Recent Adventures

Well, it finally happened.  Our creaky, wheezing, seven-year-old PC finally bit the dust — taking with it the photo-editing software I use.  Of course.

So while I’m sorting out logistics, I thought you might like to simply hear what I’ve been cooking lately.  In no particular order, and with a few notes here and there:

Homemade pizzas (with this crust): one topped with poblano, mascarpone, chopped walnuts, zucchini, and bacon; the other topped with Comté, pesto, ricotta, anchovies, and green apple.  I liked the poblano one best, but the other was pretty killer too.

Warm and thick red lentil soup.  Fantastic with a dollop of mascarpone.  When fully chilled, you can actually stand a spoon upright in it, which is only disconcerting until you taste it.

Cashew butter granola.  (Helped to use up a jar of cashew butter left over from making canapés of pumpernickel cocktail toasts, cashew butter mixed with a touch of molasses, shredded smoked duck, celery-apple salad, and hot pepper jelly.  To.  Die.  For.)

Salsa verde, cobbled together from this brief description.  Tangy, floral, green, incredible.  My new favorite thing.  Like a vinegary pesto, sans oil.

Whole wheat puff pastry, from David Lebovitz’s showstopping latest book, but made with this brilliant method.  Nutty, buttery, light as a feather, a complete revelation.  Made into a gorgeous pithivier-style pie, with spiced winter squash filling.  Who needs a pie dish?

Butter flavored with squash seeds.  Let me repeat, it’s butter.  Flavored with squash seeds.  It’s life-changing.  Browning it is next to heaven.  Had I had it earlier, I might’ve made that puff pastry with some (!).

The best spiced cocktail nut and pretzel mix.  Don’t be shy with the cayenne; it seems like too much, but it’s just perfect.

Furikake.  Totally hooked.  I’ll eat it straight from the container.

Multi-grain granola, rife for variations.  Beautifully crunchy.

I didn’t cook it, but my uncle hosted his annual Lobster Boil the weekend before Thanksgiving.  In Eastern Kentucky.  This year was the best lobster he’s ever had.  We took down about 85 of the succulently briny things, plus beef tenderloins, sides, appetizers, desserts, about 60 bottles of wine, a few bottles of Bourbon, and who-knows-how-many beers.  Oh, yes.

And last, but certainly not least, the Birthday Cake of walnut dacquoise, brown-butter sponge, apple cider syrup, and rum buttercream frosting.  Used an ungodly amount of butter, and worth every single calorie.

Hungry yet?  What have you been up to in the kitchen?

One Comment

  1. Nicole
    December 16, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Mmm, my mouth is watering.

    Might want to try paint.net until you get whatever replacement you want. It’s free and reasonably powerful and easy to use.

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