Saturday, September 29, 2012

rally cap.

Eating really doesn't have to be hard, I promise.

Eating also really doesn't have to only be pasta.  Somehow somebody decided eating should only ever be pasta and then they told all the college kids and all the college kids believed them.
It was a lie.  It was a lie that they told you.  Break out of the downward spiral of pasta!  It will end your life if you don't!

Not that I don't like pasta.  I really do.  And Kraft mac and cheese is my comfort food.  The one shaped like the alphabet with the alien cheese powder packet.  I love that horrible processed shit.  LOVE I SAY.  This got tangental.

Just know that you can spend very little time on dinner (less time -- and this is radical -- than it takes to boil water) and still eat interesting and new and good tasting things.

Idea: Mash up some goat cheese, arugula, salt, pepper, garlic, a teensy bit of lemon and a little honey and stuff a big ol bella cap.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and stick it in the oven.  Done.

I want a search bar on this blog.  Going back to find that ravioli post was rough.  It must be serrr hard when you have to hunt through my blog archive for old recipes you want to look at, omgzzz.  That was a joke because you'd never do that.  Only I do that.  Because I stalk myself.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"one of you will be the winner,

and one of you will be chopped." a line that they say during a really good television show.
It is also a line that pertains to this salad that I'm obsessed with because it is a chopped salad, and when I eat it, I am a winner.

Nice.  Nice transition.  That's some real writing major ish.

One quick thing before I get to the salad.  Today I bought hot coffee for the first time since April.

It was really very sad.  I don't really like hot coffee and I have an amorous passion for iced coffee.

An iced coffee love song exists, but I've only heard tell of it and have never heard it proper.
Otherwise I'd sing it for you now.

A thought that makes me sad.

Okokok enough.  Salad.

Pea Salad with Tahini Dressing

12 oz snap peas, chopped
1 2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup chopped walnut bits, toasted
shredded parmesan
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1-2 tablespoons honey
1-3 tablespoons water, olive oil, or a combo
salt and pepper to taste

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl.

Mash garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl with a fork or use a mortar and pestle if you're fancyfancy to make a paste.  Mix in tahini, and then honey and water/olive oil/both depending on your desired sweetness and consistency.  Pour over salad and toss to coat.

A great side, a great lunch, good thing this makes a lot cuz you'll want it for breakfast tomorrow (done it, and its totally still good in the AM).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

the best that i could do.

Cheap Monday slit shirt; BDG jeans; vintage necklace; Toms; silence + noise blazer
My right eye is staging a very puffy revolt against me.  Lipstick and myspace-style iPhone pictures don't really help but it was as I say in the title, and also what John Cougar Mellencamp says in naming his 1978-1988 greatest hits compilation.  If that album makes you feel like cleaning the garage, you and I must have had similar youths.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

occasional failure.

I swore I would never make cake pops, but then I ruined a perfect bundt cake.
I didn't flour the pan, and all that sifted incredible vanilla stuff of dreams got stuck in there and would not come out.

Best cake ever.  Stuck in pan.  Will not come out.  Best cake ever.  I have had worse problems than this before in my life but nothing ever so devastatingly delicious.

SO.  I scooped the cake out in chunks, mashed it up with frosting, rolled it into balls, dunked it in candy coating and covered it in sprinkles.  Did you know that's how you make cake pops?  It is.

Did you also know that cake pops suck?  Like pretty objectively, they're bad.  So sweet I thought I was gonna die.  Little circular globs of sugar.  I think I ate nine.  And I didn't really love myself very much afterwards.

I am not here to talk about cake pops, actually.
Instead I implore you to make the following pound cake, and to flour your pan when you do it.
I wish you much success.
Good day.

Vanilla Pound Cake
from Baking with Julia

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature and whisked to blend
1 cup milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  GREASE AND FLOUR a 10 inch or 12 cup tube pan or decorative pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.  I know the whole room temp/sifting thing is something you think you can overlook, and you can, your cake will still be edible, but it will not be awesome.  So.  Do the things.

Beat butter in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.  With the machine running, add the sugar in a steady stream.  Continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

With the mixer still at medium speed, add the eggs one tablespoon at a time.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the mixer attachment from time to time.  After 3 to 4 minutes, all of the eggs should be combined and the mixture should be white, fluffy and increased in volume.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and milk alternately -- 4 additions of flour, 3 of milk -- and fully incorporate after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix to blend.

Pour batter into PREPARED pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden at the top and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.  This is great with a simple vanilla or lemon glaze.

PS: Guess who's nice?  A lot of the many people I know.  I know nice and good people.  Sometimes I get stuck under my comforter/inside a book/inside the fridge/inside my brain/like, on Pinterest or something and forget about the nice and good people that are all over the place.  Just sayin.  I know you don't care but YOU came HERE to MY blog and no one forced you so you're gonna have to deal with the occasional rando-rant okkrrr??!?  End of post.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

long time coming.


There is so much I could say.  I have a lot to say.  But I am weary.  I am heavy with Late Summer.

Late Summer is a delicious burden and it is barefoot and sweaty.  Late Summer doesn't have to be actual weight but it always feels like it.  Late Summer is the thing that makes my fingers swell and is the reason I am laying on my couch at 9:30 on a Wednesday night still in the clothes I went running in this morning.  I feel too lethargic to do anything substantive.  Like type.  Or eat anything other than nachos.  Late Summer a multifaceted problem and there is melted cheese involved.  I don't make the rules.

Yeah let's just get to the cake.

Poppyseed Baked Alaska
from Bon Appetit

This cake is a triumph.  I had heart palpitations when my mother cut it.  I think it is the thing that I've made of which I am most proud.  And honestly?  Its fairly easy to do.  If you have a day in advance, a big bowl and a bunch of people you need to impress, you can do this.

Baked Alaska inherently involves a lot of decision making.  The cover recipe from Bon Ap's April 2002 issue suggested the following poppyseed cake with a combo of strawberry ice cream and strawberry sorbet, but you can do any flavor of anything.  I switched in raspberry ice cream and peach sorbet for color contrast/seasonal fruits/blahblahblah and that was a good plan.

For cake:
nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour, sifted then measured
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
6 tablespoons butter, melted then cooled

For filling:
2 pints sorbet, softened
1 quart ice cream, softened

For meringue:
6 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.  Springform is nonnegotiable and I mean it.

Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla to combine, and then heat in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water without letting the water touch the bottom of the bowl (this is how you fake a double boiler, ask your mom, that's what I did)(my mom, not yours)(anyway).  Whisk constantly and remove after two minutes, when warm.  Beat mixture with an electric mixer until very thick and ribbons form when beaters are lifted, about 7 minutes.  Add flour in three additions, folding to incorporate after each addition.  Fold in poppy seeds and then quickly fold in butter.  It will be a weird and frothy mixture.  Pour into prepared pan and bake until a tester in the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes.  Cool completely before removing sides of pan.

Line a 4 quart, 10-inch diameter bowl with plastic wrap.  Spread sorbet at the bottom, freeze for a bit, and then layer ice cream over it.  Invert the cake onto the ice cream, and stick entire monster into freezer for four hours or overnight.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gradually add in sugar, beating to incorporate, and then vanilla.  Should be sturdy and glossy.

The goal now is to get your cake upright, out of the bowl and onto a baking sheet.  This will take ingenuity and patience.  Maybe you have to remove the bottom of the springform from the cake first.  Maybe you have to tug on the plastic wrap while someone else tugs on the bowl.  Maybe you have to wedge a spatula between the frozen part and the bowl and go around in a circle.  Do yo thang, ladies and gents.  If you get stuck, call me or something and we'll figure it out.  Stick it back in the freezer to solidify once you've extracted the beast before coating it all over with meringue.  Then freeze again for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Allow cake to brown on top and at the edges, about five minutes.  Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

i'd like it if you did, thanks.

Tryna be respectful?  Yeah, that'd be cool.

Unrelated note, some things I'm liking to look at.