Sunday, November 25, 2012

death by chocolate pumpkin chocolate cheesecake

death by chocolate pumpkin cheesecake for thanksgiving dessert

This is from the Death by Chocolate cook book by Marcel Desaulneire.  He used to have a TV show...years ago....  My extended family moved to Williamsburg, Virginia about 15 years ago.  When I visited we always stopped for an awesome meal at Marcel's restaurant the Trellis. (sadly closed a few years ago) It was there that I bought the autographed copy of the cookbook.  Whenever I need something special that will wow the audience I pull something out of this book.   This is a double decker chocolate and pumpkin cheesecake. You make each cheesecake separately…the chocolate one is made in a spring form pan and it has the crust.  The pumpkin cheesecake…is baked in a regular cake pan without a crust then you put it on top.....and yes it is all topped off with chocolate ganache....wonderfully delicious and covers all cracked cheesecake issues....add the extra cookie crumbs on the sides to guild the lily...this is decadent and special...there are a lot of steps....none of them hard.

 recipe after the jump

Monday, October 15, 2012

nywff part 1 no knead bread and pizza dough from jim lahey

saturday morning i got up at 5 am....jumped in the car and headed to new york city to meet 3 friends and spend a wonderful day cooking and eating at the new york wine and food festival.  this year they held master classes for the first time....and...we managed to get tickets to a bread and pasta master class with jim lahey and mark ladner... it was held at the international culinary center on broadway.  i have seen the no knead bread recipe before....mark bittman wrote it up in the ny times...brit sent it to me last year....but every time i looked at it i can not possibly has to stick to the can not come out like bakery bread...well i saw jim lahey in person explain the fermentation process...he recommended to touch the dough as little as possible...i watched wide eyed as the dough slid out of the bowl like the sci fi movie the blob...and i can tell you it works like a charm....all it takes is time. 

ok, so i got up late on sunday morning...went to williams & sonoma bought a pizza stone and a peel...i stocked up on flour and set to work on the plan.  i found jim's pizza dough recipe in a recent bon appetit magazine on line and compared it back to the bread recipe.....same am thinking make a big batch of the pizza dough...split it after raising...because really, hubby and i can not eat 6 pizzas!  so here we go! recipe after the jump

Sunday, September 23, 2012

braised glazed pork shoulder and fresh corn salad from 2 mark's

mark vetri's roast pork photo from bon appetit september 2012

mark bittman's tomato basil corn salad

summer is almost gone.....usually i am packing for a  two week vacation  this time of year, but this year we went in july instead.  being in new england in september is a great opportunity to take advantage of all that is ripe off the vine....tomatoes, corn....a fun time to try new recipes.  mark bittman's what to eat right now column last week titled "shuck and awe" inspired me to do something different with my favorite vegetable....not that steaming and serving with butter and kosher salt isn't fantastic totally is..but.... well why not combine it with other flavors?  the tomato and basil salad with corn is a wonderful dish.  i have made it twice in 7 days! beyond wonderful.  this is a new favorite!  for saturday late lunch i decided to try mark vetri's (september bon appetit) slow roasted glazed pork shoulder.  it is definitely a weekend project because it requires some time...not so much work at all ....just time. (and surprisingly few ingredients.....  this recipe is so comforting!  i can not think of enough adjectives....( and really i don't get italian from this flavor at all....just wonderfully subtle roasted pork and the cider vinegar glaze with brown sugar is the perfect note!  prepared to be licking your sticky fingers!  actually bailey had a rough day at home smelling the fantastic aroma of the pork roasting for 5 hours while we sat on the beach! go to the link for the salad...i steamed my corn first but mr. bittman went for raw....
recipe after the jump

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

eating around the gas lamps in San Diego

woo hoo look what they have in cali!

recently i traveled with my husband to san diego...he for using airline work from the hotel room and try and have a little fun in the evening.  the weather never got out of the 60' much for relaxing by the pool on the weekend....only thing left to do when we both finished a long day of working was to poke around and find something decent to eat.....we stayed in the gas lamp district so plenty of tourist traps to pick from...but also some lovely, friendly people and really good food choices too.....(many of the friendly people i met were transplants from florida that were also freezing in the 60 degree weather......)

Dinner at the Merk Bistro the hostess was so friendly and genuine she talked us into eating there...and the food was so yummy we came back the next nite!
pictures and reviews after the jump

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

buttermilk bananna muffins from william sonoma

crunchy warm muffins for a cold april day

its a chilly april morning...happens to be april fools day....and the furnace decided to take a's a new furnace... i throw on an extra sweater, turn on the oven and look around for something to bake.......i have an unopened quart of buttermilk and a bowl of brown bananas i start hunting for a quick recipe for some hearty muffins to use up what i have.  nothing turned up in the cook books so i did a quick search on google and found this William Sonoma recipe.  this recipe looked good but the reviews made it sound like they were a bit savory and not sweet enough so i decided to add a crumble topping.....they came out so good.....delicious.....the furnace guy showed up...fixed the furnace and i sent him out the door with a bag of warm muffins........

recipe after the jump:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

baked challah french toast

ok you are thinking Another French Toast recipe????? well, all i have to say to that is this one is perfection.  brit and i keep tinkering with the recipes...using stuff we have in the pantry...this one was fast, not messy...super delicious and great as left overs right out of fridge.  challah bread from nyc, zested mandarin orange....and crunchy crumb topping...warm maple syrup..ahhhhhhh

best french toast bake ever....not super sweet just good
recipe after the jump

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ina's italian wedding soup

chase away the "winter" blues with some hot soup
it is cold and stark outside....grey....the winter that wasn't still isn't spring.  i feel the need to make something warm and comforting....soup!  not just your basic soup but ina garten's italian wedding soup.  i did not grow up with this...not by a long real italians in the family....tilly did produce some yummy soups but nothing with meatballs...what could  possibly be yummier for dinner than meatballs made with sausage, tiny little pasta with veggies in steaming chicken broth?  enough said ...try this....this one is online at the link above and also in  my favorite ina cookbook back to basics.
recipe after the jump

Thursday, February 9, 2012

nigella's brownies 2 ways part 2

nigella lawson's cream-cheese brownies

ok are you ready for part 2? these are my favorite...a little chocolate cheesecake action in a brownie pan.  the cream cheese flavor adds a nice twist on the sweet rich brownie.  i especially like these chilled. these are easy to make and come out looking like you are a super star...remember the parchment paper.  they pack up nicely wrapped in parchment and stuffed in a zip lock bag for travel. gooey chocolate cream cheese is exceptionally good.

recipe after the jump

Monday, January 30, 2012

nigella's brownies 2 ways part 1

there are lots and lots of ways to make brownies...i like them chocolaty, not too gooey always with pecans never walnuts...... sometimes with cream cheese in the middle... both of my favorite brownie recipes are from nigella lawson's how to be a domestic goddess cook book. ....both are wonderful and fairly easy to make.   big tip...get some parchment is the secret to great brownies.

first up the plain brownies...though there is nothing plain about these...there is so much butter and chocolate in here the pan is me they taste great....make them for someone you love or want to impress or thank...or even say you are sorry.....i promise they will do the trick.

just cut still a bit warm...goooey ooooooh 
recipe after the jump

Sunday, January 29, 2012

vegas, virginia,......travels

my nephew's first hockey game....... the monster bag of cotton candy 
for various reasons i've had to do a lot of traveling lately....while traveling can be fun or miserable ...depending on where you are going and why......going somewhere is an opportunity to try new restaurants or indulge in some celebrated favorites.
let's start with vegas. this was my first visit....really the food is pretty much the only thing i liked in vegas....not being a gambler or smoker and even though i love to is not the best place to find a bargain.  we sampled payard pastries...YUM...bobby flay's mesa grill at ceasar's palace  specifically the yucatan chicken taco and iced tea with some kind of honey syrup, best iced tea ever.... highly recommended.
deconstructed taco's with a peanut bbq sauce so good
more after the jump

Saturday, January 7, 2012

ina's sticky buns

sticky bun heaven
i have tried lots of ways to make the classic cinnamon raisin sticky buns.....the "popping fresh kind"  (not so good),  an american test kitchen recipe  that is also pretty good but takes a little bit more time and... you have to make the dough i have tried by far is this easy sticky bun recipe.....from my favorite ina garten cookbook back to basics (buy it!) easy sticky buns......there are a lot of steps but all are easy and i think it would be super fun to get kids involved in making these...a great family activity or for the grown up cook a rewarding sunday morning treat......they are best warm but they usually don't hang around long enough to get cold anyway.
recipe after the jump