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Lucky Number 13

By | design, food, happy | 3 Comments

 

Ladies and Gentlemen. The future. It’s coming!

Once again, we’re in the lucky position of being able to make a fresh start with a brand spankin’ new year. 365 whole days to do it all right this time. Clean slate. Tabula Rasa. Square One. Woo!

And how do we celebrate? That’s right, friends — say it with me — with Collard Greens!

And what kind of friend would I be if I left you hangin without a great recipe for Collards? No kind of friend. So here it is: The best collards recipe ever. Seriously — people who swear they don’t like collards (like my Dad!) love these collards. So don’t be nervous — go for it! Make yourself a mess o’ greens (and black eyed peas, and pork!) and bring on the fortune, luck, and prosperity. Let’s kick number 13’s butt.

Oh, and don’t forget the milk punch!

collards

Ohmygod Yum Collards

– 4 bunches of collards, long stems and tough ribs removed
– Salt
– 1/4 cup brown butter (recipe included)
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
– 1/2 chipotle chile en adobo, all chopped up (to taste — it’s intended to add smoky, not spicy)
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– Pepper vinegar (recipe follows)

Wash the greens thoroughly in a whole lotta water (I fill my sink and wash them in there). Place the dripping wet leaves in a pot of water, add salt (to taste). Cook the greens for about 10 minutes (until they”re all wilted and reduced down quite a bit). Remove to a bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Heat 1/4 cup unsalted butter on medium-low until it turns brown and nutty. Strain off the milk-fat solids. (This is something I make a big batch of ahead-of-time and keep in the fridge.) Increase the heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes and chipotle, stirring occasionally until the garlic is lightly colored and onion is soft. Add the greens, their reserved cooking water, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 30 minutes and taste again for salt (they can use a lot). You can continue cooking until the greens are “within an inch of their life” or you can stop here. The longer they cook, the better they”ll taste.

Serve with pepper vinegar on the side.

Recipe for Pepper Vinegar: 1 cup white vinegar + 4 oz serrano chiles. Drop the washed and dried chiles into a bottle that has been freshly washed in hot, soapy water. (A narrow neck bottle is preferable so the vinegar can be drizzled rather than poured, but it doesn”t really matter.) Bring the vinegar to a boil in a small pan, then transfer to the bottle (via a measuring cup or some other easy-pouring device). Let it sit uncapped until cool. The peppers will absorb some of the vinegar. Add more vinegar to fill the bottle, then cap and set aside in the cupboard. The vinegar will be best if you make this ahead. But you can speed the process by including one pepper sliced into “coins.” Plus, the discs look cool floating around all the whole peppers.

pepper vinegar

(Thanks to Deborah Madison for the original base recipe, and especially for the brown butter secret. You have been helping me for many years to make people’s New Years just that much luckier and fortunier.)

Twenty Twelve’s a Comin’

By | design, food | No Comments

Well. Here we are again. The new year approaches. And quickly. It’s time for fresh starts. Renewed energy. High hopes. Our annual New Year’s Day bash (back after taking a reluctant year off). And most importantly: Collard Greens.

And as my annual gift to you, the awesome people who live in my computer, I bring you once again my recipe for Collards, which, along with Black Eyed Peas and Pork (hog jowls, ham, bacon, whatever), are the law down here in the South. They’re supposed to bring you luck and fortune, which you can’t say you don’t want at least some of. And, bonus! these collards are crazy good. So go for it — make yourself a mess o’ greens and bring on the luck. Happy new year, friends.

collards

Braised Collards of Deliciousness

– 4 bunches of collards, long stems and tough ribs removed
– Salt
– 1/4 cup brown butter (recipe included)
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
– 1/2 chipotle chile en adobo, all chopped up (to taste — it’s intended to add smoky, not spicy)
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– Pepper vinegar (recipe follows)

Wash the greens thoroughly in a whole lotta water (I fill my sink and wash them in there). Place the dripping wet leaves in a pot of water, add salt (to taste). Cook the greens for about 10 minutes (until they”re all wilted and reduced down quite a bit). Remove to a bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Heat 1/4 cup unsalted butter on medium-low until it turns brown and nutty. Strain off the milk-fat solids. (This is something I make a big batch of ahead-of-time and keep in the fridge.) Increase the heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes and chipotle, stirring occasionally until the garlic is lightly colored and onion is soft. Add the greens, their reserved cooking water, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 30 minutes and taste again for salt (they can use a lot). You can continue cooking until the greens are “within an inch of their life” or you can stop here. The longer they cook, the better they”ll taste.

Serve with pepper vinegar on the side.

Recipe for Pepper Vinegar: 1 cup white vinegar + 4 oz serrano chiles. Drop the washed and dried chiles into a bottle that has been freshly washed in hot, soapy water. (A narrow neck bottle is preferable so the vinegar can be drizzled rather than poured, but it doesn”t really matter.) Bring the vinegar to a boil in a small pan, then transfer to the bottle (via a measuring cup or some other easy-pouring device). Let it sit uncapped until cool. The peppers will absorb some of the vinegar. Add more vinegar to fill the bottle, then cap and set aside in the cupboard. The vinegar will be best if you make this ahead. But you can speed the process by including one pepper sliced into “coins.” Plus, the discs look cool floating around all the whole peppers.

pepper vinegar

(Thanks to Deborah Madison for the original base recipe, and especially for the brown butter secret. You have been helping me for many years to make people’s New Years just that much luckier and fortunier.)

Twenty Twelve’s Got it Goin On

By | food, house, thoughts | No Comments

twentytwelve

Well. Here we are again. The new year approaches. And quickly. It’s time for fresh starts. Renewed energy. High hopes. Our annual New Year’s Day bash (back after taking a reluctant year off). And most importantly: Collard Greens.

And as my annual gift to you, the awesome people who live in my computer, I bring you once again my recipe for Collards, which, along with Black Eyed Peas and Pork (hog jowls, ham, bacon, whatever), are the law down here in the South. They’re supposed to bring you luck and fortune, which you can’t say you don’t want at least some of. And, bonus! these collards are crazy good. So go for it — make yourself a mess o’ greens and bring on the luck. Happy new year, friends.

————

Braised Collards of Deliciousness

– 4 bunches of collards, long stems and tough ribs removed
– Salt
– 1/4 cup brown butter (recipe included)
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
– 1/2 chipotle chile en adobo, all chopped up (to taste — it’s intended to add smoky, not spicy)
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– Pepper vinegar (recipe follows)

CollardsWash the greens thoroughly in a whole lotta water (I fill my sink and wash them in there). Place the dripping wet leaves in a pot with a little water in it, add salt (to taste). Cook the greens for about 10 minutes (until they’re all wilted and reduced down quite a bit). Remove and place in a bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Heat 1/4 cup unsalted butter on medium-low until it turns brown and nutty. Strain off the milk-fat solids. (This is something I make a big batch of ahead-of-time and keep in the fridge.) Increase the heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes and chipotle, stirring occasionally until the garlic is lightly colored and onion is soft. Add the greens, their reserved cooking water, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 30 minutes and taste again for salt (they can use a lot). You can continue cooking until the greens are “within an inch of their life” or you can stop here. The longer they cook, the better they”ll taste.

Serve with pepper vinegar on the side.

pepper vinegarRecipe for Pepper Vinegar: 1 cup white vinegar + 4 oz serrano chiles. Drop the washed and dried chiles into a bottle that has been freshly washed in hot, soapy water. (A narrow neck bottle is preferable so the vinegar can be drizzled rather than poured, but it doesn’t really matter.) Bring the vinegar to a boil in a small pan, then transfer to the bottle (via a measuring cup or some other easy-pouring device). Let it sit uncapped until cool. The peppers will absorb some of the vinegar. Add more vinegar to fill the bottle, then cap and set aside in the cupboard. The vinegar will be best if you make this ahead. But you can speed the process by including one pepper sliced into “coins.” Plus, the discs look cool floating around all the whole peppers.

 

(Thanks to Deborah Madison for the original base recipe, and especially for the brown butter secret. You have been helping me for many years to make people’s New Years just that much luckier and fortunier.)

This Year Goes to Eleven

By | food | No Comments

It’s a wrap, y’all. Adios 2010, hello 2011.

Here in UpsideUp land, we’re usually getting ready for our annual New Year’s bash, but this year we’ve got the plague and are looking instead at ringing this one in with a string of movies. One thing’s for sure, though, we will still be making collards and black eyed peas. I’m even looking forward to seeing how the recipe works for 4 people as opposed to  the 180 I usually cook for!

And as my annual gift to you, the awesome people who live in my computer, I bring you once again my recipe for Collard Greens, which, along with Black Eyed Peas and Pork (hog jowls, ham, bacon, whatever), comprise the trifecta of required New Year’s food here in the South. They’re supposed to bring you luck and fortune, which you can’t say you don’t want at least some of. And, bonus! these collards are crazy good. So go for it — make this year one louder. Happy new year, friends.

collards

Braised Collards of Deliciousness

– 4 bunches of collards, long stems and tough ribs removed
– Salt
– 1/4 cup brown butter (recipe included)
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
– 1/2 chipotle chile en adobo, all chopped up (to taste — it’s intended to add smoky, not spicy)
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– Pepper vinegar (recipe follows)

Wash the greens thoroughly in a whole lotta water (I fill my sink and wash them in there). Place the dripping wet leaves in a pot of water, add salt (to taste). Cook the greens for about 10 minutes (until they”re all wilted and reduced down quite a bit). Remove to a bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Heat 1/4 cup unsalted butter on medium-low until it turns brown and nutty. Strain off the milk-fat solids. (This is something I make a big batch of ahead-of-time and keep in the fridge.) Increase the heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes and chipotle, stirring occasionally until the garlic is lightly colored and onion is soft. Add the greens, their reserved cooking water, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 30 minutes and taste again for salt (they can use a lot). You can continue cooking until the greens are “within an inch of their life” or you can stop here. The longer they cook, the better they”ll taste.

Serve with pepper vinegar on the side.

Recipe for Pepper Vinegar: 1 cup white vinegar + 4 oz serrano chiles. Drop the washed and dried chiles into a bottle that has been freshly washed in hot, soapy water. (A narrow neck bottle is preferable so the vinegar can be drizzled rather than poured, but it doesn”t really matter.) Bring the vinegar to a boil in a small pan, then transfer to the bottle (via a measuring cup or some other easy-pouring device). Let it sit uncapped until cool. The peppers will absorb some of the vinegar. Add more vinegar to fill the bottle, then cap and set aside in the cupboard. The vinegar will be best if you make this ahead. But you can speed the process by including one pepper sliced into “coins.” Plus, the discs look cool floating around all the whole peppers.

pepper vinegar

(Thanks to Deborah Madison for the original base recipe, and especially for the brown butter secret. You have been helping me for many years to make people’s New Years just that much luckier and fortunier.)

Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Avocado Buttercream Frosting

By | food | 6 Comments

chocolate avocado cupcakes with avocado buttercream

I had to include the entire name in my post title up there because I cannot get it out of my head. And I’m not even much of a sweets person. Which is probably why I’m so excited about these — because I am very much of an avocado person. And also a chartreuse person. And also a cupcakes with not too much icing on them person. Also I love the word Buttercream. It’s on my desert island list of words.

As if all that weren’t enough for me to tell you about these intriguing cupcakes, get this: the idea for them came from a dream. Literally. You can read all about it here.

So not only do I now have a recipe for what will undoubtedly become my favorite dessert ever. But I also found a new-to-me blog to love. And who doesn’t need one of those? Especially a food blog with gorgeous photography. Especially the week of Thanksgiving.

Zoku Pops!

By | color, design, food | 2 Comments

Have you seen this yet? The super speedy popsicle maker called Zoku? Zoe and Lucy got one for their birthday and we are in LURVE with it. Seriously, you can make a batch of homemade fancy pops in less than 10 minutes. And because of the super fast freezy magic, they can even be well designed pops! Rad, right?

So far we have made Strawberry Cherry, Raspberry Lemonade, and Chocolate Milk pops. On the horizon are Cucumber Chili, Avocado, and Watermelon Mint.

What else should we make? What kind would you make?

snow day

By | food, go outside | 4 Comments

We got a sweet little snow last night — about 3 inches worth, light and packable — that coated our world with a crisp, bright frosting. And now it’s Saturday — the perfect time to make Snow Cream with the kids!

Here’s our recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 2 tbs Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Whisk together in a measuring cup. Pour a little bit over a bowl of snow (we use cereal bowls) and stir until it resembles the thickness of ice cream (not too soupy).

Makes 4-6 bowls, depending on how much snow you use. Yum. And fun. It’s Fum!

What are you doing with your Saturday?

milk punch

By | food | No Comments

Happy new decade everyone. Hope yours has been launched, as mine has, with gusto!

As I mentioned in the previous post, we host a New Year’s Day gathering every year that has grown and morphed into a true extravaganza. This year we had 180 people glide through our humble home and I hope we helped each and every one of them get their new year started off right.

To do this, we provide a few menu items that we believe cinch the deal:

Collards of Deliciousness

Not Blah Black Eyed Peas

– Milk Punch


(milk punch image from SLOSHED!)

I would bet most of you have never had milk punch, so I’ll provide a little history. Once upon a time, I lived in New York City where we celebrated EPIC new year’s eves. I mean the big bash, cocktail attire, drinks sloshing everywhere til 5am kind of new year’s eves. At some point, Adam started dating Sarah. Sarah has always been an early-to-bedder so she was never a part of our epics. But she hosted a traditional all-day new year’s day drop-in that we usually stumbled into somewhere around 4pm, as the sun was starting to set. One of the things she always served was milk punch — a brilliant, creamy, nurturing, hair-of-the-dog endeavor that was just sweet enough to be desirable, yet potent enough to do the job. It became the thing I looked forward to the most about her parties.

After our twins were born, it slowly dawned on us that these epic new year’s eves were essentially over for us. Luckily we had a good community of fellow new parents who were in the same boat, and we decided to launch our own new year’s day tradition. For me, this had to include Sarah’s famous milk punch. I know it’s a little late to only just now be giving you the recipe, but this way I can re-link to it at the end of the year! So here it is:

——-

Sarah’s Milk Punch

– 1 gallon of milk (whole is best)
– 1 bottle (750ml) of brandy
– 1 bottle (750ml) of rum
– 1 glug of bourbon
– 1 quart vanilla ice cream
– grated nutmeg, to taste

Mix all the liquid together in a big bowl. Add the ice cream in scoops. Grate or sprinkle the nutmeg on top. I prefer fresh nutmeg, so I grate an actual nutmeg over a microplane (not the whole thing).

As the day wears on, if I’m paying close enough attention, I go back and add another round of ice cream scoops just to chill it up a little.

Be sure to inform any nearby parents that this is not for their kids!

——-

Happy new year everyone! Hope 2010ftw is everything you want it to be!

Where else is Laurie?

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