Monthly Archives: March 2011

Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts


Today is my husband’s birthday, and to celebrate, I started his day with a mega breakfast:  coffee, fresh mango-carrot-orange juice, bacon, Gruyere-chive baked eggs, and . . . Thomas Keller’s cinnamon-sugar doughnuts.

This recipe is from Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry Cookbook.  At his acclaimed restaurant in Napa Valley, Chef Keller serves these doughnuts for dessert with cappuccino semifreddo (“Coffee and Doughnuts”).  However, not (yet) owning this “gourmet guidebook,” I first saw this doughnut recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Not So Humble Pie, and I have been waiting for a special occasion to use it.  Since Brandon is a bit of a doughnut fanatic (who isn’t?), I thought that his turning a year older deserved a bowl full of doughnuts.

I started the dough for the doughnuts last evening.  They do need a full night to proof, but for the most part, the recipe was surprisingly easy.  After making the dough in my stand mixer*, I put the covered mixing bowl in the refrigerator and woke up an hour before I wanted to serve the doughnuts to roll out the dough and allow them to rise.

I realize that this recipe may seem a bit intimidating.  It requires using yeast and deep-frying:  two “scary” tasks.  However, I am always a little nervous when making yeast dough, and—full disclosure—I’ve never deep-fried anything before.  In the end, I don’t know what I was worried about.  I followed the recipe to “a tee,” and the doughnuts turned out perfectly airy and light.  Brandon was a very happy birthday boy—that is, until he had to go to work. Continue reading


Sesame Eggplant with Tofu

First, of all, thanks to Ursela and Rosemary for the birthday wishes!  I definitely had a terrific day full of great food and good friends.

Now, onto today’s post:  Sesame Eggplant with Tofu.  After a weekend full of rich food, I thought tonight’s dinner should consist of something healthy.

Now, I have never been a big fan of tofu.  Yes, I have had a couple of tasty tofu dishes, but for the most part, stir-fries I’ve eaten containing tofu have been tasteless and soggy.  These include the stir-fries I have tried to make at home with tofu, and as a result, I haven’t made anything containing tofu for years.

However, I am trying to eat healthier and am trying to eat less meat, and I recently saw an episode of Fresh Food Fast where Emeril made a stir-fry containing eggplant and tofu.  It looked interesting, and thus, I decided to give tofu a second chance.

It turns out, I have been cooking tofu incorrectly all of this time.  In the past, I never took the time to thoroughly drain the tofu, and that is why I always ended up with a soggy, tasteless dish.  It also turns out that tofu can be delicious, and in this recipe, it is.  The tofu is firm, and the eggplant is buttery and flavorful.

Long story short, I will definitely be cooking more tofu. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Megan!

Ursela and I quickly want to wish Megan a very happy birthday! She is such a great friend, chef, and blogger. Megan, we hope that you have a spectacular day! If we could, we’d make you Alice Medrich’s Chocolate Raspberry Ruffle Cake, but, alas, we are well over a hundred miles away. If you visit the District in the near future, I shall, however, attempt to make you one. Happy Birthday!

On a non-birthday note: I’m in Boston for the weekend, so expect either a food related post from here or a Boston-inspired culinary project when I get back. Sorry we’ve been bad about blogging this week. This school thing just really kicks your butt sometimes!

Happy cooking/eating 🙂

Sunday Brunch: Blood Orange Curd and a Spinach and Broccoli Quiche

Washington, D.C. has been breathtakingly beautiful for the past few days. It feels as though we are on the very edge of true spring weather, and I can hardly wait for the District to be covered in a colorful array of cherry blossoms, dogwood petals, and daffodils. With warm sunshine brightening up the house, it seemed like the perfect morning for a decent Sunday brunch.

My friend Caroline stayed over last night after baby-sitting and once again served as my sous-chef. We decided to be ambitious, and our spread included fresh blueberries and strawberries, a broccoli and spinach quiche, whole wheat crepes, nutella, and blood orange curd. We shared our feast with my housemates Doria and Mary, and it was the perfect start to this lazy Sunday.

As always, recipes are below. The crepe recipe is the same one that I used for these spinach-filled crepes. Sure, they were filled with nutella and blood orange curd, but having whole wheat in them should count for something, right?? Happy Sunday! Continue reading

Chocolate-Almond Tart

I seem to have ended my pasta kick and moved on to chocolate. I don’t know how or when this happened, but something tells me that the housemates are not entirely opposed to this transition. I promise to move on to something less sugary (in my defense, I’ve eaten crazy amounts of salad for the last two weeks!). I’m thinking of making pide or attempting to recreate my mom’s recipe for tandoori chicken next time around.

In any case, I figured that the housemates and my friend Cara could use a post-spring break pick-me-up, and, knowing the food preferences of the roomies, I decided to go with something chocolate-y. The solution? Chocolate-Almond tart.

I was originally going to follow some sort of recipe, but I wound up just making one up as I went along. Now, as I’ve already noted, I am not the biggest fan of chocolate, so this wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. My housemates, however, loved this tart. I highly recommend serving with a dollop of fresh whipped cream to help cut through the dense chocolate!

Continue reading

Steel Cut Oats and Dried Fruit Compote

Just as so many of my blog posts do, this one is inspired by a dish I had at a restaurant.  This particular restaurant is located in Boulder, Colorado and is called Cafe Aion.  I visited Cafe Aion a few weeks ago when on vacation visiting a friend.

Walking into Cafe Aion for breakfast was more than a pleasant surprise.  Everything on their menu is made in-house and consists of locally-sourced ingredients.  As she explained the menu, our waitress mentioned that trays full of freshly-baked bagels and muffins came out of the oven moments before we sat down.  Yum.

I ordered a glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, a coffee (which arrived in a French press), a fresh-fried donut (I couldn’t resist for $1), and steel cut oats with Moroccan compote.  Everything was fresh and unbelievably delicious.  The donut was warm with cinnamon-sugar on the outside, and the juice and coffee were perfection. Continue reading

Biscuits from a Guest Chef

Cooking runs in my family. My mother is a fantastic chef. She can honestly make almost any dish that she attempts, all while adding her own touch. Her forte tends to be Indian food and other savory dishes. I honestly love coming home, as I know a warm, spicy meal always awaits.

My sister, Liz, is an expert in her own right, but her focus as of late has been on baking. From remarkable cakes (examples: here, here, here and here) to delicious brownies and cookies, I will readily call my sister a kitchen goddess. The fact that she does all of this as a sleep-deprived, medical student? Insanity.

Today’s post features my sister’s go-to recipe for biscuits. She uses Dorie Greenspan’s basic biscuit recipe and sometimes adds to the dough as she sees fit (for example, she put some cheese in today’s leftover scraps of dough). The biscuits are incredibly fluffy, and her experience indicates that letting the dough rest for a few minutes before baking causes them to rise more in the oven. Liz also recommends brushing the biscuits with a little bit of butter before putting them into the oven, then, with two minutes remaining, giving them another light coat. It helps you get that golden crust.

So, go forth. Make biscuits. Your friends around the breakfast table will thank you.

Continue reading

Double-Chocolate Brownies

My house is oozing chocolate from its pores. 

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate. According to my housemates/almost every individual that I know, this is nothing short of blasphemy. Oops. This week, however, required chocolate. Tired after the last several weeks of the never-ending drudgery of school, I decided to treat my housemates and myself to a pan of warm brownies. I texted my friend Sam to find out what recipe she normally uses, and she suggested turning to my personal culinary goddess Martha Stewart for her version of Double Chocolate Brownies.

Oh. My. Goodness. These brownies are INSANE. The double-dose of chocolate makes these incredibly rich, so you can really only need a small piece. I recommend cutting through the chocolate with a tall glass of milk or, in the case of our house, a red wine with berry-tones. The best part of these, however, might be how quickly they come together. The batter took less than 15 minutes to prepare – and that includes the time it took to melt the chocolate and butter!

I hope that these satisfy your chocolatiest cravings. Have a happy weekend!

Samosas, Samosas, Samosas: Guest Blogging and Comfort Food

Hello, all! As you’ve probably gathered by now, we are guest-blogging this week for The Modern Americans, and today features our last post on the site. I opted to share my take on Indian street food – the samosa.

Many thanks again to Nicole for featuring all three of us this week. Be sure to check out Megan’s, Ursela’s, and my posts! Check back here on Friday for a new recipe from me.

Much love and happy cooking!


Chicken Mole and Guacamole: Installation two of our guest posts at The Modern Americans

For my installment at The Modern Americans, I chose to share the story of my Grandmother’s world-famous guacamole served over a vegan-friendly chicken mole. Check it out here and be sure to read all of our posts at The Modern Americans this week!


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