I Just Can’t Wait to Be King

Happy Friday, friends! If you’re looking for a low-key activity to keep you occupied this weekend (and you live in the NYC area… sorry) go see Kings of Pastry at Film Forum.

Legendary documentary filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus chronicle the journey of sixteen pastry chefs to achieve the highest honor in the French art of patisserie, Meilleurs Ouvriers de France. The story is heartwarming, the skill level is unbelievable, and if you have even the tiniest interest in food or competition you will want to see this movie. This contest has never been filmed before, so you won’t see it on the Food Network. It is an echelon of the culinary world that I never even knew existed! Well beyond cupcakes and muffins, kids.

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Mmm salty

You know how sometimes you just need something chocolatey? You crave it? It consumes every thought in your head until you race home from work and scrape together the ingredients from your kitchen to produce something to satisfy that itch? No? Just me? Here’s the recipe, friends.

On the menu:
Chocolate pretzel cookies

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2/3 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pretzels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, blend together flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, blend together oil, sugar, and cocoa powder. Add eggs, blending one at a time. Add apple sauce and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Fold in pretzel pieces.

Roll dough into walnut-sized rounds and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until firm to touch.

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Well, butter my biscuit!

Remember when I went to Egg and had the best biscuits ever? Well, a few weeks after the fact I found the recipe! And then the heat hit. And boy, did the heat hit hard. The heat hit SO hard that I had to sit on this recipe for months. Can you imagine knowing you have the secret to the world’s greatest biscuits but not being able to make them for months?! Let’s just say it was a long summer.

On the menu:
“Egg” biscuits
Adapted from Tasting Table’s Buttermilk Biscuits

5 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
10 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk*, plus more for brushing

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Cut half of the butter into thin sheets and place them in the freezer.
Blend the remaining butter into the flour mixture with your hands. Work quickly, blending until the flour resembles very coarse meal with a few pea-size lumps. With a rubber spatula, mix the buttermilk or sour milk into the flour and butter just until a dough begins to form.
Dump dough onto a floured work surface and pat it into a rough rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices of frozen butter on top, then fold the dough over twice (as if you were folding a letter in thirds). Press down gently on the dough until it’s about 3/4 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter to punch out biscuits (do not twist the cutter). Place biscuits onto a greased** baking sheet and brush the tops with milk.
Bake the biscuits for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are risen, golden, and light.

*Note: To make sour milk, combine 2 1/2 cups of whole milk with 2 1/2 Tbsp of white vinegar.

**Note: my one regret in this recipe is not using bacon grease on the baking sheet. That would’ve been an INCREDIBLE flavor, so if you have bacon grease, use it!

These biscuits are amazing with a little honey, or a smear of butter and a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon, OR with a thick slab of ham, salty cheddar, and a little fig jam. Yum.

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Melted

Happy Friday and a VERY happy weekend! Today’s post is blatantly stolen from Serious Eats but this was too good to pass up. This weekend, when you’re at the green market, pick up some figs because we are smack dab in the middle of fig season! You can use these suckers in so many different ways, but I like this salty sweet crusty melty cheesy combination the best.

photo c/o SeriousEats.com

It’s a take on the classic BLT that involves figs, prosciutto, and melted mozzarella cheese. Hungry? Me, too. Have a blissful weekend, kids!

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Hello, Autumn. Lovely to see you again.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that it legitimately feels like fall, that I have a brand spanking new stove (I think I will name her Bertha?), and that I feel a crazy intense desire to be back in the kitchen. All is right with the world! Okay, so I could use a tiny bit more money. Details.

On the menu:
Mom’s tomato soup

1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 medium sized carrots, grated
1/2 large green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup butter
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 quart tomatoes, peeled* and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 tsp sugar
1/4 cup flour

Saute celery, onion, carrots, and green pepper in butter in a large, heavy pan until they are slightly softened. Add 4 cups of the chicken broth, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bring heat up to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Blend flour with the remaining 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Gradually add flour mixture to soup. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the soup thickens and the vegetables are tender. I like to serve this soup with tiny grilled cheese sandwiches, cause frankly, everything is cuter in miniature.

Note: the key to this soup is making sure all of the vegetables are chopped to relatively the same size.

*To peel a tomato: boil a pot of water. Make a small X in the top of the tomato, barely piercing the skin. Drop the tomato into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove it and immediately drop it in icy water. The skin will peel right off.

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Out with the old…

Dear friends: this is the reason I have been MIA. This is my stove. But today (drum roll pleeeeease) I’m getting a new one! A BRAND new one! And I can’t wait to bake up some delicious delights in the brand new love of my life. Stay tuned.

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Inedible Delights

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted something completely self-indulgent, so I figured what better day than Friday to post such frivolity?

I don't want to know what it means that this peanut-hiding-a-knife speaks to my soul, but I think I have to own this.

Or you could wear a plaque that says, "I grew up in suburbia and if you have a block of Helluva Good I'm yours for life"

Who needs a Tiffany diamond? I'm hoping my future husband pops the question with this beauty.

Click the pictures to buy me these things! I mean… to find out where you can buy them for yourself. Ahem.

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