The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!
I love chocolate. I really do.
But you know what? I will gladly fork out the cash to buy a box of nice chocolates from a chocolatier rather than attempt to make bon bons again.
Or maybe such an activity is not meant to take place in a kitchen in south Texas in August. Either way, this challenge was a very frustrating one for me! Continue reading
(Let the length of this post be a confirmation: making macarons is a sickness.)
Fire up the TARDIS, we’re going back in time!
I had asked my Uncle Mark what his wife’s favorite dessert was, and he said she liked crème brûlée. YUM! The only problem was that whatever I made needed to be donated to a hospice center, and crème brûlée isn’t the friendliest dessert for doing so. Some mental problem solving came up with the following: Strawberrry Macarons with Crème Brûlée Filling! Not only would they have my aunt’s favorite dessert in them, they’d be pink. Perfect!
Well, not so fast there, buddy. Up until that point, I had only made four batches of macarons in two sessions. They were quite good (I thought) for my first tries, but I had by no means mastered them. (I posted about the first attempts here!) But then I ran across Stella of BraveTart‘s method via Mardi of Eat, Travel, Write. Her no-fuss approach to macaron-making instantly appealed to me and gave me the confidence to be wild ‘n crazy. Bonus: her recipe included a strawberry variation! Macarons it was. Continue reading
Whew! 4,000+ miles later, my ever-trusty Corolla and I are back from my seven week work trip to New York and Ohio. Yes, I decided to drive and think it was totally worth it in the end. The more you know: Red Hook, NY seems MUCH further away than Cleveland, OH. My bum can vouch for this 100%.
So what was I doing this trip besides not blogging very much (sorry…)?
Due to being away since June, I’ve sadly missed out on a few Daring Kitchen challenges this summer, but was able to do this month’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Luckily for me, the friends I’m staying with have appetites for every cuisine along with a well-equipped kitchen that I could use.
Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.
Everything about this challenge was totally new to me because I’ve had Indian food, but not South Indian/Sri Lankan. I spent Saturday afternoon driving around Cleveland trying to find the ingredients, and more or less succeeded!
Remember how I was in upstate NY playing in a conductors’ orchestra? Since then I’ve moved onto Cleveland to work at my old job and am done with that, but my old ‘hood just can’t seem to get rid of me. The blogging got behind with all of the work that job required, so it’s time to do some back tracking.
When I picked blueberries for the first time ever, I was determined to make a crumble/crisp/etc. with them. I bought everything needed to make it…except brown sugar. Doh! On the second to last (and hottest) day in NY, I went blueberry picking again at the hottest time of day. Texas girl don’t care.
Related side note: I was so very amused by the warnings they had up ALL over the gym about the heat. Sure, it was supposed to be 100F that day, but to me, that’s a typical summer day. The same thing happens in Texas, though – when the temperature looks like it might hit the freezing point, people flip OUT. It becomes The Big Chill 2011 with newscasters warning people to bring in their pets, cover their plants, and let the faucets drip so the pipes won’t freeze. It’s cute. Continue reading
I’ve been working in Cleveland for the past couple weeks and have been staying at the home of some very generous friends: Leslie (also a co-worker), Mark, and their family. This is their awesome bathroom that is underneath the stairs (how Harry Potter!). Leslie said the wallpaper was there when they moved in and that they decided to keep it. Best bathroom ever, am I right?? Pictures don’t quite do it justice.
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