Once upon a time I hated pineapple upside-down cake. It tasted and looked like Jiffy Mix met a can of sweetened pineapple, went out on a really bad date and fell into a deep dish, head first.
I’d forget after a while and make it again like it was something new and different. And I still didn’t like it. Even when I moved past Jiffy Mix to decent yellow cakes, fresh pineapple and caramelized sugar, it still lacked something. Mostly it reminded me of school lunch fare. Beige.
Still, I was hopeful that I might try just one more time (hope springs eternal or my brain is wired like Dilbert). And I’m glad not only that I did, but had the foresight to write it all out as I was making it up. Continue reading
logo designed by Anile
It’s been a long time coming actually. Moving from the system of measuring everything by cups to weights has made a huge difference in the outcome of gluten free baking. Heck, it makes a difference in any kind of baking. And now we get to start thinking about food making in terms of ratios with thanks to Michael Ruhlman.
Ratios are like the blueprint of cooking. Think of it as the bones of recipes. If you become comfortable with ratios – any food preparation becomes your own customization. No recipe needed.
Take pancakes, for example. The typical ratio is 4:4:2:1. That would be 4 parts flour to 4 parts liquid to 2 parts egg to one part fat. As long as you know that particular ratio = pancakes you can make the quantity as big or small as you want. You can customize it any way you like.
We enjoy our weekend pancakes, but we love potato pancakes even more. We usually only eat them around Hanukkah and call them latkes. But they’re good any time of year and sometimes on a cold weekend morning, a potato pancake seems perfect. Continue reading
During the stone age years of our marriage, Valentine Days were spent trying to create the perfect romantic day. Now we call them fodder for amusing blog posts.
- There was the embarrassing Joan Walsh Anglund year (look it up).
- There was the year of the trail of chocolate boxes, empty aside from clever notes on where to go next, eventually leading to a hotel 45 miles away in the middle of a blizzard.
- There was the year we learned to make a soufflé and never read the directions all the way to end to know you couldn’t wait 20 minutes to bring it to the table.
- There was another year when someone couldn’t figure out which size Godiva heart box I wanted so he bought them all and we ate chocolate until way past Easter.
- There was the year we went out to dinner at a place that charged just slightly less than the French Laundry and thought it was the French Laundry. It was not.
- And then there was the year when roses were too expensive so I got a blender instead, which if you are Captain Awesome, makes perfect sense.
As the years moved on, we settled for making Valentine’s Day all about the food, and not food from a restaurant. Who needed to dine with 80 other strangers and eat stuff that was over the top in looks and ordinary in taste? Continue reading
Mom baked tons of goodies, but none more frequently than her brownies. She was the entire welcome wagon for the growing neighborhood back in the mid 1950’s and would bring a plate of brownies to every new family. We loved when she made brownies because the crisp edges had to be carved off before being given away. Though the pan was square and she hacked off an edge for each of us, we still managed to fight over them.
Thankfully, the recipe made its way into print in the 1964 Syracuse Hadassah Cookbook, and was called Ada’s Brownies – a riff on Ate a Brownie (my dad’s odd sense of humor). Otherwise, none of us would have ever known what went into her recipe because she never bothered to write them down. The book is long out of print, but I still have a copy tucked away. Continue reading