Aug.
22

No matter how much I like something, it’s hard for me to make it twice… especially twice in the span of a single week.   The recipe has to be special… very special.  And it has to be good… very good.   And even so, there are bazilions of recipes for the same thing so why make one of them  multiple times?  Why not try other recipes for that same thing and perhaps find something {gasp!} even better?   One of the exceptions to this, of course, is Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake.  I’ve made that countless times… it’s THAT GOOD.  Truth be told, right now I’m pretty darn full from dinner but could easily eat a slice of it right now… it’s THAT GOOD.  But… I digress ;)  I’ve been making quite a few ice cream recipes lately and loving them all.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to try out a recipe for Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  I remembered how good things turned out when I used the David Lebovitz recipe for chocolate ice cream and searched his archives for a vanilla one.  No lie… David Lebovitz can make ice cream.  And I’m not talkin good ice cream… I’m talking fantastic, terrific, amazing, best-you-ever-had, jump-back-and-kiss-yourself, so-fabulous-that-you-make-it-two-weekends-in-a-row ice cream.  Ice cream that’s so good it moved me to post an open letter about it on Twitter… something dorky like “Dear David Lebovitz, your vanilla bean ice cream is amazing… Love, Em”.   Yeah, I toldja… dorky.  But what can I say?  This vanilla bean ice cream is so good I had no shame… I was moved to tweet about it!  It’s THAT GOOD!

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Aug.
16

A couple of weeks ago I tried a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies.  If you’ve read my blog a few times or follow me on Twitter you know I have a big ol’ crush on Alton Brown.  What can I say… talent, wit and just enough geek-boy in him to keep me interested in any show he does or book he writes or commercial he stars in.  Yup… I got it reeeeeeeeeeeeal bad for Alton… and I’m not at all ashamed to admit it :)  Alton’s show “Good Eats” is one of my favorites and I’ll watch the episodes repeatedly never getting bored or restless.  In his episode Three Chips For Sister Marsha he provided us with three different chocolate chip cookie recipes…  The Thin… The Puffy… and… The Chewy.  Out of all the ridiculous number of chocolate chip cookie recipes I’ve tried, sadly most have turned out like “The Thin” so I have absolutely no desire to make that one.  Previously I’ve made The Chewy and really liked them so this time I decided to try “The Puffy”.  What I liked about that recipe was the cookies retain so much of their height.  I know it’s all about personal preference but sorry me no likey flat chocolate chip cookies.  When I made “The Puffy” the cookies were sooooo good that by the time I thought about blogging them, they were all gone!  So this week when I came across the idea of making chocolate chip cookies… with Oreos… I knew exactly what base recipe I’d use.  Once again… thank you Alton Brown!

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Aug.
13

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Earlier this week a coworker showed me a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  He didn’t ask me to make it, but rather just showed me the recipe saying something along the lines of “isn’t this interesting”.  Of course, he figured once he put the bug in my ear I’d make it.  Some of my colleagues know me quite well ;)  As luck would have it two things came into play… 1) I had two gorgeous zucchini in my fridge just waiting to be used for something special and 2) this coworker is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met – for him I’d make pretty much anything he wanted.   Unfortunately I did not bookmark the recipe and when I went back to make it couldn’t find the site it was from.  I turned to the internet figuring it would be easy to find… I mean, chocolate zucchini cake?  Who ever heard of that?  But I was surprised to see just how many Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipes are out there – trust me, a lot!  After reading thru a whole bunch I decided on this one from the King Arthur Flour company.  Back when I first started baking, I tried many of KAF’s recipes… and called their “baker’s helpline” (as I call it) many times with what I’m sure were extremely elementary questions.  Yes, I was a total newbie and not ashamed to admit it… if only anonymously… and over the phone ;)  At this point I’ve lost count of just how many recipes I’ve tried from King Arthur Flour.  The results are pretty darn consistent and this is just one more that didn’t let me down !  This cake is rich, moist, chocolatey, fudgy, dark and… and… and absolutely delicious.

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Aug.
11

Prior to 2008, to say I was not a fan of coconut would’ve been a supreme understatement.  A more accurate way of phrasing it would be to say that I despised coconut with the intensity of a thousand burning suns… yup… that was pretty accurate alright.  Then something happened.  I don’t know what or why or how but sometime during the first quarter of 2008 I began to like coconut.  Then about a year later I began to LOVE coconut and now I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff.  Maybe it’s because I now bake coconut things myself instead of buying them from the store?   No clue.  The past couple/three weeks I’ve had a hankerin for coconut cake and came across a recipe from Paula Deen. It looked rather promising.  You could say it piqued my interest.  But as soon as I thought to add pineapple filling… my stomach shouted “hang a tag on that baby and consider it sold!”

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Aug.
04

Carrot cake is one of those traditional desserts that people hold near to their hearts. Seems that everyone I’ve talked to about it has a definite opinion about what makes a carrot cake “good”.   Some like it with walnuts… some like it with coconut… some like it with pineapple… some like it with raisins.  I like mine rather plain… without nuts or raisins… definitely with lots of spices… and standing mile-high with just a fringe of toasted coconut.   Whatever your preference, it all starts with a good recipe… and that’s where I can help you out!

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