God Save the Cream
Fall is here, baked goods are back, and so is my storehouse of butter
Welcome back to FOOD & STUFF, a periodic newsletter for recipe recommendations, food thoughts, and overzealous pontifications both against (shrimp) and for (butter) various foods that grace my plate. As always, I’m Grace, and today we’re going to begin by talking about butter, which is DIFFERENT from cream, but let this serve as your seasonal reminder that making your own whipped cream is an incredibly easy way to level up your pie game this fall.
Anyways, as the weather begins to cool off and I finally deem it appropriate to use my oven on a regular basis, butter has come back into my life in a big way. This last month, I’ve baked two particularly delicious desserts that, together, had over 2 pounds of butter between them! This is the way life should be. I’ll link those in the newsletter as well as share a few other things I’ve enjoyed making and eating these last few weeks.
Where I share recipes that I have eaten lately!
Big Love for Big Apple Crumb Cake
Oh me, oh my! I’ve waited over a year to make this cake from Smitten Kitchen, which now I’m upset about because I could’ve been eating this cake more times than I have at this present moment, which is once. But wow, what a cake! Why I love this cake: it’s easy prep, it’s easily-scalable (I doubled it in a 9x13 pan), it’s fall-y without being pumpkin, and it’s even better a few days after baking. I enjoyed a slice of this cake warm from the oven while watching the season premiere of the Great British Bake Off, then had another piece the next evening with friends, who also nodded their heads approvingly while enjoying a big bite of Big Apple Crumb Cake.
I used macintosh apples and they worked out great. Not too firm and not too sweet — just right for this recipe. Make this ASAP.
I’m picky about chocolate chip cookies, and I’d pick these
I made these cookies on a bit of a whim a few weeks ago to bring to a family birthday, and I was sooooo pleased with how they turned out. They are chewy and soft and chocolatey and a delight to eat. I will be making these again because they are just a really good chocolate chip cookie! Once again, they have a generous amount of butter, so of course they are good. The secret is always butter!
For when I need something that is made without copious amounts of butter
Contrary to what this newsletter has shared thus far, I do eat more than just butter! Something I’ve been enjoying the last few days is a spicy salmon rice bowl from Natalie Cooks. I ended up just grilling my salmon + broccoli separately because I’m a little weird about reheating cooked fish, but if you’re serving more than yourself, you can follow the sheet pan method of the original recipe.
For the sheet pan
1 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp grated ginger or 2 cloves garlic, grated
1 ½ tsp kosher salt, divided
1 lb salmon, cut into bite-sized cubes
5-6 cups broccoli florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
For the bowls
1-2 cups rice
2 cucumbers, peeled, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
Fresh herbs (chopped cilantro or scallions)
Preheat the oven to 450F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl or large tupperware container, add the cucumbers, vinegar, and soy sauce and toss to coat. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sriracha, honey, sesame, ginger or garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Transfer ½ cup of the mixture to a separate small bowl to use later for the sauce.
Add the salmon to the medium bowl and toss to coat. Scatter the salmon chunks onto the baking sheet, spreading them out evenly. Add broccoli to the other baking sheet and toss with the 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Spread out into an even layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and is beginning to brown a little bit (the sauce on the baking sheet will burn, that’s fine!).
In the small bowl with the reserved marinade, mix in the 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
Add warm rice to your bowls along with the cucumbers, broccoli, and salmon. Drizzle the reserved sauce all over and top with herbs and sesame seeds.
Fight Back Your Snack Attack with…a snack
I’m in a big training block for a half marathon this coming November, so I’ve been running a lot more miles than in previous months. That means that I’m pretty hungry like all the time! I’ve been making these peanut butter granola bars from my friend and sports dietician extraordinaire Meghann Featherstun of Featherstone Nutrition almost every week. They’re easy and they hit the spot for a snack and/or dessert! They do not have butter made from cows but they do have butter made from peanuts, which is the next best thing to cow butter!!
Just Eat It
I’m back to harass you about Molly Baz Pumpkin Bread
Last September I reminded you all in this very newsletter about the autumnal delight that is Molly Baz’s pumpkin bread with salted maple butter. Listen: there are few fall recipes out there that are as good as this one. The texture, the flavor, the festive feeling you get as you smell it baking in your home. It’s PERFECT. Personally, I enjoy making them into muffins (shorten the baking time to 25-30 minutes), but the loaf is also great. AND HEAVEN’S SAKE: Don’t skip the butter!
A Seat at my Table
Where I highlight something that I gladly keep around in my kitchen and encourage you to do so, too.
I don’t know why it took me 28.5 years to discover that I like beef jerky but here we are. It’s a great little high-protein snack and Target’s millennial-pandering brand ‘Good & Gather’ makes a good jerky, y’all! Of course, I picked up a bag this past weekend when I also picked up those two placements you’ve seen pictured throughout this newsletter. When I’m not snackin’ on those granola bars I shared above, I’m snackin’ on this jerky, which makes me feel like I live in Montana in a cabin and have a son named Bear and a dog named Bo. I like that for me!!
I’ve been closely watching the events of the last few weeks unfold these weeks following Queen Elizabeth’s passing. I’m obviously not British, but I have to admit that I have always been fascinated with all-things British since I was a little girl. From my love of BBC period dramas that began in middle school, to my obsession with The Crown and the deep-dive of research it inspired, to my adoration of The Great British Bake Off, I’m one of those Americans who find my neighbors across the pond to be much more interesting than they probably find me.
That being said, I am always grateful for a chance to spend some time getting to know those aforementioned neighbors across the pond through a new season of The Great British Bake Off. Any favorite contestants so far?! I am not sure who I will become attached to, but of course everyone seems so pleasant and charming and polite; who’s not to love?! Have to take a moment to highlight one of the funniest challenges of Bake Off, which occurred in 2020. Contestants had to make a cake bust of a person they admired, and the results were simply spectacular. I’m still laughing…
Well, friends, I hope you can enjoy some buttery desserts here in the near future as you enjoy the transition into fall. if you like this newsletter, do pass it along to a friend that might like it, too. Because food and stuff is for me, for you, for everyone!