Tuesday, July 22, 2008

no TWD this week or next

Sorry guys! I'm a slacker. I have excuses!

A: in exactly one week, I'm taking the bar exam. Life has stopped, and I'm no longer doing anything but study. Seriously. As for next week, I obviously won't be posting while I'm taking the bar.

B: Rhubarb? Where do you find that?! Not in Lex in July - that I know. I'm sure it's great, but a check of our 3 grocery stores yeilded no signs.

I promise to return in just over a week - with lots of delicious baked goodies!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday Night Dinner

This week's dinner was fruity chicken salad as an appetizer, spicy spaghetti, and then brownies and chocolate peanut butter rice krispy treats for dessert. It was delightfully easy, and it was certainly satisfying.

I made a double batch of spaghetti, with half hot sausage and half beef (and a healthy dose of red pepper), over whole wheat pasta. Yum! I didn't want to use 2 dishes for the spaghetti, and I didn't have a pan quite big enough for everything, so I made it in a wok; please don't judge me.
Brownies were the ultimate cheat, Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate boxed brownies. Thanks to Dorie, I finally have a good from scratch recipe, but that'll have to wait for weeks when the Bar isn't sneaking up on me quite so quickly.
Rice Krispy treats are one of those easy desserts that really aren't that bad for you (as far as fat/calories, anyway). However, I almost doubled the marshmallows (marshmallow cream, to be more precise), added half a bag of milk chocolate chunks, and added 5-7 tablespoons of honey peanut butter. They barely resemble the light snack that the recipe on the side of the box would make. They were more like gooey Reese's bars with a hint of crunch from the rice krispies.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

TWD: Chocolate pudding (pie)

I am a huge fan of chocolate pudding. It's one of my favorite easy snacks. This recipe is super-easy and quick... and wonderful!
I wanted to give it a little more, so I put it in an oreo crust, covered it with cool whip, and stuck in a few oreos (chocolate stuffed!). More often than not, I make desserts with others' tastes in mind, but this was all for me. I was PMS-y and craving chocolaty goodness. This definitely fit the bill. My big mistake was using fat-free cool whip. I think it ruined everything! I ended up scraping it off the top after the first bit, because it didn't have the decadence that the pudding really deserved - next time, real whipped cream.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

TWD: double crusted blueberry pie

This week, Amy of South in Your Mouth selected….
Double Crusted Blueberry Pie on pages 361-363

I loved this recipe! I am not a huge fan of fruit pies, but I absolutely love this crust. I made this once following the recipe, and then again with a cherry filling. And I'm tickled by the way the top crust molded to the shape of the berries. I think it's so cute!

I accidentally left out the bread crumbs, but (perhaps partially because we ate most of it before it had really completely cooled) found that there was just enough soaking by the filling to make the thick crust even more delicious (I say we, but that was really just me). Maybe that's why I had so much trouble cutting it into pretty pieces though...

Having succeeded at the blueberry (and upon finding that the crust came together pretty easily in my food processor (even though it was right at the max capacity), I used the crust again with cherry filling.

I've never made a cherry pie, or had any reason to pit cherries, so this was a new experience. It wasn't as bad as I feared, and was easily done while watching tv, but it definitely changed the color of my hands!

I have a friend who prefers a birthday cherry pie to a birthday cake (I don't understand), so this pie was hers! I even cut her name into the top (although it's hard to see in the picture).Everyone deserves birthday baked goods! Especially when studying for the bar!

Cherry filling:

4 cups cherries, pitted
1 cup sugar (1 1/4 cups for sour cherries)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Put sugar, flour and cinnamon in a large zip-loc bag. Add the cherries and toss to coat.

Friday, July 4, 2008

My dining room

Perhaps it's better described as a Breakfast room. It's not particularly large, and it's right by the kitchen. Standing at the sink, I look right into it. My table is a several-generation hand-me-down, meant only for 2-4 people, and has definitely seen better days. There are eight mis-matched chairs around it (yes, including a computer desk chair). And I love it!

This is where people gather when they come over (even when it's more people than chairs). It's where I feel comfortable, and it lets me finish up things in the kitchen while people are here without being too rude. People often spill over into the kitchen (which is often where I serve food) and pretty much everyone feels comfortable helping themselves to the fridge and the liquor cabinet. I'm going to be sad to give up my house when I move.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

busy, busy, busy

I am so sorry for my continued, frequent absence. Here are a few of the reasons (beyond bar-scary-stress)

I went up to a friend's wedding this weekend! It was wonderful, and beautiful, and I have no pictures because I'm lame. At first it was too dark to get good pics with my camera, and then I was (really) too drunk to think about taking pictures. I'm pretty sure there's not even a single picture of me and my man (a groomsman in the wedding) from the whole weekend! How sad!

The wedding was great though, and the couple was awesome! It was the first time I met the bride, and I love her! She's adorable and sweet and open and I want to keep her. I told my man that we have to do stuff with them (after they get back from their honeymoon, and I recover from Bar-zilla mode).

I also shipped my first Etsy order Monday! It was an order of Goodnight Gorrilla cookies. It wasn't too big, but they were a little detailed and required cutting using a template instead of a cookiecutter, and I got in fairly late Sunday night (and did a little ar studying before I got started on cookies). I finished the cookies about 2 am Monday morning/Sunday night. I just hope they like them!

AND a good friend found out the gender of their newest little one Monday. They wanted to have a party to celebrate and share it with everyone. Rather than find out at the doctor's office, they had their nurse call me and tell me the gender, and I made a cake with filling to show the gender (it ended up being pink for a girl). At the party, the new big sis cut into the cake, and that's how everyone found out. Cute, right?

Unfortunately, this was another rushed thing, and I didn't get any pictures! It was an airplane pulling a banner that read "It's A...". I used Dorie's celebration cake recipe, and it went over well. Everyone RAVED about the buttercream. I left it beating (when it says 7-10 at the end) while I took a shower, so it got a good beating, and I think that was key to the super-fluffy nature of the icing. I loved the lemon flavor; I liked that you actually noticed it.
And in a fit of insanity, I decided that the (2 year old) big sister needed a tutu and a tiara that said big sis. I didn't get pictures of the tiara, but I did get a picture of the tutu (although, really, you can't get a good picture of a tutu without a model). I just cut and tied the tulle on a piece of ribbon so she can tie it on and it'll adjust as she gets older (and honestly, it's a little big right now).

This week - Birthday party for another good friend, Wednesday dinner, and the Fourth of July (and 2 full days of mock tests)!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

prodigal TWDer : TWD apple cheddar scones

I felt guilty. So I opted for a late(-ish) night, under-the-wire bit of baking and posting. This may have also been helped along by the fact that I've been craving something other than cereal for breakfast.

First, these were delicious! I opted for sharp cheddar after some serious soul-searching in the dairy section of the supermarket, as I tried to decide between what I'd most like and what I thought would be most popular - self-serving won.

Some thoughts on chopped dried apples... They look like scrambled eggs (like the ones you see on a buffet - way too dry)! And they were sticky! They also were very subtle in the scone. I almost forgot there were apples in it.

This also gave me an opportunity to use some of my super-awesome corn meal! I got it in a national park, where it was ground by an historic water-mill. I thought it was so cool at the time, but I've not had nearly enough chance to use it!

TWD: rewind - berry pie

In the interest of getting back on track (and because bar studying/anxiety is frying my nerves), I'm posting last week's this week, and starting next week, I'll actually post the right recipe on the right day - no more awful Wednesday posts, no more rewind posts... I swear. That said, I also have to say that I may be a hit-or-miss with blogging in general, as well as TWD, until at least mid-August, when I'm finished with the bar and have finished moving. But on to happier things...

Mixed Berry Tart!
I liked this recipe. It was a real hit, and it came together very easily. I really wanted to use fresh berries, but I just couldn't justify the cost of berries at the local supermarket. Instead, I went with frozen, and honestly, I couldn't tell any real difference. I imagine that freshly picked berries would be amazing in it though... mmm.
I paired it with some Bryers vanilla bean ice cream, and it was a great combination. The real star of the dish was the topping though. As people were heading out at the end of the night, they were picking 'one last bit' of the topping off. I think that's a great sign!