Continuing our baking adventures here at Small Pond, last weekend brought a peach crisp to the kitchen lab. It almost worked.
I cobbled together recipes found around the net for the topping and baking temp/time. I mixed some vanilla paste into the sliced peaches. I ended up using 1 cup each of flour and sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup of cold butter in cubes and a teaspoon or 2 of cinnamon sugar because I apparently am all out of cinnamon. I skipped the oats. Continue reading
In my post about plans for a three-day weekend, I mentioned my intentions to bake a lame cherry pie. Or to bake a cherry pie lamely. Since the pie turned out tasty. I’ll go with the latter.
Why the lame baking? Continue reading
Day 14 – Today I am thankful I’m not afraid to go back to basics and cook something from scratch.
It’s awfully easy to grab a box of brownie mix at the grocery story and whip it up. heck, add some chocolate chips or cinnamon from the pantry and you can feel like you’re really cooking. And you are. I like box mixes of things. They’re easy and they taste good so why not use them? Reproducible results every time.
On the other hand, I decided to try making brownies from scratch a while back. The recipe from The Joy of Cooking for Brownies Cockaigne not only has a fun-to-say name, but is freakin’ amazing. Seriously. It’s also easy to do. The brownies taste best (almost) when they’re fresh out of the oven and still warm. Microwaving a cold brownie for about 20 seconds will produce the same result.
The best taste though comes from about halfway through the baking process. You’ve melted your chocolate and butter and added eggs, sugar and vanilla. You have the flour measured and ready to go in. Taste the batter first. then have a spoonful. Then tell yourself you probably should add the flour and actually make the brownies because sitting on your couch playing Dead Island while eating partially made brownie batter with uncooked eggs may not be the most adult thing you’ve ever done in your life. Promise you’ll make a special batch of pre-flour batter some other time to eat in the privacy of a closet where no one will see.
By the way, cockaigne refers to a mythical land (often written about by 12th and 13th century poets) that is a land of plenty. It’s often used as a parody setting where idleness and gluttony reign supreme with few consequences. Perhaps sitting on the couch with a pot of batter would only serve to honor the word’s origins. Hmm.
It’s been a while since I wrote a cake-related post, but since I had a chance to try a new technique for my sister’s birthday cake, I thought I’d share.
It’s also been a while since I decorated a cake so when the birthday cake came up, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to do something I’d never done before and that looked complicated: the frozen buttercream transfer. You can google that phrase and find tons of videos and images. In a nutshell, you use icing on an image like a coloring book, freeze it and then flip it onto a cake. Easy enough.
Having a blog makes me look at things a little differently. I’ll be out with friends and think “I could write about this … as long as I changed the names to protect the guilty and placed black bars across their eyes in incriminating photos.” Everything is possible source material for a blog post/essay.
When I ended up in front of a sushi boat sometime in the beginning of the year and tried octopus for the first (and last) time, I thought it’d be interesting to keep a log of things I learned over the year. Okay, maybe it’s only interesting to me and to one or two of the six of you who read the blog.
My iPhone addiction came in handy. When I realized I learned something, I added it to a running Notes. It’s not a long list. And it’s not a profound list. My life hasn’t radically changed this year. I didn’t discover the secret to cold fusion or learn a second language. It’s just a list of odds and ends that I picked up. The list isn’t in order of importance, but in chronological order. Continue reading