Tequila-colada Cremoladas

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Tequila-colada Cremolada Tequila-colada Cremolada

Tequila-colada Cremolada Tequila-colada Cremolada

Tequila-colada Cremolada

For those who don’t know–I didn’t until very recently–a cremolada is Peruvian; a sort of slush puppy made with tropical fruit, water, and sugar. The basic formula is: blend juice, sugar, and water; freeze the mixture in ice cube trays; when frozen, blend again. This is my twist on the classic. The tequila is optional, but recommended.

You can double or triple this recipe, as long as you have the ice cube trays to support it. This way, you can make individual drinks as desired, or continue to blend batches fresh throughout a party. Makes 5 cups. Serves 4. 
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Bourbon, Garlic and Hot Honey-Butter Roasted Oysters

Bourbon, Garlic and Hot Honey-Butter Roasted Oysters

Bourbon, Garlic and Hot Honey-Butter Roasted Oysters Bourbon, Garlic and Hot Honey-Butter Roasted Oysters

Bourbon, Garlic and Hot Honey-Butter Roasted Oysters Bourbon, Garlic and Hot Honey-Butter Roasted Oysters

Snowdrops

Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know

what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring–

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.

–Louise Gluck

Bourbon, Garlic and Hot Honey-Butter Roasted Oysters Bourbon, Garlic and Hot Honey-Butter Roasted Oysters

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Nigel Slater’s Cake of Roasted Hazelnuts, Muscovado, and Coffee + A 30th Birthday/Housewarming Menu

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Nigel Slater’s Cake of Roasted Hazelnuts, Muscovado, and CoffeeNigel Slater’s Cake of Roasted Hazelnuts, Muscovado, and Coffee

Nigel Slater’s Cake of Roasted Hazelnuts, Muscovado, and CoffeeNigel Slater’s Cake of Roasted Hazelnuts, Muscovado, and Coffee

Nigel Slater’s Cake of Roasted Hazelnuts, Muscovado, and Coffee

I turned thirty at the end of January. I meant to throw a birthday party/housewarming at our new place on the 23rd, but alas, Jonas! So, we rescheduled for the 30th.

I salvaged what I could from that first Saturday’s cooking–although we still have two-pounds of prosciutto in the fridge, God help us–and decided to cater bits and pieces to fill in the rest of the menu for the following weekend.

Below, a compilation of what I served, but also what I originally planned to serve, to aid in planning your next winter party, plus some tips and notes:

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Cardamom-Orange + Brown Sugar-Pistachio Ice Cream

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Cardamom-Orange + Brown Sugar-Pistachio Ice Cream

Cardamom-Orange + Brown Sugar-Pistachio Ice Cream pistachios

We moved, from Brooklyn to Jersey City, where I don’t yet know where to buy fish or bread or meat or farmers’ market vegetables. But our apartment is finally set up, save one chifforobe, and I’m really proud of it–it has style–dare I say it is stylish?–and it is full, full, full of plants. (More on this in an upcoming post.) 

I turn thirty today. I’m finally adopting the cat I’ve long wanted, and I spend hours in bed when I should be sleeping, googling possible names to the glowy light of my phone, to the bemusement of my husband.

I’ve been struggling with some health issues that, while not dire, feel like they’ve swallowed me up. I avoided writing for too long, so now I don’t know where to start, except to list the highlights. This is list writing, not actual writing.

We have a table that seats eight now, and dish ware and silverware to accommodate that many. I’m trying to lure groups for dinner with the promise of three-day ragu and cakes. Do you live in Jersey City? Do you want to be friends?

I’m trying to go for runs in Liberty State Park, which is very close to our apartment, and also very beautiful. I walked there through the snow this weekend, and it was peace personified in whiteout, in chips of ice floating in the canal, in the geese idling between lolling reeds.

For now, there’s too much percolating in my mind to be eloquent in this space. This is a cop out, I know it. In the meantime, read When Breath Becomes Air and also Astonish Me. AlsoI’m not a beer person, but I recently discovered sour beers (thanks, Crissy and Ryan!), and maybe now I’m a beer person. I especially love Two Evil Geyser Gose at the moment.

Make some ice cream. It’s what I did. You won’t regret it.

Cardamom-Orange + Brown Sugar-Pistachio Ice Cream

Cardamom-Orange + Brown Sugar-Pistachio Ice Cream Cardamom-Orange + Brown Sugar-Pistachio Ice Cream

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Modern Beef Burgundy + A Giveaway

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Beef Burgundy

Beef Burgundy Beef Burgundy

Roast onions and mushrooms Roast onions and mushrooms

Along with Camembert and white beans, boeuf bourguignon ranks high among the Frenchman’s all time favorite foods. I remember making it in culinary school–a two day process–and I’ve made it once a winter since, always from Julia Child’s recipe. It’s a lovely cold weather dish, but the truth is, it’s a pain–fussy and time consuming.

This year, the crux of fall coincided with a book in the mail: the inimitable America’s Test Kitchen’s latest, 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Way to Make the True Essentials. It’s such a useful book, both for the novice cook (the best way to scramble eggs and poach chicken) and the more experienced (adding gelatin to meatballs for improved texture). The recipes are beyond well tested.

My copy is now a ticker tape parade of must makes–pho, focaccia, smoked salmon–but the recipe I was drawn to first was their modernized (read: less finicky) version of boeuf bourguignon. The process has been trimmed, but the results are just as rich and wonderful. And the recipe feeds a crowd, or a family of two for many meals. (It yields 3 quarts or 6 pints, which I portion and freeze, equating roughly to 10 meals for the Frenchman and me.) This is good news in our (new!) apartment.

This recipe was published with permission from America’s Test Kitchen. They’ve generously offered a copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment describing your favorite classic recipe by January 5th.

Beef Burgundy Beef Burgundy

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