Friday, March 26, 2010

Books To Nosh On

This past month I have been reading Appetite For Life - The Biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch.  It is an incredibly detailed book of Julia Child's life, a bit too detailed at times, but still very interesting to read.  Appetite For Life chronicles Julia's road from being a daring yet goofy California girl to meeting her husband Paul Child and to eventually creating Mastering The Art of French Cooking and her television program The French Chef.  What I find most inspiring is Julia's enthusiasm and hard work ethic, as well as Paul and Julia's modern marriage of true team work.  I still have 80 pages left of this book, and I desperately trying to finish before I leave for vacation today.  I wouldn't mind reading it, but it is rather heavy and I would like to carry a book 300 pages lighter.  I have so many food-related books piling up in my book case that I thought I would share.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Coffee Ice Cream

I made this coffee ice cream from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop about a month ago.  It went so quickly, that I forgot to snap a photo of the finished product.  Below is the recipe:

Ingredients for David Lebovitz's Coffee Ice Cream:
-1 1/2 cups whole milk
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans
-Pinch of Salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
-5 large egg yolks
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee

Warm the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt and 1/2 cup pf the cream in a medium saucepan.  Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Rewarm the coffee-infused milk mixture.  Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir into the cream.  Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible, then discard the beans.
Mix in the vanilla and the finely ground coffee and stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
For another coffee treat, try this Chocolate Espresso Mousse Cake!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cheater's Homemade Broth

I received The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rosetto Kasper and Sally Swift for Christmas this year from my grandma.  Inside the cookbook is an array of fonts and photos, which at first I found confusing.  Then after second glance and some real reading, I realized that this book is the literary version of Kasper's Splendid Table radio program.  Throughout the book you can hear Lynne's voice offering the reader tips and secrets to making delicious meals.  The first recipe I tried was Soup of Fresh Greens and Alphabets which included making a recipe of Cheater's Homemade Broth.  What exactly is cheater's broth?  Basically it is taking store-bought broth and adding "every flavor-boosting trick" Lynne and Sally know.  At first I was skeptical with the amount of work I was going to have put in to make the broth before I even made the soup.  But once I tried a spoonful of the finished broth, I was sold.  It is truly the most flavorful broth I have ever made - so good that I could have just eaten it alone without anything added to it.  Lynne and Sally recommend making this broth and storing it for whenever you feel like making soup.  The broth keeps for 4 days refrigerated and 6  months frozen.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Matter of Loaf or Death

Last night I went to the IFC Center to catch the 2010 Academy Award-Nominated Animated Short Films.  I love animation, and I was so happy that I could have the chance to see these films!  I am only mentioning this on the blog because one of my favorite films was Wallace and Gromit - A Matter of Loaf or Death, in which Gromit tries to solve the murder mystery case of a serial killer offing the local bakers.  The story was pretty hilarious and it was so fun to see loaves of bread made out of clay.  If you have a chance, you should check it out.  If you are in New York, you still have today to stop by the IFC Center and watch the short films.  Click here for times.

I also loved Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty (click here to watch - so so funny) and Partly Cloudy (which is not actually nominated for an Oscar, but was so sweet and endearing).

And you if you want a special treat for the Oscars tonight, make these snickerdoodles.