easter bread 2013


This was not my favorite Easter bread to date. Of course it wasn’t only bread but also candied oranges….and then Rob accidentally stuck his finger in the risen loaf before I baked it.

To be fair the kitchen was a disaster because of course I was also trying to simultaneously compile a southern feast, complete with, from scratch, sweet potato pie.   Yes, marathon cooking on Easter Sunday. Rob did make some excellent pie dough and it was his first attempt ever: gold star.

…and we ate well, we ate very well.


for you CSA people out there…

Back in the day when I lived in VA, my roommate and I signed up for a CSA and they kept sending us collard greens, spring and fall, week after week after week. Perhaps you are having a similar experience. Neither of us had the slightest idea what to do with them and after an experiment or two with a big pot and a ham-hock we started giving up and many delicious bundles lived in the produce drawer for awhile and then were trashed…If only we had this Virginia Willis recipe then!!

First, please make this just so you have an excuse to buy the smoked salt! Not only is it delicious but you can get that smoked flavor without using meat. Genius! Second, I suggest that you take the time to make the hot pepper vinegar. I’m totally loving mine.  Both are going to get a lot of use in my kitchen this summer.

And yes.. that is another broiled chicken, this time Alton Brown’s recipe. Perhaps I have a need for juicy meat steeped in melted chicken fat and then how the skin gets crispy as the fat melts out of it into the meat and gets all brown. They are just so darn easy AND then I have so many options for making great things with the leftovers the rest of the week. This week: chicken tacos and arugula salads. Greatness…

vanilla ice cream and xmas presents in action part 4

The ice cream is just vanilla but Alton does call for a little peach jam to be added…something about making it thicker?…I didn’t get it but it inspired me to buy some frozen peach slices. The ice cream was delicious with real vanilla bean goodness, but the peaches tasted like exactly nothing. I guess it didn’t distract from the vanilla flavor then and they look pretty with my Anthropology measuring cup, that I’m sure is totally not accurate for measuring, but pretty. I use them for mise en place bowls or occasionally for eating ice cream.

I also considering buying a pear just so I could pare a pear with the pair of paring knives I got for xmas. Ha! (I’m sorry you had to suffer through that but I just couldn’t stop myself.)

I am greatly enjoying these knives.  I have a nice chef’s knife but I only had some old weird serrated paring knives that I probably bought from the grocery store after I moved into a new apartment and realized that all the knives had belonged to the previous roommate. And these are even pretty. And they are the only knives I have that have fancy plastic protective sleeves.  And maybe I need protective sleeves for my hands because I threw one it in the dishpan and forgot and managed to grab it underwater and stab myself pretty good. And…bloody dishwater. And….yuch.

Bad mashed potatoes?

Okay, I have not written anything in awhile but I’ve had a run of bad luck and who wants to read post after post about the really yucky food I made last week, which I threw out and ended up eating pizza and sandwiches. So here is the summary:

steakandmashedmasher cakes, steak in lots of steak sauce and salad

Yes, bad mashed potatoes, sorry Alton, they were actually bad. Maybe I did something wrong? Although I’m not sure how that is possible. I also did not like the cognac blue cheese sauce.

I did really like the ‘masher cakes’ recipe where you mix the leftover mashed potatoes with an egg and some green onion then cover in panko bread crumbs and fry…yummy. I then also doctored the questionable cognac blue cheese sauce into some homemade steak sauce that was pretty yummy. So take-2 was pretty good.

fish with fennel and couscous

And this one was really gross. Swordfish steaks with fennel. I put it on some whole wheat couscous…..seriously foul. There was no take-2 here and I threw most of it away. Thank you Moosewood.

taramasalataAnd finally Taramasalata…two bites…that is all I managed. The rest went in the dumpster.  This is supposed to be a very popular dip in Greece made with salted/cured fish roe. Now, I like smoked fish; I like roe (fish eggs); I like dip made with smoked fish; I really hated this!!!   I will not be trying it again.  If I ever find myself in a seaside cafe in Greece, then, perhaps, someone might talk me into trying it just one more time.  I will try not to memory gag.

vidalia onion soup

onion soup…dining al fresco was necessary after I turned on the oven to thaw the baguette then toast, then melt the cheese. hot hot hot.

…this is a combo of the southern recipe and the Alton Brown one for onion soup. I had not planned on making it but I just had too many vidalia onions the other day.

…this french cheese was not very melty but it has a little sharp and funky edge which was good to contrast with the very sweet vidalia onions.

…the wine is much too grassy, unripe pear for me (green bottle!!) but you can chill the crap out of it and not feel bad, so good for a hot day. kind of like Peroni! (beer from Italy)

…piquante is the perfect word for peppadew peppers, sweet with just a little heat, no other word describes it quite so well and they really make what would be a very boring salad much more interesting.

I successfully flipped my eggs this morning!

eggs over easy with toastIn my mind I saw melted butter and egg yolks all over my stove top, so I did a little practicing with new kitchen sponge but it wasn’t very slippery.  Finally I just had to admit that the only way to do this was “no fear”  “just do it” and be prepared to clean up the mess.  But I did it! I ended up overcooking the eggs a little but it was all fine and totally worth it for the joy of the successful double flip of eggs over easy. I didn’t even break the yolks!

Sunday breakfast tastes better with a side of success and self-esteem especially if the rest of your week was a little short on all those things, including breakfast.