Love you

I love Valentine’s Day because I love flowers, candy, and the colors pink and red. I don’t care that it’s a Hallmark-holiday. It’s fun with or without a partner. Obviously we should all show our love and appreciation daily, but sometimes we forget. If you are in a relationship: don’t fuck Valentine’s Day up. Make a card and get some flowers and be a hero; it’s that simple. If you’re not romantically involved then don’t let Hallmark get  you down! Love yourself. I buy myself flowers weekly. I realized how satisfying it is to treat myself instead of waiting for someone else to. I like to celebrate Galentine’s Day with my lady friends who I love more than anything. If your friends are all going on dates then eat take-out naked. This fake holiday can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways.

I sandwiched butter cookies with ganache and pomegranate jelly. I’m currently having a relationship with ganache. I can’t give you the recipe because it’s going to make me rich one day.

 

It’s also my day off from work so I made quiche with chard, turkey bacon, manchego, and parmesan. The last time I tried to make quiche it was a disaster so I am happy.

 

Quiche (adapted from Real Simple)

Ingredients:

1 pie crust

4 large eggs

1/2 cup cream

7 oz cheese, grated

1 oz sour cream (heaping tbsp)

4 slices turkey bacon, cut into pieces

1 cup swiss chard, cut into pieces

nutmeg

salt & pepper

Preparation: For the crust I adapted a King Arthur recipe by using butter only. Roll out the crust, place in pie dish. Place a layer of foil on the crust and weigh it down with rice or beans then bake for 10-15 minutes in 375 degree oven. In skillet cook the turkey bacon over medium-high heat. Remove bacon from the pan and cook the chard in remaining grease, add salt & pepper. In a large bowl mix eggs, cheese, sour cream, cream, nutmeg, chard, turkey bacon, salt & pepper. Pour into pre-baked crust and bake for 45 minutes (until knife comes out clean). Serve at room temperature.

Advertisements

Birthday Cake

My friend, Carmella, asked me to bake a couple of cakes for her father’s birthday party. I said yes because: I love both Carmella and celebrations. Cake is festive and ritualistic. Both an activity and a dish, cake marks such special events as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and graduations. Great effort goes into the production of something so temporary. The cake is consumed in far less time than it took to produce; this is what makes it lavish. What an honor to create the centerpiece of special occasion.

My mom’s friend, Alyson, gave me her recipe for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting…

Here is a chocolate cake with a layer of jam in the center and covered with ganache…

Comfort Food

Homemade mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. I use Mark Bittman’s recipe except for one key alteration: twice as much cheese. For this recpe I used manchego, parmesan, and roasted red peppers. You can use any other cooked vegetable and/or cheese that melts well.

I have also been loving cabbage and apples. It’s cheap and healthy. Cabbage does really well with some acidity and sweetness; you could also use pears or a drop of jam.

 

Ingredients:

3 cups manchego, shredded

1 cup parmesan, shredded

2 cups 2% milk

Lb pasta

3 tbspn butter

3 tbspn flour

2 red peppers, roasted

salt & pepper

bay leaves

Preparation: to roast red peppers brush with oil and cook in 400 degree oven until outsides have blistered. Let cool and peel skin. Cut them into small pieces and set aside. Scald milk with bay leaves and let rest. Cook pasta (al dente), drain, rinse in cold water. Make a roux by heating butter over medium low heat until foamy and then adding flour. Whisk constantly until the roux is brown (this takes a few minutes). Slowly add milk to roux, whisking all the while. Once all the milk is incorporated mix in the cheese, peppers, salt & pepper. Pour into buttered baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. You can make this dish ahead of time and leave it in the fridge.

Tip:  I use one pot by pouring the scalded milk back into my pyrex measuring cup and then make roux. I hate doing dishes.

 

Cabbage with apples:

1 head cabbage

3 apples

fennel seeds

olive oil

garlic, smashed

salt & pepper

Preparation: slice apples and cabbage to a similar size. In a pan heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the garlic. Add apples, fennel seeds (crushed between your finger tips), salt & pepper. Then add cabbage. Cover the pan if you’re in a hurry. Cook until tender.