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Thursday, July 31, 2008

 

cookie carnival :: july round-up!

hi folks!

well.

i won't lie. it's been a helluva month. busier than expected. stressful. sick kids and sick momma. hubby working all the time. i just couldn't make it happen to make the bleepin' bars. it was just out of reach this month.

i apologize. but i also figure i don't require the carnivalers to participate every month, so i should cut myself a little slack, too.

that being said, LOTS of folks did pull it off! so, let's take a look at how every one did. i will make these bars eventually because getting all your pictures has made my mouth water daily. they look SO GOOD.

congrats and thanks to everyone.

keep in mind that the photo appears ABOVE the blurb about each participant and that some folks did not send a photo.


my apologies to di who i accidentally left off the round-up at first. she does not write a blog, but she DOES bake cookies!!! her photo is above. sorry di!!!!

bambi of The Caldwell's Cookbook is new to the Carnival. she is a self-proclaimed "stick to waht you know" type of eater. so, she challenged herself to branch out. read her post here.

lynn of Bites and Pieces made some yummy looking bars. and she broke a bowl in the process of making her curd! but she soldiered on... read her post here.

wendy of Simple Snow Stitches made more than one attempt on these bars. read about her trials and tribulations here.

mari of Mevrouw Cupcake and her ever-lovely photos! she monkeyed around with halving the recipe and then discovered a curd that was too sweet. read her post here as she wonders if halving it changed the sweetness or what!

roni of Confessions of A Cookbook Junkie could not find blackberries so she went with frozen marion berries...."but they were somewhat of a disappointment, too. Not nearly as much flavor as I had hoped for.. " read the rest of her post here.

grace of A Southern Grace was in the carnival again and look at her photo. is it not mouth-watering? she changed up the recipe in 3 different ways--check out her post here.

hannah of Ma Baker's Blog said her kids loved the recipe..... "This is not a dificult recipe even the curd is relatively simple and they are a fantastic cookie for a snack or a great desert with icecream." read the rest of her post here.

stacey of Simply Tasty was dubious at first. but she gave it a try, replacing the blackberries for strawberries and was quite pleased with the result! read her post here.

kamalie of Kamalie's Food brings us another delicious photo. so pleasing to the eye! she'd never made curd before--- read about her escapades here.


stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater is back again! yay! love love love the red and white platter. she was also new to curd-making--read her post here.


julie of Someone's in The Kitchen fell in love. hard. with the crust on these little beauties. read her post here.

ellyn of Recipe Taster and Collector played along this month. here's a bit of her post, "Everyone had rave reviews and seemed to really enjoy the bars! They were a little more "labor" intensive than I would typically prefer when baking, but I would definitely make them again!" read the rest of her post here.


carrie of Carrie's Sweet life switched from blackberries to blueberries. find out what happened by reading her post here.



megan of My Baking Adventures always cracks me up. here's a bit of her post, "I actually made the blackberry curd myself! No, I mean I really did! My evil twin suggested using store bought blackberry jam, but honesty and integrity prevailed - and I had blackberries in the fridge that were so tart they were almost inedible." read the rest of her post here. she's a lot of fun.

april of Abby Sweets loves blackberries. so she was all kinds of "on board" for this month. read her post here.

charlotte of Taylor Loves Chocolate teamed up with future relative april (above) of abby sweets. kitchen duo! read her post here.



steph of Steph Chows also changed it to blueberries, but she did it accidentally! read her post here.


holly of Phemomenon. i adore holly. she is always right there with her post. always one of the first! and she's always fun to read. check her post here.


jacque of Daisy Lane Cakes has a beautiful blog. read her post here. she used raspberries in her bars!



pam of Cookies with Boys has a super-fun blog. i am glad she joined in the fun again this month. she also changed her blackberries to strawberries because, dag, they can be pricey little buggers! read her post here.

well, that's all folks! see you in august! and as always THANKS FOR COOKING cookies WITH ME!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

 

it came!

so, i decided to participate in the Taste Like Home food swap over at Megans Cookin. the idea is to swap locally made goodies so that we can experience a taste of someone else's home land and us theirs. brilliant! i had to join up!

i was paired up with karla of Confessions of Former Hot Girl. karla is really funny and a joy to receive emails from. she also lives in or very near seattle. i used to live there, too and i miss many many of the edibles from that region. so, i was doubly psyched.

my box arrived and there was much excitement in the air. i got home from a trip away with the kiddos and after i put them to bed and brought all our stuff in from the car i sat and slowly, delicately opened the box. it was 10pm. all was quiet.

there's some good news and some bad news. some things got squished in shipping. my camera battery died before i could get pics of all the yums BUT there is good news too....

even the envelope looks edible......all chocolate brown....


now for the goodies...here is something i was actually hoping for---HONEY! something about the honey bees out west...

sadly, that was all my camera allowed. but that's okay. some moments aren't meant to be filmed and me mauling the cookies she sent was one of those times! also included, but not pictured were:

:: 2 thumbprint cookies from Pike Place Market (the afore mentioned mauled cookies)

:: a whole mess'a cherries--Bing and Rainer. and this is the tragic part. most of them were starting to mold or already there. which is so SO tragic because I LOVE RAINIER CHERRIES.

i won't even explain this debacle. it was totally my fault. and i'm so so sorry karla. she spent time and money getting those little yummy fruits and i blew it.
:: this is quite possibly the most exciting--Chocolate PASTA. yes. i have no idea what to expect, but you can bet your Puget Sound Honey that i'm gonna blog about when i delve in. hopefully it keeps. it's currently in the fridge.

i have yet to send karla her box, but i plan to do it in the next couple of days. hopefully i can find some things she likes! so far, i think i have done well, but i have to go get a couple more goodies. wish me luck.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

 

weekend brekkies :: buttermilk waffles!


we LOVE waffles in this house. they are king. they are hubby's favorite breakfast food, i think. he has food rules. one of them is that he must have waffles with peanut butter on them. at first, i thought this was mad! insanity! to me a waffle means butter and syrup. i'm a purist about certain things. (like corn on the cob. don't give me no funny gourmet butters and spices. i like butter and salt and that's all!) to hubby, waffles mean peanut butter. (and pizza means sausage or pepperoni an nothing else...but i digress). anyway, he is serious enough about this that he has been known to bring his own peanut butter to late night breakfast establishments that did not have they're own. yes. i married this guy.

and the funny thing is that the baby loves them, too. she'll be 10 months old next week and by far her favorite thing to eat is waffles. i get her the Kashi ones because i can't keep up with her demand for them. my son will eat anything with maple syrup, so a waffle works for him!

so, this recipe is my absolute favorite. but i will warn you, it's labor intensive. it's not for the Le'go my Eggo kind of waffle eater. it's for serious-about-your-food-types. and i promise they are SO worth the effort.

here goes.

Buttermilk Waffles
(from Martha, of course. leave it to her to make us work for our breakfast)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted unsalted butter, plus more for waffle iron
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:

Grease waffle iron with a small amount of melted butter, and heat. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. --easy for little hands. "i'm
making SNOW, mommy!"


In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour into dry mixture, and combine.


In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter.


Ladle about 1/3 cup batter onto each section of the waffle grid; spread batter almost to the edges. Close lid, and bake 3 to 5 minutes, until no steam emerges from waffle iron.

Transfer cooked waffles to a baking sheet; place in an oven set to low heat, about 200 degrees, while using remaining batter. --while this works, they are infinitely better off the waffle iron. it's worth not getting to eat together to have even just ONE right off the iron.

we served ours with fruit salad and some deeeeelicious bacon. YUM! happy weekend eating to you!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

 

summertime treats :: raspberry lemon pops!

i saw this fabulous post on the blog Dessert First. and i was inspired to try the recipe. who wouldn't be!? looks yum, right?

my son has been ice cream obsessed lately, so i thought it was time to try a healthier version. that way i could say yes a little more often! i tweaked the recipe a bit. notes are below. but i have to say these were a SUPER yummy treat. indeed.


from Dessert First (hopefully it's okay to reprint!)

You can place the yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined strainer or colander and place over a bowl. Fold the cheesecloth around the yogurt and place the whole setup into the refrigerator overnight to let the yogurt drain. You will need more than 3 cups of regular yogurt to yield 3 cups after it's been strained. Or, you can use Greek yogurt, which has already been strained and is thick and creamy. The more fat the yogurt contains, the richer the frozen result will be, naturally, but the 2% yogurt I used yielded quite excellent results and it's not necessary to use full-fat yogurt (not to mention it might negate its touted healthfulness!)


3 cups plain strained regular yogurt, or Greek yogurt - i used the full-fat. i couldn't help myself.

1 to 1 1 /2 cups sugar (to taste) - i used less sugar. trying to keep it somewhat healthy for the boy. i went with 1/2 cup and it was plenty sweet.

1 cup lemon juice -i knew my son would not like it if i went too lemony so i cut this to about half a cup.

1 tablespoon lemon zest -again, cut this down a bit. for the kids' sake.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir together until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate the mixture for a couple of hours until it is thoroughly chilled. - there is no mention of how many raspberries to use, so we just added them until we liked the color. we mixed them right in, so they were not whole. the boy enjoyed so mashing them up!

Freeze in an ice cream maker per manufacturer's instructions.

When it has reached the consistency of soft serve, you can either scrape into a container and freeze overnight, or divide among popsicle molds and then freeze overnight. You can swirl the raspberries into the mixture before you freeze the yogurt. If you are making popsicles, you may want to cut the raspberries into pieces so you don't have large frozen berries in the pops.

evidence of the yumminess!

thanks Dessert First!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

 

summer lovin' :: grilled pizza, part 2!

grilled pizza is a great idea for a 4th of july party. here is the rest of the goods on how to do it up deliciously.

if you missed part one, check it out here.

soooooo, your dough has risen and rested. now it's time to get to the good part--grilling. well, eating is really the good part, but the cooking part is fun, too.

1. heat your grill (i'm a gas-grill kinda gal. I know charcoal is preferable for many reasons, but man, the gas grill is so easy. . . ) so that one side is on high and the other on med-low. make sure the grates are clean.

2. now that your dough has sat out at room temperature for 45 minutes or so, plunk it down onto a lightly floured surface and cut it in half. take out your rolling pin and roll it on out. you should be able to roll it out as thinly as you like. if it resists and pulls back, just cover it with a towel and let it rest for 5 more minutes, then try again.


3. before you toss the dough onto the grill, get all your toppings readied and waiting next to the grill. dip a paper towel in some olive oil and oil the grates. take the rolled-out dough and lay it gently on the hot side of the grill. close the grill cover. wait about 5 minutes, then using your tongs, check the underside of the dough to see if you have nice grill marks and the dough is ready to be flipped over.


4. flip the dough over, move to the med-low side of the grill. add your toppings and close the grill. check every 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and it's cooked to your liking. if the dough starts to get overcooked on the bottom, just adjust your heat.


5. take your pizza off the grill, cool slightly, slice, EAT and ENJOY!

once you get the hang of it, grilling pizza is way fun. you can make the dough in larger batches, or freeze it, then just add whatever veggies you've got on hand with a little cheese and you're happy-happy!

now, go forth and grill!

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cookie carnival :: july (a bar!)

for july's cookie carnival we'll be making Blackberry Bars! for info on joining up, click here.

happy baking!

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