Friday, April 27, 2012

Spicy Pepper Steak Tacos

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Spicy Pepper Steak Tacos

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For some frustrating reason I'm always most creative under pressure. (This makes meal planning and shopping a dreaded chore.) If I'd had a week to think about what to do with the chuck roast in my freezer I probably would have ended up settling for a traditional boring pot roast. But when I was frantic to get something started for dinner this morning, and knew I had to incorporate a few things in my refrigerator that simply must go now, it all came together somehow. And it was so not boring!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Fettucini with Creamy Portobello Gruyere Sauce

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Fettucini with Creamy Portobello Gruyere Sauce

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Mushrooms. Cheese. Cream. Wine. Yeah, that sounds about right. I recently had one of those rare moments of instant enlightenment where I just suddenly knew exactly what I wanted to make and exactly how I would make it. And somehow I knew it would be perfect because I could taste it in my mind. This did not disappoint!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

Print or download the recipe:
Chocolate Raspberry Torte

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I put my entire well-being in jeopardy with today's culinary exploits. I made ganache. I'm not a big baker as it is, as I prefer to avoid precision at all costs, and anything that involves any kind of chemical reaction scares me. It's just too easy to screw things up. I don't know what it is about ganache that has alway intimidated me so much. Maybe just the fancy name, or the fact that I refused to melt chocolate after two disasters with it when I was an emotional young teen. (I only recently broke down and tried it again when I was desperate for chocolate-covered strawberries, and that's when I discovered that hot, melted, semi-sweet chocolate is the closest thing to heaven that can be found on this earth.) At any rate, I've shied away from making lots of gorgeous desserts over the years simply because they had that dreadful word "ganache" in the recipe. I imagined it would be extremely complicated to make and easy to ruin.

But when I came across this recipe for chocolate torte in Cook's Illustrated while looking for a dessert to make for Easter, it looked so irresistible that I just had to cross my fingers and trust the editor's promise that every recipe they publish is fool-proof. If I blew up my kitchen in the process or collapsed in a pool of sweat and tears and clumpy chocolate I could just sue them for false advertising, right? O ye of little faith! It was one of the simplest things I've ever done and the result was...ganache. Now I know why it has such a beautiful name.


I might just start baking more if I'm gonna consistently turn out such impressive looking stuff!