Posts Tagged 'Cheese'

New Year’s Snacking – Hotlanta Style

It’s time for New Year’s!  The last few years, I’ve been wrapped into the Spanish scene – where you go to a house party until 10 in the morning and eat your twelve grapes as the clock chimes twelve times for midnight.  This year I’ll be calming it down back in the Pacific Northwest, and we will probably all go to bed at one.  I’m not upset by that prospect.   In keeping with the calmer party, I will be bringing along some snacks with my bottle of prosecco, so we can all feel fancy.

I made these for Christmas out of the cookbook I bought while visiting my friend Caroline down in Atlanta in October: Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.   I was a little worried about getting it home in my suitcase as it’s a doozy of a book, but it has been entirely worth it.  Justifying an impulse buy is quite priceless.

Tiny little turnovers of cheddar and pepper jelly, these are crunchy and flaky and delicious and you should totally make them.  They take a little time to put together, which I don’t usually approve of, but these are worth the effort.  I was reminded of my college roommate and her love of pepper jelly from Pike Place – we’d go get some and sit in our dorm looking out the balcony while smearing cream cheese on Ritz and dollops of sweet and spicy red pepper jelly on top.  These are a little more complex and elegant, but you have to start loving pepper jelly somewhere.

I have no more reminiscing or fun things to say about the ingredients – I’m kind of discombobulated right now because I finally landed a job in Seattle, but only on a temp to permanent basis.  So just a few hours ago I loaded up my clothes and toothbrush and moved in temporarily with my brother up north.  My life isn’t looking anything like I had planned, but I’m excited to start work and leery of aggravating my brother and sister-in-law.  Cross your fingers and eat some turnovers, because they help everyone feel more settled and cheery.

pepper jelly turnovers-7 Continue reading ‘New Year’s Snacking – Hotlanta Style’

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Heyo, Britain.

About a month ago, I took a short jaunt up to London and Brighton to witness the graduation of my friend Caroline.  I am monstrously proud of her and her fancy pants Master’s degree (and now her pending PhD journey!) and was excited to go be her personal cheering section.  As I’m the closest, geographically, it made sense that I would play surrogate mom, making a fool of myself and generally taking lots of pictures and beaming.

One of the many things that delights me about Caroline is that like me, she knows how to think with her stomach.  So I’d like to share with you some of the tasty tidbits that she managed to finagle into our trip.

First of all, thank you so much to Caroline, Bea, Megan, and Bridie for giving me the best weekend I’ve had in a long time full of delicious Asian food and hard cider.  Two things that are severely lacking in my Mediterranean diet.  I hope I get the chance to hop up there again, because I’m not done with you all yet.

Now for gratuitous pictures of food. Just a bit, though, because I was too busy being proud of all those smarty pants I just mentioned and their posh degrees.

Continue reading ‘Heyo, Britain.’

We will eat what we will, THANK you.

A few months ago, freshly graduated and unemployed, I spent several days laying around waiting for my friends to get back in town or someone to please please please call me back for an interview to some menial job or another.  Needless to say, I ended up watching a lot of TV, especially since it was pouring down rain the entire time.  Eventually, I ran out of good TV to watch and began flipping through the On Demand menu and fell to a low I never thought I’d reach: multiple episodes of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

During this onslaught of mind-numbing programming it suddenly occurred to me that every single one of my good friends had managed to escape this fate – we were all baby-free college graduates.  And suddenly my heart swelled with pride.  As invitations for weddings and baby showers began to clog my mailbox, I started to think.  Shouldn’t we also be celebrating our own, non-marketed brand of good fortune?  I needed a party to cleanse my palate of congratulatory Hallmark cards.

Thus: the Thank GOD I’m Not Pregnant Party.

It's hard to find favor boxes for a party like this. Dutch mints and condoms go well together, though.

Continue reading ‘We will eat what we will, THANK you.’

Muscat grapes – a hint at ambrosia?

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted, and unfortunately for those of you who actually read this, I’m not going to fulfill any high expectations here.  I recently started a job and an online course to prepare for my ‘real’ job coming up in the fall – teaching English in Spain. I haven’t had the time or inclination to write or cook for awhile after throwing around plates of food and the dirty dishes of strangers.  Yes, I’m waitressing again to save up to jaunt on over to Europe.

I’ll talk more about Spain later, but for now I just want to put up a few pictures that I took a month ago.  There is no recipe here, just pure hedonistic joy in the flavors that can be found, if you have your eyes out.

Muscat grapes.

Continue reading ‘Muscat grapes – a hint at ambrosia?’

Entertaining with Jamesy

Care for a romantic French picnic, James?

It is no secret that I’m in love with James Beard. He’s a chef that helps me define in my heart and to detractors what exactly American cuisine could be, if you start stripping away international influences and fusions – not that you really need to, for I think that’s the greatest part of eating in the US.  I look for reasons to pull out my copy of Beard on Food (truly I don’t like the title – it sounds like a treatise on kitchen-based mold) and surreptitiously caress the pages.  My roommate was very understanding when I celebrated the mild breakdown in a dinner party of hers.  We were making the vegan gypsy goulash for eight, but it ended up being three.  Suddenly we had two extra pounds of white mushrooms slowly turning brown in the crisper drawer.  In the back of my love-addled mind, a bell rang.  Certainly…James had a recipe that needed…two pounds of mushrooms?

Continue reading ‘Entertaining with Jamesy’

A little taste of Spain

I can’t claim to have invented it, nor really spent much time throwing it together, but this simple dish is one of the tastes I have most missed from my short time in Spain: bread, cheese, and membrillo.

Membrillo is something that I didn’t know quite what it was, but I knew I liked it, and that was enough.  What I knew then: it was some kind of thickened fruit paste that put me in the mind of the texture of high quality fruit leather if you stopped short of fully drying it out; it had the full flavor of a fruit concentrate and a slightly gritty texture that lent it enough interest to keep me from thinking I was eating baby food.  I had thought that maybe it was apricot, because the membrillo I got in Santiago de Compostela* was a kind of glowing amber, but the flavor was not quite right; I put it down to really good, Spanish apricots.

Continue reading ‘A little taste of Spain’


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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