"Bacon is the candy of meat."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bittman strikes again

I have been following @bittman on Twitter, who is none other than our beloved Minimalist. Yesterday he posted a link to his Bitten blog, which had a recipe for Roast Chicken with Cumin, Honey and Orange. I immediately began craving this dish, so I went to the supermarket on my way home from work and got a chicken. One nice thing about this dish is that you're likely to have all the ingredients but the chicken already in the house. Anyway, it was beyond easy to make -- I love dishes like this that require you to dirty only one small dish other than the roasting pan (see also Donna Hay's cookbooks). You can't really get away from the kitchen while it's cooking, because it has to be basted every 10 minutes, but I found that was a value-added aspect, because it made me sit at the dining table with a magazine and a glass of wine for an hour.

The chicken came out glossy and crisp, with delicious juicy meat. We had it with some string beans dressed with olive oil, salt, and garlic. Just perfect.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Unsmiley Pops

Ms. Cake and I set forth to start what we hoped would be a new monthly tradition of getting together to do some crafts and/or baking. We thought it would be fun and easy to make these adorable smiley face cake lollipops.

So we headed to the supermarket for cake mix and icing, and had a long detour at the craft store, where we went into a fugue state and bought enough stuff for about 15 other craft projects. This turned out to be the smartest move of the day.

The instructions required us to mash a cake together with a can of frosting:

And then to roll the mixture into balls, which are then impaled on sticks:

After this it should be simple enough, you simply dip the balls in yellow candy melt, wait to dry, and then decorate with those cunning edible magic marker pens.

Well, it was an unmitigated disaster. The icing clumped, the balls were flat on one side, if we were lucky, and a large number disintegrated in the icing bowl. Even the children refused to eat them.

At one point we dissolved on the floor as several of our master creations slowly slid down the sticks on which they had been suspended.

The edible marker pens were impossible to work with. Eventually we ended up with this, and threw the rest away:

The (unsmiling) end.