SSATT hosts a very special guest!

Today is a momentous day. First, She Sings at the Table returns after a very long hiatus. Second, this is the 100th post ever. And finally–today is our inaugural guest post from my friend Luke! He is a fellow Hawkeye lawyer, a wonderful person, and, I daresay, a pioneer in the field of microwave cookery. Take it away, good buddy! -DK

A little background: My name is Luke and I’m a bit of a putz and perceptual adolescent. Fittingly, last year joined the military a second time. Until just recently (I’m three nights into my first grown-up apartment!), I lived in base housing that was somewhere in the neighborhood of dorm or hotel accommodations. For about nine months I had just a small fridge and a microwave to handle my food needs. I would brag about my culinary “accomplishments” on facebook and Darcy suggested I write a post for her blog, a sort of counter-note to her fine food and writing. I wrote the post below when I was at the Naval Base in Newport RI, and really starting to find joy in my cheap, simple, lazy food.

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There are limitations to cooking with a mini-fridge and microwave in a hotel room, but I enjoy this kind of meal-crafting because the physical limitations conveniently parallel my personal limitations of being lazy and a bit on the simple side. I might just keep cooking like this when I have a kitchen, I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out when I grow up.
Step one is shopping. Logistically there isn’t room for a lot of fancy ingredients and extras. I try to stick to four basic ingredient types: a “meat,” a grain, a sauce, and cheese; and basic flavor profiles: mexican, italian, cheese, and cheese-combo. If you shop this way, there is very little difficulty in creating a meal, you just combine a meat, a grain, a sauce and cheese that all match the chosen flavor profile. Today I’m going show you a mexican-cheese combo.

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I should also explain, I mostly go with vegetarian meat substitutes. I do this because it seems less gross to microwave fake meat than real meat and less gross to only be able to rinse the tupperware out in the bathroom sink. The other reason is that half of what I microwave ends up being shredded cheese and the healthier veggie substitutes help me justify my cheese habit.
One thing to remember when working with these kinds of cheap frozen ingredients: you have to respect their intentions but know their limitations. That means you don’t put marinara on the spicy southwest burger– you don’t mess with their intended purpose. But you also always make sure to dump stupid amounts of cheese on top because what’s underneath really isn’t that great.
1) Dump salsa onto tortilla. Get better salsa if you can, but not too good, nothing fresh, it’d clash with the other ingredients.

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2) Microwaved southwestern spicy black bean veggie burgers. I like to stick my finger in ‘em to make sure they’re cooked. And also just to do it sometimes.

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3) Too much cheese.

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4) Microwave. This is one of the tough parts. If you’re like me, you’re really anxious to shove this thing down your throat and feel the mix of pride and shame that comes afterwards, but you can’t toss it in there on high, you gotta back off the power and leave it in longer for a more even nuke. I usually eat handfuls of shredded cheese as an appetizer while I wait.
5) The cooking is done, but the last step is for safety, again, you probably want to go straight in the mouth with it, but you’ll burn yourself. If you’re a sucker, you can wait patiently. Me? I hold mine over the AC unit to speed up the process.

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This is Darcy again. I know I’ve learned a lot today. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all again…..sometime!

Baked Alaska

Oh HEY GUYS! I decided to make a triumphant return to the blog because I baked a very retro and delicious dessert yesterday and got very excited about it. It has opened a whole new world of dessert possibilities! Ahhh, I feel so alive.   

I was inspired to make a baked Alaska because I went to Anchorage a few weeks ago to see friends and run a half marathon. It was wonderful! And I got exactly 1200th place in the race, thank you for asking! I checked in first with my old-school BH&G cookbook. It always knows what’s what.

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This is more of a concept than it is a recipe, I think, because really all you need for baked Alaska is some kind of cake, ice cream on top, and meringue covering the whole thing so it looks like a majestic, snow-covered Alaskan mountain-top. This is why it has opened a whole new world of dessert possibilities–think of all the mixing and matching! Chocolate cake with mint-chip ice cream, lemon cake with strawberry ice cream, etc. etc. For the first trial, I did coconut cake and vanilla ice cream, because those are the favorites of my sister-in-law, who just turned forty (and fab) and deserved a fancy-schmancy birthday dessert.

First, I smushed the ice cream into a foil-lined, 9-inch round cake pan, and put it in the freezer to harden up.

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Then I baked a 9-inch round coconut cake, using a Barefoot Contessa recipe (OBviously). When it had cooled off, I put it on the base of my tart pan and slid pieces of parchment paper under it so the base wouldn’t get all messy when I spread the meringue over the whole thing. The slice off the top is so the cake would have an even surface, and also because I wanted a snack.

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When it was time for dessert, I made the meringue, centered the ice cream layer on top of the cake, and “frosted” the whole thing with the meringue. Then, I put it in a 500 degree oven for three minutes. (I know it sounds insane to put ice cream in a 500 degree oven, but if you seal everything up with the meringue on the outside, it’s A-OK.)

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Voila–slice, sprinkles, serve!

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As I said, there is plenty of room for innovation here, but I’ll type out the recipe and process I used. The BH&G cookbook said to sprinkle sugar over the meringue before baking, and I forgot to do that. I also saw a recipe that called for sprinkling the whole thing with crushed peppermints, and you should probably try that because it sounds very ooh-la-la.

Baked Alaska (cake recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s coconut cake)

  • ice cream of choice, softened slightly (I used about 2/3 of a quart of vanilla)
  • 3/4 c. butter, at room temperature (1.5 sticks)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 oz. shredded sweetened coconut

Meringue:

  • 5 egg whites (I think having them at room temperature helps)
  • 2/3 c. sugar

Press the ice cream into a foil-lined, 9-inch round cake pan, and place in the freezer until ready to assemble. To make the cake: cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the 3 eggs one at a time, mixing to thoroughly combine after each one. Add the extracts and mix them in. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a separate bowl. (Ina says to sift these, but I’m usually too lazy to sift.) Add the dry ingredients to the batter alternately with the milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients. When everything is combined, fold in the shredded coconut, and pour the batter into a greased and floured 9-inch round cake pan. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test. (You stick a toothpick in it, the toothpick comes out clean.) Once the pan is cool enough to handle, turn the cake out to finish cooling on a rack. Separate 5 egg whites into a large bowl and set them aside until you’re ready to assemble.

When it’s dessert time: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Using an electric mixer on high, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then, while continuing to run the mixer on high, gradually add the 2/3 c. sugar and mix until stiff peaks form. Center the cake on whatever you’re going to bake it and serve it on (the best thing I could find was my tart pan base, which is a 10-inch round), and slide pieces of parchment paper underneath the cake to keep the base from getting all messy with meringue. Turn the ice cream layer out of the foil-lined pan onto the cake and peel off the foil. Cover the cake and ice cream layers with the meringue, making sure to cover/seal it completely at the bottom after you pull out the pieces of parchment paper. Bake for 3 minutes, or until the meringue is just lightly browned, at 500 degrees. Slice and serve ASAP. Add sprinkles, unless you hate fun or something. Serve and enjoy!

Dam to Dam + Pleasantville Pig-out, Volume II

I forgot about this blog. I got busy! Things are happening in Des Moines! Don’t let anybody tell you any different.

Last Saturday was a repeat of a big day that I recapped last year in this post. First, I ran the Dam to Dam 20K with my lovely and brilliant law school friend Christina.

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I had a blast! Except for the few parts where I thought I might die. And, we finished a full 30 minutes faster than my time last year. I do not wish to discuss my time from last year :) I haven’t been cooking and blogging and such because I was actually good about following a training plan this year, and it took up a lot of time. I have to keep it up for a few more weeks, because I’m doing a half marathon on June 23rd. IN ALASKA! <———just a little bit excited about that.

After we basked in the glory of a finished race for awhile and showered, Christina and her husband and I headed to Pleasantville, where the rest of my family was already hard at work serving BBQ samples to the masses at the Pleasantville Pig-out. This was the second annual Pig-out, and there was a great crowd for the BBQ contest! I didn’t try any of the food, you know, because I don’t eat meatstuffs, but it seemed to go over very well with the passersby. The team won the “People’s Choice” award in the miscellaneous category, and a very grand time was had by all! I hope this becomes a long-running tradition for us to enter the contest, because it’s such a fun little town festival. Some choice photos from the afternoon:

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Alas, I have no recipe today. I’ll try to get my act together before too long and cook something besides Annie’s Mac n’ Cheese. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Popovers: Darcy-tested, mom-approved

Hey folks! I know Mother’s Day was few weeks ago, but I’m dropping in anyway to share the recipe I have made for every single Mother’s Day since roughly 1994.   

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(That’s my mom (and baby me). She is nothing less than a national treasure.)

I found this recipe for popovers in an issue of Barbie Magazine, which I subscribed to and thoroughly enjoyed reading cover-to-cover when I was a young miss. In one particular spring issue, Barbie ran a feature full of easy-peasy recipes that little kiddos could make in the kitchen with very minimal supervision. I clipped this one out and have kept it ever since. I don’t really remember what else Barbie Magazine had to offer, except that on the last page of every issue they featured pictures of girls from across the nation who had collections of hundreds and hundreds of Barbies. (Many in their original collector’s boxes!) I was kinda jealous of those girls at the time, but now I understand they were probably on a crash course with their very own episodes of TLC’s Hoarders.

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As you can see, the ingredients for popovers are very simple. But something magical happens in the oven when you make these things, and I cannot explain it. They’re crunchy on top, and eggy/chewy/glorious on the inside.

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I have a special popover pan, as you can see above, but that is a fairly recent acquisition. I used to make these in muffin tins and that was A-OK too. Just leave an empty muffin cup between each popover, so they don’t run into each other when they pop in the oven. Without further ado–the recipe!

Popovers (from Barbie Magazine, makes about 6)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 c. flour

In a large bowl, beat the egg and salt together with a wire whisk. Stir in milk and melted butter, and mix well. Add flour and mix until just blended. Pour batter evenly into a buttered muffin pin. Place tin in a COLD oven and bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower temperature to 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately with honey or jam. (DK says: I recommend jam. And butter.)   

Thanks for stopping by, food fans! Make these this weekend, f’reals!

VanderBaking

Heyo! I forgot I had a blog for awhile there. Myyyyyyy bad.

On a lazy day a couple of weekends ago, my mom and I made a spontaneous trip to Pella, a charming little town not too far from Des Moines that is full of windmills, tulips (only in the spring, obviously), and people named VanderSomething.

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The flowers were pretty but I was mostly in it for the baked goods. Yes, I’m talking about DUTCH LETTERS!

Now, I don’t know if Dutch letters are an actual, authentic Dutch thing, or if they’re exclusive to small Dutch-y towns in Iowa. (I could look this up, but I think I’ll just be lazy instead.) If you’re not familiar–the Dutch letter is an S-shaped, flaky pastry, filled with almond paste and sprinkled with sugar. They require a lot of butter.

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Really, a lot. You should plan to share with many friends.

The recipe I used to create these Pella delicacies produced a pretty much spot-on end product. But, in the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that it involves quite a few steps, and it’s pretty tricky. All of the following occurred during my Dutch letter project:

  • The kitchen filled with smoke.
  • There was much swearing and carrying on.
  • I declared I was “PULLING THE PLUG” on this blog.
  • I loudly blamed Bob VanderPlaats for my failures (that’s a Dutch name, right?).
  • I sustained a rolling-pin injury. It’s day-to-day.

What I’m saying is–you might just want to buy these. But, should you choose to accept the challenge, steel yourself and get out some butter!

Dutch Letters (makes about 10, each of which can likely serve 3 or 4)

Pastry:

  • 1 lb. cold butter
  • 4 c. flour
  • 1 c. cold water

Filling:

  • 4 oz. almond paste (Mine came in a can. Kinda hard to find, ask your friendly grocery stock-boy or girl.)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

You’ll also need:

  • beaten egg whites to brush the tops of the letters before baking
  • sugar to sprinkle on top (coarse sugar is recommended–I used turbinado)

DAY 1: Make the pastry dough by cutting the butter into the flour until it’s in very small pieces (roughly the size of peas). I used a hand pastry blender (and a lot of womanpower) to do this. You could also use a fork (which would be more difficult) or a food processor (which would be easier, but be careful to not over-process and lose the small pieces of butter). Then stir in the water until the dough comes together. Work as quickly as you can and keep this stuff cold! Tiny pieces of butter will = little air pockets when it bakes, which will = flakiness. Cover and chill the pastry dough overnight.

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To make the filling, beat the almond paste with an electric mixer for a minute or so. Then add the egg, sugar, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Cover and chill.

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DAY 2: Preheat the oven to 400 and apron up. You will be messy. Grease a couple of cookie sheets with raised edges. (There will be melted butter. Be smarter than me and use the raised edges so that melted butter doesn’t drip onto the bottom of the oven and nearly cause a call to the fire department.)

Divide the pastry dough into ten sections and put one section on a floured surface. Put the dough you’re not working with back in the fridge to keep it cold. Roll, cajole, and coax that dough into a roughly 14″ x 3″ rectangle. (I found it worked best to roll it into a log with my hands and then use the rolling pin to widen it.) Spread a layer of the almond filling down the center of the rectangle.

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Fold the long sides of the rectangle inward to cover the filling and crimp the edges so that almond-y goodness won’t escape. Curve the rectangle into an “S” shape, and place it on a greased cookie sheet, seam-side down. Then repeat the whole process until the cookie sheets are full. (Do you see why I slept like the dead the night after I did this?) Before baking, prick the letters with a fork every few inches to let steam escape. Brush the tops with beaten egg white, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

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THERE, I think that’s it. Or, like I said–drive to Pella. The tulips are lovely, and the pastries are readily available.

Farewell for now!

My new favorite book (+ cupcakes)

Way back when, my hometown newspaper used to run a column called “Cooks Around County” (no idea why there is no “the” in that title). Later, it became “Cook’s Corner”. Every week this column featured some pillar of the community who had agreed to share some juicy tidbits about their life and a few of their favorite recipes. Not too long ago, my mom found a couple of binders in which my grandma had saved dozens and dozens of these columns, dating back to the late fifties. She made archival copies of the best ones and organized them into a little spiral bound book. It is, in a word, magnificent.

It’s not so much that I want to make a lot of the recipes. They do not really comport with my general cooking style (i.e. no animals, minimal Jello).

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Also, this is as close as the Cooks Around the County ever got to “vegetarian”:

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No, it’s not the food that makes this such a magnificent compilation. It’s the retro charm, the photos, and the insight into people’s lives through their comments about what they cooked for their families.

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My Grandma Neva appeared in the column, and shared her no-fail recipe for pumpkin bread.

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Here’s the photo from my mom’s column…

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…and my dad’s, after the world realized men can cook too!

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I wanted to make something straight from one of the columns for this week’s post, but the recipe that sounded best to me used a cake mix and I’m generally not a cake mix kind of girl. So, I put on my retro baking spectacles and did some adapting.

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Here’s what I came up with, and the recipe. See you all next time, friends!

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Applesauce Cupcakes (makes a dozen)

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. honey
  • 1 c. applesauce (unsweetened)

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease a 12-cup muffin tin or fill with liners. Using an electric mixer, whip the honey and the butter together for about two minutes. Mix in the applesauce, and then the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the pan, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in one of the cupcakes comes out clean.

At this point, you have perfectly wholesome applesauce muffins. If you wish, add some cream cheese frosting after they’re completely cool, and CONGRATS! You have slightly-less wholesome applesauce cupcakes. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts if you’re into that. I just eye-balled the ingredients when I made the frosting (sorry), but you’ll need cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and confectioners sugar. The vast and mighty internet can give you measurements, I’m sure.

Notes:

  • There are no eggs in this recipe, so I would think these could be easily vegan-ized if you wanted to–swap Earth Balance (or maybe coconut oil?) for the butter and agave nectar or maple syrup for the honey. (And vegan cream cheese frosting for the regular stuff, obviously.)
  • If you’re looking to go the muffin route instead of the cupcake route, consider mixing some chopped walnuts and/or raisins into the batter. You could also swap out some of the white flour for whole wheat.

Aspergrass

Does anybody else’s family purposely say certain words incorrectly because at some point (possibly many years ago) a child in the family mispronounced something and everybody else thought it was hilarious? Well, that’s why when I see this vegetable…

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…I think “aspergrass”. It’s also why I often call cucumbers “cumberdubs” and occasionally refer to our President as “O-rock Bahama”.

Anyway, it’s almost spring, and almost spring means we’re approaching asparagus season! (I’ll use the correct word for the remainder of this post, I guess.) To help you celebrate this delightful veggie, I present an easy asparagus tart that uses store-bought puff pastry and features a tasty white-bean hummus filling.

Do not fear the entire head of garlic in the hummus–roasting garlic mellows out the flavor and makes it almost sweet. Once you’ve roasted it, the cloves should easily slide out of the papery skin.

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You’ll only need about half of the hummus to cover the tart, so you’ll have plenty left over for dipping and sandwich making. Bonus!

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Notes on dealing with the puff pastry: You’ll need one sheet from a standard-sized package. (I had one leftover from my parents’ anniversary brunch.) Defrost it overnight in the refrigerator, or on the counter for awhile if you don’t have all night. I dusted the counter with flour and rolled it out a bit, and then trimmed the edges to make a nice, tidy rectangle. Then I cut a border around the edge (not all the way through, just score it) so it looked like a picture frame, and poked the inside of the “frame” with a fork about every half-inch. This is so the border will puff up more than the inside, where you’ll be putting the hummus and asparagus.

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This makes a nice appetizer if you cut it into small pieces, or you could add a salad and make a lunch or dinner of it. I’ll leave you with the full recipe, and wish you a sunny start to spring. Until next time, fair friends!

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Asparagus and White Bean Hummus Tart (inspired by Martha and VeganYumYum)

  • one head of garlic
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • about 1 lb. asparagus
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • chopped chives, for garnish (other options: chopped scallion, fresh grated parmesan)

To roast the garlic: cut the entire head of garlic in half cross-wise, exposing all the cloves. Drizzle both halves with olive oil and wrap them in aluminum foil. Place the foil packet in a 400 degree oven, and roast for 30 minutes.

To make the hummus, squeeze the cooled, roasted garlic cloves out of the papery skin into the bowl of a food processor. Add the cannellini beans, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and process until smooth. (Taste and adjust seasoning of the hummus to suit your fancy.)

If you turned the oven off after roasting the garlic, preheat to 400 degrees once again. Lightly flour your work surface, and roll out the sheet of puff pastry until you have a rectangle that’s approximately 10×16″. Trim the edges if they’re uneven, and transfer the pastry to a baking sheet. Score the pastry around the edge of the rectangle, creating about a 1″ border. Then poke the pastry inside this border with a fork, about every half-inch. Cut the woody ends off the asparagus, and place the spears in a roasting pan. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the puff pastry and the asparagus both in the oven, and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and lightly browned and the asparagus is tender. Let both items cool enough to handle.

Wait to assemble the tart until shortly before you plan to serve. Spread the puff pastry with a layer of the white bean hummus, and then line up the asparagus spears on top. Sprinkle with chopped chives, if you’d like.

The original TomKat

Today my parents celebrated 40 years of wedded bliss! They were high school sweethearts in Jefferson, IA.

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In 1972, they tied the knot and moved into a tin house that rented for $40 a month.

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They raised three charming children….

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….and they’re still going strong! I will tell you the secret to TomKat’s lasting union: they go on two romantic dates every weekend. The first is on Saturday morning, to HyVee for grocery shopping. The second is on Sunday morning, to Panera for breakfast and a very thorough reading of the newspaper. Today, in honor of the occasion, I made them skip their Panera date and come to my apartment for breakfast.

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The first item on the menu was a cinnamon roll coffee cake, using this recipe with the following changes:

  • I cut all of the measurements for the cake in half, and baked in an 8×8 pan instead of a 9×13, cutting about 5 minutes off the baking time.
  • I did not make the glaze. (I try to avoid confectioner’s sugar at least until noon.)

Second, I made mini quiches that were meant to be knock-offs of the little spinach-artichoke quiches they sell at Panera. These were a lot of fun to make, and there are all kinds of possibilities for variation.

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Once again, here’s the link to the recipe I used, and here are my changes (notice how I’m being lazy today–I love it when I don’t actually have to type out an entire recipe):

  • I used puff pastry instead of crescent roll dough. If you do the same, you’ll need one of the sheets from a 17-oz. box. I defrosted it in the fridge overnight.
  • I used all monterey jack cheese, instead of the three different kinds used in the recipe.
  • I added a few dashes of hot sauce.
  • As you can see above, I used tartlet pans instead of ramekins. This was for purely aesthetic reasons. (Tartlet pans are just so charming.)

These were very well-received, and I was mostly happy with the final product, but next time I may make some more adjustments because I thought there was a little too much pastry and not enough filling.

This is unrelated to breakfast, but I also made a champagne cake today and it was so pretty that I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t include a couple of glamour shots:

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That recipe was courtesy of this cookbook.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead! I have to go wash dishes.

Bulgur Grape Salad

Heyo! Nothing fancy today, just a tasty, healthy grain salad to add to your repertoire. This one features bulgur, and is an adaptation of a recipe from my Aunt Dianne, which was an adaptation of a recipe from one of the Moosewood cookbooks. Enjoy, and have an excellent week! -DK

Bulgur Grape Salad

  • 1 c. raw bulgur
  • 1 1/4 c. boiling water
  • 1 c. walnut pieces, toasted for a few minutes in a dry skillet (stir often! watch closely!)
  • 1/2 c. diced celery
  • 1 c. red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 c. scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced

Dressing:

  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

In a large, heat-proof bowl, pour the boiling water over the bulgur. Cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Then uncover, fluff the bulgur a bit with a fork, and place the bowl in the refrigerator until it comes to room temperature. Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Finally, toss the bulgur with the walnuts, celery, grapes, scallion, and bell pepper. Pour over the dressing and stir to combine. Voila, lunchtime!

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New digs!

Welcome to the new She Sings at the Table headquarters!

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I moved this weekend from my parents’ house to an apartment in the Sherman Hill neighborhood, which my mom has declared “very young and hip and urban, but in a quaint sort of way.” I totally agree, and am hoping the neighborhood will rub off on me. Probably, by this time next year I will be living in this apartment with a very hip, bespectacled gentleman-friend who owns his own graphic design business in the East Village. We’ll ride retro bicycles to the sculpture park by the library and picnic on vegetarian pho and macarons.

Anyway! There are lovely south-facing windows (very conducive to food photography).

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There are two bedrooms, one of which has these nifty sliding metal doors.

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Right now it is a “piles-of-crap-I-will-deal-with-later” room, but soon I hope to build a pillow fort in there and turn it into a meditation suite.

There is also a bathroom, as you would imagine, but I didn’t take a picture of that because we’ve all seen a toilet before.

Most importantly, here’s the current state of the kitchen:

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I still need to hang some things on the wall and alphabetize my spices, OBviously, but the important things are all in place!

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Thank you for taking the tour, feel free to visit anytime!

I hope you all have a marvelous Valentine’s Day.  I’m planning to spend the holiday at Zumba, but if any of you out there have been waiting for V-Day to declare your secret love for me, I would like two dozen red roses and this cake.

XOXO,

DK