The last month has been absolute madness, as I am sure it has been for most people thanks to the holidays. Sunday was the blizzard. Absolutely serene but bitterly cold. How perfect that it was the day after Christmas. (Merry Belated Christmas, btw.) I finally got a chance to breathe and make some cookies, cookies that I have never made before. I think they turned out pretty decently. Thanks, Emeril.
Updates, updates, updates! Summer has ended, but boy have I been soaking up the summer. I've been cooking and baking a lot, but failing to have the enthusiasm to take pictures of them. But, Time at the Table featured my picture and recipe for their September newsletter! (Although my name was misspelled and they are on to their October newsletter, I was excited to see my picture and recipe featured!) I must clarify that the recipe is actual from Anatole's family. And I must thank them for passing this recipe onto us to enjoy. In reflection, this has been an incredible summer because I have gotten to appreciate food. And by food, I mean fresh food - produce, meat, natural ingredients. I have gotten into a natural food kick, but I must admit, I still have a weakness when it comes to potato chips. I'm working on that though. So feast your eyes on a few of the goodies made this summer, made from all natural ingredients! (and a few of my favorite shots from Vermont.)
So lately, I've just been enjoying the weather and the World Cup. Yeah!
And on I've been trying to sprinkle in some good deeds into my daily routine.
Ome of these god deeds was to help my friend's school out. She's the new director of a nursery school and the school is in bad financial shape.
So they have been holding weekly flea markets to raise money just to paint the school.
Since I have the time but not the money to help, I decidedto make some goodies so that they can sell them to raise money.
I ended up making several dozen chocolate chip cookies and some rice krispy treats. Even had time to experiment with a new recipe for Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies. (I didn't have enough chocolate chips to meet the recipe, so I added in some peanut butter chips.) I'm not sure, but I think people liked these a lot since they went faster than the traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies I made. But why wouldn't you like it? It's a marriage between two awesome cookies! mmmm.
The cookies and snacks ended up raising more than $30 for the kids. We'll start small and go from there. :)
It's been so long since I've had a new post that I almost forgot how to do it.
But lucky for you readers, I didn't.
It's been nearly 2 months since the last post...this is not atypical as I've done this before. Usually, the reason was because I was too busy or had nothing to post. But I have been out and about doing things, but I could not get myself to blog or even take pictures of what I have been up to. Sheer laziness this time.
So since February I've obviously baked and cooked. I have even travelled!
I tried out a new banana bread recipe using nearly black bananas. Because I have just recently read on numerous blogs and sites that bananas ripened until they are black is the secret to moist banana bread. The recipe I tried the first time around didn't quite measure up to expectations. It was moist, but I'm not sure if it was because it was supposed to be that way or if it was underbaked. Attempt 2 will take place this week and results will be documented.
But last night was a success story! My first time using my deep fryer to make Spicy Fried Chicken. I think it turned out pretty well.
Today's lunch - Cracked peppercorn turkey sandwich with Lars spicy brown mustard (soooo good), swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers on a Brooklyn Bread bagel. Lately, I can only imagine eating sandwiches from fresh baked breads/bagels...so I got some fresh bagels from the neighborhood.
Pictures of Anatole's caramel birthday cake. The chocolate glaze clumped, so I had to do without the glaze. Maybe on the next cake it will work out.
Failed Chocolate Glaze. I tried to fix the glaze, but it was too late. The oils and sugars separated from the chocolate. At least I had the strawberries! Something about strawberries and cake - it's always a winning combination. Tomorrow morning I am going to try to make a carrot cake for a special baby. Chocolate is his favorite, but he loves all cake, so I thought I would make it semi-healthy by baking a carrot cake. lol. I hope to get shots of him with frosting all over his face! lol.
Happy Birthday, Anatole! Today is a special day, so I am making cake and then we are going to eat it! mmmm. I'm trying out this awesome Caramel Cake with Caramel Frosting and Chocolate Glaze recipe. I may forego the extra layers on account of me being a bit lazy. Nah, the real reason is because I cracked the cake a bit when I flipped it out of the pan so it is quite fragile. I mixed pastry flour with the all purpose flour because I wanted to see if this would make the cake moister, which might be why it was so delicate. In the past I have made cakes that I felt could be better if they were more moist. I would consider this cake a winner if it was moist and tasted delicious, despite having less layers. The birthday boy would never know that I skimped out on the extra layers anyway. Pics to come soon.
P.S. It is also my sister's birthday. But I bought her a cake. Hey, don't judge me. It's her husbands job to bake her the cake. Maybe next year I will bake two. So Happy Birthday to two very important people in my life.
I know I previously hadn't written too much about food, but if you know me, you know that I love, love, love food. The 3rd Annual Village Voice Choice Eats of 2010 has been announced. Read more here. Sounds so tempting, but I hate fighting for my food. (Believe me, there will be mobs and food struggles at this event.) I believe everyone should eat and eat well without having to push any little kids down to ensure you get your share.
And now, some food porn. Definitely spent more time shooting the cookies. I couldn't help it. I was hungry by the time the chicken and vegetables were cooking. Beware, I like to shoot food up close and in your face. I love how everything looks so bright, like I had all morning to cook.
Nestle Toll House Recipe (Simple and satisfying.) 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter smashed. Mix in Brown Sugar and Sugar mix. Add Vanilla and Mix. Then add eggs. Once eggs have been mixed well into the batter, gradually add the flour. Mix until flour is completely mixed in and add the chocolate chips. (I used the whole bag. yummo!) Ready for the cookie sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.
I started running out of baking sheets for all those cookies, so I decided to make one giant cookie and a few mini ones on the side. Epic fail, but the cookies still tasted good. Looks kind of like a turtle though. (Tip: Do NOT use butter to line the baking sheets like you normally would for cakes or bread. The butter burns the bottom of the cookies. I learned that the hard way. Use parchment paper of just slap the dough directly onto the pan.)
Dinner was a typical Chicken with Diced Tomatoes since we were going to try to catch a movie. (Percy Jackson, the Lightning Thief if you were wondering. We didn't make it to the movie, but decided to take a walk in the cold.) Basically we add the chicken to fry on the pan until cooked 3/4 of the way and then add diced tomatoes and seasoned to taste. Let the tomatoes simmer and cook down into a nice sauce. Tonight is was paired with sauteed zucchini, snow peas and carrots. Seasoned with salt and pepper.
Loving my new shots using my SB-600. I don't know why I never thought to use it indoors to shoot food. Thanks, White on Rice Couple for that helpful tip.
Friday, January 22nd was my last day of work. It's been two weeks now. And I am not ashamed to say that I have been sleeping 10 hours a day and enjoying the time. This is not as easy as it seems, folks! Being the self-imposed workaholic that I was, it's quite a bit for me to just sit down. I still haven't really been able to do that.
What I have been doing a lot is thinking about food. Must be the lack of mental stimulation, but since I'm just watching some TV or surfing the internet, I find myself being hungry all the time. Then I look for recipes and think of new things I want to make. I'm always thinking about what I can eat next now a days.
This could be the start of an eating addiction, but hopefully the start of some epiphanies about what I want to do next.
Some food porn. Right now, they're pretty dark but I'm researching some tutorials on how to fake good daylight in the kitchen. Cause food looks even more glorious when its all bright. Wait for those to come soon.
Title is from Zombieland. Surprisingly one of the better movies of 2009. I've been MIA for a while. I've been meaning to do a lot of things but not doing it. (I know, my usual MO.) With the craziness of the holidays and work, I haven't been able to do a 2009 recap or wish everyone a Happy New Year yet. So, Happy New Year, Everyone!
A fresh start is coming for me in 2 weeks. Lots to do. Hello 2010!