Tuesday, June 11, 2013
A couple of months ago I copied this recipe for Sour Cream Pound Cake off the internet. I adore southern cooking and southern tradition and this recipe and accompanying story seemed rife with it. I stashed the hand written copy I'd made into my "to make" binder and waited for the opportune moment. Then months later, I stumbled across a picture on Pinterest and followed the link to Neapolitan Pound Cake. Hmmm. . .the gears started cranking. And soon enough, my mind was filled with visions of strawberry pink, vanilla and chocolate brown pound cake.
I linked on over to the recipe from Pinterest but it had all kinds of ingredients that I'd have to go and buy (cake flour, mascarpone cheese, etc., etc.). Blech, too complicated. But the sour cream pound cake was simple. With just a few tweaks here and there, I could draw inspiration from both recipes and create one all my own. Or kinda. . .sorta. . .seriously, I'm not quite sure when I stops being "their" recipe and becomes "mine". So I'm linking over to all the recipes, trying, in good faith, to give credit where credit is due and keep my fingers crossed that no one sues me. Anywho. . .see how it turned out:
Thursday, June 6, 2013
I love Macarons. Seriously, what's not to love. I fell in love first with the look. Just Google it and you'll find tons of beautiful pictures of gorgeous pastel macarons. Lined up in rows in shop windows, boxed up with tissue and ribbons. I guess it's the graphic designer in me but I'm a sucker for presentation. Then I tasted them and oh la la. The crispy crunch of the outer shell that gives way to a chewy, almondy center. Pair that with a light smear of buttercream, ganache or jam and it's sheer bliss.
What adds to their mystique is the complicated preparation. Not that the ingredients are so rare, they're pretty simple. It's more the precise steps it takes to combine them in just the right way. Fail at any one step and they won't turn out. So, needless to say, I've been intimidated. Heck, down right scared to try and make them. I've been working up the courage for over a year, reading hundreds of recipes and techniques, tips and tricks to try and de-mystify this culinary conundrum. Then, through the miracle of Pinterest, I stumbled upon this blog: Not So Humble Pie. Here the author totally breaks down the process with pictures and in depth explanations. The trouble shooting guide at the end is priceless. After reading through the entire post I finally found the courage to give Macarons a try, and I did. . .
Monday, May 27, 2013
If you want to be the hero at the next pot luck, then bring these bars. Seriously, you'll have instant celebrity and people will offer their first born child for the recipe. They're that good. I mean really, they are THAT good. Crispy, nutty, sticky, sweet, cream cheesy, shortbready treats. Oh, you say you don't like dates? Hmmmm, have you tried them? Have you tried them in these bars? I think not. I know, dates lean a bit to the exotic side of the dried fruit world. Kind of sticky and weird with a peely papery skin that looks pretty gross. Take a leap of faith and try one. Just close your eyes and pop one into your mouth. Chewy, creamy, snappy and sweet. Delish!
I'm not entirely sure where this recipe came from. I've been making them since before I had children, since before I got married, since before I moved out of my parent's house. I probably started off making them for my Dad since two of his favorite things are rice crispy treats and dates. For the longest time, I had a handwritten copy of the recipe and then somewhere along the way I typed it up and that's the copy I have now. I suspected that the recipe came from a book at some point so I Googled it and my search landed me squarely on the Rice Crispy Cereal recipe site. So as not to make angry, a corporate giant like Kellogg's, I'm going to link to their recipe and just show you how they're made. One note though on their recipe, I totes recommend you use pecans instead of walnuts. I also don't add the optional milk into the icing. But that's just me, do what you like. . .
Sunday, May 19, 2013
They say, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." But in my world, when life hands you an almost out of code carton of cream and some strawberries on their last days, you make Strawberries and Cream Scones. I really, really can't bare to throw out food. So when I ended up with a handful of strawberries that were a bit too old to just eat but really not bad, something had to be done. So I whipped up a batch of scones. I'm using my scone shortcut (a box of biscuit mix) because, well because it's easy, and I had it on hand. I also love a recipe that comes together out of necessity and I loved the fact that I made this work with what I had on hand. No extra trips to the store, believe me when I tell you, that doesn't happen often. This recipe is easy and straight forward so let's cut with the chit chat and get started. . .