My friend Sangeetha, or SangeeFA, as Josie calls her, brought strawberry shortcake to my house last weekend. It was the best summer dessert: sweet biscuits, whipped cream, and perfectly ripe strawberries. What a treat.
I turned 41 years old this year. FORTY ONE. It is time to start lying about my age. Shhh....don't tell anyone how old I really am. I'm going to start telling people I'm 36. I'll be like, hey, I'm 36! Do you believe me?
Now before you go wishing me a happy birthday, please let me say that I celebrated my birthday in January, the month that I was born (36 years ago, EXACTLY). So, this post is a little, ahem, late for the party. But I have to tell you about this cake because culinary resolutions list.
Number #13. Make a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.
After I posted my list I realized that I didn't really want to make a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, per se, I really just wanted to eat one. So I did what any brilliant person would do, I waited until my birthday and then told my husband he had to make it for me. FROM SCRATCH, I said.
Last week I invited some of my neighbors over for brunch. I wanted to serve something sweet along side eggs, bacon, and biscuits, but I'm not much of a baker. The day before the brunch, Marcus, Josie, my friend Olga, and I, hit up the District Flea, the tastiest flea market I've ever snacked at (more on that later). At the flea we ran into a Whisked table, a local bakery that sells at farmer's markets around DC. I've eaten Jenna's treats before so I knew they would be perfect for my brunch and save me the trouble of turning on my oven.
Here's my attempt at preserving the last of the strawberries and rhubarb before moving onto peaches, which are starting to show up at the market. Adding the rhubarb to the jam makes it a little more tart than sweet, which I like. I followed this recipe. (This post is sponsored by brevity).
Listen, it's not all leeks and lettuce around here. My sister-in-law Denise loves to bake and when she visits she usually brings sweets. Halloween weekend she brought these pumpkin cinnamon rolls. They were quite tasty. Not as sweet or as unhealthy as Cinnabon (they include pumpkin)!
It seems that popsicles are all the ragethese days. Not the freeze pops I slurped in my youth - ones with unusual ingredients and cosmo-popsicle sounding names. Would you like a blue freeze pop or a blueberry pancake popsicle? Um, that's a no brainer. How about something called paletas? Ooooh a paleta, please.
Make plain jane popsicles? Noooo. I needed something to add to the molds. Something exciting. I opened my fridge and looked around. Parmesan and watermelon popsicles? No thank you. Mustard and watermelon popsicles? Trying to quit, so, no thanks. Capers and watermelon? Closer, but not really.
Then I came across a half eaten jar of pickled jalapeños! Perfect.
These paletas are sweet, with occasional bursts of tart, spicy fireworks. Just enough pow! to make them interesting. Clearly these are not intended for children. The opposite, in fact. There are quite a few left in my fridge and I'm considering turning them into vodka based drinks the next time I have company.
For all the gardeners out there looking to unload zucchini: I'll take it. Seriously. Spread the zucchini love. There's always room for zucchini in my kitchen. I put it in ratatouille or in panzanella salad and I also make a pasta dish that features zucchini and roasted tomotoes with basil, a spin on a dish called rigatoni del rosario, served at a place where, a very long time ago, I waitressed to pay college tuition.
I love zucchini so much that imagine my surprise when I noticed that my right sidebar has a tag for kale, but not zucchini. This here bread changed that. It's a classic zucchini bread. You can add raisins or walnuts. I left mine plain. Just bits of earthy green, mixed with brown sugar. Add a little knob of butter and call it eating your vegetables for breakfast.
I call it love bread because it's the kind of loaf you can make in minutes with your zucchini surplus and then pass on. I'm dropping this one off to the kind, loving woman who takes care of Josie during the day.
This year, instead of making my husband a rhubarb pie for his birthday we made him jelly doughnuts. Rhubarb and strawberry jelly doughnuts. Ok, the truth is, they made the doughnuts. I watched while holding this one. First, they made a quick strawberry and rhubarb freezer jam. Next, they followed this recipe for the doughnut.