C boy is a creation by Eiko. I found her blog on www.colette.fr/a/6/blogs and although she doesn't update all to often, the waits are well worth it. C is a bald child who is very bitter that his wife left him for a woman with long blonde hair.
A wierd film I saw in Costa Rica which involved chickens being thrown at Cuban women in bikinis
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My fixation with egg salad started when I was just a little girl. My family would go on long road trips (say, to the mountains up north, or to the seaside) and my mom would prepare a variety of sandwiches for the ride. The egg salad was my favorite.
I remember savoring each small square (she would slice each sandwich into two), biting a bit at a time, chewing slowly, pausing between bites, attempting to make it last as long as possible. My mom would pack a lot, but I dared not eat too many for fear I would receive one of those stern looks she reserved for when I overstepped my food boundaries (ah, childhood food issues…let’s not traverse that dark road for O, that way madness lies!). My father however, knew no food boundaries (and still continues to be unaware of such) and would dip his hand into the sandwich bag many times on one trip. I would sit and hope that, when the proper amount of time since my last sandwich passed, and I reached for another, there would still be an egg salad left. There usually was, owing to my dad’s penchant for cheese pimiento, but it was always a dodgy moment, that second when I would rummage through those neat squares of white bread.
That little girl has since grown up, and now makes her own egg salad – which she happily consumes whenever, and in whatever quantity, she wishes. AND she does it with bacon :)
My Favorite Egg Salad
- 6 hard boiled eggs (prepared as your preferred hardboiled egg procedure dictates – I know there is much debate on this)
- 60 grams bacon
- 2 tablespoons chopped green/spring onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Chop the bacon and fry in a dry non-stick pan until crisp and golden. Drain cooked bacon on a plate lined with a paper towel (fold it into two for double thickness and extra oil-absorbency).
- While the bacon is cooking, chop the hard boiled eggs into chunks, no need to be exact, and place in a bowl.
- Add green/spring onion and dill to the bowl with the eggs. Add bacon (well drained of residual oil) and mayonnaise.
- Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Toss gently (Gently now…the eggs will break, there’s no avoiding this, but you don’t want to pulverize them) to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Store in a jar in the refrigerator.
This egg salad is based on the egg salads of my childhood, perked up with some fresh herbs, and tailored to suit my love for bacon. Bacon and eggs go together so well don’t you think? :) I like my eggs in not-too-small chunks and the mayonnaise to coat every piece…not too much but not too little either because, as horrible as this makes me sound, I love mayonnaise (trust me; I have tried to cure myself of this affliction to no avail). Pile onto a greens-lined slice of wheat bread…I love this with either arugula or alfalfa sprouts, but all I had was the romaine you see in the photo.
My mom doesn’t make much egg salad anymore. If we go on a long road trip together we are more likely to stop for coffee somewhere along the way (now that coffee shops abound and her daughter can drink it with her) than take along a bag of sandwiches. I think however, that the time is ripe to bring back this old tradition. We will now have a little non-coffee drinker on our trips after all. And I can make the egg salad :)
To some, that may seem like an obvious statement to make and, no, it wasn't a complete epiphany for me, either. It's not as though JSF was telling me anything that I hadn't heard, and thought about, before. As a person that is already conscious about what I eat, a person who already reads ingredient lists, and is concerned with animal welfare, his words didn't shock me, but they did serve as a reminder, a reminder to not be so lazy. As consumers, we come to rely on packaging and labels, which often, don't mean anything at all. Free Range, Cage Free, Organic, these words don't necessarily mean what we think they do. We have to take it upon ourselves to find out where our food is coming from.
I know that this is a dessert blog, so at first I wasn't sure if this would even be relevant, but then I realized that the major components of baking, ingredients such as eggs, butter, milk, are also a large part of factory farming. I'm not telling you what to do or how to eat, but I think it's important information, even if you eat meat, to know where that meat is coming from, how the animal was raised and treated and processed. Even small changes, even minor adjustments, in the way we eat food, in the way we think about it, can make a big difference. Just something to consider.
I love having a stash of all sorts of food items squirreled away in my freezer. Not just any old things, but homemade edibles safely packed and put down for a chilly nap, to have on hand for any emergency, and to be woken up when needed. Different kinds of stock and soup, cookie dough, small batches of béchamel, meatballs and burger patties already formed, apportioned tubs of slow-cooked meat sauce, pie dough, and anything else homemade and freezable.
Oh the smug contentment of knowing you have these nourishing provisions at the ready! Set to be whipped out at a moment’s notice. Perhaps when you are too busy to get a proper dinner on, or you have sudden surprise visitors….or you are just in the mood for some pie.
(pie dough recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours as adapted by Cenk of Cafe Fernando, filling adapted from Cenk’s recipe)
For the pie dough:
For the filling:
- Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor using a metal blade.
- Remove butter from freezer, add it in the processor, and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal. Do not over mix! The pieces don’t have to be uniform. Dorie says some can be the size of fat peas and some the size of barley.
- Add ice water little by little, pulsing once in between each addition, until the dough forms clumps and curds (I lessened the water from 1/2 cup to 1/3 due to the moisture already present in my air). Again, do not over mix! Chunks of butter in the dough are fine (yum!) :)
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly and sparingly, knead just to incorporate dry ingredients.
- Divide the dough into two even balls. Flatten balls into disks and wrap individually in plastic.
- Refrigerate dough for at least an hour (at this point you can stash one disc in the freezer for future use if you are not going to use all the dough).
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment (you can roll dough directly on a floured work surface or between two sheets of plastic wrap but parchment works best for me) into a rough 11-inch circle. When rolling, turn dough over frequently and lift the parchment so it doesn’t form creases. Trim the edges to form a clean circle (I didn’t, oops!).
- Place your flattened dough (covered in the parchment) back in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill again.
- Remove dough from fridge, peel of top layer of parchment, and transfer the dough, on the bottom layer of parchment, to a sheet pan or pizza pan (I used one of those pizza pans with holes on the bottom).
- Mix 1/2 tablespoon of the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl and spread on the bottom of the dough.
- Toss apples with the rest of the cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
- Arrange the fruit on the bottom of the dough, leaving 2 inches of dough left outside.
- Fold up and pleat the dough (as best you can) over the top of the fruit, leaving the center uncovered.
- Lightly brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle both the dough and the fruit with sugar (I used Demerara sugar with large crystals).
- Place the galette in 400F oven and cook for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack immediately.
This isn’t a pie per se but a free-form tart, or galette if you want to sound cute and French (which I must admit I sometimes do). Unlike a pie you don’t need a special tin or even a top crust to make this. Just roll out the dough, nestle the fruits in the middle, pull up the edges (as neat or as messily as you want), and place on any flat baking pan. Pop in the oven and that’s that!
I have made this before using plums and nectarines and it is just as charming with apples, although of a different charm altogether. While the plums and nectarines were bright and tart and cheery, the cinnamon-perfumed apples are pure cozy comfort. I like both and I’d be hard-pressed to choose one over the other but I think it does say something that both C and my mom liked this one better.
I didn’t peel the apples when I made this as I thought it would add some color, and, truth be told, I was lazy. I do recommend you peel them though (and have indicated peeled apples in the recipe) as it can be a bit awkward when trying to cut your slice with a fork.
I used the Good For Almost Anything pie dough from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, as I did in the plum and nectarine version. I have typed out the recipe again here because this pie crust is truly so wonderful that I do believe it deserves repeating. For this galette I used some dough that had been sitting in the freezer for (the shame!) months. Aside from its old age, it was extremely hot in my kitchen making the dough too soft…I was sure it would be a disaster. But Dorie’s crust must be imbued with magical powers because from less than promising conditions it still emerged golden and flaky and absolutely delicious!
One batch of dough will give you enough for two galettes, so you can store one in the freezer for the future. And as far any homemade-goods-freezer-stash goes, this is definitely an excellent addition!
Kiss Cupcakes by Clever Cupcakes
Kiss Cake, from Kiss Online
True Whasssssssssssuuuuup style.
My next guilty pleasure: Mr Deeds
This was the film which made me realise I laugh like a banshee. Amazing performances by Steve Buschemi and John McEnroe. 5/5
Another unlikely must see: Planet Terror
Look at the poster. I have always loved the combination of red, black and white, but yellow makes the whole thing more brassy, disgusting and brilliant. Tacky, fantastic is Planet Terror. I have been tirelessly promoting this film for a while now but to no avail. I simply don't see what's not to love. An opening scene with Bruce Willis, followed by Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas getting ripped apart by flesh crazed Zombies.
Visually this is a feast of a film. It is also a fountain of beautiful quotes, my personal favourite being, 'YOU FUCKED WITH THE WRONG MEXICAN!'.
Give it a go, you will be very pleasently suprised.
Shouldn't work but it does: Harold and Kumar get the munchies
Ok, I downloaded the wrong poster. But honestly, this is not a stylish, clever or original film. It is however, ridiculously funny. Sometimes, thinking is overated, and for those blissfully mindless times 'Harold and Kumar get the Munchies' is the film for you.
On a more serious note: Curse of the Golden Flower
Words and stills do not do this film justice. It is pure action. From the swishing of the heavy, embroidered gowns to the epic battle scenes and thousands of flying ninjas who weave their way through the sky at night.
As a rule of thumb I like films about dysfunctional families; Tenembaums (tick), Todo Sobre mi Madre (tick), Spirited Away (tick), etc. But Curse of the Golden Flower takes the biscuit.
It tells the tale of Chinese dynsty. A family of power hungry, corrupt, lusty evil characters who trapped in their palace rituals are driven to madness.
I think this my most tense film viewing to date. I wanted to run straight into the screen and save everybody. Yimou Zhong somehow makes his onscreen monsters so vulnerable that they remain human despite the insane plot, unbelievable special effects, and extemely stylised mise-en-scene. Just incredible.
This film will also appeal to anybody who likes the colour gold.
A couple of Japanese cucumbers followed me home from the market. They lay in my crisper all slender and green. They seemed to be taunting me, and all other tubby cucumbers out there, with their lean taut bodies. So smug they sat, unblinking, secure in the knowledge of their perfection.
I made short work of them. Oh yes I did. Now they are pickled for me to enjoy at my leisure…their crisp tart deliciousness.
I used to strongly dislike pickles. Once upon a time, when I was just a little girl, and all the pickles I knew of were sweet pickle relish (which I can’t eat to this day) and sad dill pickles that had sat too long on a supermarket shelf. When I started cooking however, I discovered a whole other world of pickles. Pickles that were far afield from the sad specimens of my childhood. Pickles you made yourself with ingredients carefully chosen and infused with all kinds of different flavors. Pickles from all over the world – Japan (I love Japanese pickles!), Slovakia, and right here in my beloved islands.
I don’t have an actual pickle recipe, as I’ve mentioned here. Since my pickles are done in small batches and stored in the refrigerator (as opposed to long-term storage for my non-existent winter) I don’t go through strenuous sterilization procedures. I usually use a base of vinegar, salt, and sugar, then add whatever else, by way of herbs and spices, that suit my present mood. With these Japanese cucumbers I used rice vinegar (delicious for pickles!) and a lot of freshly cracked black pepper (which I love with cucumber pickles). Some salt, some sugar, and a short nap in the fridge to chill, and they are ready! Excellent side for fish or grilled pork, or tucked into a ham sandwich.
Now I love pickles. I still avoid sweet pickle relish and those ages-old jars of dill pickles on the supermarket shelves, but I have embraced the rest of the pickle world with much affection and fervor. Not only are they, I’ve found, delicious, they are also an excellent way to preserve vegetables…if perhaps you have a bit too much on your hands, or if you are simply tired of looking at a couple of skinny cucumbers! ;)
***check out the lovely pickles here! This will be next on my list of pickle recipes to try...