Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Faves

Favorite Eats:

Rhubarb Curd Shortbread

I got so excited this week when I found rhubarb sitting on the shelves at Whole Foods.  If there's rhubarb, it must be spring.  RIGHT???

We are, in fact, supposed to have a beautiful weekend with temps reaching the 70's.  Fingers crossed. With Alabama finally getting warmer weather, why in the hell did I agree to ride to Ohio next weekend with my mother?  Hey, buckeye state.....get your shit together and get warm by the time I get up there, mkay??

I'm actually looking forward to the trip.  My Aunt Maxine is turns NINETY today and they're having a party for her on Sunday.  I'll get to see the relatives I never get to see!  Put your party pants on cousins!!

Man that got off track didn't it?  I was supposed to be talking about this Rhubarb Curd Shortbread.  I've never made curd before and while a little labor intensive it's totally worth it.  I almost ended up with just plain shortbread bars because I couldn't keep my fingers out of the curd.  If you like rhubarb, you're going to lurve these.  Fabulous.

Rhubarb Curd Shortbread
Food52 Cookbook


12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon powdered galangal or ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves

3/4 pound rhubarb (about 6 stalks) cut into 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup plus 1/8 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice

To make the shortbread:  Heat the oven to 350 deg. F.  In a stand mixer or food processor, blend all the ingredients until combined.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.  Then dump the dough into an 8x8 inch baking pan and use your fingertips to press it evenly into the pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes until golden.  Let the shortbread cool in the pan on a rack or on the counter and leave the oven on.

To make the curd:  Wash the rhubarb and trim as little off the ends as possible.  In a small saucepan, heat the rhubarb, 1/4 cup sugar, and 4 tablespoons water over medium heat.  Cook until the rhubarb falls apart, adding water by the tablespoon if the rhubarb sticks to the bottom of the pan.  At this point, either use an immersion blender to puree the mixture, or push the mixture through a strainer....the first method is definitely easier.

Put a couple inches of water into the pot of a double broiler and set it over medium heat.  Put the egg yolks, the remaining 1/3 cup plus 1/8 cup sugar, the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice in the bowl of the double boiler and whisk to combine,  When the sugar has dissolved completely, mix in the warm rhubarb puree by the spoonful, to temper the eggs.  When all the rhubarb has been mixed in, set the bowl over the pot; the water should be simmering.  Stir for about 5 minutes, until warm and slightly thickened.  Remove from the heat.  Press through a fine-mesh strainer  -  this will give your curt that smooth, pudding like texture.  (I put mine through my food mill)

Use an offset spatula to spread the curd evenly over the shortbread.  Bake for another 10 minutes, then cool on a rack.  Refrigerate about 20 minutes and you'll find that it has firmed up enough to slice cleanly.  Cut into bars and dust with confectioners' sugar right before serving.

Favorite Tunes:

Mr. B and I have gotten hooked on the new Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers.  We're obviously DVRing them both since we're in bed by 8pm every night, but it doesn't make us any less hip.  Saying the word "hip" probably does though....

These two musical guests killed it this week.

And this little gem from Bachelor contestant Lucy Aragon about sleaze ball, Juan Pablo, made me laugh.

Favorite Viewing:

I'm not originally from Alabama so I have an excuse for not knowingt the rich music history of Muscle Shoals and all of the legendary albums have been recorded in this small town on the Tennessee River.  What has surprised me is how many natives don't know this part of state's history either.  Loved this.

In that same vein, this website,, looks like something I could get lost in.  Hundreds of music documentaries and concerts to stream, from Sinatra to Swan Lake.  

And this documentary series on fatherhood where first timer,  Hank Azaria, asks his friends...Mike Meyers, Kevin Bacon, Walter White(!), etc.....for advice is both charming and funny.

Favorite Reads:

Is this the future of reading?  I was very skeptical until I tried the I'm intrigued.  What do you think?

Want to sound "in the know" at your next cocktail party or around the water cooler at work?  Sign up for The Skimm.  I look forward to this in my inbox every morning and now know more about the Ukraine than I ever wanted......

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