So I have this problem. Namely, it’s a shocking inability to put a salad in my mouth that is not, at the very least, just as unhealthy than a burger or a pizza or any other non-salad-y unhealthy thing that I would otherwise be eating if I weren’t eating a “healthy” salad. And then I also have this other problem — namely, a shocking inability to leave bacon out of anything and everything. (Creamed corn. Pancakes. … Chocolate chip cookies.) Put those two together and … well, you get this salad. Ta-da! Two wrongs do make a right! (Or two rights make a righter right.)
One of my favorite restaurants back home serves a mean creamed corn. Decadent, syrupy-sweet, almost like a custard. (Whenever my dad orders it and the waitress asks if we’d like dessert, he always says, “Got my dessert right here!” and holds it up with big grin. My father is a faithful subscriber to the school of Jolly Dad Banter.) To me, it’s one of the ultimate comfort foods, a dish that typifies warm, indulgent Southern nourishment.
Guys! I made ice cream!
Last summer, I stumbled upon Carey’s gem of a blog, Reclaiming Provincial, by way of this remarkable ice cream — a honey-thyme & blackberry-goat cheese swirl ice cream. Let’s repeat that and just let it marinate for a second. Honey. Thyme. Blackberries. And goat cheese. I can’t remember the last time I’ve so instantly known that something would be delicious. Creamy yet tangy, probably wonderfully smooth, definitely all-around awesome — I was completely captivated.
So naturally, the moment I found myself with a (highly impractical, highly large, but highly coveted) ice cream maker that I’d thrown on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas and just assumed no one would actually buy for me (Lesson #1 in Amazon-Wishlist-Making: Fully visualize the possibility that you might actually own the thing you are carelessly telling other people to spend their money on for you, also, THANKS MA!) I knew I wanted to try making an ice cream like it. (Sidenote: Unfortunately, this does require an ice cream maker. I know, it’s a bummer if you don’t have one…)
But given that this is not quite the season for blackberries, and given that I had just one more pear leftover from the poached pears I made for these pear and almond galettes back in October (yeah, time stops in the freezer), I didn’t make exactly that ice cream. Instead, I went with a riff on Carey’s that incorporates a lot of the same elements, but rearranged a bit — the goat cheese went in the ice cream base, and I pureed the pear with its poaching syrup to make a pear swirl instead.
I’ve grown up eating savory-sweet food all my life. I thought it was just a quirk of my mother’s to add sugar to everything until I looked up Shanghainese cuisine on Wikipedia a few years ago and found that, evidently, it’s a Shanghai thing. Nowadays, I follow exactly in my mom’s footsteps and add a bit (or a lot) of sugar to almost everything I make — pasta sauces, soy sauce glazes, stews, whatever. I drench my sausage links in maple syrup. (One of my earliest memories is dunking sausage links in maple syrup at Bob Evans. What an underrated restaurant. Did anyone else have family dinners there?)
But the advent of adding savory to sweet only came upon me recently — mainly in the addition of bacon. To everything. Most recently, chocolate chip cookies and pancakes. I can understand feeling squeamish about bacon in chocolate chip cookies — but in pancakes? The bacon’s usually right next to them anyway. It’s only right. It just makes life easier. And infinitely more delicious.
For these, I just used the same go-to “buttermilk” pancake base that I got from Joy the Baker. I’ve never looked back since trying it — it’s fluffy, pillowy-soft but substantial, and it gives your local diner’s version a run for its money. I put buttermilk in quotes because I’ve never actually used buttermilk in it — I always use a mix of half Greek yogurt and half milk (any kind, almond, soy, or regular) and it’s never steered me wrong. I don’t think you’d ever guess it wasn’t buttermilk pancakes straight from IHOP or your favorite diner.
And then I added bacon!
So. Good. (Oh yeah, and that’s me deciding that ramekin of maple syrup wasn’t enough and getting serious with the Aunt Jemima.) Edit: Since a lot of you don’t like savory and sweet together — totally understandable — I just wanted to add that this pancake base is phenomenal with pretty much anything. Slices of banana, blueberries, Reese’s Pieces (!), or, if you’re feeling super decadent, instant espresso, chocolate chips, and Nutella. My personal favorite after bacon might be Reese’s Pieces — seriously awesome. And I never find I need syrup with those, so it might balance out to be better for you?! Relatively.
This is what we’re having for Christmas morning this year — hope you have something equally comforting and cozy lined up, too. And if not, try this. 😉 Merry Christmas, friends!
So I really wasn’t planning on posting this recipe. When I made these bars and this frosting, I felt like I’d already posted more than enough pumpkin recipes, so I just snapped a few lazy shots of them (because I can’t not) and shelved them. But then I tasted these. And I tasted this frosting. And this frosting alone made me go back and scour the few photos I had for something halfway decent. Because this frosting is just too damn good, y’all. Made by Laura at Tutti Dolci, it’s maple syrup, and brown butter, and cream cheese, all whipped into the most decadent, satisfyingly complex frosting imaginable. It can’t not be posted, because the whole world needs to know about it. So here’s an extra little mid-week post, in all its poorly photographed glory. I know I’ll have some leftover pumpkin after Thanksgiving to use on making these bars, so if you do too, I highly recommend trying this remarkable frosting on it.
It’s almost Thanksgiving! So this week I thought I’d post on what seems to be the Thanksgiving vegetable of the year. If last week was about bucking trends (or being unable to participate), this week is definitely all about falling in line with them. At this point, I think I may be the last blog on the Internet not to have done a post on these toy cabbages. But just in case you’re not already Brussels’ed out, here’s several more ways to roast them — as chips and as hearts, and in three different flavors. (In other words, if you’re not Brussels’ed out, after this you will definitely be.)
So, first week of work down and I’m still alive! It’s true that it’s a little overwhelming, but lots of things make it more than okay — foremost that I’m lucky to be working with great people who don’t mind that I have no idea what’s going on yet. But also — what gets me excited in any situation, of course — food. Like ordering food on the firm. (Staying late is so okay when I can get sushi fo’ FREE.) And Keurig machines in our kitchens! And, lastly but not least-ly, this pumpkin spice latte syrup.
Oh man, these cupcakes. These cupcakes! I know there are a million pumpkin cupcake recipes out there, but this one is special to me, if only because it took me about six tries to get right. (Which is kind of weird, now that I think about it, given that I just said that there are a million other recipes I could have chosen.)
Butter mochi! The subject of my third and final installment of this little series on Hawaiian foods (parts 1 and 2 were on ahi poke and Spam musubi). I love all the ways that Hawaii is a blend of Asian and Western influences — when it comes to food, it can only mean good things. For instance, I’m not the biggest fan of traditional Asian mochi, like the Chinese nian gao with red bean paste, because it’s a bit too chewy and bland for me. But when amped up with more sugar and a whole (!) stick of butter, the Hawaiian version becomes pretty delicious.
Hello! It’s been awhile! Pretty much a week after I started this up, I went into a whirlwind month and a half where we took our very last finals ever as students, left Boston, moved to New York (where we had 10 days to furnish our new but totally empty apartment before hosting family), went back to Boston, graduated from law school, visited family, and ended up back here mostly intact, when we are now supposed to be studying for the bar. Supposed to. Most relevant to this blog, however, is that I also acquired a hand-me-down digital SLR! So I can hopefully start posting pictures that are a little more palatable.
So — to start, last week was Bowl #2’s birthday! He’s from Hawaii and misses it constantly, and since we aren’t going back until after the bar this summer, I thought I’d do the typical thing, “bring Hawaii to him,” and make him his favorite Hawaiian foods. We had a little feast of spam musubi, spicy ahi poke, and butter mochi for dessert. Here’s the first recipe of the three — spam musubi.