…to my staple in life, bread.
Because very few things are better than sliced bread. That’s why the saying exists, right?
Growing up never tasted so good
My mother can read my future thoughts. How else can I explain the fact that the day after I wrote about having an uncharacteristic craving for a box of chocolates, these show up on my doorstep? She ordered them the week before. See, moms really do know best.
I know Valentine’s Day is kind of the box-of-chocolate holiday, but because of my apathetic opinion of chocolate, I don’t usually receive any. I’m really glad I did this year. I’m also really glad they were from Vosges Haut-Chocolat, a Chicago-based chocolatier. Check out these flavors for the exotic truffle collection.
The chocolates came with instructions on how to eat a truffle. Fun fact: I once gave a 45 minute presentation on how to eat chocolate for one of my classes in high school, complete with a taste testing demonstration. Chocolate is serious business and clearly worthy of academic study.
I know some people don’t like Valentine’s Day (“it’s a manufactured Hallmark holiday”), but I don’t see what’s wrong with a special day devoted to showing people how much you love them. Especially when that love comes in the form of chocolate when you really need some.
What’s your favorite chocolate company?
Eating Up looks a little different! With the help of my graphic designer-in-training sister, I redesigned the blog, and I am thrilled with the results. Hope you like it too! I thought it was an appropriate time to do it, seeing as tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and a lot of people are making plans for fresh starts and whatnot.
I actually love New Year’s Eve. I don’t even do anything particularly fun for it usually, and a lot of years I haven’t even stayed up until midnight to watch the ball drop on TV. (That confession won’t surprise my friends.) Still, I love welcoming a new year and wondering what it will have in store for me. And while I love the unknown, I also appreciate “suggestive life guidelines” too. That’s what I’m calling my resolutions this year. It puts less pressure on me.
Suggestive Life Guidelines for 2011
1. READ MORE
I’m not gonna say I need to read a book a month or anything specific because hey, life happens, and some months I have more free time than others. Still, I always want to read more. I used to say I don’t read for fun, because I have too much school reading to do as is…but that reason won’t make sense come mid-March when I finish school for good. Feel free to leave some suggestions for me about what I should check out!
Why is this so hard for me to do? Sure, I can eat healthy, take my daily vitamins and stay away from too much sugar, but I can’t get myself to take the minute to floss everyday…or once a week. I guess it’s good I don’t have too much of a sweet tooth, but really I should finally make 2011 the year I floss more.
3. GROW THIS BLOG
I don’t like to think of this blog as my baby…it’s just too weird of a metaphor for me. I do like to think of this blog as a tree–a fruit tree specifically since I long for a pear tree–and I want to put in the time and creativity and watch it grow. As a journalism major who loves food and is fascinated by social media, I love what Eating Up adds to my life.
4. RUN A HALF MARATHON
I may regret this public suggestive life guideline. My dad really wants to run a half marathon with me, and I told him I’m game as long as I’m running through a very pretty place. Healdsburg wine country exceeds expectations on that request. This race isn’t until the fall so 1) it gives me plenty of time to train 2) it gives me plenty of time to get distracted by other life things. Wish me luck.
5. FIND A JOB
Okay, so this one isn’t really a suggestive life guideline. It pretty much needs to happen.
What are your New Year’s Eve plans? I’m actually doing something fun this year–a group of my girl friends and I are going to a bar in downtown Chicago!
Goat Cheese Biscuits (recipe from my friend Katherine)
2 cups self-rising flour (you can make this by combining 1/2 tsp salt and 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder per cup of all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter (cut it into tablespoons)
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) goat cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk
Extra butter to grease pan and top biscuits
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and put the skillet or glass baking pan in the oven while you do the directions below.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Cut the cold butter and the goat cheese into the dry mixture.
4. Create a well in the middle to pour in the milk.
5. Pour in the milk.
6. Mix together.
7. Take out the pan and put biscuit size amount of dough on it, drizzle with butter.
8. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
And yes, the best meal of 2010 included dessert. Specifically, chocolate souffles from now closed restaurant Etas-Unis in New York City (RIP). Thank God for recipes to keep foodie greatness alive.
2011, you have a lot to live up to. I’m ready to see what you’ve got.
What was your best meal of 2010?
I added a new page to my header where I consolidated all the recipes I have featured on the blog. I will be adding links whenever I feature new recipes so the list will continue to grow!
Now, back to Thanksgiving dinner for the last post in the series. Rest assured, it has a sweet ending.
I was so conflicted about what to make for Thanksgiving dessert. In my mind, there’s no quintessential dessert for Thanksgiving. Sure, there’s pumpkin and pecan pie, but 1) my grandma was planning to bring her famous pumpkin pie 2) some people prefer apple crisps or chocolate cake to cap off their feast. I wanted something that fit with the rest of the menu and the holiday but was kind of unique…although not too unique because I knew my audience: they appreciate traditional food–especially when it’s time for dessert.
My question of what to make for dessert was answered in the form of an e-mail. I subscribe to Tasting Table Chicago‘s newsletter and receive recipes from them a few times a week. When Chef Michael Richard from the Washington D.C. restaurant Citronelle submitted his recipe for Maple-Parsnip Cake, I knew I no longer needed to look for my show-stopping dessert. I was sold when I read “inspired by carrot cake” since my favorite dessert happens to be just that.
2 cups almond meal or very finely ground almonds
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup pure maple syrup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
6 medium parsnips, peeled and grated (about 2 cups)
½ cup toasted pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack in the center. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch-round cake pan and line it with a round of parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper and sides of the pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the almond meal with the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the maple syrup, butter and eggs. Beat at medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute, scraping the side of the bowl as needed. Add the reserved dry ingredients a cup at a time, mixing between each addition until just combined. When all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated, stir in the ginger and parsnips.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the pecans over the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before unmolding. Let cool to room temperature, slice and serve.
I was very happy to end my Thanksgiving meal with a piece of this cake, paired with my grandma’s (secret recipe) famous pumpkin pie. It was moist, not too sweet and had that perfect seasonal maple flavor.
What’s next? Christmas dinner. No rest for the
weary zealous food blogger.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?