November, 2009 Archive

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

raisin-studded apple bread pudding

raisin-studded apple bread pudding

Of all the things I had anticipated about being a new mama — the sleep deprivation, the fact that sometimes babies cry for no reason, whatsoever, that they look ridiculously cute things that are too big on them — at least one of the things that I hadn’t considered was, well, the Itch. The one you get at the end of your nose nearly the second after you start feeding the baby and have not a finger free to scratch it.

mid-recipe

It’s not always an itch, though. Sometimes it’s a just a bit of water that you need — just a sip! from that glass just two feet in front of you! Oh, how you would do anything for that sip of water! But a lot of times these days, it’s a recipe. I can’t help it. I have so little time to cook and yet these recipe ideas are getting louder and louder in my head… winter salads and tangy pies and buttery leeks and funky salsas and I have more dishes than I could cook in two hundred nap times, it seems, nonetheless in the 15 minutes of a single one that is left after I have both scratched my nose and taken that sweet, sweet sip of water.

toasted

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, November 5, 2009

moroccan-spiced spaghetti squash

spiced spaghetti squash

I keep promising you all some quick, easy recipes but sharing instead a mousse that requires at least five bowls and an electric mixer that must be washed down no less than three times, a quiche that has at least three different components, cauliflower that demands you cook each ingredient separately and a from-scratch doughnut recipe that entails reducing, rolling, freezing, frying and dipping. I have no doubt that you’re standing out there in front of your monitor, hands on hips, demanding answers. Except I don’t have any logic or rationale that will explain I choose to use my limited free minutes of time to make elaborate recipes and not, say, dinner, I only have this one peace offering today.

spaghetti squashscooping out seedsspaghetti squash innardsroasted

There’s a caveat, however. This is a ridiculously quick recipe if you have a microwave. We used to but don’t any longer so it still took over an hour, but it’s an hour that requires only a few minutes of hands-on time. Still, it is my favorite preparation of spaghetti squash, not only because it is delicious but because it approaches winter squash in my favorite way: by waking it up. I’ve never had a taste for squash recipes with cream or sugar or piles of cinnamon; I think the natural sweetness of squash is best contrasted with bolder ingredients, like garlic and tahini, jalapenos, olives and preserved lemons, chile-lime vinagrettes, hearty beans and ham or cayenne-dusted caramelized onions. I think you get the picture.

scraping the squash strands

Continued after the jump »

Monday, November 2, 2009

salted brown butter crispy treats

salted brown butter krispy treats

As it turns out, the last days of October don’t awaken in me a desire to fly around on my broom, don a “sexy” nurse/maid/fireman outfit or even gorge myself on candy. Nope, according to a quick glance at my archives, apparently when Halloween approaches all I can think about is reinterpreting Rice Krispie Treats.

mise, hee hee

Unfortunately, I don’t seem to choose my recipes very well. Last year’s Peanut Butter Crispy Bars were delicious, but had structural issues that irked me. And two years ago, I fell prey to a Caramelized Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treat that was all sorts of a styrofoam-textured disaster. Nevertheless, I haven’t been able to get them out of my head, so this year I decided I would conquer them once and for all. It helped that I knew exactly what went wrong the original dud of a clearly-untested recipe (hm, do I sound bitter?): the cereal to marshmallow ratio was unfeasibly high, more than double that of the original recipe and — small detail — marshmallows don’t caramelize very well, and should you succeed in getting them to, they don’t cool back down to anything gooey or soft. What a travesty.

gooey krispy treats
Continued after the jump »