Recently a work-friend graced me with a bounty of homemade peanut brittle, for no reason other than that she is very kind and lovely. It was an act of generosity that also happened to occur on a Monday, when I am especially in need of treats, bless her heart. For the record, the peanut brittle was fantastic and perfect. I, myself, have been in an absolute rut for food lately- just haven’t had much desire to experiment (haaaate that). But there are two important things that my Midwestern sensibilities have taught me: one, always return nice tupperware to its owner; and two,
Our first stop on this tour of everything-bagelization: soft pretzel bites. Have you made pretzel bites yet? Wowzer. They are every bit as incredible as typical soft pretzels (these taste just like Auntie Anne’s and I do not make that comparison lightly), but with a two-bite size that is made for Superbowl parties. Or movie nights, or days ending in y. Add some everything bagel sprinkle to this equation and you have yourself a truly next-level, transcendent snack food.
This spiced grapefruit tea loaf has a tender crumb and is delicately scented with grapefruit rind, cardamom, cinnamon, and allspice- an understated way to bake for the holidays, with nary a peppermint stick in sight.
Hey internet buddies! I’m going to be posting super sporadically until after this nutty holiday season is over, but I’ll be in periodically. Winter in general is such a buzzkill for me, especially with blogging. For one, there’s just too much life going on to maintain any sense of routine (don’t ask me how the gym’s going. Just… no.). And by the time I have managed to plan, and shop, and clean my 64-square foot kitchen (hahaha not really, that’s Ben’s job), and cook something interesting… there’s no sunlight left for photography! Curses! My life is so hard…
If all of this sounds like I’m making pathetic excuses it’s because I absolutely am. But when I get down on myself about it I remember that nobody’s paying me to do this. So HA! Anyway, I’m here today and that’s just ducky. So, it’s about time to start with the holiday baking, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not going to lie to you- I am not into that sort of thing.
This jalapeno cheddar cornbread whips up fast and easy- it’s the perfect savory/sweet accompaniment to all your soups this season!
I’m not sure how clear I have made this in the past, but I really really hate Winter. SO much. I am a huge weiner, about it too, despite having spent the first 26 winters of my life in Wisconsin, where the struggle is REAL. And as for Fall… Fall would be great if it didn’t lead right into Winter- it’s basically the Sunday afternoon of seasons, if you think about it. All of this is to say that, if you need me, I shall be face-down in a steamy bowl of soup for roughly the next five months. It’s going to be a lot of soup.
It’s easy, it’s made of things you have in your fridge, and it’s on the table in 30 minutes. This dependable Cardamom Apple Dutch Baby recipe is sure to become a weekend breakfast favorite!
Hey there, guess what I finally bought for myself? A cast iron skillet! Girl, you write a food blog and you didn’t even have a cast iron skillet until now? Yes. Alright? It’s true. It’s one of those kitchen items that I always knew I wanted, and didn’t really have any reason not to buy, except for that I kept forgetting. Over and over. For years. Other items in this category include tongs, a meat thermometer, ice trays, a salad bowl, waffle iron, and one of those forky noodle scoops.
I managed to do without the skillet for so long because I do have a cast iron grill pan (which I have, admittedly, baked weirdly-shaped focaccia in, with surprising success) and an enameled cast iron dutch oven which does pretty much everything well.
I’ve baked scones exactly twice in my life/in the last week, and the first was a failed attempt at developing this recipe. For the first go-’round, I’d had the delight of scoring some fresh sour pie cherries at the farmer’s market (I always seem to miss them!). Knowing that I’d likely only get one crack at sour cherries for the year, I wish I’d decided to make something less experimental… you see where I am going with this.
For me, last weekend was one of those uncommonly perfect weekends: the ideal balance of productivity and leisure, where time somehow passes more slowly than usual, and all the pieces just fall right into place. Oh, and it was 80s and sunny. I could stay in last weekend forever and ever.
I managed to hit up the farmers market just as it opened on Saturday and just barely managed to snag a small basket of the season’s first batch of strawberries before they’d sold out, as well as all the rhubarb I could carry. The strawberries were a little early, though an unbelievable treat coming out of the rainy season, but the rhubarb was impeccable, and abundant. It is rhubarb season, readers- rejoice!! I hope you like rhubarb, because there’s going to be some rhubarb recipes coming up. Like, today.
The last week was pretty excellent, food-wise. I ate meat twice. My garbage-friend and I found the perfect lunch-break meeting spot equidistant from our respective places of work. I celebrated a hangover with impromtu eggs benedict at home- I did not screw up the poached eggs! And, I added the Easiest Cookie in the World to my repertoire. I am speaking of the classic, two-ingredient Palmier.
Palmiers (french for “palm trees”) are just one sheet of puff pastry rolled up with a handful of sugar into the shape of a fan, sliced thin, and then baked for a few minutes. When they come out, they’re buttery and flaky with a crisp, caramelized glaze. So simple, I think that these cookies are the epitome of french cooking/fashion/twentieth-century composers (by the way, made you a playlist): effortlessly elegant. A chic cookie. They’re a cinch to whip up on the fly, say, if you were to have unexpected guests on the way (this does not happen to me). Also good for eating curled up next to your favorite window, with your favorite tea, appreciating the chirping of what you are absolutely certain are spring birds.
Ah, popovers. I cannot think of a more versatile, and cheap, and easy food than popovers. They were our go-to Saturday breakfast growing up, and they’re my go-to Saturday breakfast now. I love them so much that we named cat #2 Popover. We call her Poppy, for short. Cat #1 is Butter. They go so well together. I will always find reasons to post pictures of my cats. Poppy, left, Butter, right.
Back to food-popovers. Popovers are magical bread clouds with a delicate crispy shell, a tender and custard-y middle, and (if made correctly) a hollow cavity that is the perfect host to a number of fillings and sauces. You can eat popovers savory or sweet with just about anything- as a dinner roll, beside a steamy bowl of stew, underneath a tasty gravy, stuffed with fruit and cream… but my favorite way to eat popovers is slathered in butter and homemade jam.
This is going to be a short post today as I’m feeling under the weather, and as today seems to be just made for napping. For my third and last post for the week I’m sharing with you a sweet and heavenly buttermilk cornbread recipe that graced my meals three times this week- twice with my Late Summer Zucchini Corn Soup, and once all slathered up with a chorizo sausage gravy, which I must remember to share with you sometime. This cornbread is begging to complement all of your soups this fall/winter.