Monday, October 24, 2011

Chocolate Pretzel Rings

I'm feeling a bit lackluster in the kitchen area today, how about you?  My CSA box is coming on Thursday and I'm surviving off some delicious, but interesting colored, soups I have been stock piling in my freezer. I did buy two cute little butternut squashes at the Capitol Hill farmers market yesterday but those already have a date planned with some green chard. Essentially, things have been grinding to a halt in my kitchen but fret not! I have a stock-pile of recipes (ok, like two or three recipes) for just this occasion.

Cue the easiest/cutest/most crave-worthy snack ever - pretzels with chocolate and M&M's. Roll your eyes if you must, but I made these for the Superbowl this past February. I already had so many recipes piled up, and this barely counts as a recipe and more of a middle-of-the-night craving, they sort of fell by the wayside and faded into foodie oblivion. However, I recently got a new MacBook Pro and in an effort to try and clear out some of the files clogging up my 'vintage' MacBook before transferring files, I happened upon this photo. Blog post worthy right? At least I'm not posting (yet) about the semi-questionable thing I whip up for lunch sometimes...

My friend's old roommate claims that these are "a total chick magnet" and he likes to casually whip some up and impress a girl with his skills (I use that word very loosely here) in the kitchen. Out of the array of snacks I set out, these were definitely one of the first to go. Even better the M&M colors can easily coordinate for an impending holiday or general season. Easy, cheap, customizable AND a chick magnet? What can go wrong?

Evidenced by the following photo, you can see that some apple treats will soon be making their way onto the blog!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple Spice Cake with Maple Goat Milk Buttercream

Do you ever have those times where you think "we'll, I'm just sitting here on my couch and the Netflix instant streaming queue is a little subpar right now… I should probably write a blog post." You keep thinking this over and over but alas, no blog post.  Story of my life right now.  I think in the time I thought I wanted to write a blog post I: watched some movies of questionable quality, ate a bowl of popcorn, did my laundry and cooked a whole bunch of things but failed to take photographs of them.  Though I have been catching up on emails and planning a camping trip like my life depends on it.  I mean, it kind of does but really I'm just procrastinating.

Remember above how I mentioned I've been cooking a lot but failing to take photos?  I would like to blame 4 of my best girlfriends, but in reality I continually forget to bring my camera to Tuesday night girl's dinner.  That's right, every Tuesday we gather at Katrina's house to drink wine and cook an (according to all her roommates) extravagantly gourmet meal.  So far we have made roasted butternut salad with fried sage/goat cheese crostini; whole wheat pizza with caramelized onions, figs & goat cheese; pumpkin cashew coconut curry and last night this delicious fall vegetable galette.  I can feel the disappointment and resentment from my parents from the other side of the country; they always urge me to post more "real food."

I'll just set a goal for myself of, no matter what, no excuses, I will bring my camera to dinner next week. Until then, as an act of mid-20's rebellion, I will blog about cake.  At least it's a small cake that I made for a boy on his birthday.  I think you get negative good karma points if you hate on a birthday cake, especially one for a boy that you think is cute.  Disregarding shame and karma points, this cake was perfect for two people and I imagine it would work even better for a small gathering. The boy and I each had a small slice and I sent him off with the rest wrapped up and ready to be frozen.  From what I understand, he ate a couple slices for breakfast the next day and polished it off not much later.

While is he a guy and this doesn't mean much because it is common knowledge that all guys are human garbage disposals, this cake was pretty good.  A simple spice cake with the addition of grated apples made the cake incredibly moist and light and the maple goat buttercream, as usual, provided an interesting and complex tang.  While you can obviously make this cake larger or divide the batter up into cupcake tins, the recipe below works perfectly for two layers of a 5 or 6 inch cake. I used the largest ramekins I had on hand, I'm not exactly sure how large they are.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Roasted Carrot & Sweet Pepper Soup

So a few weeks back I had some surgery.  Nothing huge (not in the slightest) but I couldn't eat anything with a consistency tougher than baby food for a week and a half. To add a whole bunch of insult to injury, I got my CSA box two days after surgery; it was full of leafy greens, end of summer vegetables and delicious, delicious peaches.

Usually this would make me skip all the way home but instead I shed a tear for the vegetables that had to fall into the hands of my friends.  Giving up some baby bok choy? I've never been so heartbroken. Pattypan squash? Left me in a funk for days.  However, anything that I could roast and puree up I kept.  End of the day I was left with a bunch of rainbow carrots, an array of sweet peppers, some tomatillo's and a variety of foods I could bring to that Sunday's BBQ.  Cue Roasted Pepper Carrot soup with tomatillo salsa.

It was easy to make, had a depth of flavor and magically lasted a few days in my fridge. Even though I made this in a moment of desperation, I'm looking forward to making it again.  Actually… what did I get in my CSA box again…?


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