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New Year’s Fruit Pavlova

January 13, 2013

Fruit Pavlova

I cooked up a feast to bring 2013 in with my bestest buds! I probably made too much food; it’s just how I roll. So much food, that no one even wanted coffee or dessert. So this pavlova was never even served, partially because I forgot too. A shame for a good dessert to receive no attention. ::sniff::sniff::

First meal of 2013

I picked this for new year’s because it’s a meringue and very light. You can pretend it’s healthy since there’s not much in it. Due to the cliche to go on a diet for a resolutions, that seemed appropriate. Again, I said pretend it’s healthy. It’s got a great crispy outside with a marshmallow inside, crumbles when you cut it. Oh, that sound of the crumbling is just divine!

Whipping up egg whites to make meringue

Supposedly this is the frequent dish in New Zealand, but I haven’t yet visited to justify this wikipedia claim. But I do plan to report on that accuracy one day.

About to go in the oven

Out of the oven

I’m excited to get jazzy with it; individual sizes, chocolate mousse, layer cake style, the possibilities are endless! But for my first go, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, egg whites and sugar, that’s it (used this recipe).

Whipping up fresh whipped cream

Also, is there nothing better in this world than fresh whipped cream? Oh lordly lord, it’s hard to stay away from the stuff. I say a ton of meat, whipped cream, and fun friends is the perfect way to bring in a new year, so I was as thrilled as can be!

Goodbye 2012! Hello New Year!

December 30, 2012

Tomorrow is new year’s eve. Time for fresh starts, but also a time I dwell on my shortcomings. Instead of posting a baked item, I will show just some of my most memorable moments from the year since I’ve cried many tears, drank a few beers and faced a few fears. Baked for many, traveled plenty, saved a small penny, got very sore and sweaty. Family and friendships helped me stand tall, no matter if gestures were small, I love y’all.

There was some beautiful exploring in Georgia

A few sporting events were attended.

Some hikes happened.

Bad maple syrup tours were done, but gut splitting laughs along the way.

I’ve met many cows and cattle in 2012.

Tasted a few beers, traveled for beer and even mailed beer.

Was given insanely thoughtful gifts.

Tasted new things (moonshine) in weird places.

Visited the odd, yet beautiful

Ran a little… Just a little… in new places.

Experienced many cars. Was patiently explained mechanics, retained only a little.

Partied a little. Only a little of course.

Attended some beautiful weddings.

Loved boating. Can’t express how much I love boating.

Endured a hurricane and made me fear for the future.

Was made some great meals where I overeat carbs thanks to my bro-in-law.

Said some goodbyes (or hopefully ‘see you soon’ instead)

Cheers to 2013, farewell 2012. I’ll aim bigger, better and hopefully entertain your culinary reading even more this year.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”   Helen Keller

Asian Shrimp and Vegetable Soup

December 1, 2012

It’s late fall. Almost winter. Now I’m ready for soup and tea at every hour of the day. Winter is such a dead season for me. Well… I bake more… ovens heat the apartment. Awesome.

I’d like nothing more than to drink tea and catch up on pop culture. I am too busy running around the other 3 seasons when the temperature goes above 40 Fahrenheit.

Asian cuisine intimidates me for some reason, but this is insanely simple. I figured it was a good way of dipping my toe in their insanity.

It’s filling, but light enough that you feel good about your dining choice. Plus, there’s no weird ingredient that have you at the Asian market scratching your head. Those recipes intimidate me.

It’s also nice that it can be a one-pot meal. Sauté the green onions. Followed by mushrooms, carrots and garlic.

After that, it’s everything else. Oh yea. My folks weren’t huge fans, but I think that’s because the meat and potatoes were missing.

You can expect a Polish soup in the near future so that I can fulfill their requirements for dinner. Ha.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Recipe can be found here

Confession: Failures (Part 3)

November 25, 2012

Yogurt

Every website said this is easy. Use store bought yogurt and boil with milk. Apparently live cultures should grow and be good to go for more yogurt. SO easy they all wrote. Well, mine was chunky and scary. I tasted it too, thinking possibly it just need more fridge time. Let’s just say when anything dairy is chunky, it should be left alone.

 

 Peanut Butter and Jelly Cinnamon Rolls

Maybe my ratio of whole wheat flour to regular (1:1) was too high? Maybe I should never try to make a PBJ bread product again? Maybe I didn’t let it rise? Denser than osmium (nerds will think I’m cute for that).

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

I think I have a 50% chance of having cinnamon rolls work on me. I am assuming that since I just had two in a row fail, my next batch will ridiculously awesome. Let’s hope you’ll be hanging out with me the day that happens.

 

Whole Wheat Blueberry Scones

Again, what on earth is it about products I have already made failing? I increased too much whole wheat on these, it was dense. I realized I should never go more than half the flour content as whole wheat. Live and learn.

Lemon Cake

November 18, 2012

When emptying my fridge (where all good ideas are born, desperation and limitations), I came across a lot of lemons. I found a recipe for lemon brownies.

Problem is that I don’t  like lemon bars (isn’t that the same thing as a lemon brownie?), so I added some baking soda and powder. What do we have now? Lemon cake! Superb! I added a lot, how fluffy of me.

Oh yea, did you know that 80% of the time I get my shoes in my shots? The magic of Photoshop crop. This was pretty good, way better than lemon pound cake. I am not a fan (nor am I able to make it apparently), but this is very light

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, melted & slightly cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 14 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon packed lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

1) Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9×13″ baking dish. 2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar & salt. 3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice & zest until combined. Mix the butter mixture into the flour mixture until well combined. 4) Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25-35 minutes until set and just golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean. Let the bars cool slightly in the pan before powdering with sugar.

Kale Slaw

November 11, 2012

This one is for Lex since he is itching for more kale recipes. As many of you know, I recently made another big move, straight into storm central. What is up with all this wacky weather? Slim pickin’ on posts while I get myself situated.

When I opted to try Paleo for a bit, I tried to get creative. I was a bit fan of the simplicity of this (plus I love sunflower seeds, not used enough in cooking). Dutch oven some kale, tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil and sunflower seeds. Doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Perhaps not something I’d eat before a boy were to come over, but in the privacy of my apartment, over the kitchen sink, it’s awesome (Must Love Dogs anyone?). I ate it both cold and warm, the sunflower seeds adding the salt and crunch made a world of difference.

Thyme To Go Apple Galette

October 28, 2012

 

I know, that title is all sorts of dorky. I recently resigned from a job and brought this into the office on my last day. Life just happens, it’s why I’ve fallen off the bandwagon. Sorry to any friends I have not reached out to yet. I know you’re all busy too.

Was on a quest to devour everything in my fridge, which is where this tart was born. Weird how lack of choice can often result in a perfect storm (sort of like the Frankenstorm that is hitting the northeast).

I read somewhere that when making galettes, it’s good to bake them in a spring form pan, which was superb advice. I love galettes, but hate making them because often the juice of the tart seeps out, becomes unattractive, and (no matter how much parchment paper I use) impossible to clean. I now suggest this too. Genious!

Since I made this for others, I took the peels off, but I’m a big fan of leaving them on tarts. No? Anyone else?

So, let’s see. Any basic pie shell recipe, about 4 apples, ¼ cup of white sugar, ¼ cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and a bunch of fresh thyme. The layer you see on the pastry dough is apricot preserve. I had some left and it just adds awesomeness. Sure, why not? In the end, a pretty good random concoction. I should empty out my fridge all the thyme!