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Rhubarb Galette

galetteWhoa, Spring. Just four weeks ago, Brooklyn was mired in clouds, cold rain, and the dirge of winter that is March in the Northeast. Now the streets are bursting with life. Cherry blossoms and tulips are in bloom, and every patch of sad grass in this city is dotted with crocuses and snowdrops. I’m so thrilled that I’ve started buying fresh cut flowers every two weeks to bring some Spring inside my apartment, like these red ranunculus that have taken up residence in a mason jar.

ranneculusSpring also marks the beginning of prime farmer’s market season. We push aside root vegetables to make way for asparagus, ramps, and of course, rhubarb. It’s a star player in one of my favorite pies (strawberry rhubarb) and it can be deadly (well, only the leaves). It’s like the fugu of vegetables, but much safer.

rhubarbInstead of using it in a pie this past weekend, I put rhubarb in my most successful galette to date. The crust was crisp, but not too crisp. The filling was sweet, but not too sweet. And it all went well with a pint of strawberry ice cream. Continue Reading →

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Chewy Granola Bars

granola1Did you know that a box of thirteen custom granola bars costs $38? $38! That’s enough for a reasonably fancy dinner with a cocktail. Or two paperback books. Or a cute blouse on ModCloth. Or anything on BuzzFeed’s list of “27 Way More Awesome Things To Buy With $38 Than Facebook Stock.” In short, too much money for granola bars when making them from scratch takes ten minutes, not counting baking time. You can pick the dried fruit, nuts, and other ingredients you like in the amounts that you like without dropping a lot of money and sacrificing your tastes to a store-bought bar in a box.

But are they healthy? Well, not “healthy” per se, but they taste damn good. My recipe calls for brown sugar, honey, and even the dreaded corn syrup, but you can experiment with other sweeteners and food glues. For example, Mark Bittman uses nut butter and honey to sweeten his bars and hold them together.

granola4My bars do have plenty of dried fruit, oats, and nuts, so at least they have some fiber…right? Have my breakfasts all this week been at least somewhat healthy? Please say yes so that I can continue to eat them at my desk with a smug grin on my face that says, “Yes. I made this myself.” A grin that hides the amount of sugar and corn syrup I used and the fact that I packed the bar in a non-compostable piece of plastic wrap.

I don’t think I’m just talking about granola guilt anymore. Continue Reading →

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Winter Quiche

I know the normal response to cold weather is loading up on carbs, but my body craves greens. It could be a reaction to the lack of sunshine or seasonal produce in the Northeast, but either way, I tore into an arugula salad with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese at Westville this past weekend and it was the best meal I’d had in days. If Ramsey is out for the night and I’m cooking for one, I’ll saute dark green kale leaves and shallots in olive oil while steaming cubes of sweet potato. I top it all with a poached egg and it’s a perfect winter meal.

Winter greens can also follow a less healthy path—a dark, delicious path lined with cream, egg yolks, cheese, and salted pork that leads to just one destination: quiche. Continue Reading →

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Caramel Apple Turnovers with Rosemary Crust

The glass of cider sitting by my computer means just one thing: we’re in the midst of apple season. Bust out some apple-based pastries and crank up a Fleet Foxes song because it’s time celebrate the fall harvest.

I started my celebration with a trip to an apple orchard on a perfect afternoon, complete with blue skies, sunshine, and a quarter of the New York City metro area’s population. Once we passed the entry gate, we were able to find some peace in the orchard.

I was joined by my own personal Ben Wyatt. Continue Reading →

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Peach and Thyme Galette

Summer officially ended last week, but I said goodbye yesterday with a peach galette. The galette—or lazy tart, as I like to call it—is simple. Make a pie dough and then chill it, roll it, fill it, fold it, and bake it. There are no fancy pans or blind baking of crusts. Here’s an animated gif I made (inspired by Randwiches’ Gif Kitchen) to demonstrate:

PlVcvn on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

Easy, right?

Continue Reading →

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Broiled Grapefruit with Cinnamon and Ginger

Temperatures are below freezing outside, so the thought of getting out of of my warm bed this morning for a breakfast of cold grapefruit was not appealing. Instead, I broiled the grapefruit. Yes, it sounds strange, but it was delicious.

It started with a grapefruit sliced in half.

But I needed to place the grapefruit in a pan that was safe for broiling. See this glass pan? Continue Reading →

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Sunday Morning Sticky Buns

Are you frazzled from the holiday season yet?  You’re probably in a better place than I am. I’ve struck most of the to-dos off my list, but I still need to finish my Christmas shopping, buy a whole lot of candy packaging, and make twelve batches of sea salt caramels and marshmallows to share with family when I head upstate. I considered taking a vacation day to wrap candy this week, but things are way too busy at work. Also, the thought of using a vacation day to sit at my kitchen table and twist wax paper around caramels bordered on crazy, so I’ll just stay up until the extra late on Thursday night to wrap and watch Elf on a loop on TBS. Sleep deprivation, sugar, and Buddy the Elf are a recipe for victory.

When Christmas morning finally arrives, all I’ll want to do is collapse, but what better way is there to collapse than onto a couch with a sticky bun in hand? Even better, a sticky bun that’s easy to make and includes the flavors of the season, like citrus, cranberries, brown sugar, and lots (and lots) of butter. If you defrost your puff pastry overnight, this whole recipe should take ten minutes to put together, not counting the baking time.

It starts with mixing up some butter with brown sugar and orange zest.

Then, melt some non-zest-infused-butter, brush it on the puff pastry, and top with all sorts of delicious things.

Next, roll it up and slice it up. Continue Reading →

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Cardamom Coffee Cake

I’m back in Brooklyn after a weekend in the Baltimore suburbs with Ramsey and his family. We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving dinner, watched terrible movies (Vampire’s Kiss starring Nicholas Cage) and charming ones (The Muppets), and walked around a massive outlet mall where a Medieval Times “castle” is just a few stores away from a Cinnabon. The internet also taught us a trick for opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew, which Ramsey put to use a few minutes before Thanksgiving dinner:


It felt good to wake up at home this morning, a familiar light fixture above my head and the Brooklyn streets still quiet outside. A perfect time to fill the apartment with the smells of baking and warm spices, like cardamom, cinnamon, and a dash of ground ginger. A perfect time for coffee cake with streusel.

I adapted a Martha Stewart recipe to fit the contents of my refrigerator and available baking pans. Continue Reading →

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Pancetta and Swiss Quiche

Get ready for a behind-the-scenes tidbit: My kitchen doesn’t get any natural light. Well, that’s not 100% true. There is a tiny window behind the sink that overlooks a concrete patio and dozens of cinder-block walls that separate tiny brownstone backyards, but it only gets direct sunlight for about an hour everyday and that light shines right into the sink. Not the ideal situation for a woman who wants to take photos that aren’t washed out or strangely orange. Good ol’ fashioned sunshine makes my antiquated point-and-shoot camera look pretty good.

To my improve photos, I decided to put a few surfaces in the well-lit living room to use while I made a quiche for breakfast today, including the coffee table, dining table, and very chic radiator cover. Behold, a bowl of eggs and dishtowel on my coffee table:

Yes. This quiche was off to a good start. Continue Reading →

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Bacon and Leek Quiche

quiche2

I don’t usually cook for lunch, preferring to throw together a salad or sandwich in the middle of the day. On Tuesday however, I was inspired by the dozen eggs sitting in my fridge and ran to the store for a few extra supplies for a quiche. Along with the eggs, I just needed bacon, leeks, pie crust, and a few cups of half and half for a simple lunch and a few days of breakfast. Continue Reading →