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Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

The Cream Puff

A Simple Poem

By Megan Dold

O cream puff, I do love you

You hardly ever let me down.

Kind of healthy (?) and delicious

When you’re near I just can’t frown.

But then one day I tried to bake you

And you put up quite a fight

Nearly set C’s kitchen on fire

Almost ruined our day and night

But neither smoke nor tears would keep me

From another tray, a second time

And then you came out of the oven

looking perfect and sublime

So I still love you, this is true

But there’s one thing that I must say:

I’d rather buy frozen puffs from Costco

Bake something else and call it a day.

Fin.


So this is a bit of an “alternative” cream puff recipe, using vanilla pudding mix and all. The puffs actually did turn out very delicious in the end, but the process was…well, you know. I just wrote a second grade poem about it.

“Easy” Cream Puff Recipe

Adapted from AllRecipes.com

Makes about 25 cream puffs

Ingredients

2 (3.5 ounce packages instant vanilla pudding mix

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs

Directions

1. Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Pour the mixture into a ziplock bag, place in the

refrigerator to set.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

3. In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven, until golden brown. MONITOR CAREFULLY AS THEY MAY BURN SUDDENLY WITHOUT WARNING.

5. When the shells are cool, cut about 1/8 of an inch off the tip of the bag filled with the pudding mixture. Make a tiny incision on the bottom of the puff (or if they are already cracked a bit at the top, don’t bother) and squeeze a bit of cream into each puff. Voila.

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detox veggie soup and stuff.

Instead of blogging about the giant baked casserole my mom and I whipped up for Christmas eve (using whole grain linguine…along with about five sticks of butter and four cups of cheese) I decided to go the non-baking route and bring you a recipe for (gulp) veggie-filled detox soup.


WHY??? you ask. For the moment (just temporarily, to be sure) I am carb-ed out. After a weekend of birthday cake, sugar cookies, and several glasses of wine, I am craving green.

Oh. I got a beautiful red electric mixer for Christmas! That’s right, up until now I’ve been using sheer muscle power to whip up all the cookies and goodies you’ve seen here. My arm and back muscles are grateful for this gift. I also received (in the baking category) a glass cake dome, a pastry blender, and an apron, among other things. This could mean I’m almost a REAL baker now, or just 26 and weird. I also got cool and hip non-kitchen related gifts too, really.

Detox soup (Adapted from Chez Us)

Ingredients

1 leek, cut into small pieces
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 carrots, scrubbed clean, skins on, chopped
2 turnips, peeled and cut into medium dice
8 cups vegetable cooking stock
1 tomato
2 cups cooked pinto beans
1 small bunch of kale, thinly sliced (optional–I added way too much and it drowned out the other ingredients. Plus, baked kale is just so much better).

Heat a large pot over medium heat with a tablespoon of butter. Add the leek and garlic and sweat over low heat, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and the turnips. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the stock, tomato and pinto beans, simmer over low heat for an hour an a half. Add kale for the last 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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simple bulls-eye sandwich

My favorite 5-minute meal (after peanut butter and jelly, of course) is undoubtedly the bull’s eye. I learned how to make these delicious goodies at Girl Scout camp back in the day, and it stuck with me after all these years. Actually, that’s not surprising, considering my other memories of being a Girl Scout include hours of forced child labor, such as: pulling a wagon stockpiled with overpriced cookies door to door during a Chicago blizzard; sitting outside Dominick’s grocery store in the dead of winter, shivering, pleading, begging people to buy our damn cookies so we could go home…etc. Scary stuff. Moving on.

Since this is literally a 3-4 ingredient recipe, it’s really important to use quality, hearty bread. I bought a loaf of whole wheat bread from the U Street farmer’s market, and I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to store-brand stuff. I’ve become a farmer’s market snot.

Here is what you do. Take a slice of bread and cut a medium-sized hole in the middle. Eat the circle of bread before proceeding. Lightly spread butter on both sides of the bread and place it in a warm frying pan. Crack an egg into the hole.

When the egg has cooked enough so that it doesn’t run out when you lift one side slightly with a spatula, flip over to the other side, carefully and quickly so that the egg stays in place. If you’re a meat eater, you can also add a slice or two of ham onto one side and flip it over again so that the ham cooks directly on the pan for a minute or so. I like my eggs kinda runny, so I usually only cook on each side for a minute or two.

During tomato season, I like to put some baked tomato slices on top.  You could also add cheese. mmm.

Easy, plain, delicious.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a baked good. But you know, sometimes it’s ok to fry things.

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I haven’t posted in a while; forgive me. I’ve been traveling, robbed of a bike wheel, mobbed by Ghanaian mosquitos, [insert other common excuse] etc. But now I’m ready to post my most favorite late-summer meal of 2010: cornbread panzenella.

A whole two (three?) weeks ago, in Delaware, my aunt’s neighbor gave (forced upon) us about 5 pounds of fresh tomatoes from her farm in Maryland. Beautiful, lusciously red tomatoes. I have never tasted such tomato goodness–and I’m not really a tomato person. These were that good.

She also gave us a purple cabbage, which no one ate (I mean, really) and the most awkward-looking oblong watermelon I have ever seen in my life. None of us touched it for a long time. It just sat on the counter, looking awkward. I guess we’re all so used to perfectly shaped supermarket fruit…anyway.

As we trudged home with our bags of tomatoes, I could practically feel the same panicky thought brewing in everyone’s heads.

What. are we going to do. with all these tomatoes.

So I took it upon myself to rid the household of the offensive excessive tomatoes in the easiest manner possible, i.e., a tomato-based vegetarian dinner.

I made panzenella salad with cornbread croutons (adapted from Arugula Files recipe here) and fresh basil from the garden. DELICIOUS, and a total crowd pleaser too. Please make it right now before summer is really over.

You bake the cornbread in olive oil until it’s nice and crispy.

Then you try not to eat all of it before you can add it to the salad (baked zucchini + summer squash, cherry tomatoes, basil, regular tomatoes, etc).

I also made some baked tomatoes with parmesan and bread crumbs.

I didn’t make a tomato dessert. I don’t know if such a thing is possible. I think that would have been overkill, yes? Yes.

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In order to survive the monthly forced trips to the shopping mall as a child, I simply made a beeline for the Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand, sat on my butt, and enjoyed the cinnamon sugar goodness, occasionally dipped in buttery goo.

These whole wheat pretzels are shall we say, a bit healthier, and still delicious. You can dip ’em in (a little bit of) butter or mustard, depending on your preference for sweet or salty.

(more…)

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