Blueberry Mold

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And so it’s come to this: And Such Small Portions’s very first jello mold.

Well, sort of. When I picture a jello mold, I see this: a shapely mound that stands independent and proud on its very own platter, shiny and semi-transluscent and filled with some sort of canned fruit, quivering softly in the light filtering through a brown-and-yellow glass lampshade. I don’t picture a tupperware filled with blue gloop, gloop that’s been folded together with an heroic amount of whipped cream to create something that’s sort of like blueberry yogurt, but richer and less… good. Continue reading

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Pie Crust Cookies

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And now, for a break from our regularly scheduled programming (appropriate, since I’m later with this post than I’ve ever been before): This is not a recipe you’ll find in Nonnie’s cookbook. This is not even a recipe, really. This is more of a method, a technique, a way of life. A practice that will keep you from throwing away errant scraps of pie dough ever again, provided you’re, like, the kind of person who is always making pies and letting them cool on the windowsill. Continue reading

Chicken Tostada

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Olé!

This is what you think of when you think of Mexican food, right—iceberg lettuce, red wine vinegar, parsley? Oh, the parsley! Just like I remember from Teotihuacan!

Nevertheless, Nonnie’s take on a chicken tostada—which, it must be noted, appears in the “salad” section of her cookbook, lolololol—is a lot tastier than I thought it’d be. After all, it’s pretty tough to mess up cheese, beans, and chicken; Taco Bell has built a vast fast food empire on that very principle. And it’s even harder to mess up those things when they’re smeared on top of a freshly fried tortilla, one that tastes even better because you made it out of nothing but a regular tortilla and brawn.

All in all, it makes for a satisfying meal that’s relatively light in Nonnie terms (despite, you know, the fried tortilla and melted cheese)—at least, if you only eat one. Which might have flown in the ’60s, but probably doesn’t fly today. Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Cake (again)

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I was raised to prize homemade desserts over the grocery store kind, to always choose a slightly misshapen, even over-or-underdone chocolate cookie over a perfectly round, pale yellow circle with impeccably spread, machine-made icing. (Unless we’re talking about an Eat’n Park smiley face cookie, in which case all bets are off.) Desserts made from scratch are just better, my mom always said, and I’m sure she got that from Nonnie before her—they’re less sweet, more complex, filled with the rich, satisfying taste of real butter.

I still believe all this to be true. However: For those awful moments when, whoops, you’re feeling snobby and superior but don’t actually have time to whip up an entire cake from scratch (perish the thought!), there is in fact a decent halfway solution. Continue reading