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Preview: In the Night Kitchen

In the Night Kitchen



"I'm not the milk and the milk's not me!"



Updated: 2017-04-16T06:53:06.261-04:00

 



Now is the Winter of Our Discontent (February)

2015-03-11T07:45:00.668-04:00

It didn’t stop. February, it snowed. And snowed. And snowed some more.Then we went on vacation and it snowed there too. (And boy was it cold.) February, we built fires, we baked cookies and brownies and other things to get you through the latest snow storm. (We drank beer.) It was miserable.Miserable.To that end, a few books that were just miserable, each paired with a cookie recipe I do like. The Book Thief - Chunky Lola Cookies from FlourOne Day - Fudgy Brownies - King Arthur FlourLoving Frank - Oatmeal Cookies(I'm not linking to these books. If you feel like you need to find them, you've been warned.) [...]



Heart of Darkness (January)

2015-03-04T07:44:03.901-05:00

Oh January! How naïve we were, bundled up as winter did it’s thing, dreaming of spring not so far off, getting excited about a few inches of weekend snow. January is as good a time as ever for comfort food. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s hard to imagine that we’ll ever get out of winter and into spring and warmth, but it’s probably going to happen. January was when I had to plan runs around time of day, making sure I could sneak something in before work or maybe in the afternoon before it got dark.But what did we know… What lay around that curve of the river… Winter. True, deep, dark winter was waiting for us, baiting us, about to spring out and attack us. Two and a half feet of snow. OH. The horror, the horror. Two and a half feet of snow melts eventually, right? We warm up with mac and cheese, or roasted veggies, or soups, and then before we know it, the snow has gone, dirty piles of it sit on the corners, but those melt too, and we emerge, out of the darkness, into spring.RIGHT??? What the hell, winter? Just another storm, another snow day, another work out shoveling, another day on the treadmill because you cant go outside.  But this will go away eventually. We’ll get back out of the jungle. Eventually.A few ways we coped with the storm: Whole Grain Macaroni & CheesePotato Gratin with Goat CheeseParmesan Roasted CauliflowerWe just put cheese on everything...Recommended Reading:Joseph Conrad Heart ofDarkness [...]



Failure, Relaunch, Resolution

2015-01-18T10:02:43.280-05:00

FailureWell guys, I failed, miserably, at keeping up the blog last year. Outside of one month of productive posting, which, WTH?, didn't include any picture or mention of our adventures in Scandinavia and dinner at NoMa (yea we did!) it was a slow year on the blog.ResolutionThis year I also intend it to be a slow year on the blog, but I intend to post once a month. That shouldn't be that hard, but look what happened last year... That said, it's a manageable goal that wont overwhelm, so I think there are some real possibilities here.RelaunchThat being said, this blog has been inspired by books from day 1, hence the name, "In the Night Kitchen." This year, with purpose, my resolution-ed monthly posts will be inspired by books too. They will still be about food, and most of the time baking, but I read SO MUCH and I might as well start weaving that in too. That said, the rest of this blog post will have nothing to do with books (or only a little).VacationingWithout putting enough thought into it, our yearly February trip was to Scandinavia last year. We spent most of our time in Stockholm, with an overnight in Copenhagen and a stopover in Iceland.A few things to try in Stockholm. First, this is a Semla. It is all the rage, you must have one. It took us several days to finally sit down and order one. Other pastries, especially those with cardamom are delicious.Second, fish in tubes. I think Sweden is the biggest consumer of fish in tubes. All kinds of fish, all sizes of tubes. Also, smoked, pickled or dilled fish. If you've been eating pickled herring since childhood, breakfast in Stockholm is fun. If you haven't, there's a first time for everything.We went to Nybrogatan 38. We kind of stumbled upon it looking for a dinner near our hotel on one of our last evening's in the city. We sat at the bar as the place was super crowded and were started off with this delicious bread basket. The remaining food was also really good - and the drinks were fun - note you can order the Pensatucky.  This is just a picture of a latte.And finally, we went to lunch with my friend Alex. Sweden is a very family-centric place, and there were lots of families lunching in this little restaurant. Strollers are left outside, and apparently sad pugs too. This may be my favorite photo from the whole trip.From Stockholm, we went south to Copenhagen, primarily because we managed to get a reservation at NoMa, but also because flights were cheap and it was easy to get to. Copenhagen was a short trip, but here are some NoMa dinner photos:       This is a cappuccino. I was confused - is everyone really drinking iced coffee, outside bundled up at cafes and smoking their cigarettes? No. That is a cappuccino in a glass. Aha. Isn't it beautiful though? This was at The Coffee Collective in Torvehallerne - a food market with lots of interesting treats.Finally, we went through Iceland, and did a short trip, also with good food and interesting sightseeing.  For instance, there are all these boats: If you go to Iceland, you should definitely check out Lebowski Bar. The dude abides here. You should also have brunch at The Laundromat, which we did maybe every morning we were there.[...]



Sweet Sunday in Chesnut Hill Square

2014-08-23T19:01:52.011-04:00

Two Sundays ago (was it that long ago?) I got to hang out with a fun group of Boston Brunchers in Chestnut Hill Square. I was pretty excited when I saw Renee post this event because (a) I miss Sweetgreen and (b) this was the only weekend I was home this summer.It was a very sweet Sunday, because I got up in the morning and ate a cookie before I went for my run... We started out with a walk through Chestnut Hill/Newton from the TrueRunner store. Everyone was able to test out new New Balances (those laces!!) and a TomTom watch. I admittedly had some trouble with the TomTom technology - my watch experience is pretty much just start/stop/lap, so I was a little out of my tech element here.Our walk helped work up the appetite AND took us past Tom Brady's house. Apparently he and Bill Belichick live next door to each other, which is adorable. Post-hike, we trekked across the parking lot to sweetgreen, where Rachel (who was rocking all purple, love it!) had us set up with salads, peach gazpacho and blueberry basil lemonade. I chose the Spicy Sabzi which has organic baby spinach + shredded kale with spicy quinoa, spicy broccoli, carrots, raw beets, basil, sprouts and roasted tofu; topped with a carrot chili vinaigrette and a squeeze of sriracha". Mmm, sriracha. This one was spicy, but like most of the sweetgreen salads I've had, tasty and absolutely packed with veggies. Sweetgreen launched in a teeny tiny shop just down the block from where I went to grad school, and they have a very cool community focused mission that includes local farmers and local music. And kale. I only wish there was a sweetgreen a little closer to my house.In keeping with the sweet theme, we walked over to Sweet cupcakes for some sugar and whimsical treats. Note the cupcake ferris wheel. The cupcakes were moist and had a really good balance of frosting to cake. (Which in my world means a lot of frosting.) I tried the lemon and the chocolate, with a preference for the lemon which was very light. Then we started gazing over the flavors (so many flavors) and tried the Honey Blackberry which has local(ish) honey and blackberry jam and the Caramel Macchiato. The Caramel Macchiato I drooled over a little. Then I tasted it and drooled some more - this cupcake mixes caramel, espresso, and a little cinnamon and was a coffee cupcake dream.I won't lie. I went home and slipped into a sugar coma for a little while...  [...]



Old Bay Crispix Mix

2014-04-04T08:00:00.923-04:00

Holy OMG Batman. This Crispix mix is out of control. I always dreamed of making Crispix Mix (yes, really) and never got around to it. I have been eating too much of it for breakfast most days, and since I finally found the spice to end all other spices Old Bay at the grocery, I've been dreaming of making an Old Bay Crispix Mix.
Finally, in honor of March Madness, I got my act together and made this delicious treat. Be very careful with this stuff. In fact, you probably shouldn't share it. No one else appreciates it as much as you do.




Old Bay Crispix Mix - adapted from MD Kitchen
Ingredients: 

  • Two tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Three tablespoons Old Bay spice mix
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (about two tablespoons)
  • One stick of butter
  • Eight cups Crispix cereal
  • Two cups Goldfish crackers
  • Two cups unsalted pretzels
  • One cup unsalted peanuts
  • Optional - hot sauce (we don't have any), garlic (mine's sprouted)

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine in Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, and lemon juice.
  3. Combine Crispix, Goldfish crackers, pretzel twists, and peanuts. Spread out ingredients in two baking sheets or pyrex pans.
  4. Melt butter.
  5. Mix butter with Worcestershire mix and pour over  dry ingredients. Stir gently to coat completely.
  6. Bake in the oven for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and transfer to cool on baking sheets. Mix will crisp up as it cools.
  8. Eat, as soon as it's ready. Share only if you're feeling really nice today.



Stacked Donuts Pop Up

2014-04-02T07:00:10.506-04:00

Boston-based Top Chef competitor Stephanie Cmar has been popping up around Boston on the weekends with her Stacked Donuts. I've heard good things on twitter, blogs, and other internets, so when eventbrite posted that she was doing a pop up in Somerville on Saturday, I added it to my calendar immediately.

I am coping with a running injury, so first I had to waste 30 minutes going back and forth to the gym (and erging - why doesn't that hurt), then I hopped in the car and headed to KITCHENiNC in Union Square.
I was greeted by this colorful sign, reminding me that maybe a running injury isn't so bad if donuts. 

Stephanie had a samoa (the one in front) and ginger-lemongrass donut. I asked what they were but obviously needed one of each. The ginger was my favorite of the two, but that may be a personal preference for ginger-flavored things which seems to exceed that for things with coconut. These were beautifully lick your fingers sticky and light and puffy. I'm not a regular donut eater, but this was a delicious treat.

If you've been in my kitchen, you know I have a serious apron collection. Stephanie was wearing this adorable donut apron. Maybe I should find one covered in pies?

I'm pretty sure that donut is the new cupcake. This I am 100% okay with.



Puritan & Company Brunch with The Boston Brunchers

2014-04-01T14:56:27.143-04:00

Last weekend I got to see the Boston Brunchers again, this time at Puritan & Company. I was very excited to get to Puritan & Company for brunch. We've been there for dinner a handful of times and I was always impressed! Chef Will Gilson has an amazing twitter avatar cooks from a traditional New England perspective and has created this charming and busy restaurant in Inman Square.Below is the brunch and drinks menu. This brunch menu is a little meat heavy but has a few veggie egg dishes and sourdough griddlecakes as well. And the pastries. The pastries...A cocktail called the concatenation? Excel geek here almost ordered it, except I do not like anise. Darn. Instead I got one of the brunch cocktails, the Park Avenue - along with 3/4 of the table I'd say. This was one strong brunch drink. It's a good thing I didn't get a beer while watching the basketball game right after this or anything. Holy pastries Batman! We had a Boston Cream donut, cherry blondies, banana bread, lemon cornmeal muffin, a dulce de leche and coconut danish, and a savory twist with ham and cheese. Wow. Everything here was phenomenal. The blondies were really complex and the texture of the muffin was awesome. The table's favorite was the danish, although I leaned toward banana bread, because banana bread.Below are a few of the dishes the Brunchers tried:Steak & EggsBroccoli & Cheddar ScrambleCopa Ham Breakfast SandwichCorned Beef HashDid you notice how beautiful those eggs are? Those are real farm fresh eggs and man are they delicious. I had the broccoli and cheddar scramble, which was all things eggs are supposed to be, and cheesy. I've recently realized that broccoli may be my favorite vegetable, so this was an added plus to the scramble (and we were all a little sad though that the quiche was sold out by the time we arrived).Puritan & Company is now on my list of brunch recommends, though if you like Parker House rolls, make sure you stop in for dinner too!Per usual, brunch was provided free to our group, but opinions are my own.[...]



Where We Eat

2014-04-01T14:48:28.828-04:00

I had the opportunity lately to do a lot of restaurant eating. This is not necessarily a good thing (for my wallet), but it has been a fun experience exploring and tasting new things. As is often the case, I usually forget to take pictures of what I'm eating.

Spoke
Day 1 of husband's birthday trilogy. Spoke was a very welcome addition to the Davis Square neighborhood and we venture there often. The wine and drinks menu is not extensive, but it's well curated and the servers are super knowledgeable about what's on tap/in the bottle. The food menu is great, lots of options which change pretty regularly (though often mildly, which is nice to be able to come back for a dish and try it in a new way) and are designed to be shared around your table. My one complaint (now that they've started doing a late night menu!) is that the restaurant is small and the kitchen ventilation is eh - so sorry you guys, I tend to specifically put on clothes that need washing anyway when I come here!

Sarma
Day 2 of the birthday trilogy. We finally got a table here after repeated OpenTable failures last minute attempts. The food was good and drinks were pretty good as well, although beer menu listed to craft over themed (Turkish). Unfortunately, our service that night was definitely off and we could see that for whatever reason, things were just coming out to us realllllllly slow. Worth the wait was the octopus. Plus, there was fried cheese, so again, food was lovely - another great place for sharing. And they have a pretty neat way of doing dim sum-esque specials. We'll have to try again, maybe when it's not so busy.

Kirkland Tap & Trotter
Day 3 of birthday-mageddon, in which I seriously consider not eating for a few meals.... We had a big group at Kirkland Tap & Trotter for dinner. Drinks of all kinds were flowing as were the appetizers. We ordered one of each hot appetizer and a few others, then everyone got an entree and then - why did we do this - ordered dessert. The grilled salmon head was awesome as was the octopus and hummus (hmm, sensing an octopus trend here?). I went with one of the specials for dinner (a bronzino maybe?) and then about half the table ordered the oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich. The staff were also super awesome because we had a celiac in our group - they served plates very clearly saying you can or can't eat that, and made substitutions where they could.

Trade
"Hey, I know, let's check out Trade." Something came up, reschedule.
"Guests in town, let's go to Trade." Actually, they're staying with friends and would rather eat in a different neighborhood.
"It's my last day of work, let's ccelebrate." Well, there's going to be a big snowstorm, so we're closed.
SERIOUSLY. YOU GUYS. I thought I was doomed to never make it to this restaurant. Ever. And I'd walked past it so many times and thought great things about Jody Adams, and then every. single. time. Something came up. Well, jokes on you (who?), I finally ate at Trade!
Finally, finally, finally, I made a reservation and ate at Trade! (YAY.) I had the spicy broccoli pizza, because it's no secret I love broccoli, and a side of spicy bok choy. And a lot of water! This is such a good post-work spot, that I'm a little jealous of people who are working in that neighborhood, although safer for me to not be drawn back to it every day on my way home.


A few more delicious restaurant updates coming soon - with pictures!




Birthdays Galore!

2014-04-01T14:48:53.629-04:00

Or just one birthday, that we celebrated for three days! Why? Because we could we had friends visiting, made big dinner plans, etc.
But more importantly, I made red velvet cupcakes. This is new - brand new. I'm not a huge red velvet fan, but the husband is, and he requested red velvet (not brownie ice cream cake, sadness), so I scoured the internet far and wide, and came to the conclusion that most red velvet cakes are the same. But since this baking maven has never steered me wrong, I followed her lead.
What a lead it was! (Admittedly, I made plain old cream cheese frosting.) These red velvet tasted almost like full-on chocolate cake and they were awful pretty (bright red) to boot!

Take a look at the before shot:

And the after:


Yum. Good decision husband!

In other news, Brad Pitt is loving our sunny staircase. 
So lazy.





Pi Day

2014-04-01T14:49:14.068-04:00

Is it not our favorite day, here in the night kitchen?It's Pi Day of course! A holiday combining pi and math, who could say no? (Not me.)For previous pie posts, go here: http://nightkitchener.blogspot.com/search?q=pie.My favorite pie is the apple rosemary: http://nightkitchener.blogspot.com/2013/02/apple-rosemary-pies.html.[...]



Flashback: November 2013

2014-04-01T14:54:41.292-04:00

Oh November. Back when the days were warm(er) and you could actually see the ground! As a result of Thanksgiving, I did a lot of cooking and eating in November. I also finally got out of Albany and down to Brooklyn for work. Soft Pretzels! (Told you I loved them.)This is Albany: This is Brooklyn: I made apple rosemary pies OBVIOUSLY. We also ended up with three different homemade cranberry sauces at Thanksgiving. Mom made her traditional food processor cranberry orange (which I'm not keen on), but I knew she was making it, so I made my own sauce. Turned out, she also made a regular sauce.Turns out we're all about 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon:We finally made it into Renee's for breakfast: And if you're a cat, I strongly advise against this:[...]



Flashback: December 2013

2014-04-01T14:54:41.289-04:00

Oh December, we had no idea that three months later it would still be cold and miserable and snowy!

We held our annual dinner party. This is a photo of the test recipe, found in Real Simple (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/roasted-salmon-horseradish-00100000112330/index.html) and legitimately, real simple.


My college had a Yule Log happy hour - I tossed this sprig of holly into the "fire" aka a basket at the bar we were at whose fireplace wasn't working.

Clearly, I made these lemon cookies for Christmas, along with gingerbread and some almond sugar cookies.


My brother gave me this lobster for Christmas. What was inside? Well a set of lobster crackers of course!

Ever see this house just of the Davis Square path? I can't even imagine what they're electric bill is like in December!




Pretzel Bites

2014-04-01T14:55:58.871-04:00

The Superbowl was a big waste of time this year, but I found an awesome new sports snack recipe to make for it. I am a Big Fan of the soft pretzel, and occasionally make big soft pretzels, but came across this pretzel bites recipe on King Arthur Flour's blog: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/pretzel-bites-recipe. We had these with some strong mustard and they were gone in a flash. About as long as the Broncos had any hope of winning.




A Bit of a Rut

2014-04-01T14:55:29.999-04:00

We've moved (!!!) and our kitchen is still a work in progress. We're not redoing anything, just trying to unpack. Unfortunately, we're going from a kitchen with tons of cabinet space, to one with next to none! And the cabinets we have, well, they're like cabinets for ants (ha, 2 jokes in one). That is, they're very small - so small that we can't fit our silverware trays in the kitchen and are keeping them in the cupboards in the pantry. So small that the holder I bought for foil and plastic wrap and parchment just barely fits inside the cupboard door. So small that dear god where am I going to fit the kitchenaid!

Two, we haven't even made it to the grocery store yet. I've dragged some pantry items over and popped into the store for cereal, granola bars, half and half and cheese, but we're overdo for a grocery trip.

With all that said, breakfast and lunch are quite the routine: crispix for breakfast, pb&j for lunch, an orange, a granola bar, what I'm at home popcorn???

And dinner has been an exercise in take out. My gosh. We would go out to dinner occasionally (well 1-2 a week, usually on the weekend) and would order take out rarely, but I haven't cooked a meal in two weeks! (Practically, there was a plain pasta and broccoli night when we got back from vacation.

One afternoon we had Indian (which doubled for lunch the next day), then we had pizza, then salad from Whole Foods, then sub-optimal Italian.... I've been CRAVING Thai for weeks and Yelp tells me there might be something good nearby. Then I have dinner plans for the next two nights, so I can only hope and pray that by Sunday we have a functional kitchen and we've been to the grocery store so I can spend some time cooking.





Half bath (if that)

2014-04-01T14:50:06.898-04:00

Suggestions on inexpensive ways to improve this funky little half bath? I'm thinking a full length mirror where the "medicine cabinet" is and maybe a linen chest behind the toilet. Or a garden? 











More Somerville Brunching: Ball Square Cafe

2014-04-01T14:50:23.155-04:00

This month, Boston Brunchers descended on the Ball Square neighborhood (yay! more Somerville!!) for brunch at Ball Square Cafe. The owner, Mike, made everyone feel incredibly welcome, plying us with shots of hot chocolate and plates of sweet delicious breakfast foods! (Remember how I have an eternal eggs vs sweet brunch debate, problem solved.)I was pretty pleased with the self-serve coffee and drinks, which means that you'd never have to wait for someone to come by and refill your coffee cup while you look forlornly at your dregs. We started off with a french toasts with caramelized bananas and a Belgian waffle with fresh fruits - and whipped cream. Mike also brought out two bowls of fresh fruit, which I was pretty delighted with: there was mango and kiwi and berries and bananas and pineapple and, yeah, probably some melon in there somewhere, but I hate melons and rarely order fresh fruit at restaurants because it's mostly cut melons and grapes and sad bananas. Womp. This was so not that!Since my brunch decision was made for me, I ordered the Moroccan eggs, scrambled. When food started being served, there was a little panic about where to put things because we had so much food. My eggs were great, dressed with lots of spices (and lots of cumin) which made them smell fantastic, and with tomatoes, peppers and onions. They went very well with my side of grilled mashed potatoes. (Sidebar: grilled mashed potatoes? I could have more of this in my life.) Because we had more food than 10 bloggers could eat, the remaining 2/3 of my breakfast went home to my husband as his post-13 mile run lunch.I'd also put Ball Square Cafe on my run-to-eat list. In DC, we did a lot of weekend morning group runs to brunch, and this is a little less fancy than my go-to Foundry, where I feel like maybe I should change out of running clothes, if not shower first.Thanks to Mike at Ball Square Cafe, Boston Brunchers and Blog and Tweet Boston for getting everyone out to Somerville again. When you're in the neighborhood, check out Ball Square Fine Wines, Lyndell's and head down Willow to Q's Nuts. [...]



Cozy up to this: Snowstorm and Scones

2014-04-01T14:50:34.071-04:00

Last month, Boston finally got the snow that never came last winter. We had an enormous snowstorm, complete with driving bans and houses washing out to sea and super duper elevated French Toast Alerts. Thursday night I walked into the Porter Square Shaw's and then turned around and walked out and straight over to Pemberton Farms - which was deserted. Then we had a cozy Friday at home getting ready for the storm (instead of buying bread, I made it). Friday when it got dark, the snow finally started coming down, so we did what any normal person would do and left the house. We trekked over to Davis Square, stopped in at the Burren for a drink and wandered around until we found somewhere that was serving dinner, since most places were closed.  The storm picked up Friday night, and Saturday morning you could have sledded down our front steps if you wanted to. We walked and snowshoed down to Harvard Square then up to Olde Magoun's (they were actually the only place open) then headed back home for some more shoveling.When it's cold and snowy and all you want to do is curl up and be warm, remember that it's also a fantastic idea to turn your oven on and bake! This recipe is straight from Joy the Baker and I implore you to make it at least once before spring starts it gets too warm, so July. It will rock your world.I made these scones twice in the same week (they were gone in a day), and while they're a little ingredient intensive, they are worth it. (This was another time when the guys at Dave's Fresh Pasta hooked me up - I couldn't find chives ANYWHERE.)Sour Cream and Chive Scones Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go. Hustle to the kitchen now! [...]



The One Where I Fix My Ugly Dresser

2014-04-01T14:50:54.361-04:00

Have you ever googled for Ikea Hacks? People do some pretty neat stuff! Like this and these.
I finally got fed up with my ugly choice of Ikea dresser (fun fact, the tall dresser on the left was a craigslist find in 2005, the one on the right I purchased for real and assembled 2 years ago) and started googling around for ways to update it.

I came across several hacks to this dresser, this one: http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/ikea-dresser-hack and this one: http://www.designsponge.com/2009/03/before-after-adams-ikea-dresser.html give you the best idea of the before/after I was inspired by.
Please don't judge me on my poor choices, the original dressers were made like this:
(image)
I went to my favorite hardware store, Tags, in my least favorite parking lot, Porter Square, and got a lot of spray paint - primer for plastic and other weird surfaces, and then white to transform the "birch wood." Hint: if you buy this dresser in white, the project is WAY EASIER. I also ordered some contact paper online.
Here's a close up:
(image)

I did this in the summertime, so I took the dressers apart, brought them into our backyard, dressed up real fancy (I used an old bandana as a mask) and did a lot of spray painting. Then I dragged all of the drawers to the basement to dry, and left the two dresser bodies in our kitchen. My room was a mess, since all of my clothes were now in piles on the floor....

Once the drawers were dry, I added contact paper and reassembled and had this!
Sure, minus the fact that my room was still very messy in this photo, not bad for a previously hideous dresser, right?  (And if only I had drawer pulls to put on it that were cute. Oops, guess this is still a work in progress!)



Cranberry Almond Coconut Granola plus a Greek Yogurt Review

2014-04-01T14:51:07.470-04:00

Gosh, as a food blogger, I was seriously missing the Greek yogurt post, so never fear, I'm going to tell you about my favorite one... but first, granola!
 (image)
After a Whole Foods purchase of cranberry-almond granola that was pretty darn crunchy, I asked a coworker who had brought granola to a potluck what she uses as a recipe. The response was basically "the internet, do what you want, it's easy". So to the internet I went! I cobbled together from a few recipes and came up with a fairly standard granola - cranberries, almond, coconut. I was inspired by Joy the Baker and a few other recipes for proportions.

This stuff was yummy! I used maple syrup as a sweetener, which along with the cranberries gives this a homey New England feel.  The coconut is almost like a secret umami flavor. AND I didn't burn it!

A tip - absolutely shop the bulk section of Whole Foods. These oats were 99 cents/lb for instance. Also, it shouldn't surprise anyone that I used the leftover coconut in a loaf of banana bread. I'm thinking I should do a series of posts on banana bread.... For instance, I recently made Ina Garten's old fashioned banana cake for a Chinese New Year party.

And finally, I waver on Greek yogurt. Some brands I feel are very chalky, others I don't like the vanilla flavoring and their plain is so sour that I end up flavoring with honey. I'm a little yogurt picky. However, I've stumbled across Cabot Vanilla Greek Yogurt and it's by far my favorite. It's not quite as dense as some other Greek yogurts, but it's not terrifically sweet and has an honest vanilla flavor.

I think that earns me a certified food blogger stamp of approval. What's your stereotypical food blog post? What's your favorite Greek yogurt?




Christmas Cookies and Cats

2014-04-01T14:51:31.700-04:00

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is taking excessive amounts of photos of cats cooking with my mom. We make a very traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner of borscht and pierogi. The pierogi requires A LOT of work – make the dough, make the filling, roll the dough, stuff with filling, freeze…. Wait patiently… Cook and cover with butter.  We also make cookies. This year, for whatever reason, I had a hell of a time with my lemon cookies. We tried and failed a few times to no success whatsoever (although my improv team enjoyed them, they tasted fine) and finally I went home and made them myself.The photo above is what happened when I showed up at my parent’s house with dozens of unfrosted cookies in tow. My brother and I frosted, sprinkled, and decorated (while a cat ate the ribbon of one of the packages under the tree). If you zoom in you can see the negative snowman and a few other fun things. Kids these days, so emo. A few other fun things:The restaurant at the Ace Hotel in NYC - the livestock were decorated for the seasonMy favorite Christmas ornament, purchased in Poland in 2010A coffee shop in AlbanyA mammoth! (We are now members of the Museum of Science.) [...]



Apple Rosemary Pies

2014-04-01T14:51:49.465-04:00

Sometime around a few months ago, we had some holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas... About a year and a half ago, I actually wrote this post and I only just found as a saved draft. The recipe was good, so I made the pies again this year. Also, you'll see another post soon talking about how awesome the team at Dave's Fresh Pasta are for hooking me up with spare herbs. I thought this recipe came from the New York Times although I can only find it in my email. So, it's below. I'm a mess, seriously!You know I love pie, and I love baking pie, so when we had a thanksgiving work potluck, I decided to make a pie. The story of pie #1 is as follows.... Wednesday night I couldn't find rosemary at the grocery store, so I stopped in to Dave's Fresh Pasta and asked nicely at the counter. I was rewarded with several sprigs of rosemary at minimal cost, so I went home to start the pie.Then it turned out I didn't have enough regular flour, so I had to make a partially whole wheat crust. And then I went for a run.My pie strategy is as follows: make crust, refrigerate, go for a run. So I did, but I discovered I needed flour for the filling and I had to go out to the store to buy more anyway. Sigh....But the pie still came out delicious! Anyway, it was just a practice for Thanksgiving, when I had to make two apple rosemary pies! My parents were nice enough to come over and help peel 18 apples and roll dough ( pre- made the night before thankfully) but still it was a struggle to get the pies in the oven in time to go to Thanksgiving One at my husband's house. After we went to Thanksgiving Two with my family, where I proceeded to screw up the popovers by doubling every ingredient except the eggs. Oops. Rosemary Apple PiePrep: 1 hourBake: 55 min.Stand: 30 min. Ingredients1/4 cup granulated sugar1/4 cup water2 large sprigs fresh rosemary plus 1 tsp. finely snipped fresh rosemary1/2 cup packed brown sugar1/4 cup all-purpose flour1/4 tsp. salt6 cups cored, peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples1 Tbsp. lemon juice3 Tbsp. whipping cream1 tsp. vanilla1/4 cup butter1 Recipe Rosemary Pastry, see recipe1 egg white, beaten2 tsp. granulated sugarDirections1. For rosemary syrup, in small microwave-safe bowl combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the water, and 2 sprigs rosemary. Microcook, uncovered, on 100% power (high) for 2 minutes. Let stand 30 minutes; remove rosemary sprigs and discard.2. In small bowl combine brown sugar, flour, salt and 1 teaspoon finely snipped rosemary; set aside. In very large bowl toss apples with lemon juice. Add brown sugar mixture; toss to coat. Add whipping cream, vanilla, and rosemary syrup.3. In large skillet melt butter over medium heat; add apple mixture. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, slightly flatten one Rosemary Pastry ball. Roll it from center to edges into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry circle around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie pan or plate. Trim pastry even with rim of pie pan; spoon in apple mixture.5. Roll remaining ball of pastry into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Cut large slits in pastry. Place pastry circle on apple filling; trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pan. Fold top pastry under bottom pastry. Crimp edge as desired. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bak[...]



Coming Out of Hibernation

2014-04-01T14:56:42.132-04:00

Well, blog, it looks like I've been in hibernation throughout the winter. I'm putting together several posts to help us all get through the next few weeks of winter. With any luck they will make you feel warmer and cozier and generally of a good disposition. In pictures, things you can look forward to: [...]



Halloween Recap

2012-11-15T11:30:00.336-05:00




Just before Halloween, I came across this recipe from Bon Appetit for Halloween Peanut Butter and Toffee Bark. Hold on to your insulin guys, this thing is outrageous!

This recipe calls for 2 Heath bars, 3 Butterfingers, 8 Reese's cups, a pound of chocolate chips, Reese's Pieces AND white chocolate. The original also suggests honey roasted peanuts and peanut M+M's. Holy moly you guys. That is an insane amount of chocoalte - just look! 

(image)


I couldn't get even that much candy on here. If I make this again, I would stick to one bag of chocolate chips and maybe only 2/3 of the recommended candy. The white chocolate and Reese's Pieces on top are actually quite nice. This would also be great with some pretzel sticks.


In order to avoid gaining 5 pounds in a day, I sent this off to my brother. He's in college and shouldn't have any problem finding people to share with.





 And by sheer coincidence, this is the mug I grabbed on Halloween.





Coconut Banana Bread

2014-04-01T14:52:05.531-04:00

Banana bread is one of those things that you'll do crazy things for, like buying green bananas and leaving them out to get overripe and brown while fruit flies start to invade your kitchen.

This banana coconut bread combined one part crazy with one part leftovers. I recently received a crock pot (courtesy of an awesome contest at Kiss My Broccoli) and made a sweet potato and pea curry that left me with 3/4 a cup of coconut milk. I decided I would make banana bread using the coconut milk, so I took to the internets for a recipe. I found one that gave me an idea of the right proportion of coconut milk to flour and then I poked around some more.



This banana bread was so perfect - it had good texture and was sweet (chocolate chips) but not excessive (there's 3/4 cup of brown sugar). If you've never used coconut milk before, shake the can really hard until you hear liquid then shake some more before you open it. The next time I have leftover coconut milk, I realllllly hope there are bananas in the house.

Coconut Banana Bread

3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but really?)

Whisk together coconut milk, brown sugar, eggs, honey and vanilla. And mashed bananas and stir.
In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients - oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir until combined. Fold in coconut and chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased 9x5 loaf pan, sprinkle with raw sugar if you have it, and bake at 350 for about an hour and 15 minutes.




Brunching at Foundry on Elm

2014-04-01T14:53:06.994-04:00

Wow, so the Boston Brunchers made it back out to the Davis Square neighborhood and went to brunch at Foundry.Admittedly, this is not my first time at Foundry. It opened right about the time we moved to the Davis area and we go here a lot. As in, my Davis Square go-to. So, apologies is advance for a biased review.  I've had brunch here before - the first time was the day after our wedding and it was before Foundry got a new chef, so let's toss that from the record. The second time was after an 11 mile run. I nearly fell asleep at the table! But I did have a preview of our starter - these delicious beignets! I'll tell you, they are just as delicious when you aren't willing to eat your own hand. The beignets are dusted in cinnamon sugar (brings back memories of the french toast at Catalyst) and they come with a lemon curd and a chocolate sauce. The nice part about these sauces are that neither is too sweet - the chocolate is a bittersweet and the lemon curd is nice and tart.  Everyone had to hold back on these.... Because.....Sunday was the launch of Foundry's French country buffet brunch. We all walked over and checked it out. There was so much variety - eggs, breakfast sandwiches, potatoes, little scones and breads. I tried the blueberry cream cheese crepes which were excellent as well as the pain perdu bread pudding - which, you guys, we all raved about! It was lovely and definitely worth going for the buffet if you can't make up your mind at brunch.Every morning for me starts with coffee, today we added a mimosa. The vol au vent (bacon, spinach, poached egg, mornay sauce, flakey pastry bowl) and the breakfast flatbreads were the raved about dishes at the table. And, veggies - the vol au vent can be made without bacon.I had the breakfast sandwich (also without sausage) and apparently was too excited to get a clear picture. Oops! Every time I brunch I debate between the sweet and the eggy. Today I went eggy, which was clearly the right choice based on the aforementioned beignets and pain perdu and crepes... I was pretty happy with my egg sandwich although I could have used some kind of vegetable on this plate.  Like I said, I debate between sweet and eggy, so I was pretty happy that we ordered the dutch baby for the table. It was a perfect sweet end to brunch. It also is served with ice cream, which is a bit much for me in the morning. (Put that on record, I'll never say it again.) The apple and blueberries on top were delicious though. So... Brunch a Foundry? Will I be back? Resounding yes.Also, I encourage you to try dinner or head over here for a drink. My favorite gnocchi & squash dish is on the menu and is a great winter dish.And just in case it wasn't obvious by my raves over this great local spot, brunch was free of charge but my opinions are my own. [...]