Tuesday, September 30, 2008

TWD - Recipe "Rewind"

Mari of Mevrouw Cupcake chose Creme Brulee for this weeks TWD recipe. Now, while I am a huge fan of Creme Brulee, I am not huge fan of the process of making one. Quite frankly, I'm scared and a little bit intimidated. So when given the option to chose a previous TWD recipe to make, I picked the very first recipe - Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread.

I decided that since I had some chopped hazelnuts laying around, I would use those instead of pecans and I substituted cinnamon for the cloves. I followed the instructions darn near to the "T" and all was going quite well. The shortbread looked beautiful on the cookie sheets and during the first few minutes of baking I was indulging in fantasies of dipping the finished cookies in chocolate and pouring another cup of coffee. The kitchen timer jolted me out of fantasy land and reality slapped me in the face when I opened the oven door.

I must have rolled the cookies too thin because they melted into one huge monster cookie that had neither the taste nor texture of shortbread. Bummer.

Oh well, better luck next week! Please check out the other TWD bakers here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

TWD Dimply Plum Cake

Or in my case ... Dimply Peach Cake! I'm not a huge fan of the cooked plum, or the dried plum for that matter so I chose the peach variation instead. You can check out what the other TWD bakers created at the Tuesdays with Dorie Blog.

I found some fabulous looking peaches at the farmers market on Saturday.

They even looked pretty halved and pitted and ready to go into the cake batter.

Unfortunately, they were the sourest peaches I've ever tasted! The cake portion of the dessert was absolutely fabulous though. As recommended in the cookbook, I added a little bit of fresh basil the cake mixture, and although I never would have done this on my own, it was a great flavor complement to the peaches! The cake tested done after 45 minutes in the oven but when I removed it from the pan, it fell to pieces. The plum cake is photographed for the cookbook with some whipped cream and I decided to do the same with my plum cake. I whipped up (a little too stiffly) some heavy cream with a touch of almond extract. This was the end result ....

OK, so a food stylist I am not! I guess I'll keep my day job! I was a really good cake though!

I am thinking about trying this again with mangoes. Mmmmmm mangoes...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TWD - Chocolate Chunkers

Chocolate Chunkers. In a word ..... YUM!

Wow - were these cookies ever fabulous! I use the term "cookie" loosely because these things were more like chunks of chocolately goodness stuck together with tiny bits of dough. Chocolate Chunkers are this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie selection. The original recipe called for chunks of white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, chopped peanuts, and raisins but I made some alterations.

The raisins I left out, because really, do I need a dried up piece fruit coming between me and a giant hunk of sweetness? I think not. Quite frankly, I was too lazy to chop the peanuts, so I left them whole. I kept the white chocolate in but replaced the semi-sweet with milk chocolate. I was looking for some good affordable chocolate to chunk up and found this Cacao Reserve by Hershey's and it was pretty good!
I shared the cookies with co-workers and they were met with approval (ie scarfed down at the speed of light). I also enjoyed these gems with a glass of milk - I can't even remember the last time I drank a glass of milk! I was a little camera happy this weekend!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TWD - Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

Last week I joined a cool community of bakers and bloggers. The group is called "Tuesdays with Dorie". Every week, each member of the group bakes the same recipe from the cookbook "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan. I'm so excited to be doing this! Of course, I am late with my post this week, but I did make the most delicious cookies!

This weeks recipe was Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops and I barely had enough left over to photograph. After my taste tester finished off a half dozen of them, he says "What? You have leftover whoppers?" "I'll take those off your hands ..."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008


Two Fridays ago this showed up at my backdoor.

I'm not a fan cats, but I simply cannot turn away animals in need. This poor kitten couldn't have weighed more than a couple of pounds. Two weeks later, "pretty kitty" as my son calls her, has put on weight, been de-wormed, de-fleaed, and is sporting a very stylish black collar. My son took this picture this morning.

Welcome to the family "pretty kitty!"