Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter Birthday Cupcakes, and Happy New Year

I am perfectly aware that I'm not breaking any new ground by showing you these red velvet cupcakes. One has only to peruse all the latest food magazines to know that cupcakes aren't trendy anymore. They're so yesterday. Blah, blah, blah. I say, so what? They're still cute. And because I never, ever make them, for me, at least, they have an air of novelty.

And as Poppa Trix's birthday falls on December 19, smack dab in the middle of the Hanukkah/Christmas/holiday season, I always feel it's important to do something for him that has nothing to do with the holidays. You poor December babies know what I'm talking about. How many times have you heard this? "It's your combination Christmas and birthday prezzie!" or "The cake is blue and white for your birthday and Hanukkah!"

So when Poppa said he wanted "a cake or something" for his birthday - a rare request, as we aren't much into sweets around here - I knew I wanted to make him something that looked just like a winter's birthday.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Liptauer: The Cheese of Champions ... and We Have a Winner!

While I don't believe that liptauer cheese is widely recognized as a cheese of champions, I thought it was a fitting moniker here, as I have chosen this recipe to accompany the announcement of my pumpkin seed oil giveaway winner, which I'll announce at the end of this post. (Even if you don't read the whole thing, I have to at least compel you to scroll through the entire post to find out the winner,  now don't I?)

This also happens to be a  dish that I served at Poppa Trix's birthday dinner  alongside the gnocchi baked in pumpkin cream.  The dinner, as you may recall,  was intended as a recreation of our heuriger meals in Vienna. Truth be told, Poppa and I had never even heard of liptauer until we tasted it, not at the upscale Weinhof Wieninger, but at the rather more homey Kierlinger heuriger, where it was reputed to be something of a specialty.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Viennese Gnocchi Baked in Pumpkin Cream, Plus my Very First Giveaway (and it's a good one!)

Regular readers of this blog may recall that last year I promised to share the recipe for the luscious Viennese gnocchi baked in pumpkin cream that I got from Chef Mike of Weinhof Wieninger, an upscale heuriger located in Stammersdorf.  I also promised to share with you his secret to a perfectly pillow-y potato gnochhi. And so, prompted by Poppa Trix's birthday, for which I cooked up a recreation of our heuriger feast, I am now finally making good on my promise.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cheese & Bacon Dog Treats for the International Incident Colors Party

I briefly considered skipping this month's International Incident Party, hosted as always by our lovely foundress, the effervescent Penny aka Jeroxie. The theme, colors for the festive season, (whatever holiday you happen to celebrate) was simply not resonating with me, to say the least.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Glühwein mit Schuss: Mulled Wine with a Shot of Apple Brandy (and a Big Thank You)

 Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog.  - George Gordon, Lord Byron

Since Pete died on November 28, I haven't felt much like blogging. Or cooking ... or cleaning ... or working .. or getting out of bed much. You understand. In my life I have lost both friends and family, and so I know too well that losing someone - in this case your best friend - changes you and leaves a hole in your heart that nothing ever fills. You just have to figure out how to be the new you, and still be a good you.