Friday, January 29, 2010

Desserts Of The Mediterranean

I've never eaten this much dessert in my life, but I simply could not help it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Meyer Lemons are my favorite! Especially in the dark days of winter.
I saw them recently at Fairway and scooped some up, with the intention of trying the lemon souffles featured in the January issue of Martha Stewart. I had no occasion to make 6 ramekins full of darling lemon souffles (Damn my non trophy-wife-socialite existence!) however but I did have a bunch of recently liberated egg yolks...

Adapted from an old January issue of Martha...another lemon fiend

1 cup of sugar
6 egg yolks
one vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 Meyer lemons ( the juicier the better) and their zest
one stick of butter cut up into chunks

Zest lemons. Then juice all three lemons within the skin of their..uh.. skins? In a heavy bottomed sauce pot whisk together sugar and yolks until light in color and uniform. Add the juice, zest, vanilla scrapings and bean and cook over medium low heat until nice and thick, stirring with a spoon to avoid hot spots. When the mixture coats the back of your spoon, take off heat and add the chunks of butter. Stir until melted.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of your bean and any errant chunks of pulp or egg.
Pour into a sterilized canning jar and use within a few weeks.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010


This week has been nothing but bad news.

The tragedy in Haiti is devastating and I am hoping we can offer those people some relief in these awful days and in what is sure to be an excruciating road ahead. Here is a list resources in case you are looking to give.
Haiti was not the only troubling news of yesterday.
We lost a handful of folks in the musical realm.

I felt in need of some comforting when I got home last night so I made some butterscotch pudding.
Marty and I watched the news and felt sad, but thankful for each other and for our loved ones.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rayy Sweet Gingerbread Biscuits

Our beloved Kat I. hooked me up with a cookbook I've been wanting for ages, Silk Road Cooking, A Vegetarian Journey by Najmeih Batmanglij. I've slowed down on baking after the holiday blitz, but I've made amazing borscht and also tamarind coconut soup from Silk Road and they were both a-MAZ-ing. I've avoided the Bread, Pastries, Desserts, and Candies section of the book long enough! I plan on making the sweet, spicy and crunchy Rayy Sweet Gingerbread Biscuits this week. I'll send an update when I'm done, for now here's the recipe and a photo from the book. Thanks Kat!!

Rayy Sweet Gingerbread
(Nan-e Qandi, persian gingerbread biscotti)

makes 6 10x5x1/4" loaves

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 hot red chili, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon chili paste)
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 400 & line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the water, oil, molases, honey, ginger, sugar, and chili. Mix well.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon onto a piece of wax paper and transfer to a mixing bowl. Gradually blend in the molasses mixture and knead until the dough forms into a ball (about 5 minutes).
Divide the dough into 6 equal balls, cover with a dish towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Roll out one ball on a floured surface to form a 10"x5"x1/4" think oval loaf.
Immediately place the rolled out dough on the baking sheet and paint the dough with water. Then run a fork down the loaf with a fork and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat for the remaining dough. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until puffy.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

The author recommends dipping in a glass of sweet, hot tea. Cheers!

Update! Here's a photo from a batch I made to celebrate Chinese New Year:

Monday, January 04, 2010


I hope everyone received their homemade vanilla in the mail!
Please let me know if you did not!
The recipe was simple and you can do it in a larger bottle if you want or keep replenishing the one you have.
If you poke around the net there are oodles of places that sell very inexpensive vanilla beans. I had heard good things about the beans offered at Organic Vanilla Bean Company. So I got mine there. Plus they offered little beans which I knew would fit nicely into those bottles.
The 4oz bottles are from Specialty Bottle Company.

Happy New Year Homemade Vanilla Extract
4 oz Vodka (I used Gordon's but you can use Smirnoff or any such brand)
2-3 5 inch vanilla beans
amber glass bottle with cap

Make sure your bottle and cap are sterile. Run them through the dishwasher or wash in hot soapy water and dry thoroughly.
Place beans in bottles ( I used two beans per bottle) -squish down with a chopstick if necessary.
Pour in vodka leaving a half inch gap at the neck.
Cap tightly and give a nice shake now and then

Experiment with more or less beans or maybe try Bourbon if you want to impart that flavor as well.
Let it develop for 2 months if you can help it.
I think I am going to get a big jug and put a mess of beans in it and just keep adding to it as needed.

I hope to see lots of activity on DOTMC in this new year!
I have brought back some inspiration to get me motivated after the holidays-
Behold the Spoils of The South!