November 2010

This is a public service announcement: If you still have turkey left, three days after Thanksgiving, then this is what you should make.

gobbled, gobbled

Another PSA: nonfat cheese (the yellow cheese in the picture, next to the nicely-melted white cheese) does not melt. This is further evidence that it is a crime against nature. Do not use it unless you are cooking for a person who insists on it.




It’s hard to remember now, but there was a time, not too terribly long ago, when it was so hot that I couldn’t bear to turn on the oven. This time of year, I delight in turning on the oven. Not only does it heat my apartment, but there are so many wonderful things to be made with pumpkin and ginger and cardamom and all those other warming flavors that, not coincidentally, also go into Starbucks’s evil holiday beverage lineup. I usually succumb to those beverages at least a couple of times during the season, but my ability to resist is enhanced by how incomparably preferable these flavors are in baked goods than in a coffee-based beverage.

Ignore the missing cookie.

For example, these cookies, which are overflowing with ginger—powdered, fresh, and candied. (The only other form I can think of is pickled, which I imagine would not go so well in baked goods.) The site where I got the recipe called them “chewy ginger cookies with cardamom and black pepper,” but I think that substantially understates their ginger power. In fact, the sheer ginger force of these cookies reminded me of Trader Joe’s crisp triple ginger cookies (which I used, back in those long-ago hot days, to make a crust for this lovely tart), so I have renamed the recipe in their honor.


According to the internet, which is always right, the Italian word for “autumn” is autunno.  But then why isn’t the internet overflowing with references to “pasta autunno,” the fall version of pasta primavera? “Pasta autunno” gets 139 hits on Google. “Pasta primavera” gets 272,000. I mean, I understand that the bounty of spring produce is far more inspiring than that of the fall, but this still seems to me to be a serious omission. Especially since creamy, carby (yet healthy!) pasta like this is most enticing in the fall and winter. The only thing I can conclude is that people have not yet realized how amazing a pasta dish with Brussels sprouts and mushrooms can be.


I have very few aspirations with this blog, but how awesome would it be if I got to be the top Google hit for “pasta autunno”? I mean, I only have to get past 139 other pages. It’s totally doable, right?

UPDATE: about three minutes after publishing this post, I am already the top hit for “pasta autunno.” It’s much less exciting than I thought it would be.


Until now, everything I have called a “cake” on this blog (for example, this, this, this, this, and this) is not something that your average three-year-old would recognize as a cake.  And that’s not just because I like quirky,  unusual desserts, but because the things I’ve foolishly called “cakes” have lacked one crucial ingredient: frosting.

This cake does not have that problem.


In fact, not only is this cake frosted with pure deliciousness, but the recipe makes so much frosting that I had no choice but to eat a fair amount of it with a spoon after the fact. The cake itself was superb, but it was the frosting that slayed me.

Also, can someone teach me how to properly frost a cake? If the photo doesn’t make it clear, I have no idea how. Or how to make the plate look clean and pretty afterwards. Help!


Sorry, I got distracted there for a minute. Where was I? Oh, right–these beauties:


You can’t tell from the photo, but they are oozing with goodness. Even though I knew better, I managed to burn my tongue pretty substantially by snarfing one the moment they came out of the oven. (Have I learned my lesson? No.)

I first had these at a dinner party eons ago, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. I’m mystified as to why it took me so long to make them—I think I’m stuck on the idea that puff pastry is COMPLICATED.  When, in fact, it is SIMPLE and AMAZING. (Unless you make it yourself, which I suppose theoretically I might do, someday, but it’s awfully hard to justify the effort when food snobs applaud the frozen stuff.)  I swear, these triangles were mangled blobs when they went in the oven. But the magic of puff pastry made them both look and taste delicious. The stuff is pure genius.


I have to interrupt the posts about awesome things I made for my housewarming party because OMG CHEDDAR-CHIPOTLE CORNBREAD. The Militant Carnivore Cooks For His Vegetarian Wife is amazing.

I was in a crappy mood before, and now I’m not. The end.