Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Chewy, Chunky Blondies

This week's recipe was chosen by Nicole of Cookies on Friday, visit her blog for the recipe. I actually made these to take to a family function on July 4th, not many got eaten but probably because there was a thousand other things there.
I liked these but they took longer than the recipe states to bake and then they were a little difficult to get out of the pan (even with parchment paper) and even though I let them cool for several hours I had trouble cutting them. Like almost every TWD recipe I've made they were still yummy and much easier than making sheet after sheet of cookies.

Monday, July 26, 2010

S'mores in cookie form

Lately, I have been so busy that I have not been sending baked goods with Doug for the Thursday night game group he goes to. Since they're always so appreciative I knew I had to make some time for them. So last week while blog-surfing I found a recipe for s'mores cookies, I repeat s'mores cookies! Perfect! I made a batch Wednesday night and they were deeelicious.

They have graham cracker crumbs and mini-chocolate chips in the batter. Halfway through the baking time you pull them out and top with mini-marshmallows and chopped up Hershey bars.
I love them so much and the guys seemed to like them a lot too. They were time-consuming since you have to pull them out and top them but it's well worth it. Make them! Recipe here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Creepy and crawly

I usually leave the photography of insects to Doug, but over the weekend I was at my grandmother's and spotted this dragonfly who was an agreeable model.This caught my eye too, I thought it was just a cluster of insect eggs on one of her tomatoes but when I came home to show Doug he pointed out that it's actually a horned tomato worm that is covered in parasitic wasp eggs. Crazy looking! I knew you could order the wasp eggs online to combat the worm destruction but I've never had any in my garden so I had no clue what they looked like. Creepy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cold treats

No Tuesdays with Dorie today, but visit the TWD site for the complete blogroll and Kimberly's blog at Only Creative Opportunities for this week's recipe.

Did you see this story about how June was the warmest June on record globally? I believe it. Memphis is always unbearable in the summer but it seems other areas of the world were also pretty hot. I'm unbelievably thankful for Mr. Carrier's invention.At least the heat has given me an excuse to use those popsicle molds I bought a couple of months ago and pull out the ice cream maker. I love coffee, Doug and I have coffee most evenings and I have a latte in the mornings. For ice cream inspiration I popped over to David Lebovitz's site and stumbled upon his recipe for Vietnamese coffee popsicles. I had never actually had Vietnamese coffee but after reading his description I made the coffee and the popsicles at home. The coffee was really, really good and has left me yearning to go to have 'real' Vietnamese coffee (i.e. not made by me). It seems sweetened condensed milk gets bad rap but it definitely has it uses.The ice cream was another David Lebovitz recipe, Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream. I made it without the caramel bits because I was short on time. I liked this ice cream but I think I overcooked the custard because the texture was off. I'm not a huge fan of ice creams with egg custards because I tend to cook it for too long leaving something to be desired with the end product.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fruit desserts

One of the few redeeming qualities of the ridiculously hot summer here is access to so much fresh fruit. Peaches have been coming in for a few weeks now from Jones Orchard, which is local and sells at most of the farmer's markets in town. I had about 6 smallish peaches that were itching to be made into something delicious last week so I put together a very 'rustic' looking peach galette. I can't remember where I found the recipe, but it was online and included ground almonds in the filling. I'm nearly positive I worked the dough too hard because it wasn't as flaky as it should have been, but the almonds and the peaches were delicious together.These cherries aren't local but I love fresh cherries. I usually just eat them fresh by the bowlful but this time I decided to try this Cherry Clafoutis recipe from Epicurious. The process was made loads easier because I finally invested in a cherry pitter, it was like magic! The clafoutis is basically fruit with an eggy custard poured over the top and baked. This recipe also had ground almonds and almond extract in it because almond is also a very nice accompaniment to cherries. Another sweet winner that can probably be eaten for breakfast without a ton of guilt.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Garden Update 2010: Week 18

Holes in my beans, oh do I have holes in my beans. These are the 'new' Christmas lima beans I planted after I pulled out the peas, already becoming snacks for bean beetles (despite my spraying of insecticidal soap).These are the Fin Bagnol beans that have been devastated by the stupid bean beetles, still blooming though, what troopers.However, the okra is blooming AND I picked one large pod and some little baby ones. Also, how pretty is that okra blossom?Cucumbers are abundant, I gave away these two over the weekend and I picked more (albeit oddly shaped) today along with an Asian eggplant.Little tomatoes from the volunteers.The beginnings of a cantaloupe (or 'mush melon' as my Pa Rone used to say).Peppers and herbs are happy about the heat.Finally carrots! There are more in the garden that I didn't have time to pull yet.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Brrrr-ownies

There weren't as many York peppermint patties in these as there should have been, admittedly it's my fault. I love peppermint patties and I couldn't not open the bag I had specifically purchased for these. Before I knew it I had eaten a lot of them, luckily I still had enough for the brownies. A very easy brownie recipe, mostly chocolate with a little bit of flour to hold them together, my favorite kind. The peppermint patty chunks kind of exploded in the batter during the baking process, which I didn't mind but a few places had 'blow outs' of space where the chunks had melted into the batter. I'll be making these again, they're really good chilled too and definitely warrant a glass of milk.Thanks to Karen of Welcome to Our Crazy Blessed Life for this week's selection.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yarn hoarder

There is an abundance of unfinished knitting objects floating around my house. Two shawls, a tank top, a sweater, a bunny, a sock and who knows what else is hiding. Currently, the only two things I'm actively working on are the Lillian Tank (pattern here) in Jo Sharp SoHo Cotton. The repeat is easy but the 100% cotton yarn makes my hands a little scratchy. When I'm tired of working with the cotton I switch to the sock I started two weeks ago. I've tried to knit socks at least three times before and ended up ripping them out before I got very far but this one might be a keeper. The pattern is Hedgerow (here) and the yarn is Fleece Artist Trail sock, the color is actually more purple than the photo lets on.I signed up for another round of the Madelinetosh yarn club and got my first shipment last week. It's three skeins of Tosh Merino Light in the Horn, gorgeous as usual. I feel like a Madtosh hoarder now. I have 6 skeins of Tosh Merino Light, 3 skeins of Pashmina, 1 skein of Eyre and 1 skein of sock yarn, mine! all mine! The Pashmina is destined to be a Goodale sweater, which is very cleverly constructed. I'll be more than happy when the humidity goes away and I can pull out the wool and wool blends without sweating.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A bridal shower for a knitta

Last week the MKM hosted a bridal shower for fellow knitter, Emily, who will be walking down the aisle very soon. Kenan opened up her lovely home to us for the event and everyone brought something for us to devour.I made this Sweet Almond Cake with Lemon Curd and vanilla buttercream frosting from the Sweet Melissa Baking book. The book calls for a lemon-mascarpone frosting, which I made the night before the shower and refrigerated (the book said it was okay). Unfortunately, the next afternoon when I was ready to cover the cake the frosting had turned into a clumpy, un-spreadable mess. I whined a little before admitting defeat and throwing together a buttercream frosting, which came out perfectly. The cake was really delicious, it had 14 egg whites and coarsely ground almonds in the batter too.After the rounds were baked each layer was given a thin coat of lemon curd before being topped with the frosting. I might be a baker but I'm not a decorator, so to spruce it up a little I added some spray roses and a little ribbon (removed before consumption of course). The 10 minute drive from my house to Kenan's was a little harrowing. I was almost there when the cake took a slide off the it's plate and had to be repaired a little when we made it to Kenan's. I think the next time I transport a cake I need an extra person to come with me.As an extra expression of our love we knit flowers and leaves for a corsage which Emily graciously wore, even though it was a little large. Happy Wedding Emily and Eric!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tarte Noire

Making ganache always seems like magic to me, simple ingredients and a couple of simple steps create a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth concoction. Every time I make it I'm surprised at how easy it is. This week's selection was Tarte Noire, chosen by Dharmagirl of bliss: towards a delicious life. I made the chocolate shortbread dough for the crust and it looks a little less than great. Truly I've never made a tart shell that wasn't 'rustic' looking. However, as long as it tastes good it can be as rustic as it likes. The ganache was quick and turned out so well, silky and delicious.