Happy 2017, my friends! My year started off inauspiciously with my phone suddenly not working, so I have to send it to LG to see if it’s salvageable. (At least my old Razr smartphone is functional so I’m not completely without a phone right now. Here’s hoping it can hang on until August when my upgrade is finally available.) The weather hasn’t helped much in that it’s been dreary and rainy for the past few days, and while I know we need the rain, it doesn’t help with the whole getting back in the swing of things all that much. Read More
Happy New Year! It’s so surreal that it’s January and actually cold out (although I was one person who was not sad about the warm December whatsoever). I hope you all had fantastic celebrations and have started the new year off in a good place, filled with the possibilities of new experiences and new beginnings and all that jazz.
Our New Year’s celebration was normal in that it was filled with food and drink and lots of cooking, but slightly different as this year we had a few more people to celebrate with over the course of the evening between our out of town guests as well as some locals. It all went really well and we had a lot of fun, and I think the spread this year was one of the most impressive yet. Read More
Of all of the various foams I’ve tried out with my iSi whipper, the one that has dogged me the most has been sabayon. It was a little frustrating because it was one of the few desserts that I actually had a recipe to try out, but every time I made it so little of the sabayon actually dispensed that I was convinced that it was me doing something wrong and not the recipe.
I was encouraged to try it again after watching the Good Eats episode “The Proof is in the Pudding” recently, because Alton Brown makes a sabayon the traditional way but it looked like it might hold the secret to the issues I was encountering. It boiled down to a few key changes: Read More
In the past I’ve mentioned how Michael is not much of a dessert person but that the introduction of the iSi has changed that–if only slightly–but there is one dessert he loves and yet we never make at home: cheesecake.
(I’d make a bad joke about being a ‘bad wife” and not making it for him, but seriously–if he really wanted it that badly he would have made some himself by now. He did ask my mother for some baking tips to make one over Christmas so perhaps when I see a springform pan appear in an Amazon order I’ll know that he’s serious about giving one a try.) In all fairness, there was a really, really good reason for why we never made it when we lived in either New York or Stamford: one cheesecake is way too much for two otherwise reasonable people to eat, and to be completely frank we’d probably end up like Rachel and Chandler from the Friends episode “The One With All the Cheesecake,” driven to cheesecake-induced madness:
A few weeks ago after seeing the Spain episode of Mind of a Chef one too many times, I finally broke down and bought myself a whipped cream siphon (specifically, this one). You may be wondering why I wanted to do this, given the fact that:
- My husband is lactose-intolerant and therefore we usually have little need for whipped cream in the house,
- I am not much of a baker and therefore do not whip up desserts on the regular that would call for whipped cream,
- It’s not a small amount of money to pay for what on the surface feels like it could very much just be a fun toy.
All valid points, I grant you. But if you watch “Spain” and specifically watch the segment in which David Chang and one of his pastry chefs make Albert Adrià’s microwave sponge cake too many times, a yearning to recreate this for yourself becomes far too persistent and annoying to ignore. Moreover, I actually had the recipe to make the cake because it’s included in the second issue of Lucky Peach, so it wasn’t as if I’d have to scour the internet in order to cobble together some incomplete facsimile. A quick search on Food and Wine’s website yielded a few more recipes that could be made with the siphon, so I felt like I had created a sizable argument in favor of getting one. Read More
T.S. Eliot had it right: while April carries the promise of spring and teases us with ramps and morels and other ephemeral delights, we’re still stuck with some of the least inspiring fruits of the year as lamented recently by my friend Kitchen Witch. Yes, we still have citrus since the growing season for many of the best fruits now extend through May, but after a solid five or six months of tart acidity, I know I’m dying for something, anything, different in the fruit stand that’s in season and therefore not mealy or ludicrously expensive. And in April, usually, that seems far too much to ask.
But then, while flipping through my copy of Spanish Country Kitchen one lazy Saturday morning, a dessert I had flipped past hundreds of times stood out to me as perhaps the perfect dessert for this time of year: fresh orange juice with strawberries. While most of the seasonal citrus fruits are beyond their peaks, Valencian oranges are just getting started: first appearing in February, they are available through October, and are ideal as juicing oranges. Seeing some good-looking Californian strawberries on sale 2/$5 at Stew Leonards’ sealed the deal, and a few nights later we enjoyed this simple treat on one of the warmer spring evenings we’ve had lately. Read More