Diane, A Broad
  • August 27, 2012

    I have an extremely un-classy thing to compare these muffins to. Okay. Here goes.

    Did you ever go to El Torito Grill? It’s this Mexican restaurant chain, mostly found on the west coast. I remember going on a lot of dates there in high school because, you know, it was high school. We had low standards and were low on pocket change.

    Anyway. There was this corn cake thing that accompanied a lot of the dishes. Not cornbread, but this wet, doughy corn mash, partly whole corn kernels and partly cornbread. It was kind of sweet and I was addicted to the stuff. I would always order extra.

    Continue Reading

    Posted in: appetizers, cooking, sides, snacks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 COMMENT
  • August 26, 2012
  • August 24, 2012

    After a two-week heat wave, it’s starting to cool down in Paris this week. At the Thursday Bastille market, there were yellow and orange leaves littering the ground, and the strawberries were not as numerous or quite as bright and juicy-looking as they were earlier in the summer. I know it’s only August, but as soon as the strawberries start going out, it feels like fall is on its way. What’s say we make a few lovely sun-drenched cakes to stretch out the summer a little longer, hmm?

    I’ve made a version of this cake every summer since I moved into my first apartment in college. I don’t remember where that first recipe came from — possibly one of the cookbooks that my roommates brought with them — but this recipe from Martha Stewart by way of Smitten Kitchen is my favorite so far. The milk in the recipe allows the cake to stay moist throughout the long bake time, while the strawberries soften and roast into  dimpled puddles of sweet jamminess. The way the strawberries make the batter buckle and puff make it look vaguely quilted. Lovely for company or for afternoon snacking.

    Continue Reading

    Posted in: cooking, desserts | Tags: , , , , , | 5 COMMENTS
  • August 23, 2012

    An old sweetheart of mine once gave me one of the most interesting compliment I’ve ever received: “I’d like to see you eat a salad. It’s hard to eat a salad gracefully, but I bet you could do it.”

    He’s not wrong. About salad, not about my ability to eat it. Salads are, in general, kind of a messy affair. Especially the ones with those pretty and colorful artisanal lettuces that you don’t want to chop that are juuuuust bigger than one mouthful, meaning you get dressing all over your lips trying to get that forkful of unruly greens into your stomach, messing up your lipstick in the process. And don’t even get me started on frisée.

    This is the antithesis to those messy, albeit often lovely, lettuce salads. You can eat the entire thing with a spoon. It’s crisp and cold from the raw corn, the chickpeas bring a lovely nuttiness, and the avocado melds with the lemon and olive oil to form a lovely creamy mouthfeel. I toss mine together in about five minutes flat.

    Continue Reading

    Posted in: cooking, salads | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 COMMENTS