Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Well.....promises promises! After my astonishing creative burst of two posts, I stopped (as you may have noticed). You may (or you may not, I dunno) have been wondering where my fickle ass has been doing. Not much! I made a gluten-free flourless chocolate cake, which was sadly flat and tasted more like a dense brownie than a cake. I think I did not sufficiently beat the egg whites to an absolute pulp (or glossy cloud), but it still tasted okay. As you can see, Johnny was quite interested and I eventually decided that repeated attempts to take a picture might result in a call to kitten Poison Control. Elizabeth and I made some Mexican hot chocolate cookies for Labor Day, but they were too elusive to capture in a photo (read: Andy ate them all).
Around the house, I painted and reupholstered this chair. It went from dusty blue to offensively purple (though I'm starting to grow sort of fond of it), and the kitschy pink floral fabric was replaced with this "wrought iron" pattern which took me like 4 months of fabric shopping to decide on. I paid SEVENTEEN dollars a yard, so now I'm left with the remnants of this stuff, if anyone wants it. It's too stiff (indoor/outdoor) to be used to for any sort of clothing project, but someone creative might could use it. If all else fails I'll use it as wrapping paper for the next birthday in my life (Christie???).
I read recently (in Martha Stewart Living, natch) that saying your plans out loud is a good way to force you to go through with them. Well, here goes: I am developing a menu for a little baked good-catering business (now that the bugs in my house have cleared up. Thanks Mitch, miracle-working exterminator!). It's going to consist of good, old-fashioned, fatty, totally homemade, delicious desserts. No feta-cheese and watermelon cupcakes or (heaven forbid) sugar-free coconut-jasmine cake. (Not sure that those are real, by the way). I'm going to try to keep prices low as well. So when things get more definite, you'll be the first to know! Also, I like to think of myself as more than a one-trick pony (more like a mule, though hopefully...not sterile). I'm not only interested in food, though I have to admit it does dominate my waking moments. I'd like to find a way to incorporate the other things I love (clothes, Memphis, film, domestic activities) into this blog. But I know what you're thinking: I'll believe it when I see it! God, this post is getting long. A little less conversation, a little more action, as that most famous of Memphians might say.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I love simple recipes. There is nothing better than being able to whip up something amazing in under 20 minutes and pop them in the oven. These cookies (my adaptation of a recipe from Southern Living) contained just five ingredients, and were a "one-bowl" recipe, blessedly, since doing a bunch of dishes while nervously looking over my shoulder every 4 seconds for roaches is remarkably time-consuming. They were nice and crumbly, and perfectly salty-sweet (THE BEST FOOD SENSATION OF ALL TIME). And I only had to have the oven on for 18 minutes in the excruciating Memphis summer, always a plus.
Perhaps because of the oven in the heat, I prefer to cook at night. Actually this is probably because I hate mornings and I'm at work all day, so the only time available to bake is the time I should be sleeping. From what I've gathered reading "real" food blogs, the optimal time to take luscious food pictures is the early morning or the mid-afternoon (what beautiful light!). I'll try that next time. Hopefully I'll think up a better food styling situation than a chipped thrift-store plate, sitting on my washing machine, with my shadow peeking in, at 11 p.m. OH WELL.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
In the immortal words of Aerosmith(don't act like you don't know!), I'm back in the saddle again. The last post I made was before I moved, nay, before I'd even found a place to move. I am now living in a charming 3-bedroom house in Colonial Acres. 2 of those bedrooms are virtually empty because I have neither stuff nor money to buy stuff. But eventually that will change! Hopefully. By charm I am implying that it is a fixer-upper..the bathroom is bright blue, the blinds all need to be replaced, and whoever lived here before me was a complete idiot(and filthy). There are perks though...like a brand-new stove, granite countertops, and newly redone hardwood floors. Greatly detracting from the charm of this lil house, which I am slowly coming to love, are roaches. Yes. My worst fear. My mortal enemy. The bane of my existence. But after two profesional sprays, much war whooping on my part when I kill them, and being painfully clean, they are starting to go away a bit. Enough for me to cook, anyway.
I inaugurated the oven the other day with these cupcakes...devil's food with a cream-cheese chocolate chip filling and vanilla frosting and chocolate chips. They were a big hit at work, but that may have just been because it's been so long since I've brought anything. I'm going to try to keep up with this thing more, and cook more, and maybe share some info/photos on the happenings around my house and the things I buy and make. So we'll see! But I am tryin'. Hopefully I still have a reader!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Somehow this dish became one of the most complicated things I've ever made. It all started out easily enough.
See? One of the bell peppers told me it loved me. But it all went downhill from there. Between the boiling and the chopping and the grating and the mixing (how you do all these simultaneously I will never know), I got overwhelmed. The pan was too small and a scary burning smell came out of the oven when I started to preheat it. But just when I was about to call my parents and warn them that they may have to call in dinner, things turned around. Nothing burned, (most) everything stayed in the tiny pan, and I made my dad eat ricotta and enjoy it(not to his knowledge, of course).
Baking is truly relaxing. This is Iron Chef shit. I don't like a feeling of panic or hurry to overshadow my cooking experience. Cake=yes, everything else=not unless I'm feeling ambitious.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday was the first true day of the deadly Memphis summer. You know, 96 degrees and 480% humidity. So guess what I did...that's right, I turned the oven on and baked these cupcakes. Even sans oven, my kitchen is like the 8th layer of hell(as Andy likes to say). The oven turned the room into a sauna. Except that you're only supposed to stay in those about 10 minutes, not 2 hours. Johnny's eyes were rolling back in his head when he was laying on the floor, and I think he may have passed out, kitten style. But I persisted! And these cupcakes were born. The bad photo quality is due to the fact that it's a PARTY photo and I was a lil tipsy when taking it. I didn't get much feedback, but I enjoyed them! Needless to say, however, I will probably not be baking at home again til the move. Although the sauna atmosphere might help me lose some cupcake-induced weight....
Friday, May 21, 2010
You know what makes me feel fancy? A pastry blender. I feel so old-fashioned, like I'm doing the thing properly, when I use one. Mine is old and metal and formidable-looking. And it's used to create the crumble on this cake. Which was INCREDIBLE, not to toot my own horn or anything(trust me, I fail often enough). It was basically a coffee cake, and the light texture was very summery and appropriate for the blueberries. AND it allowed me to use both the pastry blender and the subtle art of folding, which used to intimidate me, but now I've gotten pretty good at it.
I'm very lucky this cake survived at all, because the minute it popped out of the oven I put on my Ove-Glove and ran to the car with it, yelling "MUST NOT MISS 30 ROCK!!!" to myself. Glad I didn't end up with 3rd degree burns from a hot cake because I was in a rush to watch a TV show.
I should just come out and say I don't know how to write about food. Particularly, food that I have made myself. But I will try, friends, I will try! (And try to take better pictures as well).