Nearly Disastrous Quiche

January 31, 2008

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The quiche. Oh, the quiche. It’s not a coincidence that I’ve pushed the quiche post to the very last of the brunch posts that have occupied The Kitchen Sink this week. In a way, it’s saving the best for last, because this is probably one of the most decadently delicious things I’ve ever made. But it was also one disaster after another and I guess I haven’t exactly been impatient to revisit them. But, lest you think the brunch was all sweets (see Tuesday‘s and Wednesday‘s posts), I wanted to give you a glimpse into the savory. And, of course, the debacles along the way.

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It all started with a very, very bad decision. The original choice to make a quiche was innocent enough. But as the brunch’s numbers swelled to 12, I realized one regulation sized quiche wouldn’t do. Instead of making two quiches, I thought it would be easier (ha! ha! ha!) to make one super-sized quiche. I would make a deep-dish shell and would fill it to the brim with custard. Considering several of the brunch guests were only in Chicago for a short visit, I thought it was very Chicago-style of me.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos and the recipe.)

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You’re probably looking at this photo and thinking to yourself: she didn’t actually serve this at her brunch on Sunday did she? That brunch that concluded with thick wedges of coffee cake? Well, I actually did. And, yes, it was at the same brunch as the coffee cake. But, I have a defense!

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You see, these are mini scones. Tiny, I swear. Bite-sized, really. Nothing like the behemoths you see in the bakery case at the coffee shops. And the second prong of my defense, your honors, is that these scones and that coffee cake were the bookends to the brunch. They were served hours (okay, only two hours, but that’s still plural) apart.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos and the recipe.)

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A Pan Meant to be Used

January 29, 2008

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When I got my tube pan, I thought it would be one of those kitchen implements that would live in the nether regions of the cupboard. I foresaw it being overshadowed by more useful (9×13), less cumbersome (the regular old 10-inch cake rounds), and oh-so-pretty (tart tins in, I confess, all sizes) pans. So, I was surprised last summer when I used it to make angel food cake quite a few times. No matter how deeply stashed away it was, I continually found myself plucking it out.

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So, I figured it would be a seasonal thing. Once the days shortened and temperatures plunged, this pan would fall into disuse and neglect. Because, who wants angel food cake in the winter? This is the season for hearty-richness, clearly. Not light-and-airiness. Well…that’s not quite true. My friends who have had the angel food cake I’m writing about are probably laughing at the light-and-airiness description. The cake—Ina Garten’s Black and White Angel Food Cake—is draped in chocolate, after all.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

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As of yesterday’s post, the score was a depressing Grapefruit 1-Kristin 0. But you’ll be happy to learn that I resoundingly evened the score with this salad you see here. I was determined to put grapefruit to a more exciting use than breakfast-yogurt-accessory and since the sorbet route didn’t exactly work out, I began searching for more ideas.

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As I was planning the menu for a brunch Kevin and I hosted for his family yesterday morning, the great grapefruit quest aught eight was lurking in the back of my head. In the end, I could’ve gone a number of routes with it. I could’ve swapped grapefruit juice for OJ in the mimosas (I stuck with the traditional orange), served warm-from-the-oven mini grapefruit muffins as guests arrived (I opted for mini almond scones instead, also piping hot) or ended the meal with a lovely slice of simple cake infused with grapefruit glaze (instead, I jumped at the chance to bake an Ina Garten coffee cake I’ve been eying for quite some time).

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

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High Hopes

January 27, 2008

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It was going to be so good: grapefruit sorbet, laced with honey and ginger. It was going to be light and refreshing. It was going to softly hint of summer—the season I’m currently having a very difficult time (a) remembering and (b) imagining could take place right here in Chicago (ever). And it was going to be a great way to make use of the gigantic bowl of grapefruits that I just couldn’t resist buying at the store:

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(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos and the recipe link.)

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Air of Invincibility

January 26, 2008

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Some funny things happen to you when you become a food blogger, apparently. For one thing, you feel guilty when you make something for dinner after you’ve already blogged about it, even if it’s one of your very favorite, most old-standby meals. For another, you find yourself completely rearranging your schedule in order to make things in the afternoon, hours before you’ll eat them, because—duh—that’s when the light is most pretty in your apartment, allowing you to stage a full-blown photo shoot. And, trust me, it’s a little weird to put the final touches on a post about short ribs while you’re eating breakfast. And it’s downright torture to write about ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls while you’re eating the yogurt-with-grapefruit-segments-breakfast that you love, love, love on any other morning.

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(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

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I love few things more than the excuse to make a celebratory dessert. I think it stems in large part from the fact that I actually don’t love desserts myself, so it’s very convenient to have an audience (and a person to take the leftovers home with her). But, even more, I think nothing says congratulations (or happy birthday or thank you or, heck, happy Tuesday) quite like a home-baked surprise.

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(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos and the recipe.)

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