One of the things I love most about my job is the variety of projects I get to work on. The last few weeks there has been somewhat of an explosion of awesome new opportunities for us to tackle which has been both thrilling and challenging which is just the right yin and yang I need to keep things moving. I hope it’s the standard for the year to come.
In our family, every year on your birthday you got to pick the meal you wanted made for the family birthday celebration. While I don’t think this is a terribly unique tradition I do think the menus that have graced our family table over the years on the occasion of my or my sister’s birthday are. One year my little sister asked for baby carrots stuck into giant black olives, canned mandarine oranges served in ramekins and eaten with shrimp forks; and her drink served out of a liquid medicine measurement spoon - she is a real unique soul, that one. I often requested supper nachos or egg kaka and my older sister’s menus usually rotated around cheesy mashed potatoes.
As for desserts we’ve each explored different sweets – french silk pie, birthday cake cones, angel food cake, brownies. There is one phase we have all gone through though, the rum cake phase. For as long as I can remember my mother’s rum cake, with it’s dense cake soaked in a sweet boozy sauce, has appeared on the table at least once a year for someone’s birthday. It’s a recipe she learned from her mother that relies on boxed cake mix and when she makes it it’s perfection.
In culinary school I made it one of my projects to recreate the cake from scratch and after a few tries – mostly figuring out the egg factor – I nailed it. It’s the recipe I now use when I’m tasked with making rum cake, as I was a few weeks ago when I made my little sister’s birthday dinner (she’s matured into a rather sophisticated menu of pot roast and salad), which also served as the impetus for this post. If you’re looking to start a new
addiction tradition give this a try immediately.
3 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbs – 1/4 cup rum
Preheat the oven to 350˚
*I used a spring form for the cake pictured and it works just fine but if you have the angel food pan I highly recommend using it.
We took a long weekend away last week to escape – mid-blizzard – to visit family in central Vermont. We go every year for President’s Day to celebrate the anniversary of my surgery and every year we find a wondrous balance between reading, cooking (in my most favorite kitchen in all the world) playing games and futzing around in the snow. This year was no different, except we got to introduce Finn to this cherished tradition and he loved it, no surprise there. I tried to get away from the computer while we were there but did manage to assemble some fun bits and pieces for your enjoyment. Continue Reading →
People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobodies worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
There are few things more glorious this time of year than to have a whole weekend that is almost entirely unscheduled. Coinciding with the start of the Olympics and a nasty bug that hit on Friday night meant we spent this weekend snuggled up in our apartment, and it was lovely. Needless to say a little internet perusing happened too and these were the best of the nets. Continue Reading →
I’ve been creating playlists for Finn pretty much since I found out I was pregnant. I have a list of music I played for him in my belly almost every night for the last two months of his residency, a list of classic rock that I consider essential to his musical development, even a list of pop songs that make him laugh – yeah, if there is a scenario that warrants a soundtrack I’ve started a playlist for it. Continue Reading →
I will be honest, I’m not unhappy about this winter weather. I’m from Minnesota so, comparatively this Northeast weather is nothing. I also love winter and have often been disappointed by New York’s usual version of winter lite. We’ll see if I’m singing the same tune after having to deal with it and Fashion Week. Continue Reading →
Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart, it makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not Us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. The storybooks are bullshit. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and get in my bed!
My affection for brussels sprouts is rich and deep. While simple roasted sprouts are probably my preferred preparation I’m always game to try a new take on the wee little cabbages. This recipe is inspired by a dish served at my company’s holiday dinner. After helping myself casually to two (and by that I mean more than one, definitely two and possibly
three four – but who was counting) I was taken by the way the flavors melt into each other but not before each ingredient’s signature flavor – bacon:umami, sprouts:bitter and dates:sweet – all make themselves known. It was satiating in every sense of the word. Continue Reading →
I’ll admit, I’ve become a total sucker for lists – not listacles mind you, but thoughtful collections of links. Particularly now that I have so little free time to seek out and read the amount of content I once consumed I find lists posted regularly by some of my favorite sites to be an easy and satiating way to wade through the massive amount of material I encounter regularly.
So, in an effort to put out there a little of what I take in I’m going share my own weekly list of things I found inspiring, silly, interesting or random but necessary. Continue Reading →