18 December 2009

David Lebovitz's winning recipes

Last night after running errands, I had a rocket-like burst of energy and stripped down to my undies and chopped yellow onions for no reason and made this holiday snack mix while screenprinting and mixing ink on my dining table.  Then I sat in a bathtub of scalding water and sweated for over an hour while watching Before Sunset on my laptop which was propped up on my toilet.  I went to bed at 3:30am.

J. wondered if something I had eaten had heated up my body core and given me this frenzied blast of energy but I did have an Americano at 5pm and a diet Coke at 8pm and I think that contributed.

You should try it sometime--stripping down to your undies and chopping onions for no other reason than to feel the satisfaction of dicing something with a really sharp knife.  Maybe it's just me but it was pretty fun.  I have a big tupperware box full of diced onions now.
As well as a pile of botanical prints that I'll be using for wrapping paper. But in this post, I'd like to talk about how much I'm a fan of David Lebovitz and his recipes.  I've been trying lots of recipes off of different food blog sites--I love being inspired by entertaining food writing and gorgeous pictures.  But I have to say, some food bloggers don't really deliver when it comes to their recipes.  I've been making enough food to notice a marked pattern and difference between the quality of recipes and David Lebovitz is a clear winner.  Maybe it's because he used to work for Chez Panisse or is from California and adores Korean food but his palate is spot on with mine.  Never too much butter, grease, or too little of anything.  Everything feels incredibly
balanced and held together with a nice tension and melding of flavors.

Case in point:
On Sunday night, I made an arugula salad tossed in French Vinaigrette.  It was delicious and our guests could not stop raving about it.  In fact, they ate the entire package of arugula and 2 hours later kept talking about how if there was more, they would keep eating and never stop.

A couple weeks ago, I made his Chocolate yogurt snack cakes found on Dorie Greenspan's blog.    They are the perfect afterschool snack--they reminded me of grown up hostess ding dongs minus the cream and were creamy, moist, and fragrant with just the right crisp on the outer edges of the cakes.  The best part about it was that I made it with soy yogurt and it was a non-dairy snack.  It was one of the easiest and most gratifying cakes I have made.

Last night, I made David's holiday snack mix and you know what J. said?  He took a couple bites, swooned and rolled his eyes back into his head, and then gave me a knowing look and said, "This is David Lebovitz, isn't it?"  He knew before I even said anything!  I interrogated J. and asked him how he could tell and he confirmed what I had been starting to sense as well--that every David Lebovitz recipe seems to hit the palate just so in ways that other food bloggers just don't do.

For your holiday snack fix, try the mix.  I made it with the nuts I had lying around and didn't mix in pretzels because I didn't have any and it turned out better than either of us could imagine.  I felt like I was in Norway again and buying hot cones of roasted salty sweet nuts from a street vendor in the snow.

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