|A luxurious commodity|
Friday, June 7, 2013
$25? I was floored. I have an annoying habit of picking the most expensive item on the rack before checking the price tags, but this was a little ridiculous. $25 for one measly little jar of almond butter, which I'm more accustomed to grabbing for less than half that price. A quick google suggests extortionate almond butter may be something of a growing trend. Is there an almond shortage? Mad almond disease? Is it possible we were buying just "natural" almond butter and now that we're trying for organic we're going into sticker shock? Well, I got a pound of organic almonds for a song, so it seems to me the food industry is just trying to bend us over a barrel because they have grinders; and that really grinds my gears.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I've waited weeks on tenterhooks for the first fresh cherries to arrive to market, but in the meantime chose to console myself with a clutch of glowingly golden apricots. I had ulterior motives. We'd also been eagerly awaiting the birth of our third nephew, Oliver, who at the time of writing this article was slightly overdue, and I figured a little light folk medicine couldn't hurt. Elizabethan England held the belief that apricots induced labor, which is why they feature in the play The Duchess of Malfi, where her nefarious brothers expose her pregnancy with a slyly offered bowl of apricots. It has no basis in science whatsoever, but might as well be worth a try. To gussy up the presentation, I decided to toss the apricots with fresh ginger, then layer them into a tart mantled in slivered almonds.
|For your viewing pleasure|
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Pineapple upside-down cake is amazing. Don't get me wrong; I think lots of cakes are amazing, but this one definitely has a little something special. Growing up, it was my father's favorite and requisite for each of his birthdays (conveniently in May). As a child, I protested the lack of icing, which is kind of silly, because pineapple upside-down cake's appeal is a luscious caramel topping that makes icing wholly unnecessary. There's a kind of witchery that occurs in the baking, whereby the oozing caramel fuses into the cake itself to provide a layer of incalculably succulent sweetness. In a fit of nostalgia, I baked it for my sister-in-law Sarah's birthday, as a little something different.
|See the difference?|
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Cajun cuisine may be stereotyped as all pork fat and crawdads, but gumbo z'herbes stands as a saucy testament to the cardinal importance of vegetables. While no dish would be complete without "the Holy Trinity," a blend of celery, onion, and green bell peppers, gumbo z'herbes raises the stakes by rounding up a potful of fresh greens and letting them rock out front and center. This recipe is extremely timely as April rains coax new shoots of tender green from the warming earth and budding leaves form misty plumes of color painted along the limbs of trees. Gumbo z'herbes is a fun, family-friendly dish that packs magnificently satisfying body and flavor with nary a shellfish nor ham hock in sight.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
As a child, I was a relatively finicky eater, much to the chagrin of my mother (who regularly handed out "no, thank you portions" in an attempt to broaden my palate). As it turns out, it was more a matter of time and maturity, and with age I've come to taste and experience wonderful new flavors and dishes that I'm absolutely certain 8-year-old me would never have dreamed of trying.
|Would you say "no" to this?|
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Much like every March, I've come to harbor the deeply-held belief that this winter has overstayed its welcome. There's something about snowflakes greeting the first day of spring that puts me on the definite outs with Mother Nature. With citrus very much in season, however, I figured I could achieve a dash of lighter and brighter flavors via the sweet simplicity of salad. The tangy, floral zing of ruby red grapefruit was something I arrived at the grocery planning upon, the garnet-red blood oranges were a delightful surprise.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
As is no secret to our barista, Aaron and I have an addiction to vanilla scones. More correctly, I have an addiction to scones, period. They are, in essence, a sweet biscuit and as I love both sweets and biscuits I find myself perpetually wanting to throw caution to the winds and luxuriate in creamy, buttery, crumbliness with reckless abandon. It just so happens that one of my favorite pairings for said exquisite crumbliness is vanilla.