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Showing posts from March, 2015

Chocolate Cake in a Jar

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My mom's birthday was two weeks ago. Because we live so far away from one another, we haven't spent a birthday together in quite some time. However, this year to celebrate, I sent my mom a cake in a jar.

She tells me that she is going to make it next week with my littlest niece, just as something to do while my mom is babysitting her. How lovely. This cake gets to be for both my mom and the littlest of our family.



A few years ago a good friend of mine sent me a lovely sage blackberry jam from this cookbook (Food in Jars) as part of a Secret Santa care package. I slathered it on toast, and it was oh, so good. I admit I may have even eaten it with a spoon. Immediately, I started following Marisa McClellan's blog, and while I wasn't ready to commit to canning, I was living vicariously through those who do. I made a mental note to snap up this cookbook if I ever saw it in the used bookstore. Lucky for me, a month or so back Pegasus books had a copy on the shelf. What joy.

Skinny Moscow Mule (Or... Moscow Mule Punch)

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I did say this blog needs more drinks.

Let's talk libations, shall we?

I couldn't be more pleased about this little cookbook, Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks, and its recent addition to my athenaeum of cookbooks. Seriously, I need more books devoted to the cocktail, and this book does the trick. Dedicated not to the single sipper, the recipes encourage parties, crowds, or at least a slow leisurely drink in the backyard with the husband. So far, we have tried three different drinks (including the Strawberry-Meyer Lemon Sparkler with Lavender and the Lychee Mojito Punch) and I cannot wait for the weather to turn cold again (yes, I am already anticipating the December holidays) so I can try the Wassail and Aztec Hot Chocolate and Cranberry Ginger Punch. Lucky for me, because the book boasts a bevy of summer-themed drinks, so I suspect I will be able to bide my time well until then.


One such drink is this take on a classic cocktail, the Moscow Mule. With a moniker like this, the drink…

Baked Goat Cheese and Baby Greens

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Baked goat cheese is such an easy way to top a salad. In fact, this whole salad is about as easy as one can get for a weeknight dinner, and sometimes, that's just what I need, especially when the spring itself seems to be barrelling along at its own pace, complacently disregarding its own potential easy everyday-ness. Let's insist on easy today, shall we?


Everyoneseems to have a recipe for these bakedgoat cheese rounds, and I urge you to try whichever one catches your fancy. However, you can't go wrong with the tried, the true, the Irma Rombauer. I have a soft spot for Irma, as The Joy of Cooking was my first post (complete with darned abysmal photography). Her work smacks of home, that clear, standard fare of foundational cooking. This salad is not going to win any awards, impress any that you deem worth impressing, or surprise any save those little blessed with excitement in their lives. However, if it's a Monday, you need dinner, and you love soft goat cheese sidled…

Potato Pizza from The Cheese Board

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Pizza has always played a substantial role in my life, yet for many years I even reported that I did not like it much. And it’s true that there are pizzas that I don’t care for: those with thick, spongy crusts and pooled oil on the surface. I like crispy, light crusts straight out of a wood-fired oven with a smattering of veggies and rich cheeses on the surface. Lucky for me, such pizzas are easier and easier to come by—from the CheeseBoard and Pizzaiola to Piaci’s and Zachary's*—and are just as easy to make at home, even sans a wood-fired oven.

*Okay, Zachary's is stuffed pizza, but I make an exception for Chicago-style pizza, especially in the Bay Area.

As many of you know, I spent two years of my undergraduate days flipping pies at a pizza shop in central Ohio, so I have a lot of definitive opinions on pizza making. Thankfully, the Cheese Board’s take on pizza falls right in line with my own. Or perhaps, one should say my own way of thinking falls right in line with that o…

Colcannon

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Yep, I am giving you a recipe for mashed potatoes. However, these are not just any mashed potatoes. These are colcannon.

"Colcannon?" you ask.  According to Oxford Companion to Food, the word colcannon is from the Irish cal ceannann which literally means white-headed cabbage.  And it's an old dish: one of the earliest Irish references to the dish as a mash of potatoes and cabbages is found in a diary from 1735; it was later introduced to England, where it became a favorite of the upper classes. People, we're eating history when we're eating colcannon.

And it really couldn't be easier to make: Mash kale and steamed potatoes together with shallots, milk and butter.  Sure, it's simple. We need simple.


Let's state the obvious. I am making colcannon because one of my favorite holidays celebrating one of my favoriteplaces to visit is upon us. However, I have done it all wrong. I have chosen the wrong holiday: "In Ireland colcannon was associated t…