Archive for May, 2011

So, as this blog’s resident vegetarian, Jessica handles most veggie-based entries. However, I’m going to have to pick up the slack because A) it’s farmers market season and B) all baking and no salads makes me pudgier than usual.

I have always liked most veggies, but I never tried brussels sprouts until I moved to DC. Part of that was because we never had them when I was growing up, and part of it was, I think, their reputation as The Worst of the vegetable kingdom. My friend Jessie proved otherwise.

I’ve had the roasted sprouts at Zaytinya, Jose “PUT YOUR NOSE IN THE BOX OF PEACHES” Andres’ small plates place. Mine are not as good as the ones there. But mine are pretty good, and adapted from Ina “The Barefoot Contessa” Garten’s recipe.

You’ll need:

A bunch of brussels sprouts

Olive oil

Maybe some garlic

Tons of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash your sprouts. Chop off the butt ends and then cut ’em in half. Take off any leaves that look yellow or less than delicious tiny cabbage things.

Ew. See ya, guys.

Toss the good halves in olive oil, salt and pepper. You could add some garlic here if you wanted. Maybe a little onion powder.

Spread ’em on a cookie sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing a couple of times so they don’t stick to the sheet and do get all brown and delicious.

I make these when I’m too lazy to make anything else for dinner. They are delicious as a side or a main course. Get your greens in, friends.



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Food blog, I have neglected you. I’m so sorry about that. Jessica did a great job holding down the fort, especially since she’s getting a master’s degree and working about 30 jobs. I shouldn’t have left her to the task all alone.

Let’s catch you up to speed. I was working a job, then I turned 26 and suddenly wasn’t working a job anymore. I tutored The Children for a bit, and picked up an internship at a local yoga studio, which basically means I clean yoga mats on Saturday mornings. I started swimming at my local gym, which I like a lot more than running. I got a new, better, way more awesome job, and entered a baking competition in which I made it to the finals before petering out spectacularly.  I went on a bunch of dates, some of which were delightful and some of which were awkward, with lots of overlap, actually. I saw some great concerts and listened to great music and read a bunch of really good books.

And I cooked a lot.

I’ll catch you up on the cake competition some other time, because I’m still nursing wounds from my blowout in the finals. Let’s try something a little more petite. A little more delicious. Something like… whoopie pies! How about BANANA SPLIT-INSPIRED whoopie pies!

I made these little numbers based on a recipe from Bust magazine (which you should absolutely read). I took them to a barbecue hosted by my friend Ania, who is equal parts beautiful, kind, warm and talented. I wish I had pictures of the finished product but these puppies went FAST. They will at your house, too. Here’s what you do.

You’ll need, for the cakes:

2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

4 Tbsp butter (room temp)

4 Tbsp shortening

1/2 C light brown sugar

1/4 sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. You’re using that for all of your baking, right? You should be. It makes life a million times better. 

So you sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. In another bowl, beat the butter, shortening, sugars and vanilla – the recipe says for 3 minutes but I think you can tell when it’s time. Add the eggs and beat for a couple of minutes more. Then mix in the bananas. Then add the flour mixture! What a delicious mess! For single-serving niblets, you’re gonna drop your batter in 1/2 Tbsp-sized globs on the baking sheets. Bake ’em for about 10 minutes.

While you’ve got the cake part of this tasty little treat going, start doing the filling.

You’ll need:

1 1/2 C Marshmallow Fluff

1 1/4 C shortening

1 C powdered sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla

1/4 C strawberry preserves (Target’s Market Pantry brand is surprisingly yummy and I might consistently jazz up plain yogurt with it)

OK, so here you’re going to beat the Fluff and the shortening together for three minutes on medium. You actually want to beat it this long for real because holy hell is that stuff messy. Once it’s smooth and not gross, reduce to low and add the sugar and vanilla. Mess City again! Beat that back up to medium for another three minutes, then mix in your preserves.


So you’re gonna construct these little Oreo-type thingies. Take a cool cake, plop a bunch of filling on it, add a similar-sized cake on top. Feel free to clean up the edges and lick the excess off your finger. Put your new sandwiches on a parchment-lined thing (in my case, a cake carrier) and pop them in the fridge. I did this overnight with no problem.

Before you’re going to serve these delicious monstrosities, heat up a thingie of dipping chocolate and chop up some peanuts. If you have a Slap Chop, I recommend that, because chopping peanuts with a knife is BORING and time-consuming. So you’re gonna take a sandwich, dip half of it in the chocolate, then roll it into the nuts. Top the thing with a maraschino cherry before the chocolate dries. Your friends will love them. Andrew clearly did.

Motion blur comes from loving whoopie pies SO MUCH.

It’s time to celebrate, team. Time to say “whoopie!” Even if life has you down in the dumps, good things are surely around the corner.



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