28 September 2012

Random Recipe - Caraway Seed Cake and More Tea!

All that talk of the perfect tea accompaniment in the last post reminded me that Dom's monthly Random Recipe challenge was coming to round-up! Oh dear ... must make more sweets for tea, but first a short update. I have been sooo good on my diet, everyone! I am down just over 20 pounds and am still motivated to lose another 20 ... these will be the hard ones, so I have to be savvy about the sweets that I make.

25 September 2012

Black Cherry Thumbprints in Almond Dust

... self-portrait with teapot ...

Need I say more? The perfect tea time treat ... we 're having ours with a pot of classic Earl Grey.

22 September 2012

The Art of Being Alone ... and Good Supper

When you have good soup and warm bread and really good butter, it's okay to be alone for supper. Just sayin' ...

14 September 2012

Two Words ...

I found a new blog to drool over, folks! A Full Measure of Happiness is a pretty cool place and Lauren Zietsman has wonderful taste  ... she loves everything that I do! Wink, wink! The other day,she posted a spicy coconut curry squash soup that looked fantastic. I knew I had to make it, as I am jumping up and down for soups these days. Originally, I was going to make Lauren's soup with a cracker recipe, but when I saw just how thick and spicy and lovely it is, I knew I had to make flatbreads topped with sage and rosemary ... it really IS a good thing when one follows gut feelings and they turn out to be spot on ...
Another gut feeling? When I looked at that soup in the pot, I knew I had to play with all the oranges and golds that this time of the summer gives us  .... back to Two Words.  

12 September 2012

Pork Chops with Plums and Chinese Spices


Last evening, I made the most delicious pork chop sear that I have ever made ... period. Peace.

10 September 2012

Sachertorte - For Birthday and Breakfast

Can you blame me ? I could not resist the chocolate ganache and that sweet brandy-scented apricot jam filling. A dense chocolate torte - denser than I would have liked, but still pretty darn good. I brewed really strong coffee this morning and had a repeat of yesterday's birthday dessert that we knoshed for Sprout Sara's birthday lunch.

06 September 2012

Vegetable Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

There is nothing like a big fresh portabella mushroom. When I was in the market yesterday, I found a big cardboard box sitting out in the produce section with a mound of these portabella mushrooms. They were so fresh and dirty - softly moist with no dry edges or puckered spots. I was already thinking about what I could stuff them with, as I picked up four that were as big around as softballs.

I never wash my mushrooms, do you? I just use a soft brush and a damp paper towel to rub them free of any loose soil. I know there's probably a residue of humus still there, but I prefer that to the slimy wetness they get when you wash them. Preparing portabellas for stuffing is a fun exercise for me ... I am always amazed at the soft brown gills and the satisfying 'pop' that the stem makes when you flick it loose with your thumb. The insides of the fungi is so white and perfect where the stem has snapped free. That little bowl of space with the gills and the outer rim of fringe is a blank palette for some creative slicing and dicing ...

04 September 2012

BYOB - Cider Doughnut Muffins

What could be easier than a simple apple flavoured muffin, dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar? It's a dead ringer for the seasonal apple cider doughnuts that will be popping up at the coming Fall festivals!

01 September 2012

Corn Pudding ... Ina's Way

It's funny. I have never been a real fan of corn pudding, as I find it bland and mushy. It's also funny that Ina Garten starts her commentary on this Sagaponack Corn Pudding recipe with the same sentiment. After making her recipe, however, I'm a new convert. This was NOT a bland and mushy corn pudding! Granted, I am making this at the height of the fresh corn season here in New England and not in the dead of winter with frozen corn. I also used the sharpest zingiest cheese I could find and I sprinkled the top of the pudding with really hot cayenne pepper to really add heat.

Incidentally? It's still mushy, but I'm past that.

Here's the back story ...