Thursday, April 07, 2011

4/6: Things I cooked, books I listened to

Rye bread
I had no idea Owen read my blog until he came storming into the kitchen last night, yelling about a caption in which I'd written: "Owen would never admit it, but I think he's going for Justin Bieber hair." Owen said, "It would be like if I had a blog and wrote, 'My mom's really old and though she'd never admit it, she tries to look young.'"

The caption has been changed. But I wonder if that paragraph I just wrote violates his rules. Hmm. If so, I'm sure he will let me know and I will erase.

Yesterday: quite productive in recipe testing. If you want any of these recipes, I will happily post.

First: deli rye bread (see top).

Assessment: Recipe is solid, bread is very good. My only regret is that it works so much better with high gluten flour, a special order ingredient I didn't want to have to recommend in my book.

hot chocolate mix


Assessment: Good. Dislike cocoa powder because it makes such a mess, but it has been gratifying to demystify Swiss Miss.
fudgy flourless chocolate cake
Assessment: Superb! Much loved by all. As you can see. Very pleased with this recipe.

Angel pie
Assessment: Looks as it should. Will taste today.

sauerkraut and kimchi

Assessment: Both look correct. Will have to wait a few days so they can ferment.

ricotta

Assessment: Love. 
peanut butter

Assessment: Love.

english muffins

Assessment: Don't love. Like. Not sure there's enough of a payoff with homemade english muffins. Recipe is solid, yield correct.

root beer, ginger ale, cream soda

Assessment: Only the ginger ale was ready as of this morning. It's phenomenally good and gingery and tastes almost healthy, like a tonic. Root beer hasn't been great in the past, so I doubt it will make the cut. 

vanilla creme brulee
Assessment: Looks correct, but haven't torched it yet. There were limits to how much we could eat yesterday. I tried to fancy this up with cardamom the last time, and was harshly censured by family.

negroni
Assessment: Perfect. This recipe isn't going in the book, but has certainly helped and hindered the writing of the book. Foolishly, I mixed the negroni before tackling my most nettlesome recipe.

duck egg ravioli with ricotta, smoked paprika, and asparagus
Assessment: Delicious, but sloppy. I may have to retest without cocktail in hand.

Books listened yesterday to while cooking:

Freakonomics. I'm late to this party. As I'm sure a lot of you know, it's a pretty good party. A little too smarty pants/smugly counterintuitive/Malcolm Gladwellish, but interesting, especially the stuff about names. I named my daughter "Isabel" in 1996. According to Freakonomics, you could write a socioeconomic profile of me based on that one fact. Recommend this audiobook, if not strongly.

The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert. Although Elizabeth Gilbert's work is obviously much adored by the female population at large, none of my friends like her. None. I loaned Eat, Pray, Love to a friend who brought it back the next day and made savage fun of it. Well, I loved Eat, Pray, Love. Go ahead, snicker. I can take it. I even loved the widely panned sequel, Committed. Written before either of those two books, The Last American Man is a profile of a real life male who is very similar to the males in 127 Hours and Into The Wild, a type I find incomprehensible, annoying, intriguing, and had crushes on when I was 15 and then never again. I think this audiobook is excellent and highly recommend. Narrated by Patricia Kalember. Remember Thirtysomething? I thought they were all so old.

33 comments:

  1. I would love to see the ginger ale recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What ricotta recipe do you use? It's high ricotta season around here.

    And, as to Owen's comment, to tuck away for the future: reveal your child's SAT scores to someone else only after disclosing your own weight, birthdate, and checking account balance. Good for you for respecting his boundaries, and good for him for bringing it up when it bothered him.

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  3. Phew, you've been busy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I will supply the ginger ale recipe shortly!
    MemeGRL -- that is GOOD advice re: SAT scores. (I won't even reveal my current weight to myself.)
    I've tried ricotta w. citric acid, lemon juice, vinegar and buttermilk and all work well. I usually use vinegar (3/4 cup to 1 gallon milk, heat to brink of boil, let settle, drain) bc it's easiest and cheap. What I've never succeeded at is "true" ricotta using whey from cheesemaking. Have you ever done that?

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  5. I had no idea when I started reading this blog that you were writing a cookbook. Now I can't wait to buy it.

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  6. I love the part about the Romanian babies.

    You might want to try molasses in your peanut butter. I'd be interested in your opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would love to have the hot chocolate mix recipe (living abroad, where a box of SM costs $7) and the cake recipe. The cake looks really good - and not "too" moist - mine have always come out more like pudding than cake. :-)
    Thanks in advance!

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  8. I will be interested to see your rye bread recipe. After graduate school my parents moved to Illinois, and spent many hours trying to make rye bread. It never came out and they resorted to having relatives bring that and slovenian sausages with them when visiting. On. The. Plane. (This, of course, was in the 70's when you did not have the choices in grocery stores that you have now.)

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  9. Request: Ricotta, Peanut Butter & the Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake, please and thank you! :) Best, Ida

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  10. I almost always want your recipes. But assuming these all make the book, I'll have them when it comes out, as yours is the rare book I intend to buy as soon as it's available.

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  11. I'm ready to order your book now. Really. I've made ricotta the "real" way from whey, but only after making a hard cheese, not from whey leftover after making yogurt or soft cheeses. And the yield is *tiny.*

    I'm blown away at the amount of food that came out of your kitchen in one day.

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  12. Tipsy, I'd love the flourless chocolate cake recipe! Need to make a slew of tasty cakes for a wedding party, and I think this would be just perfect. :)
    Good luck with the coming days!

    ReplyDelete
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