It’s been nearly two months since I packed up my bags, left my wonderful community and home in Philly and moved up to New York and I can finally report we are settled in to our new place. We’ve actually been in our little Brooklyn apartment for a month – taking our time to figure out what stays, what goes and where everything goes – it was only my mom’s pending visit that really lit a fire under our asses to get everything finished. So we put all the clothing away, shelved all the books and hauled away all the donation stuff last weekend and I am really pleased with the home we’ve managed to put together.
I really should get used to my life being a total roller coaster but nearly 30 years in and it still throws me off a bit when some new big change happens. So for the last 3 weeks I’ve been adjusting to the idea that in a week I’ll be a New Yorker. Yep, with a slightly sad heart and a whole lotta excitement I’m closing the Philly chapter of my adventure, packing up our home and heading to New York. It’s a big leap into a new position and life but one I am more than ready for – in no small part due to the super fantastic group of friends and family who await us there. Continue Reading →
I’ll be honest, it’s taken me years to come around to the allure of chocolate. I was not born a chocoholic, nor do I think I would qualify myself as one today but I can say that I do occasionally find myself craving it. Last weekend while making up my Oscar party menu I found myself coming back to some of the chocolate recipes I’ve pinned to my Pinterest page. Since I’ve also been on a pretty intense investigation into stouts I settled on this recipe for chocolate stout cake. Of course, I had to futz with the recipe and my god the result is something that I have actually dreamed of. Yes mom, I am finally dreaming about chocolate. The crumb is incredibly tender and you can actually taste the stout peaking through the cocoa flavor. Continue Reading →
At the last minute we ended up having quite the crowd at our place for the Super Bowl last weekend which meant pulling together a nice spread of snacks to keep the crowd happy. I did the usual – guac, seasoned popcorn, chipotle bean dip, etc. – and Ry grabbed some bbq from our neighborhood rib joint. It was a rather impressive menu given the short notice and as I was looking for my standard brownie recipe I realized there wasn’t really anything healthy to offer so, I put the cocoa powder away and took out the banana bread recipe I’ve been trying to sort out. Usually when I get to the point when I’m trying to refine a recipe I get more diligent with my measurements and notes but since I had only a little time to get this in the oven I barely managed to make some chicken scratch notes – but definitely caught the changes that I believe make the difference. It was a pleasant surprise to to discover that in my haste I managed to get the exact flavor and texture I had been hoping for – and it was a huge hit with the football crowd. Continue Reading →
Soups are definitely my fall back when I want something easy and comforting and this curried cauliflower soup is probably the one I make the most. Over the years of experimenting with flavors and techniques I have come up with a recipe I can share with confidence. There are some fussy bits about this recipe but don’t cut corners on toasting the spices or adding the garnishes it makes a world of difference. Continue Reading →
I am back from my awesome trip to Dublin. It was a good mix of work and play, oh, and eating. We were treated to lots of delicious food and in the time I had to wander the city I found some very tasty noms from some street vendors to late night sushi bars. Continue Reading →
Before we cleared out of the house for the holidays I did my damnest to empty our fridge and pantry of perishables. I really really hate to waste food and I have actually come up with some of my best recipes in these last minute cupboard emptying extravaganzas (southwestern pasta putenesca anyone). This year I was actually rather strategic with my grocery shopping leading up to our departure knowing I wouldn’t have a whole lot of time to cook before we headed back to the Twin Cities so I really only had some bananas to use. Instead of making a loaf of banana bread I combined a few recipes I found and did them donut style. Two batches later I found a pretty solid recipe and ended up giving them to co-workers as their holiday gifts.
Need a good last minute gift idea? Try this recipe for Heath Crunch Cookie Truffles. It makes 3-4 dozen truffles (depending on how big you make them) so you can get a lot of gifts out of one batch. But be warned, these are addictive little treats so package them up quickly or you’ll find yourself snacking on them endlessly.
I consider myself pretty lucky that my parents always invited us into the kitchen with them when they were making meals. My dad is a recipe kinda guy and was always cruising through cookbooks for ideas to try while my mother loathes recipes and usually just cooked according to taste, memory or curiosity. From the two of them I learned a lot about cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, something I thought every parent imparted on their kids. However, over the years I have realized that is not the case. In fact, most of my friends have a very limited understanding of how to cook or improvise when making a meal. I am always happy to share my kitchen know-how with friends who ask.
I can really geek out when investigating desserts tied to holidays or various cultural traditions. I think this has a lot to do with the central role meals take during the holidays for my family. Christmas is my aunt’s molasses bars, making julekake with my mom and fresh cardamom coffeecake. New Years is something ridiculously decadent with equally indulgent breakfast sweet in the morning. Tucking into these traditions each year brings me such pleasure that over the years my eye has wandered to the culinary traditions in other cultures. I’ve made celebration breads from a middle eastern cook book, eaten my fair share of Mexican wedding cakes and dedicated a weekend to making a variety of pancake recipes from all over the world. Continue Reading →