August, 2008 Archive

Thursday, August 28, 2008

bourbon peach hand pies

bourbon peach hand pies

Over a year ago, I made hand pies and declared them a delicious disaster. The pie dough wasn’t bendy enough to suit what I had in mind, and they too easily leaked and broke, but that had no effect on the final taste. Nevertheless, I promised to try them again soon, with one of three dough recipes I had in mind that would work better.

peeling peaches

But that wasn’t the only reason. You see the hand pies? They GOT STOLEN before my friends got to eating them. I mean, who could blame the thieves, right? In fact, we knew exactly who they were and they have yet to be invited back. We take pie theft quite seriously, you see.

finely chopped fruitblurry bourbonchilled crustsspooning the filling

It was my friend Tim that had specifically requested pie, and I had the idea of hand pies to make them finger food, as there would be many people at the party and who wants to deal with plates and forks? Except, he was busy DJing so I stashed them downstairs in Jocelyn’s loft, away from prying eyes–or so I thought! When I got to retrieving them an hour later, both containers–more than 40 hand pies–were empty and crumbs-around-the-mouth guilty parties milling about were going on about how good they were.

The nerve.

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

cold-brewed iced coffee

cold brewed iced coffee

Since I began working from home, I have no doubt I have saved a ton of money by not buying those yogurt-granola cups and salad bar lunches everyday. What I haven’t saved even a penny on, however, is my iced coffee habit. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

iced coffee, my love

Or better, depending on how you look at it. The first month, I spent a lot of time at Starbucks, yet not because I am addicted to their coffee, but the other unspoken the Opiate of the Freelancing Class: Free wireless. But after a few weeks, the loud and generally awful music (greatly compensated for by playing Hallelujah often, however, they’d play the John Cale version and that’s the wrong one and yes, I have digressed this far) and the fact that even at 9 a.m., the bathrooms smelled like a barn. An overcrowded one.

pouring water

Enter my newly-purchased wireless card, and suddenly I have freedom to work at wonderful coffee shops with from Joe to 9th Street to Grumpy to you-name-it, I’ve been to them all. Fair Trade and Clover-made and Sumatra blended coffees, my habit is spiraling blissfully out of control.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

sour cherry compote

sour cherry compote

Growing up, we had a sour cherry tree in the backyard. And I hated it. I hated it because it was cruel in a way that kids think they’re intimately familiar with–shiny, perfect-looking thing dangled inches from your face that when you reach for, is totally disappointing, crushing even (because when you’re a kid, it’s all very dramatic).

Sour doesn’t even aptly describe what these cherries taste like; they’re more along the lines of “caustic” and “acerbic,” especially if you’re a kid. I never understood how something that looked like the very embodiment of cherry perfection–round, bright red marbles hanging from a tree–could taste so awful, but they did.


I don’t think it was until I had moved to New York that I came across sour cherries in a format I wholly approved of: a sour cherry crumble bar. Unfortunately, it was very “unapproved” way–in a take-away box from some uppity coffee shop in my apartment refrigerator, and it belonged to my roommate. So I only had A Taste. (Don’t ever live with me, people. I cannot be trusted.) Just a little evening off the side, and then a little more leveling so it looked better, and then pushed it so far back in the fridge I believe the roommate found it months later and didn’t recognize it.

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, August 24, 2008

marinated eggplant with capers and mint

broiled egglant with mint and capers

Hoo hoo hoo. Hee hee. Remember when I was all “and I’ll tell you what to serve this crisp rosemary flatbread tomorrow!”? Well, the beach got in the way. And after that, some Chinese food. And a movie (do not watch! the first was so much better). Oh, and then a nap that lasted until 10 this morning…

goofy eggplants

Wait, are you still listening? Of course not. You’re at the beach, too. The weather has been so fantastic lately and the summer is almost over, making it even hard for me to motivate to cook anything. And yet, I am looking at the long list of recipes I haven’t gotten to writing up yet, and I realize that I’ve been cooking more than ever. How does that compute?

eggplant slices, pink wine

Continued after the jump »

Friday, August 22, 2008

crisp rosemary flatbread

rosemary flatbread

It took me until I was on some interminable wait on the phone last week with hold music so awful, they had to have done it on purpose, to finally get to flipping through the July 2008 Gourmet magazine. And if there were ever a spread that could lift you from your “love lifts us up where we belong” drudgery, it would be that gorgeous herb-focused spread near the back of the issue. (Like I said, it was a long hold time.)

rosemary, waiting

I immediately had to make it. All of it. And I can see I am not the only one. But to start, let’s talk about this recipe, something I think everyone in the entire world should have in their repertoire: Flatbread.

that's all there is

Continued after the jump »