Friday, April 30, 2010

Farmers Market Breakfast

Springtime in DC is a treacherous time.  Will it be humid?  Rainy?  Ninety nine degrees out or 52?  How many tourists will I need to push down the escalators on the metro?  Three minutes into my morning commute today I immediately regretted not wearing tights.  Yes, the weather forecast says it will be 72, but when it's 43 degrees at 7:45am, my legs, they are a-shiverin.

However, with the springtime weather ups and downs comes some forms of sunshine: produce!  At the farmers markets!  Certainly, it is glorious.  There is really nothing that makes a weekend as lovely as a morning walk down to the bustling market, scoping out the vendors, doing some good people watching ... and of course, picking up fresh produce.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brownies with Cherries and Chiles

I have a cookbook problem.

There is an entire shelf of in my living room stacked with cookbooks. There's more than one that I haven't made a single thing from. I have single topic cookbooks. Take pie, for example. I have three completely devoted to it.  There is also a book solely about macaroons, and I hate to tell you this, but I have never had a macaroon, not once. I'm not even entirely confident about the standard ingredients. I looked through the book, I promise, but I think it may have been written in Engrish and some things definitely didn't quite translate.

You know what gets me about cookbooks? Its leafing through the pages and creating the scenarios where you get to share that meal. Its thinking, oh, that would be fun to bring to a potluck, or my book club.  Or, maybe for Poppa Fierce's birthday I'll try that caramelized pear pie. I like to think about the possibilities in the pages. Its a fun day dream.

Given that, I didn't mean to buy another cookbook today, I swear. It isn't like me to lie and say I totally ignored the cookbook section at the store and that the book literally fell out of the sky accompanied by a live piano performance singing songs of its deliciousness within. Just kidding, it is. If I thought you would believe me. I read each and every title on the shelf, my head cocked slightly sideways like your pup when he's confused.

The book stood out to me, not necessarily because of the brand but the title. Come on, who doesn't love chocolate? So I picked it up and leafed through-I figured it looked pretty good. I continued to browse, looking for bargain Le Creuset (preferably a mini coquette in the shape of a vegetable). I got the thing I had actually come for, and decided I didn't really need the cookbook. So I put it down. 

Then I heard a voice: You should probably just page through it one more time to see if anything jumps out at you, you know, its worth it if you get one good recipe! I obliged my inner shopaholic, and was feeling above the influence until I saw this recipe, the one here after the jump (you didn't think I was going to just let you see it, did you?). This recipe is my favorite chocolate bar in brownie form. I wasn't going to leave without it. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Homemade Bagels

Goodness gracious.  We've had this post in the queue for what, oh, four weeks now - we know, we know, we already apologized, but the last month has been a bit ... involved.  So.  Now that we have that out of the way for good, MOVING ON.  Don't these look lovely?
That's J Fierce's poppyseed bagel on the left, and C Fierce's onion garlic salt bagel on the right.  We spent a few days together hanging out at J Fierce's, eating a lot of dried sour cherries, making mango/pineapple/strawberry/mint salsa (it's probably still in the fridge somewhere because someone *ahem ahem C Fierce* got a leeetle carried away with chopping the pineapple), grilling steak, eating the best fried chicken in town, drinking beer out of mason jars ... and didn't even have any fights!  Nope, no bar fights!  And no fights with each other, either, which, in itself, is an amazing feat.  (Ask J Fierce about the time she refused to speak to C Fierce and Little Brother Fierce for the entire duration of a flight, layover, and subsequent flight.  ALL OVER A STUPID FOUNTAIN SODA.  WEIRD I THINK MY CAPS LOCKS KEY GOT STUCK.)

ANYWAY back to the bagels.  Some were cuter than others ...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mediterranean Quiche

Yesterday, C Fierce and I were talking on the phone.  Somehow the topic of food came up (weird). and I said something very true but never before articulated: "you know, I just don't get that excited about food. Unless its dessert."  To date, exactly two of my multitude of posts have not been sugar-laden. Everything else on here not baked? That would be the work of C Fierce.

Today, however, I am sharing a recipe that makes me excited.  It is infinitely adaptable with whatever you have in your cupboards.  We'll ease me into the savory world with a pie crust and pan. Behold the quiche.

Imagine, if you will, a dish that can be enjoyed at any time of day, morning noon or night. With the tanginess of feta and the greenness of spinach, you really can't lose. Beware, if you're hungry: I ate half of it at one meal (that was the only thing on my plate, but still. Oink Oink).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

You know how sometimes carrot cake isn't very good?  Face it, you went after it for the cream cheese frosting, and now you're wondering why it isn't culturally acceptable to just eat that stuff with a spoon.  The problem lies in the cake underneath: it is either too dry, crumbly, or just plain lacks that carroty flavor.

I have found the foil to your problem. This is the moistest carrot cake I have ever tasted, and I have tried quite a few.   A sample of what I'm sure are unbiased reviews from my tasters: "the best cake you have ever made," "awesome," "did you make any more?"

The occasion was a dinner party, and I didn't know the menu.  I knew I wanted to bring something slightly different than normal. Not a chocolate or vanilla cake, and not a pie (though my pie crust is something to behold. Come stone fruit season I promise the best cherry pie recipe ever).  It would have to transport easily and be something I could make ahead, since I had to work both days leading up to the event.  This cake was perfect. I made the cake the morning before the day of the dinner, made the frosting the evening before, and frosted it the morning of.  After the jump, see a picture that made C Fierce attempt to eat her computer screen.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lemony Apple Spice Muffins

Question and Answer Time, Internet!  

Q.  Where in the world have the Sisters Fierce BEEN all this time?
A.  Hunting on the Serengeti.  Floating around the world in a hot air balloon in ninety days.  Suffering with a broken stove/oven combo and waiting for the landlords to replace it.   Starting a new job and re-learning how most jobs work ... i.e. having interesting fun work to do during work time instead of blogging.  (OOPS.)

Q. What is a cupcake without frosting?  
A.  A muffin.

Q. Who wants a cupcake without frosting?  
A.  NOBODY.  Not the Sisters Fierce, no sir.
However, a few Sundays ago I found myself scrounging the pantry for something, anything, to bring to a potluck cookout.  The weather?  Rainy.  The mood?  Cozy.  The pantry?  Nearly empty.  Quickly rifling through the cupboards and a half a dozen cookbooks, I came to a winning solution.  Shredded apples, a touch of lemon and spice, and a happy little muffin was born, no frosting necessary.  Enjoy the recipe after the jump.