online poker


say it with me now, “om nom nom”


daily nom #23

Posted by aleta under daily noms

One time, I made these banana cupcakes from Cupcake Project and they went over extremely well. Which frankly shouldn’t surprise anyone, as they are tender, perfect banana cupcakes with a cinnamon cream cheese & granola frosting.

The frosting was extremely sweet, bordering on cloying, but you couldn’t touch those banana cupcakes, man. And overall they photographed quite well.

Banana cupcakes


daily nom #22

Posted by admin under daily noms

Apparently it’s the week of works in progress.

This brilliant idea was cow-spot brownies, a blondie base with brownie spots. A cool idea, but I wasn’t happy with the blondie recipe I was using (it tasted like nothing but butter and sugar, and very much so), and because the brownie recipe was completely different, they baked differently and I ended up with something weirdly warped and that coupled with the fact that blondies aren’t very white resulted in something not looking very much like cow spots at all. I haven’t abandoned the idea altogether, but it’s been on hiatus for a good five months now.

Cow-spot brownies: an idea worth revisiting.

And here we are, upon our third Recipe Round-Robin! This is a sweet month (we’re alternating sweet and savoury, as you’ll recall) and though I’d hoped to stave it off just a bit longer, it looks like everyone is cheering for Chocolate Chip Cookies—and, accordingly, that’s what we’re doing in June.

I have dedicated an entire page for the Recipe Round-Robin, so if you aren’t familiar with the concept, you can read all about it here (there is also a link at the very top of the homepage next to my “About” section). Bare bones version: it’s a recipe contest, and each participant taste-tests two of the recipes to determine the best. Take a moment to read through the rules. Five minutes. Then you’re good to go.

The schedule this time around is a little longer than usual because I’m a going on vacation when I would normally post results. That’s okay, though, it gives our Tastebuddies an extra weekend. And it gives me a vacation to the opposite coast, where I have never been—I am a local girl through-and-through, but I’ve no doubt I’ll love San Fran.

This time around the prize will be a personal favourite of mine, that perennial classic The JOY of Cooking. I find that the JOY’s recipes are always very basic (sometimes bordering bland), but it is by far the most usefully encyclopedic cooking/baking resource I have come across. If I have an ingredient and I don’t know what to do with it, chances are the JOY has a few ideas, in addition to a descriptive flavour profile and preparation tips with clear illustrations. It was my very first and still remains my favourite cooking resource! (and hey, if that isn’t one hell of an unofficial endorsement, I’ll never sell anything).

[edit: what the JOY has taught me]

I ignored this
The directions were confusing.

And then learned this

A tutorial.

[end edit]

Consider this an official appeal for your expertise! Please send your most treasured chocolate chip cookie recipe to [aleta at omnomicon dot com] by Wednesday June 3, 2009 at 9pm EST. Please note that we are limited to the number of recipes we can test based upon the number of participants, so your chances of getting in on the action will increase the sooner you send along your recipe. And I’ll be checking your recipe against Toll House’s, so please be sure your contribution is original.

There are a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipes, but they are all unfailingly delicious, so that right there is a good incentive to be a Tastebuddy! Leave a comment by Tuesday June 2, 2009 at 9pm EST to volunteer as a taste-tester. You will have the following three weekends to make two batches of cookies, and your final decision is due Monday, June 22 by midnight. Unlike recipe submissions, all those who sign up to be a Tastebuddy will be able to participate, promise!

One last thing…
As I’ve mentioned before, the Recipe Round-Robin is a work in progress, so there will be tweaks to the process every round (but never within a round, of course). This month, I’m limiting the number of recipes being tested. Last time around we saw A LOT of meatloaf recipes, which is super duper awesome sauce, but unfortunately it meant that some only got tested a few times, which has the potential to mess with the accuracy of the results.

The number of accepted entries will be a function of the number of Tastebuds we have (more Tastebuds = more tested recipes) so we can make sure that every recipe is tested against every other at least once. You can see the formula I use at the Recipe Round-Robin page. I laboured over how to choose the recipes to be included and settled upon the objective and safe “first come first serve” method. If anyone, this rewards my more regular readers, and hey, that seems fair to me! The best way to make sure your recipe is tested, however, is to invite more Tastebuddies, so please spread the word!

And lastly, whether sign up as a Recipierre or Tastebuddy, please be aware that your judgment is very important, especially now we’re limiting the number of recipes tested. I’m convinced that everyone who signs up intends to follow through, but when you see a lot of other Tastebuddies signed up, it looks like your vote doesn’t count, right? Well, with this particular experimental design, it actually does, and quite a bit too, so when you don’t send your results it can make it difficult to pick a winner. Don’t underestimate your expertise; make some time to make some cookies!

Alright, enough with the boring stuff, let’s see your chocolate chip cookie recipes!!


daily nom #21

Posted by aleta under daily noms

Last Wednesday night (and then Thursday night too) I tried making a purportedly Lithuanian pastry that uses cottage cheese in addition to butter, but there’s something funky I can’t get quite right about the texture. Will report back once I’ve got it, though; despite its inability to cook all the way through, it’s a pastry, so it’s naturally delicious.


And hey: the new Recipe Round-Robin will be announced tomorrow!

If you’ve been following along, you’re probably aware that I collect cookbooks. Specifically, cookbooks created by New England civic organizations between 1950 and 1980 for fundraising purposes. With yard sale season in full swing, I find myself solvent with new recipe ideas, among them one I found in this vandalized and water-damaged collection.

No date, no address, not sure.

The picture on the cover somewhat suggests the architecture of Calvary Baptist Church in Easthampton, but I bought the book in Millbury and it has no date (I’ve never been to that Church, I just tried to do some due diligence in my googling). Nevertheless, it *does* include a chocolate cake recipe with a secret ingredient: ice cream.

Ice creeeeaaaammmm!!!

And hey, no cake flour or fancy measuring required, because we’re using cake mix.

The mix.

I let my ice cream soften by scooping it up into small chunks and letting it sit a few minutes. At teaspoon size, your mixer will take care of any further softening required right quick.

Mix together.

The recipe calls for greasing & flouring a tube pan. Since I’m making chocolate cake, I dusted with cocoa powder instead of flour so my cake won’t look dusty. In fact you can do this with any chocolate cake, with the added bonus of a little extra kick of chocolate, and hey, that’s the name of the game, right?

Dusting the tube pan.

After 4 minutes of beating, the batter kinda just looks like . . . well, melted ice cream.


This is one of those situations where a process shot gives a much clearer picture of the character of the dish than the final picture can. Connie Aubuchon, the contributor of this recipe, assures that the cake is “very moist, rich and chocolatey.”


She was right. This is about as moist as a cake gets without being outright wet, and it even has this spongy noise as you cut into it. In short, it is the most delicious chocolate cake you ever had.

Connie was right.

I wanted to see just how chocolatey I could make this, so I stayed true and made a chocolate cake mix with chocolate ice cream. But I was *thisclose* to trying chocolate cake with mint or ginger ice cream, and other combos that come immediately to mind are vanilla mix with mango ice cream, yellow cake mix with strawberry ice cream, and funfetti with pretty much any ice cream. What combo would you make?



Chocolate Ice Cream Cake (but not like you think)
with thanks to Connie Aubuchon

1 box chocolate cake mix (or any other flavour)
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened (again, any other flavour)
3 eggs
1 c water

Preheat oven to 350o. Grease a tube or bundt pan, then dust with cocoa powder.

Beat all ingredients together for 4 minutes, pour into pan and bake 45 minutes. Serve with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, a thin icing, whipped cream or the frosting of your choice.




approximate nutrition summary (will vary depending on the brands used): 230 calories, 6g fat, 1g fiber; about 5 weight watchers points


daily nom #20

Speaking with a gardening-enthusiast work colleague last week, I found out that radishes are one of the quickest things to grow—and usually the first edible plants of the season (along with rhubarb). Unsurprisingly, this bunch was plucked from Berberian’s Northborough fields in the first week of May.

radishes: pretty much always in season


daily nom #19

Posted by aleta under daily noms

Best Buddies.

Best buddies.


daily nom #18

Posted by admin under daily noms

I do most of my pictures with white backgrounds on white plates, mostly because I’m just plain not good at colour-matching. But I am actively trying to add to my plate repertoire, and what do you know, this 50-cent Goodwill find worked out perfectly to showcase this jalapeno cream cheese.



daily nom #17

Posted by aleta under daily noms

Entitled “Abstract Streetlight.”

Abstract streetlight.


daily nom #16

Posted by aleta under daily noms, for veggie-heads

Since last night’s post dealt with a single stalk of celery, as many recipes do, I thought I’d share my celery preservation technique, because even though you might not use that celery in the next two weeks, you’ll try to hold onto it just in case.

The best container I’ve found for keeping celery like this (and you know, it will last a solid two weeks this way too) is in either a pitcher or a vase. This is usually done to revive rubbery celery, but since I’m not likely to get to mine in the next few days anyway, I tend to go directly to the pitcher technique.

Make sure you have your celery toward the front of the fridge too. Some older model fridges (and some newer ones too) get extra-cold toward the back and will freeze your celery, and there ain’t no revivin that stuff back from that!

. . . that’s all I got.


Subscribe to Omnomicon