Chanterelles, and Marjoram Pesto Pasta

19 11 2009

So, maybe I can focus. Sometimes. On some things. Like food, for instance. Yep, shocker, I really like making stuff to eat and then eating it. I did that for about five hours yesterday. I didn’t eat all of what I made, though. Thankfully, on that front, I have help.

Yesterday was a good example of making the best of a terrible lapse in time management skills. I worked on computer things all day (interspersed with some knitting) and then had decided to go to yoga, which was at four. Now, consider that I’m still looking for a job. And consider that the only thing I had actually scheduled myself to do yesterday was yoga. I got all ready for yoga, and then for some reason (which I may never divine) I decided to kill a few minutes messing with this new mascara I bought. Right before yoga.

Please explain my brain to me.

I mean, the mascara is great. I like it a lot. But I don’t need to put it on for yoga, for pete’s sake. Anyway, I went to close my computer and hop on my bike to find that I had wasted some ungodly amount of time on this mascara and now was never, ever going to make it to yoga in time. Good job, Kirsten. When you miss your daily exercise, there’s only one thing to do: go to the grocery store and then cook up a storm. Yep, if you can’t work it off, put some extra in, that’s what I say.

Okay, in all seriousness, I needed to get some staples and the ingredients for a cobbler and some jalapeno cornbread for our impending craft night (hooray). I really sort of enjoy the experience of wandering around a grocery store by myself; I feel more able to browse and come up with recipes as I walk around. I like going with company, too, but going alone is a different experience altogether. I went to a grocery to which I’d not been, and enjoyed it pretty thoroughly. There were a lot of local options, far more than anywhere else I’ve been thus far, and I was able to secure what seem to be local, humane, vegetarian, hormone- and antibiotic-free eggs, milk, and butter. This is great for me, as previously I’ve felt a bit lost at supermarkets around here.

I found these:

Chanterelles! I’ve never had the chance to cook them before. So I made chanterelle mushrooms and brussels sprouts sauteed in champagne vinegar and butter, threw in some field roast apple-sage vegetarian “sausage” (seriously the best stuff out there, and not nearly as processed as you think it is), and served it over a bed of marjoram pesto star-pasta (like chicken and stars, because I’m seven and I like the shape) with a side of roasted turnips. And then a friend came and had dinner with me! And another stopped by on the way home. I think one of the best parts of cooking is the communality of sharing a meal, and I’m lucky to have people to share with.

So, how bout a recipe? Today I’m going to share a recipe for marjoram pesto. It’s easy, and it will blow your mind. Marjoram is one of my very favorite flavors.

  • 1 bunch marjoram, about a handful, leaves removed from stems
  • 1/4c pine nuts
  • 1/2c grated parmesan cheese
  • olive oil, roughly 4 tbsp, but use your judgment
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 5-6 leaves basil

Put everything in a food processor and blend it till it’s smooth. Put it on your pasta. Thank me later. Yeah, that was difficult, right? Okay, okay, one quick thing: if you think it needs more olive oil, do it! Also, to actually make the pasta, I drained the stars, put them back in the pot, added about 1 tbsp of butter, stirred that in with another 1/4c or so of grated parmesan, and then added the pesto.

I’ll post a baking-themed entry later about all my cranberry escapades yesterday evening! I baked 2 different tasty cranberry desserts and I can’t wait to tell you about them. Teaser:



29 08 2008

Okay! I finished my entry in Iron Cupcake in the nick of time, as I thought the deadline was the 31st – whups!

This month the challenge was to make a cupcake with chili pepper, and we were competing to win AWESOME stuff from great shops like Cakespy, Jessie Steele Aprons, Cupcake Courier, and Taste of Home. Wish me luck! However, I already got super great stuff, so really? I’m just glad to have made some tasty cupcakes =)

I made Chili-Coated Mango Cupcakes with Chili-Lime Frosting for a Mexican twist on cupcakes – again. Yep, again, I’m from Texas. Liz over at Things I Love About Austin made these cupcakes about six months ago and I swear, I wake up dreaming of them. I made them with eggs this time (local, humanely raised, and organic, of course), and rather than mango pulp I used mango puree. But the true secret?

I sprayed down my cupcake papers and coated the inside with a mixture of about 1/2 c sugar to 1 tsp dried ancho chili powder. Have you ever had a mango coated in chili-sugar? You should. It’s great.


This is how they looked out of the oven:

For the frosting, I just used a basic butter icing and added more dried ancho chili powder, lime zest, and a little lemon oil for some extra citrus flavor.

I topped them with more chili-sugar and some more of that lovely blue margarita salt – gorgeous!

Sam approves.

Look how fluffy!

AND NOW! If you’d like to vote for my delicious cupcakes to win this month’s challenge, visit No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner and tell ’em how you feel!


7 07 2008


Originally uploaded by pincushion crumbs

Today, I made rose mini-cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream and ground pistachios! They were really pretty fantastic. I basically just used 1 tbsp vanilla paste in place of the vanilla extract in a plain ol’ yellow cake recipe, added 4 tbsp rose water to the batter, and used oil instead of vegan margarine (I use eggs, but not butter, for complex dietary reasons, and I have found recently that I get fluffier cakes if I use oil). The icing is just a standard butter icing with that same vanilla paste added, as much as you want (and I want a lot, because vanilla is fantastic), piped on top and garnished with lovely green ground pistachios.

Oh, also, welcome to my new baking, cooking, and crafting blog. Hello. You may also, if you so desire, check out my film rhetoric blog, although there isn’t much there as yet. It is, needless to say, entirely dissimilar from this one. I doubt film rhetoric tastes very good. Don’t chew on that. Get that out of your mouth.