Monday, 22 February 2010

New site design

Pin It Some of you may have noticed a pretty big change to this little blog.  I've been debating a more modern, cleaner look for a while, but I was pretty attached to the old-fashioned template it was rocking.  But this morning, I bit the bullet.  I'm hoping this new template (I only wish I could afford a professional redesign with the links along the top of the page!) will make the photos pop more and also make me feel a little more.. grownup. 

As much as I resist growing up, it seems to be happening anyway, with or without my consent.  If you can't beat 'em, redesign 'em!

Also I'm just envious of all the fancy, streamlined looks that my fave food bloggers are sporting, and this template was the closest I could get for free.

Any thoughts?  Like it?  Hate it?  Want me to change it back?

Friday, 19 February 2010

Butter cookie FAIL: "tastes just like butter" is not as delectable as it sounds.

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My consolation prize: delicious oaty raspberry bars.

It all seemed so simple.  Make this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, refrigerate the dough, then slice an bake, just like I did every weekend in college (with pillsbury, not pot, people)!  I even felt secure enough to be a little bit adventurous and divide the dough into 2 before adding the different flavors, thus creating more dishes (and work) for myself.  But hey, I thought, what's another dish or six when this recipe looks so simple?

Monday, 15 February 2010

Never let it be said I'm not a woman of her word: handmade wholemeal bread.

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My beautiful rosemary and sea salt topped loaf.

Well, I did it.  Last Sunday (as in, a week ago yesterday– yes, I know.  Sorry), with no big plans looming and the weather forecast to be a swath of grey with intermittent nubbins of snow, I rolled up my pj sleeves and got to work.  And, as promised, at no point did the beautiful KitchenAid mixer come into play; this was strictly a forearms and wrists kind of operation.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Be careful what you wish for, or: how I managed to make a dish-/time-saving instrument take forever and use a million dishes.

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (that was a choir of angels, FYI)

Yes, folks, I'm afraid I must stop whining (or cut back, at least), because today my lovely and CRAZY boyfriend bought me a kitchenaid mixer!!!  

Today, we went to Divertimenti, one of our fave kitchen stores, so that I could finally use my gift certificate that the bf bought me a year ago.  I had my heart set on a tube pan, so I could make angel food cake (because I had conveniently forgotten that I needed an electric mixer to whip the egg whites, or maybe I was just planning on buying a crappy hand mixer... yeah I think that was the plan), and I found something called a Kugelhopf, which looked good enough and was surprisingly inexpensive.  That left me with some money on my card, so I also picked up a super awesome french press travel mug to help get me through the long nights of class.

And I was all set, as far as I was concerned.  And then the bf dropped the bomb: despite our agreement that we would NOT buy each other gifts for V-day (ok, so I broke it first, but I got him a little thing!), he had made up his mind to get me my heart's desire, a Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer. 

Now, two things caused me to punch him in the arm:

Friday, 5 February 2010

Gingersnaps and a new respect for composition

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I may not have a fancy camera, but I can at least move the cookies out of the kitchen and into the light!

When my boyfriend requested gingersnaps, I was hesitant.   They seemed like a lot of work, and while I've always liked them, they're not my favorite (and we end up with a LOT of cookies every time I bake, so I damn well better want to eat them).  Nonetheless, he does support my silly amateur baking endeavors with gusto, so I figured why not give the man what he wants, rather than just making him want what I give him (he's rarely complained, but still)?

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

OMIGOD chocolate chip cherry oatmeal cookies!

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So I've been paging through The Joy of Cooking, and there are about a million things I want to make: crepes, sour cream pound cake, chocolate mousse cake, and most of all angel food cake, which was my dad's favorite birthday dessert when I was a kid and so it always reminds me of being allowed to eat sweet things (starting to get a sense of why I'm so obsessed with baking?).  But, as mentioned in an earlier, whinier post, I don't have the tools required to make any of those recipes.  Nonetheless, I soldiered on, and last night I decided to try the famous chocolate chip cookies.  Then I watched Desperate Housewives and read a hundred pages of the book I'm assigned for class and had dinner and watched a BBC program on the African Rift...

Monday, 1 February 2010

I can make real dinner too!

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 Duly noted: broccoli in the oven is easy and delicious with minimal cleanup!

I just wanted to share that I am capable of cooking healthy, non-butter-based dishes.  Like garlic sauteed chicken (olive oil, not butter, so there) with chili-flake roasted broccoli and baked sweet potato.  HA!

That is all.  Now I'm off to go bake some cookies.