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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Paradise Escapes Me

Bon Appetit magazine publishes a column called RSVP, where readers write in to rave about some fabulous dish they ordered at a restaurant and to ask the magazine to procure the recipe. I actually sent a request once, for the white bean soup with arugula and pumpkin oil from MOMA’s Terrace 5, but as far as I know, it was never pursued or printed. I have a feeling that my next must-have recipe would go unnoticed as well.

The Apparently family has been to Woodstock, New York three times. First we spent a lovely babymoon in a charming house with an enormous bathtub. (Yes, that’s the primary thing I remember. I was eight months pregnant, and it was February. I spent the long weekend in front of the fireplace and in the tub.) Last fall we enjoyed a delightful week at a house up on a hill, and it was on that trip that we discovered Sunfrost Farms, a local, independent market with excellent produce, a juice bar, a quirky selection of groceries, every spice you could require on a weeklong vacation, and most importantly, a little house-made treat called “Organic Chocolate and Raw Fruit Paradise.” A package contains about 16 one-inch squares of chocolatey, nutty goodness, and I can’t get enough of them.

Wait. Stop. Now I have to go eat one. Look at this picture while I go to the kitchen.

deliciousness.

When we returned from our trip, I scoured the web trying to find a recipe that approximates this deliciousness, but I came up empty-handed.

Last week we had the good fortune to visit with friends in upstate New York. We followed a roundabout and exploratory route back to the city, both for pure exploration and in an attempt to keep Apparently Jr asleep in the back seat for as long as possible. I drove, and Mr Apparently navigated. He may have had a plan, and I suspect it had to do with coffee and baked goods rather than vegan date bars. But when I realized we were driving down Tinker Street in Bearsville, I couldn’t contain my excitement:

We have to stop at Sunfrost and buy the chocolate sunflower bars!

I sent Mr Apparently inside without clear directions, because although I secretly wanted him to purchase every package of organic fruit and nut paradise in the store, I didn’t want to be responsible for the actual eating of that much chocolate. I mean, of course I did, but…you know exactly what I mean. So he returned to the car with two packages (one marked carob, if I recall correctly – that one is gone) and a week later, after much self-control on all of our parts, we are down to the last two squares.

I need to find a recipe.

These may be close:

1. Raw Vegan Mango, Date, and Sunflower Tropical Energy Balls

No chocolate, but the base of fruits sounds right

2. Chocolate Date Balls (no cook!)

Closer, closer…

3. Sunflower Coconut Balls

Perhaps if I swapped out chocolate for the peanut butter? But the peanut binder may be the binder in this recipe.

Is this ringing any sort of bell? I am so serious when I say that if you send me a recipe that makes these little bites of yumminess, I will send you the nicest thank-you present. Perhaps even a batch of your very own.

Le Pain Quotidien’s Harvest Porridge

I’m no fan of chain restaurants, but the Belgian bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien can have my $3.25 for a decaf cafe au lait any day. I love the (reclaimed) communal tables, I love drinking (organic) coffee from a bowl and I love any (sugar-laden, highly calorific) baked good they care to put in front of me. Raisin bread topped with fresh ricotta and drizzled with honey and figs tastes even better when you call it a tartine.

harvest porridge

photo from Le Pain Quotidien

My all-time favorite dish at Le Pain Quotidien is a winter special called Harvest Porridge. It’s an oatmeal-like mush made from farro, almond milk and dried cranberries with pecans, walnuts and a quartered strawberry on top. I never ate oatmeal as a child, and even now I prefer it heavily sweetened, preferably with chocolate chips and marshmallows, a last reminder of the sort of communal living one does in one’s early twenties, where four young artists share a house but rarely go food shopping, leaving one to forage for midnight snacks concocted from whatever pantry staples are on hand. That is to say, hot cereal in its most nutritious form has mostly escaped me.

Until the porridge, which I ate on every trip to LPQ in the winter of 2009-10. And oh, was I disappointed to find it was not the seasonal special when I visited last fall. But to my great surprise, yesterday’s trip revealed the porridge at the top of the specials board. I cried out in surprise and delight, amusing the diners seated on either side of us (who surely and wrongly expected that my son, rather than myself, would be the one to disturb their meal. He, by the way, prefers the pain au chocolat and a soft-boiled egg).

And now I will stop rhapsodizing about the porridge and point you to both the recipe, reprinted at The White Blue Sky from Shape Magazine, and a blog called Northeast Locavore, who seems to be equally fond of the stuff and has already done thorough research on cooking farro and has adapted the recipe to ingredients you may be more likely to have on hand.

Thanks to both of them. And now I am off to order some farro.

Thousand Dollar Bars | King Arthur Flour

Mmm, homemade Twix®. I think I gained two pounds just reading this recipe.

I’m rich, I’m rich! Thousand Dollar Bars | King Arthur Flour – King Arthur Flour – Baking Banter.

What I Made This Week: Food Edition

Cauliflower and Onion TartAll of the July cooking magazines are packed tightly with recipes for grilling, and as an urban apartment-dweller (that’s two posts in a row now where I have used this phrase, which must be a sign of something), I find these issues all but useless. Fortunately I have a friend who had the good sense to give birth recently, offering me a good excuse to plumb the depths of Epicurious for a new recipe. Or two.

Cassoulet might be an absurd thing to make when the temperature hits one hundred degrees, but this faux version, Easy Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet, was just mildly silly. It required only stovetop cooking, and not for long. I used sweet Italian sausage instead of spicy in the hopes that the bug would eat some. His tastes are varied, but he doesn’t like “spice.” I do have enough sense not to bring this very wintery dish to someone else’s home, however, and so it was both last night’s dinner and today’s lunch.

What I settled on to bring to my friend, and which is currently browning in the oven, is Smitten Kitchen’s cauliflower and caramelized onion tart. We bought an enormous and beautiful cauliflower at last week’s farmers market, and the lovely photographs on the recipe page drew me in. Perhaps she will report back on the results; I know I will, because I made two…

eta: The tart was delicious! If I make it again, I will roast the cauliflower longer, just to give it more color and depth. I’ll also caramelize the onions, which of course is part of the recipe, but in an effort to keep down the heat in the kitchen I substituted spring onions. I used the sour cream substitution for the mascarpone and half-and-half for the whipping cream, to cut down on fat. And I also added dried basil, grape tomatoes and a bit of salt, because eggs always need salt. The bug asked for “just a little piece” and deemed it “pretty good” but preferred raw broccoli.

Crepes and Minestrone

I love making crepes. The only reason I don’t make them more often is that the crepe pans live at the back of the pots and pans cabinet. Yesterday I whipped up a batch of batter in the morning – right, the other reason I don’t make crepes more is that I usually don’t have the foresight to make the batter ahead of time, and resting is a crucial component in the crepes’s ultimate consistency – and not even last-minute dinner plans with Bert & Vivi’s mom and Storkbite’s mom kept me from cooking up a batch of ham and cheese crepes.
Storkbite Stew is always full of good ideas. Her most compelling reside at the intersection of food and community, and so tonight I am the fortunate recipient of a pot of minestrone and a batch of chocolate chip cookies lovingly prepared by a third mother and her 4-year old daughter. In two weeks I have the pleasure of returning the favor. I love living on Sesame Street.
Savory Crepes, from The Joy of Cooking
Ingredients
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
  1. Pour the batter into a pitcher or other container with a pouring lip.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes or in refrigerate for up to 2 days. (This allows the flour to thoroughly absorb the liquid and gives the gluten in the flour a chance to relax.).
  3. Place a nonstick or seasoned crepe pan over medium heat. Coat the pan with a little unsalted butter.
  4. Stir the batter and pour about 2 tablespoons into the pan, lifting the pan off the heat and tilting and rotating it so that the batter forms an even, very thin layer. Cook until the top is set and the underside is golden. Turn the crepe over, using a spatula or your fingers (fingers work best here) and cook until the second side is lightly browned. Remove the crepe to a piece of wax paper. Continue cooking the rest of the crepes, buttering the pan and stirring the batter before starting each one.
  5. Stack the finished crepes between sheets of wax paper.
  6. Use immediately or let cool, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 1 month.
This recipe claims to make 12 crepes; I have small pans and it made 7. Why not double the recipe? You know that the first one in each pan never comes out right anyway.

Old Fashioned


It’s no Manhattan, but apparently was just what I needed.

Use old-fashioned cocktail glass.
Sugar, 1 lump.
Seltzer, 1 dash, and crush sugar with muddler.
Ice, one square piece.
Orange bitters, 1 dash.
Angostura bitters, 1 dash.
Lemon peel, 1 piece.
Whiskey, 1 jigger.

Stir gently and serve with spoon. And good conversation with a friend who knows how to knock a little bit of sense into you.

– recipe from the Wikipedia