Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Almost identical to the Little Debbie variety, I found this recipe for Oatmeal Cream Pies on Chow.com. The cookie recipe I followed, for the most part, but I really wasn't in the mood for the complicated filling, so I made a batch of my Black Moon filling and I think it's pretty close to utterly fantastic
cream pie0

For the Oatmeal Cookies:

Ingredients
2 sticks of butter*, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oatmeal**
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

* Chow.com called for 1.5 sticks of butter, and I upped it to 2 sticks for a crisper cookie.
** Chow.com called for pulverized oatmeal, but I don't own a food processor, so I used rolled oats and I liked them a little chunkier.

Cream the butter and sugars together until light and the mixture comes together, about 5 minutes. Add the egg,milk and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients. Add to the butter mixture and stir by hand until dough comes together (it should be well incorporated but not overly mixed). Place dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Bake at 375°F until golden brown but soft in the center, about 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
close up cream pie
Vanilla Filling:
Cream 1/2 white vegetable shortening with 1.5 cups of marshmallow cream and 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. If it's too stiff, add milk a teaspoon at a time until spreadable, but not runny.

Once cookies have cooled completely, match them in pairs and fill with a big tablespoon of the filling. Continue this process with the remaining cookies.
cream pie 1

I made these cookies at A Full Plate Cafe and brought two home to share with the Marge and Angela. They're great, and make only twelve cookies, so you can't really over-indulge as long as there are a few friends around.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Good News

Donal let me borrow his camera, as a result I was able to capture Thanksgiving dinner digitally. Look for pictures soon!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another Boston post! Angela and I went to college together in Ripon, Wisconsin. She grew up a few hours north and grew up with the Friday Fish Fry. It was a new concept to me when I moved to Wisconsin, but I quickly acclimated myself to this Midwestern tradition. Fried white fish, fries and rye bread with butter, nothing says "It's Friday" quite like that. While walking around Boston we reminisced about Fish Fry at Ripon and longed for Wisconsin in general. In order to satisfy this craving, Angela decided to take me to a traditional Irish pub in Brookline where she claimed they had great fish and chips that would cure our lack of Fish Fry. We rolled into Matt Murphy's on Sunday afternoon to check it out.

Unfortunately, they were only serving brunch at this time, and fish and chips was not on the menu. But we were cold and wanted to eat, so we stayed. There was a guitar duo playing in the corner and we ordered drinks, me an Irish coffee, Angela a pear cider, while we waited a few minutes for our table.

bread @ matt murphy's

Once seated, the waiter brought us some bread and butter to nibble on. The white bread on top had walnuts and raisins in it, but was a little dry. The circles of dark bread on the bottom were superior, it was some sort of spice bread and based on the shape, I'm guessing it was baked inside of some sort of can and then sliced. Really excellent with the sweet butter smeared on top.

egg salad

Angela wanted something a bit light, so she went with the egg salad sandwich topped with asparagus and smoked salmon and served with baby arugala salad. I've never been a fan of egg salad, or eggs in a hard-boiled state in general, but Angela said it was delicious and she has pretty good taste in food, so I trust her.

smoked salmon omelet

I ordered the Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Omelet with chives and sour cream, served with morning potatoes, and it was excellent. So, while the Fish Fry craving was not satisfied, we did have a delicious brunch and managed to both order something with fish in it, I guess that's close enough.

Matt Murphy's Pub
14 Harvard Street,
Brookline, Massachusetts

Serving food
Sunday - Wednesday till 10
Thursday - Saturday till 11
Matt Murphys Pub on Urbanspoon

Oy Vey! I lost my camera. Tragedy of the month! I was in a serious panic, how would I food blog? To make it even worse, the day before I lost my camera, I'd made two phenomenal and unusual soups and detailed the process with pictures, but now you'll never see them because I left my camera someplace stupid. Anyway, until a new camera makes its way into my life, I'll have to dig through the archives.

A few weeks ago after I was done writing prelims (by the way I just found out Friday that I passed and can now start writing my dissertation proposal!!!)I went to visit Angela in Boston. Virtually the first thing we did was go to Anna's Taqueria for one of their killer burritos.
Ang @ Anna's
I don't mean killer in any sort of gut-busting sense as they're very reasonable in size and price, I mean killer as in the best burrito I've had outside of Mexico or Southern California.

Here is Angela praying over her burrito. Silly.

burrito

I ordered grilled chicken with refried beans, rice, cheese and salsa. Angela got practically the same thing but with black beans, and we shared some guacamole.

I feel that Anna's will be a Boston tradition for me, it's just that good. Don't be scared if there's a long line, it moves quickly, but it can be hard to grab a table if you want to eat in instead of taking it home.

1412 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446-2071
(617) 739 7300
Open
Monday through Sunday 10am to 11pm
Anna's Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Weeks ago, in a fit of ridiculousness, Alison and I searched for Pumpkin ice cream at Whole Foods, CVS and Klein's, but we had no success. The closest thing we could find was handmade sweet potato gelato at Whole Foods, but upon close inspection of the price ($9.99 for a pint!) we settled for Ben and Jerry's coffee. I toyed around with the idea of making pumpkin ice cream because it had been a little while since I broke out the cuisinart, but it was also in the middle of prelims and the time required to make ice cream instead of just eating it was not justifiable. Our prayers were answered the last time I visited Trader Joe's.
perfectly pumpkin pumpkin ice cream
There it was, innocent and unassuming. I took it home and opened it up for that perfect half frozen/half not frozen spoonful that occurs only when you're bringing ice cream home from the store. And you know what? It was perfectly pumpkin! Not too strong or spicy, not just vanilla with pumpkin flavor. This stuff was great.
boston 06 082
Here I served it with a few vanilla wafers, but I have to admit, the last scoop was really the best, served over a small slice of flourless chocolate cake, sorry I don't have a picture of that one, but you'll have to take my word for it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Zaftig's - Brookline

After prelims I needed to get the heck out of Philly, so I scored a super affordable ticket and got on a plane headed to Boston!

I did a bit of food research before the trip and the number one place I wanted to hit, was Zaftig's on Harvard Street in Brookline. Their entire menu is online, so if you live in Boston or are traveling near Boston, I highly recommend you check out the menu.
zaftig's
We went on a Friday morning, well early afternoon really. I was planning on having something sweet and coffee, but when I sat down and looked at the menu, something very New England jumped out at me, and Angela ordered us two mimosas before I even had time think about coffee, so my plan was entirely changed, but for the better.
zaftigs omelet
Here is my McIntosh apple and white cheddar omelet, served with potatoes (cooked with leeks!), Rye bread, and fresh fruit. I don't like cantaloupe or honeydew, so these went uneaten, but I gobbled up the strawberries. The omelet was really delicious. We've all enjoyed the fruit cheese combination as an opener or in substitute of dessert, but this was a first for me as a breakfast, with eggs. The sweet/salty combination of the apple and cheese went nicely with the eggs and potatoes, and the champagne that came with the mimosa was not too dry, bringing my varied breakfast flavors together in a very excellent way.
french toast
Angela had the Challah French toast (which was delicious, she let me have a bite or three)and an over easy egg on the side. And of course, a mimosa. This is Angela's camera work (nice job, Ang).
mimosa
And one of the 5 shots I tried to take of Angela with her drink, I'd post them all here, but she might be embarrassed and the rest of you might get bored. Now if only I posted the pictures of Angela from the Halloween party we went to on Saturday...no one would bored.

Zaftigs
335 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
Zaftigs Delicatessen on Urbanspoon