Author: catherine o'donnell

post 42 // shrimp avocado rolls

fullsizeoutput_cc7

why hello there and happy day to you!! thanks for tuning in. seafood lovers rejoice because this week’s post is an ever-easy recipe to keep your summer feeling summery, by way of shrimp and avocado.

in the past week, i think i’ve eaten a year’s worth of seafood. my family and friends celebrated my brother rob’s big 3-0, which called for a crab feast (as good maryland birthdays do). said crab feast turned into crab cakes one day later and a bevy of shrimp cocktail turned into this very recipe.

fullsizeoutput_cb5

the thirtieth birthday party? well that was fun. we ate crab and shrimp, danced, and watched a tremendous storm from a peninsula on the chesapeake bay. it was scary and fun all at the same time! my brother jake and i gifted rob an original painting of us three made by my friend stewy. see below for a better look at his work!

okay, back to these shrimpies. i wanted an easy recipe to make with a whole batch of cooked shrimp and it seemed fitting to slide them into potato rolls with some mayonnaise. but what else? i looked up recipes for shrimp rolls and the following fillings kept popping up: tarragon, chives, celery, bibb lettuce. these green additions gave me some ideas for the type of roll i wanted: something herby and full of veggies. i ran rogue with mine though, bringing avocado, a favorite sandwich filling of mine, to the forefront of these rolls. along with dill and lemon for flavor and scallions for a bit of crunch, the shrimp and avocado mix quickly grew to be a tangy, herby, and addictive spread.

fullsizeoutput_cb8

but not without a properly buttered bun! make sure you butter your rolls and toast them up. i can’t repeat this enough. not to mention, add a dash of salt and pepper to the base of the roll. you can toast your rolls on the grill, in the toaster, or as i did, on the broil setting in the oven. just be sure to keep an eye on them if they’re oven bound.

fullsizeoutput_cc8.jpeg

as you can see, i don’t go light on the mayo. you can adjust the measurements for your liking but the mayonnaise does lend to a rich and creamy roll. for this reason, make sure your avocados aren’t *too* mushy when you’re picking them.

fullsizeoutput_ccd

fullsizeoutput_cca

what is necessary for your shrimp, crab, or lobster roll platter? potato chips!! a quick grocery store run led to these kettle cooked chips with black pepper and salt by cape cod. they were definitely a good decision.

fullsizeoutput_cc6

so if you’re trying to savor the summer — literally — these rolls are for you. buttery, creamy, filled with fresh veggies and shrimp, they’re the perfect august meal for you, you and your honey, or you and a whole batch of friends.

fullsizeoutput_cc1


and in other stuff!

stewy, my friend from college, made this incredible painting for my brother. check out his work on his instagram and site!! #wildcats

fullsizeoutput_cd5

hip hip hooray! my friend abby from high school made my bagel recipe!! feeling v proud and happy right now. #eagles

fullsizeoutput_cd0

i have two weeks left in dc!! any restaurant recommendations for me? comment below!


shrimp avocado rolls

serves 4

fixings

18 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

potato rolls (i used martin’s long rolls)

2 medium avocados, cut into cubes

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning

1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning

1/4 teaspoon paprika

4 sprigs dill, chopped

bunch of scallions, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

butter for buns

instructions

  1. take your peeled and deveined shrimp and cook them if they’re not already cooked. you can do so by boiling them in a pot of salted water for 2-5 minutes. drain and rinse with cool water. once cool, cut the shrimp into bite size pieces.
  2. put the mayonnaise, lemon juice, paprika, old bay, and lemon-pepper seasonings in a medium sized bowl. whisk to incorporate.
  3. fold in the avocados, scallions, dill and lastly, the chopped shrimp. add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. heat potato rolls as described above. once heated, lightly butter your rolls and add salt and pepper.
  5. load on your avocado and shrimp filling. eat!

 

photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs

 

post41 // blueberry crumb pie

fullsizeoutput_c2d.jpeg

hi there! how are you? i hope you’re having a lovely day, made even better by looking at photos of ice cream melting in this blueberry crumb pie. i promise it really does taste as good as it looks. so keep reading!

fullsizeoutput_c29

my past couple of days were filled with so much good food and fun. my two ex-roomies from new york came down for a visit and we somehow wound up at a peruvian independence day party. it was a blast! and for the first time in three years, i ate authentic aji de gallina — a peruvian dish made out of shredded and creamed chicken with aji pepper, potatoes, and eggs. it tasted just like what i had eaten when living in peru: comforting and delicious. speaking of which, maybe i’ll have to work on an aji de gallina recipe of my own soon. more coming there!

in the meantime, i think this blueberry crumb pie will keep you warm and comforted in a different way. a sweeter way. to start, i’ll let you know that this recipe is the result of no real direction. all i knew going into baking yesterday was that i wanted to make some sort of pie/galette/crisp/crumble/buckle/streusel type dessert (or breakfast!) with fresh blueberries since they’re in season. i ended up with a cross between a crumble, galette, and pie — but that seemed like too many words to fit in the title. so blueberry crumb pie it is!

fullsizeoutput_c26

i began with my favorite trusty pie crust, an all-butter variety adapted from Kate Lebo’s butter crust, as seen in Pie School. i used a 13×6″ pyrex pan and rolled the entire double-pie crust out into a rectangular shape, then transferred it to the pan. at first, i thought that i would keep the pie crust crimped but after loading in the blueberry and sugar filling, i realized i had some room for the crust to fold over. i layered on the crumb topping and then folded the extra crust over, completing the galette portion of this dessert (see what normal galettes look like here).

fullsizeoutput_c2a

before baking, i swiped on a light egg wash and then dropped some sugar onto the pie crust. i used granulated sugar but i’d recommend sanding sugar if you can get it — it adds an extra crunch to your crust.

fullsizeoutput_c30.jpeg

of course, any baked good like this isn’t complete without a bit of vanilla ice cream dressed on top. as you can see, a bit in my family = three very large spoonfuls.

fullsizeoutput_c2f

so go on, give this recipe a whirl! it’s perfectly doable after-work, but even more enjoyable on a day off. it’s something you can pick at throughout the day or serve to a dinner party at night. pro tip: the ice cream spoonfuls are a nice way to “present” the pie if you’re hosting!

and in other news, here’s this week’s other stuff!!

my ex-roomie melissa got a job at glossier !!! 👏👏👏 i celebrated her win by buying their newly released wowder. will report on how it looks next week!

a really sound article on wellness and diet trends in this month’s elle: “every day, people” by lucy danziger

ikea’s 2018 catalog is everything.

fullsizeoutput_c2b


blueberry crumb pie

serves 10-12, in a 13×6″ pyrex

fixings

pie crust:

2½ cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) well-chilled unsalted butter

filling:

3 pints blueberries, washed and de-stemmed

2/3 cup sugar (+more for egg wash)

2 tablespoons corn starch

zest from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

crumb:

1/4 keebler graham cracker crust, broken up

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 egg

instructions

pie crust (adapted from Kate Lebo’s, Pie School):

  1. fill a spouted liquid measuring cup with about 3/4 cups of water, plop in some ice cubes, and place it in the freezer while you prep the following steps.
  2. in a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. drop 1-tablespoon pieces of butter into the flour and toss the fat with the flour to evenly distribute it.
  3. place your palms up and curl your fingers back to scoop up the flour and fat. rub, rub, rub it between your thumb and fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl after rubbing. make sure you reach into the bottom and around the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour into the fat, until the mixture is slightly yellow, slightly damp. it should be chunky—mostly cherry-size pieces, the smaller bits resembling coarse cornmeal.
  4. take the water out of the freezer. pour it (slowly!) in a steady thin stream around the bowl for about 5 seconds. toss to distribute the moisture. as you add a bit more water and toss, the dough will become a bit shaggy and slightly tacky to the touch. press a small bit of the mixture together and toss it gently in the air. if it breaks apart when you catch it, add more water, toss to distribute the moisture, and test again. if the dough ball keeps its shape, it’s done.
  5. gather the dough in 1 balls and form the dough into a thick disk using your palms and thumbs. wrap the disk in plastic wrap. refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 days before rolling.

filling, crumb, and assembly:

  1. preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. combine sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cornstarch, and blueberries in a large bowl. mix and let sit for 10-30 minutes.
  3. in the meantime, prepare your crumb. mix graham cracker crumbs with the rest of the crumb ingredients and toss to combine.
  4. roll out your pie crust as described above, in a rectangle slightly larger than the pyrex pan. (if it’s not perfect, don’t worry!) butter/spray your baking pan and then transfer the pie crust to the pan.
  5. pour the filling in the pan and then follow with the crumb.
  6. beat together the egg and a bit of water in a mug, brush your pie crust with the egg wash and sprinkle some sugar to finish.
  7. bake pie at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, and then at an additionally 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. eat!!!

 

post40 // homemade french fries

fullsizeoutput_c0e

hi folks, happy august!! i hope you’re currently reading this on a beach with your out of office up. buuuut in case you aren’t, close your eyes and pretend that’s where you are: on a beach, in a sun chair, with an order of my homemade french fries in front of you. can’t you smell them already?

fullsizeoutput_bfb

yesterday i was craving something greasy, something fatty, something homemade. i was fresh off a trip to new york city for my soon-to-be cousin victoria’s bridal shower! oh, we had so much fun. we had so much fun that i was in need of hungover food, one whole day later. karaoke and a night out dancing will do that to you. oops!

french fries fit the bill. hand-cut, fried, and salted, these fries proved their worth when my family and i couldn’t stop eating them. i built the recipe from smitten kitchen’s, easiest french fries, adding some maryland twang (old bay seasoning) and subbing out the peanut oil for canola oil to make the french fries a *bit* lighter.

fullsizeoutput_bfc

this recipe is truly simple. four ingredients, one vegetable peeler, and one large pot later, you’ve got homemade french fries on your hands. this video helped me a ton in learning how to cut the yukon goldies just right for french fries. the overall gist is to slice the the potato into “planks” and then cut those slices into 1/4 inch batons. once you get the hang of it, the slicing goes by fast.

fullsizeoutput_bff

next comes the frying! the best part about this recipe? you don’t need a fryer to make french fries! you heard it hear first. instead, a dutch oven or deep frying pan will work just as well. and you don’t have the mess, or smell, of the fryer. i like to call that a win, win — for you, and your kitchen.

1J0A0103

fullsizeoutput_c06

the verdict: homemade french fries are an easy and cheap recipe to make on a lazy day off. they require minimal groceries, you can peel the potatoes while watching tv, and you’ll feel nothing but full and content after eating them.

fullsizeoutput_c07

fullsizeoutput_c09

and why not cover them in ketchup and make a mess on your new white shirt? i did!!

fullsizeoutput_c0c

here are a couple more tidbits from my week in the rearview!

remember how amazing selena was? i watched her movie twice in the past four days 🙃

one of the best sandwiches i’ve ever had

my go to karaoke song (i even got to sing it with my mom this past weekend!)

have a great day everyone!

fullsizeoutput_c0d


homemade french fries

serves a crowd (about 10)

slightly adapted from smitten kitchen’s, easiest french fries

fixings

3 pounds yukon gold potatoes

1 liter canola oil

2 teaspoons old bay seasoning

table salt to add

+ so much ketchup

tools

dutch oven or deep frying pan

veggie peeler

slotted spoon (helpful but not necessary!)

instructions

  1. wash your potatoes! once they’re nice and clean, peel them completely. you can start slicing them as explained by me and the video above once they’re all peeled.
  2. dump all your potato batons and the liter of oil into your cooking pan. turn the heat to high and let the potatoes sit in their for 20+ minutes. while the potatoes are cooking, place a couple paper towel squares on your largest sheet pan.
  3. start checking the fries’ brownness at 20 minutes and assess how crispy you want them from there. once ready, pull your fries out of the cooking pan with a slotted spoon.
  4. sprinkle with the old bay and table spot and toss to coat 5 minutes after the fries have rested on the sheet pan.
  5. eat!!! (with ketchup of course)

post39 // birthday sprinkle cake

fullsizeoutput_b64

hi friends!! happy day after monday. i hope your week is going well so far. mine sure is as i am still riding high from a big birthday weekend, celebrated with family and friends and most notably: homemade birthday cake! twenty-four has been pretty sprinkly so far (see below).

fullsizeoutput_b4d

while living in new york, i discovered momofuku milk bar, a well-known bakery in the city. “discover” is a loose term as momofuku’s famed cake, their birthday cake, is everywhere. it’s all over your instagram feed. it’s at every birthday dinner you go to. it’s sitting front and center at every milk bar. it’s everywhere, and for good reason. the cake is charmingly delicious, filled and topped with their signature birthday batter “crumbs” and vanilla cream cheese frosting. for my past two birthdays, i’ve eaten milk bar’s birthday cake. but those birthdays weren’t the only time i got a milk bar birthday cake fix. throughout the year, i found myself periodically “stumbling” into milk bars, buying birthday cake truffles, their small bite-size rounds made from the same birthday batter “crumbs” that sit atop the cake. yes, i’ve bought a number of those truffles…you can too.

anyhow, this year i decided to make a birthday cake of my own, riffing off of the momofuku recipe and blogger molly yeh’s funfetti cake recipe. as my aunt joanne says, it’s a “happy cake.” and it’s true! this cake will make your birthday (and any other day) happier. i promise.

fullsizeoutput_b4f

as you can tell already, the batter is full of sprinkles. molly yeh’s funfetti recipe perfected the suspension of all these sprinkles so i used her batter as a jumping pad for my cake. as a big fan of almond flavoring, i opted for almond extract in lieu of vanilla and i’m so happy i did. another fun idea would be to use lemon extract (holler if you try it!).

the cakes themselves are pretty basic. the usual mixing of wet and dry ingredients takes place, the only difference being to throw in a cup of sprinkles at the end of mixing. in light of the family and friends who i expected at the birthday dinner — we celebrated both mine and my dad’s birthday on saturday night — and keeping in mind my hope for some leftovers, i doubled the recipe and made a four-layer cake. right now i’m happily eating a leftover slice as i type to you.

IMG_2602

the hardest part of the cake is the assembly. i’d never baked a four-layer cake like this before, let alone frost it! knowing this, i dropped some questions on my bakery friends before taking it on. a big takeaway from my peers was around preparing the cakes: making sure the cakes are cold and leveled out before icing. wherever the cakes are not leveled, use icing to help even out the layers. all this intel, and some great tools (bench scraper, angled spatula, tall cake stand) helped enormously.

fullsizeoutput_b53

most importantly, my boss ben at bread furst helped inspire the sprinkling. instead of placing a heavy layer on the cake, ben recommended simply throwing the sprinkles on the cake. he did the same at a restaurant he used to work at and reminisced on the sprinkle throwing parties that happened in the kitchen. it sounded so fun that i decided to make my own mess!

fullsizeoutput_b5d

the cake was a true success. i was thrilled! the inside was dotted with countless sprinkles that stood out brightly against the white cake. the frosting was pure butter and sugar and my one edit i’d have for next time is a bit less sugar in the frosting — i’ve gone ahead and adjusted this in the recipe below. beyond that, i wouldn’t change a thing. my cousin george even commented that it reminded him of the momofuku variety. my dream come true! my family and i feasted on the cake that night, and the next night, and still today. i’ll make known the little secret that i’ve eaten it for breakfast the past two days. tomorrow will be three!

fullsizeoutput_b56

so, if you are in the market for baking a birthday cake make sure to give this one a go. it’s a delight to serve and cut into with a big crowd around. bake it for yourself, bake it for a friend, bake it for anyone! you will be so happy you did.

fullsizeoutput_b59

and here are a couple other sprinkles from my past week:

this babka sugar high will make your day

haim’s something to tell you album is a+++++++++++

peter pan donuts started selling ice cream sandwiches on donuts and my brother rob has reported they’re incredible

thank you to everyone who made my birthday special this year! i have the best family and friends. and last but not least, here is a birthday cake carnage visual for you:

fullsizeoutput_b5c


birthday sprinkle cake

feeds 10-15

fixings

cake:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 egg whites

1 tablespoon almond extract

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 1/2 cups flour (i used a combination of 1 cup cake flour and 1 1/2 cups all-purpose)

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup whole milk

1 cup sprinkles (i used rainbow jimmies!)

frosting and assembly:

4 sticks unsalted butter, room temp

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 pinch salt

1 cup sprinkles

special tools

8 or 9-inch cake pans

electric hand mixer

cake stand is great for pics but not necessary, i used this green beauty by mosser glass

angled spatula is super helpful for icing! (again, not necessary)

bench scraper

instructions

cake (adapted slightly from molly yeh’s, funfetti cake):

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease two cake pans (8 or 9-inch work best). cut out parchment circles to match the pan’s bottoms and place in the pans. grease parchment well.
  2. mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a small-ish bowl. then mix butter and sugar together in a larger bowl, using a electric mixer. add the egg whites, almond extract, oil, and milk to the butter bowl and mix well.
  3. add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing slowly. once all the flour is incorporated, add in almost the full cup of sprinkles. fold the sprinkles into the batter with a spatula.
  4. scoop the batter evenly into each of your prepared cake pans. once in the pans, sprinkle the last bit of rainbow jimmies on top of the batter.
  5. bake the cakes for 25-28 minutes, using a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean from the batter.
  6. let cakes cool in their pans for 10 minutes and then pop them out to continue cooling on a rack. make sure they’re completely cool before you start frosting! (i actually froze mine overnight and let them thaw out the next day a bit so they were hard.)

frosting and assembly (see notes above on how to best prepare the cake for assembly):

  1. prepare frosting: beat together butter, sugar, almond extract, and salt. voila!
  2. stack cakes and frost their tops as you continue to build your layers. once all layers are stacked, frost the outside of the cake with a crumb coat. put the cake in the fridge if you can so that it can rest and sit after your crumb coat.
  3. continue to build your frosting layers by adding more! use a bench scraper and angled spatula to help you.
  4. sprinkle time: just throw ’em! make a mess and briefly toss sprinkles on every side of the cake for a natural and “light” sprinkle look.
  5. eat!

 

post 38 // french crêpes

good morning to you! or afternoon, or evening — just the time of the day you happen to be reading this. you’re in luck because whatever time it is, it’s time for a crêpe.

fullsizeoutput_b3b

crêpes have never been a routine meal of mine. i’m usually eating their cousins (a.k.a. pancakes and dutch babies), which i have more confidence in cooking. my memories of crêpes are special though, associated with château montebello, a hotel in quebec that my family used to drive 12 hours to each new years eve. the endless hot chocolates and crêpes at the hotel made up for the “when are we there yet” and often nauseating car rides for my brothers and i. year after year, crêpes with maple syrup were reason enough to go back.

since those days at montebello, i haven’t spent much time eating crêpes. until now! just two months ago i was invited over to my friend stella’s apartment, which she shares with her sister sarah. sarah is a francophile and has lived in france on-and-off over the years. she has a wonderful host mother from paris, who was visiting new york at the time. given my impending move to france for the year, the sisters thought that i should meet sarah’s host mum and experience a true french crêpe.

fullsizeoutput_b2e

aside from learning so much about paris, i learned how to make (and eat) many french crêpes that night. fast forward two months and sarah is now living with my family for the summer in washington, d.c. (her own american homestay of sorts!). within her first week here, crêpe ingredients were added to our grocery list.

fullsizeoutput_b2a

crêpes are an anytime meal. while we made these ham, egg, and cheese crêpes for dinner, they could just as well be your breakfast or lunch. the batter itself is simple, as sarah says, “think 4-4-2: four eggs, four cups of milk, and 2 cups of flour.” a bit of salt and vegetable oil added complete the batter and next is just the fillings. both sarah and sofie, her parisian host mum, cooked off the entire crêpe batter, kept the cakes warm, and then prepared the fillings right before serving. this is the best way to ensure your crêpe comes out hot. the batter will be much thinner than a normal pancake batter, so don’t be afraid if it looks runny! sarah describes that the consistency is best when it coats a wooden spoon upon lifting, but still drips back into the batter bowl.

fullsizeoutput_b2c

once you’ve cooked off all your crêpe batter and have a stack of eager cakes waiting to be filled, it’s time to load on the toppings. a couple good tips for fillings are to keep them thinly sliced so that they don’t overwhelm the crêpe, another being to spread your crêpe with sour cream (for flavor!) before adding the fillings. if working with uncooked eggs, cover your pan so that the egg can cook off while the rest of the toppings are melting together.

fullsizeoutput_b30

folding the crêpe together at the end is a simple envelope fold. visually divide the crêpe into three, fold the bottom third up and fix it together by folding the top third down. you can use a little sour cream to seal. by this time, your egg yolk will have burst and it is seriously time to sit down and eat your crêpe.

fullsizeoutput_b2f

very soon, i’m sure you’ll be reading about all the different types of crêpes i’ll be trying in france. until then, i’ll be working on my own crêpe-making skills.

au revoir!

fullsizeoutput_b2d

p.s. this week’s other stuff!!!

i’ll admit to singing this with the windows down very loudly this past weekend. one of my favorites

obsessed with this account and their shop in greenpoint, bk

the drink of my summer (recipe comin’ soon to foodstuffs!)


french crêpes

makes 12 crêpes

fixings

4 eggs

4 cups milk

2 cups flour (all-purpose is fine)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (+ more for coating the pan)

1 teaspoon salt

sour cream

toppings: parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, nutella, powdered sugar, maple syrup, etc.

special tools

a medium-sized fry pan

instructions

  1. mix the milk, flour, eggs, and salt together to form your batter. heat the fry pan over medium-high heat. prepare any toppings such as slicing or shaving the cheeses.
  2. pour a large spoonful of batter into the pan and move it around so that the entire pan is coated in a thin layer. let warm until the bottom side turns lightly brown. turn and repeat. take the crêpe off the burner and let it rest on a nearby plate. repeat until you’ve baked off all the crêpe batter.
  3. you can eat your crêpes now as is with sweet toppings but if you are looking for a more savory crêpe, keep your fry pan warm and add a crêpe back to it.
  4. top crêpe with a thin layer of sour cream. add your egg immediately to the center of the crêpe. as the egg begins to cook, add other toppings around it. cover pan until the egg cooks off and other toppings have melted.
  5. fold the crêpe in an envelope manner, as i described above. visually divide the crêpe into three, fold the bottom third up and fix it together by folding the top third down. you can use a little sour cream to seal.
  6. serve immediately and enjoy!

post 37 // homemade bagels

hear, hear! homemade bagels! sure, going down to the corner deli and grabbing a bagel is easy when you live in bagel capital of the world. but if you live in a bagel desert or prefer a homemade version, keep moving your eyes down this screen for a week’s worth of heavenly bagel breakfasts, cream cheese not included (but highly recommended).

fullsizeoutput_b21

as the daughter of a new yorker who lived in brooklyn before it was “brooklyn,” bagels have always been a part of my breakfast appetite. growing up, each trip to visit my aunts and uncles and (many!!) cousins in long island included a very large bagel breakfast with buckets of cream cheese. at home, sunday breakfasts to this day mean bacon and eggs, mopped up and sandwiched between bagels from pumpernickel’s, our quasi-new york deli down the road.

fullsizeoutput_b10

fullsizeoutput_b13

i’ve always been curious to know how bagels are made. i truly didn’t have a clue until i decided to make them myself. all i could imagine was dipping the bagel dough in seeds or toppings like doughnuts when they’re fresh out of the fryer. and i wasn’t that far off! but there’s a lot more that goes into the dough-making and shaping of bagels before that step. above you can see my bagel dough after it’s been proofed. the dough itself is super simple = flour + salt + water + malt. i’m telling you, you can do it!

fullsizeoutput_b14

fullsizeoutput_b15

the hardest part is shaping the actual bagels. as you can see, my rolled out dough isn’t *totally* symmetrical. but that’s okay! just attach your two ends together, roll ’em a bit to stick, and no one will care if your bagels are proportional. (this is a bit different if you work in a bakery 🤣.)  next comes the actual making of the bagels. for those of you who didn’t know how bagel dough is baked/cooked/made (like me), it’s first poached in boiling water, dipped in toppings (if necessary), and then baked in the oven. voila! that’s it, you’ve made bagels!

fullsizeoutput_b0d

my favorite part of homemade bagels is the diy toppings! you can add how much, whatever, or absolutely nothing to your bagels. they’re good in every way. i loved coming up with my toppings, mixing classics like sesame and poppy seeds with anything i could think up: lemon zest and sugar becoming my homemade bagel frontrunner.

fullsizeoutput_b16

fullsizeoutput_b0c

fullsizeoutput_b18

fullsizeoutput_b19

once baked, make sure you have cream cheese, butter, lox, jam, whatever your bagel vice is on hand. “fresh out of the oven” is a real thing and you’re going to want one asap.

fullsizeoutput_b1a

fullsizeoutput_b1b

fullsizeoutput_b1e

beware: once you tell your friends you made homemade bagels there will be lots of visitors to your house. i had friends show up in droves, just “stopping by” because they were “in the neighborhood.” and who doesn’t love bread.

last but surely not least, this week’s other stuff!!

this corgi cake by adrianna of acozykitchen is recipe #goals

my favorite bagel deli in nyc

this song is everything

okay, now go and have a bagel-filled day!!


homemade bagels

makes 8 bagels (slightly adapted from peter reinhart’s whole wheat bagels along with food52’s homemade bagels)

fixings

4 cups bread flour

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 tablespoon barley malt

1 1/3 cup lukewarm water

1 tablespoon baking soda

4 tablespoons of each topping (cinnamon sugar! sesame! poppy! salt! lemon zest!)

cornmeal/semolina flour for baking sheets

special tools

baking sheets

parchment paper

instructions

  1. mix the bread flour, 2 teaspoons salt, yeast, malt, and lukewarm water by hand or with a mixer. either works!
  2. knead your dough on a lightly floured surface for 3-5 minutes. i used a marble board but you can use your counter or a cutting board, just make sure flour is on it. knead until slightly tacky.
  3. shape dough into a ball and plop it in an oiled bowl (just clean and use the same bowl you mixed with). cover bowl tightly with plastic and let rest in a dark, untouched place on your counter for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. in the meantime, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. once the dough has risen and swelled, turn it out onto a (very) lightly floured counter and divide it into 8 pieces. to shape bagels, roll them out into a foot-long log. moisten each end of your log and press the ends together, rolling together so that they stick to each other and seal. put prepared bagels on the parchment paper, at least 1 inch apart. let them rise for 30 minutes!
  6. heat oven to 425 degrees. remove proofed bagels and their parchment paper from the baking sheets. replace sheets with fresh parchment paper and evenly scatter a layer of semolina or cornmeal on sheets.
  7. fill 1/2-2/3 of a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. add baking soda and malt. drop bagel, one at a time, into the water. after 30 seconds, flip over, and after another 30 seconds, remove from water with a slotted spoon and place on the prepared baking sheet. sprinkle topping on bagel right away! repeat until you’re finished poaching all your bagels.
  8. place baking sheets in oven and bake for 12 minutes. rotate your baking sheet and bake for another 8 minutes. great tip from peter reinhart: “If bottoms are getting too brown slide a second baking pan underneath the first one for insulation after first 12 minutes.” remove from oven, let cool (maybe), and feast!

post 36 // flag trifle

hello people! happy 4th of july!

fullsizeoutput_af8

i know you might be thinking it’s too late to make a dessert for the holiday but i promise, it’s not! over the past 5 years, i’ve had high hopes for my independence day desserts. i’ve dreamed of making this flag cake and this flag cake and this flag cake. but year after year, even after purchasing ingredients to make said cakes, i never do it. who wants to spend their whole day-off baking when they could be napping, drinking, sunbathing, swimming, vegging out, etc? not me.

so this year, i vowed that i would finally make a dessert for july 4th. the only way i knew i would actually get it done was if this dessert was easy — simple, quick, and unfussy. after seeing a number of trifles pop through my email and instagram, i decided i’d give it a go. what’s easier (and tastier) than cake, fresh berries, and whipped cream? not too much in my opinion.

fullsizeoutput_b02

this dessert is simple because the only baking required is mixing one big bowl of batter, plopping it in two cake pans, and baking for 30 minutes. after that, all that’s left is cutting the cake into chunky pieces, whipping up some cream (or buying whipped cream), and chopping some berries. for an even lazier route, you can purchase a store-bought cake, no baking required. no judgment here.

fullsizeoutput_b03

also, the fact that i made a trifle for the fourth of july is a big joke! trifles are traditionally british. but i made sure to make an ~american statement~ with this one, 50 blueberries and 13 strawberry-and-whipped-cream stripes complete.

fullsizeoutput_b06

fullsizeoutput_b09

so go on, make your own flag trifle! your family and friends will be a) impressed and b) very full after they eat it.

but, on the “off” chance you don’t get to it this year, that’s okay too. take it from me, there’s always next year!

oh, and this week’s other stuff!

been listening to these guys all morning

the weirdest/funniest video if you’re trying to learn the french alphabet


flag trifle

makes one 9-inch trifle cake

fixings

cake:

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh baking powder

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs, separated

1 cup buttermilk

assembly:

2 pints heavy whipping cream

3 pints blueberries

2 quarts strawberries

1 lb cherries

anything else you want to throw in there that’s red or blue! i added blackberries to mine.

special tools

trifle bowl (i used this one and would highly recommend!)

hand mixer

instructions

cake (adapted from Divas Can Cook, Moist Yellow Cake):

  1. preheat oven to 325 degrees and generously butter two 9-inch cake pans.
  2. cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. mix all the dry ingredients (baking powder, salt, and cake flour) in a smaller bowl.
  4. add the vanilla extract and egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture. whisk the egg whites but do not add them to the mixture yet.
  5. slowly add the buttermilk to the wet ingredients, alternating with adding the flour mixture.
  6. once all buttermilk and flour is added to the big bowl, gently fold in the whipped egg whites.
  7. pour batter evenly into the two cake pans and pop them in the oven. set a timer for 30 minutes. (mine baked a bit over, around 35 minutes so keep watching the cakes once they’ve passed 30.)
  8. take pans out of the oven and let cool before cutting into 1-inch pieces.

assembly (this two recipes really helped me visualize the assembly: Tasting Table’s Cherry-Pistachio Trifle and The Feed Feed’s Red, White, and Blue Trifle Cake):

  1. whip your cream and hull and chop all your berries.
  2. layer in the trifle bowl, starting with cream, then cake, then berry. repeat.
  3. layer until you’re just short of the top of the trifle bowl. to assemble the flag on top, delicately place 50 blueberries in the left-hand corner, and thinly slice your strawberries and place them across, 7 red stripes.
  4. eat!!!