Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday baking bonanza! (part I)

The 2nd annual holiday bakefest with my friend and I:

Rich Roll Butter Cookies with Royal Icing (recipe to follow - so easy!)
Brown Rim Sugar Cookies
Rocky Road Bites
Pumpkin Cake loaves and trees
Chunky Chocolate Gob Cookies - recipe from Kathleen at Gonna Want Seconds
Rich Roll Butter Cookies with Royal Icing
8oz. butter, room temp
2/3C Sugar
1 egg
2 1/2C sifted AP flour
1/2t salt
1t vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour until smooth and just combined.
Chill dough for minimum 3 hours before rolling out.
Roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. (You want to have a pretty decent thickness since the royal icing isn't all that tasty if it overwhelms the cookie.)
Bake at 350 for 7-12 min until lightly browned.

Royal Icing
-used Wilton Meringue Powder and its accompanying recipe
Icing and decorate cookies as desired. Let icing harden/dry completely before packaging or stacking.

With all of these goodies, some people got some overflowing gift baskets!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holidays are here (again)!

Its been an intense few weeks... and it doesn't help to have a million+ things to do for the holidays. I have yet to do ANY shopping, and there isn't even any time to plan my own party!
I did get a breather this weekend though... and was able to do some baking for a friend's party.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - the usual recipe, just shaped different.
8in round base, with 6 tree shapes. (Recipe yielded a total of 12 trees)

Spicy Country Crackers/ or Flatbread (as it was called that night)
Yep. Busted out the Craigslist appropriated pasta machine.
Chili Oil.
Roll out dough until it is thin enough to see through. (reminds me of latex gloves) Then brush with the Chili Oil.
Before/After: Seasoned with Salt and Pepper, Sprinkled with Thyme and Parmesan
Break into shards and share!
For the dough: (sooo easy!) You just need either a)the willingness to roll it super super thin by hand, or b) have a pasta machine.

3C AP Flour
1t Kosher Salt
1C + 2T Cold Water

Mix together in a bowl so it combines, then turn out onto lightly floured surface to knead a few times to form into a ball. (Will be somewhat crumbly- don't be afraid.)
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then put into fridge for at least 30 min.

Chili Oil:
2t Crushed Dried Chilis
Warm oil in pot.  Take off hear and add the chilies and allow to steep for 1 hour.

Toppings: (actual amounts can be up to you)
2oz grated parmesan or hard pecorino
1/4C Thyme leaves, chopped
coarsely ground black pepper to taste
kosher salt to taste

This is a totally versatile recipe... you can sprinkle whatever herbs and spices you want. Too bad I'm not very creative in that department, so I just follow recipes as I see them. :)

Bake at 350 until browned and crispy, about 15 min.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Euro Trip Foods - Part 5

Last but not least... Paris!

@ Caffee de la Fayette
Croque Monsier
Breakfast time!
Pain au Chocolat, Pain au Amande, Croissant
Lunch Time
sis's Ham, Cheese and Egg crepe
Capo Panini - Capo with Mozz and Tomato

@ Restaurant Chinois, Le Jumbo de Paris
Cashew Chicken, Frogs Legs
Breakfast again!
Apricot Croissant (but it was called "orange" or something - we couldn't figure it out)
"Dropper"? - again, don't know. it was filled with chocolate and a custard, we thinks.
Classic Brioche
Pain au Chocolat et Amandes
@ Le Feu Aux Trousses
Pizza Calzone Souffle - with egg, mozz, mushroom and ham

@ Restaurant Medova
Quiche du Jour - potato, chicken and mushroom
Nutella Banae crepe
Delicious tarts in the window!
Last meal at the trainstation, back in London to catch the flight back home...
@ Benugo, London
Eggs Benugo - English muffin with ham, eggs and hollandaise sauce

The End! ♥

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Euro Trip Foods - Part 4

Scotland! So much history... and haggis.

@ The Last Drop, Edinburgh
Steak and Caledonian Ale Pie, topped with puff pastry

Snack Time: Haggis Roll
@ Jenny Ha's, Edinburgh
Baked Potato with Chicken Curry
Traditional Scottish Breakfast: check out the difference/similarities from a Traditional English Breakfast
Fried Eggs, Haggis, Black Pudding, Sausage, Ham, Tomato, Tattie Scone
@ Pizza Express, Edinburgh
Pizza Dough Balls with Garlic Butter
Fiorentina Pizza, Rustichella Pizza
Banoffee Pie, Chocolate Fudge Cake with Vanilla Gelato
Next stop... Paris!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

time to spend money!

December is going to be shopping time! And I'm doing good so far in not going crazy and buying everything and anything penguiny for myself. Not to say I haven't been tempted. Here are some awesome shops/bakeries/crafters/etc that I've come across in going to the Queen Bee Market - Handmade Arts and Craft Show and Patchwork - Indie Arts and Crafts Festival recently.

I've shared some finds in the past in going to other shows/festivals/or something else:
Happy Tape
Sweet and Saucy Shop

But here are more awesome things to check out!
Sweet! Baking & Candy Making Supplies

I recently bought some baggies and boxes. Can't wait to get them and do some packaging!

The Twinery
Need some cute baker's/crafter's twine? Lots of colors to choose from!

My Sticky Designs - custom vinyl letting & graphics for your home
This could be an awesome gift this season! For someone else... or yourself!

I actually found this one design at Target (oh Target), but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. So perhaps, one day I will ask her to create one to my specifications.

Shortnin Bread Bakery

I picked up a Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie, and a hand decorated Snowflake sugar cookie. I probably should have taken a picture before I inhaled... oops. Hindsight. Both we YUMMY!! Check out the bakery for more treats and cakes!

Something totally new... to me anyways. Fancy toffees/brittles!
Pop Candy Co. - Butter Crunch Treats

I sampled the P.O.P mix, the No-Nut P.O.P and the Rosemary Almond. Mmmmm! All the different flavors totally came out in the sweet and savory. Especially the herbed flavor. Check out their site to to check out the other flavors and to order some! Great gifts that'll keep well too!

Meringue Bake Shop - Custom Cupcakes

I wanted to try a Push Cake... but alas, sold out! Must have been so good!!

 Also, check out her blog!

Really awesome notepads, cards, calendars and lists... NICE.

The Paisley Mill (etsy shop)


Really cute wooden key chains, pins, earrings... I bought a key chain and pin as gifts!

(this post got eff'd up with the layout. too annoyed to try to fix it now.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Euro Trip Foods - Part 3

(back to) England... Bath,Wales, Leeds, York

@ The George Inn, Lacock
Chicken and Mushroom Pie
 @ Bottelinos, Bath
Marinated olives, Tortellini alla Bottelino- Spinach & Cheese Tortellini with a Tomato Cream Sauce
Snack time! Traditional Welsh Cake
@ The Bay Bistro, Rhosilli
Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Panini
@ Yard Bar & Kitchen, Cardiff
Welsh Ham & Eggs
Snack Time! Cornish Pasty
Cornish Steak Pasty
@ Max's Chinese Restaurant, Leeds
Hot & Sour Soup, Beef Chow Mein, Aubergine in Black Bean Sauce, Sweet & Sour Pork

@ Bettys, York
Afternoon Tea Set - petite desserts, scone with jam and clotted cream, smoked salmon and chicken sandwiches

@ Akbar's The Grand, Leeds
giant "family" sized garlic naan
Chicken Tikka Masala
More snacks/treats!
Fat Rascal - big scone-like thing
Egg Custard Tart
Next stop... Scotland!