Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the day after cake


i never eat much when i bake, the smell of sweets is intoxicatingly heavy.
i'll have a few scraps of cake and bits of frosting for taste control,
and eventually have one meal that is especially salty/cheesy to offset the sweet.

since these days involve little food, none of which is particularly nutritious,
 the next day usually calls for reboot!

2-egg omelette: steamed kale, red onion, goat cheese, pepper, paprika.
salad: remaining kale, red onion, carrot, lemon juice, salt.
1/2 roma tomato + pepper.
here is lunch...the plate looks huge but is actually rather small.
 my first time trying kale (not sure how i feel about it quite yet).
also, my omelettes are always sloppy, overflowing, busting at the seams. 
(perhaps a sign that i am programmed to eat as much as possible....)

oh well, at least it's veggies (this time).
take that, cake!

cricket


since i did not do ANY sorts of blogging/baking over spring break (laziness at its finest),
 i decided it was high time to shoo the dust off the oven and scrape the rust off my whisks. 
yes, it had truly been too long....

i sought a reason to make a cake, and it turns out the reason was seeking me as well! 
world cup cricket. 
before dating an indian boy, those words meant nothing to me. 
and now, well, they still don't mean a whole lot, but i sure do understand the gravity of them.

cricket (to me) is like baseball on crack. 
it's pretty fun to watch, save that the games are overnight, and 8 hours long!
cricket (to people in many countries) is amazing, exciting, captivating.
8 hours what? can't get enough.

for those who don't know (don't worry if you didn't, i was one of you lil more than a week ago),
 tonight is a huge cricket match between india and pakistan. 
big rivals! 
semifinal game! 
nerves gone haywire! etc etc :)

based on the logo:


i built this cake:

side view
inside... see the flag? :)
in my trademark godawful lighting:
3-layer cake: half vanilla, half chocolate.
vanilla whipped cream, fresh strawberries, bits of dark chocolate ganache.
chocolate-hazelnut and vanilla buttercreams.
marshmallow fondant.

soooo tired. now i've a kitchen to clean :)
let's go india!

Monday, March 21, 2011

ooze


the salty breakfast oats, take 2.
this time, steel-cut and topped with a rich molten poached egg!
+ tomato-basil sauce, spinach, coarse ground black pepper.


*slice*



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

butter, y'all.


paula deen has grown on me!
i know i know... who'd have thought..
now, the person on food network i find most unsettling is "barefoot contessa"....wtf..
anyhow, as a tribute to the queen of saturated fat, i made buttermilk biscuits.


served with macerated strawberries and whipped vanilla-honey butter :)


i figure it's high time to share a recipe.. it has been a while! so enjoy, each thing is pretty easy.


buttermilk biscuits
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • melted butter
preheat oven to 450 F.
make sure butter is chilled.
combine flour and baking soda.
slice butter into 1 tbsp pieces, add to dry mixture.
using fingers, cut butter into flour mix. form pea-sized, flat pieces.
place this mixture into the fridge for 15 min.
once chilled, add buttermilk slowly, just enough so it becomes a cohesive dough mass.
don't overwork dough. bring together into a ball, and flatten to about 1/2 inch thick.
using a biscuit cutter (or glass) cut biscuits from the dough.
arrange, evenly spaced, on ungreased cookie sheet.
brush tops with melted butter if desired.
bake for 15-17 min, or until golden brown.

(*you can sub a little less than a cup of milk, plus 1 dash of white vinegar. let that mix sit for a few min.)

---

macerated strawberries
  • 3-4 large strawberries
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
dice strawberries to small, uniform pieces.
toss with lemon juice, vinegar, and sugar.
let sit for at least 30 min.. til tender and juices have been released.

(this recipe can be scaled up indefinitely, and proportions can be adjusted to preference.)

---

vanilla-honey butter
  • 2 parts salted butter, softened
  • 1 part honey
  • vanilla extract, to taste
blend all ingredients well.
using a whisk or hand-beater, beat until light and fluffy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

salty quaker


i love savory breakfasts. to me, there is no better time for a cheeseburger than 7am.
(though sometimes i don't care,) i have generally come to terms
with the fact that various health (and wardrobe) problems will arise
if i consistently start my day with a double cheeseburger. (sad.)
a (heavenly!) mound of red meat, gooey cheese, salt, and complex carbs. like this...

AMAZING

(that is, btw, not my picture. nor my burger. it's a cruel world.)
that's why, on sensible days, breakfast looks something more like...

boiled oats, ground flax, black beans, spinach, tomato, pepper, picante sauce.
it's filling, easy, and quick. not to mention SALTY :)

simply...
boil oats. more water for more mealy, less if you want chewier bits.
at the end of cooking, add cooked beans, veggies, pepper, etc.
top with picante sauce, salsa, hot sauce... you name it.

oatmeal does not have to be sweet! 
oats can be a heart-healthy substitute for white rice and other starches.
mess around with them, and find toppings for oats that you like!

also: check out part 2! topped with a poached egg. also a nice variation.

Friday, March 4, 2011

heart.


**finally, the "who's sc" and "contact" sections have been updated. say hello :)**

egg-yolk ravioli filled with ricotta and caña de cabra cheeses, minced garlic and spinach.
 in extra virgin olive oil with sliced jazz apple, shallots, cilantro. 
topped with fresh lemon juice, black pepper, crushed sea salt.

---
 heart-shaped ravioli! don't judge. it was the only cookie cutter i had.
i made a simple pasta dough, rolled it suuuper thin, piped the filling and folded it over. 
cut out with cookie cutters and sealed the edges shut. 
i actually made these a few weeks ago, and they freeze beautifully. 
straight into boiling water from there, drained, and then fried quickly in olive oil.

jazz apples are delicious! (and obviously, quite jazzy.)
genetically, they're a cross between gala and braeburn.. 
so they have the great texture and acidity of the braeburn
while being juicy and sweet like a gala. GREAT APPLE.
and as for caña de cabra... remember how i love it?

pungent and creamy filling, chewy pasta, crunchy apples, silky shallots, aromatic cilantro...
the many contrasting layers take this dish to a new level.

ravioli has always been a favorite dish of mine.. i mean it's stuffed pasta! usually with cheese
and it's still so great. in any form, from chef boyardee to a st. louis deep fry. 
a pasta close to the heart, (and as fate would have it,) shaped like a heart. ha.