Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Kaya's Spice Cake with Berry Compote

Recreating an old favorite!

This Kaya inspired recipe barely qualifies as historical, but it's inspired by something I've been dying to recreate in my own kitchen for quite some time: a delicious carrot, parsnip, and spice cake I had at the National Museum of the American Indian during my first visit to their delicious cafe. 

Unfortunately, my version is lacking in parsnips despite my best efforts to find them, but the result was still an extremely tasty treat that I've been enjoying over the last few days, complete with a fresh, tart blueberry compote that I'll definitely be making again. Read on to see how to make it yourself!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Samantha's Wellesley Fudge Cake

A cherished tradition from Wellesley College!

There's something about September that always seems to signal a slow down in my blogging. Whether it's moving to grad school, getting married, planning a vow renewal, or just wiping myself out with an anniversary post, September just hasn't been my strongest month production wise. 

That's my way of apologizing for taking so long to get this one up, and how quickly the next post is going to follow it! I've got quite a schedule I'd like to tackle, so there's no more time to waste. And what better way to get back in action than finally getting to test out one of my favorite cookbooks properly!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Blaire's Awesome Sauce

A sauce that's chock full of veggies and pretty easy to make!

In April, I shared the official recipe for Blaire's dairy-free chocolate chip brownies with you, and spoke about how this year's Girl of the Year has to deal with the frustration of developing lactose intolerance, which means a lot of adapting for this aspiring chef. In her second book, Blaire Cooks Up a Plan, her primary theme makes a pretty big shift, from adapting to food intolerance (and a sort of half hearted attempt at discussing screen addiction) to confronting food insecurity by helping those in need. 

This recipe is inspired by Blaire's community service project, and is featured as a recipe in the back of Blaire Cooks Up a Plan the same way the brownies were. Read on to find out more about this recipe, as well as how to make it yourself!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Melody's Tomato Watermelon Salad

A tasty dish with some difficult history.

Today we're featuring a recipe that involves some pretty dark moments in American history. This watermelon tomato salad from the Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook published by the National Museum of African American History and Culture is a very interesting, refreshing side dish to any summer get together, but features an ingredient that has a pretty complicated and often upsetting history in the Black community. Its reputation as such is the fault of white supremacists looking to put down Black entrepreneurs in the wake of the Civil War. They took a symbol of Black freedom and entrepreneurship and turned it into an icon of Jim Crow America. 

I'm speaking, of course, about the watermelon.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Nanea's Pineapple Mint Julep

A refreshing, fruity must have for any summer celebration!

Happy VJ Day! Today marks one of the many days the Allies celebrated as the end to the war in the Pacific. Nanea and her friends would have been young teenagers by the end of the war, and would be celebrating the end of the conflict and hoping for a speedy return of their friends and family who had gone off to war. Or maybe their celebrations were more subdued as they remembered the lives that had been lost in the conflict. Victory Days were fun, spontaneous holidays, but they also marked a very somber moment for families who had lost loved ones in the conflict. 

To celebrate, I decided to continue the summer of the mocktail at our apartment, and when I was looking around for something VJ Day inspired, I knew this was the treat that was meant to be featured. 

This tropical twist on the classic mint julep is appropriate for all ages, and comes straight from my 1943 copy of the Women's Home Companion Cookbook. Read on to see how you can bring this refreshing taste of history to life yourself!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Lily's Homemade Anko Paste and Red Bean Popsicles!

Experimenting with new ingredients to make a yummy treat!

Red bean ice cream and other red bean flavored sweets have long been something I go out of my way to sample when a restaurant offers them. For some Westerners, the idea of using beans to make a sweet dish probably sounds a little strange or unappetizing at first, but I've gobbled up everything I've ever come across that's flavored, stuffed with, or otherwise full of this sweet, creamy goodness. 

After Nanea was released and it was confirmed that she had a Japanese best friend, I knew I wanted to make something that either featured red (adzuki) beans, or red bean paste (anko) as a way to investigate the history of one of my favorite treats, and to try my hand at making my own desserts featuring this unique ingredient. 

There was just one problem: finding anko paste!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Kirsten's Vinegar Lemonade

A trail recipe that should probably stay that way...

Some recipes have genuinely made me wonder am I a little crazy, a glutton for punishment, or both. This time, I'm pretty sure it's both. 

Maybe it was leftover confidence from how well my vinegar pie came out three years ago or just my ongoing commitment to trying out bizarre historical recipes, but I'm going to say this right up front: unless you're a settler making your way to Oregon in 1847, I wouldn't recommend trying this one at home.