clementine madeleines

....that would be a good band name. someone get on it.

twas a snow day and i was stuck at home with the dying urge to bake (read: make the house warmer). early on i thought about madeleines, and when i say i thought about madeleines, i mean i obsessed over their cakey french goodness for hours. i went to the kitchen and crumbled in disappointment, no lemons. i may or may not have cried in the fetal position in the corner for a whole minute...as i saw them: those sexy little clementines in my fruit bowl. 'twas done. i knew what i had to do. and i bring forth to you, my lovely reader, the clementine madeleine with almond extract. FRACK these things are good.

auditory pairing: generationals - bobby beale

clementine madeleines 
yields ~20 madeleines

- 2/3 c all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1/2 sugar
- zest of 1.5 clementines (they're small!)
- 2 large eggs at room temp
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 3/4 stick (6 tbsp) butter, melted then cooled
- confectionar's sugar (for dusting)

1. butter and flour your madeleine pan, place in freezer
2. in a small bowl, rub the clementine zest and sugar together between your fingertips, until sugar is fragrant and moist, set aside
3. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt
4. in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and zest, along with eggs. using whisk attachment, beat on medium-high (8) speed, until lighter in color and thick (about 3 mins).
5. beat in almond extract
6. with a silicone/rubber spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients (i added in 3 steps)
7. once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, gently fold in the melted butter
8. take a piece of saran wrap and press it onto the batter, set batter in fridge for at least 3 hours
9. preheat oven to 400F, dollop a small amount of batter into each shell of the pan (try not to overfill, overfill prevents those lovely lady humps from happening)
10. bake 8-12 minutes, until edges look a little golden and humps form
11. remove tray from oven, remove madeleines and set on rack to cool
12. dust with powdered sugar (optional)


black bean tortilla soup and vimto snow cones!

ever get so hungry you CAN'T even THINK straight? not me, ever. and by not me i mean always. and by ever i mean lay off me i'm starving.

this soup takes 10 minutes start to finish. it's healthy and fast. just the way i like it.

auditory pairing: love is all - dust

black bean tortilla soup
yields 4-6 servings
from fitness magazine

- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3.5 c chicken broth (or 1 bouillon cube with 3.5 c water)
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can black beans, 15 oz
- 1 can diced green chili peppers, 4oz
- tortilla chips 

1. saute the onion, garlic, and cumin in 2 tbsp olive oil
2. add the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, and green chili peppers
3. bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 mins
4. serve with tortilla chips

and now.....


- snow 
- vimto syrup

1. pack some fresh snow into your cup of choice
2. pour vimto syrup over
3. EAT!


maamoul (traditional lebanese date-filled cookies)


"varry good yasmeen!"

my dad then takes back the package, opens it up, and shares some store-bought maamoul with me. that was one of the first words i learned how to read in arabic as a kid. really the first words i picked up were all either food or cusswords (and i mean DURRTAY cusswords), so typical of a lebanese household.

these traditional orange blossom-laced shortbread cookies stuffed with dates transcend race, hombre.

yields ~24 cookies

cookie dough:
1 c semolina/farina
2 c all purpose flour
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tbsp orange blossom water
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c milk

date filling:
2 packages ziyad medjool baking date paste (13oz each)

also needed:
cooking spray
powdered sugar (optional)
maamoul molds

1. preheat oven to 450F. mix all dry dough ingredients, add the milk, orange blossom, and butter. mix with hands. 
2. depending on the size of your molds, take about a heaping teaspoonful of dough, roll it into a ball, then start to form a hole in the middle.
3. take about a teaspoon of date paste and place inside hole. close seams of dough.
4. spray maamoul molds with cooking spray, and press dough and date ball (that was made in step 3) into mold
5. tap mold onto the counter and the formed maamoul will fall out, place on parchment-lined cookie sheet, follow steps 2-5 for the remainder of dough and date filling
6. place cookie sheet on center rack and bake for approx 20 mins. cookies should be lightly golden but not brown.
8. once done cooking, allow cookies to cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional)




moroccan spaghetti

as the weather in nyc change from cool to "nowhere to hide" cold, i hazily relive the dog days of summer by remembering what i cooked and what my inspiration was. i remembered cooking a vegetarian dish, with the intention of adding it to our "kinda growing" recipes for our meatless mondays, otherwise known as "mea-mo", which sometimes become "mea-tue", "mea-we" and well, you know. . . marrakesh was an inspiration but i mostly wanted to use the cinnamon, turmeric and cloves that have been gathering dust in the pantry. and, almost perfectly enough, i have this book of vegetarian recipes called "the accidental vegetarian" by simon rimmer that i stumbled upon barnes and noble a few years back.

auditory pairing: rock the casbah - the clash

in this recipe, you would need about 10 oz of dried spaghetti, 1/2 c of olive oil, 1 finely chopped onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 8 finely chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1 tsp of ground cumin, a pinch of turmeric, 1 c of toasted, slivered almonds, 1/2 c of cooked garbanzo beans, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh mint leaves, salt and pepper.

1. cook the spaghetti in boiling water, i add salt generously in the pot.
2. meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft.
3. add the tomatoes, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric over a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes kinda break down.
4. season the sauce with salt and pepper and then add the almonds and chickpeas.
5. drain the pasta, fold the herbs into the sauce and mix with the pasta.

it's of that crazy casbah jive good.


almond panna cotta with blueberry lime sauce

know what's cool and hipster-like? not eating pumpkin pie on thanksgiving. now don't get me wrong, i will kill a b*tch for some pumpkin pie. but it's just so booooooooooring to eat it on the day of giving thanks. panna cotta with blueberry lime sauce? WIN. 

on the real: the lime zest takes this sauce to a new level of awesome.

auditory pairing: the antlers - bear

almond panna cotta with blueberry lime sauce
yields 8 servings

panna cotta
- 4 c half & half (or heavy cream if you're feeling randy)
- 1/2 c sugar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 packets powdered gelatin (4 1/2 tsp)
- 6 tbsp cold water

1. spray 8 ramekins with pam
2. in a large saucepan heat cream and sugar until sugar fully dissolves (medium-high heat, few minutes)
3. remove from heat and stir in the extract
4. in a small bowl add the 6 tbsp cold water, sprinkle the gelatin over it. let sit 5-10 mins.
5. after gelatin has set, stir into the cream and sugar mixture until the gelatin completely dissolves.
6. pour the panna cotta into the ramekins. chill in fridge for 3-4hrs, until panna cotta has set.
7. when ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of each ramekin and invert onto a plate

blueberry lime sauce
- 2 c blueberries (1 pint)
- 2 limes
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch

1. zest each lime, take one of the limes and juice it. set juice aside.
2. in a large saucepan combine blueberries, lime zest, juice of 1 lime, and sugar
3. let simmer over medium heat for 10 mins (if blueberries frozen add 5-10 mins more) stirring occasionally
4. once the blueberries have softened and released their juices, add the cornstarch to thicken
5. refrigerate until ready to use
6. pour over inverted panna cotta and eat QUICKLY!