Wednesday, June 13, 2012

ikit ikat


I'm not typically in the camp of loud, ostentatious bags, yet I can't help but be drawn to these totes by Found Object.  Each is handmade in Turkey with authentic woven Ikat silk, fully lined in microsuede, and finished off with a traditional evil eye bead talisman as a token of good luck by the artisan.  They're available this week on Fab.com for a discount, which is convenient for those who can't splurge on the vacation to get one in person.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

In a pickle

February's Bon Appetit was all about the South, crowning Nashville as the new food capital.  While I have a few gripes about that, the issue did include this simple, saliva-inducing recipe for caraway pickles, which are the solution to all of life's problems, in case you're on the fence about making them.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insta-bake

Thanks to the genius iPhone apps Instagram and PicFrame, I've been able to create pared down tutorials of my recent baking ventures.  And who doesn't love a DIY step-by-step?  I mean, I'm not calling you a bad person if you don't.  Because that goes without saying.

Flourless molten chocolate cakes

    Scratch made chipwiches

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Chocolate layer cake with boiled vanilla icing and diabetes

Reese's bars

Friday, June 1, 2012

Doughn't Care

It all started off with an innocent enough question: "Should I make doughnuts again?"

And ended like this:



That's right.  Salted Speculoos donuts.

Speculoos cookie butter is a spread made from Speculoos cookies popular in Europe, now available Trader Joe's.  Spicy, rich, and ingrained with crunchy sugar crystals, it tastes like creamed gingerbread and has the texture of Nutella.  I decided to incorporate a few tablespoons of the good stuff into both the dough and the sea salt ganache glaze.


The beta test involved a quick dip in equal parts melted Speculoos and butter, followed by a cinnamon sugar coating.  I now regret making so many of this version because they quickly become stale.

The varsity squad got a rich ganache glaze followed by stripes of piped Speculoos and Maldon sea salt.  And yes, that is an Instagram photo, but I can proudly inform you that there was #nofilter.

Food photography is a funny thing.  The best photos depict scattered ingredients: smears of butter or chocolate on a cutting board, trails of crumbs on the counter, and upended jars of spices.  What's also involved (although not pictured) is cleaning up the mess you made simply for the sake of a photo.  So please excuse my lack of food styling, it's enough that I have to scrub the kitchen once.

I had originally planned to halve the recipe, since it makes entirely too much for two girls and one small apartment (no such thing), but I'm just not the kind of person who does anything by halves.  Especially when "half" involves math and dividing 1-1/3 cups of flour.

A final note: these little guys are baked instead of fried.  Not because I am oil shy--in fact, serve me some duck fat fries, stat--but rather because I've avoided grease ever since Onionstrings-gate 2010, which left my apartment, hair, and clothes smelling like McDonalds for days.

Which is fine.  If that's what you're into.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lent

I gave up meat for Lent, and man, has it been hard.  I have an all new respect for vegetarians, specifically the ones who manage to stay so trim.  Imitation meat products (tofurky, tempeh) and other substitute foods (beans, and, uh, beans) are often starchy and carbohydrate-ridden.  I've been turning to bread to fill up, and let me say that three weeks, dozens of bagels, and five extra pounds later, I still want that steak.

My good friend Lizzie recently suggested almond butter to satisfy my appetite since I'm sick of PB.  Better late than never, since it's been almost a full month of substitutes.  So I went off to Trader Joe's for a jar, foolishly ignoring the "unsalted" label.  It tasted like bland, oily nothing.

Undaunted, I turned the MaraNatha brand at Whole Foods--per another Lizzie suggestion--and found God.  (Speaking of whom, see you on Sunday, Big Guy!  Brunch after?  I need bacon.)

I used up the tasteless stuff on this no-flour, no-butter peanut butter cookie recipe, substituting with almond butter, of course.  And in honor of Lizzie, I listened to Lil Wayne while doing it.


Ain't it funny, momma, only son be baking cakes?

*drops mic.*

I'm out.

(Sorry for the lack of in process photos.  My laptop is playing keep away with my files.  Here's a screenshot of what I did take to give you an idea.)

Monday, April 2, 2012

And we're back.

Dear Reader(s),

It's been a while, huh?  Did you miss me?  Circle one: YES / HELL NO / HAVE WE MET?

Well, I missed you.

There's been a lot of change and hectic scheduling in the past two months--some good, some bad--but I'm getting back on track.  Starting with this blog.

So if you're still out there, dear Reader(s), wondering what happened to me, or if (as I suspect) you just ended up here because Google brought you to this post, you should stick around.

In the meantime, please accept my apologies.  And this pie.  I made you a pie.

Sincerely,
Laura