late, slumping from the couch to the floor, and watched fellini films like we were the first people in the world to see them. i would wake up at 3 or 4 and float into the morning, listening to gentle, sad music and writing poems and letters and college essays. i loved these hazy hours when everyone else was asleep and i could do absolutely nothing as if it were the most important and meaningful thing in the world.
last year i worked from 6 to 2, and i would wake up every day at 5:30. the house was dark and cold and my dad would turn on the tap and i would remember that it was the morning, just before the alarm went off. i was always surprised how ok it was to be awake at 5:24, before the alarm. and i would put on my uniform and parka and thud downstairs and my dad and i would have an english muffin with boysenberry jam and lots of butter. then he would defrost the car and drive me the 5 minutes to town, where i would have the first cup of coffee out of the machine and memorize the floorboards until customers started trickling in at 7:30. it made me realize that even at my unluckiest, i am the luckiest person in the world.
this is my first real week of insomnia in california. i fought it. but then this morning i got up at 3:30, turned on the oven, mixed a loaf of bread, stood on my balcony and watched the sky shift from bruised to bleached. i am eating the bread now and i forgot to put salt in it, so it is hot and moist and filling and totally flavorless. i watched tv, balanced my checkbook, and read the new york times, where i found this. my favorite thing about being awake between 4 and 6 is that you are the only one awake, but you never feel alone.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Veganomicon is amazing because they lump food into groups that make sense to me, like "eat something else with this or you will be cranky and malnourished" or "food that you can put in a bowl and eat for dinner". Lately I have been crushing on the latter category, trying to make mostly casseroles and one pot suppers and all that, saving precious time for watching TV or zoning out, apparently my top two pastimes. Otherwise "forgetting to eat then gorging on buffalo-chicken flavored pretzels" gets added to the list, which is fun sometimes but mostly not. I guess moms figured out this principle a long time ago with that whole casserole thing but I am just catching on, so bear with me. It also makes not eating meat take way less planning, which is a bonus if you are trying, you know, to go that route.
This recipe makes a lot of food, enough to eat until you get bored of it and some to freeze, too, which is awesome because instead of getting in the car and picking up a b-r-c burrito you can be like, wait, there are some rice & beans in the freezer. Cajun style.
OH P.S. 30 rock fans who got that reference who also love NPR... how weird was Alec Baldwin's Studio 360 guest hosting? I thought it would be so right, but it was so wrong.
adapted from Veganomicon, I had to return the cookbook from Inter-library Loan (HA!) so I winged it and it turned out just fine.
+an onion, minced
+some seitan, cut into little pieces and browned in a pan
+a can each of red & white kidney beans
+a 28 oz can of peeled seeded blah blah tomatoes
+a couple cloves of garlic, minced
+2 cups rice, white or brown doesn't matter
+a red pepper, if you like peppers. also celery, if you are willing to buy a whole mess of celery just to use one stalk in this recipe.
+"cajun seasoning" for tourists of the spice aisle, otherwise we are talkin thyme, marjoram, paprika, celery seed and cayenne, heavy on the thyme and paprika. About 3 T total.
-Fry up your onion, garlic, and optional pepper and celery. Keep stirring until everything is fragrant and translucent and soft.
-Throw a little veggie stock or wine in there to unstick whatever might be sticking, then add the rice, let it get oily/toasty. Rinse the beans in the meantime.
-Yeah, now add the tomatoes, the browned seitan, the beans, about 3 tablespoons of that cajun spice mix, and about 2 cups of broth.
-Stir it up, set the dial to simmer, and let the good times roll for about half an hour. Think about how gross crayfish are for a little bit, then about the glory that was muffuletta/mac and cheese for lunch day in high school, then about beignets, then about christmas beignets, then about vacation. See what I mean about the zoning out? Where were we?
-Check back in about 15 minutes, give it a stir to make sure the bottom isn't scorching. Then in another 15. Brown rice might take another 15 more, so don't let it burn.
-One-pot dinner success! Feel like the chair of the PTA but without all those kids involved.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Well, I don't recommend making this cake EVERY day. But I love when cookbooks call something an everyday cake, as though grown-ups have people over on weeknights and pull out a chocolate cake with some powdered sugar on top. In my world, of course, this translated to making this cake in the AM on St. Patrick's Day to "celebrate" during last finals period and eating it all day while clacking away like a crazy person and cursing the quarter system. It's next in the installment of you-wouldn't-know-it-but-its-vegan (minus the Baileys) baked goods... which means that its cheap as dirt and made of stuff you have in your house at all times. So you can make one, you know, every day.
Mad casual chocolate cake from Cheap Healthy Good/Where's the Revolution/The Internet
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or more regular flour)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup neutral oil
1 cup cold water (or 2/3 cup cold water, 1/3 cup booze. Hello, Baileys)
+ Oven to 350. Prep out a cake pan all grown-up style, as though this is for company and not just going to end up getting ham-fistedly shoveled into your gaping maw.
+ Dry ingredients in a bowl. Then make little wells for the wet ingredients-- a little vanilla volcano, a vinegar volcano, and an oil volcano. Now dump a bunch of water and Baileys on top, mixing with a few swift, decisive strikes.
+ Pour the batter into a pan. Actually I bet you could even mix it IN the pan, if you are really too lazy to do anything but eat cake. Bake for about half an hour.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Anyway this bread is amazing. I was always curious about non-sweet quick breads and this one is amazing. The texture isn't too biscuity at all, which was my number one fear. It's just delicious and it slices fairly well, too, for fake PBJs or even real sandwiches. AH!
Add beer bread to the long list of things to be thankful for this week. Including sunshine, E Street Cafe in Encinitas, cutoffs, new cheap headphones with way better sound than any other headphones I have ever owned (?), Peets' Assam tea, getting the last charger at said Peets, editors putting queer erotica in a very serious-looking queer theory reader. I got about halfway through before I realized the author wasn't going to start theorizing.
BEER BREAD (variations at A Year in Bread blog sound good, too)
3 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1 T sugar
1 t salt
a 12 oz beer (I used Simpler Times and it tasted banana-y! In a good way)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix the beer in slowly until you have a thick dough. Plop it in a loaf pan and bake it in the oven for 45 minutes.
Friday, March 12, 2010
But enough about me! More about these cookies! They are just straight-up delicious, easy to make, presentation-worthy. All the things you would want from a cookie. And vegan, so you can look your cat or other animal friends straight in the eye, if that's your thing.
These cookies can be made with what basically everybody has in the house, if you bake sometimes, which is awesome. No pictures exist since I took them to a potluck and everybody ate them all, but I think that's a good sign. They looked exactly like the PPK version... the first recipe ever where my rendition looked as pretty as the picture. Gah! What are you waiting for! These are so fast and east it makes my head hurt! Maybe I should make another batch right now? Yes? No?
Spicy Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles
1/2 cup canola/ veg oil
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used corn syrup. Nutrition fail!)
3 T non-dairy milk, or water if you are not a hippie. It works out.
2 t vanilla extract (you could sub out chocolate extract, which I am told exists, or maybe even peppermint extract to make a thin-mint version minus the spices! somebody try this!)
1 2/3 c flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t chile powder/cayenne
I also threw about 1 t total of ginger, cloves, and cardamom in there. I am easy for "pumpkin pie spices." I don't know if it made the cookies more interesting, probably not. Also I read in the Cosmo in our bathroom (thanks Missy!) that MEN are easy for pumpkin pie spices. Somebody dissertate that ish.
OK! Are you ready for Formula 1 fast cookies?
+ Preheat the oven to 375
+ Dump all wet or sweet stuff in a bowl (oil, sugar, syrup, vanilla) and beat it up
+ Add everything else and mix it up until it is doughy.
+ Pour some sugar and cinnamon on a plate, pull off little balls of dough and roll them around in the sugar-mix, then press them flattish on the baking sheet. Give them room to spread, like 2 inches on each side.
+ Bake for 8-12 minutes. Mine were done in 10. They should be kind of crackly on top. Let cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before bringing them to a potluck, making everyone eat them, then announcing like a douchebag, "AND THEY'RE VEGAN!" Or before eating them, they are better once cooled.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Well, kids, I just wrote 20 pages about vegan cookbooks and performing feminism in everyday life. I think I successfully maxed out the number of times a self-respecting human being can write the word panoptic in one paper (7). I also maxed out the number of cookies you can eat in a day (12). This is a recipe from less frantic times. According to Isa and Terry, if you cook quinoa more than once a week you get to be a stage 7 vegan, which I imagine in video game world allows you to cast really powerful healing spells or something.
This is a pretty good way to start the day, you feel like a million bucks. My friend made this for us when she got back from Bolivia... I have been thinking of making it ever since and finally did.
First make or acquire some applesauce. I made mine because I have been reading Vegan with a Vengeance like its the good book and actually do totally agree that if you can do it yourself, you should do it yourself.
SO take 4 apples, peel and cut them up into chucks. Put them in a pot with about an inch of water and cook. Yeah that's right, just cook it down until its applesauce, crushing the apples when they get mushy and adding more water when you need it. Sprinkle some cinnamon on at the end. The whole process takes about 20 minutes... it seems like the perfect congenial task while you are doing other tasks, making everything seem homey and delightful. Because you are paying the bills BUT ALSO making applesauce! You are farting around watching Cougar Town but you just made applesauce! If cooking can't save me from my degeneracy, I don't know what will. Maybe writing 2 more papers in 5 days.
OK so now cook a cup of RINSED quinoa in 2 cups of water with some more cinnamon and honey. I added like 1/8 cup of honey to the cooking water. You can always add more sweet stuff later if you need it, but I think it's good to add some to the water so that the quinoa, you know, absorbs it. And do rinse the quinoa, otherwise it will taste like gross hippie food because of the saponin and what's the point of that? Hippie food can and should be delicious, that's what I learned in school this week.
Boil then simmer for 20 minutes, when the quinoa is done throw in the applesauce and applaud yourself for eating the kind of breakfast a responsible, mature adult would probably eat.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Soon I will be back in New York, where I can eat the food I love with the people I love. Is there anything better than that? And I know that I will go to Momofuku Milk Bar and get some cookies, because they are made of magic and whimsy. My previous attempt to recreate the Cornflake Marshmallow cookies was pretty lame. Way too much flour, they turned out puffy. But apparently the compost cookie recipe was on Good Morning America, and I made a hybrid with the leftover marshmallows that have been sitting in my cupboard for 6 months. Disturbing! But not disturbing enough to keep me from eating so much of the dough that I could not bring myself to try one fresh out of the oven because I felt sick. Beware!
These. are. awesome. There are some sneaky things that I didn't figure out on my own, like the fact that you use corn syrup/ glucose syrup to get that undercooked thing going on. And that you cream the butter, sugar, and eggs for a really long time. I don't know what the point of that is, but I do feel like I have earned my hand-mixer-impulse-purchase so that's good. Apparently my resistance to consumer capitalism plummets when kitchen wares are involved.
3/4 cup butter (a stick and a half)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T corn syrup
2 T coffee grounds
1 t vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
2 t baking soda
2 t salt
1 t baking powder
3 cups of random crap. Original has oats, pretzels, potato chips, butterscotch and chocolate chips. I used: 1/2 cup marshallows cut into bits, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup crushed cheerios, 1 cup crushed tortilla chips. Obviously, they were super good.
+OK, rev up that slightly overpriced but oh so convenient mixer. Cream together the butter and sugar things.
+Now add the eggs and set a timer for TEN MINUTES while you beat the crap out of your cookie dough. Apparently this does something to the sugar crystals to make these cookies completely irresistible to those who work at home and have no willpower. Hypothetically. Do some sweet squats around your kitchen to prepare your body for the onslaught of sugar that will soon course through your veins.
+Add the flour, coffee grounds and dry stuff. Don't overmix here, otherwise your cookies will NOT BE CHEWY. Heaven forefend!
+Add the junk food/baking ingredients, stirring until just blended. Now cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge for an hour or overnight. They need to rest, just trust the process. Imagine the fat stack of two dollar bills piling up in your pocket that you are not spending on each single one of these cookies. That is worth at least an hour of your patience. OK.
+Preheat the oven to 400. Scoop these out, leaving a couple inches on each side to spread. Bake for about 10 minutes. Count the days until the semester is over (14!)
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
But here is some inspiration to kick off my renewed online presence, since I know you miss me so much (HA!)..... kale chips.
These seriously make me want to start writing really lame Skinny Bitch / women's magazine-like copy. THEY ARE SO GOOD THEY OUGHT TO BE ILLEGAL. THESE LITTLE CHIPPERS ARE YUM O!!!!!!
OK, that's out of my system. These are awesome, they are the his Dudeness of snack food, they are the perfect way to get some green stuff in your gullet and help you steer clear of corporate control over our snack food. More on the post punk kitchen later.
Here's the deal, preheat the oven to 350 while you rinse and dry some kale, rip it into little pieces and rub it on a cookie sheet with olive oil and pepper.
You could be surprised at how little olive oil you can get away with. Less than a tablespoon is fine. Throw some salt on top, but again, these get really salty really quick.
Pop 'em in the oven, even as it's preheating, just keep an eye on them. Set a timer for 10 minutes, depending on how fast your oven preheats and how meticulously you rinsed and dried, they could be done in 10 or might take 5 or so more minutes. The key is that they will be brown at the edges, dark green, and crinkly. Try one, you will know AT FIRST CRUNCH if it has transformed from boring old kale into chippy masterpiece.
A parting gift, thanks to Marissa for providing me with finals week jams.
Friday, January 1, 2010
A whole mess of root vegetables
Preheat the oven to 425, peel and chop a whole mess of root vegetables into sticks. I used two parsnips, five carrots and a sweet potato.
Roast your veggie sticks with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 20 minutes. You can rattle the pan halfway through to make sure they don't get burned.
Boil some pasta, al dente, you know the drill.
Drain the pasta and throw it back in the pot, adding veggies until it is about 50-50. Toss with about a half-teaspoon of nutmeg, the zest and juice of one lemon, and some olive oil. Grate some parmesan cheese on top and you are ready to brave the cold. Or your nap.