For each of the past four years, I resolved that that year would be when I finally got around to starting a food blog. Alas, it never really happened. I got as far as creating a WordPress account and naming my blog, “The Perfect Cookie,” in my second or third year of working towards this resolution. That isn’t what my blog is named, as you can see, because somewhere down the line I stopped my pursuit of the perfect chocolate chip cookie (I kinda found it in my adaptation of the popular NYTimes perfect chocolate chip cookie. Recipe may come one day!). Also, my initial aversion to cooking has made quite the turn around, and now that I’m “all grown up,” I do much more cooking than baking and so I sought a new name to reflect that.
When I finally settled on “What’s Eating Rebecca” this past January, I started out easy by just posting food I made for myself for lunch, without committing to any real writing or reflection on recipes. And then I accidentally deleted all of my posts and thus took an unintended hiatus.
Because I cannot believe it’s mid-August already.
First off, what happened to 2012? May 21st marked my one-year anniversary of graduating from college and I couldn’t believe that a year had already passed. In May, I told myself I really needed to register as a voter in SF, and it really feels just like a few days ago when I made that ultimatum. I’ll blink, and in a few days, it will be election day. Time really does fly.
Second, what happened to my summer? It only just began, with bountiful summer fruits adorning the produce section at Berkeley Bowl and the stalls of the Farmers’ Market, yet the selection is dwindling quickly. California cherries are long gone, hello imported Washington cherries! Peaches aren’t as juicy or cheap as they were a couple weeks ago. Thank god my favorite Dapple Dandy pluots will still linger far into September.
Last summer was amazing: corn salsa, tomato salsa, avocado salsa, corn and tomato salads, berries and stone fruit, gorging on summer’s best every day. But I feel like I missed that this summer. Where’s the peach pie I was supposed to make? I didn’t eat any spectacular strawberries or raspberries. And corn and tomatoes were sadly absent from my diet. Working next to the farmers’ market certainly encouraged my feasting, I suppose, yet summer of 2012 has been passing by too quickly.
So I’m making a list of things I must do in the last days of summer.
- Cherry preserves
- Cherry clafouti
- Peach pie
- Tomato and corn pie
- Raspberry preserves
So I’ll be off to do these things within these last weeks of summer. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts on things I’ve made recently. No pictures because I’m a serious gooseball when it comes to things like taking pictures, but good recommendations and recipes.
I rekindled my love for corn with Esquites. It is super easy and delicious, perfect as it is, though I added another ear of corn since I had an extra lounging around and, if you’re cilantro-averse like me, skipped the cilantro. It’s my newest favorite Mexican-style corn salad. Another old favorite is this Elote corn salad.
I made these “baked” beans, adding one green pepper, diced, and one medium yellow onion, diced, to up the nutritional value. I baked these on my stovetop, since none of my pots can go into the oven, on medium heat for approximately four and a half hours. The last half hour, I cooked without the top. These turned out well, but I’m not a baked-beans kind of gal and I’m usually making food for one so I probably won’t make these again in a very long time, if ever. It gave me enough leftovers for over a week, and even then I was eating it twice a day!! Freezing them would have been smart, but I always forget to use my freezer adequately to its potential.
Now, the chocolate cherry mochi cake. I think this takes the cake (pun wasn’t intended originally but as soon as I realized it, I also didn’t go for the delete button). My coworkers really raved about this one, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out since I adapted the recipe quite a bit. I was inspired by this recipe, since chocolate and cherries together sounded so good, but sprung off use real butter’s chocolate mochi cake recipe since I wanted to make it gluten-free (two of my coworkers are allergic to gluten).
This cake was so good. It’s chocolatey, but not dessert-sweet. It’s dark, a little sweet, brownie-like, but a snack my coworkers and I kept returning to throughout the day for just a little more. We nearly successfully ate the whole thing in a day, and that’s pretty amazing considering there were around a dozen mouths in the office then.
2 cups glutinous rice flour like Mochiko
2 cups white sugar
½ cup cocoa powder, non-Dutch processed
1 tbsp baking soda
2½ cups of pitted, halved dark, sweet cherries
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
24 oz. evaporated milk
1 t vanilla extract
1 T almond extract
2 eggs, beaten
**For a special kick, add in a splash of amaretto.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 baking pan. Mix glutinous rice flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave, pour chocolate chips in and stir until completely melted. If further microwaving is necessary, do in 15 second increments so the chocolate doesn’t burn. Stir in the evaporated milk, vanilla and almond extracts, and eggs into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients and cherries until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until the batter no longer jiggles. Remove from oven and let cool. Store at room temperature and devour promptly (don’t refrigerate!).
Yield: a 9×13 cake and then some. I didn’t want an overflowing accident but I’m 98% sure it could have all fit since it didn’t rise much.
For a sweeter, more cake-like experience, I’d use less evaporated milk, use a little more chocolate and sugar, and go for the chocolate glaze in pastry affair’s recipe.
Postscript: For full disclosure, you should know that I originally typed this up 8/14/12 and posted it finally. Also, I tried freezing some of the cake, and it kept, but the texture changes a little bit…