Showing posts from 2007

So this is what a pig-in-a-blanket feels like

I started eating on Christmas Eve and I just finally finished. I think I might die. Or I might kill the next person to mention food to me.

For the past two months I have had this "allergy" that has kind of killed my appetite. However in my family Christmas is all about the fancy food. And the fancy alcohol.

Last year it was oysters. A bushel of them nearly.

This years it was foie gras. With baked quince and brioche. So good.

On Christmas Eve I had a huge plate of pate, followed by coq au vin with spaetzle. Yeah I said 'coq'... And a massive whiskey sour that hit the bullseye.

Christmas morning was all about the two pounds of bacon that I made Mom buy. Seriously, she was only going to buy a pound and a bit. Whateve! And Bloody Mary's. My Dad makes the best Bloody Mary ever. Hands down ever. If you are a Bloody Mary fan, let me know and I will take you over for one. The first one is free.

Christmas dinner was the foie gras, followed by the BLACK CAKE. Washed down with…

Cooking to Music

This year I took too many cookie requests.

And then I left it to the last minute. So now I am spending the day in the kitchen with the oven fired up, the both mixer bowls out, and clots of floury dough liberally sprinkled into my hair.

But I have the tunes going baby!

Turns out that Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses is the best cookie baking song. It's about 5 minutes long which means the cookies come out about three minutes into the second playing.

Plus it's like my favorite Christmas song.

My neighbors already know that I am crazy so I am sure they won't mind listening to the song 481 times today.

Oh and another thing....

I am still the Food Psychic.


My previous posts HERE, HERE, and HERE

And then in today's Noo Yawk Times HERE

Sick person food - Part 2

I am really not sick.

However for the past few days I have had a tiny weeny stomach ache. Not even an ache exactly.

More of a stomach twinge.

So I've been eating mostly crackers and clementines, and the occasional sugar cooky.

But then on Sunday I roasted a chicken for the week, with some white beans (Baers!) stewed with garlic. And right out of the oven it was pretty tasty.

On Monday lunch it was still pretty good.

But today when I got home it was the most delicious thing I think I have ever eaten.

I didn't even plate it. I just stood over the sink with a chicken leg in one hand and cold carmelized onion in the other.


Hibernating is wasted on bears

I like snowy weather. I like that we have lots of kinds of weather in New England.

I would really get bored with just hot or cold. Or hot or warm, or cool and cold.

Anyway, the summer is all about ice creams and salads and grills.

The winter is for roasted, baking, and stewing.

Since all it pretty much did this weekend was be cold or snowy or sleety, I stayed in the kitchen.

Bread was baked, chicken was roasted, beans were stewed. And I decorated almost all my Christmas cookies.


Ask and ye shall receive

Someone at work very shyly asked me to make them some sugar cookies. Some people are afraid of the kitchen and of cooking and shudder at even the idea of an Easy Bake oven.

I pity these poor souls. So I said "yeah, sure". Give me any excuse to eat cookies and drink.

Drink? Yep.

My new kitchen/holiday rule is that when ever the oven goes on, the alcohol comes out. It's a tradition that began with the Black Cake. You simply cannot put me near a gorgeous Barbados rum and tell me it's just for the cake. Please.

One for the cake, one for me.

So with the sugar cookies - I thought I might open wine. But that seemed to involve too much commitment. Luckily there was a nicely chilled Lillet in the back of the fridge.

Et voila! Sugar cookies are finished and I am happily slightly buzzed!

Sick person food

Well, I am not sick.

It's an allergy. That produces a lot of snot.
And coughing. And stuffiness. Oh and a scratchy throat.

And for the past few days I've had no sense of taste.

So it's plausible that someone could right now feed me cotton balls and I would think it's cotton candy. But that would be mean. :(

But when I think about what exactly I've been stuffing in the old pie hole, I am sort of surprised. For a sick person that is.

First of all, it hasn't been a lot of food exactly. I keep drinking hot toddy's for dinner - Irish penicillin.

I did eat a little pot pie at lunch. And about 6 spice cookies for dinner. And a handful of tiny little Italian star shaped pasta with a bit of tomato sauce and garlic.

Which sounds so virtuous and ailing until I just now remembered that last night's dinner was pesto chicken, cheesy broccoli, macaroni, rice pilaf, and hummus - followed by a massive chunk of supermarket sheet cake. That cake that I hate that I love. *sigh*

I …

Rachel Ray: Halliday Killah!

Drunkin' Whorenuts! If I see that annoying Rachel Ray commercial for Dunkins one more time, I swear to GAD that Christmas is canceled.


Whoever wrote the dialog must be in the 10th grade: "I always buy like a million pounds... blah blah blah....."

Who the hell buys a million pounds of holiday coffee? I don't believe her for a sec.

But then again this is coming from a woman who puts Cheez Whiz on a Wheat Thin and calls it an hors d'oeuvre.

Pleeease! Everyone knows that you eat Cheez Whiz by squirting it directly from the can into your mouth.

But these ads are starting to suck the fun right out of the marrow of Christmas for me! If I have to hear her say "haaaliday" one more time, I am going go insane.

Free Cookies!

Check it out! Over on Shamrag I am giving away free cookies! Whoo hoo!

Click here: I WANT A FREE COOKIE!!

Argh and Ahhhh

Some a**hole tagged my house with graffiti. Shamrag will have the whole story.

To calm myself down I had to have a sliver of the Black Cake.

Ahhhhh sigh..... calm again.......

Sorry to whoever gets the short cake.

Black Cake Night Ain't Ovah till the Duck Says So!

So the first Big Cake went in at 10:30, followed by a Medium Cake and three Small Cakes.

I had to make the recipe in two batches.

Now I just have to clean up.

Ugh. My least favorite part.

Ok, rummmmmm, blurrrrgggggg

How to make Black Cake:

1. Get out recipe. Read other recipes. Get distracted.
2. Get back on track. Fire up stove. Get ingredients together.
3. Call my friend Moet and talk about boyyyyyyyyys.
4. Pour self two fingers of rum.
5. Drink rum and talk for another 4o minutes with Moet about boyyyyyyyyss.
6. Hang up. Pour another two, well three, fingers of rum
7. Chop fruit for Black Cake. Using Cuisinart is CHEATING.
8. Chop fast because chopping after drinking is dangerous, so finish quickly!
9. Finish chopping fruit into itty teeny bits without catastrophe.
10. More rum to celebrate.
11. Contemplate going to bed. Who makes Black Cake this late?
12. Realize I am BLOGGING instead of BAKING.

Which I will get right back to as soon as I kick back this last bit of rummmmmmmmmmmm........

It's fothermucking Black Cake time yo!

Yeppers I am back in the kitchen for another round of holiday baking!

It's time to make the Black Cake.

It's that 10 pound, 10 inch round blackest of black cake lovin'.

I first read about Black Cake in Nigella Lawson's Domestic Goddess cookbook and it seemed to me like the most delicious thing ever created and I instantly craved it, like the lettuce that got poor Rapunzel's mother in so much trouble!

Well Nigella got it from Laurie Colwin. And since Nigella's recipes never work for me (but she is so voluptuous I can't let her go!) I went to Laurie Colwin myself.

If you like food porn, I highly recommend both Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. You will read them in bed and then dream of fresh butter and perfectly roast chickens and English clotted cream.

Please don't blame me when you wake up chewing on your pillow.

However, it is her recipe for Black Cake that really turned me on.

And so now I am obsessed. So obsessed that I've been soaking my fruit since…

A Thanksgiving Tradition

So of course I wound up staying up WAAAAAY to late last night and now I am paying for it.


Night always seems to last for so long and morning comes far too quickly. Now I am blogging and drinking coffee instead of finishing the last ends and bits.... *sigh*

Anyway, what I have left:
Roast the turkey - I am going to try a higher heat for less time.
Finish the stuffing
Make the Brussels sprouts
Glaze the squash
Take a nap

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bad 70's music and a liberal sprinkling of flour

Wiiiiith you I'm not shyyyyyy, for you are a magnet and IIIIIIII yammmmmm steeeeel......

My neighbors must HATE me by now, but you know what, Thanksgiving dinner has to get cooked baby!

So far:

I cubed all the bread for the stuffing
Parboiled & peeled the pearl onions
Made 6 pie crusts
Rolled out 5 pie crusts
Put 2 pumpkin pies in the oven
Blind baked 2 pecan pie crusts
Used the scrap dough to make little mousie crackers
Made the gravy base
Made two liters of white sauce.

What's left:
Make the pecan pie filling
Make the stuffing
Make the Brussels sprouts
Make the apple pudding pie
Peel and roast the squash.

Easy. And I have plenty of AWESOME-ly bad music to keep me up ALL NIGHT!

Whoo hooey!

Turkey Shoot 2007

I am delighted to report that Turkey Shoot 2007 has gone off without a hitch.

Sadly I keep forgetting to post about it on this blog, so here are the links:

The Weekend Approaches

and also

The Trip to Diemand Farm

And then of course I also added some of the farm photos to my flickr account.

Super 88 Find

A box of little bean paste cakes.

Dainty & delicious.

Ha Ha Halloweeeeeen!!!!

I made it through most of the day without succumbing to the plastic pumpkin-o-candy.

Breakfast was two slices of bread (toasted with Silver Brook Farm grape jelly), some plain yogurt with granola, and about a gallon of Red Zinger tea.

Lunch was two more slices of toast, stars-squash-carrot-onion-potato soup, and mint tea.

Everything to this point - homemade except for the tea.

Then around 4pm I had a candy breakdown which involved me frantically tearing into Kit Kats and Snickers in an utterly mortifying way.

Once the nausea passed and I was home for the night, trying to avoid the candy-for-tricker-treaters bowl, I decided to make some comfort food, since clearly my body is crying out for that kind of lovin'.

So I chopped up some potatos and fried them up in a little butter & olive oil & paprika until they were lovely and browned.

Then I beat some eggs together with a little grated romano cheese and made a little omelet.

All I can say is yum-ola.

But then of course I broke into my …

All the best intentions

I really had all the best intentions of eating so naturally and healthily but sadly I was on the road this weekend and filled myself up with crap.

The good news: it made me feel like crap so it's been easy to jump back into healthy eating.

The bad news: I still feel like crap. I have these allergies that are kicking my ass. Grrr.

But at least I didn't eat too terribly today.

I feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel good!

For the most part of the past two weeks I have been pretty good about eating what I make from scratch.

I know I am going to sound like more of a hippie-earthy-crunchy-nutball, but I actually feel very different.

Except for the sinuses. They are stopped up nice and snugly, but eh it could be worse.

For the second week in a row my bread came out - astounding! And I've actually used up all that fresh food I bought.

Because sometimes when I go on a health food jag I get all enthused about eating all sorts of veg and fruit, but then I sort of look at the pretty tomatoes and then decide to get french fries for dinner...

Food on the Food

In browsing for local food sources, I came across this blog: Food On the Food.

It is worth the read, browse through some of the older posts for some great posts on the joys and difficulties in eating completely locally, as well as for finding great local links.

I am terrified of going completely local. Coffee does not grow on this side of the equator. I would probably die without coffee. Since I don't want to die, I will never be able to do that 100-mile diet.

But I sure do admire her for doing it, and reading her blog inspires me.

All the food I can eat from scratch - week 2

So last week I challenged myself to eating only things I made from scratch.

I did better than I thought - I slipped on Monday night with salami and cheese and then again on Friday when 7 munchkins accidentally flew into my mouth.

And probably I need to write off Saturday since I ate out for every meal.

But I am back on track today.

There is soup on the stove (curried carrot) to be pureed and frozen, the bread is on its second rise, the pizza toppings have been cooked, yogurt is going to start tonight, tomato sauce is next up, and once the game starts I think I am going to make some chocolate chip cookies. Maybe.

My good friend MadcapMo gave me some of her fabulous Sassy Sauce and that might do for the sweet tooth I have been suffering from lately!

And at some point I am going to have to make something from the lovely Baer's beans I got at Russo's on Saturday.

Let's just see how far I make it this week!

It's all meat to me!

What happens when I send the Evil Twin to get a little sliced & cured meat for hors d'ouvres?

She brings back salami and pancetta.

The salami falls in the right category fo'shuh.

But the pancetta? Uncooked pork belly on a cracker with cheese anyone?


However the sunny side of the story is that I now have a nice bit of thinly sliced pancetta for the next time I make linguini!

Ok 2 down, 5 to go

Well it wasn't the munchkins that did me in! Miraculously I have managed to steer clear of those naughty little things for two full days.

It was however the wine and the salami last night that I could not resist.

Ok well, moving on shall we?

Today I stuck to my homemade guns and ate pretty much everything homemade. I made pizza with local cheese and farmers market veg last night and had that for lunch today. Yum!

And then tonight I fell off the wagon again with some organic veggie chips and hummus. But eh, at least it's not a munchkin.

Plus I can honestly say that I actually feel less foggy than normal.

All the food I can eat from scratch!

So this week I am challenging myself to eat only what I make from scratch.

I quickly realized however that I need to make an exception for caffeinated beverages. But even so, I am going to limit that to tea and coffee I make myself.

It's been easy enough so far, no one has waved a box of munchkins in from of my face yet....

What I've made for today:

2 - slices of toast with jam (I made bread last night and unlike Friday's batch, it doesn't suck. The jam I made earlier in the season with some overripe strawberries)
1 - dollop of homemade yogurt with homemade granola. The Yogurt Babushka rises again!
1 - container of farmer's market soup with organic orzo
1 - honeycrisp apple

Notice there is no chocolate in that list. Right there is another reason this challenge is doomed!

To the left, to the left

Everything I eat in a box to the left.

Click on the link on the left for pictures of the phood I phoootograph.

Black Cake - A Love Affair

Ever since I read Laurie Colwins passage on Black Cake, I have been slightly obsessed.

I love fruit cake - not the crappy dry kind with the burning awful cheap liquor taste and the frightening bits of bright green and red candies studded throughout

But I will eat almost every other kind of cake/fruit/alcohol combination.

I had lovely fruited tea loaf in Waterford, white fruitcake from Texas, rum cake in Barbados, fig cake from Croatia, if it's fruit and alcohol bound in batter, I will try it.

So the idea of a gorgeous black damp rummy fruity cake made me both drool and then want to read every recipe Colwin put on paper.

This past Christmas I started my fruit in November. I made one gi-normous 10 pound cake(12" round) that disappeared in about one minute. And about 6 little loaves, 5 of which disappeared equally quickly. I kept one to see how it age.s

I've already started my fruit for Christmas 2007. I am so excited

Time to Cook

Ok, so my last post was back in May.


But in all honesty I barely cook in the summer. Too hot!

Now suddenly summer seems to be gone and I am feeling like cooking again!

Where I eat when I don't eat at home

Ok, some of you may know from my other blog that I am the Food Psychic - if I talk about it, cook it, eat it, or tell other people about it, chances are it will be in some food section on Wednesday.

And now the Boston Globe had gone and done it again with their review of Sunrise-Randong, a great Vietnamese restaurant in Dorchester. A place me and my friends have been eating at for ages.

I am not a great big fan of Sheryl Julian, and saying that the restaurant would be better off with a liquor license is silly and makes her sound like floozy.

The food is great - regular homemade Vietnamese food better than what you'd get at home if you lived in Vietnam. And if you ask, they'll make you the spring rolls with tofu instead of shrimp and pork. Also, see if you can find the "sweat and sour" sauce on the menu.

It doesn't need a glass of pinot.


The Yogurt Babushka

You may have read over on Shamrag that I've been experimenting with making yogurt.

The key to homemade yogurt is to make sure you can keep it over a constant source of warmth - which means that I have to wrap it up in an old scarf and then in an old dishtowel and then bind the thing together with a rubber band, before setting it over the pilot light - giving it a rather babushka-y look to it, if you were to bind up a babushka in a rubber band.

I am positive they don't do this commercially which is probably why my yogurt tastes so good.

Necessity is definitely the mother of invention

I was brought up under the rule of two laws:




The exception to the first rule was that we were allowed to watch public television (Sesame Street, Zoom, and Electric Company) and then to reinforce this rule we were told the tv was broken and could only tune in public television anyway. I guess questioning authority was a learned behaviour for me.

The exception to the second rule was my father. Dad introduced us to the Burger King on Boylston Street - all orange tile and brown formica - and that was a secret my sister, myself, and Dad kept from Mom. Everytime she went out of town or out on the town it was hamburgers, fries, and shakes.

My Dad was the one to bring me to the Empire Deli at the corner of East Berkley and Washington Streets, just below the old Dover Street station, for a baloney sandwich that seemed to me to be 3 inches of baloney on a soft bun, slathered with yellow mustard and served with a pickle spear and …