Friday, August 29, 2014

Garden Update 5

Having a garden is friggin' awesome, especially when you can pick super fresh cucumbers and make a batch of delicious refrigerator pickles. I whipped up a batch a few weeks ago and they went super quickly because my sister is a pickle freak. Currently there's another batch sitting in the fridge, pickling. We'll probably pop it open this weekend, this glorious three-day weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What I Ate: Grilled Panzanella Salad

P is for panzanella. Panzanella is a stale bread salad, typically made with tomatoes and cucumbers. Little fun fact: panzanella salad was originally made with onion. It wasn't until the 20th century that we all started to worry about having stinky breath and switched over to less offensive tomatoes.

Panzanella can be pretty much whatever you want it to be. I made mine with grilled vegetables and a lemon basil dressing. You can make yours with fresh crunchy vegetables and a balsamic vinaigrette.
And don't look for a special occasion to make this salad. Just make it some time in the summer when the fridge is stocked with delicious veggies and you've got a stale loaf sitting on the counter, looking sad and pitiful.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Failure Macarons Cake

Macarons are the most high-maintenance dessert to make. You need perfect ingredients that are measured out perfectly and you need to make them on a perfectly non-humid day and your oven needs to be perfectly calibrated; it's pretty easy to mess up.

I made lemon macarons for my friend's bridal shower and since it was an "experimental" recipe (I'd never made this particular flavor before) I didn't realize that the oils in the lemon zest would cause the batter to be a little flatter. That meant I had a few batches come out of the oven looking like yellow Mentos (yeah, the freshmaker) instead of cute frilly macarons.

No worry though, because I turned the duds into little chocolate cakes.
1 stick butter
4 oz. 100% cacao chocolate
200 g failure macarons
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Let's say you wanted to make this cake and you don't have any failed macarons, just substitute in 75g almond flour and 125 g icing sugar.
You'll want to start by melting the butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan over low heat.
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