I've been trying out a lot of new recipes. You won't see many actual food pictures on my blog, because I live in the land of no sun, and by the time I cook dinner, it's been dark for hours.
I also tend to make quite a mess and use every pot and appliance available, including, on occasion, a waffle iron. (The quarter-inch gingham checks give you a rough idea of the size of this cookware, which both my mom and I played with. The waffle iron is maybe an inch across. How we managed not to lose any of those little lids is a mystery.)
I've been enjoying the new Gourmet cookbook, which was a Christmas present from my husband. Cookbooks are good gifts, because they can inspire you to try new foods at what can be a fairly uninspiring time of year.
A new cookbook can get you interested in eating healthy food.
Or some not-so-healthy food.
Thanks to my new cookbook we enjoyed a meal of Korean marinated beef, savory rice cakes and rice-studded Chinese meatballs, which was far superior to any Chinese take-out we could have found, and, once all the chopping was done, not at all difficult. I'm looking forward to some beef chow mein, too. And these two recipes -garlic and cheese crostini and antipasto pasta salad - look like they can't miss.
There's some other fun stuff in the cookbook, like how to make fresh ricotta, which looks very easy, and how to make an egg cream, which has no eggs and no cream and sounds like the ice-cream sodas of my youth.
But my most favorite recipe so far is the oven-braised barbecued brisket, for which, alas, there is no link. However, if you found yourself a nice 4-pound brisket, browned it on both sides, doused it in a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce and put it, tightly covered, in a 325-degree oven for 3 or 4 hours, you would eat very well. (The recipe calls for making your own sauce, which was very easy.) We're having the leftovers as sandwiches tonight.
The other nice thing about this recipe is the opportunity to use the phrase "a nice brisket." I went to all of my local grocery stores in search of a nice brisket and ended up driving to the second-largest Wegmans in the world (well, one of the really big ones) to find said brisket. There's something about the phrase "nice brisket" that's very comforting and makes me think of apron-wearing housewives in Brooklyn in the 1950s.
The other recipe I really want to try (and there's also no link to it - sigh) is the cannoli roll, which is a sponge cake roll filled and frosted with whipped cream and sprinkled with pistachios and bittersweet chocolate. Although I'm certain I could eat the whole thing by myself, I'm certain I shouldn't, and so I might have to have some company over for that.