Kristin + This Pie

January 9, 2009

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Sometimes it seems like all I do on this site is fall in love—with a new recipe, a novel cooking method, a city visited for the first time, or that roommate of mine. It’s not all that unlike my middle school years: a new crush practically every week. Except these days, instead of loopy, heart-filled diary entries about the latest gent to catch my eye, I gush about produce and pots and such on this site. What can I say? Cooking is thrilling for me. Maybe because, in the grand scheme of things, I’m relatively new to the endeavor. But, really, I hope it never changes. So I suppose that means that my gushy posts will continue to clutter up your Google Reader.

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Today’s recipe had all the trappings of a gushy post—homemade pastry, hand-whisked lemon curd, billowy meringue. Just thinking about making this pie practically sent me into raptures. But (you had to know there was a “but,” no?) instead of becoming my next new heartthrob, this pie was a heartache, through and through. So much so that I could’ve just curled up with a pint of ice cream and some angsty, croony music (which would’ve rounded out the middle school image, quite nicely, I think), except I made the pie on Christmas Eve and there was no time for a pity party.

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It Led Me On

November 18, 2008

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted a disappointing recipe, and this one was a real heart breaker. It’s not that there haven’t been less-than-stellar results in my kitchen lately. Oh, no, there have been more of those than I care to share. There have even been good recipes gone bad (just ask my friend Gena about my fairly disastrous take on this recipe which ended in one u.g.l.y. birthday cake). And there have been bad recipes that I can’t fix. I’m not sure which camp this recipe, for cranberry coffeecake, falls into, but I can tell you that it takes the cake (pun intended).

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You see, this recipe led me on. I had been looking for a good holiday breakfast recipe (I don’t know why; I can bet my bottom dollar that my parents’ pantry will be bursting with an astonishing array of Woulette’s delectable pastries when I’m home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas) and this one had so much promise. It enticed me with visions of a holiday morning, mug of coffee in one hand and a thick slice of this garnet-swirled cake in the other, fat snow flakes drifting down outside. And, well, I fell for it.

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

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The other day, I was cleaning out the freezer and I hit pay dirt. I found a pint of frozen raspberries from my grandparents’ garden. When they came to Chicago last August for our wedding, they arrived bearing a small Igloo cooler, packed with a Ziploc of fresh herbs, tucked inside paper towels; a cucumber, completely free of that weird supermarket wax; and a mother load of tiny raspberries. I felt so lucky to get the contents of that cooler, which I knew were the product of a garden my grandpa had been working on as early as the preceding winter, in his greenhouse. I made sure we used the herbs and cucumber before we left for our honeymoon and, after popping a couple like candy, I nestled the berries in the freezer.

And every few weeks, I’d excavate one of the pints for just the perfect use, thinking of my grandparents as I made whatever it was I was making. And then, when it was still very much winter, I sadly used up the final bit of my cache.

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

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Whole Grain Focaccia

April 4, 2008

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Well, it’s finally happened. It was inevitable. I hit a wall in my increasingly-unreasonable quest to bake all things carb-centric with whole grains. I’m sure my canister of all-purpose flour is smirking now or perhaps even laughing at me, from its back corner of the cupboard, where it languishes behind the canisters of whole-wheat flour (pastry and regular and white whole wheat), cornmeal, bran flour, old-fashioned oats, flaxseed meal, and … well, you get the picture.

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As this site’s recipe index makes clear, I’ve ventured into loafs, rolls, biscuits, muffins, pancakes, pitas and, most recently, bagels—all in at least partially whole grain form. And, while the recipes haven’t appeared on this site (yet!), I’ve also dabbled in cookies and pastry crusts and pizza dough using whole grains as well. And, if I’m honest with myself, I knew that there would be a point when I would come up against a bread/baked good that was staunchly opposed to whole grains. Turns out, I was right. The focaccia you see here—based on Whole Foods’ Whole Grain Focaccia recipe—finally felled me.

(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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