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Summer to Fall Transition Time: Roasted Tomatoes

Well, it’s fall, and this post is late. Sorry.

One of my favorite things about summer is the fresh, ripe tomato.

Even with globalization allowing us to have year-round tomato-like objects, there is no replacement for in-season acidic, sweet tomatoes.  Spain had delicious, delicious tomatoes, and I went from tolerating them from eating one a day, at least.  No joke.  Just sliced up with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and white wine vinegar.

So when I saw this recipe from one of my favorite food writers, David Lebovitz, I felt that he was speaking to my need for delicious tomatoes outside of summer.  He offers up the suggestion of oven roasting them to intensify their flavor, and then freeze the suckers.   He was right.

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Bye Bye Spain

I had a little post about roasted tomatoes in the works, but then I got lazy and didn’t finish it before taking off for Spain for my Master’s wrap up.  That’s all done with, and now I’m on my way back the the Pacific NW to try to cobble a new life together.  Again.  I’m actually sitting in the Madrid airport, trying to take advantage of the expensive little mobile modem I had to pick up.

A sick bitter orange tree was blooming out of season, allowing me to get one more whiff of azahar in October. My friend said it was Sevilla saying goodbye to me.

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

A few weeks ago I made an offhand comment in…well, a comment about making these cupcakes as a way to spit in the eye of all my friends with dietary restrictions.  This recipe has animal products, refined sugar, alcohol, gluten…pretty much everything you need to cut people out of dessert time except for nut allergies.  The comment was born out of break-up aggravation and anger, and I figured channeling that through defiant cupcake baking was more productive than lashing out or boring my friends.  Also, it was my sister-in-law’s early birthday celebration the same weekend and she loves these, so win win!  In fact, I first made these when we went bridesmaids’ dress shopping for her wedding two years ago.  Cupcakes + prewedding diets = still totally delicious.

Irish car bombs are a pint of Guinness with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream dropped in them and chugged before the cream curdles.  I’ve had one, at a college Model United Nations party (oh yes, I was quite the cool one), and they can go to your head.  Like immediately.  They are tasty, but I’m not great at drinking quickly, so I prefer these cupcakes.  Last warning: these are incredibly rich. The cake is moist and intense, and the frosting is very sweet – don’t slather it on too thick.  Add a rich chocolate ganache filling to the party and it becomes a one cupcake is enough dessert.

Oh, and I had said that I wasn’t going to do gluten-free any more, but for those celiacs out there, yes, I had already mentally adapted this in a mental win-hearts-and-minds-of-friends ploy.  Follow the recipe with your favorite flour substitute, add a teaspoon of xanthan gum, and use a gluten-free beer.  I haven’t seen a stout yet, but Green’s has a tasty amber that could work.

So let’s make cupcakes.

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Clams! Again! But Spanish this time.

About two years ago, I wrote up my favorite recipe for clams. And it is still my favorite recipe.  But last Christmas Day, after my drunken Abandoned Americans in Sevilla party, I got adopted by a family that served me an equally wonderful set of clams.  And I’d like to share the idea.

Continue reading ‘Clams! Again! But Spanish this time.’

Pie Crust – and a Goodbye to Gluten-free

Well, I weighed for a while whether or not to write this post up, then decided that since I took all the pictures, and a few of my teensy handful of followers started reading this regularly for gluten-free recipes, that I may as well.  This will most likely be my last one like that, and I thought I should explain.  This is a blog about food, not my personal life (WordPress is not Xanga), but often, we cannot separate the two.  We cook for many reasons, and we love food for many reasons.

I myself am not celiac, nor on a gluten-free fad diet.  I began exploring gluten-free baking last summer, when I met a guy with celiac disease.  We hit it off, I returned to Spain, we kept talking, and we hit it off again when the economy drove me home.  But everyone who has dipped their toes into the tumultuous waters of romantic attachments knows that sometimes, though a connection may be real, sometimes time and circumstance may interfere.  To start angling back towards the food aspect, sometimes you may have gourmet ingredients, but forgot to take into account that you’re living in Colorado until your souffle deflates because of altitude issues.

New fancy pie shield from my stepmom for my birthday! It’s adjustable.

So, no more gluten-free, unless I run into more celiac people.  Which is probably going to happen.  Who knows? But I couldn’t leave this recipe out of the gluten-free chapter of my life and my blog, because of who I am.  That’s right.  We’re talking pie.

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Obvious repost – of myself

Hey everyone.  I’ve managed to get some hours of work in the two weeks – from my parents.  Both jobs involve sitting for long hours in front of the computer, which does not bode well for my thesis, let alone my blog.  So I do have quite a few pictures lying around, waiting to be hussied up and stuck on this page, but they are going to have to wait until I have enough patience to sit out and think how best to entertain the almost twenty people I have somehow duped into following me.

In the meantime, I’d like to share an interesting pairing of two recipes I’ve covered in the past. All thanks to my new favorite Mexican restaurant, Poquitos.

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Copycat Cocktail

Somehow, by being disgustingly lucky, I have managed to develop a rather snooty palate. This is particularly true in terms of my drinking style.  No matter what the liquid is, the more expensive it is, the more it attracts me.  I love those stupid minted waters, the fancy teas, microbrews with strange flavors, fancy wines, and pretty much anything with bubbles in it.  If it’s foreign or imported?  Even more alluring.

So when I go out on the town to drink, I’m always looking for something that I can’t make at home myself.  I have one expensive drink and I nurse it as long as possible, for as I’ve said before, I’m pretty much broke off my ass.  The old saying “champagne tastes on a beer budget” is very, very true for me at this stage in my life.  But that doesn’t get rid of the craving for expensive things.  That’s where friends and family with kitchen toys come to the rescue.

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!

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