Friday morning. Our deck is usually sheltered enough that it’s free from snow, but that wasn’t the case with last week’s snowstorm.
The street below. A mid-April snowstorm is a bit of a bummer, but at least it’s pretty and disappears quickly this time of year. Also, it’s supposed to be 70 this weekend!
Things worth leaving the house for in the aftermath of a snowstorm: a paying job and a new iPhone. Check and check.
Friday night beer to sip on while being glued to CNN. I liked the beer and was relieved that the flavors in the description (vanilla, star anise, grains of paradise – not even sure what that is) weren’t very prominent. I’d been putting off drinking it because I thought it would taste like dessert, but it was a great pre-dinner drink.
Fuji Ya delivery for dinner. It was a bit of a splurge but worth it to not have to leave the house or settle for the closer Japanese restaurant that’s not nearly as good.
We started with pork pot stickers and then shared a few rolls.
Saturday breakfast: bagel and grapefruit. We ate breakfast while watching public television cooking shows, which inspired everything else we ate that day.
First up, gjetost, a Norwegian goat cheese that looks like peanut butter and tastes like dulce de leche. I hated it the first time I tried it several years ago, but after learning about it on New Scandinavian Cooking and hearing the Norwegian host say “fudge cheese” over and over again, I had to give it another try. It’s so good! I’m not sure what I didn’t like about it the first time – maybe I was surprised by the sweetness – but I am now a believer in fudge cheese.
It’s good plain, on crackers, on buttered toast or with jam.
Next up: Corn cookies from Momofuko Milk Bar. The cookbook has been sitting on our bookshelf, largely undisturbed, for the last year, and it wasn’t until watching Christina Tosi make these cookies on David Chang’s PBS show a week or two ago and Matt’s interest in them that I was compelled to make a batch.
I used a really fine cornmeal instead of corn flour, assuming they’re essentially the same thing, and it seemed to work well. I also discovered that the bags of freeze-dried corn available at Target are almost the exact amount required for one batch of cookies.
These cookies are rather unassuming, and I probably would have overlooked them had we not seen them being made on TV, but we would have been missing out on something great. They’re like a sweet, buttery cornbread in cookie form, and they made me think of one of my favorite state fair foods, sweet corn ice cream. I think they’d be awesome cookies for homemade ice cream sandwiches, especially if the ice cream is salted caramel or maybe something tart like a lemon sorbet to cut through the sweetness. Or, oh my god, this… Yep, I think that’s the one.
For dinner, we made the vegetable lasagna that we’d seen earlier in the day on America’s Test Kitchen. Like most lasagna recipes, it was a bit labor-intensive, but as with most labor-intensive recipes, it was well worth the time, effort and number of dirty mixing bowls.
Vegetable lasagna conjures up images of bland, soggy squash and zucchini, neither of which I find very appealing in any state, but especially when overcooked. This recipe might have changed my opinion on those two vegetables as well as the potential for vegetable lasagna with red sauce (I’m already a fan of the white sauce variety). The squash, zucchini and an eggplant, which was microwaved for 10 minutes to draw out excess moisture, are all sautéed with a thyme-and-garlic-infused olive oil before being mixed with cooked spinach and layered with noodles, tomato sauce, cream sauce and cheese. Instead of having mushy vegetable layers, you have a layer of flavorful, slightly crunchy vegetables that hold their own and aren’t just there to make you feel better about eating the layers of cheese and noodles.
Sunday brunch: toasted brioche with avocado, cheddar and a fried egg // strawberries and mango // earl grey