Archive for September, 2010

Okay, so I just moved, and it was a fairly miserable process from which I am still recovering. But the first thing I did was unpack my kitchen. This girl cannot subsist on eating-out alone!

And then we went to the farmer’s market on Saturday. The farmshare lady asked me if I wanted peaches or pears with my¬† box, and I wavered. Pears sounded good, but the peaches are always amazing. Farmshare lady told me this was the last week for peaches. “You’ll be sitting in November looking out the window at the snow and wishing you had one of those peaches.”

Point taken, lady.

We also had to buy something at the farmer’s market, for some complicated reason that involved giving someone exact change, breaking a twenty, et cetera. So I had to spend more than 5 dollars, but less than 10. No big deal. Immediately, the gorgeous pints of bright red raspberries called my name. I hadn’t bought ANY raspberries all summer, and these were perfect specimens.

Of course, we sampled a few while we waited in line. They were a little tart, which doesn’t bother me, but then my stupid-stressed out brain started whirring and then, on Labor Day, there was baking.

Raspberry Shortbread Bars

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

* Substituted raspberries for peaches, which was delish

* Added too much salt. Don’t do that.

* Omitted the nutmeg & cinnamon. Wasn’t feeling ballsy enough to try spicy raspberries.

* Drizzled a drizzly icing (powdered sugar+milk+vanilla. nothing fancy)

Oh, and just in case you wanted to just use up what little was left of your pound of butter…

Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

again, from Smitten Kitchen

* No alterations (except that I ran out of butter for the frosting)

*Seriously, delicious if you add every last strange ingredient (cake flour, yogurt, etc)


So then I had a house full of baked things. I spent the next day peddling cakes and bars to every person who crossed my path. I was the crazy girl who brought cupcakes to the first class of the semester.

The first GRADUATE class of the semester….

Moving madness, I tell you. Three or four times the regularly scheduled crazy.


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it’s challah time

Friends! I have a deep appreciation for all bread products. We know this to be a fact. So when I was poking around fellow DC food blogger Modern Domestic‘s site, I was smitten with this here recipe for apple-honey challah.

We didn’t really make bread when I was little – my Grandma Woho had a bread machine but it didn’t hold my attention the way baking cookies with her did, or gardening with my Grandpa did. Also, challah didn’t really pop up too much in my super-Catholic family and hometown.

Not anymore, baby. Now, I holla for challah!

Yeast was a new ingredient for me, and if you’ve never used it: It smells kinda weird. My whole kitchen had a bit of a funk to it. But hoooooooooolyyyyyyyyyyyy crap, once I started baking, things started to smell amaaaaazing.

Here’s what you’ll need for the dough:

1/2 C lukewarm water

4 C flour

6 tbsp oil (I used 3 tbsp oil and 3 tbsp applesauce, but follow your heart on this)

1/4 C honey

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp yeast (I used one little packet thingy of it)

Mix these guys up, then let ’em set covered for a couple of hours so your dough will rise.

When it’s time to mess with the dough again, cut up two apples into 3/4″ nibblettes (I made that word up). Keep the peel on. Toss ’em with as much cinnamon as you like and about a 1/4 C sugar.

So now what you’re gonna do is stab your dough a little bit so it mellows out. Spread it out on a greased surface (I sprayed Pam on my counter top, but probably you are going to want to be less of a slacker than I am). The site with the original recipe is really good about explaining how to do the apple folding bit, but basically you pour some apples on the dough, flap one side over, pour the rest of ’em on, then fold the other flap over.

So now you’ve got a nice little apple dough loaf happening. It looks OK. It smells all right. Obviously you have to wreck it by cutting it into 16 pieces. Then, stuff those guys into a round cake pan. I used a bundt-ish pan because that’s what I had. Smoosh ’em all in there and let ’em set for an hour, covered, so your dough can rise again.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Before you pop the challah into the oven, give it a brushing with one egg beaten with a tablespoon of water. You can sprinkle it with coarse sugar or let it be to dip in honey later. I’m partial to a dip of plain yogurt, honey and cinnamon, but hey, go with what works for you. Bake for 55 minutes or until the top chars up a bit. Eat to your heart’s content.

Yum. Shana tova, lovelies.


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moving in miracle

Picture this:

You woke up at 5 a.m. Sat in a moving van with your anxiety-ridden cat until noon. Public transportation made you late for work, and on the way home, kicked you out over a mile from home. One sweaty, 95 degree walk later, you made it home only to spend the afternoon unpacking your moving van.

In the evening, everything (EVERYTHING) is inside, everything is still in a box, and everyone has left you.

So you unpack through the sore muscles and the fatigue and the stressful stomachache and the dread of knowing that you have to be up and at work at 9 the next morning.

And then it’s 8 p.m and you realize you haven’t eaten since that half of a sandwich you unwrapped at the bus stop like some kind of homeless vagrant.

There’s nothing in your fridge, because you had to throw it all out. There’s nothing in the cupboards because everything’s still in boxes. There are boxes stacked high on the kitchen floor.

There’s a boy who said he would come home and we’d all go out to eat, but it’s late, there’s traffic, and they found a Taco Bell.

But somehow.


You made dinner.

Tasty Oven Fries

* farm share potatoes

still in the farm share box, that sat in the back of the moving van all day

* olive oil

* kosher salt

unearthed from the cupboard boxes, miraculously

* ketchup

along with capers and mustard, the only items that made the trip from fridge to fridge

You will go to bed cursing your life for being so miserable and painful and complicated,

but at least

you are fed.

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