In the wrong light, this cake says: Hello, I drink like a pirate, I don’t have that many friends, and to top it all off, my cake frosting skills are horrifying, so I need to cover everything with pretty fruit and flaky coconut.
I just realized that when I was trying to sell you on this cake, and it made me laugh. But we all know better. Rum-spiked? That’s a good thing. Small enough for a gathering of, say, eight of your loveliest and most cherished people (including yourself)? Or perhaps as just one option in an array of desserts? That’s a good thing. That’s also a cute thing. Easy to decorate, allowing you to enjoy the festivities instead of sweating over uneven frosting? That’s neat, too.
Also a good thing: It tastes fantastic. Fragrant and light, with a pure coconut flavor and a little rum. As for the texture, this cake feels downright luxurious — dense, rich, velvety (way more so than “velvet” cake of any kind, I will say). I guess that’s what happens when you swap buttermilk for full-fat coconut milk. I don’t regret anything; this is a small, yet mighty (read: rich) cake, and it’s hard to mess up, from baking to decorating.
If there’s one definitive food of my childhood, it’s semolina porridge. I have these really distinct memories of eating it topped with strawberry jam — sometimes I’d mix in the jam thoroughly to make a uniformly pink breakfast, sometimes I’d create intricate swirl patterns with it, and sometimes I’d eat from the center inward toward the jewel-red dollop, like I was saving it for dessert.
The definitive accessories of my childhood: rather large head bows and a stern expression. But this is not a blog about that… So let’s move on.
These pancakes hail from Aland, which is a piece of Finnish autonomous region hotness in the Baltic Sea. Naturally, the cuisine of this little bunch of islands rings close to home. Semolina is very similar to farina, which is basically Cream of Wheat. Farina is just a little softer, but the slightly nutty flavor and bit of crunch is the same. The method of making “pancakes” in the oven, meanwhile, resembles the internet-famous (and rightly so) Dutch Baby. Both puff up nicely, then deflate, leaving a pleasant, dense chewiness to the crust that forms on the bottom and sides.
Posted in Baking, Breakfast, Fall, Winter
Tagged baked pancakes, cardamom, Finnish food, Finnish pancakes, nordic food, pears, scandinavian food, scandinavian pancakes, whipped cream
At some point I picked up Marcella Hazan’s book Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and decided I was going to show it who’s boss. Cover to cover, more or less; I was gonna be a priestess of pasta, goddess of gelato, archduchess of anchovies. Like Julie and Julia — except I’m not Amy Adams and the Danguole and Marcella story is moving at a glacial pace. I’m probably three recipes in.
It’s not that I don’t love the idea of doing exactly that, but my style and goals have changed. Plus, it is far more enjoyable for me these days to flip open that big fat tome before bed and browse for a recipe that inspires me. It’s exciting to have to choose just one, for the time being. Last week, I found myself in the glorious “Pork” section. There was a red-wine braised “Drunken Pork” recipe, but a quick Google search turned me away from it because evidently, not too many people have found it workable. I am not delusional, friends: if the whole Internet is having trouble with something, I will be unsuccessful and probably hurt myself somehow.
So, I settled on a promising pan-roasted ribs recipe. Wine is a common theme, yes. But besides that, simple, hearty, porky was exactly what I was after, and they did not disappoint. Not even the one that dropped out of high school to pursue an acting career.
Posted in Fall, Italian, Main courses, Meat, Sides, Winter
Tagged babyback ribs, braising, celery root, Italian, marcella hazan, pan roasting, pork, ribs, sage, treviso recipes, white wine
We made it through Thanksgiving! I never doubted us for a second. Give me a holiday where all that is expected of me is to eat like I’m about to hibernate in the tundra with nothing but my wits and a wild caribou named Bertha at my side (partially true), and perhaps make a pie, and I will dominate that holiday. I have a feeling you’re the same way.
Maybe you didn’t come home and immediately make ice cream, though. I had no reason to, other than that this idea has been sitting in my brain forever and it just needs to get out. Fly like a little baby bird into the Internet, sherry cobbler ice cream! You’re free!
Posted in Dessert, Fall, Holidays, Ice cream, Spring, Summer, Winter
Tagged boozy ice cream, ice cream with alcohol, oloroso sherry, sherry, sherry cobbler, sherry ice cream
If my blog self-destructs tomorrow, you’ll know why: I broke it by putting “balls,” “carrot,” and “top” too close together. I tried to avoid it, but there’s no outsmarting search engine algorithms. Whatever happens: It was worth it.
Let me tell you about my b… Let me tell you about these darling vegetarian “meatballs.” I’m not a vegetarian, but I used to be one, which means that both sides either trust me or completely distrust me. In this case, both should trust me — these are fantastic. The lentil-walnut-mushroom combo is an array of earthy, nutty flavors and varied textures.
Posted in Fall, Main courses, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, Winter
Tagged carrot pasta, carrot top pesto, pappardelle, vegetarian meatballs, vegetarian pasta, veggie balls, veggie meatballs