Archive | July, 2012

Maine blueberry pudding(it ain’t) aka it’s not pudding part two

21 Jul

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First off: next week is staycation week for me. Yeah, I have a callback, yeah I’ll still go on auditions, or jobs, if they pop up, but otherwise I have an out-of-town guest and we have hikes and wine classes, and Big Lebowski/White Russian nights planned.
And I’m going to relax if it is the last thing I do.
Y’all will have to do without me but I’ll be back in blogland a week from Wednesday.
Food:
Sometimes molding something sounds intimidating. Sometimes you want layers. Sometimes you don’t want to wait overnight with weights atop your pudding-only-in-name-cause-Brits-call-all-desserts-puddings creation.

But Mainely you are intrigued by the cinnamon and lemon juice.

This Fannie Farmer recipe was so very similar to the Summer Berry Pudding
I told you about Wednesday. Except it only involved 4 hours in the fridge and was substantially easier to make because you didn’t have to make the pieces of bread fit your mold like a carbohydrate jigsaw puzzle.

Think of this as a dessert knife and fork pudding if you so please.

Or a berry sammich.

And don’t leave out the cinnamon and lemon, they make magic.

Maine Blueberry Pudding(adapted ever so slightly from the 1965 Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
3 slices of bread(gluten-frees, use your bread of choice, I believe me mum swears by Udi’s)
Butter
1/4 cup H2O
Cinnamon
1 1/2 cups blueberries
3 Tbsp. sugar give or take-see how sweet your fruit is and adjust accordingly
A squeeze of lemon
Cook the blueberries, agua, and sugar on stove. First you bring the it to a boil then let it burble. Simmer. Whichever. Take about ten minutes all total. You want it starting to thicken but you still want lots of juice. Add the squeeze of lemon.
Whilst you burble the berries:

Take a square Tupperware container that fits a slice of bread and line it with nonstick foil. Butter that bread and sprinkle cinnamon on it.

I am a cinnamonster and sprinkle lots. Come now, it’s good for you.

There is a reason it is not called sin-namon.

Layer the bread and berries in the container, two layers of berries between the bread. If you are smarter than I you will save more of the juice to pour atop the last piece of bread. Last slice should go cinnamon side down. Cover, and refrigerate about quatro horas.
Take out of the fridge, lift foil out and unwrap. Slice if you desire. Please consider being like me: put reddi-whip on top and devour.

You can make homemade whip if you like but please don’t compare the two. Reddi-whip and homemade whip, in my mind, are two completely different things. Apples and oranges. Each has their own time and place and both are delightful in the proper setting.

Cheez whiz and Brie.

That’s my stand.

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It is not pudding: part one

18 Jul

It is not pudding. It is a pudding. In the British pudding-as-generic-word-for-dessert way.
Pudding is to British as coke is to some areas of the USA. The South?

If you say “coke” for all soda types tell me and let me know where you are from. Seriously lurkers. Do.

Anthropologist, linguist, and actor. That’s me.

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I first made this for a very important reason:
Because it is pretty. And I like soggy bread.

Really.

I make it a lot now every summer because it’s friggin’ Delicious.

No, I am not against the word “Delicious” in my writing.
I know blogsnobs shun Delicious as unoriginal.
I, however have no huge need to prove my vocabular worth here. At least in this blog entry. Please excuse the fact that The Gruel page has a section devoted to Brain Food.

I tried really hard to pimp out the cute factor on this pretty pudding but had some difficulty. I’m really not a very good photographer. Still, the image at the top of the post is better than my first shot:

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No?
For those of you nervous about a molded dessert, this is not hard. But there will be an easier version of this coming at you this weekend. Hold yer horses.

Berry Pudding(adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe)

1 cup blueberries
2 cups raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
About 6 slices bread(gluten-free folks use your bread of choice)
2 tbsp. butter

Line a bowl with plastic wrap leaving enough overhang to be able to fold over the top. I used my 4-cup measuring cup. Why use a rounded bowl, I like an architectural dessert.
Butter your bread.
Cook and stir the berries, sugar, and a tablespoon or so of water over medium heat, letting sugar dissolve.
Stir and mash berries a little bit whilst heating. Then bring to a boil and let cook until thickened, between 5 and 10 minutes.
Use bread to line the measuring cup, butter side up. Pour in berry mixture, then top that with any remaining bread, butter side down.
Fold overhanging plastic over bread. Put a plate on top and a can on that to weight it.
Chill at least 12 hours until your bread is good and purple, then un-mold.
Delight in the splendor of purple buttery bread.

Honor thy ancestors

14 Jul

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In a shocking move on my part, that photo is me unmade-up, untouched.

Yeah, no make-up!
Fuck you Hollywood.

Do I look anything like her?

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Allow me to tell you about a badass.
My sort-of distant relation Jane was pretty awesome. I think she was the cousin of my grandmother?

She was quite different than the rest of my family. As in she smoked. I did not really get to know her until my family took a trip to visit my aunt and cousins in Palm Beach. Jane came up from Fort. Lauderdale.

She was 80 and I was 17. The bonding factor: cigarettes.
Oh, was I a chimney. And my family hated that but tolerated it because next to my anorexic fuck-up-ed-ness it was a lesser evil.

But now I had someone to smoke with! And Jane was ridiculously smart.
So we talked and smoked and then when the cigarettes were put up and the cocktail hour came she would make Brandy Alexanders.

Which I stupidly did not drink because a smart anorexic knows how many calories are in liqueurs and heavy cream.

Jane passed away with emphysema several years ago.

Don’t smoke kids, except from the rare foolish smoke I bum whilst under the influence(I am an imperfect role model), I quit, and so should you.

PSA moment brought to you by a guilty conscious for all the shit I put my family through.

Now that I am all wise and grown(and say fuck you to both Hollywood and calories), I have I admit that Brandy Alexanders are tasty, but it’s summer so why not turn that deliciousness into a shake?

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I cannot say for sure, but I bet Jane would approve,

Brandy Alexandra(adapted from the 8,500+ Drink and Cocktail Recipes Free! App)
1 oz. brandy
1/2 oz. clear Creme de cacao
Heaping half cup vanilla ice cream
Cinnamon

Take off any make-up. From your face.
Blend all ingredients but the cinnamon. I used my immersion blender. The original recipe says to add ice. I did not.
Pour into a glass and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Be a badass. And seriously, try not to smoke.

Brunettes for Bittman

11 Jul

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Cookies? Meh.
Cookie dough?
Yes sir may I have another sir.

This recipe for Blondies from my beloved Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” was the closer to raw dough than any other baked good I’ve experienced.

I made these for a party my new manager was throwing.

I have to say, clearly I picked the right representation.
My agent cooks Japanese feasts that introduce me tithe likes of lotus root and sake cocktails and my manager has a wine-tasting parties. Meow.

Supposedly this recipe was for blondies. But they were a wee bit dark to be thought of as blonde.
More like brunettes.

If the rate at which these disappeared from the dessert table is any indication, I am going to have to say, brunettes have more fun.

Yours truly does. She thinks. Stop talking about yourself in 3rd person, Ellen.

Ok.

Do gentlemen really prefer blondes?
Does Bittman, hence his faulty naming of this cookie?

Discuss, them bake:

Blondies from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
1/2 c. Butter
1 c. Brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Pinch salt
3/4 c. Flour
1/4 c. Whole wheat flour
Melt the buttah. Beat with sugar til smooth, then beat in egg and almond extract. Stir in flours. Bake in a greased 8 inch pan at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. When you take it out depends on how done you like your cookies. So I take it out pretty quickly.

What comes before a part B

7 Jul

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Part A
Partay!
I love cheese.
This post is a wee bit old, but a while back we had a lil’ sit on the floor dinner party.
A small one with these goons:

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Since I was hosting I took it a bit easy and tried only one new recipe, this Cucumber Salad from Bon Appetit.
Yeah, I left off the avocado. I had guacamole coming and I already hate avocado. I can only allow so many of these green slimy monsters in my home.
And I have a fork and know how to use it.

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Our friend Francis (seated center, above) however, the lone brave male at the fete, foodie that he he is, outdid himself, bringing polenta we broiled with cheese, rolling out dough for pizzettes, making banana nutella ice cream(puree a whole bunch of frozen bananas with some nutella and you get instant ice cream)and bringing two types of ginger beer for Moscow mules-and it was all wonderful.
Damn that was a long sentence.

But I think the winner of the night was Alice’s creation. Perhaps you remember Alice?
Inventrix of the Mo-alicell?
Alice who learned how to get grindy with me?
Poor Alice who I screwed in the birthday cake department?
Alice an I have done some grinding, some screwing, an now we were being boring and chewing. Kumquats.

She concocted a mixture of watermelon, kumquat rind, mint and brown sugar that more or less blew my mind.

I’d ne’er had a kumquat.

I will try to stop using Shakespeare-esque words like ne’er after today.

Tonight is closing night for Midsummer, and I would be promotional and post a link for tickets but we sold out all weekend.

Kumquats, acting, and dinner parties. Life could be a whole hell of a lot worse.