When I got out of bed on January 1st and thought about the very first thing I wanted to eat this year, I knew it had to be this poppyseed bread. It’s a family recipe; my mom has made it for her neighbors at Christmastime for as long as I can remember – and I woke up dreaming of it. I texted her early in the morning (or at least what can be called “early” only on New Year’s Day … 9:40 am) to get the recipe. When you wake up craving something, you absolutely must eat it! Otherwise, it will haunt you like the memory of a missed opportunity and past regret. And, I decided, that’s not the best way to start a new year!Continue reading “Holiday Poppyseed Bread”
I’ve learned not to get too attached to the idea of Spring here in Colorado. The weather will deceive you into thinking that she’s on her way, only to spurn you with an arctic cold shoulder leaving you frozen for weeks. There are many years when we skip Spring altogether and go from winter to summer in a day’s time. Yo-yo weather, I call it. And what an up and down week we’ve had!
Much to the delight of the kids, school was cancelled three out of 5 days last week because of the snow. Two came from a forecasted storm and one was a surprise when a different storm which was supposed to bring only a dusting of snow ended up dropping 5 to 6 inches on us. C’est la vie. At least we can rely on chocolate cake to get us through these winter months. Continue reading “Gâteau au chocolat”
Blood orange season is painfully short, isn’t it? I see them in the market one day and the next they’re gone. Their scarcity makes me love these ruby-red beauties even more. They’re the perfect way to brighten a grey winter’s day.
Let’s talk about whiskey sours. This drink always makes me think of the bootlegging cowboys in the prohibition era Wild West. I don’t know why and I’m not even sure if this was served at all in bars of the Wild West – I think, more likely, they shot their whiskey straight – but it’s an image that I love to entertain. The product of an overactive imagination, I guess, heavily influenced by Brad Pitt’s character in Legends of the Fall. I mean, do you blame me? Continue reading “Blood Orange Whiskey Sour”
A Christmas tradition
Of all my Christmas memories, the ones that involve food are the most vivid, timeless and magical. There are certain scents and flavours that epitomize the holidays, of which, mine were an eclectic mix. Every year my mother made caramel pecan rolls on Christmas morning and the aroma of toasted nuts and sugar would float through the house as we opened our Christmas presents. In my stocking I would find a little bag of pistachios, a tin of marrons glacés and a chocolate covered orange. Treats that only ever showed up around the holidays. We often spent Christmas in New Mexico, where piñon smoke perfumed the dessert air and my grandmother would make biscochitos, a traditional New Mexican Christmas cookie, filling the house with rich notes of anise and cinnamon. In my mind, this melange of flavours and aromas is woven into a Christmas tapestry that hangs squarely on the wall of my memories. These are the flavours that say Christmas to me. Continue reading “Cinnamon Orange Star Bread – A Christmas Tradition”
A friend recently posed the question, Do people read blogs anymore? It seems to me that the heyday of blogging has, indeed, passed, however short it was. With all the different social media outlets, is there really a place for individual blogs, specifically food blogs? Continue reading “Poussins rôtis and cookies au pépites de chocolat”
You lovely tease, you! Serene one day, in your white gown and jewels of ice, angry and fierce the next. Why must you be so harsh? For as much as I love a beautiful canvas of pure white snow, you catch me in your frozen, unforgiving grasp and breathe over me in numbing gusts of wind, piercing my face and hands. January, you are the most difficult month of the year for me. I must admit, though, that I have it pretty good here. While, in other parts of the world, you are infinitely grey with endless rain, here the sun shines down on you nearly every single day. Even your morning snowstorms are often met with cloudless sunsets, and for that, January, I forgive your impetuous nature. Continue reading “Sicilian Blood Orange Tart”
On Sundays we often drive into the city to have dinner with my parents. They still live in my childhood home in the charming neighborhood where I grew up. I love that my children now play in my old bedroom and in the garden where I once planted flowers. My brother selects the wine for our dinners, and I always bring dessert. I’m lucky to have this outlet with which to dispense and disperse all of the sweets I like to make, otherwise my husband and I would be terribly fat! This past Sunday morning we woke very late. The sunlight that normally streams through our bedroom window and falls in a band of warmth across the bed was completely eclipsed by thick, cold November storm clouds. Continue reading “Cardamom Orange Cake”
A homesick American
On a dim side street that cut through the buildings like a crack in a rock there was a nondescript little candy shop. It wasn’t too far from our apartment on Viale Italia, in Livorno, and I passed it frequently on my way to the market. You could easily have walked right by without noticing but for the aromas that slipped beneath the door – apparitions of caramelized sugar and bittersweet cocoa. Though I didn’t often stop in to buy anything (willpower, you know), just knowing it was there was reassuring. I was quite homesick during that first winter abroad and everyone knows that a little chocolate is the best cure for homesickness. Continue reading “Pots de Crème au Chocolat”