Monday, May 20, 2013

Sage Juleps

Warning: these are not true juleps. So, if you're here looking for cocktail snobbishness, you will find no such thing at the moment & should perhaps look elsewhere!

Tuesday, while I was making a plum and ginger simple syrup for my purple buttercream frosting, (which went on my lemon cake), Husband started making a plain simple syrup, which can only mean that he's fixing up some iced tea or that he's fixing up some cocktails.  It was indeed cocktails, which he served post-school/work.

So these are the beautiful cocktails he created, and this is how he made them!
(I know, this is not even my recipe, but it's Husband's and "what's mine is yours", etc. so we can share things!)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I intend to buy myself these things at the end of June for a present to myself!

They're all really useful things which I don't yet have, and I think my cake and candy making would benefit tremendously from having them! :D
I could definitely go for a prettier one, but a cake turntable is very useful & I must get one soon.
Silicone mats are the most useful for candy making, cookie baking, anything with chocolate, pate choux, etc. they are just so much better than a naked pan, and this package has 3, with very convenient sizes.
pretty cups & baking cups to display cupcakes in!
I think for my practice cooking & personal consumption, this pan is probably the perfect size 

candy thermometer is a necessity for candy, marshmallows, etc. but I also would like this one for meats , etc. as well! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

This is not a recipe I'm posting, but rather a success story on my decorating! Look at how beautiful this cake turned out!
Look at this adorable dog named Cocoa! I was trying to get Inanna to play with her for the longest time yesterday at the college's campus! She's so pretty right?!
It was really a beautiful day at campus, Inanna and I had a wonderful time hanging out & we even got to see some of our friends! One of whom's been living in Switzerland for a while, so Inanna met her for the first time yesterday!

I had intended on a middle layer of lemon curd, but because of time constraints, I opted for my buttercream to go around the whole cake, though, I still included the lemon curd as a side option!
 Inanna is so beautiful! And so was my cake, so I think this is possibly one of the most beautiful combinations that has ever existed.  :) 
Look at all of these beautiful types of flowers and leaves and swirls on  my cake! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Barbecues and Bones

In other food related news, I had a great time at a barbecue last weekend with some really great food!

I ate smoked salmon & ribs with a really unique barbecue sauce, a southern and latin fusion it was outstanding.  Also, jerk chicken & rice and beans with a little kick. Yeah, I pigged out a little! Okay, a lot. But it was well worth it & I definitely saved Husband's & my rib bones for the girls!
This is not my dog, but it was the crazy dog at the barbecue! His name was Chance!
Iri just rubbed her beak around on them and enjoyed using them as a very  tasty scratching board for her beak; but was definitely reluctant to give it up!
She wasn't actually mad here, she was playing with a bone and going crazy!

Inanna, however, was adorably fascinated by the bones.  I'm so lucky; she's not the type of dog that would ever growl or be aggressive about someone approaching her with a bone.  It allows me to pet her and bother her and take lots of pictures while she's gnawing away.

I even gave this tiny squirt a bone Monday morning at 4:45 am & for the first time ever her tired self was awake and alert before I went to work! She was very happy & hardly noticed I was leaving her for the day!

Till next time,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Last week was a horrible week with a lot of tragedy.  It's hard to know how to feel besides immense grief and confusion.  But when I'm stressed or not understanding things, I usually decide to bake.  Please forgive me, but the best I could muster up last Monday were these Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes.
They are a basic vanilla cupcake, with a vanilla pastry cream filling and a chocolate ganache buttercream frosting.  

These might be better with my traditional chocolate eclair glaze.  I'll try these again for a party sometime soon and use my really delicious eclair glaze, compare and make a decision then!

The basic vanilla cupcake is a fabulous recipe from Amy Sedaris, a hilarious author and apparently chef!  Her recipe instructions are the funniest and most entertaining.  I read them on Epicurious, but they're originally from her book I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.
Amy Sedaris's Vanilla Cupcakes
And, as far as pastry cream goes, it may seem like a pretty difficult thing to do, but if you've got the right recipe and can follow it well enough, it is really quite simple to make.  Please accept my apologies for teasing you right now, but I will disclose the recipe for my pastry cream sometime soon, I promise! I don't usually work off of recipes with the things I make frequently, I kind of throw things in all at the same time & then after another thing, or whatever... But I'll write things down as soon as I make it this next time & there'll be some wonderful production about it!
As far as Chocolate Ganache Buttercream goes, this was a wonderful opportunity to create a great chocolate buttercream that tasted wonderfully & was also as manipulable as is needed to make most designs for frosting, most simply the traditional cupcake topper from buttercream, that grand swirl!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

For lunch today?

Chinese Cabbage Salad & Cornbread crust-white pizza! I'll make a post soon after while I'm eating it alll!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chicken Ballotine stuffed with Spinach, Almond Sausage & Roasted Garlic

For April's Daring Cooks Challenge, the task was to debone a chicken and create Chicken Ballotine.  After lots of contemplation over the flavor pallet, I decided on this interesting combination!

It turned out just as deliciously as it looks.
This was a very juicy, very indulgent meal.  It was so absolutely delicious, the stuffing had the perfect hint of beer, the chicken was cooked perfectly, and to cut the salt from the meat & especially the sausage, I drizzled a spinach-mustard puree  around the plate, which was the perfect complement.  & because I'm Southern and we do like our spicy, I, of course, had to include some spicy pepper paste.