Posts Tagged: Half Baked

Fake Pappardelle In Brodo

Here is my end of summer/transition into fall recipe for you. It's good for a random household weekend dinner, and it's good for end of summer when you're like "ugh what is in this fridge?" It's sort of inspired by the brodo recipes they've been cooking at Brucie on Court Street in Brooklyn.

Two disclaimers:

1. Italians will most likely be aghast at this. SORRY. I know, you perfected pasta. You people make gross desserts, so there. (Okay, sure, I'll give you cannoli.)

2. This isn't one of those braggy "look what I can dooooo" recipes! This is published not in the hopes that you'll follow it, but that [...]


15 Recipes for Your Enormous Christmas Cookie Tray!!!

They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step to overcoming it. But what happens when you have no intention of changing, even after admitting that you have a problem? Sure I have a problem, but I rather like my particular brand of lunacy. It results in things like what we’re going to discuss today and I think we can all agree that what comes from this dark place is something no one is going to object to. (TO WHICH NO ONE WILL OBJECT, FINE.)

So here goes with the admission, and oooooooh man, even by my standards this is bad: for a few years now I’ve [...]


Tardelle, or Struffoli

Back when Christmas was a season of joy rather than an extended period of coping and anxiety, i.e. when I was a child, we would spend the holiday at my grandparents' in south Jersey. My folks would stay for dinner and we slept over. Every year the kids would argue that we should open our presents after the meal rather than the next morning. My father always insisted that we should wait for Christmas Day, but he was consistently overruled by my grandmother, a remarkable woman who spoiled her grandkids rotten. It's hard to even imagine now, given how emotions harden and become more transactional and transitory as you [...]


How To Make Beef Stock

It's come to my attention that you've not been taught to make beef stock. I suppose if someone hadn't been so busy finding innovative ways to tag blog posts with "doody" and googling images of women in sports bras, you'd not have this egregious hole in your education, but alas. No website can be perfect-although, now it is.


Half Baked: Lemon Squares

A confession: I don't particularly revere the lemon square. I actually don't think I'd ever even tried one until I made a batch out of curiosity after accidentally turning "lemon squares" into an Internet in-joke. I guess somewhere along the way I got the impression that the lemon square was seen as a childhood delicacy bestowed upon apple-cheeked ten-year olds who loved their stay-at-home moms, which was why I chose it as the quote-unquote peace offering during an era of terrible conflict.

I'm pretty sure I needn't tell you that I was not an apple-cheeked ten-year-old. But it's okay, because I'm pretty sure most of you weren't [...]


Half Baked: 13 Recipes Under $7.50 for the Urban Vegan

I've never understood haute cuisine. I've never even understood spending in excess of 15 minutes–or $15–procuring something to eat. I think what most confuses me about fancy, expensive, time-consuming food is that, no matter how succulent the duck or the steak or the lobster thermidor, it will all soon quite literally be excreta (or, on a bad night, ejecta). I've got a lot of reservations about the fashion industry, too, but at least a $300 pair of jeans with sequins on the behind will keep you warm for a few months in the winter. This is probably why it was relatively easy for me to become a vegan.


Half Baked: White People's Artichoke Dip

And now the second of our Super Bowl-applicable recipes!

Dear Jewish and/or poor friends-have you ever wondered what WASPs eat? Trick question. WASPs don't eat! They drink. But they do like to put food out and feign eating. There are three WASP foodstuffs for setting out and feigning eating, but the one I'm here to talk to you about today is mayonnaise. (The other two, cucumbers and shrimp, are only around because they're pink and green and cold, and WASPs like food created in their own image.)


How To Make Perfect Risotto

The summer after my junior year of college, I worked the prepared-foods counter at a restaurant on Newbury Street in Boston. It was called Stephanie’s, after its owner, who was an amazing chef. Stephanie made chicken breasts so tender you could almost drink them. Her julienned carrot salad sold out before noon every day. The chefs made gourmet mac and cheese in fifteen-pound batches, and there were always a couple pounds left over for the undergrad waitstaff to gratefully take home. But by far the most popular item on the menu was Stephanie's risotto.

At some point early on that summer it occurred to me that I was surrounded by [...]


Savory Pesto Muffins

Question: Do you have basil coming out of your ears right now? And also possibly large buckets of pesto staring judgmentally at you? "Why aren’t you using me, you unusing unuser?" No? Well, can you come over and help a sister out? Because I baked three (THREE!) dozen pesto muffins this weekend and I still have vats of pesto hanging around my house and also, like, branches of basil that I’ve plucked out of my ears.

Anyway, wanna learn how to make pesto muffins? I bet you do. Ready? You’re so ready.


Butter Crackered String Green Beans

Thanksgiving on a dairy farm is just another day. There is more supper, and more people, but the cows still need to be fed and milked twice a day. Then there are all the usual chores. Calves to feed. Horses. Chances are, something broke. There is no such thing as a holiday on a dairy farm.

We never had the kind of daylong Thanksgiving events I've come to know in my adulthood since the farm went under. The all-day social event. The football games. And the drinking. Good grief, the drinking. You don't tie one on during Thanksgiving knowing you have to get up and milk cows at [...]


How To Cook A Bolognese Sauce

Brendan Koerner points us to what he calls "the fluffiest newspaper article ever." It is headlined, "Bolognese a sauce of optimism," so you can kind of see his point. But forget about that. Have I ever shared my recipe for Bolognese with you? I have not? Well, it is a terrific recipe, passed down through an unbroken chain of Italian grandmothers and one of the first things I remember watching my own Italian grandmother make. It is not at all difficult, and is not particularly labor-intensive, unless you find chopping and stirring to be labor-intensive. You ready to learn? Let's do it! Vegetarians will want to go somewhere [...]


Half Baked: Mexican Dinner Taco Night Is Tonight!

There has been a request for Mexican recipes, as it is Cinco de Mayo. You have come to the right place. (My co-worker, Mr. Balk, suggested he might write one but I discovered it had Velveeta in it and he was denied.) Instead, lemme hook you up with fake Mexican holiday real Mexican dinner time!


How To Cook A Brisket

Happy Passover, Jews! And the rest of you! I'm going to tell you how to make the classic Seder main course of meat that has been braised beyond good sense. Because of the sacredness of this holiday I will try be more calm this time, but don't test me.


Half Baked: Guacamole by the Ceviche Method

This, the first of two recipes we will provide for you for this weekend's festivities, is even easier than you think! Yes you can! USA, USA!

Even if you don't like football, and have not watched a single match this season, America demands that you will gather with friends on Sunday and drink beer and watch a game. If only to see the commercials. Really, it's the least you can do. The advertising agency spends the whole year selflessly making all our lives better. This is their big night. They've spent so much money-$2.6 million for every 30 seconds, more than they've ever spent before-that you owe it [...]


Perfect Tarte Tatin in 10 Easy Steps

The mornings have turned chilly quite suddenly and so it is apple season! And so it is also tarte tatin season. Let's talk about this.

It is the easiest of all desserts, and yet the instructions for tarte tatin are always intimidating. Witness the struggles of our pal Deb over at the wonderful Smitten Kitchen. Back in 2008, she endorsed a friend's recipe, which is very good, because she'd ruined too many herself. Finally, last spring, Deb engineered a recipe of her own, based off Julia Child's. I disagree with both of them, somewhat! Maybe even with Julia Child! (Waits for lightning bolt to strike me down.) Where [...]


Peach Honey Chamomile Ice Pops (With Bourbon!)

When was the last time you had an ice pop? Was it one of those tongue-scraping plastic tube things that they give you at Field Day? Please don’t tell me you prefer Sno Cones. Those are awful, and nobody admits it because they’re afraid of messing with nostalgia.

Anyway, why eat crushed ice with cough syrup on top when you can make yourself a perfectly lovely frozen treat at home with not much effort? Specifically, these lush, peachy, honeyed ice pops, from a recipe kindly provided by Nathalie Jordi of People’s Pops. And one standout benefit of making ice pops at home: You can spike 'em with booze [...]


How to Cook the Ideal Fourth Date Meal

The first thing that's going to strike her is the aroma. Your place will be filled with a deep, warm, earthy, intoxicating scent, and it will be so palpable that she'll want to hug it. This is where you'll want to interpose yourself, and a glass of Albariño.

This is how a fourth date should begin.

As the poet once said, "the way to make a friend into a lovah is to cook them up a dinner." And the time to make a friend into a lover is the fourth date.


Half Baked: Summer Camp Canapes

Years ago on returning from his first summer of sleepaway camp a friend of mine was confronted by his mother, who had unpacked his duffel bag to find the toothbrush she had sent still in its original packing. "Did you really not brush your teeth AT ALL this summer?" she angrily inquired. He responded in the terrified tones of child who knows that he is about to be in a world of trouble, "They never gave us a chance."

Okay, so, yeah, that is a little gross. But remember summer camp? For many of us it was the first time we were away from home for an extended [...]


Half Baked: Kentucky Derby Bourbon Balls!

Before I begin, let's get something out of the way before you all start howling "Dixie" in the comments: I'm not Southern. Not even close. But I do love bourbon and wearing fanciful hats designed to match colorful sundresses and sporting events that only take up three minutes of my actual time (three minutes? Is that correct, sporty ladies? Hoof over here and explain to your batty auntie how these horse races happen!) and therefore I go wild for the Kentucky Derby. And every year I get to trot out one of my signature recipes, which I would be tempted to describe as The Best Thing I Make [...]


Half Baked: Snow Day Cookies

It is absolutely no fun out there, unless you're a kid I guess, because kids, like, don't feel weather the way that we feel weather I AM TOTALLY CONVINCED OF THIS. Right? When you were a kid all you needed was a snowsuit and a pair of Freezy Freakies and you were all set to stay outdoors for ten or so hours. Now? The two and a half Midtown blocks between my office and the subway might as well have been a day spent in Pine Barrens chasing a drunk Russian.