A Quarter Century

july 4

Pictured above: Me at age 4 or 5, along with the neighborhood gang. Identities have been concealed to protect the innocent.

I will officially turn twenty-five at 2:53pm today. The combination of high temperatures and my birthday means no cooking for me, save for possibly throwing together a salad for dinner. In the meantime, I leave you to ponder the ultimate birthday question: cake, pie, or other dessert?

I have always been a fan of cake. The cakes for most of my childhood birthdays were made by the same woman in her home on the South Side of Binghamton, decorated to match the themes of my birthday parties. The flavor and texture of the buttercream frosting was the best part, with its cavity-inducing sugar levels and a light crust.

My father scanned a few photos for me so I could share a few past cakes and a few theme parties. Take a walk down narcissism lane and enjoy a few classic Mo birthday photos after the jump. Continue Reading →



Four-Step Sweet Potato Pie

Winter is a difficult season for produce-based sweet pies. With no local fruit in season and any fruit that is on the shelves of Brooklyn stores shipped thousands of miles and zapped of flavor, options are limited. Thus, we turn to the sweet potatoes, harvested in the fall and now stored in cool, dark cellars and bottom cupboards. 

The flavor of sweet potatoes has always summoned a sense of warmth for me, making them perfect for a winter dessert. The recipe I created for this pie was pulled together from reading through a number of different recipes, then seeing how far I could simplify them and still preserve the flavor and texture of a classic sweet potato pie (not counting crust preparation). The results after the jump. Continue Reading →



Apple Pie Adventure

I decided to bake a test pie on Sunday to see if I could/should enter the Enid’s Apple Pie Bake-off next week. I’ve never made a pie from scratch on my own before and learned that it may be one of the most labor intensive kitchen activities one can engage in. This also makes it one of the most rewarding kitchen activities when the pie is successful, unlike some previous baking exploits documented on this blog.

If you’re not sure if you should bake a pie, here’s a quick questionnaire to review before picking up a pound of apples and getting coated in flour:

-Do you have nothing else to do for the next three hours?
-Do you have a sufficient playlist on your portable music device to get you through that length of time?
-Do you plan on going out for dinner tonight?
-Are your fully caffeinated with additional iced coffee at the ready?

If you answered yes to all of the questions above, then you may be ready to make a pie. Grab a rolling pin, a whole bunch of apples, and check out this recipe. Continue Reading →