Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
For the first eight days of this December my entire apartment was filled with old friends. Every morning I would wake up to a living-room battlefield of sleepy bodies and cast-off clothes, their garments and limbs draped lazily across every extraneous surface: couch, table, floor, and chair. The perilous daily crossing to the bathroom was a careful negotiation of careless leg arrangements and upturned wrists flung across pale faces; over soft hair spillings across gold couch cushions and clenched-fist pullings of blankets beneath neatly tucked chins. It was a perfect and entirely consuming practice. I seemed to have no time to do anything but work and return home to these faces, work and return home to them.
It wasn't until I stole home for a weekend that I had a chance to really cook again, and by then all I had it in my heart to do was somehow try and recapture that sense of complete comfort so briefly enjoyed in the presence of my true loves. Much to the ongoing anguish of lonely people everywhere, though, it turns out that almost nothing will serve as a substitute for the earnest and wholesome solace of being with close friends. Almost nothing EXCEPT for the combined scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. So, having already been thoroughly stuffed with as much pie as one could possibly want in any season, I decided to take pumpkin down a slightly different path and turn it into some butter. Pumpkin butter! It is so delicious to even say it.
This recipe was simple...adapted straight off of allrecipes.com. I was overwhelmingly pleased with the results, but if you have any recommendations for substitutions or changes please, please feel free to share!
This piece from the NY Times Holiday Food section is also a very worthwhile read if you have the chance. It'll make you smile, I promise.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Great things come from small beginnings, big things come in small packages, etc. I'm sure you're all familiar with the standard-issue anecdotes about how it is the littlest things in life that matter the most, but a reminder now and then has never hurt. Especially when we're all still in the lovely rose-colored flush of Thanksgiving consumption after-glow. This dish is the definition of great big things being cultivated from very tiny beginnings, i.e. a mouth-watering Recipe shared via Google Reader as almost an afterthought one afternoon at work. Next thing I knew, Ben Duchac had turned my cast iron fantasy into one hundred percent reality. He is now my personal hero and shall remain so for eternity.
Running a very close second in my ranking of life-time heroes, though, would be the delightful lady behind the always-amazing Our Kitchen Sink for providing me with endless hours of salivary-gland-activating photography and food ideas. Haha. No, I cannot really believe that I just said that, either. Aren't you just amped to eat yourself some strata now?
Care of the Kitchen Sink:
"You Will Need:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
One 16-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juices
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 ounces whole wheat peasant bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (4 cups)
2 ounces feta cheese, crumble
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the yogurt and parsley.
In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, sage and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the bread and sprinkle with the feta. Pour the egg mixture on top and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool slightly, then serve."
care (once again) of Ben D.The man can do no wrong!