Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category
Everyone has foods that, after one bite, transport them back to the days of their childhood. Whether it’s your Mom’s meatloaf, your Grandmother’s meatballs, or simply a Jell-o snack pack, food has a way of reminding us through taste, touch, sight and smell of the past. For me, the things that I remember the most from childhood are the desserts. Yes, I definitely had a sweet tooth, and still do. My Mom’s banana cake and pumpkin bread, my Grandmother on my Father’s side’s custard with bananas, and a fluffy chocolate cake with marshmallow icing stick out poignantly in my memory. Along with those was one of my favorite desserts: apricot bars with meringue. My Mom used to make these quite often, and if no one was around to stop me I could polish off half a tray without skipping a beat. I recently had my Mom send me the recipe, which was originally my Grandmother’s, and I tried my hand at making them. They were delicious, just as I remember.
There is something about chocolate pudding that brings me back to childhood. My grandmother, making dessert in the kitchen at our house on Cape Cod, and Bill Cosby promoting Jello pudding snacks on TV. Little green bowls on a rack in the refrigerator, covered with wax paper, each one containing a serving of the cool, smooth, delicious dessert.
The other night I suddenly had a flashback to those chocolate pudding days, and I did a quick search to find some pudding recipes. One of the top results was from Smitten Kitchen, a New York blogger with great recipes, and photos that put mine to shame. She really does great stuff. So I decided to give it a shot, and it was great! It also took about 20 minutes to make, which is a plus.
In the vein of using sour cream in alternative ways, I wanted to share a recipe that has been in my Mom’s family for generations. This is a cookie that I grew up eating, and I have very fond memories of these. Soft, creamy, like cake, with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar on top. I’m not much of a baker, as those of you who know me might have already figured out, but after making the sour cream pancakes the other day I was determined to bake up a batch of these cookies for old times’ sake.
This recipe is another great reason to have miso in your refrigerator, in addition to the miso soup recipe I just put up. Miso keeps forever in your fridge, and this recipe is so easy that it’s even tough to say that it’s a “recipe”. This dish takes five minutes from start to finish, and it will become one of your favorites immediately. The miso butter idea is David Chang’s (of Momofuku, if you haven’t ever read this blog before or don’t live in New York) that I’ve appropriated and applied to every steamed vegetable I can get my hands on. I first tasted it three years ago at Momofuku Noodle Bar, where it was served over asparagus with a poached egg. Heaven. Give it a try; you won’t regret it. Trust me.
Last night we went to a friend’s place for a little dinner party, and I was tasked with bringing dessert. I decided to make a quick key lime pie, which is an excellent springtime dessert that will take you about 10 minutes to put together and 10 minutes to cook. No one will ever know how easy it was when they taste it, believe me:
When I was last up at our family’s place on Cape Cod, I had the idea to go through my Grandmother’s recipe box and revive some of her dishes. There are three recipe boxes, stuffed full of recipe cards, some handwritten, some typed, and some clipped from magazines. Going through them I learned two things: 1) in my Grandmother’s era, a can of cream of mushroom soup was an ingredient in 75% of your dishes, and 2) when my Grandmother wrote down a recipe, she was going for simplicity: measurements, a note here and there about process, but certainly not a recipe that anyone could pick up and follow. I picked out a recipe that I remember her making a lot when I was little, and decided to give it a shot:
I was reading over some older SeriousEats posts the other day and came across a whole section of “Oscar Night” dishes. This “Inglorious Custards” dessert caught my eye, because I had just gotten a farm share distribution that included fresh milk and eggs. Custards are pretty standard, but the unique presentation of individual phyllo dough cups made it intriguing, so I decided to give it a shot. I don’t usually make desserts unless I’m hosting a dinner party, but these were just too good to pass up.
Today I was inspired to create a bread pudding as part of the Food52 weekly contest. Have I ever made a bread pudding? Hell no. Could I come up with a flavor combination that I think is delicious and give it a shot? You betcha!
As far back as I can remember I’ve been fascinated with odd foods; the stranger, the better. Chili dusted meal worm snacks. Grasshopper lollipops. Banana fern tubers dug from the backyard. However, my favorite food stop as a child was the exotic fruit section of the local supermarket. Horned melons. Fresh sugarcane. Even whole coconuts were a tropical, yet accessible, foodstuff during wintertime in Connecticut. And then there was the starfruit. I distinctly remember being on a shopping trip with my Mom and seeing this strange, wonderful-looking fruit, and convincing her that we needed to buy one, for posterity’s sake. Just to try it. Pleeeeaaaasssseeee? Just to shut me up, she complied, and I had my first starfruit.
The other day in Fairway I saw a box of starfruit, and the memory of it came back to me and I decided to buy one. Of course that meant coming up with a dish on which I could feature it, and for some reason the vision of a lemon tart popped into my head. Have I ever made a lemon tart? Absolutely not. Would I attempt to make one now? Sure, why not?
As I mentioned in my venison stew post, I was experimenting with infusing rosemary and cherries together to make a dessert that would pair with the venison stew. I love using dried cherries when roasting venison, and I wasn’t going to add them to the stew, so a cherry dessert seemed to be the way to go. I am just now getting around to posting the recipe, because it took a little tweaking to get it right.