vanilla bean madeleines.

happy friday, and yay for a three day weekend!
today is one of my student leader’s partner’s birthday. they’re doing a small celebration for him, so she asked me to make a cake for his birthday.

read on…


chocolate peanut butter pretzel bars.

it’s interview season for students who are applying for jobs and internships for their senior year and post-grad. i’ve reviewed lots of cover letters, resumes, and personal statements. i’ve written a little more than handful of recommendations. crossing my fingers and sending good energy into the world for them as they “go forth and set the world on fire.” (thanks, st. ignatius.)

interviews aren’t my favorite things. i definitely enjoy asking questions and learning more about places. it’s just talkingaboutmyselfandmarketingmyself thing. so much nervousness and formality. i’ve tried the “frame it like a conversation.” that helps a bit. i guess why interviews aren’t my favorite is that i feel like i can only say show much about why i am a good fit.

if i had it my way, we’d all be able to bring something to our interview to share.
and, i already know what i’d bring.

read on…

brown butter crispy rice treats.

i celebrated the last full work day of spring break by making something for our facilities crew. i saw them at lunch almost everyday this week and decided they needed a little something. it was also another way for me to make something sweet and not end up eating it all.

so, i decided to do another twist on an old favorite: crispy rice treats.

read on…

KITCHEN NOTES: four (vanilla bean ice cream)

this is the fourth installment of kitchen notes. post-it wisdom from my kitchen. a way to remind myself of the important things.

you gotta remember that sometimes, it isn’t about how fancy a dish is. or, the amount of money spent on all the smoke and mirrors for an on-campus event.

don’t complicate it.

i’ve been playing with spices and different flavors lately. chorizo was one. i made tandoori tofu the other evening for dinner. fried rice last night. so, i wanted something simple to “cleanse the pallet,” if you will.

that’s when i call on vanilla (bean). it’s my go to flavor when i want something clean, comforting, and simplified.

if you have to dress it up, add it to a root beer float.
and, yes, i did that.

i know i’ve made vanilla bean frozen yogurt. but, this is for those who need just a little bit more, you know.

vanilla bean ice cream
printable recipe – barely adapted from the ice cream deck

yield about 1 quart

1 vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups half and half
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup vanilla sugar

prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl or pan with ice water.

in a double boiler, add half and half. split vanilla bean in half and scrape out inside into half and half. heat until water is steaming. in a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks. add a ladel of hot half and half mixture into the egg yolks and stir to temper the eggs. pour the egg yolks into the half and half mixture over the double boiler. stir constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon–about 15 minutes. you should be able to coat the back of the spoon, draw a line down the middle with your finger and the liquid not bleed back together.

remove the mixture off the heat and place the pan of custard into the ice bath. once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, add cream. refrigerate until completely cool.

when you are ready to make the ice cream, remove the vanilla bean. follow your ice cream machine instructions to make your ice cream. pop in freezer for at least an hour to firm up. yum.

happy thanksgiving.

it’s my second thanksgiving spent on the cape, and i could not be more thankful to have great people to share it with. it’s usually a slow, lazy day, which is my favorite. i’ve been reading bossypants by tina fey. somuchrandomness. we started the day off with gingerbread pancakes that were inhaled immediately. a recipe for that in the future.

a small rest break, and we were in the kitchen preparing for the main event–thanksgiving dinner. m and i were in charge of the veggie main dish, dessert, and gravy. m’s mom was in charge of the rest–sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing, and the turkey (not for m and me).

in m’s opinion, thanksgiving isn’t complete without canned jellied cranberry. the first time i had it was last thanksgiving. it’s charming in its own way. it’s not my favorite part. my favorite is always the veggie main dish. this year, it’s spaghetti squash.

read on…