Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Coffee and chocolate, two of my favorite things. Combined in a buttery shortbread concoction they're even better.
This week's selection was chosen by Donna of Life's too short not to eat dessert first. I really like making these and eating them, especially with coffee. Thanks again Donna!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Currently my garden only seems to be producing okra and cherry tomatoes. But given the heat index and the lack of rain I'll take what I can get. Over the past week I accumulated enough tomatoes to slow-roast in the oven and use for pasta. 
The slow-roasted tomato 'recipe' comes from Smitten Kitchen and they were delicious. I let mine roast for about 2.5 hours and I was out of garlic so I skipped it. 
Once they were roasted I boiled a cup of capellini pasta and tossed it together with the tomatoes, salt, pepper and fresh Parmesan for lunch. Making these tomatoes and worth turning the oven on for.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Crunchy & Custardy Peach Tart

Heavenly. Just heavenly. An almond shortbread crust filled with sweet, ripe peaches and creamy custard with a hint of almond extract topped by brown sugar and more sliced almonds. 
This has become one of my favorite Dorie desserts, even though it's a tart and my hatred of making tart dough is well-documented. It was a little involved with the tart dough and the peeling/slicing of peaches, etc. but it was worth it. 
A beautiful and delicious summer dessert that showcases in season peaches. Thanks to Rachel of sweet tarte for this week's selection!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

This week's selection was Oatmeal Breakfast Bread chosen by Natalie of Oven Love. I made mini-loaves (and one slightly bigger) loaf.
I used golden raisins for the dried fruit (leftover from the carrot cookies) and doubled up on the pecans in the topping. I liked this bread, it's moist and not too sweet. 
But I feel like it needed a little extra something, of what I'm not sure, maybe cardamon? Another dose of cinnamon or maybe allspice? Still a good recipe to tinker around with.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What I accomplished this weekend

Taught my 7.5 year old niece to knit (I hope it sticks!)
My favorite thing was when my brother came to pick her up and we were getting her things together I asked her if she wanted to put her knitting in her bag and she said "No I'm going to knit in the car." A child after my own heart.
Made the same niece a little elastic waist skirt with fabric she picked out. 
Finished the increase portion of my Damson shawl. The yarn is Malabrigo sock and the color reminds me of honey.
Wound one skein of yarn and made a giant mess with two other skeins after my swift fell apart.
Got Golden India takeout for dinner Saturday.
Went to the movies with Doug (saw this)
Read some of this Mary Gaitskill book.
Drank several glasses of iced Vanilla Chai from Memphis-based Ugly Mug while watching Lucas on the Indie Channel. Noted while watching said movie, Jeremy Piven in 1986 looks pretty much just like Jeremy Piven in 2010, but Charlie Sheen was way hotter in 1986.
Roasted okra from my garden (just a little olive oil, salt and pepper - yum!) 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Things that are terrible for you

It's Elvis week in Memphis, which means thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the Bluff City to celebrate the King. This year is the 33rd anniversary of his death and the culmination of the week is the candlelight vigil on Sunday. I've always thought I would like to go to the vigil at least once just to say I've done it. However, since it's August in Memphis and h o t I can't bring myself to go do it. After living an hour or less from Graceland my entire life we finally went earlier this year (see my Flickr set here for lots of photos). Poor Elvis.
In honor of the King I made a grilled peanut-butter-banana sandwich for dinner Wednesday night, with a few tweaks. 
The bread was sliced challah, one side was peanut butter, the other side was maple almond butter, banana in the middle sprinkled with cinnamon and a tiny bit of sugar. Cooked in a pan with about 1.5 tbsp. of butter ( I told you it was terrible for you). It was good, really good. I wanted to do one side with Nutella instead of almond butter but I was out of it. I am positive that it was have been awesome though. 
Previously I have professed my love for Cakespy aka Jessie Oleson, she's inspired me to visit bakeries, cupcake shops, doughnut joints and more when I travel. Her recipes are crazy, insane gastronomical treats (see the Pie + Cake Shake, Cookie Dough Filled Funfetti Cupcakes, and Grilled Cheesecake just to name a few). Earlier this week I saw her recipe for Double Chocolate Ice Cream Pudding Pie and I had to try it. 
Now normally I'm a from-scratch kind of gal but hell, every once in awhile I can throw caution to the wind and whip something up with ingredients that are not the least bit homemade. The recipe is at Serious Eats here and my only note is that I used a whisk for the first pie but it was lumpy so I switched to my handmixer for the second one and it was much smoother. 
Top it off with a few squirts of ReddiWip and you've got yourself a delicious dessert that might give you a cavity.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why yes, I am wearing wool

It's August in Memphis, also known as the most miserable month to be in Memphis. It's murderously hot - really - see this Commercial Appeal story for proof. But hey let's pretend it's cold enough for a wool hat! Meet the Ballard Slouch hat, although it's not very slouchy.

I knit it up in a matter of days last week using the new Quince & Co. lark yarn, which is 100% squishy American wool, the colorway is Sorbet. It took less than a skein so I have more yarn to knit a another hat. 

I don't really have to wait until the fall to wear my lacy Clothilde shawl, I finished it up last week too.
The yarn is MadelineTosh sock in the Isadora colorway.
My blocking skills still need work but I like how it turned out, a perfect way to keep the industrial AC chill off my shoulders. 

I'm at a stopping point with my cotton tank because I want to do bust darts but I'm having trouble with the math involved (shocking isn't it!). I really just need to sit down and force myself to work it out. Also on the needles is a new sock yarn shawl (Damson, pattern here), a top down baby raglan for my soon-to-arrive nephew and my first sock. I need way more knitting time! 

Monday, August 09, 2010

Back from the beach

This morning I had to face the sad reality of going back to work after our week-long sojourn. Truthfully, I crave my weekly routine, even if it involves dragging myself back to work.
We had a good trip, the water was a little mucky because of vegetation but cleared up the last few days. I got a lot of knitting done and was able to knit a hat for my Christmas present stash and finish my shawl I started at the end of July.
Most of our days were spent laying on the beach and our nights were spent relaxing in the condo and watching bad television.
Toward the end of the week we took a sunset cruise on the Nathaniel Bowditch schooner and I completely fell in love with being on a sailboat. I have a zillion more photos on my Flickr account (linked at the bottom).
The weather was beautiful, there was great music, cheese and wine and the feeling of being away from everything that was bothering me.
I didn't think about our roof leak or worry about all the million things going on around me that I can't control, I just enjoyed being on a gorgeous sailboat and relaxing. Needless to say I want to take another sailboat trip, maybe I can find one in Seattle?
On Friday we drove to down to Seaside to have lunch and shop. It was miserably hot and we ended up choosing a restaurant based solely on the fact that the seating was indoors. It turned out fine though, we had a really tasty fennel sausage pizza and marinated olives at Bud & Alley's Pizza Bar
A new cupcake place has popped up in Seaside since we last visited and I was eager to try it. It's a totally cute place (located inside a converted Airstream) but the cupcakes themselves were 'meh' at best.
The frosting was too sweet and the cake too dry, maybe the fact that it was about a billion degrees had something to do with it? My only regret is that I turned down gelato for the cupcakes - such a mistake. We poked around town until the heat got to us and we drove back to our condo. 
All in all it was a good trip, no oil seen at all. If you've been thinking about  going to the Gulf or you already have reservations but were considering canceling them don't do it, just go. Most of the communities along the coast rely on tourists dollars and they need you to continue to visit them.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Gingered Carrot Cookies

Guess who drove nine hours with the Baking book? Me! Even though we're on vacation I brought my whisk and spices and Kitchen Aid (handmixer not the stand) and baked this week's selection from Natalia of gatti fili e farina. While carrots don't usually make you think of something delicious and sweet these were spot on. The carrots weren't detectable taste wise, even though you could see them. The raisins and coconut and pecans worked so well together. I would make these again, thanks for the selection Natalia!

Monday, August 02, 2010


We're on vacation in the Florida Panhandle. It's waaay hot but I hear it's way hot at home too. There's no oil on the beach but the water is kind of mucky because of kelp/seaweedy stuff. We're enjoying laying around, reading, drawing, napping, knitting, listening to the waves and not much else. Despite SPF 45 sunscreen I still managed to get sunburned. We'll be here until Sunday morning when we make the trek back to Memphis.