A Flag Cake Reprise

Happy 4th, everyone! In honor of today, here’s a video from TWO YEARS ago. You can appreciate how much my voice has changed since I’ve gone through puberty. Have a great (hopefully not too rainy) day!

Warm Weather Food (A deeply focused, highly intelligent, penetrating essay and not a review of “Sex & The City: The Movie”)

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This is a post about warm weather food only I just got back from “Sex and the City: The Movie” and I’d rather write a post about that. But I will be good and stick to my subject matter, albeit a thin subject. I mean, really what’s there to say about warm weather food when I still can’t believe that movie was almost two and a half hours long? And why was it so shmaltzy and bad when the TV show is so good?

Ok, ok, I’m digressing. Warm weather food. Above you a see the plate I made on Memorial Day for our indoor Memorial Day festivities. I made the Barefoot Contessa’s shrimp salad, which basically amounts to boiling shrimp for three minutes and then tossing them with mayo, mustard, celery, red onion, salt, pepper and dill. I served it on a hot dog bun toasted in butter, the way they toast the bun at Pearl Oyster Bar. And speaking of bars, someone should be BEHIND bars for some of that dialogue. Louise from St. Louis who loves Louis Vuitton? Is this “Sex and The City” or Dr. Seuss?

Also on that plate you see The Barefoot Contessa’s potato salad which didn’t turn out very well because I under-boiled the potatoes. And the salad is another Ina recipe (gotta love that Ina): cherry tomatoes and cubes of feta tossed with olive oil, vinegar and some dill. No “Sex and The City” reference in this paragraph except…the materialism! The crass obsession with money and apartments!

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Smoked Salmon Dip

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Cooking is a funny process. If I gave you a spoonful of cream cheese and a spoonful of sour cream and told you to put them both in your mouth at the same time you’d gag and say, “Sick, man, get out of my face.” But if I mixed that sour cream and cream cheese together in a bowl and tossed in horseradish, lemon juice, dill and pieces of smoked salmon you’d say: “Ooooh, look at that lovely dip. Let me have it!”

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For The Love of Pavlova

A miracle took place in my oven the other day. Set to 170 degrees, I placed a baking sheet inside with a mound of beaten egg whites and sugar, and out came this:

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That is pavlova. It’s named after the ballerina Anna Pavlova. I’ve seen Julia Child make it, Nigella Lawson and The Barefoot Contessa (whose recipe I used). But I’d never been driven to try. How good could it be? Just egg whites and sugar–no fat? Just a big crispy blob of white?

Oh how wrong I was. This wasn’t just good, it was shockingly good: crispy on the outside and gooey, like a marshmallow, on the inside. And then, to be totally decadent, you top it with whipped cream and berries:

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For the berries, I made Pim’s strawberries in hibiscus and vanilla syrup. That berry mixture on top of the whipped cream on top of the pavlova was like going to the moon with the most beautiful person on Earth, having sex all the way, while listening to your favorite band play live as little puppies lick your toes. You get the idea. Pure bliss. Heaven, thy name is pavlova.

[Note: Craig said it was “too sweet” and made a face.]

[Note 2: Craig said that after eating an entire tub of Swedish fish.]