Tag Archives: cooking

and now, nachos. while we still wait.

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The NYT has traced the first nachos back to Piedras Negras, Mexico, in 1940, with just three ingredients. As the story goes, a group of women walked into the Victory Club in Piedras outside business hours. Aiming to please, Ignacio Anaya, the maître d’hôtel known as Nacho, ran to the kitchen and made a quick appetizer with ingredients he found. Today’s nachos know no end to their variations: They can have a number of seasoned layers or simply be topped with cheese sauce, like those sold at concession stands. But the simplicity of its original, with its barely salted chips, nutty melted cheese and briny pickled jalapenos, is sure to charm true nacho fans.

 

“we’ve all invested emotionally in nachos.”

-conan o’brien

 

 

credits: Christoper Simpson(NYT) and Simon Andrews- food stylist (NYT)

madelines on my mind.

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shared a kitchen and an online live cooking class

with one of my grandies today

we had

a fast-working sur la table pastry chef

 equipment, ingredients, and time

 we both worked hard for 2 hours

improvised along the way

 scrambled to find things

as the chef added in a few surprises

like making two royal icings

of different consistencies

all while

white chocolate melted

dark chocolate melted

not burning

never mixing

coloring the icings

buttering and chilling the pan

twice

after many, many steps

 we had pretty much trashed the entire kitchen

but in the end

we had created

wonderful french madelines – vanilla bean halloween style

 more tiny cakes than cookies.

“cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. and cooking done with care is an act of love.”

-craig claiborne

 

just a spoonful (or 11) of sugar….

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on this day in 1964

a perennial favorite of children

“mary poppins,” premiered.

julie andrews as mary, sang and danced her way through this happy film

 her famous ‘just a spoonful of sugar’ song danced through my head

as i continued my foray into bread making with my latest project

cinnamon swirl donut bread

i think mary would have been quite impressed/horrified by all the sugar involved in this one

is was not only a sweet donut loaf

but was swirled with cinnamon, sugar, and molasses

and in the final stages

the entire  loaf

still warm from the oven

was dipped in melted butter

then rolled in a mix of brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon

that melted together

creating an outer crust 

this was not a loaf for the feint of heart

nor amateur sugar-eater

 a little went a long way, but pretty tasty, all in all.

next up – beer bread

i wonder what movie from my past that experience will trigger.

“if god hadn’t meant for us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.”

-ralph nader

 

 

image credit: walt disney pictures

butter on your birthday.

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“i was 32 when i started cooking; up until then i just ate.” -jc

happy memorial birthday to julia child,

american chef extraordiniare , rebel, eccentric, pioneer, lover of all things butter

and the one who brought the art of french cooking to america.

“with enough butter anything is good.”

-julia child

“miss child is never bashful with butter”

-phil donahue 

 

jc -i plan to whittle a stick of butter into a smaller stick of butter today in your honor. 

 

 

image credits: (b/w) google. com, (color) butter sculptures, pennsylvania state fair

 

 

 

toast.

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I’m not gonna’ lie, i’m pretty good with toast.

 

“What is the right way to cut a piece of toast?”Diagonally, insists the narrator in NIcholson Baker’s novel “The Mezzanine.” It creates a “triangularly cut slice” which in turn yields “an ideal first bit.” With rectangular toast, you must “angle the shape into your mouth, as you angle a big dresser through a hall doorway.” (Dwight Garner, NYT book critic’s new essay on the literature of breakfast food.)

“i have trouble with toast. toast is very difficult.

you have to watch it all the time or it burns up.”

-julia child, master chef (1912-2004)

 

credits: New York Times, Dwight Garner, Nicholson Baker,”The Mezzanine”, google images

primavera.

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watched a live cooking lesson

with chef isabella

working from her home kitchen

making pasta primavera

she’s italian, passionate, spirited, direct

naturally hysterical

i learned some techniques

as well as

her recipe, hand gestures, italian numbers, and lots of improv skills

at one point in the lesson

part of her burner broke

she just cursed and moved to another

there was a live feed for the 500 of us who were watching

at one point, her husband, pazzo, who was helping

made his own funny comment to the viewers on the feed

pazzo to everyone:

“omg, lmao. $100 says that stove is gone when the quarantine is over…if not sooner!”

no wonder they are married

no wonder it was all so fun

no wonder i’m going to make pasta primavera

brilliant, every minute.

“i’m not sure I’d write a good cookbook, but I might make a good cooking show.”

-christopher walken

adjustment.

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the origin soup 

on thursday I went home with a cold

looking for comfort food

not wanting to go to the store

I made soup out of what I found in my kitchen

I  put it all in a crockpot, turned it on, and waited it out

 problem was

after 4 hours

it did NOT taste good

I added more herbs and some fresh salsa

I waited it out

tried again

nope, not good

added more things

now on day 4 of the soup saga

added in even more things

continued cooking

next move

add in tomatoes

but that can wait

until the morning

it’s now taking on

a creamy porridge texture

still slow cooking it

some beans still hard

still does not taste good

now a lot of soup

I could easily survive

the rest of the winter

if snowed in with this soup

it would still not taste good

but I would never go hungry

this might go on forever

like a sourdough starter

perhaps I can pass it on

to my children one day

tomorrow will be the best day ever

when the soup will all come together

I just know it.

“cooking is the art of adjustment.”

– jacques pepin

plans.

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the recipe said it was easy

only 4 ingredients

no cooking

only

melting

spreading

drizzling

chilling

but

they did not say

not to wear a white sweater with bell sleeves when melting chocolate

don’t forget that you have to individually unwrap each caramel

while chocolate is still warm and not solidifying

that the peanut butter chips won’t actually drizzle

that the caramel will come out in blobs

that the chocolate on the bottom won’t easily come off of the foil

that the slab will not actually break in the right way

that the 4 ingredients will re-solidify in the disposal

that the whole thing will not resemble the picture

that it will still taste good if people are daring enough to try it

that this will be a one-time recipe for me.

‘just because you make a good plan, doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen.’

-taylor swift

strudel.

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the master-chef sisters of hungarian strudel

“You need an egg, two spoonfuls of lard, and a pinch of salt, followed by flour, a dash of vinegar, and just enough warm water to create a dough with a dumpling-like consistency.” This is part of the traditional Hungarian strudel recipe that Ilona and Erzsébet, elderly sisters and lifelong baking partners, learned from their late mother. In their small village of Tura, an hour outside of Budapest, the sisters regularly bake the delicate pastry for up to 500 people for weddings and community events.

In the short documentary Strudel Sisters, directed by Peter Hegedus and Jaina Kalifa, Ilona and Erzsébet share how a family tradition evolved into a livelihood. Their quirky rapport may as well be part of the recipe—no strudel-making session is complete without bouts of bickering and singing.

“I loved the sisters from the first time I met them,” Kalifa told me, “and I knew straight away that we had to make a film about them. They are really special people with big hearts and a great sense of humor and just have this warm, grandmotherly feel, which instantly resonated with me.”

Authentic strudel-making is a dying art. It requires a certain moxie: the dough must be worked vigorously in order to activate the gluten, after which it acquires a threshold of elasticity, allowing the baker to stretch it until it’s tissue-thin and nearly translucent. Then, the filling—most commonly grated apple, brown sugar, lemon, and cinnamon—is added intermittently between the pastry layers.

While making the film, Kalifa and Hegedus were lucky enough to taste five different types of the sisters’ strudel. “My personal favorite was the cheese strudel,” said Kalifa. “Strudel is part of their DNA. They’ve been making strudel all their lives, and you can tell.”

“first bake the strudel, then sit down and ponder.”

-austrian proverb

credits: emily buder- author, peter hegedus/jaina kalifa – video/photo, the atlantic

About This Series:

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.

jello….is it me you’re looking for?

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with the big holiday looming

don’t spend a minute worrying about

what to do with all the leftovers

the solution is just waiting for you to discover

rest easy.

because, jello.

what’s the weirdest jello recipe you’ve ever been served?

was it considered:

a dessert?

a salad substitute?

a side dish of the main meal?

other?

 

“it’s as if we spend our entire lives avoiding Jell-O

but it is always there at the end, waiting.” 

-john grisham, ford county

 

 

 

image credit: kraft/general foods – vintage ad