Some very belated, and very disorganized, and unforgiveably unreciped, tidbits from the past weeks:
Lucky boyfriend got three birthday cakes this year: favorite flourless chocolate, pumpkin cake, and a (very messy but delicious) triple-layer mint chocolate chip ice cream cake with mint chocolate ganache and whipped topping (one layer was another flourless chocolate, so this might’ve had an unfair edge on being the best of the three.)
I flew home for Thanksgiving to be with my family and spent three days straight cooking: multiple loaves of Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread (I feel like an idiot for ever having even experimented with bread recipes other than this one). Savory cornbread to turn into a marvelous stuffing and sweet cornbread (for which I made homemade buttermilk for the first time) to bring to a family friend’s Thanksgiving potluck. Melissa Clark’s Mashed Potato Casserole which I worried would verge on Deen-esque and did, gloriously so. Roasted sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil, salt and chili powder. Very garlicky hummus. Brussels sprouts steamed with caramelized shallots. Vegan wild rice pilaf with sauteed onions, apples and raisins and toasted chopped almonds. Turkey. My mom made cranberry sauce, as she does every year, with a recipe I just found out this year is her grandmother’s. She does the pies, too, before the sun rises, and made an extra that my dad and I ate for breakfast and lunch. I made apple yogurt cake, trying to recreate one that I’d invented before but not written down (successfully!). And flourless chocolate cake, again. And vegan pumpkin chocolate cake. And pumpkin butter with fresh-squeezed apple juice and lots of ginger that turned out even better than Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t stop. It was the perfect vacation.
Dinner last Wednesday: three kinds of kimchi from Woorijip, Trader Joe’s bulgogi marinated boneless beef short ribs (panfry for five minutes on each side, these are effortless and REALLY REALLY GOOD), and rice noodles with sesame sauce, broccoli, spinach and bok choy that I’d made the day before.
Rice noodles with broccoli, spinach and bok choy:
A note: tamari and soy sauce are not synonyms. There are different kinds of soy sauce - like tamari and shoyu - tamari only includes soy, no wheat, resulting in a more intense, protein-laden umami flavor that stands up well through cooking.
Dinner last night was cheesy, saucy, salty eggplant parm, which I’ve attempted to make several times before (and always failed in one way or another). Last night’s was excellent, and reminded me how much I like eggplant (some fantastic baigan bharta at Tiffin Wallah Friday night helped too). It’s easy and done in under an hour and doesn’t even require a side of linguine or garlic bread (although I’m sure there wouldn’t be complaints).
Anyone else breaking out the Christmas albums yet? No? Just me and the Wal-Mart advertising committee? Oh, okay. With sincere apologies for those of you who aren’t as thrilled as I am to see wrapping paper on the shelves and Reeses’ trees replacing the pumpkins at the Duane Reade, I AM EXCITED ABOUT THIS SEASON. So, on Sunday, I bought a few handfuls of chestnuts and determined to roast them. On an open pilot stove.
Black beans, spicy Cuban rice & beans, and goat stew from Sophie’s. Nice follow-up to a morning in the cold moving furniture and boxes of cookbooks from the old office to the new one.