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May 05, 2008

food porn: pancakes (in very late beta)

oat pancakes v.095

This is about half an inch from perfect. And that bite right there, the one with the banana and the chocolate chip and the coconut - that bite rocks.

May 03, 2008

food porn: testing pancakes

My favorite kind of test: edible!

Pancakes under development. Not exactly what I want, but tasty nonetheless.

I, sadly, have to eat my not-quite-it experiments. Tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

May 01, 2008

food porn: Breakfast with a side of editing

breakfast, with a side of manuscript

Over the last few weeks, I have had more than my fair share of extravagant food for one: More pounds of asparagus than I care to admit have passed through my kitchen as I chopped and cooked, mixed and measured, tweaked and twiddled, before finally settling on a recipe, only to discard it the next day. I have a shelf full of goodies that I bought for the sole purpose of cooking an entire recipe to take 3-4 bites (and, when I couldn't freeze it, throw it away before I ate it all), before repeating it the net day - the food waste around here lately is appalling! Tomorrow's agenda includes baking a chocolate cake, not because I have a party this weekend, oh, no, this is going to sit here and taunt me for however long it takes me to eat teensy little slice at a time.

But other days, days like today, I spend the entire day with my head down over a computer, only to look up as the sun drops behind the hill wondering how it got to be dusk. Days when my 'break' from the computer, such as it is, involves a stack of paper covered with red squiggles. Days when, if I am smart, I start with something that will keep me going all day.

Something like this: simple, old-fashioned oatmeal, cooked with 1/4 cup of apple cider and a sprinkle of cinnamon in the cooking water. I put it in a beautiful blue bowl that fits in the curve of my hand (50 cents at Goodwill!), top it with a drizzle of manuka honey and I have food so comfortable it darned near hugs me.

January 03, 2008

Simple, flaky biscuit recipe



If I had to pick one word for my life the last while, it would have to be scattered. Just as one crazy thing is brought under control, the next careens into view. Like garlic butter in your cake pan. Or a teetering stack of biscuits.

One of my surest cures for scattered is bread. As I gather the bits of ragged dough and knead them together into a cohesive whole, I am, likewise, remade just a bit, my loose edges reintegrated and all that. It's one of my favorite meditative states.

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February 23, 2007

bethCookies (and other weighty subjects)


How much does a cup of flour weigh? Seems like a simple question, but it is actually anything but:

  • What kind of flour: all-purpose, cake, bread, pastry? (Whole grains just complicate this equation so we are not going there…not today anyway.)
  • Sifted: before measuring, after, or not at all?
  • Scooped from a container or spooned into the measuring cup?
  • Measured while hopping on your left foot or right?

(Okay, I made the last one up, but you know what? It might actually make a difference because the shaking would make the flour settle…in which case, more would fit in your cup! Determining this, however, would require a complex equation taking into account your weight, the structural integrity of your kitchen floor, and how often heavy trucks drive by and shake the flour before measuring. Too much work.)

In any case, depending on who you ask, and how they measure, a cup of flour can range from about 3 ounces to about 6! Even the mid-range is 4 1/4 – 5 1/2, which is a huge difference when you are baking. One article I came across said: "I can make a cup weigh almost anything I want."  Now, isn't that helpful?

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October 22, 2006

The only thing better than pie...

Tied up with a project and down with a bug is not a good combination, but when you add in a freezer that is being slowly denuded of all but the most basic of options — we ate half of the last baguette last night — it starts looking downright dire. And yet, sad to say, this is the state of affairs. The dwindling of the usual stockpile of homemade food comes with a couple of weeks to go on the book: no homemade cookies, no baguettes, no cinnamon rolls, no marinara, no soup. We're making chili tonight and I'll probably make some bread starter. If I stop sniffling, I may even get to cookies tomorrow. But there are chapters with my name on them and they have priority over baking, no matter how theraputic. I need a cookie fairy to deliver a few dozen cookies to my door, preferably something with chocolate.

Continue reading "The only thing better than pie... " »

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