Monday, January 24, 2011


My performance for the bridge project ended this weekend, and now straight away into the next project for BOOST Dance Festival. I have my first rehearsal this evening with Christin Lusk. Ok, but on to the good stuff...
Reid and Lindsay got me a beautiful Kitchen Aid stand mixer for christmas, so I wanted to send along to them the first thing I made with it. For it's inaugural recipe I wanted something that I truly could not make without the mixer, and I found this recipe for home-made marshmallows, which involves beating incredibly dense mallow fluff for 15 minutes. The marshmallow is an incredibly strange substance, and can be sort of difficult to work with, but was another learning experience in confection-making.
Marshmallows are beautiful all powdery-white, but can be a tad borring, so I decided to chocolate-dip them too. The recipe is that of Martha's. It worked pretty well, but there were a few tricky parts. When it asks you to dissolve the sugar into the corn syrup, I don't think it ever fully dissolves. I was able to make it become homogeneous, but I could still see the individual crystals. They turned out fine, so I think she means "combined" rather than "dissolved." The other tricky part was "dusting" the pan with powdered sugar. I would sugest doing maybe a very light coating of Pam, so that the powdered sugar sticks evenly to the pan instead of staying in clumps. I was able to slowly pry the pan-sized marshmallow away from the bottom of the pan, but it would come away much easier if the pan where completely coated in powdered sugar with no bare spots.

Makes about 40
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small heavy saucepan; place over low heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals.
  3. Clip on a candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244 degrees.(firm-ball stage). Immediately remove pan from heat.
  4. With mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.
  5. Generously dust an 8-by-12-inch glass baking pan with confectioners’ sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust top with confectioners’ sugar; wet your hands, and pat it to smooth. Dust with confectioners’ sugar; let stand overnight, uncovered, to dry out. Turn out onto a board; cut marshmallows with a dry hot knife into 1 1/2-inch squares, and dust with more confectioners' sugar.

Read more at Homemade Marshmallows - Martha Stewart Recipes 

Also, to make the package complete, I sent the obvious accompaniment to marshmallows: Hot Cocoa! Here is the recipe I used, again from Serious Eats food lab:

Easy Home-Made Hot Cocoa Mix
serves makes about 18 servings, active time 3 minutes, total time 13 minutes
  • 2 (4-ounce) bars 100% cacao baking chocolate
  • 1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. 1
    Place chocolate bars in freezer until completely frozen, about 10 minute. Remove from freezer, break into rough pieces, and place in food processor with cocoa powder, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Process until completely powdered, about 1 minute. Transfer to airtight container and store in cool, dark place for up to three months.
  2. 2
    To make hot chocolate, combine 1 to 2 tablespoons mixture (or more if desired) with 1 cup boiling milk. stir or whisk until combined. To thicken further, return to heat and simmer for 30 seconds until thick and smooth.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Busyness! And tacos...

Sorry that I have not posted recently! I have been busy preparing for my show--my Seattle debut is TONIGHT! followed by Saturday and Sunday. This is the concert:
I am in Pablo Cornejo's piece. Should be awesome. In additional dance news, last saturday I auditioned for FULL TILT which is a concert in May. I was super excited about the three choreographers I auditioned for (and the two that I didn't) because I liked all the material I saw, and that is unusual. Usually there is at least something that just isn't my style, but this one I was just feeling like I wanted to be in EVERY PIECE. Which is good, because this morning I found out that I was cast in the three I auditioned for, and one of the choreographers asked me to be in an additional piece of hers for BOOST Dance Festival in March. Phew. So I'm very excited, but anticipating that I will be very busy for the next 4 months. But that's what I wanted. 

Ok, but so you have something to cook, I am posting what Nathan made me for dinner last night:

The recipe is from the amazing food website Serious Eats. Here is the science behind it all, since it was part of their "food lab"
ANd here is the recipe:
Carnitas can be prepared through step 3 up to three days in advance. Pork can be crisped up straight from the refrigerator. You can lower the heat in your salsa verde by removing the seeds from the jalapeños, or omitting them entirely before simmering.


serves 4 - 6, active time 45 minutes, total time 4 1/2 hours
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 pounds boneless pork butt (shoulder), rind removed, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium orange
  • 6 cloves garlic, split in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into three or four pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 medium tomatillos (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and split in half
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, split in half lengthwise, stem removed
  • 3 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta
  • 24 corn tortillas


  1. 1
    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 275 degrees. Cut one onion into fine dice and combine with cilantro. Refrigerate until needed. Split remaining onion into quarters. Set aside. Season pork chunks with 1 tablespoon salt and place in a 9 by 13 glass casserole dish. The pork should fill the dish with no spaces. Split orange into quarters and squeeze juice over pork. Nestle squeezed orange pieces into casserole. Add 2 onion quarters, 4 cloves garlic, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick to casserole. Nestle everything into an even layer. Pour vegetable oil over surface. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook until pork is fork tender, about 3 1/2 hours.
  2. 2
    Set large fine-meshed strainer 1 quart liquid measure or bowl. Using tongs, remove orange peel, onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves from pork. Transfer pork and liquid to strainer. Let drain for 10 minutes. Transfer pork back to casserole. You should end up with about 1/2 cup liquid and 1/2 cup fat. Using a flat spoon or de-fatter, skim fat from surface and add back to pork. Shred pork into large chunks with fingers or two forks. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Transfer remaining liquid to medium saucepot.
  3. 3
    Add tomatillos, remaining 2 onion quarters, remaining 2 garlic cloves, and jalapeños to saucepot with strained pork liquid. Add water until it is about 1-inch below the top of the vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until all vegetables are completely tender, about 10 minutes. Blend salsa with hand blender or in a stand-up blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. 4
    To serve: Place casserole dish with pork 4-inches under a high broiler and broil until brown and crisp on surface, about 6 minutes. Remove pork, stir with a spoon to expose new bits to heat, and broil again for 6 more minutes until crisp. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  5. 5
    Meanwhile, heat tortillas. Preheat an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Working one tortilla at a time, dip tortilla in bowl filled with water. Transfer to hot skillet and cook until water evaporates from first side and tortilla is browned in spots, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook until dry, about 15 seconds longer. Transfer tortilla to a tortilla warmer, or wrap in a clean dish towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  6. 6
    To eat, stack two tortillas on top of each other. Add two to three tablespoons carnitas mixture to center. Top with salsa verde, chopped onions and cilantro, and queso fresco. Serve with lime wedges.