December Dalliances

by Liz Heather in , , , , ,


So many things happened last month, highlights ahead!

  • I literally started doing my hair instead of just letting it air dry and it’s kind of nuts how easy it is to do.

  • I started using Origin’s GinZing Eye Cream and even though it’s only been a few weeks, I’m really liking it. Is it actually lightening my dark circles? I’ll be able to tell within a few more weeks, I think, so I’ll come back to this next month.

  • I made cauliflower hummus for the first time and it was not a hit. Maybe ‘cause I couldn’t get it as smooth as I imagined it should be, but still - not good at all.

  • I visited the Glossier flagship store in Soho and it was pretty fun and only slightly ridiculous. The robot mechanism that delivers your purchase to you at the end made me laugh. No opinions on their products as of right now since I only went to buy a Christmas gift for someone, although I did try a sample of their Milky Jelly Cleanser that felt pretty nice. The big drawback of the place is that it’s credit-card-only (no cash), which I have pretty strong opinions on. This is a great piece on that whole issue.

  • I went for food at Lillie’s Victorian Establishment in Union Square for their $13 lunch special (which includes a drink) and it’s probably one of the best lunch deals in that area for sure. Also the decorations at Christmastime are insanely lovely and aggressive.

  • Ate the smash burger at The Spaniard, which was really, really good but of course it was because it was a Pat LaFrieda blend. The bun was so perfectly toasted and it’s now definitely one of my favourite burgers in the West Village. Only thing I didn’t like were their onion rings - waaaay too doughy. Gotta keep it real with letting the onion shine through.

Smash burger at The Spaniard

  • Finally tried the Bite Agave Lip Balm that was part of Sephora’s yearly birthday gift and it’s definitely nothing special, way too sticky!

  • Also tried the Bite Lip Crayon in Glacé that was also part of the Sephora birthday gift and it’s so wearable and lovely, I’m excited for the 2019 Sephora birthday gift options (they just announced them!)

  • I got my hair cut! I went to Davidov Salon in the city for the second time, and I think this’ll be my regular place from now on.

  • Made a ton of chickpea nuts and they’re such a good and fast snack to have around. Favourite’s probably the BBQ.

  • HUGE fan of this eggplant lasagna.

  • Watched the latest Chilling Adventures of Sabrina holiday special and for a few scenes, it was actually kind of scary, which weirded me out. I still can’t decide if I hate or like this show.

  • Watched Salt Fat Acid Heat and loved it. Samin Nosrat has such an approachable nature, I wish there were tons more episodes. I also loved the last bit of the series when she says, “For me, cooking has never been about the food. It’s about what happens at the table. Making good food accessible is really important to me. And any little way that I can do that, from inviting a bunch of friends over for a simple meal, to making them help out in the kitchen when they arrive, just helps make it feel like good cooking is within reach for everyone. My ultimate goal is to make people feel comfortable and taken care of so that they can just enjoy the moment. And maybe eventually pass that kindness onto others. Cooking for them, with them, just happens to be the easiest way I can do that. Anyone can learn to cook and do it well. Be thoughtful. Be curious. And use salt, fat, acid and heat to guide you to delicious food. And if for some reason a dish doesn’t turn out well, it’s okay. You can always try again tomorrow.“

  • I’ve been using Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate as a face exfoliator once/twice a week for the past few months and I absolutely love it. It’s crazy gentle and smells so weird that you feel like it must work.

  • Can’t stop making this incredible firecracker chicken. Tastes like take out.

  • Why do I continue to watch the new Fuller House episodes? I wish I could tell you. It’s the only show I hate watch at the moment. I fully hate it. The jokes are bad. Everything is corny. I’m unhappy when I watch it. Okay, it’s over. I’ll never watch it again.

  • I have so many thoughts on this dog cloning article and I have absolutely no idea which side I’m on. Obviously it’s seems like a wildly controversial and terrible idea… but also what if you just miss your dog so much and it can bring you happiness? Also, the fact that people with money are already doing this makes me all kinds of mad/crazy/excited? I don’t know, man. I’m all over the place with this.

  • I tried the hair mask from Trader Joe’s and I love it, I just wish the packaging were bigger.

  • As you already know, I started watching This Is Us and even though I’m only halfway through the first season, I have a couple thoughts. I hate the character of Kevin so much - it’s either him or the actor, I don’t know. His storyline is just so boring, I want to scream. Also, I’m not actually convinced it’s a good show. Everyone won’t shut up about how good it is, but it’s definitely got its moments of pure cheese. I’m just not convinced. I'll give it a few more episodes to make sure I’m not wrong.

  • I watched The Year Without A Santa Claus for the first time and it was cuuuute. Love that old school animation so much.

  • Tried Smashbox’s Super Fan Mascara - and it’s not great so I’m thinking I’ll exchange it for the Make Up For Ever one (Smoky Extravagant Mascara) that I really like.

  • Ate the French onion soup burger at Le Rivage and it was only okay. They kept bragging about how many awards that burger has won, but I mean… it wasn’t anything special. I think that if they replaced their English muffin bun with a potato bun then maybe they’d be cookin’. Their escargots, however, were dynamite - I love it when they’re served while they’re still in the shells. So fancy.

  • Have you ever had a dunkaccino? It’s a half hot chocolate & half coffee drink from Dunkin Donuts. I recommend.

  • In love with this new shirt that I got from Uniqlo. Every woman on earth should get this crazy soft, perfect shirt.

  • Baking Hack: if you don’t have any brown sugar, do you know that you can make some by combining white sugar and molasses? Insanity. It really works. Check online for specific measurements.

  • Went to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree with Nathan!


The Bob's Burgers Burger Book

by Liz Heather in ,


Of course I have this book, I've been excited about it for months. And so far I've made two of its recipes: the "Sympathy For The Deviled Egg Burger" for my parents and the "We're Here, We're Gruyere, Get Used To It Burger" for myself.

I chose to make the gruyere one for myself mainly because I love it when a recipe calls for caramelized onions. I really do. I know they take a long time, but anything that turns these:

into these:

is magical. Don't you think? 

The recipes were simple to follow and crazy tasty. I didn't actually eat the deviled egg burger, but I did eat the egg mixture alone and it was really good, so I think I'll use that for my deviled eggs in the future. What's the recipe, you ask? Well, I don't think I want to give it to you 'cause I really want you to get this book. It's perfect for anytime you want to make a burger, but you're in the mood for something a little different, burger-wise.

It's also a great cookbook 'cause it says things like, "Just like your butcher is waiting to grind beef for you, there are bakers working hard right now to help make your next burger great. Go to them. Go. Tell them about how we call burger perfection burg-fection. See if they like that. See if they laugh."

Available on Amazon for a measly $12.


Key Lime Pie

by Liz Heather in ,


Key limes are essential for a key lime pie. That makes sense, doesn't it?

The difference between key limes and regular limes? A key lime has a thinner rind than most other lime types and is more acidic, but it has a sweeter taste than any other lime types. Its flavour is also different. It has a stronger, more intense, and tart taste.

Now that we understand each other, I just want to let you know that I made a key lime pie recently and it's the easiest pie in the world to make. (Well, that's a guess. I haven't made any other pies before, but this was so easy that I can imagine others would be more difficult.) Also, it tasted quite good.

Voila.

While there are a lot of key lime pie recipes to choose from, I opted for the Martha Stewart one (duh) and here's her recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham-cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed key-lime juice (from real key limes)
  • 1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 can (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks

Layla mixing the pie crust

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine graham-cracker crumbs, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. Press into a 9-inch pie plate, and bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.
  2. Lower oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, Key lime juice, and zest. Pour into the prepared, cooled crust.
  3. Return pie to oven, and bake until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Shortly before serving, combine cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon over cooled pie; garnish with zest. Serve immediately.

The crust before it goes in the oven

Maya mixing the filling

In the oven

Gary taking it out of the oven (I have no depth perception so I don't touch the inside of ovens)

Gary taking it out of the oven (I have no depth perception so I don't touch the inside of ovens)

Cooling on the countertop

It looks like I had little to do with the making of this pie, but I swear these photos are deceiving!

The final product

If you're in Florida (or you have access to key limes), you sort of have to make this recipe. I can't understand why you wouldn't.


Mocha Semifreddo

by Liz Heather in ,


I don't have an ice cream maker. Why? Mainly because I don't have an oven - and if I must splurge on some sort of luxury kitchen item (yes, it's sad that I view an oven as a "luxury kitchen item" but I'm coming to terms with that), my first purchase would be this oven. That being said, I have dreams of one day owning an ice cream maker. But until that day comes, this recipe will tide me over.

I know that I've gone on and on about how great Chef John's recipes are, so if you have politely nodded your head along to those past posts without actually making any of his dishes - THIS IS THE ONE YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY MAKE. Partly because it's crazy easy and partly because it's summer and you should indulge in something that's homemade and ridiculously delicious. 


Baked Apple Roses

by Liz Heather in ,


Do I have to express to you HOW HARD I would make these if/when I ever have a dinner party? Do I really have to inform you of such an obvious thought? The only thing that could make this gorgeous little dessert better would be vanilla ice cream served alongside it. 

Someone give me a beautiful kitchen with a fully functioning oven so I can make these dreams happen.