My next door neighbor’s parents are visiting from Spain. They brought a Quesada wrapped in a cool paper that listed all the ingredients.. It is a dessert that has a bit of lemon peel in it. Dense and delicious. I was invited to have a piece. Butter, eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest, a pinch of cinnamon. Tastes reminiscent of a simple custard of childhood but different texture. It is made like this so it could be carried in a knapsack and last a long time, not spoil. Here is a photo of it.
Continuing with the comfort food theme, Arleen McC made this delicious cake when I visited in the fall. It was so lovely and rich. Here is a double chocolate cake recipe by Ina Garten. So think about cakes ( I know MMM, you prefer pie and Rob B what about you, certified pie taster?) but what is your basic cake preference?
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting?
Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting?
Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting?
Granted we know there are Martha Washington and Hummingbird cakes, Pound cakes and cheesecakes and Orange or Lemon, Almond and Spice, Marble and Boston Creme Pie……Today I am thinking basic combinations.
And Mark your birthday is coming up and I know that Angel Food Cake is your first choice. No icing. You didn’t even like the frosting when you were one!
Cupcakes are all the rage in a lot of places these days but my sister says the amount of frosting is disproportionate to the amount of cake which is the part she likes to eat. We have all seen kids at birthday parties eat all the frosting and leave the cake part untouched or vice versa. There are lines around the block like waiting for tickets to a rockstar concert at Magnolia’s in Greenwich Village on Bleecker Street.
Just last week Laura baked a classic 1-2-3-4 cake with vanilla icing for her Mom-in-Law 2B and it was well received.
show details May 21 (3 days ago)
Finish the meal–
wait a bit.
Not many folks
keep a layer cake on hand.
It is usually a special occasion.
I like to serve dessert
on my grandmother’s glass plates.
The addition of fresh berries
and or ice cream can’t hurt!
Favorite Spring vegetable. Next I’ll be thinking about rhubarb.
Mary and I were entertained for a delicious brunch where this fruit was served (with a side of pancakes and bacon) but doesn’t this look healthy?Seeds or seedless,
p.s. If you want to vote on Keep or Pitch and see Cinderella, click here.
My friend Joyce is really good at street photography. I feel self-conscious and awkward a lot of the time. I shot this man purchasing a pickle from one of the barrels. I haven’t seen a pickle vendor on the street before although I did see someone deep fry a pickle at the Ohio State Fair.
Waiting for just the right moment. Going to be mixed with fresh strawberries and served on Orange Granita.
Meatless Fridays in Pittsburgh. It’s Lent. Last week in the Post-Gazette there was a list of fish fries all over the city and outskirts but let’s talk Pierogies. You drive by churches with signs out front (pierógi, pyrogy or perogi ) or you can buy them at Pierogies Plus or at the Polish Deli in the Strip. When I first moved here I had never eaten one. I watched Marianne’s mother, Olga make them from scratch. The boys loved eating them. And in time I started eating them, too. Then I wanted to try to make them. Marianne told me how to get the right potatoes and a certain cheese. I made them once for a Polish Christmas party at someone’s home. Last fall I saw Arleen make them at Christmas, by hand, parboil them and freeze them for the holiday.(see below) The whole concept of noodle/pasta dough filled with potatoes did not appeal to me but I was uninitiated. They can be filled with sauerkraut and other fillings but potato and cheese are the most popular. I am not sure how many I could eat in a sitting but the butter and onions really satisfy that urge for hearty meals with fat. One time I shipped a couple of dozen to Florida when the family lived there. Something my mother never cooked when I was growing up. At the baseball games they have Pierogi Races. No kidding. See below.
It was a long Monday at school. The PSSA testing began. Six classes of art, out of order with the schedule. And we lost that precious hour this weekend, changing the clocks. After school I headed for the gym. On my way to the gym, I got an idea. I stopped at Ritter’s Diner thinking I might photograph their juke boxes for a memories post. I ordered a cup of Orange Pekoe tea with lemon and started to read the City Paper. And an order of wheat toast with the butter on the side. A small plastic rectangle of grape jelly sat on the plate. But I was sitting there in a small booth reading and on page 36 there was a photograph of some oranges at the bottom left of the page with a recipe for Marmalade. I wished I had it on the toast. Cooking or baking something always relieves stress. So I thought, I have all the ingredients and skipped the gym (uh-oh) went right home and sliced two oranges and a lemon really thin and added 2 cups of boiling water. A full cup of sugar seemed so much (I used 3/4 cup) and cooked it down ’til it looked like marmalade. The scent from the simmering pan was delicious. Growing up I never enjoyed marmalade, preferring honey, strawberry or raspberry jam. My mom would make marmalade or Mrs. Burns from church would bring some to the house. I enjoy the taste now. Tart and sweet. Can’t wait to try it on buttered toast in the morning. (Oh, and the juke boxes have CD’s inside of them now and a putty colored metal and or plastic, not the chrome I was seeking so did not shoot them. Evoked no memories for me. Just the marmalade came from the excursion.
A bowl of onions on the kitchen table has been talking to me saying “Onion rings in the cast iron skillet, onion rings in the cast iron skillet.” But I came to my senses and sliced them up and sauteed them in butter and olive oil to carmelize them. Toasted a slice of Allegro Hearth Farmgrain Bread and thin parings of Parmesan. Ladled the hot broth over the toast and cheese. Used my Grandmother Hendricks’ silver soup spoon with just the right bowl of a spoon for the soup. Found a wealth of information and recipes for Onion Soup. Click the link to read the history and simple directions on how to make it perfectly. And the birthday pasta bowls from V make a lovely soup plate for this winter meal.
It was a really hot day Friday. Standing at the PNC MAC machine, I looked to the left. A rack of pies, an open truck, Margi the owner of old fashioned, classic, timeless Schorr Bakery – “Be Sure At Schorr’s” it says at the top of the card. She was wheeling the rack into the bakery with the pies. No website or link to send you to yet. 433 Perry Highway 412-931-0653. Schorr’s.
Grilled Artichokes at Brunch on Sunday. Delicious. I was a fortunate guest. Here is one recipe. I love the pattern of the leaves. My mother never prepared an artichoke in her kitchen. When I was a young wife, everyone made hot artichoke dip, using artichoke hearts, drained from a can or a jar and adding a ton of mayo and parmesan cheese, probably from the green can. Spread on a cracker. I liked it at the time. Erika’s Aunt Georgann makes them a tasty rich way with stuffing at Christmas. Artichokes are part of the thistle family and some varieties have thorns. For more than you ever wanted to know about artichokes click here.
Rigatoni alla Vodka Spaghetti alla Rucola (Arugula) Tagliatelle Zucchini When we arrived Anna had bruschetta made on grilled bread, a plate of verdi and Kalamata olives and two cheeses for appetizer placed on a table waiting for us. She poured a glass of wine for each of us, red or white. A bottle of water, too. She demonstrated all three dishes and then each of us got to choose and make one by ourselves. The four of us made the Rigatoni with the Vodka Sauce. Watching all the work behind the scenes in the restaurant kitchen was impressive. When Anna prepared each dish it looked effortless. The combination of the ingredients makes each dish taste perfect! She had the recipes printed and tied together so we could add more recipes from another class. We ate AND took home leftovers. Delicious. We learned a lot about different olives, cheeses, pastas, olive oil, how to dice an onion without crying. All the classes are held 12:30 so we were finished in time for them to get ready for the evening service. What a satisfying way to spend a winter afternoon.
Next class February 27th. La Cucina Flegrea 2114 Murray Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412)521-2082
Chopped the six remaining tomatoes (9/10/09 post) 1/2 a sweet onion chopped fine, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 T of chili powder and salt, a splash of olive oil and about 2 T of Balsamic Vinegar. Drained a can of Bush’s Black Beans and Green Giant White Shoepeg Corn. Jesse makes a Texas Caviar Recipe or close to it. Cilantro and/or a green pepper could be added if desired. There is a similar recipe in the IV of the series-Three Rivers Cookbooks. If you take this to any gathering and get invited back, they’ll say “Hey, bring that Black Bean Salsa with you! And the corn chips.” If it’s winter, drain the petite diced canned tomatoes but there is nothing like the fresh-from-the-vine late summer tomatoes for superior taste!