Thursday, March 26, 2015

carrot graham layer cake

carrot graham layer cake

It has been 1 year, 6 months and 6 days since I last shared a recipe for a stacked, filled, and unconscionably indulgent layer cake on this site, an unforgivable oversight on my part. I certainly haven’t gone that long without sharing any cake recipes — I’m not a monster — but sometimes you need more than an Everyday Cake. Sometimes you need a great big celebratory ta-da in the center of your table. Sometime like now.

some sad carrots to start
flour, grahams, spices

Because the pastel-ed idea, if not the outdoor temperatures, of spring seems to have infected my existence and I’m not even fighting it — my nails are a shade of pink that can only describe as “bunny nose,” I, someone who mostly lives in variations of black and gray, just bought a patterned and brightly colored dress, we’ve had asparagus twice this month, unable to wait any longer for it to emerge from local soil, and my hands are stained orange from all of the carrots I’ve grated into cake week. Around here, these are the harbingers of spring.

one CUP of carrots per layer

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

baked chickpeas with pita chips and yogurt

baked chickpeas with pita chips and yogurt

Nothing against barbecue-style baked beans, all tangy sauced and full of smoky burnt end drippings — hi summer, get here quick please — but I hardly see why navy beans get to have all of the fun. Where are the baked kidney beans, black-eyed peas and gigantes? Baking is a phenomenal way to cook dried beans and a great way to make something more complex of canned ones; when you start considering flavors, the sky, nay, the globe is the limit. I want these red beans slow-baked in a big casserole, scooped with tortilla chips. I want baked black beans heaped over tostones, braised white beans over Catalan-style tomato bread and I want what we had for dinner last night for the first time all over again, because it was perfect.

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, March 19, 2015

the consolation prize (a mocktail)

the consolation prize (a mocktail)

In the almost six years since I last waddled around in the name of procreation — I know, I make it sound so glowy and glamorous — to my delight, two things in particular have changed: 1. You can now get maternity pants that have almost all of the dignity of regular ones, thanks to small elastic panels above each pocket that frankly would be as welcome the day after Thanksgiving as they are now that I’m approaching the six-month mark and people no longer believe me when I said I just had a really big lunch. (However, a New York-specific rule remains: you’re not actually “big” until someone willingly cedes his or her seat on the subway for you, by which standards, I must be svelte. Hey, I’ll take it.) 2. More pertinently to the scope of a cooking website, a whole lot of bars are making really great mocktails.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, March 16, 2015

potatoes with soft eggs and bacon vinaigrette

potatoes with soft eggs and bacon vinaigrette

I was going to offer today a kind of loose apology. “Sorry, guys, for all of the potatoes and eggs and utter randomness of recipes this winter,” and then shamelessly go onto blame this approaching third-trimester (ack, too soon) situation with its still-unpredictable food cravings I’m in but then I realized: this is actually nothing new. There isn’t a recipe in the almost 9 years and 975-deep archives on this site that hasn’t been fueled wholly by hankerings, usually arbitrary ones. Some people have lesson plans and editorial calendars, I have whims. It’s just now I have a tiny thing — a future rock star, if the dance party from 2 to 6 a.m. last night is indication — to blame for it.

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, March 12, 2015

black bottom oatmeal pie

black bottom oatmeal pie

Does anyone ever need an excuse to eat pie? Nobody we should be friends with, is my mantra. But, in an effort at inclusivity, here is a handy dandy excuse-finder, should you need a little convincing:

  • Because it is not Friday yet.
  • Because you probably woke up before you wanted to, and went to a job that even if you love, is still by definition something you wouldn’t do for free. Pie is an excellent consolation prize.
  • Because yesterday felt like spring and everyone’s 3-month bad mood instantly evaporated. Today you needed a hat and gloves again. And a slice of pie, warmed just enough that a scoop of vanilla ice cream trickles over it.
  • Because you’re probably never going to win that Maine Inn in time for lobster and blueberries season with an essay. (Although we are all rooting for you. And blueberry pie.)
  • Because if you’re in the Northeast, fresh fruit pies are still months off, which means you get to make pies with chocolate and gooey caramel instead.

Continued after the jump »