An old foe, vanquished.
About six years ago, I had just moved into in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood and before I’d even unpacked all the our boxes, I signed up for Urban Organic‘s home delivery service.
The first week’s delivery sat at the wrong door of the brownstone in 93° heat all afternoon. I called and gave them instructions of which door to go to.
The second week, I found a box of humid, wilted produce in exactly the same spot. I called and gave them explicit direction of where to leave the box, and just to be sure, I left a note at the wrong door: wrong door, don’t leave my box of food here, thanks.
The third week, I stayed home all day, hefting my pregnant self up and down the stairs every hour or so to check the wrong door. And there it was, my note on the door and my box of produce. I canceled my Urban Organic subscription immediately, but that still left me with something that looked like this:
In which I make a bread pudding.
Despite being a food blogger for… how long now? A year and half? I have something to admit: I have never cooked another food blogger’s recipe. Ever. I don’t know why; I just haven’t.
So, when I saw this post on what to do with old bread, I thought, huh, that sounds pretty good, then filed it away for future reference, the same way I’ve done with a hundred other recipes in the past year and half.
And then last week, I found myself with a collapsed loaf from a recipe I’d tried. I think I added too much yeast. It was edible… but a bit flat and therefore useless for sandwiches or, really, anything. So, I was standing around in the kitchen, glaring at the failed loaf, when I realized I had eggs and milk… I even had some grated Gruyère and Swiss hanging around.
So, what the hell — it’s just gonna go to waste anyway, right?
Holy shit, this is possibly one of the best things I have made EVER.
I cubed the bread, and filled the pie pan with the cubes. (The rest went to the birds.) I used a ratio of one egg : 1/3 cup milk (4 eggs, 1 1/3 cups milk in all) until it looked completely soaked, like french toast. I threw in a couple handfuls of grated cheese and one bunch of chopped broccolini that was wasting away at the back of the fridge. I started it out at 375º but after 20 minutes it was browned nicely but still wet in the middle, so I lowered the temperature to around 300º and cooked for another 20 minutes.
Now, I do not like baked eggs. Quiche, frittata, shirred eggs… they all get a weird taste/texture I don’t like. But this was fluffy and tender and not all eggy. You can see from the photo that some of the cubes of bread crisped up and got all crunchy… I’m actually salivating just remembering it.
Will this be the start of a blog cooking spree? I kinda doubt it, but you never know.
Don’t fear the yeaster.
I am constantly surprised by how many food bloggers are afraid to try yeast baking.
“Just try it!” I urge. “Yeast breads are so forgiving! Just try it! Trust me!”
I guess I’m going to have to just show you.
Breakfast, take 2
I can’t let an almost-perfect thing stand. That gap in the last loaf of bread really annoyed me. I did some asking around, and it probably happened because the oven wasn’t hot enough, so I tried again:
The original recipe had 3/4 cup raisins (optional), so I decided to take them up on it. I thought I had read raisins should be soaked first — and I was right. Raisins are popping off of this bread like buttons off Bruce Banner’s shirt.
Which, of course, means I’m going to make this bread yet again.
The aforementioned best cookies.
I’m not generally a chocolate chip cookie lover. I’m just not. They’re either too thin, too crispy, too doughy, too something and never in a good way.
But it was Christmas and we heard Santa only really likes chocolate chip cookies, so I went looking for a recipe.
Now, I love AllRecipes. Love it. It’s the first place I turn when I want to make something but don’t have a recipe for it. I love its “what can I make with this?” ingredient search; I love its rating and review system, and I love that the reviews are often more helpful than the recipe itself.
So, when I saw a recipe for “Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie” with a 4.5-star average after over 1,700 reviews, I knew it was going to be good. What I got was quite possibly perfect.
It was, well, exactly what it said it would be: the best, big, fat, chocolate chip cookie ever. Crisp exterior, chewy gooey interior, moist but not doughy — and huge. You dole this dough out in 1/4 cup blobs, which makes for huge cookies — the recipe only makes 18, which is good because they get pretty hard the next day. You can microwave them for about 10-15 seconds each, but obviously, it’s not the same.
[Photo credit: MRSJENNY]
Let’s face it, you’re not going to impress anyone with the looks of this soup. It looks like wallpaper paste.
It tastes considerably better.
In case you missed it this past Sunday:
I finally made a pie.
And it was pretty good.