Blackberry Loaf

Farmer's Market Blackberries

Brownies with Rum Caramel Swirl

Blackberry Mini Muffins


Stuck on You: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I really cannot stop revisiting chocolate chip cookies.  They're not my favorite food or anything; I just really want to be able to make a good one.  I think I've finally developed a good recipe.  Let's see if you agree.

-4 oz unsalted butter, soft
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup dark brown sugar
-2 large eggs
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
-1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
-3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
-1/4-1/2 cup oats
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1 cup chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugars until well blended with a wooden spoon.  Add eggs and vanilla and stir until evenly mixed.
2. Add all dry ingredients to the mixture and stir until just barely mixed.  Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Preheat oven to 350F and refrigerate batter.
4. Scoop batter and bake for about 10 minutes until cookies are still very soft to the touch.  Let cool.


Doughnuts are Delicious

If you asked me a month ago what my favorite food was I probably would've listed a dozen items.  But doughnuts wouldn't have registered.  If you asked me now, doughnuts would totally make that list.  Making them yourself changes so many things.  


Fresh Baklava!

If there was ever a sweet that I couldn't stop eating...it's baklava.

It seems as though every region had its own take on this phyllo based pastry.  The best I've tried is this Egyptian version.  Sweet and buttery with a nice crunch!

Packaged and ready to go!


Things Pastry Chefs Get Excited About: Part 1

There are countless things that pastry chefs get excited about.  Things that really inspire them.

Thing 1:  New Bonbon Plaques

I just got my first bonbon mold in the mail a few days ago.  It's already been put to use.  I can't explain the feeling, but it's just so inspiring to see a perfect bonbon mold and how beautiful it's progeny will be.

Peanut Butter Bonbons:


Things that are Gluten Free

Mercy of mercies, ice cream and chocolate are gluten free.

I made mendiant with cashews, raisins and ground pistachios.  I just can't get over how cute mendiant are.  I tempered 70% Sharffen Berger, piped it with a paper cone and stuck in the fixins.  I cannot recommend this chocolate enough.

Plus, more coffee chip ice cream!


Goodbye to Gluten (For Now)

Much to the chagrin of my family I greatly enjoy food trends, books on food and healthy eating and general food conspiracy theories.  I think it's hard for them to keep up with what I am and am not eating at any given time.  

A few days ago I picked up David Perlmutter's Grain Brain at my local library.  I popped the audio book into the car and OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS!  I AM GOING TO GET HORRIBLE DISEASES AND IT'S ALL GLUTEN'S FAULT!

Seriously though, the book has really made me think about what gluten is doing in my diet and how it could be detrimental to my health.  I can't say I vouch for any or all of the food warnings in this book, but I am just about convinced on the gluten/carbohydrate front.  So, I'm trying out a gluten free diet and to eat fewer carbohydrates.  This is day 1.

I got up this morning and didn't know what to do about my breakfast.  Cereal? No.  Oatmeal? No, Quaker oats aren't gluten free.  Toast?  Ah, nope.  Pancakes, waffles, muffins, french toast, croissant?  All off limits.  Obviously I needed to get to the store.  I settled on a bowl of peanut butter with macadamia nuts, chia seeds, honey and chocolate chips with some farmer's market strawberries and milk.  Not altogether bad.

Hours went by and I ate a Larabar, more fruit, eggs, cheese...and it soon became obvious that even though my body was nourished and I didn't feel hungry, I was craving gluten/carbohydrates.  And I still am.  It's probably safe to say that I'm actually addicted to it.  All the more reason to go without it for a while.  

I'll still be baking with gluten and possibly eating it again in the future.  But, I will try to develop some gluten-free recipes for those who are interested (and so that I can eat something that actually tastes good!!!)  This is not a food fad that I am going to force on other people.  I'll document a bit of this gluten free trial and let you know what good gluten free stuff I've found.

Gluten-Free Foods I've Tried

Decent but reminiscent of cardboard, messy, pricey

Delicious and definitely recommended, pricey

Much like Kit's, great ingredients, slightly better price...

Great taste, but I'm not thrilled about some of the ingredients (oils etc.)
More to come.  I'll be sure to start marking my gluten free recipes.


Coffee Chip Ice Cream with Chocolatey Meringue Rocher

Still loving my ice cream maker over here.  Had coffee ice cream made and in the freezer in under an hour.

I didn't follow a recipe for this ice cream and it ended up a little too sweet for me.  I'll post a recipe once it's perfected.

Rocher means "boulder" in French.  These crunchy outside, soft inside meringue cookies can be dropped onto your baking sheet in a boulder-like fashion.  Basically, the French call anything in pastry that is blob-like "rocher".

Cheddar and Grits

A little (okay, a lot) of Seaside Cheddar on top of seasoned grits.

Easy and delicious!


Ice Cream Adventures

I was given an ice cream maker by a very kind sister from church.  Words cannot describe how grateful and excited I am for such a contraption!

The ice cream machine has lived at my house for a little over a week and has already been put to work 3 times.  I figured I should share my 1st recipe with you!

Chocolate-Chocolate Mint Ice Cream
-2 cups half and half (1c. whole milk, 1 c. cream)
- small bunch chocolate mint
-5 egg yolks
-5 oz. sugar
-3 oz. 60% (bittersweet) chocolate, chopped

1. Heat half and half to a simmer.  Add chocolate mint (or regular mint) and cover.  Let steep until desired flavor is reached.

2. In a bowl, mix yolks and sugar with a whisk.  Slowly add hot half and half while whisking.  Pour mixture back into pot and stir with a wooden spoon over med-low heat until thick.  The mixture should coat the back of a spoon and hold a line when a finger is pulled across it.

3.  Place chopped chocolate in a clean bowl.  Pour hot mixture over.  Let sit 1 minute.  Whisk until emulsified.  Strain.  Chill mixture to 40F or lower and spin per ice cream machine instructions.


Food Lately

Goodness, it's been a while.  I think I'd better stop promising to do better about writing consistently and just do it!

I figured I better post some pictures of food lately so you know what I've been up to.  Recipes and more coming soon.

Pizza baking

Cut pizza

Pizza for dinner

Alfredo sauce



Springtime Cake

It's amazing how happy cakes make people.  And I love making people happy.  Here's to spring and many more cakes.

Chocolate Sponge Cake with Grand Marnier Syrup, Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream and Ground Pistachios


Bostock: A Revelation

The best thing about pastry school is arguably trying foods I've never even heard of.  It's always a plus when the new taste sensations are utterly scrumptious.  Enter Bostock.

You may have heard of this sweet and delicious brioche application and are now wondering what planet I've been living on.  I'm wondering the same thing.  Bostock is a revelation.  It marries buttery brioche, orange and almond for one fantastic piece of fancy toast.


Brioche Lovin'

Pastry school has brought to my attention many applications for brioche.  And for that I am thankful.  Truly.

Below are photographs of regular brioche and brioche au chocolat.  Excuse the burns on my hands.  They are a side effect of baking.