Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it: popcorn and Worcestershire sauce

Until last week I had never made popcorn on the stove. Well at least not as an unsupervised adult. Do you all know how easy it is to make? Very. And cheap! And not bad for you! A winning combination if ever there was one.

popcorn

But you know what makes it winninger? Worcestershire sauce. I’m sure Anna will poo poo this particular good + good combination but don’t listen to her, internet. It’s awesome. I used to make it all the time with microwave popcorn in my New York years (read: when I was broke) and am very pleased to have been reunited with a favorite snack.

Thank you, me, for that random popping corn purchase six months ago.

Inaugural summer BBQ

We kicked off the summer barbeque season with a birthday celebration for our Southern friend Beau that included ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, tater salad, and lemon icebox dessert, amongst other treats.  In the absence of any food photos, however, I’m forced to post gratuitous photos of everyone’s* favourite furry guest.

*Everyone except Henry, that is:

Not a happy face

- Anna

3-booze cupcakes

Another win for the Smitten Kitchen!  You probably know I’m a big fan of cooking with booze, so I’ve been wanting to try these for months.  They’re a lot of effort, but well worth it, I promise!

Bailey's, whiskey, and Guinness, oh my!

The cake is made with Guinness and sour cream, and is incredibly moist.  They’re then filled with a chocolate and whiskey (or other poison of your choice) ganache, and iced with a Bailey’s buttercream frosting.

I almost had a disaster when I split the ganache quite badly, but the internet helped me rescue it. Seriously, what did people do before Google?  Apparently the temperature of the ganache is key because it has to emulsify (the fat in the chocolate has to mix with the water in the cream, more details here). Mine was too hot, so I saved it by putting the bowl over another bowl filled with ice water and continuing to stir.  I think the result was more truffle-like than a ganache should be, but my test subjects all really enjoyed the extra-chocolatey surprise in the middle.

If you’re in the mood for a booze-tastic dessert, the recipe is here.

- Anna

“Tastes like Mexico”

I made a  lime yogurt cake with blackberry sauce from the Smitten Kitchen yesterday, and it met with good reviews from my test subjects.  It apparently “tastes like Mexico, in a good way”.  Maybe I should pair it with Corona next time I make it.  I’ll be repeating this one for sure…it takes no time, it’s lovely and moist, and the blackberry sauce really elevates it.

- Anna

Pie vs Pie

Everyone’s favorite four days of basketball is nearly over. My bracket is in tatters, so I’m moving on to bigger and better tournaments. The tournament of books is under way over at The Morning News, fug madness is in the air, and now Jezebel has lined up 16 pies and 16 cakes to take part in this extremely important competition. The winner of the cake bracket will face the prince of pies to be crowned the best, er, cake or pie.

I’m sorry peanut butter pie went out so early, but am pleased to report pound cake looks to pull off a small upset if it can pull out a win against angel food cake.

-Eve

Lost loves

It’s heartbreaking when you lose something you love, right? In this case, when they discontinued Flipz, the chocolate covered pretzels that were sold in the UK until sometime around 2000 if memory serves. I remember when that little blue bag was the highlight of my day (sad, I know…) and how it just disappeared, without reason, one day. No explanation, no phone call, it was just gone.

This is a real case of Good + good= supergood (unlike some previous examples I could mention) and no other combination of salty and sweet (sorry, bacon and maple syrup just not the same) I think works as well.

I have seriously pondered melting dark chocolate and dip salty pretzels into it, to see if I could recreate flipz somehow (especially as I imagine it would be even better with plain or dark chocolate).  Anyways, flipz – gone but not forgotten!

- Stef

Speaking of ruining soups…

It’s not just our recipe-following German blogger who is struggling with stray ingredients. I made a family staple on Sunday, Thai-ish curried coconut soup, and completely ruined it. As followers of my chaotic cooking well know, I’m a big fan of throwing random things in a pot and seeing what happens.

So what happens when you splash a bit of fish sauce into the pot? Nothing good.

If you don’t believe me and try it yourself, a squeeze of lemon mostly rolls back the damage. Next time I’ll follow Stef’s lead and only experiment with pickoutable ingredients. Is it just me, or does a squeeze of lemon cover a multitude of sins?

-Eve