December, 2008 Archive

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

seven-layer cookies

seven layer cookies

Most of my cookie loves are almost predictable: browned butter, twice-baked shortbread, ground nuts, sables, dense chocolates and an occasional stacked or filled something or other–always compact and tiny. And they’re all simple. I mean, it takes less than 10 seconds to eat one, so you might as well zoom in on flavor, not exacting processes.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

menu for hope

menu for hope 2008

The last time I gave away sets of my favorite reusable grocery bags, you — and your two thousand, five hundred and thirty-six comments — broke my server. Once my hosting company fixed the server, they evicted me and insisted that I move to a shinier, better server and began charging me eight times as much. Not that I am bitter or complaining or anything! You are worth every penny.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

sausage-stuffed potatoes + a green salad

sausage-stuffed potatoes

I don’t think I need to tell you that sometimes the tastiest food is not the prettiest. Take a real close look at meat sauce, or shiny, oily cheese draped over tuna or a ground up olive paste and you’ll know why it may be tasty, but it’s not pretty. Meanwhile, I am wary of too-pretty food; perfectly smoothed fondant lids on cakes, making them look like rubber, overly glazed tartlets that look like they’re cellophaned.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

cranberry vanilla coffee cake

cranberry vanilla coffee cake

I know it would seem that someone who makes as many celebration cakes as I do would dream only in stacked layers, draped ganache and swirled buttercream, but the truth is that I think that the best kind of cake on earth is a coffee cake. They’re simple and cute; they’re alll flavor with minimal flair; they take a third of the time to make. And they may not make people gasp when walked into a room topped with sparklers, but they, without fail, never make it out of said room intact.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

zuni cafe’s roasted chicken + bread salad

zuni cafe roasted chicken

I recently realized that I didn’t have a single recipe for a whole roasted chicken on this site which seemed wrong somehow, coming from a nice Jewish girl such as myself. I know the real reason I don’t — which is that I don’t like 75 percent of the roasted chicken I eat (not yours, of course; promise!). Mostly, I find the pieces too big, the meat overcooked and the entire thing kind of like pressed sawdust… um, not that I need to learn to form an opinion or something. Sticking to dark meat helps a bit, but not as much as just bypassing the roasted chicken altogether.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

carrot cake with maple-cream cheese frosting

carrot cupcakes, show offs

After months and months and months of the kind studying, stressing and panicked all-nighters I only vaguely remember from college in part because I am very, very old and in part because, no, I did not graduate with a 4.0, my friend Alice finally took her very big exam this past weekend. In an effort to compensate for the dozens of parties and outings and merriment she’s missed since the summer, her fiance had a surprise party (and a clean loft, swoon) waiting for her when she got home.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

feta salsa

feta salsa

A few weeks ago, Alex and I were in Whole Foods and just as we were hoping, they had some samples out in the cheese section for weary travelers. (Yes, walking from Chelsea to the Lower East Side counts!) One of them was something that, being me, I initially kind of shrugged over, because who would buy something called Feta Salsa which was clearly not salsa, really a throwaway of a “recipe” and also like $8 for the tiniest of containers.

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