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Single (and cooking) in the City

Food, life, love, and fun recipes

Month

November 2010

My Living Room Wine Bar

The lit up mannequin (wearing my Bjork swan dress costume) marks the official start of the holiday season!

There was no better way to relax after a gluttonous Thursday than with a home assembled plate of proscuitto (2 types), bresaola, 2 cheeses (unfortunately forgot the names), and rustic bread — all sourced from Eataly. Paired with one of my favorite types of wine – a sparkly Prosecco that I had fallen in love with at Convivio – the evening was decadent without leaving the couch.

 

Thanksgiving 2010

Having been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner this year, I kept my oven warm for most of the afternoon, baking and roasting some sides and desserts to bring to the party.

I spent the first part of the day making a pie dough, keeping my faith in Martha Stewart that the crumbly barely worked bowl of butter and flour would magically morph into a smooth and thinly rolled disc of pie dough after resting in the fridge.

Second half was spent coring, peeling, and thinly slicing a mini mountain of apples.

More than an hour of baking time, and the pie was done:

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Then… there was the savory. Into the skillet went a bit of cubed proscuitto. Seconds later, the whole apartment smelled like bacon. Dough was made, proscuitto and gorgonzola cheese added, and 15 minutes later, biscuits were done:

Proscuitto and Gorgonzola Biscuits

Not to be outdone and overshadowed, Kel made his own side:

Roasted Brussel Sprouts topped with.. Rice Krispies

Recipes

Crumb topped Apple Pie

pie dough

  • 1-1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 4 tbsp ice water

Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour, salt and sugar, working quickly. Add ice water by the tbsp, but no more than 4 tbsps. When the dough just sticks together, scoop onto plastic wrap and using the plastic wrap, gather into a ball, flatten, and chill in the fridge.

filling

  • 4lbs of apples, I used a combo of granny smith and golden delicious
  • 1 c of sugar
  • 1/4 c of flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg, toss to combine. Set aside.

Roll out the pie dough into a 14″ wide disc. Fit into a 9″ pie pan. Place back in the fridge.

crumb topping

  • 1 c flour
  • 6 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients together and work with fingers to create a crumbly texture. Place in freezer.

Take pie dough out of fridge and fill with apples. Fold the overhanging edges over, pleat and press into the sides of the apples. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, after which you will add the crumb topping and then bake for an additional 30-45 minutes. Its quite a bit of work, but it tastes amazing.

Proscuitto and Gorgonzola Biscuits

  • 2 c of flour
  • 6 tbsp cubed unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt and sugar
  • 1 c milk
  • cubed proscuitto and crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Cook the cubed proscuitto in a small skillet until brown. Use as much or as little as you’d like. Drain and set aside. Cut the butter into the flour/baking powder/salt and sugar. Also use the pastry blender to cut in the cheese, again, to taste. Stir in the proscuitto, then add the milk. Gather dough into ball, roll out flat, and press with biscuit cutter. I was able to get 10, and a baby piece for taste testing. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Dangerously delicious served hot out of the oven.

Happy Thanksgiving! Let’s raid the stores for Black Friday deals!!

Thanksgiving Inspiration (for self)

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, its time to dust off the old spatula and start brainstorming ideas. While I’d love to make a yearly Thanksgiving party a tradition in my apartment, this year I am just too discouraged. Discouraged by my recent abandonment of exercising what little culinary muscles I have in my body. Last year’s feast feels like a dream.

Thanksgiving 2009, Girl with a Knife

I had spent the entire week at Anthropologie, picking out fancy plates and glasses. And when I wasn’t busy shopping, I was fine tuning my menu. How many family friends would actually show up? I was playing around with the idea of an intimate meal versus a full blown party. In the end, my nerves got the best of me and we finalized it – my parents and 2 family friends.

Thursday morning, I was armed with a strategy. I had an hour by hour schedule of things that needed to go into the oven first, and things that could be prepared stovetop towards the end. Around mid afternoon I flipped out because my parents had wanted to bring another guest. “IMPOSSIBLE!” I yelled “… because I’d be one fancy place setting short! And the table would look terrible!” So much for being a gracious host, that was a super ugly side of me. (I ended up apologizing and set a table with nothing matching at all.)

I was completely stuffed by the time my guests arrived and we all sat down to dinner. That’s what happens when you are so nervous about how everything will taste that you end up sneaking bites before, after, and moment-before-serving dishes.

Polishing off nearly half a bottle of Prosecco on my own, after having washed every last dish in the sink, I gave myself a pat on the back. Job well done, and it was actually fun. I felt like Iron Chef without the whimsical chairman sound effects. And I wanted to look forward to doing it again.

I served wild rice in little bowls made from hollowed out squash.

The 8lb turkey is a baby compared to the rest of the kids at the grocery store. I was also on a baking binge since that stuff can be prepared the night before. There was cornbread and biscuits.

The sides are every bit as important! I made mushroom stuffing, brussel sprouts, and mashed potatoes with bits of garlic kale mixed in and topped with crunchy shallots. The rest of the kale was served on the side.

And desserts!! Pumpkin crumb cake (served with maple cream) and pumpkin cheesecake. (I now officially have grown sick of pumpkin.)

I wanted to write this to give myself some visual inspiration. Do I think I can do it again this year? I’d really like to! But I am already weeks behind on planning a menu. And months behind on honing my cooking skills. Tough call…

Wrapping up October

The last warm weekend before Father Frost decided to visit, we went to the Brooklyn Bridge Park for some Calexico treats.

Carne Asada Quesadilla

Pulled Pork Burrito

Then, in a blink of an eye, it was Halloween again. No longer the exciting and much hyped holiday I used to celebrate in college, this year masks were hastily purchased 4 days earlier, and more effort was put into preparing sweets than in putting together an awesome costume.

I baked in my pajamas. In fact, I spent most of the day in pajamas.

Red Velvet Brain Cupcakes

and “Not Dressed for Halloween” Brownies

Patrick’s party decorations

Peter was a scary Norman Bates’s version of Mama Bates.

Jeff Superman laughs at a very sad clown Patrick.

The creepy Burger King gets down.

Whose baby is that? (Awesomest shirt ever. I want one.)

Where’s the masquerade party?