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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cocoa Banana Muffins

This time last year I was the same number of days away from a marathon that I am right now.

Except that last year, there was a baking ban in effect. This year, there've been no baking ban proclamations, and as a workout -- as training -- I ran 24 miles, 20 of which were at 2008 race pace, got up the next morning and ran some more. Whereas after last year's event, I got up the next morning and could hardly move.

So I'm thinking that baking bans are a bunch of hooey. Despite having been teased for demolishing that apple spice cake, it's clear that baked goods are making me speedier.

Cocoa Banana Muffins
, The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri

Monday, September 21, 2009

Grilled Vegetable Panino

Even though I don't enjoy eating alone, I suppose it's a good thing that our whacked schedules mean that my vegetable-averse husband and my mostly-meatless self share surprisingly few meals. I almost invariably stick to my Friday Fish and Meat Free Monday habits, just two of the many food patterns I have.

Photographed pre-press hoping it would be more attractive than post-squoosh. Squooshed is good, though, don't get me wrong. Grilled squashes, onions, roasted red pepper and whole milk mozzarella, with homemade pesto thanks to Mike's prolifically rebounding basil, on fresh homemade focaccia. YUM.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Apple Spice Cake

It was a breezy, cool morning. Even though my feet were cold, I was ridiculously happy. I knew I wanted to bake something autumnish, but anything "pumpkin" was promptly vetoed. Since whatever I'd be baking would be for the weekend, I was leaning toward either honey- or apple-based things for Rosh Hashana. After far too much deliberation, this is what I finally chose.

Shana Tova!

Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lavash Crackers

Thanks for the warning, Sally! Yes, these are addictive.

  • Even though it's a small ball of dough, I think it's easier to work with half at a time.
  • I rolled it on my silpat and then lifted that onto the baking sheet.
  • I used cyprus flake salt, minced rosemary, smoked paprika, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Your toppings may vary.
Lavash Crackers, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, Peter Reinhart

Friday, September 11, 2009

Big Fat Cookies

Whoah. These turned out to be some attractive cookies. They're big, they're fat, they didn't spread much, nearly perfectly matched in size and shape. Sellable-looking, even. I hope they taste as good as they look.

1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup oats

4 oz. butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup m&ms
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

350 degrees for... um, until they look as done as you want them to look.

Note to self: a half recipe, using my large scoop as a measure, makes a perfect dozen.

Another note to self: If I make them again, I'll probably use raisins instead of the chips. As soon as I say that, someone is going to say "there's no such thing as too much chocolate". Still, I wish I'd added raisins.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Strawberry Buttercream

Notes on today's buttercream:
  1. It makes me silly happy when other people like "real" buttercream. Not that American Buttercream isn't real, but it isn't. Ha.

  2. I made a half recipe of Kaye's buttercream, an Italian meringue buttercream. A half recipe is about 6 egg whites, a little over a cup of sugar, and 3/4 pound of butter, in case you wondered. A half recipe makes about 4 cups of frosting, which is still a lot of frosting.

  3. I took approximately one cup of that and added strawberry puree at the suggested ratio, resulting in a mildly strawberry flavored frosting. I was afraid to add more puree, because buttercream is an emulsion, and if the proportions get too far off, it will break. I decided it would taste more strawberry-ish if I tinted it pink. It might be too pink. Deal with it.

  4. That leaves about 3 cups of plain buttercream left for me to freeze and play with later. Yay.
Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream, The Whimsical Bakehouse

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Little Card, Big Smile

The doorbell rang. A man in brown uniform. That right there was enough to make me smile.

I smiled again when I opened the card. And then I gasped out loud when I opened the box: a most thoughtful friend sent me a book. Not just any book. THE book that RLB fans have been waiting for in a state of suspenseful anticipation.

For once, I do believe I am speechless.