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.
A few days ago my little Josie woke up at 5:00 am ready to embrace the day, which basically meant that I had to face the day. So we had a little milk, chatted for awhile, and then, exausted by her robust schedule, she fell asleep in her swing at 6:30 am. That left me without much to do until I noticed three bananas aging rapidly in my fruit bowl. I did a quick search on my iPad for a recipe, and wasn't suprised to find that Elise, from Simply Recipes, has banana bread covered. The most important thing about this recipe? No mixer required. One bowl. Very little mess. Voila! I'm a domestic goddess who feeds her little one, makes banana bread in the morning for husband's co-worker, and then goes to work. ZZZZZamaZZZZing. I'm falling asleep thinking about how awesome I am.
I didn't feel particularly productive in 2011. Well, I did produce something major. But otherwise, I don't even want to talk about my culinary resolutions right now. I'll visit those some time next week. That may give me a few days to cross one or two more off the list. It's definitely in my nature to cram things in at the last minute. Meanwhile, I offer you this cake. Since I didn't make the cake, it's an endorsement rather than a recipe.
It's a delicious dessert, more of a torte than a cake, rich, with dark chocolate and caramel. My friend Denise brought it over for dinner. Imagine that. You ask someone to bring dessert and they bring you a thirteen layer cake (twelve for 2012, plus one layer for good luck). It's like going horseback riding, but the ranch hand brings you a unicorn to ride instead of a horse. Pure magic.
Denise followed the recipe from smitten kitchen. You know it worked perfectly, as Deb's recipes always do. But, as Denise pointed out, she made her cake the hard way: round instead of square. What an inspiration. And with that, I'll say cheers to 2012!
Of course the minute I promise more blogging, I'm off to Paris. Pregnant in Paris. I could spend an entire post writing about the things I couldn't eat in Paris --runny eggs, hollandaise, bearnaise (any aise, really), stinky cheeese, steak medium rare, cured meats, SALAD--basically there is large overlap between what pregnant women can't eat and what Parisians eat. But instead of complaining about my Paris trip, which doesn't really seem fair, I'll focus on what I could eat. MACAROONS!