December 5, 2012
You know how I can tell I’m an adult? I wanted carrot cake for my birthday.
Not just any carrot cake. That Carrot Cake. I received the recipe for That Carrot Cake from a friend during college. He’d gotten it from his mom, who’d gotten it from a neighbor, who’d gotten it from her aunt, etc. etc. etc. I ended up passing it on to HR Director at work a year or so ago, and now I’m passing it on to you.
It’s That Carrot Cake because I’ve been fiddling with the ratios in this recipe for years and years, and I’ve got the balance of moisture level and cinnamon batter flavor and carrot/walnut/coconut bits just right; that is, exactly how I like it. The original recipe came from a friend, but now it’s mine.
That Carrot Cake is so moist that it’s hard to ice; little moist chunks and crumbs keep wanting to fall off. Now I don’t even try to ice the whole thing — just a slip of frosting between each layer will do, and perhaps a light layer around the outside if you’ve got some extra.
That Carrot Cake has so much walnut in it that it might as well be called a walnut cake. The carrots are both shredded and grated, so that some smaller pieces melt into the batter while other, larger pieces hang around like flakes of carrot confetti. A good amount of coconut provides more chewy texture. Oh, and there’s pineapple in there. You don’t taste it, and I have no idea how it works, but that pineapple might be the secret ingredient that brings it all together, with just enough batter to hold everything in one piece.
October 3, 2012
I found fresh sage at my greengrocer’s last week. I’d never worked with sage before — it’s not an herb that was easily found in LA markets, and I didn’t plant any in my herb box here. Besides, the slight fuzziness of the leaves freaked me out a little bit. But I sniffed the bunch of leaves and was immediately transported to the land of nutty warm fall dishes and… breakfast sausage? Well, sage is the main herb in American breakfast sausage, so no wonder.
Butternut squash is aptly named. With the creaminess of butter and a subtle earthiness along with a sweetness that’s magnified when the squash is roasted, it’s perfect paired with a tangy goat cheese. With bits of walnuts for crunch, these little phyllo pockets were filling and well-balanced snack.
September 20, 2012
You see this? This is me trying to figure out how to take photos of food in autumn light.
The moodiness of the photo in no way reflects my feelings about this salad. You guys! Brussels sprouts! Are back! What? Why is no one else as excited as I am about raw sprouts?
I guess I’m biased. The first time I tried Brussels sprouts was in the Momofuku recipe, and that’s an auspicious beginning if I’ve ever heard of one. I had never been tortured with boiled or steamed sprouts in my youth, when they’re so clearly meant to be fried or roasted.