Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lasagna Primavera

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

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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

Blueberry Cake

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).

Monday, May 17, 2010

Creamy Fettucine with Leeks, Corn, and Arugula

Saying "arugula" makes me sound like I have a somewhat endearing but nevertheless pitiful speech impediment. Perhaps that's why the man at the farmer's market gave me what must be a 2-lb. bag of it. He felt sorry for me! I am scrambling to find uses for it before it goes bad. Any suggestions? This recipe is from the latest issue of Real Simple.
Despite being chock-full of vegetables this dish looks oddly monochromatic. All the leeks and corn and garlic (and most of the arr-oo-goo-luh) sank to the bottom. IT tasted delicious but was not very attractive. Maybe I should stick to baking.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Nothing made me happier than seeing this little Elf (see also: "Mystery," "Rainbow in the Dark") pop onto Andy's TV screen on Metal Mania at 4 a.m. Holy shit, holy diver!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pizza

I'm not sure "pizza" is the appropriate word here. Maybe "sphere of gluttony"? "Diabetic Coma"? Andy just kept calling it "giant cookie." Truthfully, it's all of these things. The crust is flattened chocolate chip cookie dough(which unfortunately burnt slightly because I was lax with my parents high-tech oven). The base "sauce" is hot fudge, covered by a peanut butter-cream cheese concoction, then more hot fudge. Now, if only I add 400 regular pizzas, a crew of obese folks, and a heavy dose of pain, I can recreate the experience of Cici's in my own home!
Speaking of my own home, it's going to be somewhere new soon. ESCAPE FROM MIDTOWN 2010! Roaches and drive-bys and car break-ins, be gone! Fingers crossed, I'm putting down the security deposit for a little house in the charming Sea Isle neighborhood tomorrow. With a backyard for Charlotte(and growing food!), a dishwasher, and nary a drug dealer neighbor in sight(for the love of god, hopefully).