Grown Ocean, FLEET FOXES
it’s finally here.
Grown Ocean, FLEET FOXES
it’s finally here.
We went to austin!
Then three days later, we moved! Because, you know, why not?
And then we ate pizza on the floor. The end. (Not really. The actual end is that then final exams started and we never got around to moving in a table, and so we’re still eating on the floor, and rummaging for clothes in still-unpacked boxes, and never able to find anything, and there seems to be no actual end in sight.)
(But isn’t that how moving is for everyone?)
- eat more cheese. This might have to grace the walls of our new (!) kitchen.
- National Geographic did a real-life version of UP! See it here.
- I’ve worked my way through the better part of a loaf of this over the past couple days. Highly recommend it.
- If you haven’t heard the new Adele album yet, you probably should. Just saying.
In my college years, I embarked on a quest to make whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. And not just any garden-variety whole grain cookie, rather cookies that were genuinely delicious. Cookies that, you know, people would want to eat.
I failed. I got carried away with the idea that a ‘whole wheat’ cookie should be a healthy cookie. I reduced the butter, halved the sugar, and after foisting batch after batch of failures on my roommates (who, quite accurately, described my efforts as ‘horse feed’), I gave up and went back to the land of butter and white flour.
Fortunately, these cookies are another story entirely. Packed with all the naughty things that make cookies delicious, this recipe lets the wheat flavor shine without tasting too heavy or virtuous. I actually prefer the flavor of whole wheat compared to all purpose flour here, and if you want to top a cookie with vanilla bean ice cream and have it for breakfast, you can at least be confident that you’re getting your daily servings of whole grains during the most important meal of the day.
whole wheat chocolate chip cookies
adapted from good to the grain, by Kim Boyce
3 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
8 oz. (two sticks) cold unsalted butter
two large eggs
1 c. sugar
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (or chop up a couple bars of dark chocolate)
1/2 c. chopped, toasted walnuts (optional)
Cut butter into 1” cubes and cream with sugars until fully incorporated and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat until combined, adding the chocolate chips when dough is almost mixed. Scoop dough by the quarter cupful and form into balls. Chill dough balls in an airtight container in the fridge for at least three hours and up to two days. Of course you can skip chilling the dough and just bake it immediately if you are in the midst of a cookie crisis, but chilling the dough really improves the flavor and texture of the final product, so I recommend it. When ready to bake, place 4” apart on parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at 350F for 9-10 minutes. Or you can smush a couple dough balls into greased ramekins and bake them for a couple minutes longer, and serve while still warm with vanilla ice cream.
We stayed here a couple weekends ago, and it was lovely. (Also: we snowshoed over the ice to an abandoned island, got serenaded with lumberjack harmonies over beers, drank gallons of coffee, and probably ate too much candy. It was excellent.)
dance, dance, dance, LYKKE LI
I’m not really sure where to begin with this one. I want to convince you that what you see pictured above, essentially a bowl of mush, is actually enticing.
Because enticing it is. Polenta is something that I always enjoyed eating at restauants but never bothered with at home because I’d always heard that its preparation involved 30 minutes of whisking, and if there’s anything that turns me off about cooking, it’s whisking for any length of time longer than, oh, 10 seconds. Which, lucky for me, is the exact amount of time spent whisk-in-hand that is actually necessary to make creamy polenta any time I please.
To me, the most appealing thing about polenta is its versatility, you could top it with just about anything savory, from tomato sauce to chili to braised meat to crispy kale, though I’m pretty fond of the polenta-veggies-eggs combination. Throw in the fact that polenta is cheap, whole grain, and comes together with almost no hands on time, and you have a pretty compelling argument for making it for dinner tonight - especially if, like my dearest mother, you already have a giant bag of it sitting untouched in the cupboard. (Hi, Mom! Make this.)
creamy polenta with greens and mushrooms
serves 2 to 4
1 cup polenta (basically, stone-ground cornmeal)
4 cups water
4 T. butter
1/2-1 c. grated parmesan or romano, or to taste
lots of freshly ground black pepper
a couple big pinches of salt
one bunch chard, spinach, or kale, rinsed well and chopped
one pound mushrooms (any kind), rinsed well and sliced
one red onion, sliced thinly into half-moons
2-3 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
a couple tablespoons of olive oil
fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)
more cheese! (goat, feta, parm, etc.)
poached eggs (as seen above)
some chickpeas or white beans, sauteed with the veggies
Start by bringing 4 c. water to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in polenta, a pinch of salt, and butter. Lower heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. While polenta is cooking, start sweating onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent and starting to caramelize (about 15 minutes). Add garlic and mushrooms, and saute for another 5 minutes or so. Finally, add greens, salt and pepper to taste, lemon juice (and beans, if using) and saute until all liquid is evaporated and everything is starting to crisp up.
When polenta is finished cooking, stir in cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle polenta into bowls and top with veggies, eggs, and more cheese if desired. Enjoy!
If you have any leftovers, polenta keeps well in the fridge for a couple days and can be reheated easily on the stove or in the microwave with a tiny splash of water, or you can spread leftover polenta out in a cookie sheet, let it cool, cut it into fun shapes, and bake or pan-fry them for another meal.
Hello again and happy new year! It has been awhile since I’ve been able to settle back into this little corner of the internet. The whirlwind of the holidays was quite a distraction for me, a seemingly endless parade of snowy weather and things made with butter and/or love to keep me warm. Luckily, I’ve been able to start the new year with a fridge full of veggies, a heart full of thankfulness for another happy, healthy year, and plenty of friends and family to celebrate with. Also, I have a mighty hankering for a salad.
I’ve been an avid reader of Yotam Ottolenghi’s column in the guardian for awhile now, and this salad caught my eye one evening after a particularly decadent December afternoon of cookie baking when I needed something fresh to hopefully cancel out the egregious quantity of butter I had just consumed. I love celery root, but I never know quite what to do with it beyond pureeing it into a soup, and the idea of using it fresh in a salad seemed like the perfect antidote. Celery root is paired with tart apples and a healthy punch of lemon and parsley, with poppy seeds for crunch and a big handful of quinoa to round everything out. If you’ve never tried celery root before, this is the perfect place to start. It’s not exactly the beauty queen of the produce aisle, rather it’s all knobbly and awkward; but it quickly charms you with its inner beauty, so to speak: an aromatic, earthy flavor that’s hard to describe beyond that it’s like celery, but a million times better, with a snappy, crisp texture to close the deal.
We all need something like this, something full of bright, lively flavors, to get us through these dreary winter months of resolutions and taxes until spring arrives. I shaved all the veggies for this salad because I wanted to play with my brand-spanking-new mandoline, although a julienne or a fine dice or a nice grating would do fine. Just be sure to get all your veggies the same size.
celery root and apple salad
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s column, the New Vegetarian
3/4 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, shaved or thinly sliced into half-moons
one small-to-medium sized head of celery root, peeled and shaved or julienned
two or three small granny smith apples, shaved or julienned
2 t. poppy seeds
2 t. sugar
1 t. salt
3 T. white wine vinegar
2-4 T. lemon juice (to taste)
4 T. olive oil
a big handful chopped parsley (or cilantro, if you like)
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add quinoa, cook for 10 minutes, drain, and set aside to cool while you prep the rest of the salad. Toss celery root, apple, and onion with lemon juice to avoid discoloration and let sit while you prepare dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and poppy seeds. Add to celery root mixture and toss to combine with parsley and quinoa. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, or sugar as needed. Serve alone, or over a handful of greens and topped with pistachios. Keeps well in the fridge for up to three days.
I think I’m making peace with winter. We got eighteen inches of snow in Minneapolis last weekend (enough to make the Metrodome cave in), and while that normally would drive me crazy with cabin fever, I really surprised myself with how peaceful I felt just staying inside. I slept a lot, cooked a lot, and took a lot of pictures in that lovely pale light that we only get on snowy days in wintertime. Also, I baked scones, and although my mediocre photos of them don’t do them justice, they’re really top-notch. I normally use buttermilk in scones because that’s what I have hanging around in the fridge most of the time, but I used cream in these scones and I really believe it makes all the difference. Cream scones just have a way about them, a certain kind of crumb that manages to be both light and rich, that you can’t replicate with milk. I added ginger, too, because I like it, but feel free to leave it out.
blueberry (ginger) scones
1 c. AP flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour (or AP flour)
1/2 c. butter, cubed and chilled
3/4 c. whipping cream
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 candied/crystallized ginger, chopped if necessary (optional)
2/3 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen berries, do not thaw them before using)
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. ground ginger (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, salt, ginger if using, and baking powder. Add butter and cut into flour mixture using a food processor, a pastry blender, or two dinner knives until butter is in pea-sized pieces or smaller. In a small bowl, whisk egg lightly, then whisk in cream. Add cream mixture to flour mixture, and mix gently. When mixture is almost incorporated, add blueberries and ginger (if using) and mix, using your clean hands if necessary, until dough comes together. Try to avoid overmixing. Form dough into a flat disk 2” thick on cutting board. I usually pop the disc and cutting board into the freezer at this point to chill for 20 minutes before baking for extra-flakey scones, but it’s a totally optional step. Cut disc into six wedges and bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and tops of scones feel set when you gently press on them with your finger.
Swans, CAMERA OBSCURA