Saturday, June 30, 2012

nectarine salsa

it's about to be july. seriously? what is going on.

don't get me wrong, i'm happy about it. july is great. july is light and bouncy.

july is sparkly, with bubbly drinks and twinkly lights.

july is delicious and juicy. because of the fruit. oh my gatos! this fruit. is. absurd.

..and if you are hoarding as much fruit as i am, you might also find yourself scrambling to eat it up before it goes bad because this absurd fruit is ripening at lightning speed.

fruit salsa is a solution. an easy, addictive solution.

and it's one of the simplest insta-rewarding things you can whip up in your kitchen. true, it's true!

whatever fruit, i used nectarines.
a little red onion, a little jalapeno, a couple limes, cilantro.
done. that's it.
eat some. go about your day. then eat some more later.

peaches, nectarines, mango, whatever. this salsa doesn't care. it will always be good, dammit.

delightful on chips of both the tortilla and pita varietal.
i would gladly spoon some on a fish taco, a quesadilla, and perhaps even a bowl of black bean soup.

hop to it.

oh, and i hope you're having a lovely weekend you peachy bunnies!

Nectarine Salsa
loose measurements!

3-4 ripe nectarines or peaches (you can peel them or not), chopped
a couple handfuls of chopped red onion (maybe 1/4 cup)
1 jalapeno, chopped (stem and seeds removed)
juice of 2 limes
few handfuls of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

throw everything into the bowl of a food processor. pulse a couple times, just to get everything combined, but not too much that it gets too pureed. (if you don't have a food processor you really can just chop everything up a little finer and just mix it up in a bowl). transfer to a bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for a little to let the flavors mingle. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

earl grey ice cream

it's been incredibly hot out. i can't seem to flip my pillow enough at night.

when i feel this hot, i think about things like antarctica.

i will never in my life make it down to antarctica. this is, most likely, a fact.

and though i will most likely never experience that type of icy cold, there are some things that can be done.

i can saran wrap ice cubes to my legs.
i can make water balloons and throw them at myself awkwardly.
i can put a bag of frozen edamame between my neck and the couch.

and of course, i can make and consume ice cream. and if i want, can self-induce my body into a cold ice cream coma.

um, yes. let's do all these things. we can start with the ice cream.

for a long time, i stuck to making philadelphia style ice cream. philadelphia style ice creams aren't made with a custard base.

aka. no eggs. (wooP!) i was always worried about the possibility of ruining my ice cream with curdled eggs.

and i did make some pretty delicious ice creams without those yolks, so custard based ice cream was unimportant to me for awhile.

but i'm glad to report that i've gotten over it... thou shalt accept the beauty of eggs.
i'm evolving like crazy.

and good thing, because custard based ice creams are beyond perfect, bomb diggity creaminess, with a fresh taste as pure as the heavens. it's as good as ice cream gets.

and the best don't even have to worry about creepy curdling yolks.
a fine mesh strainer saves the day, every time.

so bring it, custard.
bring it, earl grey tea!

what? yes.
i looove the flavor of tea. and i loove putting that awesome flavor in more than hot water.

earl grey tea steeped in milk. egg yolks turn milk into earl grey custard. silky custard into ice cream.

and oh, earl grey ice cream is a marvel.

it was made to go with pie.
the pie lasted a couple days in the house. the ice cream didn't make it through the night.

i'm sad it's gone.
time to throw water balloons at myself. or i could opt to be less weird and just make more. we'll see.

Earl Grey Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
2 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar
6 earl grey tea bags
5 egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

in a small saucepan, heat milk, half and half, and sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally. once the milk is steaming (but not boiling), remove pan from heat. place the tea bags in the milk mixture, cover and steep for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. remove the bags, then return to medium heat. 
in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla until frothy. once the milk mixture is re-warmed, add a couple tablespoons of it to the eggs, whisking to combine. repeat a few times, whisking constantly, until the yolk mixture is warmed. then pour the warmed egg yolks into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly until the mixture thickens to a custard and coats the back of a wooden spoon. 
immediately strain through a fine mesh strainer, and then refrigerate until completely cooled (at least 6-8 hours).
then churn custard in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instruction. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

rainier cherry and blueberry pie

i made a pie on an overcast afternoon. it was my day off from making and rolling pounds of pie dough.

you see, for the last few months i've been baking and pastry-ing at a wonderful restaurant, true to food, bold and boisterous. MB Post is a gem, and i feel lucky everyday to be a part of it.

i spend my days cutting butter into flour, twisting perfectly imperfect pretzels, and of course, folding cheddar and bacon into biscuits.

so naturally, i would spend my day off out and about. maybe in a funky coffee shop, reading a book, perhaps doing handstands..?
it is of course my day off, i can do Anything i please really.

hah. let's be real. i got out the flour and butter. i rolled more dough. and then, i made pie.

is there a more summery dessert than pie?
other than popsicles, i know popsicles are the pinnacle of summer dessert..
but come on, summer fruit, summer pie. this all just makes sense.

and so i went, into my mindless baking brainworld. beach house playing on my computer, flour all over my pants and shirt and everywhere.

i took my time, i was baking a random pie, just for me. things could be slow and lovely, and any imperfections would be completely acceptable. it would all taste just as sweet in the end anyway.

i pitted sunny rainier cherries. i added blueberries, tossing them with sugar, lemon, a touch of cinnamon and ginger. enough to bring out awesome flavors in the fruit, but not enough to taste like fall.
right now, it's all about the summertime.

and the lattice top? i'm a sucker for a lattice topped pie. i love being able to see the major prettiness of the fruit inside.

making pie is love. eating a slice of pie that you made is extremely satisfying.
it's also one of those -sit-down,-oh-my-god, yes- moments.
if at any point this summer you'd want to come over and eat pie with me, i'd be all for it. please?

oh, and just in case you aren't completely sold on pie..(weirdo)
...pie goes with ice cream.

see all those finger marks on the scoop of ice cream? i was 'preventing it from melting too quickly'.

it's earl grey ice cream. it's irresistible. and i can hardly wait to tell you about it.

but! have patience. today, we focus on pie.

Rainier Cherry and Blueberry Pie
adapted from many places: smitten kitchen, joy the baker, martha stewart

pie crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
5 tbsp + 2 tsp ice cold water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

for the filling:
2 1/2 - 3 cups pitted rainier cherries
1 1/2 cups blueberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water for egg wash
2 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon for topping crust

to make the crust: in a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, and salt. add the cold cubed butter and using your fingers work the butter into the flour mixture. quickly bread the butter down into the flour mixture, some pieces will be larger than others. this is good. stir together the ice cold water and vinegar. create a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture and pour in the water and vinegar. use a fork to bring the dough all together. try to incorporate all the floury bits. on  a floured work surface, dump out the dough. it will be shaggy. divide into two and knead into two disks. wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

to make the filling: wash the cherries and blueberries and combine. in a bowl, whisk together the sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch. pour this dry mixture over the fruit, and gently toss together with a spoon. stir in the lemon juice and zest and set in the refrigerator to rest while you roll the crust. 
preheat the oven to 400. place a rack in the center of the oven. remove one of the pie disks from the fridge. on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into about a 13 inch round circle. make sure the dough isn't sticking to the surface. if it tears, pinch it back together. gently lift the 13 inch circle from the surface and center in the 9 inch baking dish. place in the fridge while you roll out the top. 
roll out top crust to about the same thickness as the bottom. for very detailed instructions on how to make a lattice top pie crust, go here!
take the fruit mixture out of the fridge and pour into bottom crust, evenly distributing fruit. cut butter into small pieces and dot over fruit. cover with top crust or lattice top. trim edges of the pie and press the bottom and top crusts together. crimp the edges. brush the top lightly with the egg wash and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. 
place pie in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. then reduce the oven temperature to 375 and bake for about 45-50 minutes. remove from the oven when the crust is browned and golden, and the fruit is bubbling. allow to cool and set up for a couple hours before serving. bon appetit!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

brussels sprouts + edamame with lemon, pecorino, and basil

ello little beans,

it is the middle of the week, and sometimes it can get dull.
isn't it always the little things that get us through the week?
might i suggest some weekday activities...

interpretive dance in the kitchen. put hot sauce on your food. look up at the trees.
watch the bachelorette. fast forward through the commercials. make fun of yourself.

if you have the time, make a pie for no reason.

if you don't, make cookies. eat one hot out of the oven. (one=2)
drink wine if you like wine. sometimes listen to music. other times take in the silence.

then, after all that, eat some greens.
make them taste delicious so that you eat lots and lots of them.

consider a smoothie. whatever kind you love.

yes, yum. refreshing, sweet and tart.
consider adding handfulls of spinach to this smoothie.
still refreshing, sweet and tart. doesn't taste like i'm drinking a salad.

onto the next green.
brussels sprouts!
one can never really tire of eating small crisp roasted cabbages, can they?

also, wassup edamame! edamame is a major boost in a salad. i love the toothsome and bright little beans.

pecorino, basil, mint, lemon, and olie oil. these things go in the bowl too.

it's a dinner side. or make it dinner with a fried egg.
it's lunch the next day, cold, from the tupperware, standing in front of the refrigerator. why even bother to get a fork.

brussels and edamame mean serious business. they're a power combo. to your health.
and a truly delicious one.

so, there it is, greens today .

pie tomorrow.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Edamame with Lemon, Pecorino, and Basil

1 lb brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
olive oil
kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1 - 1 1/2 cups edamame
few handfuls of grated pecorino romano
juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
few handfuls of basil, slivered
few handfuls mint, chopped

preheat oven to 425F. toss brussels sprouts with a generous amount of olive oil and kosher salt. make sure the sprouts are all coated, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper, and roast until tender on the inside, crisp and browned on the outside, about 25-35 minutes. let cool. transfer to a bowl and toss with edamame, pecorino cheese, fresh herbs, lemon juice, more olive oil. taste for seasonings, and add more salt and pepper if it needs it. 

Mango Raspberry Banana Spinach Smoothie
these are loose measurements! 

3/4 cup mango, frozen
1/2 cup raspberries, frozen
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
a couple big handfuls of baby spinach

put everything in yo blender. and blend it. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

for the dads

this weekend is all about the dads.

dad things.


cuff links. sausage links.

dad pats. you know, when they pat you lovingly.

cars. fixing them. staring at them. shiny cars. classic cars....

this is an old photo of my dad and my best frand juliette. i cherish this snapshot dearly.

if my dad had a list of the things he loves most, it would probably be
1. familia
2. cars in his man cave
3. guitars in his man cave
4. popcorn. and meat. they tie for fourth.

i love my dad. and i'm totally ready to relish in a day full of moustaches, grilling and beer, eating manly meats, putting aftershave on my face, getting injured and acting cool about it, not asking for directions, and talking about bacon.

speaking of bacon. bacon jam. come on. this is the best thing you could possibly make for a dad. make it tomorrow, and you might become the favorite child. at least for the day.

how good would it be with some of these summer tomatoes? or with peaches. or chocolate. the answer is D. all of the above.

peanut butter cookies? i will not be feeding these to my dad because he is deathly allergic and then i'd be the worst kid.
but you make them! they're everything right in a cookie.

perhaps you are having a father's day barbecue..?
i'd say it's a good time to bust out some ranch dressing. my dad guzzles this ranch like nobody's biz.

soft pretzels. mustard. like you and your pops used to get together at baseball games or carnivals. or wetzel pretzel.

need a side to go next to that man meat?
stuffed poblanos. done.

and as for dessert...anything with whiskey i'm sure will suffice.
maybe i will spell out my dad love with brown sugar bourbon shortbread cubes.

and if i am too impatient to do that, some kind of chocolate bourbon cake situation is begging to be made, definitely.

tons and tons of love to all the dads. thanks for doing what you do, for teaching us how to drink beer, for giving wise advice, for fixing our shelves and opening jars, for making faces behind mom's back while she's nagging us..

and of course, for all the dad pats.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

blueberries & cream cookies

oh today, today. just another day with it's own little life details.

today's tunes of choice: youth lagoon. and elvis.

today's car living:

this backpack. i love this backpack
the old receipt stuck under the seat is typical life.
and this book. my aunt just gifted me this beauty, inspired by all things food and art. we've been rather inseparable lately, me and the book.

today's bobby pin count: 7

today's whimsy. these flowers on my walk home.

today's post-exercise snack of choice: a small watermelon. the whole thing. i can't seem to stop it with the watermelon.

today's favorite old photo:

this is michela. we started off as nextdoor neighbors at 1 and 2, where we did some hardcore playing...and we've been acting strange and awkward off to the side ever since.
michela is moving back to southern california soon.. i'm so excited i could skip.

i'm ready to jump back into some matching florals and recreate this photo.

today's indulgence: momofuku's blueberries and cream cookies.
these cookies stole my heart when i first had them in new york. and they still do.

i love them enough that i buy things like glucose and milk powder just to be able to make them myself.
crunchy white chocolate milk crumbs, dried blueberries, simple genius!

drats. only one cookie morsel left.

Blueberries and Cream Cookies
barely adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar, recipe found here too

Milk Crumbs:
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp nonfat milk powder
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup white chocolate, melted

preheat oven to 225. line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. in a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp milk powder, flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. stir in melted btuter until well combined. spread mixture on prepared baking sheet and transfer to oven. bake until dried and crumbly, 8 to 10 minutes. remove milk crumble from oven and let cool completely. 
transfer milk crumble to a large bowl and fold in remaining 2 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp milk powder and white chocolate. use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (8 ounces) european-style unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup glucose
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4  cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup milk crumbs

line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. 
in a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together butter, sugars, and glucose until well combined. add egg and vanilla and mix until well-combined. 
add flour mixture and mix until well-combined. add blueberries and milk crumbs and mix until well combined. using an ice cream scoop about 2 inches in diameter, scoop dough into balls and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. preheat oven to 375. transfer baking sheets into the refrigerator until dough is chilled, about 15 minutes. transfer sheets to oven and bake, rotating sheets halfway through baking until the cookies are golden brown and tops just begin to crackle, 10-15 minutes. transfer to a wire rack to cool.