Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TWD: Not

I'm stumped... how is everyone else happily baking away for Tuesdays with Dorie when Christmas is looming! Last night I just about had a nervous breakdown thinking of all the things we I have to get done before this weekend. And I wonder if I will survive....so for now I'm letting myself off the baking hook.

You can check out the Lonely Sidecar to find the recipe for Volcano Cookies this week brought to you by MacDuff

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cuz you can can can...

I was flipping through the channels last night whilst the hubby was putting together a sofa table. I had already put together two chairs, thank you very much! OK OK I confess they were from Ikea so it wasn't rocket science, it was Swedish rocket science!

Anyhoo... back to the tv flip-fest... I landed on PBS and the A Capella singing group Straight No Chaser was on. I've seen one or two clips of these guys before and they are fantastic. If you haven't had the pleasure please take a listen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TWD: Sables

Holy moly  its Wednesday! How the heck it is already the second week in December, I need to go back a few weeks so I have time to do what I need to do before Christmas!

The recipe this week for  Tuesdays with Dorie was Sables chosen by Bungalow Barbara. Sables I obviously haven't made yet.... and not because I was drinking rum, although that would probably make me feel better about it, but because I'm just flat out busy. I hope I can make them this week tho because for all the posts I've seen they are just beautiful and easy to make.... when you have the time.

You can check out the recipe and some variations on the theme at Barbara's blog here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Shaking off Thanksgiving

It's 9:30 Monday morning... I'm having a hard time getting back into the groove of things @ work. Strangely no one is bustling around in their normal end of the month fuss... yet.

On Saturday we managed to clean up and set up the garage, a project that has been looming since we moved into our new house in May. I know 6 months is a whole lotta procrastination... but it still feels good that its done! You could actually park a car in there if your car was slim enough to clear the door, mine isn't. I don't understand our garage, weren't cars BIGGER in the 1950's?

In an attempt to give our new digs some character we also started work on the front bathroom on Sunday. Most of the day was spent trying to undo the bad DIY done by the previous owner... he tried I guess, some things we just had to give up on lest we end up ripping out all the drywall.

Were adding white wainscoting (courtesy of my mom's overbuying super powers) new molding and painting the top a teal green color. The vanity will be black satin and I will be adding some Haeckel prints and other funky steampunk-ish sorta things which is really easy to do now a days since they have funky things even at Target. Hmmm well clearly not very original but at least it won't be this white Home Depot sheik that it is currently.

Did you do anything fun this long weekend? I know the above does not sound fun but it is for me! Organizing crap makes me happy... I know I have a few screws loose.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

TWD: Bundt Accomplished

Ok what do you do when you when they let you go home 2 hours early on Thanksgiving-eve? Well you crack out a bundt cake another pie (and color your hair) of course!
Monday & Tuesday before Turkey Day I made quite a few pies for friends at work, my solution to extra holiday cashola if you know what I mean. The line up: 4 Apple Pies, 1 Lime Cream Pie, 1 Lime cream tart, 2 sugar free Pumpkin Cheesecakes, 1 regular Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake, 1 Chocolate PB pie and 2 1/2 dozen Ginger Molasses Cookies. Not the most pies I've made at one time thats for certain... but still its an accomplishment. I've hear a few good reviews, hopefully will get more on Monday.
Even after all that pie business I had to make a chocolate pie as requested by my honey... and I really really wanted to try the All-in-One Holiday Bundt Cake. It was really easy to throw together and it tasted amazing. I think I may make it again but skip the cranberries.... the tartness kind of threw me off a bit and I would have enjoyed it much more without. As mentioned before you can go visit Brit for the recipe over at The Nitty Britty or turn to pages 186 and 187 in Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TWD: All-in-One Holiday Bundt

I was planning on making the All-in-One Holiday Bundt this week to bring over to my parents house for Turkey  Day. But alas my oven will be preoccupied with delicious goodies for others to take to their families houses for Turkey day.

Luckily my family is strangely unimpressed with anything that I make so I'm not obligated to bring a thing! Or maybe its familial paranoia from back in the day when I would turn out cookies my dad would lovingly call hockey pucks....

You can head over to see Britin for the recipe over at The Nitty Britty. 

Oh man! I almost forgot to say HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all!  Anyone have interesting plans for their turkey? I watched Alton Brown the other day in his turkey frying session... after seeing the demo of what could go wrong I don't think I will ever do that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TWD: Cran-Apple Crisp

Holy moly this was one tart crisp! I used two big granny smith apples and fresh cranberries and it was mouth puckering goodness. See that little dab of ice cream right there? It certainly needed more of that to counter the tartiness. I was to lazy to go scoop more but my honey liked it enough to get seconds of everything. He's not really a cooked fruit lover so the fact that he got seconds is saying something.
This recipe was brought to you by the letter Em @ The Repressed Pastry Chef. You can swing on by her site to find this super easy recipe amongst her other fabulous posts.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pink Princess

This was for our niece Kyla's 5th birthday. The instructions were pink and princessy. I loved making all the flowers that cascaded down 4 sides of the cake. More shots of this uber pink cake here.

Jacob's Baseball Cake

This was for my co-worker's son. He loves the Dodgers so I had to try and achieve dodger blue which I now loathe... it was the hardest part of the entire cake. As you can see I didn't make much of it that blue color... after adding all that coloring the fondant started to smell a bit like chemicals... not very appetizing in my opinion. You can see some other closeups of this one here.

Abstract Ocean Cake

This was for my niece Jessica to celebrate her 16th Birthday. She just said ocean but not a beachy luau type of cake. I think this fit the bill but I'm not so sure she will give me free reign again...because it is a little odd.

You can see more shots on my website here... there were great things on every side that I just loved it was hard to make the web page for this and pick only a few photos.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TWD: Sugar-topped Molasses Cookies

I'm not a cookie dough fan, I don't care for cookie dough ice cream and I would never scarf down a tube of slice & bake. But this dough... man.... so so good! I had to get out of the kitchen and write this post or I would have ate it all.

I was saying to my honey that I don't recall if I've ever made anything with real molasses in it. I catch the spill over whilst I was measure out the 1/2 cup for the recipe and give it a taste. Memories of baking with my grandma come flooding in when the flavor hits my tongue and the most vivid thing of all....molasses on pancakes!

Well, I just took pictures and did the taste test. I think these are by far my most favorite Tuesdays with Dorie recipe so far! Thanks to Pamela of Cookies with Boys for choosing it.

Modern Conveniences

Right when we moved in to our cool new digs our dryer decided it liked our old house better and refused to work anymore. Oh sure it spun around and teased us by warming up a bit but otherwise it was a big huge doorstop.

Being broke as a joke (having bought a new house and all that) I devised a plan to hang out laundry. We rigged up a really cool line in the backyard and proceeded to hang out our chonies for all the birds to see. With temperatures ranging from 96-106 degrees it doesn't take long for your clothes to dry... so bonus for being in California right. But no longer can you throw in the random load in the evening, you pretty much have to be dragging clothes in and out everyday to make sure all the laundry is done, pre-planning is key. Its kind of theraputic for oh say 5 loads then its just god damn annoying.

Well this weekend my honey fixed the dryer (w00t!) $50 bucks and a allot of cursing, the dryer is good as new. I'm very lucky to have married a handy man and I'm super thankful for modern conveniences.

Monday, November 2, 2009

File under ridiculous....

Because we had ever so loverly change of time Sunday, I had the rare occasion to sit on the couch and eat breakfast this morning.

Apparently if your up really early (or really late) you can experience the most ridiculous products on TV. That over there to your right readers is a Pump Glove! Pure geniu.... err ok maybe not. I think its my grandmas garden glove with a bow glued on. Who the hell is going to whip out some polka dot gloves at the gas station?!

I say save the $14.95 + shipping & handling and get your hubster to pump your gas for you! Cuz that's what my momma taught me!

Monday, October 26, 2009

TWD: Cherry Fudge Brownies

In my opinion the imperfectly flaky top and the chewy cherry interior didn't need the topping that transforms this simple brownie into a delicious torte. It's a good thing too because I didn't have all the ingredients for the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe chosen by April from Short + Rose.

Sure I coulda just ran out and got them, but its been a weird few months... and being frugal is the name of the game. I skipped the cherry directions entirely... folding in some chopped dark chocolate covered cherries that I happened to have in the cupboard already. It turned out pretty good too. In fact I don't think my honey simply fell asleep last night... oh no he fell into a deep chocolate coma after consuming two slices of this baby!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TWD: Spiced Muffins

Ack! I thought I lost my photo of the spice muffins! Way to give a girl a coronary at 8pm! Geesh... well worst case senario, I would have had to make them again of course. They were so good it wouldn't have been such a bad outcome.

In a fit of absolute laziness I didn't measure the butter for the topping and put in way too much.....as if there is there such a thing!? The butter just melted into the bottom of the muffin and made the whole shebang kinda flat and dense. I didn't have any allspice so I subbed in cardamom and cinnamon and used a little tangerine zest in the mix which turned out to be a superb combo IMHO or maybe it was all that melty butter who knows but they were good!

Grab the recipe over at Kayte's blog Grandma's Kitchen Table if you don't have the book and definetly give these a whirl.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

TWD: Split Level Pudding

There's nothing quite so un-photogenic as pudding or any custard for that matter...pair that will my horrifying photography skills (the one thing I didn't inherit from my dad) and you get this... yu...mm.. ok no not so much. It tasted way better than this looks and well pudding is for eating not for photographs so :P

The recipe was quick and easy. I did muck up the ganache part, it was a little grainy. I probably didn't heat the cream enough to melt the chocolate properly, no matter we will definitely polish off the 4 that are left in the fridge.

You can head over to Garret's site The Flavor of Vanilla for the easy peasy recipe, or turn to page 384~385 in Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

TWD: Chocolate Crunched Caramel Tart

I don't know if this was because of my running tally of TWD failures recently, or maybe I been a good girl... because the pastry angels have finally smiled upon me and generously granted me the perfection that is the Chocolate Crunched Caramel Tart. I think my honey enjoyed it too because he took a bite and contorted his face into the biggest grin possible.
Oh I made one smidge of a change.... please excuse me a moment whilst I go note it in the book, because it created utter bliss....
Ok I'm back, I used semisweet chips from TJ's and replaced 2 oz of said chips with Ghirardelli white chocolate chips.
Way to hit it out of the park with your pick Carla! You can get the recipe over at her site Chocolate Moosey.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TWD: Cottagecheese Pufflets

Ohhhh look at my fantastic pufflets! Errr ok so look at my fantastic pufflet dough then....

Its 7pm on Tuesday night and I just got to the part of the recipe that says chill for 3 hours. Hehe.. oh well I guess these wait til tomorrow.

If you've got a few hours of chillin' time to kill.... head over to Jacque's blog Daisy Lane Cakes for the recipe. Head over to Tuesdays with Dorie and check out completed pufflets in the blogroll. They are a beautiful pastry and I'm damn determined that they will come out good tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Update: After much fussing the fiddling I managed to get these baked up and man oh man were they awful. So much work for something so boring... maybe I'm getting sick and my taste buds are on the fritz or something but I never tasted something so tasteless.....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cupcake Hero: Bananas

After my third recipe attempt at banana cupcake bliss I finally came up with something I find slightly interesting (read:edible).

I give you..... Banana Espresso Cinnamon Cupcakes! Ok ok I know it sounds a little odd as I write this but its actually a pretty tasty combo. The bananas gave the cake a moist delicate interior and the espresso & cinnamon gave it a little kick.

Cupcakes (Makes 6 regular sized cupcakes)
1/2 c AP Flour
1/4 c Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/8 tsp Salt
2 tsp Espresso Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Ripe Banana (mashed)
2 1/2 tbsp Unsalted Butter (melted)
1 Egg Yolk
3 tbsp Half & Half

Preheat oven to 350
Toss all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl combine wet ingredients and mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Combine the wet and the dry and fill lined baking cups 3/4 full. Bake until tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack and make the frosting.

Frosting (Makes enough to generously fill and frost 6 Cupcakes)
2 oz Unsalted Butter
4 oz Cream Cheese
1 c Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Espresso Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Using a hand mixer, combine everything until velvety smooth. Top cooled cakes and serve.

You'll be able to see all the great banana lovin' creations at Cupcake Hero and find out how to become a hero yourself ;)

TWD: Apple Turnover

Check out the blog roll over at Tuesdays w/Dorie if you seek successful buttery pastry goodness cuz you wont be finding it here.

I came home from work (late) and had the crust for this weeks recipe all ready and waiting for me to turn out (or turnover) some delicious apple pastries. I mucked it all up, the crust was so crumbly it found its way quickly to the trash can! Boo!

Julie from Someone's in the Kitchen was the hostess with the mostess this week so you can find the recipe on her site.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bake Along: Garlic Knots

Evil evil garlic knots! These were so darn yummy that the hubby and I had to forcibly stop eating them! Three each, and they aren't tiny either! Holy smokes we are pigs!
These were easy to make, especially because its pretty hot here so proofing the dough took absolutely no effort and very little patience. I ended up with 9 rolls at 3 oz of dough each. And since it was hot I cooked these on the BBQ... yeah no joke! Our BBQ keeps a pretty steady temp at 325-350 so I just popped them in there on a double baking sheet. First up high on the top rack then moved them down later to brown up the bottoms. I was really careful to pay attention to them though so they wouldn't burn but they came out lovely. Everyone of them golden and deliciously cooked to perfection. I will definitely make these again, but when there is more of a crowd present... cuz god knows we don't need to finish them off on our own.
Great pick Megan! You can grab the recipe here if you want to give it a try, worth every effort.

Jenn from This Little Piggys Life actually followed the knotting instructions that I was too lazy to go find! Hers came out so cute!
Megan rocked her Knots too over at My Baking Adventures

Saturday, September 5, 2009

YWP: Strawberry White Nectarine Cheescake Popsicles

Jenn from Piccante Dolce choose a Vacation theme for September You Want Pies with That?.

We never truly take a "vacation" type vacation.... you know packing up the family and heading out to some fantastic local requires a bit of money and/or a bit of planning, both of which I am in short supply. So when I think of vacation, I simply think of summer which leads me to fresh summer fruits. And what better suits summer and fruits for that matter than popsicles?

I created a creamy cheesecake swirled with a puree of fresh strawberries and white nectarines. Froze them into popsicles and drenched them in white chocolate ganache. A perfect chilly treat for a hot summer "vacation".

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bake Along: Garlic Knots

The long weekend is the perfect time to make something that takes a bit more time in the baking department... something bready... something garlicy and something perfectly suited to go with a Labor Day BBQ!

Megan from My Baking Adventures sent over the following recipe for Garlic Knots, adapted from King Arthur Flour. But you can also find the recipe it was adapted from here.

For the Dough:
3 C Bread Flour
1/4 C Milk
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Instant Yeast
1 1/4 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 C + 2 tbsp Lukewarm Water

For the Glaze:
2 to 4 Peeled & Crushed Garlic Cloves
2 tbsp Olive Oil or Garlic Oil

In a bowl of a stand mixer combine the dry ingredients together and add the oil & water. Using the paddle attachment or dough hook, mix and knead to form a smooth elastic dough adding additional water or flour as needed. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover it and allow it to rise for about 1 hour until doubled.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each into a rope about 10 inces long; tie each rope into a knot. Place the knots on lightly greased parchment lined baking sheet, cover and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they are puffy looking.

Whisk together the garlic, oil and set aside.

Bake knots in a preheated 350F oven for 15/18 minutes, they should be set and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and brush or drizzle with oil. Serve warm.

If you bake along, let me or Megan know so we can see how yours came out. I'm thinking maybe a little parsley or Parmesan in mine ;)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

TWD:Lime Cream Pie-Part Deux

I had to skip this weeks Espresso Cheesecake Brownies chosen by Melissa from Life in a Peanut Shell, for no other reason that they just sounded deadly. And since last week I had a haphazard post about the Lime Cream Pie, I thought maybe I should post an update, because that pie was gu--ouh--ood-a! (If your a Ron White fan just read that like he would and you know what I'm sayin')

One of my favorite restaurant desserts (there are very few believe it or not) is the Keylime Pie at CPK and this pie kicked its buttocks... By the time I brought any of it to work my honey and I had already eaten 1/2 the pie and could have easily polished it off and licked the pie pan. So thank you Linda from Tender Crumb my next CPK bill will be less now because of you, I know I can make it better at home!

Monday, August 31, 2009


The first fires started in the hills of Azusa, the first thing I though was great our new house is going to burn down! Well luckily that fire didnt come near anyone and is pretty much out as of today.

The big fire up in the San Gabriel Mts near La Canada spreading all the way to Acton is huge and seems like it will take weeks to contain. I feel for the fire fighters and appreciate all their efforts. My parents live North of Acton and we live to the South East, so we've been passing smoke back & forth the last few days, with the wind blowing one way or the other.

My dad has captured some amazing photos. The 55mph sign makes this look like an end of days scene from a sci-fi movie.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hells Kitchen~ Overconfidence

Overconfidence-->leads to mouthing off--->leads to not letting the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Somehow I knew that this would eventually be Roberts demise, because I too have this affliction. I recognized it as soon as the new season started. He was way to comfortable. Too bad we were really cheering for him!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TWD:Lime Cream Pie

It's about 8:30pm Tuesday night and I just finished making my filling. It's in the fridge chilling out.

It looks good, sounds odd... so the verdict will have to wait until we try tomorrow after dinner.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cupcake Hero: September

In order to come to grips with my usual hatred of cupcakes (expressed here) I've decided to joined the Cupcake Hero nation. I know that sounds odd, to actively participate in something you dislike, hell I do that everyday when I go to work! But much like a phobia to heights or snakes I figure maybe I can overcome by immersing myself in the creativeness of it all.

So if the news hasn't hit you yet that Clara from I Heart Cuppycakes is bringing back Cupcake Hero please head to her site to get the down-low. The ingredient for September is Banana... apparently Clara is trying to overcome something too b/c she's not a banana fan.

Eh, I guess were all going for a little cupcake therapy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TWD: Apple Sauce Spice Bars

Holy smokes were these good! I had to try really hard not to eat them all myself and for something chocolate free that's saying a lot.

I did of course tweak the recipe a smidge to suite what I had around. No apple sauce, even if I did happen to have it in the house, I would have never bought unsweetened (ick). So I cut up two big Pink Lady apples and cooked them until tender, I scooped out 1/2 and pureed it with a stick blender to make up the 1/2 cup of unsweetened sauce reserving the remainder to mix in. For the spice I used the cinnamon and 1/8 tsp cardamom and a few grinds of nutmeg because I didn't have any allspice. I also subbed in 1/2 cup of oats for a 1/4 cup of the flour, just because I felt like it. I topped it off with a quick glaze of powdered sugar that I poured on right out of the oven.

My honey thought I was baking up french toast for breakfast but was not disappointed when he got his piece and he doesn't even like baked apples. I thought it tasted like apple fritters less the greasy dough-nutty feel and the dough-nutty guilt.

Superb Tuesdays with Dorie choice by Something Sweet by Karen.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jim & Lina's Wedding Cake

This cake certainly got the best of me this weekend. I'm still exhausted. I think it turned out pretty even though I had a bitchy florist tell me the flowers were orange & not red, they matched the invitations, hers did not so :P Ah well the loved it no matter what and the hostest with the mostest my friend Elizabeth said everyone at the wedding had the best comments about the cake.

It was super stressful attending the wedding because I had a nice beeline view of the cake and from my vantage point it actually looked like it might fall forward. So I had to sneak over and look at the other side, level as ever, I guess it was an optical illusion, my need (and subsequent denial) for glasses or maybe the booze I had ingested at the party! You can see a few more closeups of the cake here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TWD: Brownie Buttons

These itty bitty chocolatey brownie bites called Brownie Buttons from page 106 & 107 had an important element going for them that made me eager to whip them up on Saturday morning. Not only did they look delicious and easy to make... they could fit in the toaster oven! Game on! No oven equals no roasty toasty house for the rest of the day!

I simply made mine according to the recipe (sans orange cuz orange & chocolate= yucky!) & topped them off with some toasted macadamian nuts after dipping them in the white chocolate.

You can find this easy recipe on Jayma's site Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen. And be sure to check out the other creations on the Tuesdays with Dorie blog roll.

Friday, August 7, 2009

YWP: Mini Apple Pecan Pie

How do you make pie when its hot outside and you don't want to turn on you oven to save your life? Mini Pies!
Two fit snugly into my toaster-oven contraption and turned out perfectly without heating up the kitchen one bit. The recipe below makes two but they are big enough to share (no we didn't) and glutenous to enjoy by yourself (yes we did). The hubs is probably in a carbolicious sugar coma in his office right now......nope not yet I can still hear his spoon hitting the plate.

Thanks to Jacque from Daisy Lane Cakes for choosing the Nutty theme for this month's You Want Pie With That? it inspired a delicious pie!

1/2 c Pecans
3/4 c Flour
2 oz Cold Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbs Sugar
1 giant or 2 reg sized Apple (I used a big Pink Lady)
1/4 c Chopped Pecans
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Flour
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Wiz the crust ingredients in your food processor until it comes together in a doughy mass. Split it into third and press a third into two mini pie tins reserving the last third for the filling. Put the crusts into the fridge to chill out and chop up a big apple. Mix the remaining 1/3 of the crust mix the apples and remaining filling ingredients and fill the pie shells. Bake in a toaster-oven at 325 until they are done. I forgot to time it but I guess everyone's would be different anyways. I had to put a foil tent over them about 1/2 way through so the top wouldn't brown to much.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Caden's Cuppies

Saturday we celebrated the 1st birthday of the super cute bundle of boy-ness that is Caden. He's one of my favorite little munchkins and the son of my friend Jenn (from This Little Piggy's Life) & her hubby Seany. Just look at that mug, how can you not fall in love with that!

Jenn & Caden came over friday to help me make cupcakes for the big day. We mixed up a double batch of Buttermilk Country Cake from The Cake Bible page 41, simply delicious. And created some stars to top off the cupcakes in bright party colors and fun textures.

The morning of the party I topped each cupcake with fluffy teal swirl of Vanilla Mousseline Buttercream from page 244 then adorned them with the dried stars. This all worked out pretty well, the cake using the yolks and the buttercream using the whites. I also made Caden a little smash cake and I've never seen a kid go to town quite like he did... I hope they post the video and hopefully his photographer dad got some better shots of the cupcakes & smash cake too.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hell's Kitchen

Soooo I realized the other day when my BFF was telling me her hubby was accepted for tryouts to next season Hell's Kitchen (go Kevin! go Kevin!) that I had missed the beginning of the show!

So I ran home at lunch and set the ol Tivo to record, actually I don't think its Tivo anymore since we got Fios when we moved to the new house. Anyhoo.... anyone else baffled as to why that crazy dude freaked out on Chef Ramsay like that? It's not as if Chef was being antagonistic like usual. I guess I may have missed something from the previous episodes.

I'm so glad they let Robert come back! I hope he gets his shit together and wins... though after I was watching last night I'm not so sure he will last too long.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TWD: Vanilla Ice Cream

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Lynne from Cafe Lynnylu. The recipe may have been for Vanilla Ice Cream but the theme was more like "What can YOU add to YOUR Vanilla Ice Cream?"

There was a plethora of mix-ins and other concoctions from bakers all over the blog roll, but my favorite, most creative was Caitlin at the Engineer Baker that put Riesling in her ice cream! Wine and Ice cream... how can you beat that! However creative they all were my culinary point of view was best expressed by Megan over at My Baking Adventures when she said "for me-vanilla is merely the vehicle in which to get the hot fudge sauce into my mouth." Couldn't have said it better myself Megan.

Surprisingly and much to my honey's dismay I didn't add any chocolate to mine. Instead I made the Vanilla bean Cinnamon version and mixed in a swirl (ok not so swirly heck you can barely see it!) of Pink Lady Apples sauteed in brown sugar and Calvados. It was strangely dry... dry ice cream weird I know but even at its melty state in the bowl it tasted dry and not creamy at all :(

Monday, July 27, 2009

Don't forget to Pie...

I'm mostly posting this to remind myself because last month I completely forgot all about it until it was too late. All I got to do was drool over the fantastic Taste of Summer pies and not vote for any of them!

The next round of You Want Pies with That? is a Nutty theme.
Let’s get creative with nature’s protein and nutrient powerhouse, the humble nut. Peanuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, pistachios… whatever you chose, let’s use nuts as a prominent feature in next month’s pie. Whether it’s a nut-based shell that perfectly complements the filling, or a nut-studded filling, I can’t wait to see what all you creative bakers come up with.
There are so many possibilities I don't even know where to start! I love nuts but sometimes they don't like me so much. I seem to have "sensitivity" to them but eat them anyway. And even thinking of turning on my big oven makes me sweat, so I have to figure out what I could possibly bake in the little toaster oven. Decisions decisions....

Pie Charms by Inedible Jewelry too cute for words

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dadada... Drum!

Fun cake for a long time customer of mine. This was for her son's 5th Birthday. You can see some close ups here.

TWD: Too hot!

It's just too hot to bake or cook anything. Our BBQ has refused to function, the oven moved to the neighbors where there is air-conditioning and I think even my eyeballs were sweating yesterday.

So instead I bring you a loverly photo taken by my Dad the other day... amazing something that makes me so miserable (the sun, not my dad) can be so darn pretty.

There are many beautiful Brioche Plum Tarts to be ogled over on the blog roll at Tuesday with Dorie and the recipe can be found over at Chez Us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bubble & Brown Baker

Am I being lured in by the purdy color of Rachel Ray's Bubble & Brown Baker?

I really feel like I NEED this....

I have the old standby clear pyrex dishes and a few retro white dishes with cute roosters (and roosters are all the rage according to the Renegade Craft Fair we went to this weekend) but I can just imagine a bubbly potato & Gruyere gratin in this will just taste so much better in one of these.

Anyone have these?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

PPPR: I give up!

We were doing pretty good I thought but a few things brought me to the breaking point.

First, I don't even know if we are over or under budget but... probably over. Much akin to the feeling I get whilst balancing my checkbook I gave it up because I can only handle so much of that feeling....

Tuesday I didn't bring lunch and didn't have time to go home. Attempting to be a cheapo I had a Mt Dew, Jalapeno Cheetos and Swedish fish... all around ethnic smorgasbord for sure! Costing me roughly $5.00 that could have been spent on fast food that could have been slightly (yeah right) more healthy.

The hubby asked for bread! Bread people.... how could he need more bread! There's no room in the budget for more bread what is he thinking! I guess actually taking lunch will have that effect eh?

So by late Wednesday night at about 8pm I just wanted some blonde girl named Tiffany to bring me a burger and then take away the dishes...

Good luck to those of you that are still at it... I admit 8 days is a horrible horrible record. But there always has to be someone that quits first and that someone will be me! Ha I love being first!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TWD:Tribute Katherine Hepburn Brownies

Our host for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie is Lisa from Surviving Oz. She created the fantastic new logo for the site. I don't know how people come up with such things... color me jealous for sure. Just look how cool it is!

Ok on to the recipe... Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies. Chock full of walnuts with a hint of cinnamon and coffee these brownies have a very distinct flavor. They contain only a bit of flour so I don't know how they are staying together so nicely without being mushy & gross like I expected. I only used 1/2 of the chopped chocolate (I know crazy talk) but I think more chocolate would have been too much because they are right on the border of too much (even more craziness). They still don't replace my favorite recipe but they are pretty tasty.

Monday, July 6, 2009

PPPR: Day 5 & 6

So yesterday I fell back on an old habit... one that will send me over my budget for sure. I was to lazy to take out anything to defrost for dinner. So off we went at 6pm to Fresh & Easy to get something for dinner. Bad bad bad! I have plenty of food to cook... why am I too lazy to take anything out! Meh...

Oh well... the honey burned some steaks and we grilled up some asparagus... good food.

Tonight, I still was too lazy to defrost so I made spaghetti & meatballs. Cool thing about that is the pre-made party meatballs from TJ's are tasty and can be tossed into sauce to defrost. A little garlic bread on the side... again good food on the cheap. No pictures though... to lazy for that ;)

Oh yeah the no-bake cookies from Day 4 were awesome! There are some still in the fridge and they are so good cold.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

PPPR: Day 4

Finally an actual cooking day for me! Since I'm worried that the hoodlums around here will burn down the neighborhood were sticking close to home for the 4th of July. Right now I feel like they are throwing M80s (I think that's what they are called) over the fence its so ridiculous but I guess they are having fun....since ohhh 9am this morning.

Anyhoo... back to the food.

I marinated pork (look away Jenn!) in BBQ sauce with a little twist of OJ and sweet chili sauce to give it a little something extra. For some reason my mom never used BBQ straight up, she always put it on the stove and simmered it with extra stuff, usually a load of butter (no my mom isn't Paula Deen). Since this was normal procedure growing up I usually add something in there out of habit. Not butter though I save the butter for other things like the slow roasted corn on the cob and steamed then pan sauteed creamer potatoes on the side.

For dessert there is no-bake cookies cooling on the counter. I hope they are good because they sure have potential to be tasty. And not turning on the stove in this July heat is a blessing for sure.

I tagged this recipe last week when I saw it over on the Brown-Eyed Baker... she got it from Ezra Poundcake who got it from RecipeZaar.com ya gotta love the internet! Remember back in the day when you would watch cooking shows and you could send in a self addressed stamped envelope for the particular recipes from that show.... haha how far we have come!

TWD: Perfect Party Cake

I delayed my Tuesdays with Dorie recipe this week so that I could make the Perfect Party Cake for an actual party.

Since I was running a bit low on the necessary ingredients I decided to use some left over strawberry butter cream and a little store bought dark chocolate spread for the inside. I didn't eat a piece of this cake but got rave reviews from the entire family.

For the recipe as it was meant to be, cruz on over to and see Carol over at mix, mix....stir, stir.

Friday, July 3, 2009

PPPR: Day 3

$0.00 spent on meals today as we went to party at our cousins house for an early 4th of July celebration. I brought along the Perfect Party Cake as my contribution to the meal.

Nothing beats a delicious free meal when your on a crazy budget!

You other Pantry Raiders to see how they are doing.... way better than me I assure you.

Maria of Two Peas & Their Pod

Dayna and The Laur Challenge

Becky of Project Domestication

Tracy of Sugar Crafter

Jen of My Kitchen Addiction

Nikki of Crazy Delicious Food

Ashley of Smashed Potatoe

Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities

Susan (fearless leader) She's Becoming DoughMessTic