Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Creme Brulee???

Mevrouw Cupcake by Mari chose Creme Brulee for this week on TWD.

I've never made creme brulee before so bear with me on this journey. I'm marching to the beat of my own drummer this time! And remember, things are not always as they appear. . .

First, I got all my ingredients together in one spot.

Then, the dry ingredients were mixed by hand.

This is how it looked before the blow torch.
And this is the finished product!

Okay confession time. I do not own a blow torch, and these closely resemble Cheddar Apple Scones! A blow torch on these would have made a nice, crunchy sugary topping on there to break through. Hmm. . that might be worth trying the next time around. We were allowed to do a re-wind this time and since the scones were made before I came onboard with TWD, I wanted to try them. They were delicious. Next time I would like to try them with more apples, a little cinnamon, and maybe a sugar drizzle on top. Or, better yet, dipped in chocolate. Everything is better dipped in chocolate! Maybe I will actually buy a blow torch and try the creme brulee at a later point. Then again, picturing me with a blow torch. . . very scary. Do you have to wear a helmet and goggles while you torch? I'm such a girlie girl. . .would that mess up my hair? I could foresee all sorts of problems with me and a wand of fire! I dunno, I'm just picturing in my mind me without eyelashes.
I bet you all made wonderful creme brulee and I cannot wait to read your blogs about it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wild Mushroom Soup

This week's recipe for Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup was chosen by Chelle of Brown Eyed Baker. I'm so sorry Chelle - I simply have not had the time this week to make this wonderful sounding soup! I promise I will do better next month. I'm new to Barefoot Bloggers so please give me a break this week? In other words, don't write me off just yet!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dimply Plum Cake

Michelle of Bake-en chose Dimply Plum Cake for this week's recipe challenge. I was very excited to bake this cake because I love plums. My favorite way, however, to really eat a plum is just fresh with salt on it. I know some of you will gag, but I'm a real salt lover. Salt makes almost any fruit taste better in my opinion.

Before I move on to the whats, whys, and how-to's of actually baking the cake, I have to brag and show off my new KA mixer! After three trips to the store returning first a Sunbeam, then a KA that was scratched, I finally got my sought after, shiny, bright red KA mixer that I have always wanted. I love it. Here it is:
I know. You aren't jealous because you ALL already have one! Well it is my first one so just be a tiny bit happy for me.
Now for the baking part. My plums must have been humongous because I only needed five plums to fill the top of the cake instead of the called for eight. Maybe it isn't the right season for plums because the store did not have a lot to choose from. I used the orange zest in it and the smell of the oranges and cardomom coming from my kitchen while the cake was baking was sending me into orbit trying to be patient the 40 minutes it was baking. I could not wait to try it. I almost put on some island music just to set the mood for my island smelling cake.

Finally, the timer went off and I ran to the kitchen to check out my masterpiece. I let it cool the allotted 15 minutes and then I arranged it on my serving plate. As I cut into it I noticed it was a bit crumbly. I cut myself a slice, dug my fork into it, took my first bite, and I am sorry to say I was disappointed. But in all fairness, I think I was expecting something sweeter. It would be great in the morning with your coffee. Okay - I know - that is what it really is, a coffee cake. I just was expecting something different. You know that feeling like when you are a child and you get your heart set on a Malibu Barbie and then you wake up Christmas morning and you have a wedding Barbie instead? It's not that you don't like the wedding Barbie, you just wanted something different. To be completely honest, I doubt I make this again, but then again I might if I specifically need a coffee cake. You know in recipes, as in life in general. . . you win some, you lose some. That is not to say my DH and I did not dig right in and eat about half the cake the first night! It doesn't go so well with wine. I'm sure coffee would be better with it.

This morning my cake was missing a few plums. When I asked the DH about it, he simply said they fell out when he was cutting his cake and he ate them. Now I have crater cake left over. . . talk about dimply. . . . . .

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chocolate Chunkers

Since I love baking cookies, and I love chocolate, yes I love chocolate, did I mention that I love chocolate, I was excited about yet another cookie challenge. This week's recipe was chosen by Claudia of Fool for Food . Good choice and thanks Claudia!

Even though I love chocolate, (did I mention that already?), I did substitute butterscotch chips for one of the chocolate chips the recipe called for. The butterscotch took just a tiny bit off the edge of the chocolate and I thought they were scrumptious.
Very moist and chocked full of good things. The cookies were a big hit. They are really rich so it only takes one or two to satisfy your chocolate cravings.
I took the cookies to my big dance Saturday night to share with my friends/fellow dancers at the President's Ball. This is a black tie affair that occurs every September. It sort of starts off the formal dance season for us. My DH looks so handsome in his tuxedo. The women all dress in black or white. There was, strangely enough, one woman in blue this year. No one could quite figure that one out. After all, the invitations did say black or white attire. Maybe she marches to the beat of her own drummer. Or maybe it was just a faux pas. My good friend Andrew Rozsa made this happy picture of me and my DH at the ball. And now I have to share some big news on the personal side - I have a brand spanking new grand nephew! Micah is his name. Congratulations to my nephew Todd and his wife Sarah. I can't wait to meet him in person!
On a side note for the movie buffs, don't rent or watch the movie Griffin and Phoenix unless you are prepared to cry your eyes out. Keep the tissues really close. Not a bad movie, just heart wrenching.
Now I'm going to have another cookie and finish reading my juicy novel, along with a cup of french vanilla decaf.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More exciting new foods to try!

Because my life is not full enough (joking), I have added more excitement and joined Barefoot Bloggers. I have always loved Ina Garten and her show The Barefoot Contessa. She makes entertaining and cooking look so easy and she always seems to enjoy the parties so much. I cannot wait to try my first recipe in this group. These members cook twice per month and blog on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays about their cooking experience.
In addition, one of my friends on TWD, Cathy of The Tortefeasor by Cathleen , has blessed me this week with an award! I was shocked to say the least. But excited to know that someone actually reads my blogs and enjoys them. Thank you Cathy! Cathy is a very talented cook, although humble, with three beautiful children. Be sure to check out her blog!
I also received an award from Nancy of nancysrecipes ! Nancy has been very encouraging to me with her comments. Thank you both!

Here are the Award Rules:

1. When you receive a diamond, make a post about it on your blog.
2. Name the blogger from whom you received it.
3. Award the diamonds to seven other bloggers.
4. Link them.
5. Tell them they received an award.

I've chosen to pass this wonderful award to the following talented bakers, writers and photographers that have all been very encouraging to me since I joined TWD! You are all some of my favorite weekly reads and I am always impressed with your food and your photography!

I'm too new to really know how this works, but I think you can pick up your award at my blogsite. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Happy day after Labor Day! This week Stefany of Proceed with Caution chose Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters for our weekly baking challenge. Chandler and I were at the lake most of the weekend, but due to the cloudy weather we decided to come home early Monday. The fish were not biting our hooks anyway. That gave me plenty of time to bake this week’s cookies!

I love oatmeal cookies, but have never much liked the raisins most of the recipes contain. So I was really glad this recipe omitted those. I just noticed that my picture of these cookies pre-baking looks just like my picture below of my granola grabbers! I promise they are different pics and different cookie dough!

I thought I had purchased all the ingredients I needed, but when I started to mix the batter, I realized there was not a cup of plain flour anywhere in my pantry. I substituted self-rising flour leaving out the salt and baking soda and that worked just fine. I used chunky peanut butter and chocolate chips instead of the bittersweet since I am not a huge fan of bittersweet. Because I did not have two hours to chill the dough, I went ahead and cooked them immediately. These cookies were easy to mix, easy to bake, and came out perfectly. They are very cookielicious. Since we have now devoured all our Granola Grabbers, we eagerly welcomed this new batch of chipsters. Hmmm. . . .a cold glass of milk would be great with these for an afternoon snack! Or, I’m seeing myself in the winter months with a crackling fire in the fireplace, a nice cup of cappacino, a good book, and a chocolate chipster cookie or two while I relax on the sofa. Okay, I can dream, can’t I? Who has time anymore for a relaxing afternoon. In reality, I’ll grab a cookie here or there as I pass through the kitchen, until they are all gone that is. Probably just a hour or two will be all it takes. I’m not going to even think about the calories. Life is short.

Until next week. . .