Posts

Showing posts from October, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN and the WINNER IS . . . . . .

Image
CONGRATULATIONS to Tea and Scones by The Tea Lady who is the winner of my Pay-It-Forward give-a-way! Tealady please email me so that I can get your email address in order to deliver your Williams-Sonoma Giftcard. Sorry I could only have one winner this time, but honorable mentions go out to Julie Peanut Butter and Julie for leaving so many sweet comments, and to Amanda at Beckett Bakes It by Amanda for making a special effort to leave me a comment while vacationing in Jamaica this week! I want to also say thank you to all the TWDr's that have been so encouraging to me with all their comments. You are all very special to me! Have a safe and happy Halloween!

TWD - CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Image
COME JOIN THE HALLOWEEN PARTY! Costumes, Food, Fun, and Prizes! It was an eeery Saturday night, with a slight chill in the air, and spirits were restless. So the DH and I dressed up in our costumes and had the local witch fly us over to the annual Halloween Party at our dance club. Let's hope that big bad wolf doesn't decide he is hungry. Well, I know him personally and he's not big or bad really, but he is usually hungry. Guess what is hiding in Little Red Riding Hood's basket? If you guessed Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes, you guessed correctly. I thought, why not kill two birds with one stone? I wanted to bake these cupcakes for TWD this week, and I needed to take food in my basket to the party - so that worked out perfectly for me! The only problem was since Lil Red Riding Hood only had twelve cupcakes, she had to be selective as to who would get to sample those tasty morsels and not seem to others like she was hoarding them for herself. Thanks to all the TWD commen

BAREFOOT BLOGGERS: VEGETABLE POT PIE

Image
Ina Garten of the Barefoot Contessa is a master at taking a mixture of seemingly incongruous ingredients and blending them together into delectable dishes. My rule has always been to only cook recipes that had less than seven ingredients. I am so glad I broke the rule and made this one! Deb of Kahakai Kitchen chose this for our October challenge. Thanks Deb! For those of you watching your pennies, I found some cool saffron threads imported from Italy at the grocery store that were in this tiny container and were only about $3-4 - a huge savings over those big daddy bottles that rob your wallet of about $15. I substituted a sweet potato for the butternut squash. I substituted white wine for the Pernaud , and I added about 1/4 lb. of pancetta just for taste. I also added some garlic. Okay I know what you are thinking. . . yes, my pie crust went a little overboard in places. Let's face it, I'm not a good pie crust crimper . I halved the recipe since there are only two of

PUMPKIN MUFFINS

Image
This week Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp chose Pumpkin Muffins for us to bake. Thank you Kelly - excellent choice! I made the muffins for our Sunday morning "linger at the table, read the newspaper, guzzle coffee" kind of breakfast. I used Craisens, extra cinnamon and allspice (because I like a kick to my pumpkin), walnuts and sunflower seeds on top. Just loved it all. There is not much I can say about the muffins other than they were out of this world delicious. They are the type of food that warms your loved ones insides before heading out on a cool autumn day. Perfect for October! A little pumpkin history: Pumpkins originated in Central America. In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling. Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites. Colonists sliced off pumpkin tips; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of

Lenox Almond Biscotti

Image
This week Gretchen of Canela & Comino chose Lenox Almond Biscotti for our recipe challenge. Oh Gretchen, thank you thank you, thank you! Biscotti has always been one of my favorite foods (especially around the holidays). Who knew someone of so little culinary experience could actually bake biscotti in their own kitchen? And the greatest thing of all was this was actually one of the easiest things I have baked AND I had all the ingredients I needed right in that pantry of mine. Or so I thought . . . My new shiny red KA mixer was gently purring like a kitten as it mixed my wonderful dough when I discovered - oops, completely out of almond flavoring. Since I was baking in old clothes and no makeup, hair tied back in a ponytail reminiscent of those kindergarten years, there was no way I was headed to the store for almond extract. Not to panic, though, I decided to just use vanilla and hope for the best. I did sprinkle some cinnamon on half of them right before putting into the oven t

National Friend's Week

Image
I am only as strong as the coffee I drink, the hairspray I use and the friends I have. To the cool men and women that have touched my life. Here's to you!

Butternut squash risotto

Image
The butternut squash recipe challenge this week was chosen by Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook . Whoa - suffering puppies and sugar cane, this squash was a challenge to peel and cut up! Gave my arm and hand quite the workout. I think I can skip my yoga this week. Maybe this month. It looked pretty in the pan however. The risotto took longer to cook than I had anticipated and seemed to cook out the liquid pretty quickly. Of course I always try to cheat at things (not in life, just in cooking) and I wondered why I could not put more than two ladles of chicken broth in there at once. Any thoughts on that? I followed the recipe and was a good girl, however. As you can see in the photo below, I managed to use almost all my wonderful chicken stock. I used chardonnay which was the driest wine in my cabinet. Being a Reisling fan, dry whites are never - shall we say - in over-abundance in my wine bar. Also, I did not have the saffron threads so I substituted a tiny bit of ginger which I thought

Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake

Image
Let me tell you about my baking disaster of the week. Our recipe challenge this week was Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake chosen by Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy . Chocolate, caramel and peanuts. What could be better than that? My BFF at work is having a birthday this week and so I thought I would make this for her. Have you ever noticed when you really really want something to be wonderful and perfect, well that is the very time you will mess it up! First, I made the cake batter and all was going great. Until I poured it into the springform pan and then realized that my pan was not an eight inch pan, but probably more like ten or twelve. I knew it would not work in that so I got out a regular eight inch cake pan and moved the batter into that pan. Okay - I wasn't thinking clearly apparently. Please don't boot me out of TWD! The cake baked in record time and came right out of the pan. It wasn't quite as thick as I had hoped for, but it is a brownie cake after all and not s