Do you know what day it is?
There are only two correct answers to that query, the first of which is:
(Image from omgarresteddevelopment.tumblr.com)
The second of which is: there are only 8 days until the return of Arrested Development! Also known as: The Unmaking of a Huge Mistake.
Am I a fan? YES. Am I excited? YES. What was my first thought when my girl Elizabeth aka the SugarHero brilliantly suggested we come up with some recipes to celebrate this legendary event? HELL YES.
And that’s what we’re doing here! A week full of Arrested Development-inspired food from both of us. Fellow AD fans, this is no illusion: hop on the stair van, because we’re going to the model home. All. Week. Long. It’ll be more fun than Motherboy.
Everyone else, please pardon the interruption and endless gratuitous references to the show–I hope you still enjoy the recipes. Also, WHAT are you doing with your life. (Statement, not a question.)
I’m kicking things off with a nod (and a too-long wink) to Lucille. The matriarch of the Bluth family enjoys her cocktails–and if it’s before noon, a sensible piece of toast will make it breakfast.
Meet the cocktail that was inspired by a sandwich… A sandwich I never even ate. (Someday I’ll make sense, but that day is not today.)
See, I’m a fan of a local cheese shop/deli. Somewhat masochistically, I read their Facebook updates on what they’re serving for lunch, even though I cannot get there during the day because of dumb logistic reasons. Occasionally, their lunch creations involve strawberry-tarragon jam. (…And brie–ugh, told you. It’s downright painful and I don’t know why I do it to myself.)
So what’s a girl to do? Oh, I don’t know. Let’s try pouring gin on strawberries and tarragon. It’ll be fun–I promise.
Posted in Drinks, Entertaining, Spring, Summer
Tagged berries, cocktails, Fruit, gimlet, gin, herbs, lime, tarragon
Let’s have a look at our liquor cabinet, shall we? Bourbon is having a serious moment, deservedly so. Rum is just moping around unshaven in a bathrobe, gazing at the fruit basket. Your time will be here soon, little guy, no worries. Gin is taking a nap… Gin gets grouchy in the winter, too. It’s tough being away from limes and tonic that long; I get it.
Vodka is… Good for keeping your ice cream from freezing too hard?
Of course, that’s not everything–not nearly. If you happen to like alcohol, you REALLY like it. Like me, you might be a booze hoarder. Without even looking, I can tell you I have bottles upon bottles of things I’ve used once or twice. Maraschino! Creme de violet! Both kinds of vermouth!
Which leads me to my main point: today in Nice Problems to Have news, I need to drink more. So let’s make us some drinks.
Things I’m learning from my continuing Weeds marathon:
-The scary guys (usually guys, but I say “guys” gender-neutrally) aren’t really that scary. They’re scared of the other scary guys, and so forth. A moratorium on being scared is much needed in the world; can I get an “Amen”?
-In TV fantasy land at least, being a pretty white lady can get you out of a lot of trouble. LOTS. I have a lot of ambivalent, rambling thoughts on this (which mostly go in circles).
-I need to wear more denim jackets and artfully layered delicate necklaces.
-Don’t send flowers to a Jewish funeral. Did not know that (embarrassing but true). Send food! I can do that. I’m prepared. The more you know!
-It’s far, far too easy to consume a pound of delicious almonds rather quickly. Wowza. That’s not Weeds–that’s me, watching Weeds on my couch. Hi.
We already know how much I love my smoker, but I think I need to emphasize that it’s useful for so much more than meat and fish. Nuts, for example, are full of oils, and take to smoking beautifully. If you’ve had smoked almonds before, I don’t need to convince you that they’re crazy delicious. But I may need to convince you that it’s easy, and fun, and worthwhile to make your own.
Posted in Appetizer, Entertaining, Healthy (?), Smoking, Vegetarian
Tagged bourbon, cayenne pepper, maple, maple syrup, smoked almonds, smoked nuts, smoking, smoky, spicy, stovetop smoker, vegan, vegetarian, whiskey
Okay–I know this isn’t pink. It’s also not heart-shaped. But romantic? Perfect for your Valentine’s Day? Yes and yes! Hear me out.
First of all, chocolate. Deep and dark and luscious. This tart is practically a giant truffle, shaped like a pizza. If you’re not into that, I can’t help you.
Second of all, a tart crust made from potato chips–say what? To me, there’s quite a bit of romance in the strange, offbeat, the path less traveled, etc. If you want a bit of novelty with your dessert, or if you want to put potato chips and pistachios in something just because you’re a quirky goose like that, this is a winner.
Also, salted desserts are all the rage, you heard? Highbrow/lowbrow is also a thing. Sometimes it’s okay to try and be just a little trendy… I’ll admit: trends can be delicious, too.
In short, whether you make this for chocolate lovers, kooks or food hipsters, you will have fans old and new. There’s a good chance that your Valentine (or the person you’d like to be your Valentine… wink, nudge) is one of the above. So let’s make magic things happen together! (1) Make tart, (2) be adored, (3) invite me to the wedding/50th anniversary if that’s how you roll.
Posted in Baking, Dessert, Entertaining, Holidays
Tagged chocolate, dessert, highbrow lowbrow, nuts, pistachio, potato chip crust, potato chips, salted dessert, salty, sweet and salty, tarts, valentine's day dessert
Mes chers amis! (All the French I know comes from what I picked up from Julia Child’s autobiography.)
Today we’re going to be a wee bit fancy. I mean it–there aren’t even any yoga pants in sight around here. Just the little luxuries that are sandalwood candles, fresh laundry, an awesome soundtrack and cheesy snacks.
That last thing… It might be my very favorite thing.
Gougeres are just one of many uses of the eggy wonder that is choux pastry. It’s the same dough we use for profiteroles/cream puffs, except that instead of baking, then filling them, we add cheese and herbs right in, pipe them smaller, and let them get all puffy and wonderful. In fact, if you’ve ever wanted to give cream puffs a try, this would be a good practice run. An opportunity to test the waters. (And the butters, and the flours–hey-o!)
The end result? Bite-size puffs with a chewy, airy, eggy middle, dotted with salty, pungent (in the good way) gorgonzola cheese that oozes out onto the surface to leave those heavenly, brown, crunchy melted-and-cooled-cheese spots. The chives are there for a touch of oniony greenery. I think it’s nice.
Posted in Appetizer, Baking, Entertaining, Vegetarian
Tagged blue cheese, cheese, cheese puffs, chives, eggs, French, gorgonzola, gougeres, herbs, pastries, savory pastries