The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Monday, March 17, 2008

When I Cook, I Cook

For the first time in ages I didn’t feel I had to work throughout the weekend. No gun-to- the-head deadlines for clients. I perused my foodie magazines, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food and Wine and saw some interesting recipes. I tend to fold a corner of the page down when I see an enticing recipe. Also for some inexplicable reason I had the urge to bake. I usually hate baking and considering my sugar levels I shouldn’t bake.

Two trips to the food store for ingredients and I was all set to go. I started with a white cake recipe with hints of lemon with a milk chocolate ganache from one of Nick Malgieri’s cookbooks. I followed it letter perfect but my ganache didn’t want to set. I still iced the cake and ended up throwing half the ganache away. It finally did set up. I liked it wasn’t too sweet. Next I spied a dried cherry, chocolate chip and pistachio biscotti from the same book and did that as well. It turned out just fine but still love the one biscotti recipe I do with dried cranberries and pistachios.

Wow was my kitchen looking like a mess. I do clean as I go but certain things are done when all the cooking is done.

I proceeded to make an orange curd for chocolate covered grapes from Food and Wine. I never got to the grapes. I made homemade pasta and used a mushroom and pistachio recipe from that same issue. The pasta was a pain in the ass. I should have used a bit more flour and the eggs broke loose from the flour well and all over the counter. The pasta was taking a bit longer to dry. Next time I’ll do it in the food processor but I was feeling more like mother earth and wanted to do the pasta by hand.

Slicing a pound of mushrooms thinly took some time but with my Santoku in hand I was pretty fast, not Yan Can Cook fast, but definitely fast. The mushroom and pistachio recipe is a keeper. I left the pots and pans for the next morning.

Today I spent about an hour cleaning the kitchen and then proceeded to finish the grape recipe which was quite simple. Chopped white chocolate and a little veggie oil and into the microwave, whisk, let cool and pour over stemmed grapes, stir, hit with some confectioners sugar to separate the grapes and voila…dessert. That recipe is a keeper as well but I think it will be better in the summer when some chilled fruit and orange curd will be more refreshing.

Meantime, come over we have cake, biscotti and white chocolate grapes with orange curd. The mushroom pasta is way gone…sorry.

I just realized it's after midnight, hence the green font for St. Patrick's day.

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