Thursday, November 13, 2008

Red Quinoa Salad

Inspired by last Sunday's T Magazine article "The New Staples", I crafted a tasty red quinoa salad. No pics to post, but it's crazy good.
Here's what's in it:
pickled mushrooms (I pickled them myself - super easy and really yummy)
baby beets
roasted butternut squash
red quinoa

Toss it all together with a little of the pickling juice - best if it sits overnight.

I'll make it again soon and take a picture.
It looks just like fall!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ugly but Tasty!

In my attempt to replicate the Dancing Deer cookies, I have made these chocolate sugar cookies with orange oil (still looking for tangerine oil).
Based on this recipe from a NH inn:

* 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 2 large egg whites
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup plus 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
* Pinch of salt

In an electric mixer, combine brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, butter, and vanilla, and mix on medium-high speed until well combined. Add egg whites, and mix until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, and salt. Add to sugar and butter mixture, and mix on medium until flour is completely incorporated. Turn this mixture out onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper, and roll into a 3/4 by 8-1/2 inch log. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove paper, and slice log crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Place remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a small bowl, and dip each piece of dough in sugar, coating all sides; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, placing cookies 1 inch apart. Bake about 14 minutes for chewy cookies; for crisp cookies, bake 2 to 3 minutes longer. Slide the paper and cookies onto a wire rack to cool.

Yield: Approximately 32 cookies.

As you can see in the pictures, they're really ugly - I guess I should have left them in the fridge (or freezer) longer. I couldn't get them to stay round.

But, Nick and I ate a slew of them and the verdict is UGLY but TASTY!
And, as my roommate says, "when it comes to cookies, it's the taste that matters!"

Not quite Dancing Deer. But I will keep trying. They are getting close!!!

Think Pink!

More cupcakes!
For work, we are doing a promotion to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Research Foundation. and we thought it would be fun to serve pink cupcakes to our clients and guests.
I was up first as the person to bring them in.
I used my favorite recipe, added my new favorite secret ingredient - orange oil - and made them in mini-papers, so I got about 75 mini cupcakes.
I added red food coloring to the batter - though the color came out more orange - and to the frosting for a yummy pink color.

The clients and staff all said they were tasty!
I think they could have been prettier, but they really did taste good!

Here are a few pictures:

Cupcakes for My Roommate's Birthday

In August, my roommate turned 28.
I decided to make him cupcakes.

Matcha green tea cupcakes.

Who knew that matcha would be so hard to find in Greenpoint!??!
Finally, I found some loose green tea and ground it into a very fine powder with our coffee grinder. Not bad results.

I used my favorite cupcake recipe - the same one in Amy Sedaris' book "I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence". But used whole wheat flour and less vanilla - as I was adding the matcha powder.

I also added matcha powder to the frosting - and a good dose of food coloring to make them a fun boy blue.

The cupcakes were dense, due to the whole wheat flour, and tasted like the could *almost* be healthy ... I took a bunch of them to meet up with friends at Enid's and they were all really pleased with them.

As for me ... perhaps cake flour next time I make matcha cupcakes. And to serve them with green tea ice cream?

Maybe someone will make cupcakes for my birthday!

Here's Ms Sedaris' Cupcake Recipe - Easily edited for your own taste:

1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups of sugar

Beat well, then add:

Add 2 large eggs
2 Teaspoons of pure vanilla
½ teaspoon of salt
2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
2 ½ cups of flour
1 ¼ cups of milk

Beat well, fill cups, and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You should get 24.


1 stick of unsalted butter
1 box of Domino confectionary sugar
¼ cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla

And you can find more Amy Sedaris Recipes, Info, Links, etc ... Here:

Purpose Statement?

This year has been a rough one for me.
A lot of changes. Most of them bad. Or hard. Or hurtful.

So, I have decided to devote more time to doing my own thing.
Forget about the world around me. Do creative things.
Get back to making art.
Teach myself some things in the kitchen.
Do things that have an end result.

I thought about this a few weeks ago.
When I decided that it would be fun to re-create my favorite store cookies- the chocolate-tangerine ones from Dancing Deer Baking Company. Yum! But at $5+ a pack for 6 cookies - no good for a gal on a budget (and, living in NY, who's not on a budget?!).

I looked for a recipe.
I searched the blogs.
I Googled.
I looked through my recipe books.

And I couldn't find the recipe I was looking for.

So I went to Martha.
And I found this awesome recipe for double chocolate chip cookies. I figured it was a good starting point. Just add some orange oil. My new obsession.

The cookies were good.
But not what I was looking for.

So ... I'm going to keep trying new things. And catalogue my adventures along the way.