Maple Bacon Mousse Tartlettes (Daring Bakers' Challenge)

4/28/11



This is only a day late (or two, depending on where you bake.) But I promise it's tardiness had nothing to do with a lack of desire to make this month's challenge. I mean, there's bacon involved here...bacon and maple. And I'm never going to pass up an opportunity to transform some of my favourite breakfast foods (is maple syrup a food?), into dessert form. The poor bacon couldn't succeed as a health nut, I saw it trying to suck in it's fat in front of the broccoli florets. So why not make it feel better by allowing it to play with heavy cream, sugary syrup, sugary sugar and nuts?

Tuesdays with Dorie: Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

4/26/11



It's been almost two years since this blog posted it's first little blurb! I think it was about a cup of hot cocoa on a grey January day. The photo was terrible, the writing was dull, and it was a hot mess of run-on sentences and misplaced commas. Since then I've learned that good things happen when you turn off the camera flash and allow yourself to write as though you're having a conversation at a food-filled table surrounded by friends. I still throw commas around like confetti, so that hasn't changed. But even though those pesky little technical details of writing have not flourished (much) in two years, my culinary skills certainly have, and I owe a huge part of that to being a member of Tuesdays with Dorie.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

4/22/11



How do you like to eat peanut butter cups? If you're wondering why on earth I'm even asking such a silly question, then you probably just eat them in a few clean bites without even thinking twice about it. I, on the other hand, go through a candy bar the same way I go through life, by picking it apart and analyzing the details. So when it comes to one of my favourite indulgences, peanut butter cups, I like to nibble off the fluted edges so all that's left is a soft peanut buttery circle with just a hint of chocolate. It's a messy drawn-out, tedious process, and I don't enjoy the solid chocolate part, but it leaves me feeling as though I've earned that golden circle. However, after all the work, I take umbrage with the fact that I'm left with such a small reward. Enter these massive, homemade versions!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tortley Apple-Pear Tart

4/19/11



When I first started this food blog, I remember reading somewhere that the word 'delicious' is too common and can become redundant in a food blog. For a while I avoided using it for fear of sounding common and redundant. But I soon became sick of prancing around what I was trying to grasp at with flowery adjectives. So yes, I'm using the word delicious when it's deemed fit. And to cut to the chase, this tart is delicious. It doesn't matter what season is marked on the calendar, apples are always a welcome ingredient in any dessert. And since the cold weather still has an iron grip on poor little Spring, I was more than happy to make a cozy apple tart.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

4/15/11



These are sexy cupcakes. And after you read about the amazing vanilla bean, I think you'll see why.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Strawberry-Lime Crisp

4/12/11



Sarah, of the lovely blog, Teapots and Cake Stands, chose this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. And even though a lot of us searched everywhere for rhubarb (I even called a few stores, which, for someone who hates looking up numbers and talking to random people on the phone, is saying a lot) only a lucky handful were able to find the elusive stalks. However, TWD bakers have never let a rogue ingredient foil our obsessive love for baking ...especially when there are strawberries involved and it's early Spring. Big surprise, I turned to citrus. Limes and strawberries make me think of warm weather cocktails, sand-covered sandals, and windy afternoons trying to recover from both. I can't wait for summer! :)

Pamplemousse Punitions

4/6/11

Pamplemousse Punitions |une gamine dans la cuisine

Translated, these cookies are called Grapefruit Punishments.

Dorie Greenspan's svelte little book, Paris Sweets, has remained so polite all these years. It waits patiently among countless other cook books, and every time I go hunting for a recipe, I see it - poised and demure. Yet because it's such a posh little thing, I feel as though it should only be pulled out for special occasions - not when I look like a mad scientist digging through books in my Harry Potter glasses, over sized sweater, and mismatched leg warmers pulled over even further mismatched leggings And yes, yes I do have leg warmers. (They also double as arm/hand warmers when I'm on the computer.)

In my never-ending, idiosyncratic quest for perfection, I finally decided that this book could hold the key, at least as far as baking is concerned. Paris Sweets is the sophisticated cousin of Dorie's beloved book, Baking, From My Home to Yours. The recipes were inspired by the desserts from the fabulous patisseries of Paris. But don't let that intimidate you, the recipes are made with basic ingredients and Dorie explains how to do everything in such a way that you'll want to hop on a plane and apply for a spot as a pastry chef in Paris - which aside from acting in a Shakespearean play with Jamie Bamber, would be my dream job...did I mention idiosyncrasy?

Churros

4/2/11


A quick note to all those with an active overactive imagination, never watch a scary movie when you're home alone, especially when it's late at night. Case and point, Paranormal Activity 2.

I knew it would be stupid to watch that movie alone, at 11 pm, while house sitting. But besides a hyperactive imagination, I'm also delightfully impatient. And as I was sliding the harmless dvd into the non-threatening dvd player, I wondered why we do this to ourselves? What compels us to watch movies that we know, well ahead of time, are going to freak us out? Even though Paranormal Activity 2 didn't require the futile method of 'watching through basket-weaved fingers' technique, it did leave me jumpy for the rest of the night/morning.

Luckily, these churros, along with an episode of House, smoothed things right out.
 

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