Saturday, February 27, 2010

February Daring Baker Challenge: Tiramisu

BLOG-CHECKING LINES: The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

Here is my more cake-like version of the tiramisu challenge. I guess I should have used the entire pot of coffee instead of drinking it. Oh well.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Foodzie Winner Receives Food

This morning the jolly FedEx man rang my doorbell with four little boxes in hand. I quickly signed for them and dashed up stairs to open the packages with the boyfriend and Eleanor.

This is what I've received thus far:

A sweet shortbread cookie selection from Saralyn's Shortbread in Deluth, Georgia.

Chewy Mexican Chocolate Caramels from Petite Bouchée in LA, California. But these are for Fey so I can't tell you how they taste...yet.

Flavoured Sugars ranging from Curry to Spiced Gold from Didi Davis Artisan Food in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

And Homemade "Oreos" from Elsylee Galetes Artesanals in Miami, Florida. Each cookie she makes is named after a city or place and some are combined into various collections. I purchased a few "New York"s and she sent me a sample of Morton Pumpkinsnaps.

Oh, Happy Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blues Song for Blue Baker

Perhaps this will get me a life time of free BlueBaker cookies...I doubt it though.

A Blues song for Blue Baker (think of me soulfully singing with a guitar on my lap and a fedora on my knee…maybe throw a harmonic in there too

Katherine at Blue Baker

I have the blues before sunrise,
waiting in line for an everything bagel with cream cheese.
I have the blues before sunrise,
adoring the array of baked pastries, oh may I have a Nutty Muddy Water latte, please.
It was a wonderful feeling,
Now babe, a feeling I do despise.

I have to leave, leave you baby,
But I’ll be back before noon.
I have to leave you baby,
I’m coming back for my Quattro Formaggio Wood-fired pizza real, real soon.
I’m gonna pack up and leave you darling
but make sure no one sits in my favourite booth. Ahh…yea…baby.

I have to leave, leave you baby,
But there is still dinner
I’m gonna leave you baby,
perhaps I’ll have a Caesar salad or a soup with bread bowl-owl-owl.
I’m gonna pack up and leave you darling
But you know I don’t wanna go…cause today is rosemary kalamata olive bread day baby, ahhh yea.

Well now goodbye, goodbye baby,
I’ll see when I’m home from college one weekend soon.
Well now goodbye baby,
I still expect there to be no one sitting in my favourite booth, cause you know I’ll kick ‘em out, ahh bluesy baby.
You can go ahead now little darling,
Keep on making those daily breads of yours, shiner bock beer bread and jalapeno cheese too, but for now… I’ll just take my cinnamon roll for the rooooooaaaaad.

Adapted from Leroy Carr
For the complete adoration for my local bakery called Blue Baker in College Station, Texas.

Look for the full story and the wonderful world of Foodzie on their blog.
They claimed me a winner for this little diddy and my smokin' mug. Hello carrot cake caramels!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Remains of a Sunny Day

Its cheesecake month again, yet the skies aren't filled with dainty songbirds and the park benches aren't packed with teenage couples whispering into each others hair so I'm reluctant to whip out my cream cheese. The clouds have been hanging so low, bellies full of fresh rain, and the winds have been so bitter, probably pissed about years of warm Texas winters. My newly planted lavender shrinks back in its clay pot wrapping in on itself and dreaming of the good old days back in Provence. My moccasins and the chill are the only dependable constant these past few weeks.

Saturday, a bit of sunshine peers over the windowsill. Birds from every corner of the earth seem to grace the single tree in my front yard. Droves of people, dogs and babies a plenty, shove past one another through the front doors of houses that have been shut up for ages. I think I heard the feint clap of a long forgotten flip flop down the sidewalk. It was a splendid day indeed. So I broke out my cream cheese and the sunniest thing I could find in my cupboard: oranges.

Orange and Ginger Cheesecake

1 3/4 cup ginger cookie bits
1 cup sugar
3 packages cream cheese
4 eggs
1/2 stick UNSALTED butter melted
juice of half an orange
zest of one orange
2 tablespoons ground ginger (or even fresh ginger all mashed up)

1. Combine cookie bits and butter and press into pan. Let chill in freezer for at least half hour.
2. Combine all other ingredients. I find its best to whip the sugar and cream cheese a bit first.
3. Pour into pan. Tap lightly on counter to release any oxygen bubbles at the bottom.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45mins-1hr. Place a baking pan of water on the second rack to help keep the oven humid. When the top of the cheese cake begins to crack a bit and browns ever so slightly it is done. Jiggle it a bit and if it springs back to formation then hoorah, you've cheesecake!
5. Let cool for a few hours, or not at all. I hate it when people say you can't eat hot cheesecake. Its divine hot.