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Archive for June, 2011

Fork-and-bowl Cheesecake

~2C graham cracker crumbs (or oreo, if you’re feeling dangerous)
~2tsp sugar
small handful of flour
cinnamon (not for the oreo)
6 tbsp butter

24oz cream cheese (3 packages)
~1 tsp vanilla
1.5C sugar
5 eggs
20oz Sour Cream

Nonstick springform pan (not necessary, but ideal for a cake you can’t turn out)

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

“Cheesecake is hard!” “Cheesecake never turns out right!” “People like storebought cheesecake better!”

All of the above statements are flat-out lies (visual proof at the end of the post). C’mon. The cheesecake factory cheesecakes may taste good, but I bet there’s a lot of weird stuff in there. And you don’t get to determine the size of your slice. And you have to go to the Cheesecake Factory instead of your local grocery store. Homemade cheesecake is possible, it is delicious, and, if you put fruit on it, my theory is it can definitely be considered a breakfast food.

Another (abhorrent and, frankly, mystifying to me) lie is that you need an electric mixer to make cheesecake. I am about to expose this falsehood in a way that will (1) make you feel good about yourself, and (2) make everyone around you (except lactose-intolerant people) like you. A lot. (more…)

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Spinach Potato Cheese Mash

4-6 golden or redskin potatoes
3/4lb spinach
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2C shredded parmesan or romano
pepper

*UPDATE: It has come to my attention (via the NY Times’ fun “Recipes in Health” series) that I am not in any way original in making up this recipe. Irish people have made a dish called Colcannon for a long long time and my humble submission is, it seems, merely a variation on this classic. So try both kinds! But try mine first, because it has cheese in it.*

I had a recent revelation, which was preceded by two important revelations over the past two years: namely, that I should eat more vegetables, and that I could control that quite simply by cooking for myself more. Those two realizations have led to a number of kitchen-related experiments (as Mitt Romney would say, some successful, and some not) but, more importantly, they have helped me to discover that in order to cook and eat vegetables, one must first buy them.

This seems obvious in retrospect, but it is aided by the fact that yours truly is, well, not in a high-profile, money-making profession. One might easily imagine that hard-working scientists would be bringin’ in the big bucks after a few years, but this is tragically just not the case. So when I buy something, goshdarnit, I’m going to eat it before it goes bad! (Or even slightly after, but expiration dates are a subject for another post.) Hence, if half the things in my shopping cart are vegetables, then so are half the things I eat. (more…)

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Peach-Rhubarb-Raspberry Pie

1/4 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
cinnamon
pinch of salt

5-8 peaches (5 big peaches [July-August], 7 or 8 smaller ones [June])
6 oz raspberries
~36 inches ripe rhubarb

REAL maple syrup (optional)

1 pie crust

raw (cane) sugar

First of all, yes, I buy pie crusts at the store. I bet I could make a damned good pie crust, but Pillsbury makes a pretty good one that only takes one minute to roll out, and saving an hour and not having to buy a rolling pin are good enough reasons for me. Now, then. Fruit pie.

Spring in Michigan is kind of a waiting game. As in, you spend most of the “game” waiting for “spring” to actually get here. When it does arrive in the form of gusty 50-degree rainstorms, you cheer because the snow has finally started melting in April. But then you start anticipating summer, and you get a little excited because, you know, sunshine. And this is where Michigan really bites you in the ass. You have spent the last two weeks of spring carefully planting flowers and early veggies and watching them get battered with wind and rain and the neighbor’s dog and maybe even a little hail, but somehow still surviving. Your heart swells with pride… and then so do your feet, because after six weeks of 45 degree in-between weather, it’s suddenly 90 for a week straight, causing all your veggies and grass to go to seed because they think they somehow slept through summer straight into late August. (more…)

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