Ever since his clementine clafoutis, I’ve taken Mark Bittman’s suggestions for specific recipes with a whole heaping tablespoon of salt.
But when it comes to general ideas and cooking methods, he’s often spot-on. These homemade granola bars were a wonderful idea, and best of all, easily adapted to your own tastes and preferences. The original recipe called for apricots, which was a definite no-go for me. But sticking Continue reading
Pumpkin isn’t just a scary face anymore.
Pumpkins dominate the fall season, their faces appearing on billboards and plastic buckets, their representatives occupying porch steps and window sills. When we think of pumpkin patches and Halloween, we have the Jack O’Lantern variety in mind. And that’s too bad. Pumpkins Continue reading
Spare thoughts can reveal a lot.
Like anyone, my mind can often wander. Sometimes it wanders to far-off and unknown places, which leaves me looking lost and confused. These thoughts are stray thoughts, without any purpose or sense of direction. These stray thoughts require a passing hand or snapping finger to direct my attention back to the well-worn path.
But other times, my mind moves with a sense of purpose. Pushing past the brush and trekking towards a clearing. More often than not, these directed thoughts focus on finding either legal or culinary clearing.
When I’m folding laundry or putting away dishes, my mind goes in one of two directions. It goes Continue reading
When I first started my blog, my goals were modest to say the least. I hoped a few dozen people would visit my blog each day. I hoped my blog could be featured within the first few pages of a Google search. And above all, I hoped that someone I didn’t already know might leave an encouraging comment.
I’ve met each of my first two goals. According to the blog administrator, my blog receives over a hundred page views each day. The administrator also lists the search terms and hyperlinks that direct these individuals to the pages within my blog. When I keyed some of these terms into Google, sure enough, there was my blog – and on the first page no less!
I’ve also met my third goal – and in exciting fashion. For many months now, Continue reading
Relationships are like cooking. Just as recipes often require staple ingredients, so too are relationships built on certain foundational elements. But, beyond the basics, the thrill of cooking resides for me in the unexpected combination of ingredients. The way a sprinkling of cayenne pepper intensifies chocolate with its smoky spice.
Charles and I share many ingredients between us: a love of writing and cooking (and a sometimes bossy attitude in the kitchen!), a creative eye, an interest in obscure documentaries, the desire to wander new cities by foot, and the legal profession. And while I cherish our similarities, my life has been enriched by our unique ingredients. Charles was raised Jewish in New Orleans and with several siblings, whereas I grew up in Washington, D.C. as an only child from an Irish Catholic family. Together, we’ve incorporated these traditions, yielding a flavor that is complex, new, and wonderful.
Last March, we tried our hand at hamantaschen in honor of Purim. In December, amidst law school final exams, I enjoyed Continue reading
For me, chocolate is a lot like Ben Affleck – it’s best in a supporting role.
Chocolate-chip cookies, chocolate croissants, and chocolate-chip blondies are definite draws. Think Good Will Hunting, School Ties, and Mallrats. But put chocolate in a starring role – chocolate cake, chocolate truffles, or chocolate pudding – and you have a Gigli or Daredevil in the making.
By my standards, these pancakes are well cast. The chocolate chips meld into the oatmeal-buttermilk batter, giving a subtle performance, but one that adds to the overall production. They don’t steal the scene, but rather, focus it.
We all know chocolate as a dessert, but it’s a role it often plays, and usually overplays. But after making these pancakes, Continue reading
As I’ve noted, popovers can be a fickle lot. Sometimes they don’t pop. Sometimes they explode. And sometimes, they simply refuse to come out of their cups.
But when everything comes together, when the popovers pop and glide effortlessly out of their cups, and the warm dough heats your fingertips, the results can be stunning. To give these popovers a winter touch, I used Continue reading
After making cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, I needed to find a use for all the leftover sauce. When I noticed the leftover butternut squash purée sitting idly in its tupperware container, I decided to kill two birds with one stone.
I based this recipe off my earlier recipe for pumpkin pancakes, added the cranberry sauce, and called it Continue reading
From apples in pie, to peaches in cobbler, and from cherries in clafoutis, to bananas in pudding, certain fruits have their calling. With blueberries, they answer to pancakes. Nothing says pancakes, like blueberry pancakes. That is, unless you’re making blueberry oatmeal pancakes.
Replacing most of the flour with oats turned out to be a great adaptation for an otherwise classic recipe. I should have stopped there though. Once I had oats in my mind, I immediately thought raisins – another one of those traditional pairings. After dropping blueberries in the batter, I changed to amaretto-soaked raisins. It was not to be. Raisins and oats, I learned, are best left to cookies. But at least Continue reading