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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


table talk :: broccoli and what a mommy knows

this is how the conversation went with my son who will be four this summer:

*after seeing broccoli on his plate*

child: mommy, i don't like broccoli.
me: oh, you'll like it like this. i put butter, salt and some cheese on it. try it.
child: but, i already know i don't like it.
me: try it anyway. it's really good!

*he reluctantly tries it*

child: mommy, i LIKE IT!
me: see, i told you. you have to trust me. mommy knows a thing or two.
child: mommy, you know, like, FIVE things.

yes. somedays that really seems true.


Monday, April 28, 2008


cookie carnival :: april round-up!

it's time!

The Cookie for April was a lovely, delicate little thing called a Vanilla Bean Thin. i have to say, i really enjoyed this cookie a LOT. however, it's possible i enjoyed the dough even more. so very tasty. i'm a sucker for just about anything that includes vanilla bean. i'm not a big fan of cheesecake, but my good friends makes a kick-ass one vanilla bean cheesecake and when that gets served, i'm ALL over it.

some folks had a little trouble with crumbly dough. i was afraid i'd run into that, but i really didn't. these cookies were pretty easy for me to make. and they tasted so good with english breakfast tea. or a bit of coffee. or just plain milk.

i had my son in the kitchen whipping these up with me, of course, and he had a ball. i chose this recipe so that he could roll and cut. he gets so proud when he brings out his little rolling pin along side mine. we have fun together getting all doughy.

so, without further ado, here
's the recipe, the photos and links to all the other carnivalers posts!


urmet Magazine Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
1 fresh (moist) vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg yolk

Special equipment:
a 2-inch cookie cutter (we used a fluted diamond-shaped one)

Make vanilla sugar:
Scrape vanilla seeds from pod with tip of a knife into confectioners sugar. Halve pods crosswise and bury in
sugar. Cover tightly and let stand at least 24 hours and up to 1 month.

Make cookies:
Discard pods and transfer vanilla sugar to a food processor. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse just until mixture is in pea-size lumps. Add yolk and pulse just until a dough forms. Gather dough into 2 balls, then flatten into 2 (5-inch) disks and chill, each disk wrapped well in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325.

Roll out 1 disk (keep the other chilled) to less than 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut out shapes with floured cookie cutter and chill scraps. Arrange cookies 1/2 inch apart on a buttered large baking sheet. Make more cookies with remaining dough, rerolling scraps (but only once).

Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until edges are pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Cooks' notes:
::Dough can be chilled up to 2 days.
::Cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.

first in the round-up is kitty at boring
history girl. she's a funny one. she battled the crumbly dough and ended up the winner. you go, kitty!

next is megan at megan's cookin'. she went a different way and cut her cookies with a knife as opposed to using a cutter. and they look elegant!

on to mari with her jaw-dropping-awesome photography. (this is hers with the cookies tumbling from the jar). i've been a lurker on her blog for a while, and i love what she does, so i was all flattered that she wanted to join up with the carnival. check her post here.

then there's megan of my baking adventures. she also battled the crumbly dough, but persevered and made a great-looking batch of cookies. go megan!

last, but by no means least is sihan from walking in the rain,
who battled mother nature to get these cookies made! that's right. carnivaling cooks don't let anything get them down. read about it here. and check out some more beautiful photography. . . here's sihan's cookie photo.

thanks to everyone who participated this month! i hope we continue to grow and maybe get everyone who's signed up to bake in the same month. it would be so fun!

stay tuned for a little something different for the May Carnival!

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Sunday, April 27, 2008


bloggy giveaway :: we have a winner!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

thanks everyone, for entering my giveaway! the Cake Decorator's Bible goes to JINXY & ME of the blog JINXY KNOWS BEST! congratulations! i hope you'll visit me for the next one in the fall. but, of course, feel free to stop by and say hello anytime!

Happy Spring!

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Monday, April 21, 2008


bloggy giveaway :: a cake decorating cookbook!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

it's that time again! the quarterly bloggy giveaway! what could be better than free stuff?

this time, i'm offering a wonderful cookbook. THE CAKE DECORATOR'S BIBLE. it's awesome.

it's got recipes for fabulous cakes. it's got great pictorial step-by-step instructions for all kinds of cake decorating techniques. there are some pics here, but you can also do the "search inside" on

HOW to WIN it: all you have to do to is comment on this post.

i'll pick a winner randomly on April 27th. check back here to see who won, but also leave an email/blog address in your comment.

that's all!
be sure to go to for the list of other giveaways. there's sure to be TONS of great stuff offered.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008


anticipating summer :: ICE CREAM!

today it's going to reach 70 degrees here in my corner of New England. though we in these parts know it's just a tease, it does mean that Spring had actually, officially arrived. the tulips are out, the crocuses have croaked, the daffodils are ta-tooting (don't they look like little trumpets, announcing that Spring is here?) and we're feeling frisky.

for my son, this means that "summer, must be coming next week!" and summer means ice cream. and for us, that's something to get excited about. for him it's like Christmas. or even better.

so, today, in honor of the weather and thoughts of summer, i bring you my favorite ice cream recipe. FRESH STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM. it's yummy. really yummy.

it always amazes me when i make my first batch of ice cream in the summer (or spring) how much better it is than *any*thing you find in the market. it's just so good.

so, get our your ice cream makers everyone! it's time for some strawberry lovin'.



1 cup heavy/whipping cream
1/2 cup half & half
2/3 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled (from one 16-ounce container)


1. combine cream and half & half in heavy medium saucepan. stir sugar, yolks and corn syrup in medium bowl. bring cream mixture to simmer. gradually stir cream mixture into yolk mixture. return mixture to saucepan.
2. using wooden or rubber spatula, stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spatula when finger is drawn across, about 10 minutes (do not boil). transfer custard to bowl. cover and refrigerate custard until cold.
3. puree strawberries in food processor. gradually blend in custard. strain custard through fine-mesh sieve.

4. process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. transfer to container and freeze until firm. if you want to jazz it up a bit, mix in some chocolate chips before you put it in the freezer. that's some extra good yum.

that's all it takes, friends.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008


makeover :: a new blog!!

it's amazing.

my blog has a new face!

it's been prettied up by the FABULOUS summer. needless to say i love it and now i hope i can give it the attention it deserves and post a little more often than i have of late!

happy spring everyone! and if your blog needs a lift, call on summer. you won't be disappointed! and she only charges $25. a total bargain.

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Friday, April 11, 2008


blog for babies

in case you haven't heard about it, holly over at Phemomenon is doing a wonderful blog event--Blog For Babies by Making Little Wonders. here is a bit from her blog that will clue you in to her amazing journey as mother to her baby, Cole.

What some of you may not know about me is that I have been homebound since November 8, 2007. We have been in quarantine (and still are until at least May 1st).

Early last October I was 7 months pregnant with our second child. Another boy (heaven help me!). Roughly 8 weeks before my due date I started getting really sick. I was sick the entire pregnancy anyway, but this was different. This wasn’t normal, and it was intensely more painful. What I didn’t know at the time was that I had an uncommon form of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy - my body was giving up. Doctors don’t know what causes this or how it happens. I went for some tests to find out what was wrong and about two hours later Cole was here. All 3 lbs 6 oz of him. He was okay, but he was very small and underdeveloped for how far along I was.

her blog event asks us to make something little. something to honor the little ones among us who have a rough start in life. go to her blog for lots more info. the idea is for her to gain sponsors for the March for Babies, which is happening soon. here is the link to her March of Dimes page where you can sponsor her. she also is trying to just raise awareness of the event.

in addition, holly is looking for donations of prizes that she can giveaway. though i am unable to do the event this month, i have given a prize for her to give away. it's a onesie. for those of you who don't know about my clothing line. hit my

and go over and visit holly! give her some love!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008


the cake = YUM.

on sunday my son and i had High Tea. yes. we sliced into that cake and had some vanilla nut tea. it was lovely. we even had candles!

i'm definitely a big fan of the cake recipe of Dorie's that was chosen for last month's Daring Bakers challenge. but, i think, even more than the cake, the frosting is where it's at. so good. and so easy! sometimes butter cream can be a pain. but not this one. and i'm not sure why. all i know is it's tasty.

especially with lemon.


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Sunday, April 6, 2008


being a mom is hard.

it's been a long week of not being able to find time to post! so, i have to ask. . .how do you mommy bloggers do it? especially the ones who bake and cook like crazy, too. . . and post about it all!

cause i gotta say, having 2 kids is kicking my butt. the laundry, the dishes, the constant messes. how to keep up with that and still have time for my "stuff" (i.e. this blog) is becoming a mystery to me.

the fun news is that my blog is being redesigned. whoo hoo! i just hope i can do it justice by posting regularly! we'll see.

today we'll be slicing into The Cake. that will cheer me up! i love anything lemon and raspberry and people are raving about the recipe. so, here's hoping mine came out well.

back to the dishes. . .

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Thursday, April 3, 2008


cookie carnival :: april!

it's carnival time!
so, this month's cookies are VANILLA BEAN THINS! a simple, elegant cookie. and it's a good one to do with kids who can roll and cut dough.

the posting date for the round-up will be APRIL 28th. carnivalers, there's an email on the way to you and those not yet involved if you'd like to join, here's how it works:

:: send an email to kate{AT}thecleanplateclub{DOT}net, please put "cookie carnival" in the subject line. and i'll email you the recipe of the month.

:: when you've made your batch of cookies and posted about it, email me the direct link to your post and i'll include you in the round-up on the specified day the end of the month. please include a picture if you can and i'll put that up as well.

:: i will send you an email every month with the recipe for that month. you are in no way obligated to participate every month, but this way you can if you want to. you can also email me to unsubscribe at any time.



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