Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Justifying dessert

Ray and I have regular conversations about healthy foods and eating habits, maybe even more than most people. We are pretty active in making good food choices and acknowledging what trips us up. However, what does one do when one really wants to try recipes for things that one should not eat. I'm talking about dessert. And just recently I realized that I've been stockpiling (both physically and mentally) about 5 dessert recipes over the last 3 years or so.

1. Panna cotta -- This dessert always looks so good when they make it on tv...even though it seems more or less like jello-fied custard. I think I tried it once but it was runny and disappointing. Must attempt again.

2. Banana pudding (DONE) -- Every time Alton Brown or Ina Garten or whoever makes this, I run to the computer, find and print the recipe. Alton Brown even makes his own Vanilla Wafers to go with the pudding. Anyway, I have several variations in my recipe stash...and have attempted none. (Feb 14 -- Well, it was good, but not that good. Not adding it to my permanent dessert line-up...like item 5.)

3. Zabaglione/Sabayon -- Oh Italy, why do you come up with so many good things to eat. I had never heard of this dessert before having lunch with my old boss/favorite priest Terry several years ago, who loves everything Italian...especially the food and drink. He insisted I order it to "share" and then made me eat the whole thing. No joke. Thankfully it was very worth it. I haven't had it since. I'm not sure I've seen a recipe for this custard/fruit dessert, but I WILL find one. And it will probably take a few attempts to get it right -- it seems challenging.

4. Pavlova -- Ina Garten does this nifty meringue shell/roasted berry thing that looks so good. And pretty. And doable.

5. Chocolate loaf cake -- I'm throwing this one on the list even though I have already made it 2-3 times. It's a really simple chocolate cake that you make like you're whipping up some banana bread, and somehow it puts other chocolate cakes to shame. Seriously. It's that good. Leave it to Nigella.

Oh, I have one more in the "already done it" category:

6. Ginger ice cream sandwiches -- A bunch of years ago, I saw a recipe for ginger ice cream with chocolate cake. Intrigued, I borrowed a friend's ice cream maker, and bought some of those Famous Chocolate Wafers or whatever they're called. The ice cream came out great, wasn't too hard, and was TO DIE FOR sandwiched between the wafers. I've been pining for a redo ever since.

I am not someone who believes in 100% deprivation, so I will attempt these desserts sometime this year. In fact, I kind of want to perfect the ones that are hard, so I have them in my arsenal of go-to desserts for company and occasions. I'll just need to really pace myself on the "perfecting" process. Maybe one a month is a good pace to set, and shared with a couple willing taste-testers.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New year

Today is the first day of 2011. Trippy. There are 18 days between me and birthing a small boychild, if not sooner. There are about 170 days of "time off" before I'm officially back at school. There are probably 75 loose pages of recipes sitting in an inbox next to my desk. There are way way more photos that have been taken, but not uploaded, much less printed, from the last year or more. There are about 10 cupboards and closets that need a good sorting out (see last post). There are XX pounds to be lost after boychild arrives, which I'd like to take care of in the first 162 days post-partum. There are more than 100 cds that I have yet to upload to my computer/iPod. There are at least 10 friends that I haven't seen in far too long. And there is one cell phone that needs to be replaced in the next 48 hours, before it cramps my style any further.