December, 2009 Archive

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ridiculously easy butterscotch sauce

ridiculously easy butterscotch sauce

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spied a recipe that promised butterscotch brownies or cookies or cake bliss within that suggested you make your butterscotch confection with … butterscotch sauce. From a jar. Or butterscotch chips. From a bag. Sorta like those sandwich recipes that tell you to get out two slices of bread and some deli meats (um, thanks?), it’s kind of a letdown but I just assumed that butterscotch must be a thermometer-requiring, magic wand-waving difficult thing to make. That would explain it, right?

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

creamed mushrooms on chive butter toast

creamed mushrooms, chive butter toasts

My husband’s people — that would be The Russians, if you’ve been following along at home — really like their caviar. It’s rare that a signature spread of zakuski doesn’t include at least one form of gem-colored eggs by the thousands, usually served with sour cream and small crepes. Me, I’m a troglodyte; I’m unable to appreciate such fine things in life, and generally breeze right past the caviar to spear a potato with my fork.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

build your own smitten kitchen

build your own smitten kitchen: a practical gift guide

Does anyone run out of ways to spend their hard-earned money? I suspect they do not and it is for this reason that I generally shrug at gift guides. I mean, really? That a $3,400 razor set has been marked down to $1,700? Oh thank heavens! I was wondering what to do with this money tree in my backyard that never stops growing.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

vanilla roasted pears

vanilla roasted pears

I think this should be your new favorite way to show off. If your dinner parties are anything like mine, dessert arrives with more of a whimper than a bang. Oh yes, that trifle looks lovely, that cheesecake is most certainly the bomb, most people are probably thinking, but I just crawled out of a vat of deeply braised short ribs and I’m gasping for air. Doctor, gimme an apple, stat! I forgot what fresh food looks like.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

coffee toffee

coffee toffee

I seem to be on a bit of a coffee kick these days — Exhibit A being Alex’s Espresso Chiffon birthday cake with Fudge Frosting and Exhibit B being Thanksgiving’s ridiculous Cappucino Fudge Cheesecake. I’m sure that’s it just coincidence that the coffee kick began just as the number of hours I slept each night decreased, which also coincided with me getting weepy with joy when I wrapped my fingers around my first coffee of the day each morning afternoon. Amazing how you can drink something your whole life but it then all of the sudden one day it becomes a transcendent experience, you know?

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

cream biscuits

cream biscuits

There are biscuits and there are biscuits. There are biscuits that you serve with chili, with barbecue or alongside some eggs and grits. And there are biscuits that you bring out in a warmed basket with a cloth napkin draped over them at a dinner party, to sop up a braise or slather with honey-butter. These biscuits are of the latter variety but I suspect they will quickly become your one and only biscuit because if you’re anything like me, you’ll wonder where they’ve been your whole life.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

balsamic braised brussels with pancetta

balsamic braised brussels with pancetta

It seems unfair to compare the two Brussels sprouts dishes I have made in the last couple weeks because they’re so different, about the only thing they have in common is the stand where I bought them. It’s like comparing apples and oranges, boiled lima beans and chocolate cake, the cuteness of my kid versus the cuteness of any other baby on earth… you know? One of the dishes is rich, salty-sweet and fork tender, the other is raw, slightly rubbery, acidic and at least according to a review on Epicurious that I probably should have taken more seriously, “was like eating a bowl of grass”. You’ll never guess which one we liked better.

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