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September 2011

September 27, 2011


You know how when you play Tetris and the bricks don't line up and plonk into place like you need them to?  They keep piling up and piling up and piling up -- with odd little bits of blank space in between -- until your screen is filled and there's no more room for anything else to fall into place?  And you get stressed out beyond belief -- even though it is just a stupid video game -- because you want to fit more things in, and fit them in the right way, the efficient way -- and you can't?

That is my life right now.

I'm in a bit of a work-related transition at the moment, which, when it all plays out will be very good but at the time is incredibly stressful.  And of course, it's all coming during a time when Congress and our political climate are in a state of I-don't-even-know-what-to-call-it-anymore.

On top of everything, it is crunch time for Mike's book.

And, as much as I like to think I Can Do It All Because I Am Just That Awesome, I have to tell you: I can't.

Writing those two words -- I can't -- is something I know I've needed to do for the past few weeks, but haven't been able to bring myself to do because it makes me feel like a failure.  "I can't" is not usually in my vocabulary.  This is new for me, the letting go of some things I really love to do so I can get my shit together and realign and refocus.

Over the past few months, every time I made a shopping list for a dish for this blog, I got sidetracked to another client crisis.  Every week that I've set aside time to cook has been taken over by work I get paid to do.  And, when you're a self-employed single gal with a mortgage, you do the paid work.  Which isn't always the choice that makes me happy, but it's the grown-up thing we all have to do at one point or another, right?

So rather than drag this all out, I'm going on hiatus through the end of the year.  I'll be back in January sometime in 2012 when the dust has settled and my Tetris blocks are falling neatly into place and giving me room to add more.  This blog is the first thing back on the list.

I miss it already.

September 08, 2011

Chocolate, avocado, lime

Dessert: A Love Story

I'm in love.

With lime ice cream.  Sweet, tart, cold, smooth lime ice cream.  C'mere, you...


But, I have to confess: I am tempted to have a torrid, steamy, illicit affair with this lime curd:


Oh, lime curd... you wicked beast... what, with all your sugar and your eggs...


Oh, how you taunt me.  How you beckon me.  I mean, LOOK at all the BUTTER that went into you.  Oh, lime curd...


That's enough sweet, unsalted butter to make Paula Deen and Tony Bourdain get over their stupid Internet fight and come together in peace and harmony.

But am I willing to share my lime curd?  In its liquid form, no.  But after I dehydrated it for 56 hours (the book says it takes 12) and it still wasn't crisp and looked like pee-soaked drywall... the bloom was off the rose, my friends. Semi-dehydrated, kind of limp lime curd and I were over.

But, hey... who's that over there trying to make eye contact with me?  Trying to steal me away from the limes of my life?  Oh, well helllloooo there, chocolate mousse...

Look at you, all melty in the improvised double boiler.... trying to turn me all cliche like a Cathy comic...  Oh, and you over there... egg whites... what's that about wanting to be whipped...?  With some sugar?  I got your sugar....


And now you want to be gently folded in...?

Then lovingly spooned onto a dehydrator tray?  Why sure... I can do that... I got you, boo...

Who's your friend?  I think he's kinda cute, actually.  You're related?  I can see the resemblance.  Nice to meet you, pliable chocolate ganache...

I can't wait to slice you and curl you and bend you to my will.

But there's something over here I can't ignore.  Mint pudding.  Come over here, baby.  How you been?  I think you're kinda cool.  A little fresh, even...DSC_0001

You like it when I add xanthan gum and calcium ascorbate before whacking you around in the blender, don't you.  DON'T YOU.

Yeah, you do.

Someone's feeling a little left out, I can see.  Avocado purée, you're creamy and very nice, but I kinda just wanna be friends.  Is that okay?  It is?  Oh, good.  I'm glad.


I wonder if polyamory is okay in the dessert world.... 'cause I have fallen in deep, hard love with every single flavor in this dish... on their own, and all together:

Oh, and hey there, cocoa crumbs... I'm sorry I only have this one shot of you with the group.  But I'ma draw a heart around you when I put this picture up inside my locker so everyone will know how I feel about you.  MMMmmm....

Resources: Green & Black's chocolate and cocoa; 365 butter; Domino sugar; Smith Meadows Farm eggs; gelatin sheet, glucose, and sorbitol from L'Epicerie; agar agar, malic acid, and xanthan gum from Terra Spice; Natural by Nature heavy cream and skim milk; David's kosher salt; mint leaves from my garden; Now Foods calcium ascorbate; limes and avocados from Shoppers Food Warehouse; licorice extract from HerbalRemedies.

Music to Cook By: No Doubt; Rock Steady.  I don't know why, but I've been in a No Doubt mood the last few days. I love Tragic Kingdom, too, but had Rock Steady on loop most of the weekend. I hadn't listened to it in ages, and when it came out I didn't really love it.  Now?  It's grown on me.

Read My Previous Post: Pork Cheek, pumpernickel, gruyere, ramps


Alinea Book


  • I'm cooking my way through the Alinea Cookbook. Because I can. I think.


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