homemade grapefruit marmalade

Thriftiness, I’m convinced, lends even the most mediocre fare a flavorful radiance that can only be achieved by repurposing formerly wilting produce. The satisfaction of resourcefully using otherwise neglected ingredients seems to tuck in a particular palatable delight. However, I say this only so far as my experiments in the world of sugared confections go. I have a decidedly less-stellar performance record of savory culinary adaptations in the kitchen (read: pantry stir-fries gone awry). But I was truly ecstatic over my first batch of homemade marmalade, finally making use of a bag of delicious (but seemingly bottomless) Japanese grapefruits given to me by a good friend.

Although I have never envisioned myself as a jam-maker or marmalade brewer (?), thanks to the inspiration from a favorite blogger (thank you She Who Eats) and a Saturday afternoon to while away while my laundry dried outside in the intermittent sunshine, I felt emboldened to give marmalade-making a go.  Continue reading

bruschetta toasts

I know, I know, bruschetta is not by any means classifiable as a “baked good,” but I was so proud of my resourcefulness and daring nerve to try cooking something decidedly non-Japanese that I had to write about it. And in all honesty, it’s a notable achievement when I cook something worthwhile, because usually I’m so wrapped up in a baking project or incessantly reading recipes to inspire my next one, that often I find I haven’t a clue what I’m going to do about dinner when 5:00 comes around.

Back in the blissful, unhurried days of summer with Mr. Baker, I could always count on his incredible quick-thinking in the kitchen after a whole day neglecting plans for dinner in lieu of baking a strawberry tart. He continually amazes me with on-the-spot ideas for dinner like curried chicken and rice with dollops of ricotta, sauteed tilapia and veggie-filled pita pockets, or homemade pizza with huge slices of ripe tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. It goes to show how much like two peas in a pod we are: me, the precise, perfectionist baker, and he a natural with paring knife and grill.

Continue reading