Posts tagged ‘dessert’

a homemade valentine: cheesecake for two!

Unfortunately, I recently discovered that cheesecake is delicious. For ages I thought I didn’t like it, at least not enough to seek it out, and this helped me avoid the cheesecake-lust that I now imagine must torment cheesecake enthusiasts on a regular basis. But then I tasted an amazing one with a crumby crust and creamy, dreamy center topped with lemon curd, and I realized that me and cheesecake could be friends.

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13 February, 2011 at 11:29 am 9 comments

kitchen firsts: berry tart with lemon-vanilla pastry cream

This week was one of those weeks where you don’t notice it’s Friday until several hours into Friday, and I realized it was practically the end of the week and I still had no plan or idea for my kitchen first of the week. I have a running list of things I’ve never cooked, eaten or done in the kitchen to choose from, but it is not exhaustive and I was not inspired by anything on it. Then, I went to the store and found gazillions of berries (organic, no less) on sale for ridiculously good prices, and some echoes of blog posts I’d scanned but not read started to coalesce into an idea. This week, I must try something very new, and make my first tart.

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16 May, 2010 at 12:14 pm 1 comment

the six month check-up, and toblerone cookies

For my preschoolers, half birthdays are like a serious deal, so I figured why not for grownups too? Today marks the half-birthday of this blog, and I can’t believe it’s been six months since things got underway! It feels like longer, but somehow has also gone by quickly. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how things are going in the kitchen, and this here half birthday seems a perfect time to do a bit of reflecting, evaluating and, if necessary, redirecting.

Also…toblerone cookies. Need I say more?

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12 May, 2010 at 6:50 pm 4 comments

kitchen firsts: the silpat + ode to chocolate chip cookies

Every night after dinner, around 10 o’clock, Stephen suddenly announces that he wants some dessert. I’m not really in the habit of making desserts regularly on weeknights, so at that point I usually say tough cookies and make him fend for himself. But once in awhile, if the mood strikes, I’ll agree to make something sweet, and Stephen’s late-night dessert of choice is usually cookies.

The problem is, Stephen is somewhat of a cookie aficionado. Anyone who knows him knows that more often than not, a cookie can be found in his pocket no matter how absurd it might seem that one would be there (at least if we ever get lost in the woods, I can pretty much count on a cookie being there to sustain us). Having eaten so many cookies in his life, he really knows what he likes and doesn’t like, and so the process of agreeing on a cookie recipe can be arduous. Unless it’s one of those “I definitely need a snickerdoodle” moments, we usually have the same conversation:

Me: What kind of cookies do you want?
Stephen: Well, you know what I like…chocolate chip!
Me: Yeah, I guess…is there anything different you want? Like, what if we tried mint chocolate chip cookies?
Stephen: (frowny face) Why would you do that?
Me: Ok, what about chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal?
Stephen: Ew, no…
Me: Well could I just add pecans or something?
Stephen: I don’t know…I guess if you have to…
Me:  What, even that is too much?
Stephen:  Well, it’s just that as far as I’m concerned, the perfect cookie has already been made. Any alterations or additions to the concept of the chocolate chip cookie merely detract from its simple, zen-like perfection (this is a direct quote).

And thus the battle ends, either with me making chocolate chip cookies à la Stephen, or us not even making cookies at all. Stephen says that me suggesting all these interesting cookie combinations makes him feel “provincial” and unadventurous (if the shoe fits…), so I guess I had better learn that it needs to either just be chocolate chip cookies or something completely out of that realm.

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3 April, 2010 at 4:52 pm 3 comments

cinnamon teacake

I had never heard of cinnamon teacake before I stumbled on this recipe, but something about the idea of it sounded utterly adorable (the notion of tea is so cute, isn’t it?), and the combination of the cuteness and the idea of cinnamon and sugar and cake and tea all in the same sentence convinced me that on a Sunday afternoon, this needed to happen. And after it happened, I realized I need to have afternoon tea a lot more often.

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26 March, 2010 at 10:06 am Leave a comment

kitchen firsts: mexican chocolate souffles (for two!)

This kitchen first is one that I have had on the docket (as in, ingredients purchased and ready to go, recipe picked out, no reason not to make it) for several weeks now, and indeed have been more loosely planning on making since before the new year. Given souffles’ reputation for difficulty, and having never made one before (or even eaten one, that I recall), I figured it was a natural choice for a kitchen first.

And yet somehow, the recipe just stayed on the docket for weeks, my extra carton of eggs taunting me from the fridge! It always seemed like too much work, and too many dishes, and in general, too high maintenance. Since you need to eat a souffle straight from the oven, a full 2 qt souffle for a two person household would be completely insurmountable, and most recipes that make individual souffles in ramekins still make at least 6 or 8 souffles (halving is generally difficult because of odd numbers of eggs). We planned on having people over to help us, but the moment was never right, so the souffles never came to be.

Then, thanks to Valentines Day, it finally occurred to me to google souffles for two, and lo and behold! A brilliant solution to all of the above-named holdups to the souffle making process. And so they finally came to be.

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15 February, 2010 at 10:20 pm 2 comments

fail-proof fudge

I must admit, fudge is one of my absolute favorite candies.  Maybe it’s the season, but I really can’t think of any candy I find more delectable, and it is both a shame and a blessing that I only really eat it under two circumstances: when I go to the beach, and at Christmas time.

Despite my seasonal obsession with fudge, until last year I thought that actually making fudge was an impossible feat, requiring mysterious candy tools and magical fudge elves.  And as far as I’m concerned most fudge recipes are indeed nearly impossible to the beginner.  There are candy thermometers to decipher (and probably purchase, for most of you), delicate balances to monitor, and the ever-tricky question of whether or not the final texture will be all it promises to be–in my experience, even fudge purchased from candy stores can often be grainy, crumbly, too hard, too soft…I even had some recently that I could only describe as mealy, and that was enough to send me straight home to make a batch the foolproof and delicious way.

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22 December, 2009 at 12:41 am Leave a comment

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