Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's a KEEPER!

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England. This was a super yummy tart ummmmm thing. I also noticed it looked curdled but the taste is divine.

I love my self scrapping paddle from KAF.
I think I undercooked it at first but I popped it back in the oven and left the heat off and it cooled as the oven cooled and it came out great! I DID NOT get a pic of it sliced as once it was cut it was gone!! My sil loved it and said it was a keeper. Even the pickyish hubbster liked it.
As I scanned thru the completed projects I noticed that some put the filling up the sides and some did a thinnnnnn layer BUT I am a jam girl so I decided on a thick layer just on the bottom. I used Strawberry Jam that is awesomely delish. I confess I did not make the jam. I know a lot of you did but I didn't get any fresh strawberries that looked good untill after I needed to bake this. I used Griffen's Strawberry Jam and it is thick and delish. I also love the retro glass jar that it comes in. I used a 9 in pie tin as my tart pans are all gone. I think that got lost in my last cross country move. :( It was so pretty too so I was annoyed. But things always get lost in a move so...
I thought the crust was amazing! It is so easy and came together so lovely. The layers looked great and it was wayyyyyy easier then I expected as I had heard of this dessert before and it always seems so complicated. Thanks to the lovely ladies at for another awesome recipe.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

oops I forgot something!!!

Today is the reveal day for the first daring COOKS challenge- that's right daring cooks a ummmmm subdivision of Daring Baker's. I am feeling bad that I am unable to do it as I have several good reasons. Ready for them? okay then here we go, My mom had her OTHER hip surgery and I was caring for her and you know how she hates cooking in her house as she feels it is to messy!!!!! Then i came home from caring for her and got horrible sick myself and THEN my kid wakes up with a fever of 103 so needless to say (but I already said it so is it really needless?) I was unable to participate this month. :( Go check out and be sure to check the bloggroll for great people that got their work done!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I am so excited right now! I was just published over at'>'/>
To see my recipe for yummy fried pickles you can go straight to here;

I am always so excited when someone likes something that I have made. I currently am testing lots of wonderful recipes as I have a rather large family all in town for an ENTIRE MONTH! I am always fearful when I am cooking for people that they will not like my cooking but so far no one has been poisoned so all is good.

Monday, April 27, 2009

April's daring baker Challenge

Yummy. That is the perfect description of cheesecake so I got lucky because The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. I loved that we could do whatever we want while following the perimeters of a recipe. I despise crust on a cheesecake so I did some with and some without. For the crust I choose to use Oatmeal Cookies that I crushed by hand so they were chunkyish. I also decided to make cupcake size to make sharing easier. I have a lot of family in laws here in town so… I made the basic vanilla cheesecake and I also made some that were solid chocolate some are marble and some are half and half so you THINK it is chocolate till you dig in. They baked up gorgeous in about 23 minutes. I did a faux water bath by putting a pan of water under my pan of cupcakes. I put a pan of water in and then preheated so the water was boiling on its own by the time I needed to add the tray of cheesecake.
I love to cook cupcakes in soufflé cups. It means I don’t need a cupcake pan. I still have a large amount of cupcake pans but I don’t always know how many cupcakes a recipe will make so it enables me to have some variety if I wind up with more batter then ready pans. I started with 12 ready but made 26! And because the soufflé cups are so easy I just plopped some more down and off I went.

I think they look really lovely and shiny. I cracked one on purpose to make sure it was done and one I overfilled so it cracked on its own. But really that is pretty good odds. They are now chilling in the fridge and I am somewhat hostile as I wait for them to cool completely as I want one NOW. This is a lovely creamy recipe that I am hoping is well received as it was MUCH easier then my usual recipe involving whipping egg whites and many more steps. If this is well likes it will be a dessert I make next month while all are here for the family reunion. I will do a large one with blueberry filling.

Thanks for another awesome challenge all my daring baker homies. Make sure you check out the wowish and amazing new website and to check out everybody’s hard work @

O M G they are cold and ready to share but I felt I should try them – JUST as a courtesy mind you J THIS is the BEST cheesecake I have ever made! It is creamy and rich and mild and a platform for any flavor. Blueberry was great, marble was great, plain was perfect and layered ummm ohh I still need to try layered. My 6 yr old taste tested the pure chocolate and he seemed really pleased and kept asking when I will make this again! I think for presenting to others I will double cup to prevent run thru as I stabbed thru on the blueberry. WOW I am really surprised how much I love this, it is better than any restaurant cheesecake I have ever had!

I noticed some have mentioned it seemed ”thin” I didn’t have this problem but I left out the lemon juice and the liqueur so that may have made a difference.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Daring Bakers in March

Well, for the first time I am unable to do a challange. Please check out all the other amazing bloggers at it is temparary before the new site is being completed. Here is my new logo that I picked from all the great new options.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Chocolaty Daring Bakers Challenge!

I was worried as I ordered a new paddle for my Kitchaid mixer and it was back ordered. I thought it would mix this recipe really well so I wanted to have it. I got it from King Arthur Flour and it is a paddle with silicone so it scrapes the bowl as you mix!!! Well, it came today so that means; The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.
This is by far the easiest Challenge since I started. It has 3! Ingredients total
And you can make it look however you like. I have never made a flourless cake before but I have wanted to try it as I have 1 member of the family coming that has flour issues so this may be great.

As you are also supposed to make the ice cream I choose a simple vanilla and decided to make heart shaped ice cream sandwiches. I always feel after I view everyone else ideas and techniques that I should have been more creative but I tend to be fearful but be sure to check out everybody’s website for some trying yummy ideas – I bet there will be some wild ice cream flavors this month!

My ice cream recipe is super easy as it requires no preplanning.
3 eggs
1 c sugar
Beat until it is thick and creamy

Then Add
1.5 c cream
1.5 c milk
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix well and pour into your machine and follow directions for your machine

I love my machine as it is a compressor machine so I don’t have to worry about remembering the put the bowl in the freezer the night before. I never remember to do it so …
I first made the ice cream and put it in the freezer to harden a bit more

Then I made the cake using milk chocolate as I wanted something sweet. I was surprised as it tasted like an airy brownie. It was better a few hours later as it seemed to deepen the flavors so this is a perfect make ahead for a party cake. It was a little to rich to make into ice cream sandwiches but as I already had that in my mind I went with it anyway. I cut them using a small heart cookie cutter. I felt it didn’t really need any ice cream as it was so yummy but ohhhhhhh was it scrumptious!
The little heart was just some tempered chocolate I had left over and I piped into the heart shape and let set up.

So I give this 2 chubby thumbs up!! My new rating system needs work. But my daughter seems eager! :)
On a side note I have no clue why it looks steamy??? It isn't hot in any way shape or form but it looks steamy I don't have a better word to describe the look on the pic.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I know what you are thinking - another fire- This is a different spark, The kind that makes you excited to get things done or try a new recipe. I don't have that zest right now. I am reading tons of blogs and still cooking but I have zero ability to blog anything that would interest anyone. I will be just blogging on Daring Baker's days only now. Here are some AMAZING blogs;

Hello it is the King of ice cream

World's yummiest and informative pictures <3>

Wanna know about candy?

Thanks everybody for reading me and I will be back once a month for Daring Bakers unless I am inspired but ummmmm therein lies my problems. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jan yummy Daring Baker's

The month is fast slipping by so today is the day for the Daring Baker’s Challenge. This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Baking Soda and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf.They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux. I thought this would make a nice elegant dessert for the upcoming family reunion in April so I was excited to give it a try. I chose to do the simple vanilla tuile with a lemon curd as the filling. Lemon curd is something I have wanted to make for a long time so this was the perfect time. Check out all the amazing bakers at .

I think perhaps I wasn’t thin enough (story of my life) when I spread them out. I did make a template but decided to pipe it and then smooth them out. I think I should have let them get a wee bit darker but I took them out at the first hint of browning. Next time I will let them get darker as I think they will set up harder and hold the shape better. I rolled a few and then used a cup to mold them in a cup shape. I thought both made for a nice presentation but again I wished I had let them go darker.

The lemon curd I did an amazingly easy recipe. I now feel I can make lemon curd anytime it was that easy!

3 large egg yolks
3 3/8 ounces granulated sugar
2 1/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
3/4 pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons lemons, zest of, finely grated (optional)

In a non-reactive saucepan, whisk yolk and sugar until well combined.
Add remaining ingredients except lemon zest.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly (Do not whisk), until thickened and you see the first bubble.
Pour through strainer, stir in zest.
Chill in refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed on top of curd to prevent skin forming
This makes about ¾ a cup

I think that it is a little to loose to use in the cookie roll – stuffed in a doughnut is fine or put in the cup shaped cookie for a one bite of yummmm but otherwise I think rolled would be better with whipped cream or dipping the ends in chocolate and allowing it to harden. I hope you like mine and I can’t wait to see what everybody else has done!

Is it just me or does this look like an egg to you too?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WOW, a year of blogging!

I am so surprised that I have had a blog for a year. It seems like just yesterday I walked into a Whole Foods for the first time and my eyes opened wide with the potential I saw there. I was not a person who cooked when I first got married, I was a orderer. We lived in St Louis back then (greatest place on earth beside FL) and you could get anything delivered. I mean anything - steak, organic vegetarian pizza with whole wheat crust, greatest Chinese place EVER and even a burger place beside the usual dominoes type place. Then we had kid's and I stopped working and wanted the best for the kid's diet so I began to explore cooking. I love to find new foods that the kids like.

I have gone thru many phases in my cooking. I went gluten free to see if that helped my son's autism. He hated it and it didn't help so I stopped that. I went vegetarian because I watched WAYY to many peta videos and they made me cry. Now I but from a local butcher using local farmers meat and I know that the animals had a good life and my guilt is slightly less. I also use meat less as the main and more as a side dish. I went the prepackaged route as I was learning and learned OH DEAR GOD that is a lot of salt and preservatives so I started making all our own food from scratch as much as possible. I went organic for a while but it was very expensive so now I still buy organic as much as I can but not everything we eat is organic. Thanks for putting up with the changes and a special thanks to my sister, the one I call lawyer sis, for putting up with my whining about the guilt I feel for eating meat - I know I am annoying- thanks for loving me anyway!

I have grown and changed a lot since I first started cooking. This month is my one year blogiversary and my 13th year wedding anniversary! Thanks for being there random strangers and fellow daring baker's. I feel like I have a voice and that someone hears it. I love to see comments or get emails about something that you like.!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Did you know today is squirrel appreciation day? I was thinking perhaps of posting a recipe using squirrels but then I thought that might not be the nicest thing so I will just say Go Nuts! Hope you are having a wonderful month and II will be back soon.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Challah - An eggy bread braid

I have always wanted to try to make the lovely braided eggy bread Challah but as my best friend of 33 yrs will tell you I am a dreadful braider. I have no idea how many hours were spent with her attempting and failing trying to teach me to braid hair. Thankfully this is much, much easier.
I am exhausted and lazy so instead of typing out all the instructions as I followed them precisely I will lead you here it is the glorious King Arthur Flour website and it shows you perfectly how to braid the bread besides the careful instruction.
My favorite part is they use a bread machine to mix and rise it!!Just dump all but the glaze in and set to dough. On my machine it is an hr and half till you can take it out and start rolling out, resting, braiding and baking.
The picture above is my completed bread that I must confess I am proud of. I think next time I will cut the baking time down. It bakes for a total of 45 min and I did cut 10 min off so this loaf baked a total of 35 min but next time I might try just baking for 25 min as it looks dark to me and is a little more crispy then I care for.

Arthur Flour Basic Challah
1/2 cup lukewarm water
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or if you don’t need to follow Jewish guidelines I would go half butter
1/4 cup honey next time I will use 1/3 cup
2 large eggs
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast

Glaze for later
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water -Here it is glazed ready for baking

Monday, January 5, 2009

English Muffins

I LOVE I mean truly LOVE my bread machine. I am always looking for new ways to use it and this week it is english muffins. I went to my beloved looking around and found a recipe that really needed nothing as it sounded perfect as it was written. The most surprising thing was that you don't bake them you cook them in a pan and it only takes 5 minutes after the dough is ready! I compared about 15 different recipes and most seem similar to this one I used;

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour (or more)
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Put ingredients in the machine in the order listed. EXCEPT cornmeal

Start the dough cycle.

When the cycle is finished.

Sprinkle corn meal over your work area. I used a large cookie sheet with sides and it made a super easy clean up
Use your hands to pat the dough into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.
Turn the dough so that each side gets lightly coated with cornmeal.
Cut into 8 to 14 rounds, depending on how big you like them. I used a cup I had that looked the a nice size to hold an egg at breakfast later
An empty large tuna can works well When you run out of dough gather up the trimmings and cut more rounds.
Place the rounds on a baking sheet, cover and let rise for 20- 30 minutes--until not quite double.
Heat a dry cast iron skillet or griddle over a low flame.
LIGHTLY oil I used a rag as pam gets to hot in cast iron
Cook the muffins about 2 to 4 minutes on each side.
They should be golden brown when you turn them.
Split the muffins with a fork or serrated knife and serve warm.
These freeze well and can be reheated in the microwave or toasted.

They are super tasty and yummy just plain with butter or great with an egg on top.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I have been dying to try marshmallows as it is all over the blogesphere but I was a little worried as it seemed like it would be fiddly. I WAS WRONG! It was super easy and came together with no problems. I heavily powdered sugar and then just kinda brushed it off after I cut it as it made it cut really nice. I was going to do pretty shapes but felt lazy as I had a huge day of cooking and *ugh*cleaning already under my belt.

As this was my first batch I decided not to use fancy pretty sugar or colors/flavors and just used
Martha Stewart as I love her. I am not so much in love with her new everywoman persona as I think that she works best playing up her better then me-ness, maybe that is just me. so here is what I used;

2 envelopes (each 1 scant tablespoon) unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup light corn syrup

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vegetable-oil cooking spray ( I didn't use)

Coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; line with parchment paper. Spray parchment; set aside. Pour 1/3 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle with gelatin; let mixture soften, about 5 minutes.
Place sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cover; bring to a boil. Remove lid; cook, swirling pan occasionally, until syrup reaches 238 degrees (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes.
With mixer on low speed, whisk gelatin mixture, and slowly pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl (to avoid splattering). Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is thick, white, and has almost tripled in volume, about 12 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat 30 seconds to combine.
Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet;My sheet used non stick foil heavily covered in confectioner's sugar. smooth with an offset spatula. I used a lightly wet hand and it did great Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Coat a 1- or 2-inch snowflake-shaped cookie cutter with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking.I used a pizza cutter - fast and easy! Cut out as many individual marshmallows as possible; coat cutter with more spray as needed. Use marshmallows immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

I am so pleased I did this and don't think I can ever buy marshmallows again! It is amazing how simple and flavorful these were! In the winter I am thinking of making tiny snowflakes as Martha recommends for in hot cocoa.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

ohh Spam?

Wow I am so excited! I got my first spam ie click her for... instead of telling me they like me:). So I set up to moderate comments but I can't get rid of that one pc of spam. I am pleased because it means someone is reading this and annoyed because really in today's world of viruses do they REALLY think we are gonna click it? Please ignore any odd comments like that as I have NO clue what it will do. On the other hand please note that most people who's names are links are awesome people with amazing sites. I have really broadened who I read by being a clicker of real names.

Friday, January 2, 2009

No recipe today

winter rose
Myspace Glitter Graphics

Well it has been 70 degrees this week?????? What in gravy? I have a hard time being creative as I have the flu :( so I made you a pretty picture instead. I hope you like it. The rose pic is from yahoo but I made it snow.