In a perfect world I'd cook and blog full time. I'd have a team of assistants and an awesome professional kitchen. We'd come up with out of this world ideas for fantastic foods then test and retest and tweak until it was the most wonderful thing ever made. It would be paradise and everything on this blog would be a culinary home run. I'd have a book deal and my own Food Network show. In a perfect world.
But. . .
It isn't a perfect world. . .
And I don't have a team of assistants. . .
Or a professional kitchen. . .
Or a book deal. . .
Or my own show on the Food Network. . .
Or the time or resources to test and retest and tweak. . .
Or blog full time. . .
What I am is a full time wife and mother, a part time bank teller, sometime helper for the Little League, owner of two cute mini dachshunds and hobby blogger. So, unfortunately I don't have the time and resources to make a recipe 5 or 6 times until it's just right. I barely have time to make them once. For the most part, the recipes I post here, I've made before. Or it's someone else's recipe that I'm reasonably sure will turn out. And they do. But every now and again, I have a flop, or a semi-flop, like this week. Remember Mandelhoernchen Melancholy? I call this week's recipe a semi-flop because I tried two new recipes, one worked and the other didn't.
I had this cockamamie idea for my husbands birthday cake. Every year, when I ask him what kind of birthday cake he wants he always says: "I don't need a cake, why don't you make me some chocolate chip cookies." Seriously dude, no cake on your birthday? Not on my watch. So I decided to make a Chocolate Roll Cake (or Swiss Roll) with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Swiss Meringue Buttercream filling. My friend Dina and I had made a Pumpkin Roll Cake back in November with great success and I was reasonably sure I could pull it off again. I chose to go with the cake part of this recipe from Martha Stewart. As for the filling, I've seen TONS of recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Buttercream all over the web lately but they ALL are powdered sugar based buttercreams. I am a steadfast believer in Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It's my totes favorite. So I took a leap and replaced some of the sugar in my favorite buttercream recipe with brown sugar. Added vanilla flavor and then stirred mini chocolate chips in at the end. Wanna know how it all turned out?
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
When it comes to gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegan, and vegetarian copycat/substitute recipes, to say I'm skeptical is putting it mildly. By and large they never deliver on their promises. The recipes will have descriptions like "taste just like a regular brownie", or "they'll never know it's vegan", bla, bla, bla. I can always tell. To add insult to injury, these recipes always use a bunch of obscure and expensive ingredients that I end up throwing in the trash because the recipe was terrible. I was so hopeful for the Gluten Free Brownies from the Whole Foods blog. All the reviews swore no one would be able to tell there were black beans instead of flour in them. NOT! They just tasted like chocolate black beans. YUCK!
Don't get me wrong here. I have so much sympathy for those of you out there
with food allergies. That is such a burden to bear. If you have to cut certain things
out due to your health please do. Your health comes first. I just think it's better to
give something up than try to re-make it. It never quite works.
When I came upon this recipe for a pizza crust, gluten free, made from "riced" cauliflower, I didn't have high hopes. But, my very dear friend Shelley is so so allergic to gluten, that for her, I decided to give it a try. Plus, the ingredients were simple and inexpensive so the risk was minimal. Boy, howdy, I couldn't believe it. This one worked. Did it taste just like a regular pizza crust? No. But it is a darn good substitute. The texture holds up and the cauliflower is neutral enough that it just takes on the flavor of the pizza sauce and toppings. If you are cutting back or cutting out gluten or trying to cut down on carbs, I would totally recommend giving it a try. Just one thing to keep in mind is that it is way more filling that regular pizza. I was stuffed after just two small pieces. Must be the cauliflower. . .
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
OK, so, it's official: I am addicted to Pinterest. There, I said it, it's out and we're all going to have to deal with it. And when I say, "deal with it", I mean, in the next couple of weeks, you are probably going to see a lot of Pinterest inspired, Pinterest derived, and straight up Pinterest recipes on this here blog. I can't help it. I collect recipes and Pinterest is like my street pusher dealer of recipes. I'm hooked.
To start things off I wanted to try the "Cool Whip Cookies" that are all over Pinterest and the internet these days. Even though, I'm kind of "luke warm" on the whole "semi-home made" type recipes. The ones that use prepackaged mixes, doctored up freezer and canned foods, etcetera. And, yes, you've seen some of those kinds of recipes here on the blog. I didn't say I didn't like them, I just try to be cautious that they don't become a crutch. That being said, you also know, if you've been reading this blog, that I do like cake mixes. So cookies, ones that profess to be "low fat", made with cake mix, piqued my interest. Here's how it went. . .
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I've missed you. It was a crazy holiday season and I'm just now getting back to "regular life". Whatever that is. My apologies for neglecting the blog. It's been crazy.
First, Thanksgiving. . .
then the break in. . .
then my husband was gone for two weeks. . .
then it was Christmas. . .
then my dad visited. . .
then it was New Year's. . .
then I got sick. . .
then I got a sinus infection. . .
then I pulled jury duty.
Whew, so glad that it's all over. I have just about two weeks to relax (ha ha ha ha) until it's birthday season around here. So, until then, I'm just going to try and take it easy. Not dive into too many projects and just slow it all down for a while. What that means is that I haven't done a lot of cooking this last week and I've decided, for my first post of the New Year, to post a "Best Of". I've also got a surprise for you. See those super cute holiday measuring spoons at the top of the post. To my delight, someone slipped those into my stocking this year. Impractical? Yep, you betcha. Adorably cute, Rightey-O! I thought they were so cute in fact that I'm going to give some away to two lucky blog readers. Check the bottom of the post for more info. In the meantime, check out the most popular posts of 2012: