Oct 11

Apple Cider Donuts

My #2 favorite thing about fall is apple cider and all of the wonderful things that subsequently can be created from apple cider. The heavenly warm cinnamon-sugar coated pillows that are fresh apple cider donuts are one of the highlights of the apple picking adventures that my sister and I take annually to the Beardsley Cider Mill and Orchard back near my hometown in CT. We spend about an hour doing the pick-your-own out in the orchard, testing out the apples and filling big canvas bags for pies, cupcakes, etc.

The cider mill has some of the best cider in the area, but by far the best thing in the main house is the fresh apple cider donuts that come hot off the conveyor belt into a bucket of cinnamon sugar. Only get them when they’re fresh – they have a great airy, chewy texture that is almost like biting into a marshmallow.


Oct 11

And We’re Back!

It has been a very, very long time folks! It has been quite the bumpy ride – in the time since my last post I have changed jobs, moved apartments, turned a year older and have spent far too much time away from this site. In fact, I even tragically allowed my ownership of the URL to expire, and grumpy left my hands for a short while. I was devastated when I lost grumpy. I was an hour late to work because I was crying all morning. There was nothing I could do.

But thanks to some good looking out from Spicy Biscotti, I have reclaimed the site and am making a commitment. I have been doing a ton of cooking since we made the move from a closet-sized apartment into a grown-up living space with a real (albeit small) kitchen with all of the bells and whistles (including a full-sized fridge!!), and it’s time to start sharing the love and the recipes.

I can think of no better way to welcome my favorite season, autumn, with the following few posts. I’ll recap some of my favorite recipes from this summer, share some photos of my first time making the family pepper relish with my Grandma, and start testing all of the seasonal goodness of fall with a pear crisp, smoked haddock chowder, and much more.

It’s good to be back, interwebs!


Dec 09

My Foray into Fondant, or Mediaite Gets a Cake

There are a few things in this life that I find difficult to pass up. As it happens, two of them are sales, and cake making. Which led us to today’s post:


The Mediaite Cake!

Ever since I began work at my office I have wanted to make a cake for the Mediaite crew (birthdays were the original inspiration, but there was never enough time to pull one together). So to honor the success of the people I share my office with (and the announcement of three very cool new websites to come), I decided a cake was in order. That paired with a fabulous Jo-Ann fabrics sale on fondant (SCORE!) meant that there was only one type of cake I could make: A computer.

This was my first time working with fondant in a cake setting. I had worked with it a bit, making small cutouts to put on top of cupcakes when I worked at Georgetown Cupcake in DC, but I had never done a cake. I was really nervous for how it was going to turn out. Cakes with fondant are normally beautiful, but when you’re trying to make something look more life-like, it’s difficult to capture all of the details with fondant.


The key to this cake was sculpting. The inside is three square cakes stacked vertically, bound together with layers of frosting and then cut into the shape of a computer. A fourth cake was the keyboard, cut on a downgrade using string. Rolling the fondant was one of the most stressful parts of the process, because it is so delicate and I was so afraid that it was going to tear as I folded it over the corners. Frosting markers made the customized screen possible. It was one of the most fun cakes I’ve made to date. Congrats Mediaite!



Dec 09

Coming Soon…

So there have been a lot of exciting things going on lately, so unfortunately I’ve been lax in posting some of my delicious things. Hopefully tonight I’ll have a few done and ready to post for the rest of the week. Coming up: Holiday Pastry traditions, maple marshmallows, beet and goat cheese salad, and more. Stay tuned!!!


Nov 09

Eric Ripert Goes to Costco, Hilarity Ensues

Alan Richman and Eric Ripert do Costco

This video is hilarious. Alan Richman takes Eric Ripert to Costco, and Ripert is totally scandalized. While he admits that the warm bread from the bakery is a plus for the mega-store, he says that nothing looks natural or “like it is from Planet Earth.”

The most surprising element of the entire episode is Ripert’s use of herbs de provence with steak. It’s not a traditional or popular choice, but he says it tastes good, so perhaps the next time I’m  jonesing for a steak, I’ll try it like almost-Costco-convert Eric Ripert.

Ripert is surprisingly open-minded throughout the entire episode: at one point he admits that they are having a good meal, and although he would like to be in the street with a sign that says “I hate Costco” he can’t do it because “they have some good stuff.”

But he does not want to go back.

[via Eat Me Daily]


Nov 09

Cook the Covers November Edition: Thanksgiving Turkey(s)

The centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal is often also the focal point of food publications this time of year. The stress of Turkey Day is often caused by it’s namesake, and thus food magazines often offer up high-gloss food porn to cure anxiety around the L-tryptophan laced, food-coma-inducing highlight of the holiday. Here at Grumpy, we decided to put the recipes served up on the magazines’ 8.5″ x 11″ platter. We tested the cover recipes from Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and the sadly deceased Gourmet. We cooked an approximately 10lb. turkey for each recipe, and followed the instructions exactly (with slight modifications on the time seeing as our turkeys were smaller). Here are the results:

3rd Place:

Gourmet‘s Cider Glazed Turkey


This turkey was an expected favorite that turned out to have a few issues. One of the main ones being: if you are using a pop-up timer, be careful to avoid getting any glaze on or near it, as it may prevent the timer from popping. The glaze is good, but may need to reduce a bit more than the recipe indicates. The turkey comes out with a beautiful, crispy skin, however if you leave the turkey in for even a few minutes too long, the glaze begins to burn, which leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. So once the glaze goes on, watch the turkey closely to ensure it crisps, but does not burn. Right out of the oven, this turkey was juicy, and if you got a piece with skin, it was particularly savory. Once it sat, however, the turkey became dry, and pieces without the skin didn’t get the flavors of the apple and onion that it was stuffed with.

2nd Place:

Bon Appetit‘s Clementine-Salted Turkey

Clementine Salted Turkey from Bon Appetit

I also had high hopes for this turkey, and found a few major issues with both in process and in product. Again, the turkey was delicious directly out of the oven, however after a few minutes of sitting (after the 30 minutes of cool time) once the turkey had been cut, the meat was quick to dry out. The meat retained a bit more moisture than the previous turkey, and had a bit more of the onion and Clementine flavor to it. However the skin did not get as crispy as I would have liked (or as is shown in the photo) and overall the result is not necessarily worth the effort to put all of the various components of this one together. It was still very tasty, mildly juicy, and it was fun to make (albeit a bit complex and harried for Thanksgiving Day). Just not what I would expect on my table as the main dish of the holiday.

1st Place:

Food and Wine‘s Herb-Roasted Turkey

Herb Roasted Turkey from Food and Wine 2009

I did not expect this recipe to be my favorite, since my family and I have never brined our turkey before, and my mom was never a huge fan. I was pleasantly surprised to find that 18 hours or so in a bath of coriander seeds, mustard seed, fennel, bay leaves, salt and sugar yielded the juiciest, most flavorful turkey of the bunch. Not only did the meat retain more of the flavors involved in the cooking process, but those elements enhanced the taste of the meat itself. This was the most succulent turkey in the bunch. The recipe was very simple to follow, and the result was a crisp-skinned aromatic centerpiece that I would be proud to serve at any holiday meal. The gravy in this recipe was also our favorite. Even though it did not feature homemade turkey stock like the other recipes, the overall flavor (I think it’s the bread that does it) is hearty, salty, and just the right amount of creamy. This one got all the votes, from all six of the people living in my house.

The brine was one of my favorite parts of this recipe! Here are some pictures of the beautiful brine:

corianderseedbrine2 fennelforbrine


Nov 09

Beautiful Brine (Teaser!)

fennelforbrine corianderseedbrine2

I never thought about brining a Turkey until a recipe I was testing this weekend turned me on to this amazing way of prepping a Thanksgiving bird. Tomorrow I will be posting the recipes that featured these ingredients (along with my reviews). This one featured Coriander seed, Fennel seed, bay leaves, and mustard seed. What are your favorite brining recipes?


Nov 09

Cookin’ with Coolio on the Today Show

Oh. Em. G.

If you were fortunate enough to be tuned into the Today show this morning, you would have seen 90’s rapper-actor Coolio cooking with Hoda and Kathy Lee.

Confused? Don’t be. Coolio has been producing an online video cooking series called “Cooking with Coolio” since 2008. The show features sexy, scantily clad women assisting him in the production of such culinary masterpieces as Caprese Salad, “Tricked Out Westside Tilapia” and “Swashbucklin’ Shrimp.” Each five minute segment is full of qirky, distinctly Coolio moments. Instead of measuring out his spices on the spot or into small bowls like most cooking shows, Coolio measures them all out ahead of time into small plastic baggies (hmm, I wonder what small plastic bags of powder could be a reference to?). And of course, it wouldn’t be Coolio if the program wasn’t riddled with mildly offensive cursing.

This video is fantastic for a number of reasons. The segment is peppered with exclamations of “Shakazulu!” (which Coolio later defines for his hosts), and as Coolio walks the two very confused hosts through his recipe for “Soul Rolls” he fends off questions about his hair, the state of his life, and Kathy Lee’s accusation that his “Soul Rolls” are “Ghetto Egg Rolls.” (Watch Kathy Lee try to back pedal as she defends her logic on that comment!)

If you watch closely, you can see a very uncomfortable Hoda forcing smiles and awkwardly bumbling through the simple tutorial.


May 09

Imagine a world where chocolate waste could run your car…

It is closer than you think: Eco-Racecar



May 09

RIP LVK’s Camera

My camera has died, so I apologize that the next few posts (whenever they come) will probably be void of beautiful, saliva-inducing photos. Either that or I’ll just post other people’s photos!