Saturday, February 9, 2013

Not Your Grandmothers Brussels

Looking to eat more vegetables? Me, too. But maybe a cold salad isn't exactly appealing in February?
Yeah. Well, try this. Saute halved sprouts with garlic for about a 2 minutes. Splash some white wine in the pan and cover until they're as soft or crunchy as desired. I sprinkle mine with feta and pecans, along with salt and pepper. But you could take it all sorts of places. Parmesan with lemon zest, chili flakes, etc. It's so warm and comforting, and it's feels good knowing it is good. On the inside.

Rustic pear almond cake with chocolate

I am calling this cake rustic because the batter is more of a quick bread recipe, but it bakes up light and tender, and the crunchy/sparkling almond topping gives it an addictive texture.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs and one egg white
1 stick of butter, melted, cooled
2 ripe pears peeled and sliced
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chunks or chips (keep the bag handy for snacking)
1/2 cup sliced almonds divided
preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x9 baking dish with butter.

wisk first three dry ingredients.
Beat eggs with sugar about two minutes in a large bowl. Add butter and beat well.
Mix with dry until just combined.
Spread half the batter in pan. Lay half the pear slices  evenly over the batter and sprinkle with half the chocolate. Cover with the rest of batter and repeat with pears/chocolate.
In a food processor mix 1/4 cup almonds with 1/4 sugar until finely ground. Add egg white and mix til smooth. Drizzle over cake and finish with the rest of the almonds.
Bake about 25/30 minutes, or until a toothpick or very sharp knive comes clean. (I never seem to have a toothpick around when I need one...)

Weekend SnowStorm- Crispy French Toast, Sourdough Bread, Rustic Pear Chocolate Almond Cake

 There are so many good foodie bloggers, the last thing I want to do, even if just for my own self-esteem, is feel like I'm competing with them. But the one thing I create every day, no matter how busy, is food.
 This weekend we've been delightfully blustered by a nor-easter. We were supposed to be having friends over last night so i spent most of the day baking sourdough jalepeno cheddar bread, pear almond chocolate cake, and andoulie kale and white bean soup. And it hadn't even started snowing hard enought o be called Snowed In!
 So, this morning we woke at the liesurely time of 7am, and I made french toast. French toast always makes me think of my Dad. His always seems to turn out exactly like french toast should, but somehow I can never remember how that is.
This morning I tried an idea I had seen of crushing cereal and dipping the egged bread into the crispy bits before friying it. It had potential, but the cereal held the bread above the pan surface so that it stayed soggy. Now that I've spelled it out like that, maybe the potential was only in my mind...
Anyways, it felt good it eat while the sun was fully above the horizon without any cars on the road outside.