July 19th, 2009

peach, apricot and raspberry free-form tart.

peach, apricot and raspberry free-form tart. peach, apricot and raspberry free-form tart.

It’s always good to get out of the city. Kenan and I took the opportunity presented by the long weekend to hop a bus down to the outskirts of Baltimore to visit Kenan’s uncle Ephraim, for the Fourth of July weekend (once again, this post is a couple weeks late coming out, but bear with me – it’s gonna be fun). Ephraim and his wife, Sarah, live in a big old plantation house so beautiful and full of awesome things that it makes me want to rethink my existence as a city dweller. When the weather’s nice, they eat all their meals on their patio, surrounded by Sarah’s gorgeous garden. And not only are the house and grounds stunning, but there’s a trampoline, a ping pong table, a swimming pool next door, and a goofy, friendly German Shepherd who always seemed to be wandering around looking for someone to throw a ball for her. Needless to say, all of this made our stay both full of fun and relaxing, certainly worth making our asses numb from sitting so long on the bus to get down there. In order to repay our gracious hosts for the use of their house and grounds, we proposed that we prepare dinner and dessert on Saturday.

preparations proceed around the bend.

July 2nd, 2009

father's day bavarian cake.

father's day bavarian cake. father's day bavarian cake.

Usually it’s a little difficult to bring oneself to do a lot of elaborate baking shenanigans in the summertime in New York, what with the humidity and the stickiness and the death by sweating and such. But seeing as how it’s basically been raining for two straight months (making us city dwellers feel like we’ve somehow been transported to the opposite coast), there’s been plenty of sleepy, cool baking weather to go around. All of which turned out to be quite convenient when I decided to bake a very elaborate and time consuming cake for Father’s Day (I realize this was two weeks ago; I’ve been busy… with stuff).

more stuff this-a-way.

June 15th, 2009

cherry clafoutis.

cherry clafoutis. cherry clafoutis.

Coach‘s cherry tree bore fruit for the very first time, providing a little bunch of small, tart cherries with the kind of red color that I had previously believed only to exist in cartoons, or in tubes of lipstick. Coach, Boots, Kenan and I had been talking over dinner, a few days prior to the miraculous fruiting, about using the cherries to bake a pie when they ripened, but I suggested that we try a clafoutis, as I had never baked one before and as eating them constituted one of my mouth’s most treasured memories from living in France (and also, I’ve yet to meet a cherry pie that I was actually smitten with, although I’m open to the possibility). I remembered that I had a recipe for clafoutis from Tartine, which I was sure would at least be a good starting place, so I consulted said recipe and spent a little while researching this ubiquitous French dessert.

for ubiquitous deliciousness, lire la suite.

June 8th, 2009

strawberry rhubarb weekend!

strawberry rhubarb weekend! strawberry rhubarb weekend!

Last Saturday, we finally had a reprieve from the near-constant stream of rain and clouds that have been glowering and pissing over the city lately, and Kenan and I took the opportunity to take a leisurely walk down to the farmer’s market, where we ran across some lovely rhubarb at Red Jacket. I didn’t actually have any baking plans in the works, but after seeing the rhubarb in all its red n’ green glory, and considering the sudden hint of summer in the weather, I decided that it might be a good time for pie. I would even have a venue in which to present said pie, as we were going to dinner on Sunday at Kenan’s dad’s apartment.

the view from the venue, next stop.