Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

After minimal amount of plane delayage and confusion, I landed in Boston late last night. I am now quite officially in the Christmas spirit. Presents and shopping and skiing and baking! So while I will most certainly be eating delicious food in the next two weeks, I can't guarantee many (if any) blog posts. I hope everyone has a delightful Christmas and New Years filled with hot chocolate and warm cookies!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Breakfast Couscous

Is it bad that the first thing I do after coming home from work is always checking the fridge? Even if I'm not hungry, I'm curious as to what my mom cooked for dinner without me. If my willpower is sufficient to avoid having dinner as a midnight snack, I'll eat it for brunch the next day. Thus, this morning, I ate half a grapefruit and a steaming bowl of Israeli couscous with fennel and leeks for breakfast. Maybe not your traditional breakfast fare, but it was delicious. 

And that is a picture of my hero in Bon Apetit magazine. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ben's Saltine Things

There it is: the best part of a debate meet. Yes, I like meeting other smart high schoolers. Yes, I like sharing ideas about current events. Yes, I love my debate team. But Ben's saltine things? They're the reason I go again and again, every weekend. Sometimes he doesn't make them for a tournament. I inevitably lose. How does that make your conscience feel, Ben?

Ben's saltine things are the completely perfect debate food, containing nothing more than the necessary food groups: butter, sugar, white flour, salt, and chocolate. Ah. So good. These keep me in the perfect sugar-high ready to debate mode.

While I know that I could easily make these myself, I have never tried. There is something sacrilegious about eating them when not dressed for a tournament. And if I made them, they'd be Bea's Saltine Things and not Ben's Saltine Things, and that doesn't have quite the same ring.

I once thought that my obsession with these cracker cookies was unique. Nobody else quite understood my love for these tasty treats. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the humble cracker is quite a phenomenon! I found them on Smitten Kitchen, the home of all things delicious and heavenly, and then yesterday, they were in the New York Times! Of course, they get the name wrong, with Deb saying "chocolate caramel crack(ers) and the Times saying saltine cracker brickle. I much prefer the ambiguity in the label "things" to the onomatopoeia of "brickle." But maybe that's just me. Either way, I'm glad these crackers have finally achieved the fame they deserve.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cranberries for Christmas

Every winter, we pull out the November 2001 issue of Gourmet  to find the cranberry turtle bars. These impressive little bars are a tradition in our household as my mom's standard gift for hosts or teachers. They are the perfect balance of tart and sweet in a bite-size package.

I tell myself that the addictive cookies are healthy because of the fresh cranberries and the pecans, but there is no way that the number of them that I eat is healthy.

Above is the best Christmas present I have ever received. I know that wherever I end up in life, my matryoshka measuring cups will be at home in my kitchen. Thank you, Shriya!

Making the caramel is the scary part of this recipe. Several times, it was completely ruined and my mom had to start from the very beginning. I think she's got it down, though, because both batches this year have been perfect.

Are you impressed with the left-handed photography skills below? I think you should be.

My mom amuses herself with the chocolate on top. She is a master at treble clefs.

Also, just reminding you in case you don't do this already: always click on the pictures to view them large! That's the only real way to appreciate them. Thanks!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bread And Jam For Francis

1. This is one of many pictures from Thanksgiving about which I completely forgot.
2. Doris bakes the most amazing bread. It is one of the best things about Thanksgiving.
3. At IHOP after the Chesterton debate meet this weekend, several of us who were brought up right had a large reminiscing-about-Frances-books session. Its highly possible that I recited her entire song about soft-boiled eggs. 
4. Congratulations, Francis!


Finally, our kiwis are more than little fuzzy rocks!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Milky Tears

Go ahead and spill, milk, because I'm done crying. 

This is my 100th post.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Sharing a pixie from our debate chocolate fundraiser. Pixies may be my new favorite Fanny May candy, next to Mint Meltaways, of course. The only part I don't like about them is the way that their bottoms are bare. The pecans and caramel are just hanging out for the world to see. How much more difficult would it be to close the underside with a little bit of chocolate?

For some reason, she objected to me melting the edges of the pixie in the Hannukah candles. I don't understand what could be wrong with a warm, melty chocolate turtle! Surely it's not sacrilege when the end result is so delicious.

Forgive the bad pictures and lack of posts. Today (or should I say yesterday?) was tough, as the last few days have been. This weekend will be worse. Give me a few weeks and everything will be sunshine and daffodils, I've just got to get there.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Day In The Life

Cinnamon toast and chocolate milk

Course 1: half a cucumber wrapped in sliced chicken, dipped in marinara sauce
Course 2: sliced beets and oranges drizzled with olive oil
Course 3: buttered cranberry orange toast

Course 1: sweet potatoes roasted on a mini baking sheet in the shiny new toaster oven
Course 2: salad with pears, grapefruit, and pecans and grapefruit juice dressing

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why Food Photography Is Superior

Photography can be frustrating. After travelling to hard-to-access locations, lugging around camera equipment, and dealing with annoying models, it must be extremely aggravating to find that your dream can't be realized for a trivial reason. That's why I'm glad my chosen genre of photography is food photography. When the "model" won't cooperate or the equipment fails or the lighting isn't adequate, you always have a nice plate of food in front of you. 

The phood makes up phor any photographic phrustration. Ophphicially.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snickerdoodles Come Full Circle

There it is. The official first picture in my Summer 2010 Food folder in all of its unedited glory, fresh off of my mom's camera. Snickerdoodles that I baked with my sister were the first thing that I ate after school ended and I began my summer project. That day seems like yesterday, but somehow the better part of a year has slipped by me.

All that's happened between that picture and today rushed past my eyes when I brought out the same recipe this afternoon. I was making snickerdoodles for a bake sale to raise money for a trip that the seniors from Civic Youth Theater are taking to New York this coming summer. Snickerdoodles are my first thought for events like bake sales because they are quick to make and everyone loves them. Today's were delicious: big and soft, just how I like them.

Considering the vast amount of butter and sugar that goes into these cookies, relatively few cookies actually made their way out of the oven. Two possible hypothesis to explain that phenomenon: either each cookie was too big or Orr and I ate too much cookie dough.

Grace is begging you to buy cookies to support us! We'll be selling cookies before each performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Making My Morning Cuppa