Nut brittle with bittersweet chocolate by Weezie

Posted on 02-18-11 · Tags: , , , ,

Nut and chocolate brittle w/ marcona almond, pecans and sesame seeds

Anjuli, poor girl, has, of all things, pneumonia. She and Matt have been staying in Connecticut while they get ready for their travels. They’re going to be outside of the US for a while, so their planning and packing involves millions of little details. The last thing Anjuli needed was to come down with pneumonia. I wanted to make something that would lift her spirits in this never-ending winter. It was Valentine’s Day, so I thought she would love it if I made some nut brittle and backed it with chocolate.

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Sugar Pumpkins – pepitas and puree by Weezie

Posted on 11-01-10 · Tags: , , , , ,

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I am sitting in the living room of one of my closest friends in Philadelphia, Anj’s godmother Kristin. I grew up in Philadelphia and have been very close with Kristin since I was 16. That is over 40 years. She is dying of lung cancer and I don’t know if this is the last time I will be with her.

For the last year I have been making the purest and simplest food for her – organic chicken broth or very simple organic lentils with greens. Even though I can’t be there to cook for her every night, she can combine these simple foods to make soups and stews – giving her comfort, inspiration and the nutrition she needs to keep her strength. I freeze them and bring them to her about once a month. Now most of what she is eats comes out of an intravenous tube. (What she takes by mouth she usually throws up.)

So here I am, sitting next to her, and writing this post while she dozes on my shoulder – a surreal experience. But work is an anchor that grounds the soul – so here we go.

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Tres Leches by Weezie

Posted on 02-08-10 · Tags: , , , , ,

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I just got back from Uruguay so all things Latin are still on my mind. I have been wanting to try this cake for forever. With the sun and beach of South America still fresh in my memory I decided to take the plunge and I am so glad I did. You will be too if you try this. I warn you though, the taste and texture are addictive.

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Adventures in candymaking: Dulce de leche + caramels by Anjuli

Posted on 12-14-09 · Tags: , , , , ,

Dulce de leche caramels

I enjoy a good chewy sugar sweet, especially tiny squares of creamy caramel. I love sucking on them until you have just a tiny little drop on the tip of your tongue. Of course anything sweet paired with salt is a wet dream for your taste buds. I also love the more complex caramel flavor of dulce de leche. It’s the most beautiful reddish brown and has a velvety texture that hold its own but doesn’t feel like a thick, sticky caramel sauce. Oh, did I mention, I just adore dairy and sugar combined? Well, if my professed love of caramels and milk wasn’t cloyingly sweet enough for you, please, read on.

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T-Day Bird by Anjuli

Posted on 11-26-09 · Tags: ,

Thanksgiving Turkey in a Pizza Oven

I wanted to show you all the excitement we had this morning when mom’s bird went into the domed pizza oven out back. Her friend and mason Nick came over to assist us in searing the bird. Except for it initially blistering because the temp was up to 600 F (in mom’s words POW POW POW), everything went off swimmingly and it is now a delicious golden brown. The bird was expertly rotated on an enormous peel by mom with Nick’s assistance. We carried it ever so carefully into the kitchen and then into the oven. As we closed the door Nick sighed in relief, admitting that he’d dreampt that it had fallen on the floor. Well we say, HAHA! Can’t wait to taste it!

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Mom’s Maple Pecan Pie with Orange Rind by Anjuli

Posted on 11-26-09 · Tags: , , , , ,

Maple Pecan Pie with Orange Rind

That was very fun posting on Anjuli’s blog. I had no idea how excited I was going to feel when I actually saw it up there. It took me by surprise. Sharing with all of you is so tantalizing.

I have been cooking for 2 days straight, 8 – 10 hours per day. Can you believe anyone would actually still do that, more, that they would actually enjoy it? I have burned about 10 hours of music on CDs, all kinds of music; oldies, Latin music, classical and I listen as I cook. I even dance a little. Anjuli’s dad just retired and he cooks too so there actually is a shared experience going on. I can even get him to dance with me once in a while.

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Are you putting your ice cube tray to good use? by Anjuli

Posted on 04-26-09 · Tags: , , ,

Melon popsicles w/ honey and mint

Global warming apparently has our spring in a sweaty headlock. The first warm weekend of the year is the perfect time to kick back with a beer, forget for a moment that our planet is melting, and catch some glimpses of bare skin. This weekend’s ridiculous ensembles, pregnant women about to burst, and pasty calves and shoulders did not disappoint. HOT. But why do 9 million New Yorkers all have to have cravings for popsicles, watermelon, and ice cream at the same hour on the same day? Today I wanted a popsicle bad. Alas, I couldn’t find a single one without HFCS in the stores. And while I probably am becoming more of a New Yorker by the day, I still refuse to wait in line at one of the many ice cream shops. What is one to do? Make popsicles, of course. Since I only have one tray, I will be making pops all week to cover the blackberry, coconut, lime, and mango flavors I so desire. Today’s popsicles were filled with melon, mint, honey, and creamy Greek yogurt. We snuck a couple an hour ago, and while they’re not quite frozen, they hit my popsicle spot dead on. (Yes, I have a small cluster of taste buds that only detect sweet, cold foods.) Don’t you love having 20 of something?

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Melty marshmallows made in Manhattan at midnight by Anjuli

Posted on 04-24-09 · Tags: , ,

Homemade marshmallows

I’ve had the urge lately to make a bite size piece of something fluffy, sweet, and totally unnatural. I am told this requires gelatin. I also happen to have a totally unhealthy relationship with marshmallows. I will indulge in campfire when I have to, but much prefer the pillowy, melty, homemade style from City Bakery. We’re on a baker’s schedule lately, so at 10:30pm on Wednesday it was go time. We needed gelatin and molasses (for an anadama sweet bread), which we guessed was a mission impossible. These once typical ingredients are not generally in high demand at the Manhattan supermarket/market/$8 peanut butter bodgea, and especially not in the stiletto and cobblestone nether region of the Meatpacking District. Besides, why would you buy ingredients for bread and marshmallows when you can just purchase the products for under $5 with money left over for a couple of beers? Because I am the master of my belly and homemade is more delicious.

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Cashew burfi celebration by Anjuli

Posted on 12-25-08 · Tags: , ,

Cashew Barfi

Cashew burfi (बर्फ़ी) is a sweet Indian dessert made with cashews, ghee, and sugar. They are traditionally eaten during holiday, especially Divali, the Hindi festival of lights (actually meaning “row of lights”). Divali is celebrated the world over Amaavasya, the 15th night of the fortnight of the month of Kaartik in October/November.

Part of the reason must be due to the fact that you need a lot of people around to stir. We made these yesterday in celebration of another holiday. Everyone pitched in with the stirring (and eating). In stores, burfi’s commonly come with a piece of silver foil at the top. Ours our naked and better for it. They have a wonderfully rich and nutty flavor, and are incredibly smooth like fudge.

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Baked Apples by Anjuli

Posted on 10-20-08 · Tags: ,

Baked apples

Everything you can do with apples is excellent, but mom knows best. This one is short and sweet, like the rest. Although, I have to admit coring the apple is a bitch. Could there be a special kitchen tool for this? The Empires we used a wonderful fluffy texture once out of the oven. Serve it a la mode and be impressed with your lack of effort.

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