Friday, September 12, 2008

Spending a day in the kitchen

After looking at the pictures I took of the food I made today, I have decided that our black dishes, while classy dinnerware in and of themselves, are not great backdrops for food photos. After we move I may buy a small set of clean white dishes for food photography (along with a work light for better illumination); we'll see.

A few hours after cooking our remaining pot stickers for a sort of brunchtime meal, I decided to make pasta. We had noodles, we had vodka marinara sauce in a jar in the fridge--whait more do you need? Well, I'm the kind of girl who likes a lot of flavors, and wants to feel a sense of accomplishment while enjoying her meals. Enter the remainder (read: most of) the poblano pepper from the pot stickers (hey, we put bell peppers in pasta all the time, so why not these?), and a healthy chunk of goat cheese from Monday night's panini (chevre and prosciutto with cranberry sauce, for the record). I diced the poblano then cooked it in the pasta sauce and stirred in the cheese so that it all became one creamy pool of goodness. I then stirred in some cooked pasta (macaroni is all we had...not what I would have choose, but it worked out well) and voila!

It was really good; the poblanos added a nice depth to the flavor of the dish, as well as some crunch that was good contrast to the chewy pasta. I can't say I explicitly noticed the flavor of the chevre as it was pretty well integrated into the sauce, but it did make it creamier. Yum.

Almost immediately following the demoition of the entire large pot of pasta, I got around to making a sponge cake. I had been planning to for some time, and it was an excuse to use some of our milk and eggs before the power goes out. It's a recipe I got (I think) from an Anne of Green Gables companion tome that was mine when I was younger (that's where my jelly thumbprint cookies come from, too), and it's a simple recipe with delicious results.

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9" round pan or 8x8 square pan, and coat it with sugar (the original recipe calls for you to flour the pan, but remembering that I had read somewhere about sugaring pans instead, I decided to try it, and the results were lovely).
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter on medium-low until the butter is melted, then remove from heat and cover, to keep warm.
  5. Whisk eggs until they are thick and lemon-yellow.
  6. Add sugar a little bit at a time while continuing to beat the eggs.
  7. Add dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon JUST until everything is combined.
  8. Stir in the vanilla and the warm milk/butter mixture.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minuted, until the top has browned and is springy to the touch.
  10. Cool in pan before removing to serving platter. Optional: once cooled, you dust with powdered sugar.

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