Yet another birthday has come and gone. And while last year I was rebellious and decided to celebrate with and overdose of nutella in my birthday party dessert, (as is proper in any birthday party, anywhere, ever) this year I indulged instead in a mile high cake. Because I’m piling on the years, I figured it’s only fitting to pile on the size of the cake. This cake, with it’s polished and big look, has many steps to it, but it’s actually very easy and quick to make, (compared to other -cup- cakes I’ve made) so it was a great choice for a hectic day, in which I ran all across the city since morning and only started to prepare a full make your own grilled cheese bar about 1 hour before the guests arrived. My lateness, and the unpredictable may weather, resulted in what looked very much like an english tea party, instead of lunch. But who’s complaining? You can hardly beat a late lunch with rainy weather, flowers and cake. And gin and tonics instead of tea, of course! Tempted to do the same? Read more for the recipe! Continue reading
Some flavors are incredibly easy and almost everyone likes them. Think vanilla ice cream, ham and cheese, croissants. They’re the superstars of every kitchen/store because we’ll never tire of them and because we’re used to them. The same goes to people, design, fashion, decor, and pretty much everything else. But then there’s the other side of flavors, the unpopular, frowned upon by some and grossly overlooked ones. Like strong mustards, fennel and stinky cheeses. While they may go very high on our foodie-enjoy-almost-anything lists, the majority of people will pick a croissant over a whole wheat bagel any day. Oftentimes I do as well. But when you think about it, it’s really those things that you enjoy because of their strong characteristic flavors that really stick in your mind. And when they’re combined in your plate in such a way that their strengths don’t fight but compliment each other, then you’ve got what I think is a real ingredient experience. Such is often the case with rye breads or pumpernickel, for instance. It might not be ideal for a way-out-there sandwich or for any other recipe involving a lot of actual cooking….but if you’ve got some fresh bitter arugula and a good slice of cured ham lying around…..heaven. This bread turned out to be one of those things…a strong, earthy, moist, compact affair which in the company of some roasted sausages and maple syrup might make you squeal in delight (or you can just smile, if you’re the strong silent type). I tweaked the recipe I found at food.com to include wheat oats and maple syrup…and then I made dinner rolls which turned out suprisingly well for rye; a good hard crust and incredibly soft inside, the ideal roll for scooping up some mushroomy sauce or a jus left from your dinner steak. (Not that I ever scoop up sauce with my bread. ever. Yeah right) Read more for the recipe.
There are some things in life that are always good; finding unexpected money in one of your drawers, receiving a call from someone you miss, having warm feet….it’s a long list. And on that list (at least mine), potatoes will always have a place. I think I can say, with certainty, that I’ve never declined a good potato dish. In any of it’s variants. They’re just so good and go with everything…and there are so many ways you can cook them. They make any ingredient shine. But there’s a few ingredients that will always be glory to me when baked alongside this lovely tubers: cream, butter, rosemary, and cheese. So here goes a version using a couple of those; rosemary and sour cream. It’s an incredibly fast and easy dish, and it’s also clean. You’ll only need the chopping board, knife, and dish where you’ll be baking. And the result is so good you’ll hardly believe it was that simple. Read more for the recipe.