Category Archives: Food

butterscotch ginger

My hands are cold.

I set up shop on the terrace this afternoon and have been working outside ever since, wrapped in a blanket over my clothes.

Finn has been running around the deck, jumping in and out of the planters as if he were training for the Cat Olympics. He gave me a minor heart attack when he dashed across the corrugated roof of the pergola, attempting to launch himself to the next deck.

My writing exercises are much enjoyable when there’s a proper table and/or desk for me to work from. And right now that outpost is outside, either on the terrace or in a coffee shop.

I’ve been writing and researching, all day. Snippets of copy for the company blog, keeping up with my daily blog posts here. Outlining projects for my clients paid and barter. Reading articles to keep my mind alight for critical thinking and analysis.mug.

Finn jumps from the stairs to the table, walks across the laptop keyboard to stake his claim. Almost like a lion on the sub-Saharan desert searching for a palm tree to escape the brutal sun. Except it’s a dining room table covered with books, newspapers and a coffee mug.

It’s time for another cup, a special roast from Supercrown Coffee: Guatemala El Apiario, delicate with butterscotch undertones.

Butterscotch, almost the same color as Finn’s coat. My ginger flame point Siamese has made his move to a cooler location. He settles in with his back to the mirror, a gaze thrown over his shoulder eyeing his reflection.

When he’s calm and chill, he’s almost regal. My Scottish knight of Brooklyn.

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Finnegan meets the cat in the mirror, @prez13


maple, honey, vanilla

I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies. The second day at NY TravFest was just as stimulating as the first and I find myself in a noshing mood. I pull out all the ingredients for the original Nestle’s Toll House cookies, automatically adding the flour, baking soda and salt to a small bowl, mixing the butter and sugars in the larger Kitchen Aid one. I reach into the cupboard for the vanilla extract and come up empty-handed.

A substitution search suggests maple syrup and so I add that with a splash of honey and finish the cookie batter.

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Twenty minutes later the first freshly baked batch is ready for consumption.


Blackberries and Prosecco

What I love most about special occasions is the opportunity to cook for people. Dinners, dessert, brunch. Last night I hosted Claire and Lee Ann friends visiting from Toronto. We had grilled pizza, tortilla Espanola, prosecco, wine, and chocolate.

I find the preparation cathartic, and at times, meditative.

Tomorrow Lulu will join me for Easter lunch at the treehouse. The weather forecast is dreamy: low 80s with a splash of sunshine. My mind is aflutter with ideas for the menu. I’ll prepare a simple tomato sauce with cavatelli, and a spinach salad. Serve it with fresh bread.

One of my favorite food blogs, Pinch of Yum features a recipe for Miracle No-Knead Bread. It’s a crumbly mess but according to Lindsay’s recipe in 12-18 hours the dough will be ready for the oven.

 

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Crumbled Miracle No-Knead Bread dough, @prez13

 

I’ve been itching to make a blackberry pie. Every recipe has the same formula for the filling: berries, sugar, flour, lemon juice. I decide to use honey instead of sugar, Balsamic vinegar instead of lemon. I macerate the blackberries then pour them into the pie crust.

Next stop the oven:

 

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Blackberry pie with egg white wash crust

 

90 minutes later and the berries are piping hot:

 

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Bubbling berries, Batman!

Next up is sorbet, a favorite complement to pie. I devised the recipe for Clementine Prosecco Sorbet one day when I discovered a flat bottle of bubbly in the refrigerator. It goes like this: Heat up a simple syrup of water and sugar then let it cool; add clementine juice (or any citrus that makes you happy) and Prosecco to the syrup. Then refrigerate until cold. Add to ice cream maker and churn for 25 minutes until solid, freeze for 1-2 hours, and voila!

 


Gogel-Mogel: raw eggs and sugar

I wake with the sun and start a new day. Double fisting with a berry smoothie and a mug of hot coffee, filled with glee at working outside again.

It’s Easter week and like every lead up to a holiday, I find myself reminiscing about my family. Today I think of Nonna Rosa, my Sicilian grandmother, my mom’s mom.  I have a craving for raw egg and sugar — a treat she would feed me when I was a young child.

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The adult in me questions the raw egg. Is it even safe to eat?

I Google the combination and learn a thing or two. Like its name: Gogel-Mogel, it makes me smile, although there aren’t enough vowels to make that remotely Italian. And of course, it’s not. It’s Yiddish, and its origin is a Central and Eastern European dessert made from raw egg, sugar, and flavoring (honey, vanilla, rum). Nonna would add espresso to mine.

I learn that the Gogel-Mogel is often prepared as a transition food for babies moving from a cereal diet to one that includes eggs and other soft foods. It has also been used as a home remedy for treating colds or the flu, particularly chest colds and laryngitis.

I wish I knew this last week.

 


green and yellow

Kiwi Lemon Sorbet

4 fresh kiwis, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/2 c. sugar
juice of 3 medium lemons
2 T. light corn syrup
2 c. ice cold water

  1. Combine kiwi, sugar and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  3. When ready to freeze, mash the kiwi to desired consistency; add corn syrup and water and stir until blended.
  4. Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze following manufacturer instructions.

my favorite scoop

In my last post, I mentioned how I had plans to get back to my life and to all the things I love most, like making homemade ice cream.

A few years ago one of my dear friends, “Mon Frite,” introduced me to the wonderful world of homemade ice cream, a hobby she shares with her Dad. Almost every time she heads home to visit, she makes his favorite Maple ice cream. When she shared the simplicity of the process it seemed almost kismet that I should combine my love for ice cream with my love for baking. To help get me started, Mon Frite recommended I purchase an ice cream maker and suggested a recipe book or two to use as a reference.

Ice Cream is literally a frozen, sweetened cream (made from a combination of cream and milk with sweeteners and flavoring). Once you master the sweet cream base, everything else is easy, and the most fun part begins: experimentation, mixing and matching ingredients, and truly exploring the craft of ice cream magic.

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The following recipe and ingredients were inspired by using Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Base.

Honey Vanilla Chamomile Ice Cream

2 c. 1/2 and 1/2
5-6 Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea bags (I used Celestial Seasoning)
2 T of honey
1 c. sweetened and condensed milk, cold

  1. Open can of sweetened and condensed milk and transfer to measuring cup. Set aside to chill in refrigerator.
  2. Pour half-and-half into double boiler and heat; whisk in honey and bring to simmer.
  3. Remove from heat and add tea bags; allow tea to steep for at least one hour.
  4. After hour is complete, remove tea bags and add in sweetened condensed milk to tea mixture. Whisk until blended.
  5. Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze following manufacturer instructions.