Friday, August 27, 2010

Angel Food Cake with Blueberry Sauce

Do you ever look at an angel food cake and think, man, they make them too cheap for me to ever try that at home! I do, a lot. It could be because I spend most of my waking hours surrounded by food, but they've been taunting me for a while from their perch in the bakery: Psst ... J Fierce, don't you want to break down and actually purchase a baked good? Not just the ingredients for a baked good? Over here you can get all the flavor and none of the hassle, mess or cleanup ...

I'm here to tell you, those cakes are no angels.  Far from it. Their goal is to make you full, and leave your curiosity for kitchen taste testing unsatisfied. If only they knew that comments like that only make me steel myself harder against them. You know the philosophy over here with The Sisters Fierce. Why buy something I can make at home for twice the cost and double the effort? 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Coconut Rice Pudding

Hello internet! Guess what, I made something! In the kitchen, on the stovetop. Something with milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla.... aren't you proud?  One of my unmentioned August goals was to make something gluten-free and celebratory (unmentioned because I didn't know if I would have time to fit it in and I didn't want to make any promises).  I envisioned something majestic, with piles of frosting, something worthy of celebrating both a birthday and going away occasion in one splendid baked good.


Let me tell you how that went down. I looked and looked through my 37 baking books. I was hunting for something either gluten free or with a small amount of flour so that I could substitute it for rice flour. Thirty-seven books (that's my ballpark estimate, I haven't really counted ... yet), and not one appropriate towering cake recipe.  I was discouraged.  I paced and huffed. Then I improvised.  What is delicious and rarely ever made by hand any more? That's right, internet! Pudding!
Coconut rice pudding.  Creamy and chewy, delicious warm right out of the pot or cold from the tupperware in the fridge. Bonus: solid enough to hold candles!

Coconut Rice Pudding for two, adapted from Cooking for Two 2009
1 cup water
1/2 cup arborio rice 
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups milk (use whole or half and half, just not skim)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the rice and salt. Cover, simmering over low heat until the water is almost entirely absorbed. This should take between 10-15 minutes.
Stir in coconut milk, milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Continue simmering, stirring frequently, 45-55 minutes, or until a spoon (or in this case, a celebratory candle) can stand up easily in the pudding. Serve warm or chilled, if you can wait. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Too Hot To Cook

All this summertime vacationing -- and hosting vacationers! -- has equaled lots of dinners out, in town and away from home, for the Sisters Fierce.  We've had lobster, steak up to our ears, peach cobblers in spades, crabcakes out the wazoo ... you get the point.  And all these amazing dinners mean that sometimes all a girl wants is a simple dinner at home.  And when this particular girl gets home and the hour hand has nudged beyond 8pm, the last thing she want to do is cook. 

I especially do not want to cook, if, at 8pm, the temperature is still hovering near 80 degrees, which is unfortunately highly typical for my fair city.  In fact, in its early days, my town was deemed a "hardship" post for foreign ambassadors due to its swamplike conditions.  Deeeelightful!

Enter C Fierce's Summer Weeknight Dinner to the rescue.
Please ignore my giant thumb.  It's the same size as the raspberry.  That is not normal.
That's crackers, goat cheese, fruit and some honey.  (Sometimes there is balsamic vinegar if I'm feeling extra fancypants!)  I eat this meal, or a variation of it, at least three nights a week.  Especially if no one else is home and I know I'm going to just eat the goat cheese standing in front of the fridge with a spoon so why not put it on a plate in the first place, self.
Oh lord it's even bigger here ... You don't even know how hard it is to type with these things.

C Fierce's Weeknight Summer Dinner

Crackers (as many as you can get out of the cellophane wrapper without them breaking, eat the ones you broke standing over the sink)
Fruit (at least as many pieces/slices of fruit as you have crackers)
Goat cheese (way more than you think is necessary because you know you're going to eat it off the plate anyway)
Honey (a little prep-bowl-full)
Optional: Lemon juice, cracked black pepper, fancy salts, whatever the heck you think tastes good


Put the ingredients on a plate.
Eat them.
The end.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August Goals (and apricot cherry pie)

I meant to tell you about this cherry pie weeks ago.  Before I moved for the first time this summer, and before I hit critical mass with my courses.  The bottom was layered with apricots, baked in the only pie dish not packed yet, and cut with my finest silver. Obviously. 

See, when you score cherries for the deal I did (the deal of the summer, weeks ago, when they were at their peak), and you already packed all ten of your pie plates (yes, I really have ten, anywhere from 2"-9" in diameter) you just make do. You borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor, some corn starch, and then you don't use enough of it because you're trying to eyeball a tablespoon since all of those are packed too, and it seems like a lot because its corn starch and you don't want the thing to gum up.  So even though this apricot cherry pie was a little bit liquid-y, it didn't exactly go to waste.  Pie? yes, make do would be the term.