Archive for September, 2010

What’s Going On

September 30, 2010

Hey people! I just got back from a work trip to Maryland. It was a short, and mostly sweet visit. Sadly I didn’t get to try anything from Cakelove, one of their local bakeries. I stopped in after dinner my first night just to check it out, but was so stuffed of tuna and coconut rice, I couldn’t bring myself to purchase anything. I vowed I would be back to devour a S’mores cupcake, but it just didn’t happen.

Boo.  Ah, well. I am headed to San Francisco tomorrow, so I think I’ll make up for it there with assorted baked goods & ice cream.

And then, a week from tomorrow, I will be en route to Kansas City to be in Jennie & Perry’s wedding!

I actually may have to rethink this San Fran Carly vs. Food thing.  I have a bridesmaid dress to fit into after all.  Hmm.

Speaking of health food, I found those Caramel Apple Pops on a recent Walgreens visit.  Different apple varietals–Green Apple, Golden Delicious, & Macintosh.  I should work for a candy company.  Seriously, how fun?  They were all delicious.  The Golden and Macintosh were a tad sweeter than the original Green.  I love the seasonal candy/decoration aisles at stores. Target is an especially dangerous place for me.  I lose all sense of time and purpose.  Just ask Roomie L.

I will try to keep posting during my travels.  Excited and just a bit tired…

XOXO

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The Shower

September 25, 2010

My sister Michel’s wedding shower was last Sunday, and it was a success! We had a lot going on, but everything came together, no one was hurt, and we all made it to work on Monday morning mostly unscathed.

My Dad grilled chicken. My Ma & I made this barley salad recipe. We made a lot of this recipe. We should have made more, but I don’t think we had a big enough pot. It was so hearty and tasty.

My aunts and cousins made salads and appetizers and pretty jello molds.

My grandmother made a billion cookies. By the time we were cleaning up my Aunt’s place post-party, they were all gone. She’s a pretty great baker.

We made chocolate caramel cupcakes. A bit of a frosting mishap, but still super good.

I made nectarine sorbet and served it with a drizzle of red wine and strawberries.

Too much food!

I wish I took more pictures.

But it was busy!

Anyway, if you have cute pics from Michel’s big day, please email them my way. And… here’s the cupcake recipe…

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes


from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

makes 20 cupcakes

3 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (half cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup milk, room temperature

1 stick (half cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
sea salt for garnish

For the cupcakes:

Preheat your oven to 350° F and prep your cupcake tins with paper liners.

On low power nuke the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.  Stop the microwave to stir every thirty seconds until chocolate is smooth and melted.  Set aside and cool to room temperature.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Using a hand mixer, cream 1 stick of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and eggs, then the cooled chocolate.

Add the flour mixture to the batter in four parts, alternating with the addition of the milk.  Beat until just combined.

Pour batter into cupcake pans.  Bake 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.

For the frosting:

In a heavy-bottomed 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to low but maintain boil for 2 minutes and continue to stir the caramel.

Carefully add 1/2 cup of the milk to the caramel.  Return to a boil, and then remove from heat.  Cool for 30 minutes until caramel is lukewarm.

Transfer cooled caramel to a mixing bowl.  With a hand mixer, gradually incorporate the powdered sugar and milk.  Beat 3-4 minutes.  Chill frosting in fridge until ready to frost cupcakes, at least 1-2 hours.

Whip frosting with mixer to a spreadable consistency.  Add sugar or milk if necessary.  Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with sea salt.

My Sister is Getting Married. And, Soon!

September 18, 2010

You know KC Jennie is getting married soon. In October. Remember? I made these for her bachelorette party.

Yep yep.

Well, my sis Michel is getting married in November! This week things have been getting more “real” and exciting as the bridal shower is tomorrow! My goofy family is making all the food AND desserts, so I will hopefully have a really fun shower post for you.  My contribution is nectarine sorbet and some cupcake decorating.

Two batches of nectarine sorbet?  MADE.  This is the only documentation I have.  Yet.  I’ll try to snap some pics when I’m serving it tomorrow.

In related news I finished up my shower gift-buying. I spent about 30 minutes staring at cake pans and OXO gadgets at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I resisted buying anything for myself, which I can assure you, was a true act of will power. Just look at this…

Dino Mini Cake Pan.  Love.

After ogling dinos and mini tart pans (why are mini versions of things so adorable?), I regained focus and picked out a few registry pans.  What I’m most excited about though is this…

Love Flo Braker.  And want this book.  Sigh.  Good thing it’s already wrapped all pretty so I can’t steal it for myself.  I hope my sis will like it!

 

 

 

Apple Picking

September 14, 2010

We had our second annual family apple-picking outing this weekend.

My little brother wasn’t there. Tear. He’s too busy being smart in Minnesota. BUT, I had a great time with Jen and my rents. And it was about 50º warmer than when we went last October. No hats, gloves, or scarves required.

The best thing… one of my favorite bloggers, Joy the Baker, posted this apple pancake recipe. I can’t wait until next weekend to whip up a batch, so there will be a brinner dinner this week. Featuring apple pancakes. And probably bacon.

Also on the agenda, two batches of nectarine sorbet, and frozen pumpkin custard. If I commit my plans in writing here, that means I gotta do em, right?

I will go to the gym I will go the gym I will go to the gym I will go to the gym.

Am I Ready for Fall?

September 9, 2010

Am I ready for fall?  Let’s see… my electric bill for August was over $200 (90° days + antiquated mammoth AC window unit = trouble), I’ve lost both my pairs of flip flops, and my office declared last Thursday and Friday “wear shorts to work” days.

Yep, I am ready.  I’m ready for sweaters and tights and boots.  And I’m so so ready for caramel apples and tea dates.  And holing up in my apartment during stormy weather.  I have all my moody Fall things ready…

Moody, gothick novels.

 

Moody movies.  Hitchcock. Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Jimmy Stewart.  Yes.

Double Shot Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Very necessary.

 

And speaking of pumpkin…

!  I am ready for baking.  FALL baking.

Also secured: trench coat, umbrella, red lipstick (so as to emulate Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Jimmy Stewart, and Kim Novak).  All important things for stormy weather.

Now all I need is the perfect Halloween costume idea and the leaves can start turning.  Any thoughts?

Mascarpone Love

September 7, 2010

While very common, tiramisu is not “old school” Italian fare by any means. A quick wiki search shows that the layered dessert is maybe thirty, forty years old max. Which means that when my Gram and I decided to make this, we did not have a family recipe to refer to. Based on everyone’s feedback, I think we managed just fine with Gale Gand’s recipe. It’s ridiculously good. Coffee, whipped cream, chocolate, mascarpone, KAHLUA… I mean how can you go wrong? And the best part is, you don’t even have to turn on your oven. Just get you hand/stand mixers ready. Make this for people you really REALLY like.
Tiramisu
Recipe barely adapted from Gale Gand’s for the Food Network. WARNING, this recipe uses RAW eggs, and lots of ’em. You MUST splurge on the pasteurized, salmonella-free eggs at your grocery store. No poisoning people, K?  Also, the gelatin won’t add any flavor to the tiramisu, but it will help your mousse set, so don’t skip it!

7 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 cups mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 Tablespoons unflavored gelatin powder
4 1/2 Tablespoons water
3 egg whites
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 1/4 cup, cooled espresso or strongly brewed coffee
1/4 cup Kahlua
20-24 ladyfingers
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2- 3/4 cup dark chocolate shavings

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the egg yolks and one cup of the sugar until color pales and “ribbon stage” is reached.  This is at the point in beating when a spatula drawn through the yolks will leave a trail that lasts a few moments.  Add mascarpone and mix until combined, set aside.

In a small heat-safe bowl combine gelatin and water.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  The gelatin will firm.  Fill a slightly larger, microwave-safe bowl with an inch or two of water.  Heat in microwave until water is boiling, about two minutes.  Remove from microwave, placing smaller bowl with gelatin in larger one, creating a double boiler.  Stir gelatin well.  Gelatin will begin to soften, and then liquefy.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks and then mix in 1/4 cup of sugar.  Slowly add gelatin.  Whip egg whites to stiff, glossy peaks.  Gently fold in whipped cream, and then the egg yolk mixture until combined.  Now you’re ready to assemble your tiramisu.

In a small bowl, combine Kahlua and espresso.  Quickly dip both sides of the ladyfingers into the espresso mixture and arrange in the bottom of an 8″x10″ pan in a single layer.  Ladyfingers should be close to each other, using 10-12 in the first layer.  Cover the ladyfingers with half of the mascarpone mixture.  With a sifter, dust the layer with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder.  Then create a second layer with 10-12 more espresso soaked ladyfingers and the rest of the mascarpone.  Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Chill in the fridge 2-3 hours until the layers have set.

Sooooo good.  Thanks Gram for making it with me!

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

September 6, 2010

I had some awesome people over for dinner last week. It was a super casual, sort of last minute, takeout-fueled dinner party. Aren’t those the best?  No elaborate  prep, easy clean up. I am pretty lazy during the week post-work, but takeout I can do.  And we ordered Indian food, and I love love Indian food. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t taste the same when you make it at home. Or at least when I make it at home. I guess I have to work on my curry skills.

Because I really like my special dinner guests, I got over my sloth and was able to pull together a homemade, albeit pretty easy, dessert. Thank you David Lebovitz, master of all frozen confections, for inspiring me to save my ultra-ripe bananas from a boring smoothie demise. I had originally looked through The Perfect Scoop to figure out how to make a Mango Lassi type fro yo (which I still plan on doing), BUT came across this recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand (that almost never happens) and exactly three on-the-edge bananas. Fate.

Roasted Banana Ice Cream with Mocha Sauce


both from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.  Note that the original recipes calls for whole milk.  I used skim, because that was what I had on hand.  With the Mocha Sauce, I liked the “lighter” consistency of the ice cream, but if you want yours a bit richer, go with 2% or whole.

3 medium ripe bananas
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup strongly brewed coffee
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 Tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted), divided

To make the ice cream, first preheat your oven to 400° F.

Peel and slice the bananas into 1/2 inch pieces.  Toss them in a 2-quart baking dish with brown sugar and butter.  Bake 30-35 minutes, uncovered, stirring halfway through.  Bananas will be brown and syrupy.

Cool for 15 minutes.  Scoop bananas and syrup into a blender or food processor.  Add milk, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt.  Blend until smooth.

Chill the banana mixture in your fridge until cool, and then process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

To make the Mocha Sauce, stir the first three ingredients together in a saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil, do not stir.  Boil for 30 seconds and then remove from heat.  Whisk in chocolate and butter until melted and combined.  Let sauce rest one hour.  Reheat to desired temperature before serving.

You can make the Mocha Sauce  up to two weeks in advance.  Store in the fridge and rewarm in the microwave on low power, stirring every minute or so until hot.

Pour Mocha Sauce over ice cream and top with chocolate chips, crumbled cookies, whipped cream, etc..