November 15, 2011

Butternut Squash-Apple Soup & Gouda Grilled Cheese

Butternut Squash-Apple Soup & Gouda Grilled Cheese

It’s nearing the end of the year which means that I only have a few more deliveries from my CSA and I’m starting to get sad when I think about not getting that box every Wednesday. But I’ll definitely be signing up for another year and, thankfully, I only have to wait about two months since they pick back up in March.

I started this blog several years ago to become a better cook and put more effort into developing healthy eating habits, but joining this CSA has really been the final kick in the pants I needed to make that happen. I’ve probably tried more new vegetables in just the last 6 months than in all of the last 10 years. It’s been great and has helped me to finally convert my inner picky eater into someone who will try anything at least once. There’s still quite a few things I don’t like (mushrooms…yuck) but at least I tried them and I’ve even found ways to hide the stuff I don’t like so it doesn’t go to waste (mushrooms always go into my favorite spaghetti …

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June 17, 2009

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten Chocolate Cakes

I love chocolate cake. It’s one of my biggest cravings, one that pops up over and over again (almost always late at night). But in the last few years, I’ve noticed something disturbing (to me, at least): I don’t seem to be able to eat it anymore. Take last month, for instance:

Brandon was out with some friends so I was home alone. For some reason when I’m home alone I always want to bake so I decided I would finally indulge my chocolate cake craving and make a cake. After looking though my delicious account, I decided to try Smitten Kitchen’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate cake. So I went to all the trouble of making the cake layers and the two different kinds of icing and after a couple hours finally sat down with a delicious looking piece of it to eat. I took two bites, two bites, and I had to set it down. I couldn’t eat anymore. It’s not a bad cake, in fact, it’s a wonderful cake but it was just so rich that it was too …

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November 21, 2012

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

Caramel Apple Cider

November has passed in a flash and here we are, it’s almost Thanksgiving! I’m freaking out about this because I just got back from vacation and I’m having a hard time adjusting to normal life again. We spent half the week in a secluded cabin in the Smokey mountains and the other half in Asheville, NC, which is a pretty little town with lots of wonderful restaurants. I had such a good time that I’m already mentally planning a trip back to the same area next year!

I didn’t mean to take such a long break from posting but between work deadlines and vacation it didn’t leave much time for cooking this month. But thanks to how easy this recipe is, I did have a chance to whip up this delicious drink in my spare time. I wanted to post it before Thanksgiving because it’s easy to make ahead of time and would be an excellent addition to any holiday get-together, particularly if you serve a nice piece of pie along with it.

May 20, 2009

Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge: Anadama Bread

Anadama Bread

So I decided to do something a little crazy. The awesome Nicole at Pinch My Salt started a group to make every single recipe in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. When she first announced it on Twitter, I was interested but ultimately decided it would be too much work. But then more and more people started joining with her and I kept thinking about it until she announced she was closing the group to new members. As soon as I heard that it made me realize how much I wanted to do this, so I emailed her immediately to join the group.

June 6, 2011

Blueberry-Rhubarb Tarts

Blueberry-Rhubarb Tarts

Since my last experience with rhubarb went so well, I picked up another pound of it at the grocery store to try out some more recipes. This tart recipe was the first on my list because it’s on the cover of Kim Boyce’s cookbook, Good to the Grain and I think I’ve opened that book about a million times since I got it a month ago. I just couldn’t look at it one more time without making those tarts.

The only problem was that my rhubarb wasn’t as blindingly red as hers looked, so I decided to change the filling and add some blueberries to it to give it a deeper color. I’ve tried rhubarb with cherries, strawberries and now blueberries and I have to say that blueberry-rhubarb combo is my favorite of the three. I cooked the blueberries and rhubarb with some orange zest and dark muscovado sugar which has a strong flavor similar to molasses. The resulting compote was so good I could hardly stop myself from eating it all before I even got the tarts …

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February 18, 2009

Quick Gumbo

Quick Gumbo

I’m way behind with posting recipes due to being overwhelmed with work lately, but I just had to post this recipe in preparation for my next baking adventure.

Next Tuesday is Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” and while I haven’t lived in a place that really celebrated Mardi Gras in almost 20 years, I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where it is a really big deal (not as big as in New Orleans, but pretty big). It’s one of the things I miss the most about living there. Mardi Gras and my birthday (this Friday) are always closely linked me for since they are usually so close to each other. There have been a couple of years that they have even been the same day (the date of Mardi Gras changes every year depending on when Easter is since Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday which is 40 days before Easter). In the past, I’ve gotten King Cakes for my birthday, but this year I’ve decided that I’m going to attempt to make one myself. It’s basically like a big …

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March 24, 2009

Quickie: Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pie

My boyfriend skyped me from work on Friday with a link to the article on Whoopie Pies in the New York Times. “You need to learn how to make these”, he said. Not being one to pass up a baking challenge I made them later that night.

Apparently, whoopie pies are the new cupcake, but I don’t know…I’ll stick with cupcakes thanks very much. Not to say they aren’t good because they are, but my issue was with the filling. Personally, I HATE making frosting. It was a miles better experience with my new stand mixer (I completely gave up making frosting with my hand mixer as it was just disaster after disaster with that thing), but it was still a pain and in the end I wasn’t that impressed. I know it’s called Buttercream, but geez, it’s 2 whole sticks of butter! I thought it was butter overload.

Next time I’ll be cutting the amount of salt in the recipe by half as both the cakes and the filling were a bit too salty. Also, I’m going to skip the frosting and fill …

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April 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip “Soft Batch” Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip "Soft Batch" Cookies

If you couldn’t tell from previous posts I have quite a long list of store-bought-food-I-want-to-learn-to-make-at-home. After I cleared off Spaghetti-Os, Soft Batch cookies were next on the list. They’re probably my second favorite kind of store-bought cookie (because nothing is better than Oreos). I like them so that I can only ever buy the small packs that you get from gas stations because I can’t trust myself around an entire package. If you’re unfamiliar with these cookies, they’re basically what they sound like: extremely soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. It’s sort of like eating cookie dough but without the threat of getting sick since they’re baked.

I bookmarked this recipe for Soft Batch cookies a while back and finally got around to trying it out earlier this month. That’s when I realized that although I love the texture of those cookies, they don’t really have much flavor other than the chocolate chips. So I decided to change the recipe a bit and add one of my favorite ingredients: peanut butter! I had to do several tests (Is Cookie Recipe Tester a real job? Because I …

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