Monthly Archives: September 2013

The most intense chocolate mint pudding

I wanted something simple for today. I’m bogged down in the midst of note-taking at all hours, and anything more complex than shortbread – or nutella on toast – wasn’t going to happen.

Skimming cookbooks for inspiration, I found a recipe for chocolate pudding in Bakeless Sweets I hadn’t tried before. While I love my old faithful from The Dessert Bible, I’m constantly searching for something darker, richer.

chocolate mint pudding

In the margins was a note for a recipe variation: chocolate mint pudding. I remembered we’d picked up some mint at the farmer’s market a while back, stuff that smelled so intensely minty as to be almost artificial. Seriously, it has the strongest natural artificial mint smell I’ve ever encountered. Continue reading »

Cake Day: Mallow

There’s something so much more awesome about craft marshmallows compared to the bulk bagged objects.

mallow

I mean, I loved those marshmallows growing up, especially when I could cook them over a campfire to a charcoal slag, peel off the outer layer, then toast the inner section for double-roasted goodness. (I called the second burn “slugs,” because that’s pretty much what they looked like.)

And in general, it’s hard to feel sad about things when you have mallows. I mean, they squish! And they bounce! What’s not to love? Continue reading »

Popped sorghum, or cooking adventures while fevered

Since I have the immune system of a newborn fawn, I caught post-con crud. You’d think growing up cleaning cages for turtles and macaws would give me the idealized, robust health of a farmer, coveralls and all. Or maybe even the ruddy cheeks and strength of Steve “Hug Everything” Irwin. You’d be wrong. I’m pretty sure I’m immune to all lizard diseases instead, but I don’t really feel like testing that hypothesis.

While I’m ill, I’m still trying to keep this five days a week series running. The things I do for you awesome people.

sorghum

Continue reading »

In which Jess gets her hands on finger limes

I remember the day I found out about finger limes. I was skimming Bon Appetit, and the glistening green and pale pink pearls caught my eye on the corner of a page. I’m usually a nerd for all things citrus and never heard of this fruit, so I went to the internets to see if I could buy some.

Sadly, they were both out of season and rather expensive, maybe $40 or $50 per pound. I ripped the page out of the magazine, tacked it to the refrigerator, and put finger limes on my mental “one day” list.

finger limes

Months went by, conferences came and went, I even had a week or two of health. Then I ran into them at last – in the IFBC gift room. People were walking right past the smallish, nondescript box stuffed with small packets of limes. They weren’t as exciting as towers of chocolate or the Red Mill hoard, I guess. Continue reading »

IFBC 2013: was it worth it?

So I just finished my first trek to the International Food Bloggers Conference, which was conveniently held in downtown Seattle. (I can claim it was for my comfort, if only because I’m lazy.)

Anyone who looks up conferences is usually looking to get one question answered: if it’s it worth it for them to attend. Like any good graduate level question, the answer is that it depends.

Here I’ll break down some of the high and low points of IFBC 2013, so you can decide for yourself if it’s worth the time and effort.

THE FANTASTIC:

Dorie Greenspan, ladies and gentlemen.

IFBC 2013

She is freaking adorable. I told her how the Baking From My Home To Yours cookbook was responsible for my descent into baking and avoiding my thesis. She told me to finish graduate school so my mother wouldn’t worry. Continue reading »