All posts tagged: Baking

The Food of My (Husband’s) People – Part Dos: Black Beans

I’ll admit it, I never really “got” black beans.  I remember when they started regularly appearing on menus.  They were the envogue new healthy alternative protein.  I would hear people order black beans like they were something special.  Sure, I liked them, but I just didn’t understand what was so exciting about them. Enter my husband… I mentioned the time we went to the Cuban restaurant, Versailles in Part I.  He talked about the black beans that night.  I ate them.  I enjoyed them.  However, I still didn’t really understand just how delightful they could be. It wasn’t until my husband took me one Christmas to meet his family.  We arrived on Noche Buena, and the festivities were in full swing.  A family friend, Miguel had prepared the beans.  He took me under his wing and told me all about his grandmother’s recipe and the memories that came with the food. We talked and talked, and then I tasted.  These were different.  They were creamy and flavorful.  Just the aroma from them was intoxicating.  I …

My Little Valentine

Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly.  While this traditionally has been a holiday I’ve shrugged off, my husband loves to go all out and give me roses and chocolates.  On one occasion, I got a teddy bear and the flowers.  Last year he gave me custom jewelry with his and my son’s birthstones. Needless to say, he’s changed my attitude about Valentine’s Day.  I wholeheartedly admit I love flowers and candy.  To be given those things from him makes them even more special. Usually I cook him his favorite meal for this holiday.  This year, I decided to do something different. My husband is Cuban.  There is very little that he loves more than a pastelito.  We live walking distance to Porto’s Cuban Bakery, which has all sorts of Cuban and Cuban-inspired treats.  We used to go there all the time.  It’s cheap.  It’s delicious.  The food is fresh.  The coffee is strong.  The lines are…long.  Oh…that’s right.  It usually takes a minimum of an hour to get in and out of Porto’s, even if …

The Versatility of Crepes

I was catching up on some Top Chef episodes, when was I reminded of one of my all old-time favorite dishes during a “Quick Fire Challenge.”  The segment was centered around Chef Brooke Williamson’s tradition of making Sunday morning crepes with her son.  Of course, it was appropriately sponsored by Nutella…

The Cure for the Holiday Hangover

It’s January.  Most of us are trying to eat better and work out more.  However, it’s generally cold in the mornings and we’re all feeling a little sluggish from the holidays. January may be the time of resolution keeping, but it is also the time of the Holiday Hangover.  For that, I like nothing more than a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. My husband and I have been grinding coffee and brewing it up in our Italian espresso maker.  Add a touch of Splenda and some 2% steamed milk, we have the beginning of a productive day.  It’s our slice of morning heaven. However, do you know what makes it even better?  A little treat. That’s right – a treat.  An itty-bitty, something yummy is the perfect way to start the day – even if it isn’t on our diet.  That’s where the Coffee Cookie comes in! I drink alcohol from time to time, as you may have guessed from the title of my blog.  On one boozy night, I had …

Macarons – Those Temperamental Little B!+(#es

French macarons have been a long-time favorite dessert of mine.  I love the colors, flavors, and that slightly chewy, tender cookie with a fragile crust.  I heard they could be fussy, so I never tried to make them.  Instead, I left them to the French pastry experts. That is, until I caught a video on making macarons.  It looked so easy!  What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot of things. Let’s start with this:  If you read my blog or know me in person, you know I am very bad at sticking to the recipe.  I enjoy “cooking with love.”  In other words, I like throwing things together and making something yummy. The first time I made macarons, I followed the directions of the video I had watched.  These were very tasty, but the video left out a very important step: Sift, sift, sift.  Then sift again.  If in doubt, sift. As I said, the first macarons I created were delicious.  However, they were grainy.  They were completely the wrong texture.  …