Wednesday, December 3, 2014

pistachio ice cream

worst things:

too much rice in a burrito.

dark parking lots that you freak yourself out in.


and no, don't even think about doing the "what?! well maybe you've just never had a really good cantaloupe?!" no.

best things:

swimming around in a pool or ocean in the evening with someone you're into.

house plants that you haven't killed.

pistachio everything.
cake. ice cream. salad. bread. pie. snack.

this time there was pistachio ice cream, and it was phenomenally fantastic and definitely the best.

i don't have any pictures of the churned and finished ice cream because it was night time and also it was eaten at almost lightning speed. that's fast, guys.

(cantaloupe chunks in every fruit salad, go fuck yourselves!)

Pistachio Ice Cream
from Bon Appetit 1999 (via epicurious)

1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

finely grind 1 cup pistachios with 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor. Bring milk and ground pistachio mixture to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. remove from head. mix in the almond extract. 

whisk the egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium heat-proof bowl. gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return custard to saucepan and cook over low heat until custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of a spoon, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes (do not boil). Strain into a large bowl and chill until cold, about 2 hours. 

Stir 1 cup heavy cream and chopped pistachios into custard. process mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. transfer to a container and freeze (or eat all of it right there on the spot)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

bills coconut bread

earlier i woke up at 4. my brain was turning and my heart was racing in that anxious way it does. i knew there was no going back to sleep.

it took me back to my bakery mornings, my waking-up-at-3am-is-normal days.

while the over-nostalgic thoughts always seem to join in, i must is extremely nice to have a break from that. i was cut off from everything those years.

"want to go out to dinner?"  
"what time? anytime past 6 is tough for me..."

"we could do something chill like go to a movie, it's at 7."

and then there were the few times i showed up hungover.
"...Why did you do that again!?"
do you know what a hangover looks like when its 3am?
it looks like still drunk.

hungover poaching pretzels in a large pot of boiling lye water. jesus

i remember when i started i didn't know what lye was. i was told, "remember that scene in fight club when poured on the hand and his hand just started melting fucking off? that was lye. always wear gloves."

ANYWAY. i knew i wasn't gonna sleep. and in what seemed like the quickest and easiest decision i've made in awhile, flipped on the light, put on shoes, and went on a run.

wouldn't it be the best world if you could sleepwalk-excercise? wake up at 7 as usual, and have had already spent 45 minutes on the elliptical.
and you'd also showered before you got back into your bed?
and you ate fried eggs with buttered toast every morning.

yes, it would be the best.

i made coconut bread one evening. and the next morning i sliced it thick and toasted it and ate it with salted butter and had it for breakfast instead of eggs.
and did it again the next morning.
you know the loaves that call themselves bread but are really a soft/lighter/cakey texture? this is not that.
this is coconut Bread, deliciously sweetened. heavier and sturdy. i want it hot and toasty and a little crisp on the edges and able to spread dabs of butter on each little piece i pull off.
bread is for toasting. not cake. i don't want my loaf cake toasted.
i want my cake moist.

the butter amplifies the greatness of bread and the bread amplifies the greatness of butter. i'm not surprised at all that this bread is so famous.

the time i took this picture i was eating it with leftover salty caramel.

Brown Butter Coconut Bread
from bill granger, recipe posted everywhere so i'm really being of no service to you

2 eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (315g) ap flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp (10g) baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (200g) sugar
5 ounces (140g) sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, melted and browned

heat oven 350 degreesF. in a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. 
in a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. add butter, and stir until just smooth - be careful not to over mix. 

butter and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan or coat with nonstick spray. spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, before turning it out onto a cooling rack. 
serve in thick slices, toasted, with salted butter. yay, all is right in the world before your slice is finished. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

this is where i wish to be.
although...those pastries were mediocre at best.

Friday, September 5, 2014

things + a banana coconut bundt

OH I KNOW, i could write a blog post.

you know something, keeping up a blog on the reg is tres difficile.

i wish i had the gusto to post every 3 days.
alas, the time, the energy, where has it gone!? life is so weird.

to be perfectly honest, this year has felt extra weird. i've had to take deeper breaths more often, a lot of the time i don't sleep, i've eaten a lot of jammy toast and edamame.

and in the past 1 month, i've traveled to 3 other places in the world.
i was in the caribbean, then big sur/pacific grove, then seattle. with about 5 days in between each one.

(not to sound like an asshole. usually my life is as exciting as a paper clip.)

i took a bunch of pictures, as one does in cool places, and the idea of starting to tackle my lightroom photo library is entirely overwhelming.
but i'm starting. i'm going to guess it'll be a slow process as i try to balance all the other dumb life things.

one of the last things i baked was a banana coconut bundt with an oddball baking process. it bakes at 275 degrees for almost 2 hours, then you throw it in the freezer immediately to cool. want the recipe? have a great day.

Banana Coconut Bundt
adapted from this recipe via my baking addiction

1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups ap flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup dried shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, up to you)

preheat the oven to 275 degreesF. thoroughly grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. 
in a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with the lemon juice; set aside
in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. 
in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at a time. 
add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing until combined. stir in banana mixture and then the coconut. 
pour batter into greased pan and bake for about 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. 
remove from oven and place the pan directly into the freezer for about an hour. remove cake from freezer to a cooling rack. when ready to serve, invert and dust with confectioner's sugar or whatever glaze you prefer. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

fresh fruit + cookie

put fresh fruit in your cookies! really! seriously! yes! do it

plum in a white chocolate cookie
blueberries in ginger molasses cookies
strawberries in a brown butter chocolate chip cookie

the fruit brings a new element to your typical cookie, and i love it the most. i feel like fireworks of electrical sparks and crumbs just went off in my brain - fresh fruit + cookie, why on earth do i not do this more!? or ever really? (other than these)

i hope my boss lady and her neighbors were as fond of them as i am.

Friday, July 18, 2014

pecan sables with strawberry jam

not many words as i am scrambling to pack for this vacation.

how do you like that, i haven't posted in weeks and i come back with a 'not many words blah' deal. i'm sorry. not that i know who the balls i'm apologizing to, this is my space really. i rule the space. i rule!

so, moral of the post story is, not many words, because i rule, some pictures of pecan sables with strawberry jam, and fine i'll give you the recipe too.

and i surely wouldn't give you the recipe of something that wasn't worth making. so, make this weekend! while i'm sipping a mojito and surrounded by water and re-bonding with this boyfriend of mine who is wonderful but the day-to-day things can get pretty boring with routines and work and take-out. (#amiright?) so, rekindling vibes if you will.

rekindling boyfriend vibes and mojitos. woowoo!

peace out beans and rice. eat an el pollo loco BRC for me.

Pecan Sables with Strawberry Jam
adapted from this recipe on food 52

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup white sugar
 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks, room temp
2 cups flour
3/4 cups pecans
1/2 cup jam of choice (i used strawberry)

heat oven to 350 degreesF. line a baking sheet with parchment and lay pecans on top. bake for 10 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. turn off oven and allow them to cool. once cool, use a food processor or mortar and pestle to crush them into crumbly bits. 
fit stand mixer with paddle attachment. put butter in bowl and beat on medium speed until the butter is whipped, about 1 minute. add all 3 sugars, the salt, and nutmeg. continue mixing until everything looks creamy and incorporated. turn mixer on low speed and add the vanilla, then the yolks, one at a time. turn off mixer and add the flour. start the mixer on lowest setting so flour doesn't fly everywhere. mix until the flour is just combined, then fold in the pecan crumbles and mix again until just combined. 
scoop out the dough and lay it on plastic wrap, roll into a log (depending on your size preference, can be a shorter thick log (lolz) for larger cookies, or long thin logs for little rounds of cookies. i went with the bigger circles. let chill for no less than 2 hours (can leave in fridge for a couple days, or in freezer for a couple months)
when logs are chilled, heat oven to 350 degreesF. line 2 baking sheets with parchment. cut log into 1/3-1/2 inch slices. lay each cookie on baking sheet with a little space in between them. 
scoop about 1/4 cup jam into a baggie. seal top and snip a bottom corner to make a makeshift pastry bag. dollop a small circle of jam into the center of each cookie. 
move sheets to oven and bake sables about 20 minutes, or until the edges turn golden. Let them cool 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. these cookies taste better a few hours after cooling.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

i never said anything about copenhagen.
but damn.
look at that picturesque business.

i wanted to write 'damn, look at dat picturesque shit'
..but then i thought of my mom reading it and stopped.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

peach shortcake. maple bacon scone

hay! there's peaches and bacon happening

truth be told, i'm so completely over/never really was into the bacon-in-everything trend.

is it cool and funky that there's bacon in this dessert? sure.
does the addition of bacon really enhance the dish and make it better than it was without it? probably not.

i've felt strongly enough about the bacon-in-dessert deal that i almost feel the need to defend myself here.

that said, A. it was father's day and B. a bacon biscuit is different. the bacon is a focal point.
it's savory and a little smokey and sweet. and it's so tasty that you would of course want to eat it all the time... savory or sweet, it doesn't matter, you want that biscuit.

so that's when it became shortcake.
and let me tell you, this shortcake was workin' it. workin' it real good.

sweet peaches and fresh cream and a warm maple bacon biscuit...i realize this is kind of a how-can-you-go-wrong situation..

- unless your biscuits are dry and dense because you didn't cut in the butter properly. So..

Maple Bacon Biscuit/Scone
adapted from Zoe Nathan

1 lb bacon, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup, divided
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
fleur de sel

cook bacon in a pan til cooked, but not super crispy. pour through strainer and reserve the bacon fat. scatter the bacon pieces on paper towels to absorb more of the fat. whisk the dries in a bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  scatter butter pieces over the dries and cut in with a pastry cutter or fork, (or do it on a cutting board/flat surface with a bench  scraper.) once it's shaggy and the clumps are about the size of peas, stir in the bacon. then 1/4 cup + 2tbsp maple syrup, then the buttermilk . stir/fold until it just comes together into a shaggy biscuit dough. don't overwork! 
press out to 1 1/2 inch thickness, cut using 2 inch round or square biscuit cutter (or cookie cutter) and freeze until thoroughly chilled, 10 minutes. 
preheat the oven to 350 degreesF. take your bowl of reserved bacon fat and generously brush tops of each biscuit with the fat.  sprinkle with fleur de sel and bake til they just begin to brown, about 25 minutes. remove from oven and quickly drizzle 1 tsp maple syrup on each biscuit, brush over so the syrup is distributed over the surface, and place back in the oven for 3 minutes. 
let cool. 

Peach Shortcake:

slice some peaches and/or nectarines. toss them in a bowl with a tbsp or two of sugar and a tiny squeeze of lemon
whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 1/4 - 1/3 cup powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) and 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract - whip til soft peaks, i prefer really soft, loose cream. 

to assemble: slice a still-warm biscuit in half, it should almost split apart "on the biscuit grain"-if you will - 
place the biscuit bottom on a plate. top with a big dollop of cream, a handful of peaches and cap it off with the top biscuit. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

a rainbow of things

i did this once before and it was fun. i think i'm in love with color flow.

Monday, June 16, 2014

i did a detox cleanse to reboot my insides.
i drank this beet apple ginger juice.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

lemon semolina cookies

some people's recipes you know you can trust. i trust gina de palma, i just do.
so if it's her recipe, i should probably make it because i trust that it'll be awesome.

she notes in her book that these are her favorite lemon cookies. ding.
proceed with buying a $27 bottle of limoncello.
...note to self: make limoncello so you never ever consider doing that again.

that aside...if i had to describe these cookies in one word it would be: pleasant. these cookies are so pleasant. they smell super pleasant, they're pleasantly's all so nice.

bring them to like, a tea party with your mom and her friends. "i made limoncello semolina cookies" - now how much sophistication is that? SO much.

i want to make almond ice cream and eat it with these cookies. i imagine that'd be a good time.

Lemon Semolina Cookies
from Gina De Palma's Dolce Italiano

2 cups ap flour
2/3 cup semolina
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sugar + more for rolling
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
zest and squeezed juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp limoncello
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
glaze (optional)

in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda, and salt - set aside. 
using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy. beat in the egg and egg yolk, scraping down the sides, followed by the lemon zest and juice, limoncello, and vanilla extract. scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients til a soft dough forms. remove dough, wrap it in plastic, and flatted into a disk. refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour. 
preheat oven to 325 degreesF. line 2 baking sheets with parchment or grease. place the additional sugar in a small bowl. scoop teaspoonfuls (i did tablespoons for bigger cookies) of dough and roll them into balls. roll them in the sugar to coat evenly. place on baking sheets, evenly spacing them about 2 inches apart. 
bake until they have collapsed and are crinkled, 14-15 min, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. 
allow cookies to cool for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer them gently to wire racks to cool completely. 

i added streaks of limoncello glaze, simply mix a few tbsp of limoncello with powdered sugar til you get your desired glaze consistency. streak it on there, yo.