Friday, September 27, 2013

cupcakes. strawberry preserves. creme fraiche

call me obvious, call me cliche, call me midnight in paris (don't do that)..but i'd like to revert to a different time period.
because really, all this am i to be?
the internet equally fogs and blows my mind. netflix. craigslist. instagram. eventually finding myself watching strangers' wedding videos.
how am i to turn into the person i'm supposed to be while i'm tearing up watching strange people's beautiful and kitschy wedding videos!!!!?

i wish to revert back to 90s era maybe. not too far back...not in a time where brussels were boiled and corsets were commonplace.

the 1990s, technology-wise, sound pretty good. my head would be freer. my brain would blossom more as my own. house phones only, with 2 lines. bonus: n'sync.

also in the 90s cupcakes hadn't yet been ruined by cupcake stores.

soft sour cream cupcake, the last of the summer's strawberries stewed into a quick jam,
and a tangy creme fraiche topping that breathes pleasant new life into a cupcake.

Sour Cream + Strawberry Cupcakes
adapted from ming makes cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
strawberry preserves (see below)

preheat oven to 350 degreesF. grease 2 muffin tins or line with cupcake papers.  combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, and whisk to combine. cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for a few minutes until light and fluffy. reduce speed to low and add the extracts, then the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. stir in the sour cream. then add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. place a spoonful of batter into the bottoms of each cupcake liner. then add a spoonful of preserves in the center. finally top each one off with another dollop of batter, making sure to cover the preserves completely. each liner should be about 2/3 full. bake for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. let cool on a wire rack. 

Quick Strawberry Preserves
for quick strawberry preserves,  dice up some strawberries, about 1 cup, and throw them in a small saucepan. add some sugar, around 1/4 cup (more or less depending on sweetness of your berries), and a small squeeze of lemon. some vanilla bean is a nice touch too but completely optional. stir to combine and then let them melt over low-medium heat. their juices will release and boil. let cook and bubble over the heat for about 5 minutes, and then cool. 

Creme Fraiche Topping

16 oz creme fraiche
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (or more depending on desired level of sweet)

place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. beat on medium-high speed until thick and peaks form. taste and adjust to your liking. use immediately

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


lisbon notes. 

my most favorite hostel i've ever seen. Traveller's House
the beanbags and the jazz. the eggs and the bacon in the morning. the wooden bunks and the giant breezy windows. 

2. it was over 105 degrees every day. still without our bags, we had to go buy bathing suits so we could go to the beach like everyone else. bathing suit shopping is so much fun! no. 
we stood out as the two whitest people on the beach. but we only cared about it a little. 

we took a day trip to sintra. sintra is the magical fairy place of your dreams. if anyone finds themselves in portugal, book it to sintra. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

peanut butter puffin cereal milk ice cream

i am so clever that sometimes i don't understand a single word of what i am saying. 

.oscar wilde.

peanut butter puffin cereal milk ice cream.
in a word, this ice cream tastes like: Snacktime.
it's emotionally unstable..
it knows it's too good to be true.

Peanut Butter Puffin Cereal Milk Ice Cream
inspired by and adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar 

*notes: this ice cream base recipe is a bit wacky..gelatin and glucose, no eggs, no cream. i made it as written because i was curious to see what it would turn out like. the ice cream itself wasn't icy in the least, but also wasn't heavy and rich like what you get with cream and yolk based ice creams. i'm sure using the puffin cereal milk in a more classic ice cream base would be just as yummy and more approachable ingredient-wise to most. 

1 recipe puffin cereal milk 
1 sheet gelatin
130 g sugar (2/3 cup)
2 g kosher salt (1/2 tsp)
20 g milk powder (1/4 cup)
50 g glucose (2 tbsp)

bloom the gelatin in ice water. 
warm a little bit of the puffin cereal milk and whisk in the gelatin to dissolve. whisk in the remaining cereal milk, the sugar, salt, milk powder, and glucose until everything is fully dissolved and incorporated. 
pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into your ice cream machine and freeze according to your manufacturer's instructions. the ice cream is best spun just before serving but will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. 

Peanut Butter Puffin Cereal Milk Ice Cream

100 g peanut butter puffins (2 1/2 cups)
825 g cold milk (3 3/4 cups)
30 g light brown sugar (2 tbsp)
1 g kosher salt (1/4 tsp) 

pour the milk into a bowl or pitcher. add the puffin cereal and mix up. crunch up some of the puffins with your hands. let steep for 30 minutes at room temperature. 
strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, collecting the milk in a medium bowl. use your hands to squeeze out the soggy cereal to extract as much puffin flavor as possible. toss the puffin mush. 
whisk the brown sugar and salt into the milk until fully dissolved. store in a clean pitcher or glass. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

scrambled eggs and beer bread

carby complaints:
"i don't want to wait for yeast to activate and proof for hours."
"i don't want to have to drive to the store to get bread."

Beer Bread. it's nearly instant gratification.
every ingredient is pretty much always on hand and it takes 5 minutes to mix up. 1 hour later and i have a tall crusty loaf and a house perfumed with breadiness.

the eggs turn it into a meal, and voila! temporary self-satisfaction.

 carbohydrates, you assholes.

Beer Bread
adapted from here

*this is a savory bread with a sweet beery flavor. don't let the 1/2 cup of sugar deter you. 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
12 ounces beer
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

preheat oven to 375 degreesF. grease a loaf pan. in a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. add the beer and mix well. dump into the loaf pan, and drizzle the melted butter over the top. bake for 55 min-1 hour. 
let cool. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

lemon yogurt muffins

there once was a muffin demon. it was terrible.
it had poor posture and characteristically dry humor.

never mind this.

these muffins here are far from demons. they are cheerful and light. they are the friendly kind, easily compatible with butters and jams of all sorts.

Lemon Yogurt Muffins
from the breakfast book by marion cunningham
makes 12 muffins

*tips to make those big top muffins that everyone wants..fill those suckers up to the top with batter. also baking at a higher heat for the first few minutes will make the tops burst up quickly. hooray muffin tops. 

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
pearl sugar for topping (totally optional)

lemon syrup:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp water

preheat oven to 415 degreesF. combine the dry ingredients in a bowl - flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. in another bowl combine the sugar, honey, eggs, zest, extract, yogurt, and melted butter. whisk until combined well. dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined..don't over mix. Don't!
fill muffin tins, either greased or lined with papers, to almost the top. sprinkle with pearl sugar if using. 
bake for 5 minutes at 415 degreesF and then drop the oven down to 350 degreesF and finish baking, about 10 more minutes. 
while those bake, make lemon syrup. combine the lemon juice, sugar, and water in a small saucepan and boil until the sugar dissolves. when the muffins finish baking, poke a few holes in each muffin with a toothpick or fork and brush the lemon syrup all over the tops of each muffin. let cool.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013



sevilla was on fuego!!!!!!!!!!!

we found this beauty of an apartment on airbnb and snatched it up for our 3 days there. '

i lived en sevilla for six months during my 3rd collegiate year. so it was particularly exciting to be back.

we drank fanta. and lots of cava. and encountered too much fried particularly regrettable dinner of french fries covered in fried eggs and cheese. one of us threw up later. i wished i had too.

we watched flamenco at la carboneria. took romantic friend strolls on the river. and met a friend on a bench who insisted on buying us empanadas.

and then it was wednesday night. it marked one week since we left home, one week in europe without our luggage.
we said our farewells to the picture perfect city, lugged our suitcase ('big boy') to the bus station, and got on the dark crowded and un-airconditioned overnight bus to lisbon.

Friday, September 6, 2013

summer's end. and a coconut ice cream pie

this summer, what a mothereffin dreamworld.
now i'm trapped in the september los angeles heat wave and people are already talking about pumpkin spice lattes. punch. complaint.

ice cream is absolutely still relevant.
coconut ice cream pie swirled with lime curd. get weird with it.

Coconut Ice Cream Pie

Graham Crust:
7 ounces graham crackers (about 12 full size grahams)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) sugar
6 tbsp (3 ounces) butter, melted

break up crackers and put in food processor. process til fine crumbs. add the sugar pulse a few more times. transfer crumbs to a bowl and pour over melted butter. stir until evenly distributed and the mixture looks wet. the crumbs should hold together when pressed into a clump. 
heat the oven to 350 degreesF. press crumbs into a pie or springform pan. bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is dry and it smells amazing. let fully cool. 

make sure ice cream is a softer spreadable consistency, and spread in an even layer in the crust. dollop lime curd (as much or as little as you'd prefer) over ice cream and swirl with a knife into the ice cream. freeze. 
serve as is or top with whipped cream. or blackberry whipped cream. 

coconut ice cream (see recipe here)

Lime Curd:
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 oz unsalted butter, room temperature

in a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the eggs and sugar. whisk. then add the lime juice. place pan over medium low heat. cook, stirring or whisking constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. whisk in butter a little chunk at a time. the curd is done when it is thick enough that a spoon leaves a path when dragged through it. remove pan from heat and pass curd through a fine mesh strainer. transfer to airtight container, and press a piece of plastic wrap against the top surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. let cool completely in the refrigerator.