Monday, August 23, 2010

burnout muffins

Well, I decided to go a little "groove as your soul sings" on the Burning Man quickbread collection. I am hoping that any kind of baked good will be like, wow, homey! in the middle of the desert and I will be more inclined to want to eat veggies&oats&seeds in cookie/tea cake form than some other, you know, healthier form. Anyway, I'm not sure if bourbon beet bread is really one for the books, although I guess I do get credit for inventing it. If you can't have ideas about spectacles of abjection, at least you can have ideas about what kinds of produce & booze you can turn into a cake, right?

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

tomato tart

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).

Tomato tart

+Pate brisee (otherwise known as pie crust)
*So the recipe in the cookbook is basically the same as Martha's, probably because the author was the mastermind behind her baking cookbooks/shows/etc before moving to scenic south norwalk. You could also cruise smittenkitchen for more highly favored, bendy brisees, although frankly as far as pie crust is concerned I am more concerned with the easy flakey buttery quotient than the picture-perfection-despite-a-thousand-instructions quotient. BASICALLY. End up with ONE PIE CRUST.
+a tomato
+1/2 cup of fontina cheese
+a head of garlic

-Preheat the oven to 425, and toss in the whole head of garlic to roast. If you are pressed for time (because it will take like 45 minutes) you can always boil the garlic, a little trick I learned from my dad that makes me feel like a domestic goddess of roasty garlicy goodness every time I use it.

-Make a pie crust, if you zoned out during that informational stage and neglected to do so. Press it into a pie tin, and let it chill out while the garlic cooks. People think that pie crusts are mega-fussy, but I can personally attest that this wabisabi chef whipped this tart up in an hour so don't worry about the "chill for an hour blah blah" thing.

-Go harvest the sexiest tomato from your container garden and core and slice it pretty thinly. Also grate that fontina.

-Denude the garlic and smash it up with some olive oil, then rub that stinky goodness all over the bottom of the tart crust. Now half the cheese, the tomatoes in an attractive pattern, more cheese, salt, and pepper.

-Bake for half an hour to 45 minutes

Lily's first cookbook book jacket photo, right? I love it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

where in the world is carmen san diego? not in san diego quite yet.

loot: a vanilla malted
warrant: issued for noise-maker use and indolence
crook: ???