Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake with Caramel-Rum Frosting

Wednesday, February 27

burnt sugar bundt cake with caramel-rum frosting |une gamine dans la cuisine

Today, from a distance, I saw you,
walking away, and without a sound
the glittering face of a glacier
slid into the sea. An ancient oak
fell in the Cumberlands, holding only
a handful of leaves, and an old woman
scattering corn to her chickens looked up
for an instant. At the other side
of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times
the size of our own sun exploded
and vanished, leaving a small green spot
on the astronomer’s retina
as he stood on the great open dome
of my heart with no one to tell. ~ Ted Kooser, After Years

Yesterday's heavy, wet snowfall was a not-too-subtle reminder that winter is still around - stoic and seemingly immobile as ever. No worries, I'm house sitting in a lovely home, with a gorgeous view of last night's storm, and I have another pot of coffee brewing in the kitchen. I'm happy - slightly nostalgic (for...what?), but happy.

Also, I'm beginning to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to big bundt cakes.

Crème de Menthe World Peace Cookies

Friday, February 22

crème de menthe world peace coOkies || une gamine dans la cuisine

Wednesday, as I was walking down my long driveway to retrieve the mail from a tragically windswept mailbox, I felt spring stretch out her lethargic limbs and yawn like a sunbathing cat. It was a soft rustle, followed by the unforgettable aroma of moist earth and green rain. It was brief- like a kiss from someone in a dream, someone you know but haven't met (yet?). Such intimate moments of forgotten nostalgia never last long enough. But then again, neither does spring. Yet despite my tendency to lament the passing of things before they even arrive, I always relish the subtle nuances of early spring. She's quiet, and lacks the look-at-me drama of summer and winter- we get along beautifully.

Another sweet prelude to spring - Girl Scout cookies. Sadly, I was never a girl scout myself (not even a brownie!). In some way, buying boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas makes me feel as though I'm making up for lost opportunities.

If I'm completely honest with myself, I just really, really...really love the cookies.

Farm Stand Buttermilk Doughnuts

Sunday, February 17

farm stand buttermilk dOughnuts || une gamine dans la cuisine

Every few years I like to treat myself to homemade fried doughnuts. Were it not for the lingering odor of oil, I'd probably make doughnuts more often...maybe too often.

Strawberries and Cream Biscuits

Wednesday, February 13

Strawberries & Cream Biscuits |une gamine dans la cuisine

Enjoying strawberries in the middle of February is liberating- it's laughing in the face of winter (something I find thoroughly fulfilling).

Last weekend I was lucky enough to find strawberries at the grocery store- they were not very sweet, but I still took pleasure in pretending that I was surrounded by the month of June- if only for a little while...

Triple Lemon Bundtlette Cakes

Sunday, February 10

triple lemon bundtlette cakes |une gamine dans la cuisine

"Here I purchase your silence.
I agree: I give you mine
with one provision: that we do not understand each other."
~ Pablo Neruda, from "I want to know..." in The Sea and the Bells

February is an awkward, clumsy sort of month- at least for me. My wobbly, pale, winter legs want to rush onward, toward March- with it's promise of green-scented air- yet my wistful mind wishes it could go back to December, when everything was cosy, and snow covered, and certain. With February, I'm never quite sure what to expect...such a tease, this fickle month.

Lemons are, and always will be, my happy place. When my thoughts become lost in a haze of unpredictable, ever-changing weather, and the alarmingly swift passing of time, lemons offer comfort and perspective.

Salt-N-Pepper Sandwich Cookies with Strawberry Jam

Monday, February 4

Salt-N-Pepper Sandwich Cookies with Strawberry Jam |une gamine dans la cuisine

During these bitterly cold and blustery winter days, I like to indulge. Spring is still a watercoloured, half-remembered dream. It's so easy, and soft, to toss wrinkled thoughts of strappy sandals and swimsuits on the shelf- and simply listen to the windswept siren's call of indulgence.

My happy undoing usually comes in the form of a creamy soup, an all-butter encrusted pie, a ridiculously-rich layer cake, cured, roasted meats, salty-sweet brownies, and cookies. Always cookies...my comfort zone in stormy weather.

I'm also taking solace in the fact that my favorite actor, Jamie Bamber, will be appearing weekly on my television screen. The medical drama, "Monday Mornings," begins it's hopefully-long life tonight on tnt (at 10pm!).

The shiny pilot of a bright, fresh show deserves to me marked with cookies. (A layer cake would be trying too hard, and a pie is too humble.)

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