As soon as I get a stand mixer*, I'm going to try this recipe, simply for the aural, visual, and tactile joys she describes. Until then, it's the old standbys for me.
I made a basic, uncomplicated artisan loaf (gotta love those long rises in the fridge while you're out getting things done) to go with a Mark Bittman recipe, kale rolls. It involved stripping the leaves off the stems, which were chopped and sauteed in olive oil with some minced garlic. The leaves were then rolled around sticks of feta and placed on top of the sauteed garlic and stems, topped with chopped red onion, tomatoes, and olives, and stewed on medium with a half-cup or so of white wine in the covered pan for about 10 minutes. I garnished it with a little basil just for the sake of basil, because the fresh stuff we have is already beginning to rot (the speed at which fresh herbs go bad is one of my eternal torments).
I really loved this dish. But the rather time-consuming rolling process is completely unnecessary. I can see just sauteeing the stems and garlic, then chopping the leaves and putting them on top, then putting the chopped olives and tomatoes and onions on top and pouring on the wine, then putting the feta on top and covering and cooking it for 10 minutes. The feta would still mush up a bit, the pan juices would still be delicious, and I wouldn't have spent half an hour carefully slicing intact kale leaves off the stems and rolling feta sticks in them. I can also see putting Portobello mushrooms in here, omitting the olives if you don't like them (I didn't salt it at all, thinking that the feta and olives would be plenty salt on their own, and it turned out just fine), or cooking down the tomatoes or some such to make the pan juices more abundant and then serving a more liquidy version over rice.
Look at the cute little feta stick poking out from that kale roll!
Pie report: Because of the free coffee and scone I got today while out getting my hair cut (curls status: aspiring-to-be-chic-African-American-lady short), I didn't indulge in further dessert, but Andy reported while yumming it up that the whipped cream didn't break and that the day-old pudding filling is just as good.
*I'm not usually given to cupidity, but I do have a list of kitchen products I want to acquire that make me rub my palms together in greedy glee. They are:
1. small stand mixer, which I intend to acquire in New York with the aid of a Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card.
2. cutting board (yes, I know, I should have one by now)
3. wire strainer (ditto)
5. internal read thermometer
6. plastic squeeze bottles
7. springiform pan (I've had horrible luck with not losing/breaking these)
9. cooking scale
10. cooling rack
11. four-cup liquid measure
12. refillable salt and pepper grinders
Secondary wants include a pizza peel and real baking stone, as well as some sort of indoor grilling apparatus.
I'm going to browse thrift stores and Target for some of these things and save up for the more expensive ones. And simultaneously plot how to make space for all these implements.