November, 2008 Archive

Sunday, November 30, 2008

veselka’s cabbage soup

veselka's cabbage soup

Shuna introduced me to this soup. I think it was July 2007 and she’d gathered a bunch of food bloggers at Veselka, a Ukranian diner in the East Village famous for serving awesome beer-blotting food like borsht, stuffed cabbage and pierogis around the clock. It was hot and humid out, however, so the thought of anything besides a grilled kielbasa, pickles and a cold beer seemed insane, and yet there was our host, ordering cabbage soup.


I thought this Eggbeater was insane. Who eats soup in the summer? But Shuna insisted I try at least a spoonful, and that sip did me in. I spent the rest of July craving move and finally caved in August, sitting in that cafe eating steaming hot soup on a steaming hot day because it was the best thing, ever.

soup, pre-skim

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

dark chocolate tart with gingersnap crust

chocolate tart with gingersnap crust

I know that a lot of you think that I break my back in the kitchen each week, slaving over the most exacting steps in this recipe or that. But the fact is, I get more lax every year. I don’t feel as badly when things don’t go perfectly and I don’t feel any need to prove my cooking prowess by making my own pâte feuilletée when it will probably keep me cooking until midnight.

gingery ginger snapsgingersnap crumb crustdark chocolatechocolate tart with gingersnap crust

And this is the perfect example. Each year, I make two desserts for each family and I take requests. This year, both asked for chocolate and that brought me to this recipe I’ve had bookmarked forever which is so easy, it almost felt like cheating. What would Thanksgiving be if I wasn’t tired from totally miscalculating how long it would take to cook everything on Wednesday night and pulling pies and cheesecakes out of the oven at 1 a.m.? Could I break with such glowy traditions?

You bet I could.

chocolate puddle

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Friday, November 28, 2008

cabbage, apple and walnut salad

cabbage, apple and walnut salad

Today might have started off as Pie for Breakfast Day but I think we all know that the day after Thanksgiving is all about detox. Away with the heavy cream! Begone, you cheesy gratins! Skedaddle, you deep, gooey casseroles, sticky-sweet yams topped with charred marshmallows and green beans with fried onions. Please, don’t make me eat that butter and drippings-laden gravy again… at least until tomorrow.

Detox Day deserves its own dish, and though it is a tad late to get this one in for dinner tonight, I would like to offer up this cabbage, apple and walnut salad as the antidote to a meal that sent us back to the store for more butter and heavy cream not once but three times. (Gasp! My arteries!) This salad is perfect–it has all of the flavors of the season, but also a crunchy healthfulness so missing from the week’s main event, oh and also that slice of pie we know you’re having for dessert anyway.

ahoy, savoy

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

scenes from the sk dessert factory

grannies and macs


adding spices and sugar

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

pumpkin cupcakes

pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting

Oh, people. I know you’re pumpkin-ed out and it is not even Thanksgiving yet. But if there could be room in your gullet for one more pumpkin love — perhaps even as a last minute, the-heck-with-pie, Hail Mary pass of a Thanksgiving meal dessert — I think that these wee cakes are a worthy cause.

paper linerspumpkin cake batterpumpkin cupcake battermaple cream cheese frosting

So many pumpkin cakes and loaves and muffins are heavy, playing off the dense qualities of pureed squash, and the deep, warm spices we like to eat them with. But these cupcakes — originally envisioned as a two-layer cake I believe my sister is frosting right! now! — are light. They still taste of pumpkin but not aggressively so. And the maple cream cheese frosting, my word, is so heaven sent, you can see I got a little carried away prettying it up.

piping a rose

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