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Posts under ‘Entertaining’

Christmas dinner: chicken, candles and company

roast chicken with herb butter

For Christmas we had a friend come over, and I wanted to make a meal that would be nice but not overly demanding. I settled on roast chicken, along with roasted potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts (our friend brought some cold appetizers plus truffles for dessert and some vodka), and leafed [...]

Stephen Colbert Americone Dream Cake

melted ice cream cake from The Cake Mix Doctor

This post will just make it look like all I do is bake sweets, which isn’t true. I sometimes cook them on the stovetop, like peanut brittle. More seriously, I have been cooking some savory food, but it’s the holiday season and that means parties and festivity, [...]

Special Dork Tower Recipe Entry: Igor Bars

Igor Bars
Dork Tower is a wonderful comic strip by John Kovalic. Its characters make their way through the world with the help of gaming, geekdom, puns, and one another. One of the central characters is Igor, whose role in the strip is to represent reckless abandon. To Igor, anything worth doing is worth overdoing. He’s [...]

Real Vegetarian Thai: Spicy Goodness

mussaman curry paste, mussaman curry with seitan, rice noodles with broccoli, cucumber salad, coconut ice cream
I love Thai food, but I’ve always assumed that it’s difficult to make: so many unusual ingredients, plus the effort of making your own curry paste. I’ve had Real Vegetarian Thai sitting on my shelves for years, and it looks [...]

Lidia’s Italy: What to Do With a Greenmarket Haul

smothered eggplant and summer vegetables, Anna’s spaghetti and pesto Trapanese
Lidia’s Italy is another cookbook I bought through a club and hadn’t used until now. Lidia Bastianich is a cookbook author, TV personality and restaurant owner (most notably New York’s Felidia), and it is clear she knows her way around Italian cuisine. The book is organized [...]

The Food and Life of Oaxaca: Holy Mole!

amarillo (thick yellow mole), frijoles negros colados, arroz con tomatillos, basic corn tortillas
I’ve had The Food and Life of Oaxaca for a number of years, but have never cooked from it until now. This is partly because when I lived in Portland, I wasn’t sure where to find the authentic Mexican ingredients. Then I was [...]

Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices: Nobody Knows How to Do Anything These Days

how to make Canadian type whiskey
I’m at a loss how to classify Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices. Grizzled loner? Disgruntled former employee? The book, by George Leonard Herter and Berthe E. Herter, was published by the Herters in Waseca, Minnesota, in the 1960s and features recipes, photos and opinions galore. There are [...]

The Cake Mix Doctor: Baking Outside the Box

birthday cake cones
If you’ve been reading this blog you’ve probably noticed that I’m kind of a snob about scratch cooking. I don’t think that every kind of processed food out there is an abomination, but I think a lot of them are, and their chief failing is that they provide a lower-quality, less tasty result, [...]

A Man, a Can, a Plan: A Laugh

chunky kernel spread

I picked up A Man, a Can, a Plan from the discount tables at the Strand Bookstore a couple of years ago. It has so much to make fun of: thick cardboard pages of the kind usually found in babies’ picture books; “recipes” that involve mixing together the contents of cans and passing [...]

The Twinkies Cookbook: Twinkiehenge

Twinkiehenge
Twinkies are the epitome of processed food: spongy, resilient, wrapped in plastic, with only slightly more flavor than the wrapping, they are globally recognizable and endlessly the same. They couldn’t not be Recipes of the Damned. So when I saw The Twinkies Cookbook in the discount section at Barnes & Noble a couple of years [...]