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archive for December 2007

crawdaddies on the brain

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Recipe: crawfish phyllo triangles

I’ve had this recipe in the back of my head for well over ten years. Jeremy and I were driving from Ithaca, New York down to Virginia to visit with my parents way back in the late 90s when we stopped by my friend’s house in Washington DC along the way. I lived in northern Virginia for one year during high school and became close friends with Emily. It was nice to see her parents again (I love them, they are the sweetest people) and introduce them to Jeremy for the first time. While we chatted, Emily’s mom – the consummate hostess – presented us with a platter of hot, crispy phyllo triangles filled with… crawdads. Crawdads (crayfish) are these delicious freshwater critters that look like small lobsters and are practically religion on the Gulf. Mmmmm, mmmm, good.

crawdads, onions, celery, and spices, parsley and green onions

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favorite tea cake

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Recipe: royal raspberry and almond cake

I trust everyone had a merry Christmas and/or federal holiday! I want to thank those of you who bid on my raffle prize as well as all of the other fabulous raffle prizes at Menu for Hope IV this year. What an awesome turnout. MfH raised 50% more than last year’s effort – over $90,000! That’s a whole lotta raffle tickets, kids!

Ever since I found out that my Aussie friends have lovely cold seafood picnics on the beach for Christmas, I have steadily rejected the traditional roasted animal – be it of feathered or four-legged persuasion – in favor of those animals who gurgle and bubble in the sea. Now *that* is a treat to me. I grew up on the water and spent far too much time in it or at its edge during my youth. This year we had lobster bisque, crawdad phyllo triangles (crawdads = crayfish = yabbies), shrimp cocktail, and king crab legs for our Christmas “meal”. The meal was neither lunch nor dinner, but a long drawn out noshing session. We didn’t have it in us to eat dessert. Who needs dessert after all of those lovely critters?

oh you little beauty

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daring bakers: yule log

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Recipe: yule log

Does it suddenly feel like you’re walking through the enchanted forest with all of the yule logs popping up on food blogs? Enchanted, indeed. It’s the Daring Bakers challenge for December! This month our most beloved founders: Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice are hosting the challenge and they picked this traditional pastry.

we knead to bake – oh yes! we most certainly do…

I had never made a yule log (aka bûche de noël) before, but I was familiar with all of the components. The three major parts were: meringue mushrooms, buttercream frosting, and the genoise. I began with the mushrooms.

beat the egg whites to stiff peaks

piping tops and stems

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