Have you heard about Cronuts? The creation of New York baker Dominique Ansel, they’re donuts made from croissant dough. And people are waiting in line for hours to get one, or buying them from scalpers for $40 apiece. I admit to being curious. Not so curious I’m going to fly to New York and wait in line for hours, or even head to one of the 3 or 4 bakeries in LA that are selling their versions. I’m also not so curious that I’m going to make croissant dough from scratch. I have a 13 month old. In the time it would take me to laminate dough, my house would probably be burned down around me. Or at least all the dog food would be eaten. And not by the dogs. HOWEVER, Trader Joe’s makes pretty darn good bake at home croissants. Have you tried them? They’re little frozen nuggets that you let rise overnight and then they bake into - maybe not the best croissants by Parisian standards, but some of the better croissants I’ve had in the US. My brainy idea was to proof these babies and then fry instead of bake. How hard could it be? I could make cronuts at home! I had visions of a $40 pastry empire. [...]
I live in the suburbiest of suburbia. Green lawns, swimming pools, sprinklers. People walk in my neighborhood – all the time – but they’re walking their dogs or taking a walk, rather than walking to something.
But even in the suburbiest of suburbia, we have our little neighborhood attractions. An elementary school is in [...]
I decided to celebrate with cake. I heard mention of a German dessert called “Rhabarberkuchen” somewhere on the interwebs, and immediately it summoned an image of a soft, yeasty cake topped by soft, tart rhubarb. A bit of googling made me decide to finish it off with a meringue. The result – a not-too-sweet coffee cake with a rhubarb tang which is perfect for teatime but just far enough on the spectrum from cake to bread that you don’t feel guilty eating it for breakfast (or Mother’s Day brunch.) [...]
This french toast, then, is my brave attempt to bring a little autumn to my life. The Nuni loves french toast, and while pancakes seem daunting even for a weekend breakfast, I’m always up for a quick egg soak and a fast saute. The five cans of pumpkin puree in my cupboard (we can call it what it is — aspirational pumpkin) inspired me to spice up my usual quick and easy French toast with a little fall flair. I thought that pumpkin pie filling is really just pumpkin added to eggs, cream, sugar and spices — change the proportions slightly and you have the perfect soak for french toast. After all, I may not feel like turning on the oven, but I can handle 10 minutes on the stove. [...]
This summer I discovered Bircher Muesli. It’s not oatmeal, and it’s not Mueslix — that breakfast cereal from the 80′s which was not that dissimilar from eating sawdust. I’d describe it more as a cold oatmeal. Only more delicious and easier to make. Oats are soaked overnight in liquid until they become soft and chewable. There’s dried fruit involved, and usually yogurt, because it is European. (A glance at the yogurt aisle in any French supermarche will give you an idea of how much Europeans love their yogurt.) But the best part is how easy it is to make. I mix up a big jar Sunday night, then each weekday morning I’ll grab a smaller jar, add some yogurt, and take a piece of fruit to slice over the top. When I’ve completed the morning routine and commute and dropoffs, I sit down at my desk with my muesli and a cappuccino from the kitchen, briefly fantasize about sundrenched balconies, and get to work, no longer hangry. [...]