I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Lemon Pavlova

The new Eating Well came to my house today.  Did you get yours?  Did I mention I'm their home kitchen Tester?  It's true.  Check the masthead.  I'm totally on it.

Anyway -  I tested the Lemon Pavlova, and I highly suggest you make one.  It takes time to bake, but the time is mostly unattended, and it is SO worth it.  This is probably my favorite non-chocolate dessert out there. You know how I feel about curd.  

The meringue is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  The lemon curd is tart and sweet, and the whipped cream is not-to-sweet perfection.

Thick, delicious, glossy.

A cool little template trick - just flip it over so you don't eat lead.

Just a little wall built up around the edges will keep the curd from running off once it's put together.
I think next time I'll beat it for even longer and see if I can get stiffer peaks to built up.
See Eating Well's picture - now there are some walls!

After round one in the oven.

Out of the oven.
(Please ignore where my finger went through it in the back where I was testing the consistency.)


Whipped cream.

It cracks when you cut it, so make sure to show it to everyone beforehand.

It's Christmas Eve and I don't think I can get it together to make it for tomorrow, but I think I may have to make this for New Year's Eve.  Have a great holiday, everyone!

The Dying Swan / Anna Pavlova from Atavisme on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hello again, hello.

Oh, my poor neglected blog.  I'm so sorry to have been away for so long.  My family has been passing around a stomach flu and I have been unable to think about food for days. Very sad.  We are all in the clear now, and I look forward to eating regularly again and sharing with you all the delights of the rest of the season.

In the meantime:

My children are home from school on Winter Break for two weeks (OMG), and then we will be going on a cruise for a week.  I'm looking for things to entertain them while were all home. Together.  Bound in by snow and ice.  For two weeks.  *ahem*  Sorry. -and will probably do this awesome kitchen science project again. All you need is cornstarch and water (and food coloring if you want to be fancy like me).

When you work it (create friction), it's a solid.

When you let it relax, it's a liquid!

My daughter made hers pink.

My son made his green.

You should totally do this - even if you don't have kids - do it for "cheap date at home with a bottle of wine night".  Seriously.  It's quick to make, entertaining for a really long time, and super easy to clean up (the best part).

Check out the rest of Liz's site, Kitchen Pantry Scientist, for more great experiments!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Heart NY

Last week, Bill and I went to see a reading of his play HATE MAIL at a benefit for Opening Act in New York City. 

Thanks, Sun Country! Glad these instructions are so specific.
I wore my tutu that day and was a little concerned.

Cranberry crumble with clotted cream at Angus McIndoe.

View from the Hilton Times Square, 43rd floor.

Lunch: Antipasi at Mario Batali's OTTO.

Calamari with potaotes
Eggplant (something)
Broccoli & Peccorino
Roasted Beets and Saba
Parsnips, Parsley & Parmigiano - you WILL see me attempt this - it was incredible.

The spaghetti Alla Carbonara was too al dente for my taste, and so salty I couldn't eat more than two bites.  My Fussili Con Stracotto was also very salty, but the pork shoulder was delicious.

The gelato disappered so quickly, I didn't get a chance to take a picture.  Three scoops.  Dark chocolate, Olive Oil and Gorgonzola.  I endevour to learn to make awesome savory ice creams now and follow in the footsteps of my Great-Grandfather and open an ice cream parlor.  Though mine will probably not be in the Bronx.

$5 sparkling water was worth the bottle and the relief from my hangover.

I love this.  I don't care if I look like a tourist.

The set of the show.
The benefit was at  New World Stage - a really cool venue where you have to walk DOWN two flights of stairs to get to the theater.

The Cast, Playwright and Director:
John Slattery, Cynthia Nixon, my husband Bill Corbett, and Michael Mastro

John and Bill

Bill, John and Me.
 Let me just say the cast, director, crew and members of Opening Act were wonderful, lovely people.  John Slattery and Cynthia Nixon were very nice, and really great in these roles.  I thank them so much for donating their time and tremendous talent to help this organization.

Among other things, we ate coconut omelets at Ponsri Thai after the show.

Good night, New York.
That's The Ball in Times Square in the middle, there.  Good thing we had light-blocking curtains.

I walked around saying, "I love New York" the whole 40 hours I was there.  Because I do.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


If you live in or around Minnesota, know someone who lives in
Minnesota, or are following someone from Minnesota on Twitter or
Facebook, you know it's snowing. A lot.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Last night I made sushi at home for the first time.  I recently saw Marie Porter post about This on Twitter. (Follow her, she's funny, smart and makes amazing food - what else can you ask for?)

Here's how mine came out.  I used salmon, because that's what I like best and that's what they had at the store that hadn't been frozen.

Nori, Mango, Avocado, Rice

Smush rice on Nori, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds


Add ingredients

My first-ever roll.  It smooshed out the sides.

But look how pretty inside!

Brought this to Bill for a snack

Then made another for dinner


Cooked some salmon and made salmon, mango and avocado nigiri for the kids.

Totally worth the $7 I shelled out for all that nori and the bamboo mat - though I'm glad I put parchment on top - so less messy.

Try it! You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Beer. Bread. More Later.

I've been away.  No.  Not just away.  I've been to New York.  For something pretty cool.  And I ate a lot of food (especially considering I was there for 40 hours.  More on that soon.  In the meantime, here's something I made and polished off prior to leaving:

If you ever go to a Tastefully Simple party, buy the beer bread mix in bulk.  It's awesome.  

Then go to Trader Joe's and buy at least one six pack of Kennebunkport Blueberry Wheat Ale.

You know what to do next.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Snack of Champions

I am eating this and drinking a big ass martini. Cheers, Siri!

Money Lamp looks on with approval.

Hangin' with the raisin girls....

We didn't have any Rice Krispies.
And no one was eating the Corn Flakes I bought to try to have fewer sugar-filled cereals in the house.  
And we had all these marshmallows.

So I made a pan of these:

And I ate at least 2/3 of the pan myself.
And then I learned about these.
Which are clearly too dangerous to make any time soon.  

I can't be trusted.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Am I missing something?

These are E-Z peel, deveined shrimp. I was assured (as I was last
time, when the same thing happened) by the butcher that these were
deveined. Aren't we calling this a vein? I think it's actually shrimp
poop, but aren't we polietly referring to it that way? Please tell me
if I'm wrong/crazy. I'll be at the sink running a fork tine through my
shrimp while you answer.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter = Stew

It's definitely winter here.  I keep telling my husband at we're having such a mild, late-start winter so far this year, but, really - it's winter.  And it's going to be winter until my birthday in mid-April.  .......sigh.......

So, I'm going to be making a lot of stew.  And things in crock pots. This week I'm going to experiment with some sort of lamb curry in a crock pot.  If you have any helpful ideas/recipes, please send me info/links.

One of my favorite stews is French Country Beef Stew.  I made it for my in-laws last month.  I use real bacon instead of turkey bacon.  It hikes up the fat a little, but I'm willing to accept that.  I also put in more orange zest than the recipe calls for because I like it.

I serve it over these super fat noodles I buy in my local supermarket (Rainbow, for those of you playing along at home), but I think pappardelle or regular old egg noodles would work great, too.  Trader Joe's carries a great pappardelle.

What's your favorite stew or crock pot meal?  What other winter comfort foods are you thinking about this season?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bring something to share.

This summer we moved to a great new neighborhood.  There's an event once a month for the adults.  One family hosts, and everyone brings their own drinks and something to share. The other night we went to a games party at our neighbors' house.  Have you ever played BUNCO?  You must.

We brought a Big-Ass bottle of wine (and subsequently napped a lot the next day) and a tureen of Roasted Pear-Butternut Squash Soup with Crumbled Stilton

I put it on a tray with a ladle, spoon rest, little cups and spoons.  The garnishes in the recipe are chives or scallion greens and crumbled stilton.  I had one more compartment on my cute little tray, so I also added toasted slivered almonds.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shortcut to what?

(Thanks for playing along, Geek Readers.)

A while ago, I confessed to not liking mushrooms.  The next day I bought some and made some stuff.   I was in a bit of a frenzy, so I can't remember exactly what I did, and again, these are my crappy iPhone pictures (must remember to use real camera).

I know that I chopped them up really fine,

 sauteed them in butter with garlic, 

threw in some chicken stock - frozen in ice cube trays - perfect for this sort of thing.  I make a lot of pan gravy.  

Then I whirled the whole thing in the food processor because I really can't get past the texture.  

Put it back in the pan and thinned it out again with stock and wine, and spooned it over a chicken tender.  

Is there a way to make a mushroom sauce look pretty?
I don't think even a real camera and sprig of something green could save that.


I loved it so much, I added milk to what was left in the pan, and maybe some other stuff, and ate in on pasta.  While standing over the stove. 

 And I think I ate a little much - it's very rich - but I can't wait to try more! 

Me, after eating possibly too many mushrooms..... wait.
Also: Dig the ShrinkyDink earrings my 5 year old made for me.

The moral of the story, dear readers, is:  If you throw yourself down a hill to get away from the farmer you're stealing from and the black riders who are looking for you, you could just find a shortcut to mushrooms.


Try something you think you don't like.  You might change your mind. 

But I'm still not doing olives.  I take my martinis up with a twist. (Gin, no Vermouth)