Friday, August 7, 2009

Why the Name?

Hello to all who will read this! I hope you'll visit here for updates... I've never done this before, and I'm not sure what will set me aside from the millions of you out there who blog daily. Perhaps just something funny? Or a great recipe? Or even a political view? Who knows?! I can't say that I'm always politically correct, or that my punctuation is always perfect - or even that my language is without blemishes...but, I hope everyone will comment and visit often! Fair warning... I am not without opinion and I'm not afraid to share it!

First, I think I should tell you that the blog name is for cake domes. Those glorious glass cake domes that tower in fantasy books for children, and sit on counter tops in diners and cafes everywhere. I love them and find them incredibly beautiful. It is my mission to collect lots of them! I just don't have the space in my small apartment! I have an idea to build a shelf around the top of the ceiling and place them up there... yeah, add that to my list of things to do. But also, the domes to me represent the scrutiny of life. When there's a cake under one of those domes, everyone stares at it. We look carefully, we examine it, we choose which slice we want. And for me? It's sort of an analogy to life. Shouldn't we all being thoughtful, mindful humans - take time out daily to look carefully at our lives? I know it's hard with the busy lives we all lead, but lately, I've been trying to be more thoughtful about mine!

The name actually came from a brainstorm between my boyfriend and I when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. He said chocolate. He always says chocolate. And he said he wanted more than one chocolate cake. A whole room full. So, I said I'd make them and he would come home to a chocolate cake grotto. All of them under glorious gleaming glass domes. He was happy and salivating at the thought. I haven't yet gotten to that chocolate cake grotto... but his 40th is coming up and I'm planning to bake my ass off! At any rate, until we get to that chapter, I hope that something here will catch your eye - steal your heart - make you laugh or even curse me (it's OK, I don't mind) or just give you reason to check back in here with a cup of coffee and say 'Hi' here goes!

Ok.. so today, I was looking mindlessly in my cabinets at the 400 cans of chipotle chilies that I purchased on sale somewhere - yeah, can you say stock up? Maybe not 400, but 4 anyway. Who needs 4 cans of chipotles? As it turns out, I might. I have a confession to make: I LOVE mayonnaise. Love love love love it. I love it for my fries, I love it on my veggies, my sandwiches, my burgers - you name it, if I can put mayo on it, I'll try. For me? It's the sixth master 'sauce'. Mayyybeee even better than the others, tho, I've never met a bechamel that I didn't, back to the chilies... there they were in all their hotness staring at me from their little cans on their perch in my cabinet.... Gleaming and shiny and ready to show me who the boss was. What to do with them? Ahh well....back to my love of mayonnaise. I love mayo - did I mention that? - but not that horrid stuff called salad dressing that they stock on the shelves near my coveted mayo. That's NOT mayo. Mayonnaise - just say it with a french accent and it sounds impressive and like a wonderful guilty pleasure. And yes, this simple emulsion of eggs and oil is one of the greatest most versatile creations out there. And you can do anything with it. Trust me. People put it in cakes - breads - and on just about everything else. I always stock up! Though, I've always meant to make my own, I've just never gotten around to it. Today? Different story. I got a crazy notion and a craving for that fresh mayonnaise I often get in Paris and was thinking how wonderful the creamy coolness of it would be with the fire of the chipotles, and alas, with no Hellman's to substitute in my fridge - decided to make my own. So, here's what I did and how I did it:

Creamy Chipotle Mayo

2 organic egg yolks
3-4 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp Coleman's dry mustard powder
pinch of sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbsp hot water
1 canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, with seed and juice
1tbsp honey
1 tsp lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

In your food processor, put the egg yolks and 3 tsp of the vinegar. Start your engine and spin it for about a minute or so, until it gets a bit frothy and lighter yellow. Add the mustard powder while its spinning and keep motor on until the egg mixture is foamy, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off your engine and add your salt and pepper and sugar - I used ground sea salt and fresh ground peppercorn mix. Then while your motor is on again, add part of the oils in a slow steady stream, alternately add the hot water one tbsp at a time and add the last tsp of vinegar while again, adding the rest of the oil in a sloooowwwww stream. Voila! Mayonnaise. You could stop here, but why? Add that whole chipotle chili in there - more if you like it hotter, but beware, they are HOT. And run your engine again. With the motor going, add the lime juice and the honey thru the feeder tube and continue processing it for about 2 or 3 minutes. This will help the emulsion get really creamy. Adjust your seasonings after the engine is off... and enjoy! And if you're so inclined, you could do this by hand... all you need is a strong arm and an assistant to help you pour the oil.

I plan to use mine on some grilled bacon burgers with avocado. And of course, for a veggie dipping sauce. It would be great with french fries. I imagine I'll find a lot to use it on this weekend. It's a great combo of cool and spicy. Feel free to comment, tweak or even add to it! And once I figure out how to put photos up.. look out!!!

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