Archive for ‘Recipe’

November 28, 2010

The Cake of a Thousand Faces

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Just in time to be too late for you to use on Thanksgiving, here’s a cake recipe I’ll bet you can make right now. As in, you won’t have to go to the grocery store to get any ingredients. The cake comes courtesy of the incredible Suzanne Selfors, friend of my mama and author of one of my favorite YA books ever. (I liked it better than Twilight AND Harry Potter…so…obviously you should already be Amazon Priming the CRAP out of it.)

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Anyway. I’ll let her tell you the recipe (i.e., I’m too spastic to type the whole thing out and her email description is much more clear than I could ever be).

This is my standby cake. It is so much fun because I almost always have these ingredients on hand and I can be totally creative, adding favorite flavors, using seasonal ingredients, and even turning it into a holiday masterpiece. There’s no way to mess up this cake.
The Cake of a Thousand Faces
Beat together -1 stick butter (never margarine)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teas baking powder
2 large eggs
Spread the thick batter into a buttered tart pan.
Now add what you want. For instance, I often use about a cup of blackberries, which I press into the top of the tart. For a pear theme, thinly slice very ripe pears and press into the batter in a pretty pattern. I’ve had great success with raspberries, blueberries, apple, plum, and peach. Almond flavoring and sliced almonds are good, too.
Bake at 350 degrees. Depending on the size of your tart pan, it can take anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar if you’d like and serve with whip cream.

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My only addendum is that for my 9-inch tart pan, I ended up doubling the recipe. For T-giving, I made the cake with cranberries. As a topping, I boiled the leftover cranberries with maple syrup, orange juice, and orange zest until they turned into delicious jelly-type-stuff.

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The day after T-giving, I realized I had a ton of eggs/butter/what-have-you left, so I made the same cake with a teaspoon of almond extract, zest from a whole orange, and thin slices of orange on top.

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Dave liked the second one better; I liked the first. A note about the orange slices: you can run the edges of each slice through your sugar jar as you put them on the cake; that way they’ll candy as they cook with the batter. I topped this one with some creme fraiche mixed with a teensy bit of powdered sugar and some orange zest.

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November 3, 2010

I made this

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I made this. The flavors were good but for some reason I thought it looked slimy. I don’t know what to tell you. I would recommend that you make it, but only if you’re the type of person who doesn’t get so grossed out by handling raw meat that you can’t bring yourself to eat it once it’s cooked.

Also, how come all of the food show hosts act like you can have a “relationship” with your “butcher”? The person working the meat counter at Dominick’s makes it crystal clear that the more I talk, the less helpful he’ll be.

Anyway, I did love using shallots. I can never actually tell a difference between them and onions, but I can pretend. It makes me look classy.

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Okay, and then I also made this. And holy HELL was it delicious.

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September 3, 2010

Denial salad

You know what really chaps my ass? How everyone keeps saying, “Welp, summer’s over!” and “I have to enjoy these last days of summer!” and so on. I spent my whole summer being crazily busy and I feel like the warm, happy weather is just starting – so let’s just go ahead and pretend like it’s not almost over. In fact, it’s not. We still have all of September, and October is usually pretty damn nice too. So shut your pie-holes, summer-doomsdayists. I was so fed up about this the other day that I decided to make a salad for breakfast that would give the ol’ middle finger to all those nay-sayers out there who think we need to get our dens ready for hibernating.

It’s ridonkulously simple to make this, and it’ll last at least a week in your fridge (or longer, if you like to live on the wild side) (I don’t) (but Dave does, hence the drawer full of moldy corn I found last week). The best part is, it’s delicious and tastes just like this wonderful season that WILL NEVER END.

The ingreeds:

  • 4 oranges
  • 2 pink grapefruits
  • Honey or maple syrup to taste
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint, plus more for garnish if you want to impress people

So the hardest part about making this, if you haven’t segmented a citrus fruit before, is…uh…segmenting the citrus fruit. Damn. I hate repetitive sentences.

Lucky for you, if a klutz like me can do it, anyone can. It’s simple:

Step 1: Cut a hole in a box

…haha, have I made that joke before? I’m pretty sure I have. Okay, for serious this time:

Step 1: Using a sharp paring knife, cut the top and bottom off of your orange.

Step 2: Cut off biggish chunks of skin, following the curve of the orange – you’ll probably take it of in fifths or sixths. There will be lines of white between the chunks; cut those off next.

Step 3: Cut the orange in half.

Step 4: Lay the half face-down on your board and cut thin segments from the orange, starting at the bottom and fanning your way up and over.

Step 5: Do it until you have no more oranges and a massive bowl full of peels. Argue with your husband that you can’t think of anything to DO with the peels, so you ARE GOING TO THROW THEM AWAY BECAUSE LOOK AT THE MOLDY CORN IN THE FRIDGE AND DO YOU WANT TO DEAL WITH EVEN MORE DISGUSTINGNESS IN A MONTH AFTER WE REALIZE WE NEVER DID ANYTHING WITH THE EFFING PEELS?!

The illustrated version should be a little easier to follow:

(The above pictures were taken by the hubs – give him a round of applause and overlook the fact that my muffin top was hanging out in the background.)

Annyhooooo, after you’re done segmenting, drizzle everything with honey to taste (depending on how sweet your fruit is) and add the chopped fresh mint. Toss, serve, and bask in the fact that Summer 2010 will live on for eternity.

You could totes make this with whatever fruit is in season. Like plums. Yeah. I think I’ll do that tomorrow.

Oh, p.s., want to see the corn I was talking about? No? Too bad. I want you to know that I will never ever lie to you. Unless you ask me whether I like to pick my nose when I’m reading a good book.

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April 14, 2010

Look ma, no dairy!

I’m very sad sometimes about the fact that Dave is a lactard. I miss gushing over cheese with him. But then I come across recipes like this and I forget that cows even exist.

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I made this for dinner two nights ago, and had enough left over for four lunches (or another dinner for two). Even better, the whole thing came together in the amount of time it takes to cook pasta. Martha recommends serving it cold as a pasta salad but I like zapping it for about 30 seconds in the microwave so the arugula wilts a little bit when I toss it in.

But let’s not beat around the bush. (I tend to do that sometimes, I know.)

Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula

adapted from Martha, who has been ruling my kitchen this week

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April 10, 2010

“It…doesn’t taste like pasta,” said the tall Canadian man.

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You’re damn right it doesn’t taste like pasta. Well, not the pasta Dave’s used to, with store-bought tomato sauce from a can and no seasoning whatsoever. But 1 out of 1 Canadian men in my household agree that this is a friggin’ awesome dish, and I’m inclined to concur.

See, I’ve been dealing with lots of stress lately. And when I’m stressed, my life falls to pieces. No cleaning, no writing, no wearing makeup (THE HORROR!), and probably most detrimental to my health, no cooking or exercising. My diet for the past month has consisted of a daily rotation of popcorn, Thai delivery, frozen burritos, Special K Red Berries, and Diet Dr. Pepper (and I have had each of those breakfast at least once).

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This week I finally looked my shiny, makeup-less face in the mirror and said to myself: “Wiggs, get the frig over it. You and Dave can’t live on Pad Thai and cereal forever.” My gut jiggled a little bit in agreement.

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Lucky for me, Martha decided to put out a new cookbook that was chock-full of inspiration. And this little ditty just spoke to me for some reason. It’s easy enough to throw together in under half an hour, but has some fancy-ass shizz like brown butter and homemade breadcrumbs to make sure your guests are impressed. I highly recommend you make this right now, then get back to me about how I changed your life with this recipe (well, okay, Martha changed your life and I was just the incredibly beautiful angel who delivered the message to you).

Shall we?

Linguine with Cauliflower and Brown Butter

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March 5, 2010

Real Simple

Dudes. This recipe is amazing…and it’s easy, AND it’s even a little bit fun if you have a 6-foot-4-inch sous chef in the kitchen with you. Oh, and did I mention that it’s cool-looking? That’s a very important test of a recipe’s value. The only drawback is that the name – Hasselback Potatoes – is one letter away from sharing a name with a very annoying television personality…but we won’t talk about that, will we?

My dear friend Lindsey told me about this Swedish version of baked potatoes. Those Swedes…they’re onto something.

So here’s what you need to know:

Ingreeds:

  • Potatoes. However many you want, in any size (the ones I used were about 2-inches in diameter)
  • Garlic – one clove per potato
  • Butter – maybe 3 tablespoons per baking sheet?
  • Olive oil – some glugs. Sorry. I should really measure things.
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper – some sprinkles

For the yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon moutard (that’s mustard for you non-French-speakers)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste or 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place a potato on a large wooden spoon and cut into it at 2mm intervals. The spoon should stop your knife from cutting all the way through the potato, but if it doesn’t then you’ll just have to be very careful. Use the 80-dollar mandolin you got for your wedding (or your expert thin-slicing skillz) and slice fresh garlic – I had about one clove per potato. Insert the slices of garlic between the cuts in your potatoes.

Melt some butter (I had about 3 tablespoons for this whole sheet) and brush it onto the taters. Then drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pop the whole shebang into a 425-degree oven. I baked these little guys for about 30 minutes, but if you have bigger potatoes then you might need to leave ’em in for 40-45 minutes. Take them out when the tops are brown and a little crispy, and the center is soft.

To prepare the yogurt sauce, just stir all of the ingredients together. Simple.

Serve hot, with a dollop of sauce, and sprinkle some extra chopped chives on top. Prepare for your guests to be all impressed and grovelly about your talent in the kitchen.

Some variations that I plan on trying: sweet potatoes with brown sugar and cinnamon; new potatoes with sundried tomatoes, basil, and tzatziki sauce; white potatoes with vidalia onions, turkey bacon, and goat cheese sprinkles; russet potatoes with cumin, paprika, turmeric, and masala sauce…maybe even some sort of root veggie that isn’t even a potato! God. I don’t even know where to begin.

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February 16, 2010

Save the cake

Welp, folks, I’m a genius. I saved my nasty, disgusting, dry cake. Sadly, I don’t have a stellar King Cake recipe to offer you just in time for Mardi Gras tomorrow, though if you’re determined to try this out I have some suggestions that I think will fix the version I made.

Oh, and this is a long post. I’m sorry. Why don’t you go get yourself a cup of tea (or a vodka on the rocks, whatever), sit back, and read about my full day of cake-baking that went from this:

…to this:

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November 6, 2009

How I blew my own mind

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So I realize that I’ve been very food-focused recently and haven’t posted much about fitness. That’s because there’s nothing to post. After running the half-marathon, my life turned into a whirlwind of wedding, moving, and starting school and my exercise has dwindled to zero. I suck, people! I don’t know what happened! Anyway, I’ll come up with some brilliant plan soon and tell you aaaaaall about it.

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In the meantime, here’s another Wiggs Original that – if made – will change your life. I am so awesome sometimes it hurts.

I call it…

Pineapple Cucumber Agua Fresca.

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October 30, 2009

The grossest vegetable invented

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People, I used to haaaaaaaaaaaaate Brussels sprouts. My mom always prepared them by boiling the crap out of them until they became off-white lumps of mush and smelled like bad morning breath mixed with dirt. I believe – and my mom can probably back me up – that I never once at a Brussels sprout while living under my parents’ roof.

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August 25, 2009

Mangorita Sorbet

I’m taking a leedle break from the wedding posts because…well, the wedding’s over, for me, so I sorta want to stretch it out. Luckily, I have lots to write about still because I used some of my fun new kitchen gadgets the other day and whipped up a delicious batch of sorbet for a lovely friend who was joining me for lunch.

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This is a recipe that Molly, my summertime roommate, found and made a couple of months ago, so I already knew how incred it was. The good news is that it’s friggin easy to make, provided that you have an ice-cream maker (or, like me, the special bowl and attachment that go with your stand mixer).

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