Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Recipe of the Week

I have yet to make this cake but,
it's one of my big baking goals for this year.
Maybe I'll get it on the first try, maybe it will
take 21 attempts.

If Julia can do it, than so can I.

Raspberry Ruffle Genoise

Watch the full episode. See more Julia Child.

Friday, January 21, 2011

7 Days

One more week til the bf and I head down
to Playa del Carmen!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Latest Obsessions

*Blue Hotel-Chris Isaak
(Chris Isaak is also awesome in Fire Walk With Me)

*New Chocolate Mousse recipe
(got the bf's approval)

*Living In: The Big Lebowski
(loving the bowling oxfords)

*All Day Breakfast Sandwich from the Milk Truck
(My new breakfast when I sell at the flea)

*Astoria Wine and Spirits
(best selection that I've seen in Queens)

*Vacation Countdown:8 Days

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recipe of the Week

Have you ever read the ingredients list of
the store bought tortillas? It's nauseating.
You are getting preservatives, additives, and
probably some form of sugar-since they add it
to everything now.

There are 5 ingredients in tortillas.
not 50. Just 5.

Flour Tortillas

4c flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 c lard
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1c lukewarm water

*Yes, lard. Buy it from a farmer or butcher- I used this
rather than factory made crisco.
Do your research on lard,
it was just another victim
of the Great American Fat Scare.

Place the 4c of flour and the baking powder
into a large bowl, whisk together.
Add in the lard and combine using your hands.
Work the lard into the flour until you have
a mealy consistency.

In a separate bowl, add the salt into the
lukewarm water and stir. Slowly drizzle the water/salt mixture
over the flour while slowly mixing it in with your hand.
Knead the dough until it is no longer sticky,
shape into a ball, and transfer to a plate.
Cover the plate with the bowl you just used and
let that sit for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes slice the dough into 12 pieces,
and roll each into a ball and lightly flatten the top.
Once all have been rolled and flattened cover with a piece
of saran wrap and let sit for another 20 minutes.

Heat a large griddle or pan over medium heat, and
roll out a piece of the pre-shaped dough on a lightly floured
surface. You want roll it out as thinly as possible- a trick is to
peel it up and rotate the dough each time you roll. This will avoid
sticking and make the counter to pan process a little easier.
*Because I used a pan, they had to be a certain size so after I rolled the dough out
I traced around a small plate with a knife and cut out
a small (pan sized) circle

This was one of the few that I didn't trace, that's why the shape is all
funky. I haven't mastered the art of rolling dough into a perfect circle yet.

Place the tortilla onto the hot pan/griddle and let cook for
15-20 seconds. flip. Give the second side 15-20 seconds. flip.
continue this until it starts to lightly brown on both sides. Remove from heat.
Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.

Before you know it, you have a pile of homemade tortillas.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Exploring Astoria

The bf and I spent yesterday afternoon
exploring the other side of the tracks.
(Literally, for us, Astoria is just beyond the LIRR tracks)

We began with lunch at Bare Burger.
Beside being organic, sustainable, and supporting
local farms, BareBurger also offers some unique burger options:
Elk, Bison, Lamb, and Ostrich.

You can create your own burger, or order one of their
combinations. The bf ordered the Original BareBurger
and I got the Grilled Pineapple Burger-which had
a turkey patty, havarti, agave mustard, lettuce, tomato,
turkey bacon and fried onions. Let me say that it was one of
the more amazing burgers that I've had.
Each flavor blended together to create perfection.
The bf and I will definitely be back for more.

Our next stop was Loveday 31, a lovely little vintage shop
filled with sequined items and all kinds of wonderful things.
aka: my dream come true. (I now have a new dress-
just in time for Mexico! <3)

We also had the pleasure of meeting the store mascot,
Foxy, a Shiba Inu that was very sweet but slightly wary.
We gave her some lovies.

After that we made our way over to a bookstore that was having
a huge moving sale. Everything was 40-80% off.
We got this pile for $25!! There is something so magical
about rummaging through old bookstores.

2 of the books are gifts, and the rest
are for us to enjoy. These two are my favorite finds:

Both have amazing recipes that I cannot wait to try!
There really is nothing like hunting around a bookstore.

There was also a shelf of books that made my day.

This is a whole row of Babysitter's Club books! These were
a staple of my youth, and I was very tempted to buy
the entire collection. I did buy one book as a birthday present
for a dear friend, I know that she will get a kick out of it.

We ended our exploration with a few wine shop purchases
at Astoria Wine and Spirits.
Definitely the best wine selection that I've seen in Queens.
I picked up a Botani Moscatel from Spain, and the bf
bought a bottle of Sparkling Shiraz from South Australia.

It was a lovely Sunday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Latest Obsessions

*Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
(with a big glass of Ronnybrook milk)

*Snuggle Time
(pretty sure that he likes it too)

*Valentine' Day Cards
(and of course, a shameless plug)

*Confessions of a Disney World Castmember
(Thanks to the bf for showing me this)

*Underwater System Print
(by Judy Kaufmann

*Countdown to Vacation: 15 days

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recipe of the Week

In the winter, it's especially hard
for me to eat healthy. Sometimes the
dishes that are really good for you
can be a little on the light side
and when it gets cold out, I only want
cream sauce, heavy pastas, cheese, bacon,
butter etc.

Maybe it's some subconscious primitive
part of me that's trying to accumulate
a nice layer of hibernation fat?
Or maybe I'm just a sucker for rich foods?
Who knows.

Polenta has been one of those indulgences lately.
(It can be done in a healthy way,
by foregoing the butter and cream-
but who wants to miss out on that!?)
I picked some up from the greenmarket
and have been making it for breakfast.
Yes, I said breakfast.

The bf and I have had it a couple different ways

* avec Blueberries, Pecans and Maple Syrup (pictured above)
* Poached Egg, Diced Bacon, and Parmesan
* Poached Egg, Parmesan, and Hot Sauce

All you need is this basic polenta recipe and you can go from there
and get creative with the toppings.


*5c water
*1c Polenta (not the instant kind)

*1 tbsp salted butter(optional)
*2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)

Bring the 5c of water to a boil in a large pot, pour the polenta
into the water in an even stream while constantly whisking.
Once the polenta is incorporated lower the heat to medium
and let thicken, stirring occasionally.
Let it cook for 7-10 minutes (depending on the polenta)
or until it reaches your desired thickness.
Remove from heat and either serve immediately or let it
solidify a little before serving.

(After removing from the heat you have the option of adding
1 tbsp of salted butter and 2 tbsp of heavy cream. I usually add
these ingredients as they tend to add an extra something to the dish.
But feel free to omit them)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Jams

All over the place with music this morning.
Variety is key. always.

Atlantic City-The Boss

Bulletproof-La Roux

School of Seven Bells-Half Asleep

14th Street- Rufus Wainwright

James Brown-Night Train

Here's to You- Joan Baez

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Latest Obsessions

*Imagine a Jump- Mighty Mike
(Way into this. I think that my Dad will like it too)

*New purple pj's from Victoria's Secret
(ridiculously comfy)

*Can you name all the countries in the world??
(I can't but it's fun to try. I think that my high score is 124)

*Lara Collins Sneak Peek from designsponge

*Decade-by-Decade skirt from Anthropologie
(makes me wish that spring was just a tad bit closer)

*Chive goat cheese on a baguette.
(you're welcome)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Recipe of the Week

In lieu of a recipe this week,
I wanted to clarify (for myself,
and anyone that might be interested)
my culinary hopes for 2011.

I want to learn my Mom Mom's recipes and
be able to make them as good as she does.

Mainly, her pierogies, chicken and dumplings,
and holiday breads. I'll be setting up cooking dates
with her, and absorbing (and documenting) every step.
My Mom Mom is an amazing cook.

Another goal is to get a basic grasp on Asian and Indian
dishes. I want to conquer pork buns, pho, samosas,
curries, naan, saag paneer, etc. Creating a diverse
kitchen is extremely important to me. The bf and I
are always eating all kinds of food, so why not
be able to make all of that in my own home?

I also want to make at least one recipe a month
that scares me. i.e: those fancy cakes, anything with multiple
layers of genoise, tuiles, mochi, caramels, geez all kinds of things.
I want to be brave this year.