Friday, October 30, 2009

Brown Butter Apple Cake

Continuing my baked apple dessert kick... this is somewhere between a cake and a cobbler.  Either way, it's great hot with ice cream.

I like it even better the next day, after the flavors have blended a little bit.

Bye Bye Borders

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Thanks to Garden Bloggers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chicken Salad

This is not so much a recipe as a way to use up stuff you happen to have in the fridge or on the shelf.  The only essential:  leftover chicken.

Happily, I had a leftover leg and roughly half a breast from a roasted chicken languishing in the fridge, as well as celery and apples. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pork Roast

This is so simple, it barely qualifies as a recipe.

The steps are:
1.  Throw a hunk of meat in the oven.

There is no step two. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Polenta Pecan Apple Crisp

It isn't fall until I've eaten some apple crisp.  This makes a nice, cobbler-y type topping and is, of course, amazing eaten hot with ice cream.  Or cold for breakfast.

Not that this blog necessarily endorses ice cream for breakfast.  At least not all the time.

Also, does anyone know the difference between a crisp and a cobbler?  I use the terms interchangeably, but I could be missing some fundamental dichotomy.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Polenta with Zucchini and Ragu

I love it when leftovers come together to make something different and delicious.  I already had leftover polenta and sauce, so it wasn't a huge leap to put one on top of the other and add cheese.

Still, this was fairly different from and actually more filling than just sauce on pasta.  Admittedly, my attempt at frying up polenta resulted in more of a blob than the neat wedges I was going for, but it was still quite tasty.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beef Stew with Polenta

This beef stew is perfect for when there's a chill in the air.  Unlike many stews, this one is good on the first evening, although it's just as good leftover.

As with most soups, once the chopping is done, this requires a minimal amount of time actually spent at the stove.  The polenta takes 15-20 minutes total, concurrent with the last bit of stew simmering.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fast Sausage Ragu

This turned out really well; I was a little leery of putting milk and tomato paste into the same sauce (although it's amazing with cream, so why not?), but it was fantastic.  And it only took about 20 minutes, start to finish.

For all that I keep wanting to color-correct this photo, the sauce did turn out purplish, since I used red wine instead of white... but I needed to open a bottle anyway, for the next day's stew.  Hence, purple sauce.  C'est la vie... it was delicious.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Header!

Because there can never be enough cassata cake photos on the blog.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Holy Wide Layout, Batman!

Blogger added an "XL" photo size, so I've changed my layout to accommodate even BIGGER close-ups of cookies.  I've gone back and changed the sizes of the October pictures; older pics are still the same size, but centered so the layout isn't too wonky in older posts.

Thanks to Independent Fashion Bloggers, who have step-by-step instructions on how to do this without losing your sidebar, as I did the first time I tried it.

And if you're interested in such things, the settings that work best for me with this new picture size are:
header wrapper = 910
outer wrapper = 910
main wrapper = 660
sidebar wrapper = 220 (unchanged)

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mmm... just spectacular.  The perfect plain chocolate chip cookie.  Soft and chewy, not at all cakey.

I used Alton Brown's recipe exactly-- didn't change a thing.  Although I'm pretty sure that my cookies are bigger-- I used a regular ice cream scooper, as I don't have a #20 disher.  Also, I got 21 cookies instead of 36, and I didn't eat all that much dough.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Favorite Roasted Chicken

What makes this recipe incredible isn't the chicken-- roasted chicken is ALWAYS good-- but the potatoes.

These are, without exaggeration, the greatest potatoes you will ever have.  And they SO simple:  potato slices, garlic, and fresh herbs roasted in chicken fat.

Best.  Potatoes.  Ever.

The only downside to this recipe is that you will need to wash your oven rack after, and if you're not very careful taking out the chicken, may need to clean your oven as well.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maybe I should start shopping at Costco

Sunday's New York Times had an interesting article about food safety and hamburger... I think I'm swearing off pre-formed patties altogether and may start getting individual pieces of meat ground at the grocery store.  I wonder if Giant would do that?

Apparently, in addition to having superb steak, Costco actually tests for E. Coli before grinding its meat.  It's fairly unique among big producers in this policy.

Sample quote:
"Cargill records show that the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria."


Lemon Shortbread

I wanted to make something along the lines of the lavender shortbread cookies at the Dairy Godmother, but, sadly, Giant didn't have any lavender.  And I'm now restraining myself from typing the entire rest of this post about how amazing their custard is.  And their lavender cookies.  Mmmmm.

 Next best thing:  Lemon, which allowed me to finally break out my new microplane grater.  And what a good idea!  Sweet, lemony, buttery, goodness.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pumpkin Pie #1

Good, but not great... I think I like Betty Crocker's recipe better.  And no pictures (see last week's memory snafu)... still, Pumpkin Pie is pretty easy.  No slicing fruit, just open a can.  Even if you use a premade pie crust, it's still SO much better than anything you'd buy in a store.

Friday, October 2, 2009


And... back at long last, delayed all week because I ran out of space on my hard drive and so my pictures were marooned on my camera.  Happily, I now have purchased an entire TERRABYTE of space (1,000 gigs!) which is, like, a zillion close-ups of bread crumb and such.


I made these kebabs because there was a grill available, and steak night was already taken.  They turned out really well; next time I will just make sure to cut the beef into more uniform chunks.  Mine were too large and took FOREVER to cook to medium.