Showing posts from December, 2010

Best of 2010

Not a traditional list, but many lists of lists. Great flavors locked in the memory of my tongue's brain. Plus, the music in the background of all those happy moments.

Flavors of 2010
-- Pickled lemons which I accidentally added cardamom to, and then later turned into hummous.
-- Fancy maple syrup from Poor Farm Farm. The best I have ever, ever, ever, ever tasted.
-- Horseradish
-- Thums Up Cola
-- Whole wheat almond crust on this pie.
-- Chili ginger plums
-- Jam jar cocktails at Fire Island
-- Grilled asparagus
-- Cucumber vodka infused with cucumbers from my garden
-- Beets
-- Mile End smoked meat
-- Strawberry cupcakes from Sugar Daddy at Trophy Bar
-- Sausages from The Piggery
-- Vermont butter fresh from the owners, but sadly the packaged butter from the store was horribly over-salted.
-- fried eggplant stuffed with shrimp paste
-- Achiote oil
-- Old fashioned organic oats from the Flatbush Co-op. Why are they so good? I love them.
-- Momofuku cornflake cookie
-- Roasted Root Vegetable and Tu…

Jam Thumbprint Cookies


From last Wednesday to this Tuesday I brought cookies to several offices of clients and many of the people who make my life easier all year long. I made 5 varieties of cookies, piparkakut, buckeyes, sugar cookies,chocolate cookies with candied bacon and these jam thumbprints. Without a doubt the most coveted and devoured cookies were jam thumbprints. I was glad. They're mine too, since childhood. A classic combination of rich butter cookies coated with nuts (or coconut, or neither) with a dab of jewel like jam in the center. Pretty and pleasing on multiple levels.

I grew up eating the cookies with red currant jam. The tart jam suits the rich cookie with a pure ruby color. I'm far too experimental for traditions. I filled mine with mulberry preserves that I canned this summer. The chunky preserves don't sit flat or fill the thumbprint indent well. The flavor is great and under-sweetened, as like it. I had a revelation just a few days ago. If I don't need to use j…

Piparkakut Printed in the NY Times


The Piparkakut Finnish Christmas cookie recipe I posted last year was made famous this week. They're great cookies, and aside from my pal Ava, who shared her family's recipe with me, I had never heard a peep about them elsewhere. Last year I submitted the recipe and photo to NYTimes online reader cookie feature. This year the fine people at the newspaper tested my recipe, and chose to feature it along with the other top cookies, my photo, and a short profile of me for the Diner's Journal column of the Wednesday Dining section by Emily Weinstein. An honor. I'm flattered. I will forever carry my copy of the article. It's validation at the highest. Validation at it's most real is the speed those cookies disappear when delivered to clients and colleges. I'm proud that I've brought this extraordinary little spiced cookie to homes this Christmas. Black pepper and cardamom bake a great cookie that is otherwise low in sugar and butter, in comparison to th…


Candy shaped like a tree nut. Buckeyes
also share a name with a famed college football team.

If you're from Ohio when you hear the term Buckeye you will likely think football, trees, or chocolate covered peanut butter balls. If you are not from Ohio you will think football, or did you say f*ckeye? The Buckeye is the official state tree of Ohio. The nut of the buckeye is a large brown ovalish-sphere with a tan center called a buckeye. Maybe it looks like an eyeball. Some historical nut with a sweet tooth did create a Reese's-peanut-butter-cup-like treat out of the buckeye's unique shape.

Buckeyes are a standard at any Ohio bake sale, or holiday event with a cookie platter. Ironically I learned my buckeye technique from my Aunt in Maryland. Buckeyes were necessary at Christmas. Once the buckeyes were ready it was only a matter of days/hours before the candy might be swallowed whole by her sons, or lurking cousins, being my brother and I. Story has it that my oldest cousin horde…

Saint Lucia Bread

brilliant saffron yellow and just a little less rich than brioche

Scandinavians mark the beginning of the Christmas season on December 13th, with a Saint Lucia day. The eldest daughter dress like in white pajamas topped off with a wreath of candles on their head. Candles burning its traditional for the girls to serve brilliant yellow saffron rolls and coffee to their family. My sister in law (now technically the eldest daughter) of Northern Minnesotan origins brought the tradition to my family's house minus the candles. Even after the buns were past their soft and fresh stage Sabrina pointed out that 6 seconds in the microwave roused the St. Lucia in the rolls.

Saint Lucia Saffron Rolls

5 packages yeast or 1.5 oz
2 cups warm whole milk
1/8 oz saffron
1 cup butter or 2 sticks, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
7 cups flour

1 egg, beaten
raisins for decorating

Mix milk and yeast together and allow to sit for 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. If the yeast does not become foamy with…

Ditmas Park Monday Night Fun: Vinyl Club - Sycamore - Dec 6th

Brooklyn's You bring it, you spin Monday Night Vinyl Club. Whiskey, flowers, vinyl, and the musical selections of Ditmas Park residents. Always a hit, and always on later then we plan. Details on our Facebook page or blog.

Monday Night Vinyl Club #28 - Whiskey & Records
Monday December 6th, 8p-1a
@ Sycamore Bar and Flowershop, 1118 Cortelyou, BK
{you bring it, you spin it any variety}

Ditmas Park CSA Extended Season Week 4

Last week, see you next year CSA

This is it! The last week of the extended share I'm splitting with neighbors. Boohoo. I have to buy food in a smelly grocery store. Rotten. I am very pleased with the variety. The vegetables will store well. I have 4 large squash and 3 small squash waiting to be cooked, and about 8 pounds of potatoes and yams, and 6 giant onions stored up. That ought to last me a few months. Again I traded my broccoli and cauliflower away. I have great luck with another CSA member who keeps the same pick up schedule as me.

Ditmas Park CSA Extended Season Week 4
3 yams
12 small, medium, and large potatoes
2 acorn squash, different variety
1 hulking hubbard squash
5 green tomatoes
4 onions
1 red cabbage
2 heads of garlic
1 turnip
dozen eggs