Sunday, June 30, 2013

Funnel Cakes

Summer means time for the State Fair, the County Fair, Minor League Baseball, and fun on the Boardwalk. Summer means time for Funnel Cakes. You can find the Funnel Cake stand by smell. That sweet, fried smell, wafting along begging you to come get one. And for me, summer isn't complete until I've had one. We went to the Boardwalk last week (that's why the lapse in posts) but the opportunity for a funnel cake escaped me. No worries, I'd have a chance at the baseball game. The game that I bought tickets for back in April. The game that almost got rained out by unforeseen, unseasonable thundershowers last Monday. The game that had very low attendance. The game where they closed up most of the food carts. And when I say most, I mean the funnel cake cart. Agh, I had been foiled again. Now the craving was set and I'd not be satisfied until I got a funnel cake. So, I just decided to make some. . .

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Neapolitan Pound Cake

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. . .