Snack feast for 30 years

Red_overalls

This is my husband.  Well, this is him, 28 years ago.  He was such a cute baby.  He’s still pretty cute.

 

I can’t remember exactly when we met, we would just see each other around.  According to him it was when we were 16.  I was wearing a tube top.  Yikes.

 

We fell in love over our shared love of weird art.  We watched movies together and I took photographs.  Today was his birthday.  Most days when I ask what he wants to eat, he tells me “a snack feast”.  Of course I laugh while I make something healthy, usually involving a salad.

 

For his 30th birthday I decided to give him what he asked for. 

 

A snack feast.

Toasted

I had been planning this for quite some time, and it took me sooooo much self control not to say anything about what I was planning.  I’m pretty terrible at keeping surprises a secret.  I love planning them but then I always end up telling the person about it before hand because I get so excited.  This time I kept my mouth shut.

Chocolatr_cupcakes

A few months ago, Joy the Baker put a recipe on her website I knew I had to make my husband for his birthday.  Every single thing about it oozed brilliance.  I’m fairly certain she was inside his brain when she dreamed this one up.  Chocolate cupcakes, with peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough in the center, topped with toasted marshmallow frosting.  Oh, my, God, these things are insane.  It’s like someone put a s’more and cookie dough and chocolate cake in one insane little package.  You would think these would be over the top, and to some extent they are, but they are also absolutely, positively perfect.  I almost can’t handle how good these are.  Go print this recipe.  Do it, make these cupcakes now.

Cookie_dough

Back to the snack feast.  It wasn’t only a snack feast, more like a day of eating.   A very late breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon and potatoes, then dinner included homemade cheese pizza and lasagna, two of his favorites. 

Half_frosted
Frosted

Then there were the homemade Oreo’s.  These served dual purpose, which I’ll get to later.  My husband has been known to buy a package of Oreo’s and eat the entire thing in one day.  This drives me insane.  Oreo’s are like the epitome of terrible foods.  Full of fat and preservatives it makes me cringe when he inhales so many at a time.  So I decided a while back I was going to learn how to make them, so that some day, I could get him to quit buying them.  I found this recipe, and it worked out pretty well.  The cookies have a very similar taste to the original, but the texture is slightly softer.  I don’t have a giant cookie press to get it right.  Oh well.  The cream in the center was pretty good as well.  After they harden up a bit, it really takes on the consistency of an actual Oreo.  They may not be exactly the same, but they are pretty close, and I’ll keep working to make them closer.

Homemade_oreos

I believe I mentioned a dual purpose to these cookies. 

 

Dirt Cake.

 

This was something I learned was a favorite very early in my relationship with my husband.  I’ve been making it for him for years, often for his birthday or special occasions.  This time I made the whole thing from scratch.  No boxed pudding, no cool whip.  And homemade Oreo’s.  It was out of this world, outstanding good.  I could have probably sat there with a spoon and ate it for an hour.

 

I almost went into a food coma after all of this.  It was worth it.  I spent six hours cooking today and three last night, and I would do it for him every day if I could.  He’s my absolute favorite person in the whole world and makes my life worth it, even when things get tough.  Even though a birthday is a reminder that every year we are getting older, I like to spend birthdays doing something this over the top as a celebration of someone so special to me being born.  My husband is my world, what gets me through day by day, and I can only hope that by baking up something special, I can show him an ounce of how special he is to me.

 

Dirt Cake

Dirt_cake

Serves 8-10

 

         Ingredients

 

Approximately 32 Homemade Oreo’s, crushed

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

Homemade Vanilla Pudding1 1/2 cups heavy cream

 

           Directions

 

1.  In a mixer with the whisk attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until combined.  Add confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until combined.

 

2.  Slowly stream in 1/2 cup of heavy cream.  Increase speed to medium and beat until soft peaks form.  Transfer to another bowl.  Add cooled vanilla pudding and fold together. 

 

3.  Beat remaining cup of cream until stiff peaks form.  Fold into pudding mixture. 

 

4.  Starting with crushed cookies, layer cream and cookies evenly in a glass dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to six before serving.

 

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Butterbeer Cupcakes

Butterbeer_army

There is a distinct possibility I am sitting here drinking a delicious cocktail.  It’s possible that it has strawberry and peach puree in it.  And left over cream soda.  It’s good.  Really, really good.  And refreshing.  Don’t forget relaxing.

 

I spent the afternoon handing out cupcakes at Iron Cupcake.  It was amazing.  If you’re not familiar with Iron Cupcake you really should be.  Go to the website.  Do it.  Now. 

Display

This challenge’s theme was children’s books.  It was a benefit for the literacy council.  My book choice came naturally.

 

I have a secret.  I recently fell in love with Harry Potter.  I mean really, I’m slightly obsessed.  My mother, the writer, has talked about Harry Potter for years.  I’ve only just been converted, previously thinking it silly.  Or for kids.  And nerdy.  Somehow I seemed to have forgotten that I am all of these things.  I was wrong.  It happens rarely.

 

I’ve finally finished all of the books and re-watched all of the movies.  I love the fantasy of it all.  I love the idea that magic can happen, and help someone overcome tragedy.  Can I pretend that real life is like a Harry Potter book?

 

That’s sort of how I feel about cupcakes.  I know it sounds ridiculous, and maybe it’s not quite that intense, but a perfect cupcake can work wonders.  Pillowy frosting and fluffy cake can work wonders.

 

I’ve been thinking about cupcakes a lot lately.  A fabulous woman I know started the local chapter of Iron Cupcake in Madison.  I keep saying I am going to enter next time.  This time I did.  I started baking for this challenge in March, on a quest to develop the perfect cupcake.  I knew I wanted to use Harry Potter as my inspiration, but wasn’t sure how.  And then it came to me.

 

Ding ding, ding, light bulb!

 

 

Butterbeer cupcakes.

 

If you are somehow still ignorant to the universe of Harry Potter let me explain.  Butterbeer is a wonderfully frothy beverage served in the land of Hogwarts.  It is said to be only slightly alcoholic, and not to inebriate humans, but quite intoxicating to elves.  The author of the series has said ” I imagine it to taste a little bit like less sickly sweet butterscotch”.

 

I couldn’t help but think that a Butterbeer flavored cupcake would be amazing.  I thought about them and pondered the recipe for days. 

 

These cupcakes are everything I dreamed.  The cake is fluffy and moist, flavored with cream soda and root beer.  The frosting is a rich butter cream.  Homemade butterscotch touches every part of this cupcake, filling the center, flavoring the frosting and drizzled over the top.  This is not a difficult recipe; it is however quite time consuming. 

 

I ended up getting second place in the category “Knock you socks off”.  Pretty great in my opinion.  This was my first attempt at mass competitive baking.  I spent 7 hours on it and countless hours prepping, and it paid off.  I may have forgotten to take lots of gorgeous photo’s.  These things happen.  It’s ok, I’ll make these again.

Rosie_with_frosting

It’s possible my dog ended up with frosting on her head while I was making it.  No big deal.  She liked it.

 

Iron Cupcake was amazing.  I am already anticipating the next challenge, in August, which will be summer fruit themed.  My lovely garden will be in full bloom by then so I am hoping to use ingredients from my backyard. 

Whipped_egg_white

So here is the recipe for my Butterbeer cupcakes, go make them for the premiere of the last Harry Potter movie next month, or simply because you want to.  You won’t be sorry.

 

 

Butterscotch Sauce


            Ingredients


4 tablespoons unsalted butter 

1 cup packed dark brown sugar 

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 

2 tablespoons corn syrup 

1 tablespoon vanilla extract 

1 scant teaspoon kosher salt

 

            Directions 

 

This recipe takes about a half an hour to completion.  I choose to do this step the night before.  Also get your ingredients out and ready to go before beginning, this is about as scientific as my cooking gets, but you need to get the timing right on this one.

 

1.  In a heavy bottom saucepan (2 quarts should do) melt the butter over medium low heat.  As soon as it melts completely add all of the brown sugar at once and stir until all sugar is moistened.  Prepare an ice bath.

 

2.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture melts and the grainy appearance of the sugar disappears and the mixtures looks more like a liquid.

 

3.  Add the cream all at once.  Change over to a whisk at this point.  Add the corn syrup. 

 

4.  Let mixture boil lightly for 10 minutes.  Take a pastry brush dipped in water and brush the sides of the pan occasionally.  This will prevent crystallization of the sauce later once it cools.  Whisk occasionally. 

 

5.  This next part is VERY important.  Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl that you have resting in an ice bath.  Whisk every few minutes until it reaches room temperature.  Add salt and vanilla.  Once cooled transfer to a squeeze bottle.  You can pick one up for under $1.  The sauce will keep for a week or two capped tightly in the fridge. 

 

 

Butterbeer Cupcakes


Makes 24 regular or 81 mini cupcakes

 

      Ingredients


2 1/2  cups all purpose flour

2 cups cake flour

2 1/4  teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4  teaspoons salt

3/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup cream soda

1/4 cup root beer

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

6 large eggs

 

 

 

            Directions

 

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups.

 

2.     Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Stir milk, cream soda, root beer and vanilla in another small bowl.   Beat butter in mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.  Add sugars slowly while mixing.  Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each addition.  Scrape bowl and beat until smooth.

 

3.     Reduce speed and slowly add 1/3 of flour mixture.  Alternate adding milk mixture and flour mixture until all ingredients added.   

 

4.     Divide batter among muffin tins.  Using a small cookie scoop is the easiest way to do this, filling each cup with two large scoops (one scoop if doing mini cupcakes).  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes (about 14 minutes for mini cupcakes).  Let cool slightly.  Using a squeeze bottle, fill cupcakes with butterscotch sauce.  Put the tip on the bottle into the cupcake until it almost touches the bottom.  Squeeze out sauce until it fills cupcake and a dollop comes out the top.  Frost with Butterbeer frosting.  Drizzle with butterscotch sauce.

 

Butterbeer Frosting

Frosting

            Ingredients  

 

1 cup sugar

5 large egg whites

4 sticks unsalted butter cut into tablespoons

1/4 cup butterscotch sauce

 

            Directions

 

Buttercream frosting can be scary sometimes.  Especially when it’s warmer outside.  Halfway through the process you may think you have ruined the frosting.  It may look like it’s too thin.  Don’t worry, just keep going.  Once you add all the butter it will firm up.  If it doesn’t, turn the mixer to high, it will come together after a few spins.

 

1.    Place heat proof mixing bowl over pan of simmering water.  Add egg whites and sugar, whisking occasionally until temperature reads 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.

 

2.    Transfer bowl to mixer and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.  Turn speed up to medium high and beat for another 6 minutes.  Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add butterscotch and mix thoroughly.

 

Cupcake meetings

Cupcakes

Last week I went to a cupcake meeting.

 

That’s right.  A meeting.   About cupcakes.

 

Somehow it feels wrong to call it a meeting when it is about cupcakes, but it truly was a meeting.  I’m baking in Iron cupcake next weekend and this was our prep meeting. I’m extremely excited and slightly overwhelmed.  Not about the baking, but about the display and all the little things I still need to do and everything leading up to it.  Don’t worry I’ll post all about it afterwards.

 

Back to cupcake meetings.  There was an e-mail that went out proposing people bring cupcakes to said meeting. I’ve wanted to try my chocolate cupcakes again, however I wanted something a little bit more summery.

 

And then it came to me.  Lemon basil cupcakes.  What, what?!  Yes, yes!

I’m slightly obsessed with this boxwood basil plant I have.  Maybe more than slightly, it’s pretty much my favorite and I thought its gorgeous little leaves would make an adorable garnish.  These cupcakes are infused with lemon basil simple syrup.  It’s sweet and light and so delicious.  Then they’re topped with lemon butter cream.  Good, good, good. Finally a little bit of lemon zest and a tiny leaf of basil to finish them off.

 

They’re like totally adorable.  And delicious.  I also brushed the tops of the hot cupcakes with the lemon basil syrup.  The basil is like a tiny whisper at the end of each bite.  Next time I do these I might punch it up more.  I think the basil could kick you in the teeth and still be amazing.

 

So eat some cupcakes.  And give some to everyone you know.  Too many cupcakes around is bad news for your tummy and love handles.

 

Individual_cupcake

 

Lemon Basil Cupcakes


Makes 24 regular or 84 mini cupcakes

 

            Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour          

2 cups cake flour

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup lemon basil syrup

2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

2 1/4 cups sugar

6 eggs

 

            Directions

 

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups.

2.     Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Stir milk, lemon basil syrup and vanilla in another small bowl.   Beat butter in mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.  Add sugar slowly while mixing.  Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each addition.  Scrape bowl and beat until smooth.

3.     Reduce speed and slowly add 1/3 of flour mixture.  Alternate adding milk mixture and flour mixture until all ingredients added.   

4.     Divide batter among muffin tins.  Using a small cookie scoop is the easiest way to do this, filling each cup with two large scoops (one scoop if doing mini cupcakes).  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes (about 14 minutes for mini cupcakes).  Let cool slightly.  Brush tops with more lemon basil syrup.  Frost cupcakes once completely cool.  Garnish with lemon zest and basil.

Syrup

Lemon Basil Syrup

            Ingredients

1/4  cup lemon juice

1/8  cup sugar

2-3 tablespoons fresh basil

 

            Directions

 

1.    Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan.  Turn heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Transfer to a jar or glass container.  Store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

 

Lemon Basil Buttercream

            Ingredients

3 egg whites

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

2 sticks softened butter

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon basil syrup

 

            Directions

 

1.    Place heat proof mixing bowl over pan of simmering water.  Add egg whites and sugar, whisking occasionally until temperature reads 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.

2.    Transfer bowl to mixer and beat on medium speed for 6 minutes.  Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Slowly stream in lemon basil syrup, watching mixture closely to ensure it doesn’t get to thin.  

Daddy’s, Poppa’s and Grandpa’s

Dad_amd_dog

My dad and I are ridiculously similar.  Do you see this picture?  This is my bed, every night.  It’s kind of insane.  While I may wish I had my mothers figure, I am glad I inherited a number of things from my father.

 

Like cooking and baking.  I remember being quite young, and helping my father to make my brothers chocolate birthday cake.  I was wearing a velvet dress.  I think it was blue.  I have a feeling I insisted on wearing it.  Somehow I managed to dump the entire cake down the front of my dress, ruining both the cake and the dress.  But Dad wasn’t mad about it.

 

I don’t ever remember him mad as a child.  Teenage years are a different story, but I was awful.  Really, really awful.  What is wrong with teenage girls?

Dad_kissing_some_girl

This is quite possibly one of my favorite photo’s of my father.  

 

I used to love going shopping with my Dad when I was a kid.  He did all of the grocery shopping every Saturday.  Every week he picked up flowers (and still does) for my mother.  When we went shopping or to run errands, I seem to remember coming home with lots of stuffed animals.  I think my Dad was kind of a sucker for my childhood cuteness.

Dad_making_faces_copy

I’m pretty sure I made this face a lot too.

 

He was and is the best Dad ever.  He is the standard I held every boy I dated, and all but one couldn’t live up.  Even that one probably finds it difficult at times.  My Dad is the perfect mix of a tough guy with a big soft gooey center.  

Mom_and_dad_kissing

He was so much fun growing up, and so smart.  He taught me so much.

 

He still does.  I feel so lucky to have a normal functioning relationship with my father, that so many people I know lack.  He’s become my friend, someone I go to for advice and the best doggie grand-dad around.

 

This fathers day I made him cinnamon rolls.  He requested this quite a while ago.  So, go do something nice for your Pops and don’t forget, Daddy’s love sweets, so make him some.

Flatbread with Tomatoes, Onions, Basil and Balsamic

Finished

hate summer.

 

Okay maybe that’s a lie.  

 

I’m sort of a delicate flower.  There’s an extremely large chance I turn beet red when it’s hot.  Like 74° hot.

 

I probably should have been born in the Pacific Northwest, or maybe my Scottish roots are simply too strong.  Living somewhere that the heat index never surpasses 70° sounds grand.

 

My skin is extremely pale.  So sun is not my friend.  At all.  I wear SPF moisturizer daily, and sunblock regularly.

 

Which by the way, why is sunblock so expensive?  And greasy?  And smelly?  My SPF moisturizer is lovely, but far too expensive to use anywhere but my face.

 

So, while I hate the heat, I love how the summer allows me to turn my back yard into a lush garden.  Walking in the backyard to get fresh spinach, tomatoes and raspberries is fan-freaking-tastic.  I wish I had a garden year round.

 

But not enough to move.

Sliced_tomatoes

This past weekend I bought amazingly sweet heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market.  And they were from the seconds, which means half price.  Flawless.  I knew I needed to use them quickly considering they were seconds.

 

All week long I had been inspired by this flatbread, so I decided to make my own flatbread.  With tomatoes.  And onions.  And basil.  Oh, don’t forget the balsamic and olive oil.  This stuff is so good.  I reheated it every single day since.  And I’m going to reheat it again tomorrow.  That’s four days of deliciousness.  I couldn’t stop.  Every day I see it in my fridge and I can’t-not eat it.  It’s ah-mazing.  Capital AH.  

 

This flatbread would be perfect for a barbecue or a garden party. You could probably even grill it.  If you’re brave.  I’m not.  Open flames are not quite my forte.

 

Serve this as an appetizer with a fresh spinach salad.  I think grilled chicken and some sort of berry dessert would round out the meal nicely.

 

Hmmm I may have to have a garden party.

 

Raw

 

Flatbread with Tomatoes, Onions, Basil and Balsamic


Makes 12 slices

 

            Ingredients

 

3 cups all purpose flour

1 package active dry yeast

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup warm water

2-3 heirloom tomatoes

1/2 Medium onion, any variety

Basil (9 large leaves or 2 sprigs boxwood basil)

A few tablespoons olive oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

 

            Directions

 

 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make the dough:  In a small bowl combine sugar, warm water and yeast.  Let stand until foamy.  Add the vegetable oil to the yeast mixture.  In another bowl mix the flour and salt.  Combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon.  When mixture gets to hard to stir, turn out onto a floured surface and kneed until smooth, a couple of minutes.  Roll out to desired size and shape.  This dough should fill a regular size cookie sheet.  Brush cookie sheet with olive oil or dust with cornmeal.  Lightly brush dough with olive oil as well.

 

2.  Slice the tomatoes and onions.  I choose large slices for the tomatoes and rings for the onions.  Any way works.  If using regular sized basil leaves, chop finely.  Since boxwood basil leaves are so small there is no need to chop.  Arrange ingredients on dough.  Start with tomatoes, then onions and basil.  Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Brush exposed edges of dough with olive oil again.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges are golden and vegetables are roasted.  Drizzle with balsamic while still warm.

 

Triple Berry Trifle

Trifle

Can I be honest for a minute?

 

Ok.  Thanks.

 

So we all know I love baking.  Hello, kind of obvious right?  

 

Well sometimes I don’t feel like it.  

 

Sometimes, I get lazy.  I think this has a lot to do with my day job.

 

I loathe my day job.  Sometimes it sucks out my soul and I don’t get it back until Friday at 5:30pm.  There is nothing rewarding about the world of subprime lending.  Nothing.  It wears me out.  And sometimes, I just want to lie on the couch and watch trashy vampire shows and forget the world.  That’s when I get lazy.

 

This weekend I needed to make a dessert for a barbecue with friends.  I volunteered for dessert, because, well, duh.  Saturday came around and I still had not made anything.  I was pretty sure I wanted to make a trifle.  It’s beginning to look like summer in Wisconsin, which more often then not means hot and muggy.  Trifle sounded refreshing to me.

Raspberries

So there I was. Saturday at 2:00 with nothing made and three hours until I needed to leave.  I went to the store to get the last couple of things I needed and told my husband I might just buy pound cake for the trifle.  He looked at me like I was crazy.  I decided we better hurry back home so I could get started.

 

I made pound cake.  

Pound_caek

From scratch.  This was probably the easiest thing I have ever made.  Five ingredients, 9×13 pan, 1 hour and presto change-o, you have pound cake.  It gets all flaky and airy on the top, and spongy delicious in the middle.  Damn good.

 

So at 3:30 I’m pulling pound cake out of the oven with an hour and a half to cool it, make the filling and assemble the trifle.  Oh, also I was smelly, so a shower was in order as well.

 

Somehow I pulled this off.  Once the cake was cool enough I turned it out onto a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer.  I made the lemon syrup for the cake.  I whipped the cream and cream cheese together while the cake cooled.  It just kind of came together absolutely perfectly.

Layers

It was so pretty.  I took it on the back porch to take pictures and the dogs helped themselves to some of the left over pound cake.  Good job dogs.

 

Everyone at the barbecue seemed to like it.  

Crw_1592

I’m pretty sure this guy did.  He also seemed to enjoy the sugar high afterwards.

 

Really how could you not, pound cake, berries, whipped cream, come on I could eat that for breakfast everyday.

 

Trifles are good desserts to take to a party because they look impressive.  Get a pretty trifle dish.  It helps.  The rest is easy.  Really, really easy.  You don’t have to make the pound cake from scratch, but I highly recommend it.  Plus it makes enough for you to eat the scraps at 6 am when your dog wakes you up for breakfast.

 

 

Triple Berry Trifle

Layers_2

Serves 8-10

 

Ingredients

 

1 recipe pound cake (or store bought loaf)

1 pint strawberries

1 pint raspberries

1 pint strawberries, chopped

1/3 cup lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons)

2/3 cup sugar divided

2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

8 ounces cream cheese softened

 

Directions

 

1.  In a small saucepan heat 1/3 cup of sugar with 1/3 cup lemon juice.  Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and set aside.

 

2.  Cut pound cake into 1/4 inch slices.  Brush slices with cooled lemon syrup.

 

3.  In a mixer combine cream cheese with remaining 1/3 cup of sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Slowly stream in 1 cup of cream.  Beat until soft peaks form.  In another mixing bowl, beat remaining 1 cup of cream until stiff peaks form.

 

4.  Begin layering trifle.  Start with pound cake.  Cut cake slices to fit bottom of trifle dish.  Next dollop half of the cream cheese mixture on top of cake and spread evenly.  Top with 1/3 of the berries.  Make sure all layers come all the way to the edge of the dish.  This will ensure that you see every layer through the side of the dish.  Repeat process again starting with pound cake, the remaining cream cheese mixture and more berries.  The last layer will be the same; only you will use the whipped cream on this layer.  Top with remaining berries.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours before serving.

 

 

Pound Cake

 

Ingredients

 

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 sticks of butter, softened

3 teaspoons of vanilla

5 eggs

 

Directions

 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together butter and sugar.  And flour in four additions.  Add eggs, mixing after each one.  Add vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

What I’ve been up to lately

Img_1008

There is not a single sweet in my house right now.

 

Not one.  

 

This is a problem.  Seriously.  

 

Someone needs to do something about this.  Soon.

 

I made this homemade ice cream.

 

I’ve been neglecting my cooking and baking a bit lately.

 

I’ve been busy.

 

Making mini muffins.

Mini_muffins

And pizza.

Img_1001

Playing with my dogs.

Regal_rose_bw
Rock_doc_bw
Rocko_bw
Rose_on_couch
Rock_sniffers_bw
Rose_mcnose_bw
Proud_rock_bw

 Planting a garden.

 

Cilantro
Peppers
Lemon_thyme
Pineapple_mint

Making salads.

 

Salad

And quiche.

Img_0992

Alas, I’ve yet to tackle any new projects, I have been busy.  I had some time off. It was amazing.  I took these pictures.  I made these things.  And I relaxed. 

 

 

Yes please.

 

Here’s what I did with the ice cream.  I attempted to remember the recipe I used at Milkweed.  This is what I did at home, not sure if it was right but it tasted good! 

 

Heat 2 cups of cream with the seeds and pod of 1 vanilla bean.  Prepare an ice bath.  Mix 4 egg yolks with 6 tablespoons of sugar.  When milk just begins to boil mix a small amount into yolk and sugar mixture to temper.  Continue adding slowly until completely incorporated.  Return to medium heat for additional 2-3 minutes, until mixture coats the back of a spoon and begins to tighten up.  Pour through a sieve into another container in the ice bath and whisk occasionally until completely cooled.  Transfer to an ice cream machine and follow directions for machine.  When it reaches soft serve consistency transfer to another container and freeze at least 4 hours.  Eat and yum!