If my blogging promises (ahem, refer to the 6/23 post) are any indication of what I’ll be like as a mother, my children will constantly be waiting for me to take them to the promised Disney Land, arcade or park. They’ll ask me each day when we’re going and I’ll reply, “Mommy’s gotta work late, kid. I’ll try to find time tomorrow.” Then two weeks later, I’ll finally come through and fulfill my promise. Then to make sure they forget how negligent I am, I’ll tell them they can have Texas Sheet Cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Back to the blog world, work has been consuming and I have been neglecting this. I’m going to scale back to a couple posts a week instead of my unattainable goal of five times a week. This way I can follow my brother’s lifelong mantra and keep expectations low so I can easily meet them.

Anyway, here you have the (possibly) much anticipated recipe for the easiest, moistest, most delicious cake.

Texas Sheet CakeTexas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

2 C sugar

2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 C water

2 stick margarine

4 Tbs cocoa powder

2 eggs

3/4 C low fat sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

Mix first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Heat water, margarine and cocoa in a sauce pan to boil, stirring occasionally. Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix. Mix in eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Bake in a parchment paper-lined 9×13 dish at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Frosting

1 stck margarine

4 Tbs cocoa powder

5 Tbs milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 C powder sugar

Bring first three ingredients to boil in saucepan then gradually mix in remaining ingredients. Let cool slightly before frosting cake.

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Summer Grub: Sliders!

June 18, 2009

slidersThese sliders are so easy and simple to make. They might look kind of boring in this photo but I promise you they are 100% amazing.

Ingredients

Makes 20 sliders
3 lbs ground chuck
2 T kosher salt
1 T freshly ground black pepper
½ C minced white onion
1 T minced garlic
20 potato rolls

Knead first 5 ingredients together with your hands. Divide into 20 balls. Cook on an oiled skillet on medium-high heat, flattening the meat with a spatula. Cook until both sides have browned and centers are no longer pink. Transfer to a paper-towel, pat off grease, and put in potato roll. Fix it up with a pickle and your favorite condiments (I recommend this sauce called “ketchup”) and go to town.

I made some food for friends this past weekend and had a couple fan fave dishes. I’ll post the slider and Texas sheet cake recipe in the following days but here you have the recipe for my favorite summertime classic, the potato salad.

potatosaladI adapted this recipe from Chow.com.  It’s not too mayoey (yes, mayoey) so you can taste the veggies and the celery gives it a great crunch. A potato salad hater told me that it looked so appetizing he was willing to try it and judging by his clean plate, he liked the way it tasted as well. I use Vegenaise, which is more flavorful than mayo. Vegan or not, I highly suggest it in all dishes calling for mayo.

Ingredients

2 lbs red new potatoes

2 lbs white new potatoes
3 medium celery stalks, small dice
1/2 medium red onion, small dice (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1.5 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt & pepper, to taste

Boil the whole potatoes and drain when potatoes are soft enough to pierce through with a fork (about 18 minutes). Let cool and peel the skin off of half the potatoes. Cube potatoes and mix with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 2+ hours.

May Day Bock Party

April 30, 2009

maypolebockparty

Holy F, it’s almost May. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, Brouwerij Lane is celebrating May Day with free German food and beer. Hooray for random holidays.

Dirty, Dirty Produce

March 25, 2009

picture-23Do we really have to wash lettuce? Drying it calls for a half roll of paper towels and a wet salad is just gross. According to this list of produce with the most pesticides, you bet your nervous system you do. See the full list here and while you’re at it, invest in a salad spinner here.

most-pesticides

Popover for Breakfast

March 12, 2009

popoverThey’re delicious, fun to eat and you probably have all the ingredients on hand. I made these last weekend and can’t wait for Saturday to roll around so I can make them again.

Popovers
Makes 8-12
1 cup flour
1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1⁄4 cups whole milk
1 tbsp. melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Sift together flour and salt into a bowl.

2. Whisk together eggs, whole milk, and butter in a bowl. Then add to flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined (some lumps may remain).

3. Pour batter into a buttered 8-popover tin or muffin pan, filling individual tins two-thirds to three-quarters full. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and continue baking until puffed and browned, about 20 minutes more.Don’t open the oven to check on them until about 5 minutes before they’re finished baking, or they will deflate.

4. Unmold, pierce sides of popovers with a toothpick to allow steam to escape, and serve immediately.

This recipe was first published in Saveur in Issue #50

Jailhouse Fondue

March 6, 2009

fondue

My stepdad makes chili on the cheap that he calls Jailhouse Chili. I wanted to make fondue last weekend but didn’t want to spend what was looking to be $60 on ingredients. I revised my plan and made what I now like to call Jailhouse Fondue, using much more affordable types of cheese and alcohol. Ma Barker, would you be a dear and pass the fondue fork? Thanks, dollface.

Jailhouse Fondue
Serves 5 as an appetizer/snack
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour 1 tsp.
Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 bottles of 12 oz. beer
2.5 cups cheddar cheese
2 baguettes, cubed
Sliced apples

In a saucepan, melt butter, blend in flour, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Open beers. Drink one and pour in the other. Stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat, add cheese, stir until melted. Transfer to fondue pot and place over low heat. Stab bread cubes and sliced apples with the fondue forks and dive in. Resist urge to lick the skewer. That’s gross. Just because you are cheap doesn’t mean you have to be classless.

Brooklyn’s Indie Food Scene

February 25, 2009

Tony Cenicola for The New York Times

I have always loved the anti-corporate approach to life in Brooklyn. We turn out some of the best music, art, fashion and food—making it easy to buy local and support the mom and pops of the borough. The New York Times did a great piece today on some of the wunderkinds of the Brooklyn indie food scene. Read the full article and see their interactive Brooklyn map here.

Winter Greens Lasagna

February 17, 2009

wintergreenslasagna

This lasagna is 100% amazing and compared to most lasagnas, quick to make. I modified Chow’s recipe a bit here so it has a greater greens to cheese ratio. This will make your heart pitter patter, I promise.

Winter Greens Lasagna:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, medium dice
1 leek, medium dice
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
2 pound red kale, washed, tough stems removed, and coarsely chopped
1 pound Swiss chard, washed, tough stems removed, and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche or sour cream
1 (9-ounce) box no-boil lasagna noodles
1 pound fresh ricotta
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oven to 400ºF and arrange a rack in the middle. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add onion, leek, and garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add cream and a few handfuls of greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted. Continue adding greens a little at a time until all are slightly wilted. Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, completely wilted, and coated in cream, about 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and remove from heat.

Spread 1 cup of the crème fraîche evenly over the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of 4 noodles, allowing them to overlap slightly. Using a slotted spoon, scoop 1/3 of the greens mixture from the cream and evenly spread over the noodles, then cover with 1/3 of the ricotta and 1/4 of the Parmesan. Repeat to make two more layers, and end with a final layer of noodles on top. Evenly pour 1/4 cup of the cream over the noodles. Mix together remaining crème fraîche and Parmesan and spread evenly over top.

Cover the lasagne with foil and bake until bubbling and starting to brown, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is browned completely and sauce is bubbling, about 10 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Here are some great finds I came across in my search for the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift. Click on the photos to buy.

wearesogood

Letter-pressed 11" x 19" poster on recycled paper for $36.

Chocolate Wii Avatars for $10

Bite eachother's heads off with chocolate Wii avatars for $10.

A t-shirt that shows true love and cost $23.

I don't get it either but the huh factor makes me love it. It's $23.

I Heart You when you're not even there for $3.50.

I Heart You when you're not even there for $3.50.