Monthly Archives: March 2008

Time-Pressed Culinary Feats (& a Little Bit of Lack Thereof)

Pressed for time, but longing to bake *something*, I opted for an old favorite: banana bread.

However, I could not find the family recipe my aunt painstakingly assembled in a giant collection several Christmases ago…so I opted for one from Epicurious: Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts (this had the added bonus of helping me get rid of the chips and nuts that have been sitting around and doing nothing but cluttering my pantry forever).

In all fairness, I didn’t have any lemon juice (well, tell a lie…I actually found a bottle of lemon juice tucked away in my fridge…that expired in July 2007 — oopsie) and so I made do without and that could possibly explain why it turned out so dry? I don’t know though…I’ve never had trouble with texture before…although I guess it could also be that our family recipe is overwhelmingly moist? Either way, if that recipe doesn’t turn up around here somewhere (and, again, to be fair, it’s a little chaotic around here with my master’s project due on Monday and the Great American Food Writing Job Search that just kicked off…), I will have to ask my mother for it again…because I wasn’t nuts (ooh — bad pun) about the banana bread with chocolate chips and walnuts.

Fun aside: when I told my friend from Colombia that I was making banana bread, she got all excited and said that her two favorite culinary things about America are ranked as follows:

1. Beef Jerky
2. Banana Bread

I’ve also been dying to make Chewy Chocolate Cookies…they seem easy enough and I have everything on hand (and I *do* have one heck of a sweet tooth)…but I haven’t slept in days, so priority #1 after the job fair tomorrow will be to get some shuteye…and then perhaps I’ll contemplate chewy chocolate cookies.

But…one *does* have to eat dinner, so earlier this week, I made those quesadillas (which were actually remarkably convenient — the recipe yielded 8 and so I’ve been able to just grab one out of the fridge and warm it up for 45 seconds and dinner is served at my house). I didn’t follow the recipe to a T though — I had to use kale because FreshDirect did not have mustard greens…but I don’t do a lot of stuff with kale and was a little freaked out about having huge chunks of it in there…so I ended up food-processing the whole bunch. (I also think the recipe is in dire need of cumin rather than chili powder…) But, it was fairly easy and filled me up…so definitely worth the trouble. Ooh — also: the goat cheese really makes this dish. I’d even recommend using *more* because it really does something to sort of mesh all of the flavors in there.

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The Saga Continues…

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Happy Birthday, Heidi!

…and many happy returns, Battle Maiden.

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Friday Catblogging

Aww…this is one of my favorites.

I went to a shelter this week to see about getting another Fatty…and I was immediately drawn to a 1-year-old sliver tabby named “Phil.” But, unfortunately, Phil has some digestive problems and is on medication and it could be a chronic thing…

I don’t know if I’m ready to bring an animal with a chronic medical condition into my life…but I’m going to keep an eye on him. He seemed like a really sweet boy.

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Miss Fluffy Rice…& Touchin’ Clouds

I was recently photocopying columns from a women’s magazine in the 1960s when I came across ads from the Rice Council featuring a character called “Miss Fluffy Rice.”

Miss Fluffy Rice is really too good to be true — she’s a wooden spoon with an apron and rice for hair…who has endless tips about how to incorporate more rice into your diet. She brought me great amusement at work. (I *also* enjoyed the ads for ribs in a can…and the wonderfully direct, “Why are the most tender, flaky pie crusts you ever tasted made by someone else?” [It’s because that someone else uses Armour Star Lard.]” Also interesting: everyone at the top of the masthead was a man…!)

Work, coincidentally, is where I *also* scrounged up this priceless biscuit-making tip (use it and think of me): “Finally, a light touch is essential! Handle the dough and the biscuits as little as possible. You don’t want gluten to develop and you want the fat to stay cold until the biscuits bake, so hands off! Think of handling clouds or other very delicate objects during this whole process.”

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So Much Conan!

First, this: Conan O’Brien Recipe “Completely Made Up” By Good Housekeeping

Then, this (which would be so much better if it wasn’t missing the part about bubble and squeak):

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Greens for St. Patrick’s Day

It’s sort of a happy accident that these recipes were the most appealing to me…and today happens to be a day that prizes green above all others.

But…at some point in the near future, I will be making Bell Pepper, Red Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza and Potato, Greens and Goat Cheese Quesadillas.

(There’s also a recipe for Penne with Greens, Olives and Feta that I think looks good.)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Just as a side note…when I was blogging about green beer, I came across a website that talked about the green Chicago River…and I guess I always knew that they did that, but I never really thought about it before and now I’m FASCINATED by it. So…I wish I was in Chicago today. (Or I wish they dyed the East River. Or, well, now that I think about it, maybe it’s not the most environmentally sound practice? I don’t know…I like festive things. That’s all I meant.)

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