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Cooking

Homemade tortillas

I can’t even describe the difference between homemade and store-bought tortillas. Can we compare a Rolex to a Timex?

A BMW to a skateboard?

Anthony Weiner to a cocktail frank?

I don’t think so.

Here’s my recipe for the best homemade tortillas you’ve ever had.
They are so worth the effort. Try them this weekend!

Click here to watch the video.

Do they know me China?

Did I ever mention that my cookbook was translated into Chinese?

< < Here’s the cover.

I don’t know if that’s my name at the top or not.

But those are the recipe photos I took.

The printing, especially the photos, look pretty bad. I’m guessing the children making it weren’t tall enough to run the press properly!

Do they know me in China?

Probably not.

Here’s the original cover with my picture on it  > > > >

You don’t see me on the Chinese cover.

It looks like they anticipated better sales with a quesedilla than my face!

🙂

A new video!

Wanna try something fun? Do you love crunchy food? I know I do and my sesame seed breadsticks are too good not to share, so here is a new video that shows how to make these awesome, crispy, crunchy breadsticks. I must have my breadsticks available at all times so when I’m down to the last two, it’s time to make more. If I do run out, I suffer a sad sense of emptiness at dinner because my salad doesn’t taste right without them. They’re like a giant crouton on a stick. In fact, when we go out to dinner, I’m not opposed to carrying a little breadstick baggie in my purse to accompany my salad. Make that a tightly-sealed baggie – we’ve learned that lesson in the past. 🙂 Enjoy the video! Click here

Cookies for breakfast

Denis took me on my errands today so I made him some cookies tonight. One of his favorites are my oatmeal chocolate chip so I made my oatmeal batter with 100% whole grains, then divided it in two so I could make my own favorites,  too. To his half (the back row) I added toasted walnuts and chocolate chips. To my half, I added toasted walnuts, diced prunes and figs. They are so delicious! We’ve already had two each so I’d better put them away. These are definitely going in my next cookbook, which I’m trying to work on but there’s never time! Mine have whole grains and extra fiber so technically, I could have one for breakfast, no?  How about with a hard-boiled egg and a glass of milk? Never mind, it’s as rhetorical question – my kitchen, my rules. Cookies for breakfast!

Chocolate For Breakfast?

We have a new video!  It’s French Toast made with melted dark chocolate but before you judge, let me remind you that dark chocolate has many anti-aging health benefits. It’s full of antioxidants like polyphenols, the same ones found in red wine and green tea; and flavonoids, the ones found in blueberries, which can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. So I have not abandoned my standards of nutrition – this is a healthy recipe using whole wheat bread and no butter at all. We made the video yesterday with Damon working the camera, lights, and audio and when we were done, he sampled the French toast and wound up eating the whole thing. We then made a second version with Denis standing by to taste it. He ate the whole thing. It’s hard to describe how delicious this is but Damon said, “It’s yummy and chocolate-y… it’s like eating dessert.” Denis said, “Make more.”

Pickled pig’s feet, anyone?

I’m starting to think that some of the things I eat are not exactly normal. I grew up with eastern european parents who made things like “Galaretka,” which is basically jellied pig’s feet. It was a mixture of meat & things that sat in a wobbly gelatenous mass in a pot and my dad loved it! Polish food includes things like pork knuckles in beer sauce with sauerkraut and carp in aspic with raisins. (need a moment?) We ate things like, “Śledzie,” aka pickled herring, beetroot soup, lots of kielbasa and pickled anything. They like to pickle things in Poland –  there’s even pickle soup! I still love some Polish dishes like Gołąbki and Pierogi, both of which I make myself. My parents cooked with sticks of butter and no meal was complete without sour cream but I make things my own way now. I still crave the things I ate growing up but to me, sardines and boiled potatoes are comfort foods. With a background like that, I was bound to forge my own unique food trail and the things I eat seem normal to me, but maybe they’re not.  For example, here are some of my favorite treats:

~Sauerkraut straight out of the jar

~Canned sardines, straight out of the can

~Pickled beets

~Picked herring with onions

~Peanut butter sandwich on rye bread

~A wedge of raw cabbage eaten like an apple

~Cold boiled potatoes with mayonnaise

~I could still eat some galaretka but only after a beaker of czysta wodka, no ice.

If anybody has a more freakish favorite snack, maybe I can add it to my repertoire. There’s nothing you people out there are eating that can scare me.  Bring it.


I made pie

It’s been a long week and I needed something relaxing to do so I decided to make pie.  What was I thinking? I could have chosen something easier like creating an algorhythm for computational approximations of seismic reflection and velocity analysis but noooooo…I chose to make a lemon meringue pie. So last night after dinner, I started by assembling all the equipment needed:

-Pie pan – check!

-Food processor for the crust – check!

-Zester for the lemons – check!

-Juicer for the lemons – check!

-Sauce pan for the filling – check!

-Kitchenaid for the meringue – check!

-Whisk attachment for the meringue – check!

-Rolling pin, pie weights, bowls, measuring cups & spoons – check!

First, I had to make the crust and let it cool completely. It took over two hours to cool. Then I cooked the filling, topped it with meringue, and baked the whole thing again. By now, three hours had gone by. I removed it from the oven and of course, it had to cool completely before eating. I kept busy by washing the massive amount of dishes left behind, waiting for the pie to cool. I was dying for a slice but it was still hot. I took a bath… still hot. Did my nails… still hot. I tested some batteries, organized spices, sharpened some pencils… still hot. Finally I was exhausted and went to bed, feeling cheated, with no midnight snack. Denis was still up at 2 am and put it in the fridge. I only agreed to let him put it away if he promised not to eat any. (my kitchen, my rules) So today, we finally got to taste my lemon meringue pie. It was super good – the tart lemon filling balanced with the cool meringue – awesome!

*Note to lemon meringue pie-makers:

–Don’t make it at night.

–Don’t cut it until it’s completely cooled or you’ll be calling it a lemon meringue molten cake.

–Do it.  There’s nothing like homemade pie… except good sex. No, I think the pie is better. Okay, pie, then sex.

321, no 378 cookies!

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m getting ready for our annual open house tomorrow. It’s a small group of about 35 friends (mostly the same ones every year) and it’s turned into a competition of how much can a person eat in one sitting! Lamb chops, sushi, paninis, crab cakes, deviled eggs… all devoured in a span of four hours. It’s actually two guys who eat most of the food and you know who you are. 🙂 The food is catered and I bake all the desserts. Today I made 40 97 macaroons, 48 lemon bars, 47 meringues, 49 pfefferneusses, 38 truffles, 48 seven-layer bars, and 51 chili-chocolate-cherry cookies. That’s 378 cookies! And it’s not enough! Let’s see…378 divided by 35 is 10 – almost 11 – desserts per person! Yikes!! Everyone needs to walk home!

(*Saturday morning correction: I made more macaroons last night – the chocolate dipped ones!)

My Christmas Cookie Recipe

I love baking!  These are the first things I make at Christmas time and… they are the first to disappear!  Mine is a healthier version of sugar cookies and if you try them, I promise that everyone will be asking for the recipe.

You don’t have to use pounds of butter to make a delicious sugar cookie – I use part canola oil but nobody has to know. I had planned to make a video but this recipe is so easy, and besides, I would have had to do the hair & makeup thing and who’s got time?  I’m too busy looking for parking at the mall! Click here for my recipe page.

Oh, and one more day for the Christmas Tree contest (below). Someone is already within ten of the correct number! See who it is on Friday.