April 9, 2014
Guys, I’m on a scone jag.
A couple weeks ago I had an incredibly disappointing scone from (sigh) Starbucks. It was so unsatisfying, such an affront to the good name of moist, flavorful scones, that I made three different kinds of scones that weekend alone – making my pastry-loving friends and colleagues very happy. And my freezer very full.
This recipe is a variation of the very first scone recipe I fell in love with, back in high school when I first discovered the magic of the oven. Rich with the mahogany sweetness of brown sugar, bumped even higher with a bit of molasses, and loaded with toasted pecans and brown butter, this is a far cry from the sad, dry scones in the coffee shop pastry case.
October 18, 2013
Sometimes, life hands you lemons. Other times, though, it hands you figs.
So check it out: I go to this greasy spoon diner called Rae’s every weekend. I’m a regular. I have a “usual,” and I get slightly annoyed when someone else is sitting in my spot on the bar. (I’m short, and my favorite chair is a little bit taller than all the rest.)
But it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I realized that the big tree growing just to the left of the building is, in fact, a fig tree. A fact I learned by stepping (and almost slipping) on an overripe fig on the ground. I took a few photos, then a nice old lady came out to tell me that I could take some of the ripe ones if I wanted, since they would just go to waste anyway. So I did! Because despite figs being the sexiest fruit, beautiful just torn apart and eaten raw, I had a recipe I wanted to try up my sleeve.
I love a snacking cake. The kind of cake that you feel like you can eat for breakfast, or with a cup of tea, or as dessert. This cake is rustic and sturdy, requiring no creaming of butter or careful folding-in of ingredients. Just a quick mix of dry and wet ingredients, some pretty figs plopped on top, and half an hour in the oven. What a simple way to be happy.
October 2, 2013
Can I be honest with you, reader? I think I might have overdone it a bit last week.
I was shooting at some of my favorite bars in Paris. Which meant, of course, that I was drinking a lot of cocktails. How could I not? Expertly mixed by charming barkeeps with far more sophisticated palates than mine, bourbon and rye and gin was coursing through my veins nightly.
Still, there is something to be said for a simple, seasonal drink that you can make at home without the assistance of an expert — and this one is sneaking it at juuust the very end of peach season.
With a little egg white for that foamy cap, and some basil for fresh herbiness, this cocktail begs to be paired with a hearty brunch.
September 15, 2013
A bit earlier this month, my good friend Jackie posted a recipe for a watermelon and feta salad.
I was at my desk when I read her post, working through lunch, and all I wanted at that moment was to jump through the screen and eat that salad. I came home that day and flipped through my copy of the Frenchie cookbook, and lo and behold: a watermelon salad.