Category Archives: Desserts

‘Tis the Season(al Crumble)!

Okay, so, it’s time to get real with you guys: I fucked up. This is something I cooked basically a month ago but has been too uninspiring to even bother writing about until now. And somewhere in that time I, apparently, deleted all the photos I took of this recipe. Soooooo this one is pictureless. Use your imagination, I guess. Whoops. And if this terrible start hasn’t pulled you in, then you are just hopeless. (Also, the Portland Mercury wrote a little shout-out to me, and now I feel a lot of pressure to not let the wonderful Alison Hallett down.) Anyway, Seasonal Crumble!

Way back in November, faithful readers may remember I was still living on my friends’ couch, still hopelessly searching for an apartment, aided by nothing but my own determination, and a box full of cunt balls. Nora and Mandy, my two gracious hosts, were finally throwing a housewarming party a mere three months since moving in, and I wanted to contribute. A seasonal crumble seemed perfect, even though I was kicking myself for not making this during the summer, when I could have used peaches and blackberries. Instead I would be stuck with apple, which is fine, but not nearly as exciting. Alas, the plight of a lazy blogger.

But stuck with apple I was, so after a trip to Trader Joe’s (and oh my god am I happy not to live near a Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn because those places in the city are insane), we returned to the apartment to set up for the party. Nora made her famous dip and tried to mix an alcoholic cider while the rest of us criticized her hesitation at adding too much alcohol, Mandy made her famous red velvet cake balls, and I got to work on the crumble.

Much like the rest of this cookbook, the actual recipe was far too easy. Dice up your fruit, put it in a baking dish. I sliced up my apples and tossed them in, and then added my secret ingredient (blackberries, which I had purchased on a whim, even though they were out of season, because I wanted some more flavor in my crumble, SORRY FOR BREAKING THE RULES). On top of that I dumped some flour. I don’t remember how much; this happened a month ago.

To make the crumble topping, I mixed some softened butter, whole rolled oats, and brown sugar in a bowl with my hands, which is turning into one of my favorite things Gwyneth makes me do. I don’t know what it says about my fetishes, but I LOVE kneading softened butter with my fingers. I’m sure there’s a whole section on the NYC Craigslist where I could make money off of doing only that, but we’ll save that for when I get a little bit more desperate for money.

Anyway, I put the crumble on top of the fruit and baked it for however long Gwyneth told me to bake it for. And then I took it out and forced people to eat it with the ice cream, and everyone at the party commented on how wonderful the store-bought ice cream was. So that should tell you all you need to know about the crumble.

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Roommate-Wooing With Gwyneth

Apartment-hunting in New York City is serious business, practically a full-time job in itself. I’ve heard from friends tales of going to see a prospective sublet, only to find themselves walking up the stairs behind someone toting a checkbook, ready to sign over a deposit on the spot. Before I even arrived in the city I had already experienced a taste of this failure, as two very promising apartments both fell apart over my two-day drive from Portland to Wisconsin. It seemed every time my phone buzzed, it was reporting more bad news. Despondent and prospectless as I arrived in the city last week, I spent hours laboring over my standard email response to Craigslist ads, hoping I could present myself and my dog as two witty, lovable cads no self-respecting roommates could ever pass by. And my work paid off, as I heard back from the vast majority of ads I responded to, but after hearing from one respondent that I was one of EIGHTY potential roommates, I knew I needed a secret weapon. Enter Gwyneth and her Mutti’s Pecan Butterballs. Continue reading

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Non-Magic Brownies

If there’s one complaint I’ve had with “My Father’s Daughter” this whole time (haha: “one complaint”), it is that most of the recipes are too basic and intuitive to even fully count as recipes (or at least recipes from a $30 cookbook). Pizza = dough, tomato sauce, toppings. Salad = lettuce, dressing. Burgers = cheese, meat, bun. Simplicity, however, is not the issue with Fudgy Chocolate Brownies. Not at all. You see, these brownies are insane.
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Tequila, Coleslaw, and Gwyneth: The Perfect Birthday Weekend

Well, that was a birthday weekend. And somewhere in there, I actually found the time to complete two recipes! They both barely count as recipes, but so does about 50% of this book, so let’s take what we can get.

On Friday, I was let out of work at noon in honor of my birthday, and, not two minutes after leaving the office, I was in a liquor store. Gwyneth DEMANDED that I buy the highest quality tequila, but I wasn’t willing to spend upwards of $60 on a bottle of tequila (arguably my least-favorite liquor), so I got some 1800 and decided that was good enough. Continue reading

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Blueberry Pavlova, Thank Jehovah!

Gwyneth recommends making Blueberry Pavlova after making fresh pasta, since the recipe calls for egg whites, and you just happen to have a ton of egg whites laying around after your probably disastrous homemade pasta attempts. So, that’s what I did.

The recipe is really simple, and – a rarity for Gwyneth – is made up of mostly things I have around the house (aside from blueberries, which Fred Meyer inexplicably didn’t have stocked, causing me to schlep all the way to Trader Joe’s in the rain). Beat egg whites, salt, and vinegar until “soft peaks” form. Add sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract, and whisk until “stiff peaks” form. I didn’t notice a huge difference between “soft” and “stiff” peaks (that’s what she said?), but this was all going on in the middle of my pasta meltdown on Sunday night, so I didn’t really care by this point. Continue reading

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Cooking with Blythe Danner

Guys, first of all, I want to thank everyone who’s been visiting and commenting and telling other people about this stupid thing that I’m doing. I kind of just thought my mom would read half of the first post I wrote and then give up, and that would be it, so I’m a little overwhelmed by how many people are reading this stuff. Are you guys okay? Are you all trapped in a mine with nothing but a laptop to entertain you? I’m worried about all of you. I guess the downside is that now I actually have to finish this thing. Damnit.

Anyway, Lalo’s Famous Cookies! This recipe comes to us from actress Blythe Danner, who is, of course, Gwyneth’s mother. Apparently Gwyneth’s kids call her “Lalo,” because, “who wants to be called Grandma anyway?” Um, millions of people, I’m pretty sure? I know my grandma loves being called Grandma. What are you even talking about, Gwyneth? “Only commoners enjoy being called Grandma.” Apparently Blythe Danner is famous “far and wide” for these cookies, as opposed to, I don’t know, Meet the Parents. Nope, definitely the cookies that got her famous.
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