Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pistachio Ice Cream

My ice cream maker has been sitting in the pantry, patiently waiting to be used. It's been a few years since I've made any kind of ice cream or sorbet, so I was excited to try it out again.

It seems like everyone around me has a taste for pistachio. I get an occasional taste for it, mostly because my Dad loves them. Although when I was a kid, I remember the shells being pink and your fingers getting pink from cracking too many open. I reminisced with a friend about this, and they pointed me to an article about pistachios on Wikipedia that stated that the coloring was in place to hide stains that may have occurred during picking. Did you know that?

Anyhow, I picked up a bag of pistachios from Costco...meaning somewhere in the vicinity of 4 lbs worth. Unfortunately, they are roasted and salted, so that became an extra step in order to use them in the ice cream recipe.

I found a recipe for Pistachio Ice Cream by Emeril, read some user comments to make sure it was a decent recipe, and then started cracking. Literally. I think cracking about one cup of pistachios has incremented my carpal tunnel counter. My thoughts during this? This ice cream better taste like angels.

After shelling a cup of pistachios, I threw them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes to get the salt off. Strained them in a colander only to find that there was another layer to peel off!

Peeled the pistachios and then put them on a baking sheet to dry out in the oven. First I started off at 200F, and realized this was going nowhere fast. After about 20 minutes at 200F, I bumped up the temp to 350F and baked them for about 13 minutes more. Took them out, and let them sit for a few hours to cool off. Now it was break time! (Wine and cheese with friends :D)

When I came home, I was happy to find the pistachios were dry and unsalted. Phase two was ready to begin...making the custard. Standard fare, boil milks, beat eggs with sugar and combine. Then heat until it gets custardy. Mix the pistachios and extract in and you are good to go into the refrigerator overnight (or until cooled).
The final step is the simplest - it's the remembering that's the hard part. My ice cream maker has a core that needs to be frozen in advance. Knowing that I was going to make ice cream of some sort, I threw the core in the freezer the previous day.
I scraped the custard into the core and let the ice cream maker do its magic. About 25-30 minutes later, pistachio ice cream was ready!

I'm not sure if it tasted like angels...but I would say that the taste was pretty good. It was just sweet enough and creamy. I would like to try with unsalted pistachios, because I think my pistachios in the ice cream were a little just need to see if there can be some added crunch. Maybe not so fine pistachios next time, honey instead of sugar, and chopped apricots.

Pistachio Ice Cream (edited version of Emeril's)
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream

Finely process pistachios and 1/4 cup sugar.
Heat milk and cream over stovetop until boil. Stir occasionally so film doesn't happen.
Beat eggs and 1/4 cup sugar.
1 cup a time, add the milk mixture into the eggs until all combined.
Put back into pot over stovetop. Stir occasionally so film doesn't happen, about 6 minutes the mixture will become "custardy". Remove from heat.
Combine pistachios and almond extract into custard.
Put into bowl and put saran wrap directly on the custard to avoid creating a film.
Put into refrigerator until completely cool.
Add to ice cream maker and let it go until ice cream forms - about 25-30 mins for this one.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stress Baking : Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

One of three things are typically going to happen when I am stressed. Cooking, baking, or cleaning. Fun? Not really. But, I need some kind of tangible productive activity to be happening. I need to see progress being made! As much as I'd like to think my brain will turn off if I indulge it in Real Housewives or some other equally mind numbing television, it's still working in the background. Last night's activity was baking.
I had some strawberries that needed to be used, and stumbled upon this Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread from My Baking Addiction's blog.
The recipe was super easy to put together. Was able to watch part of The King's Speech while the cream cheese and butter were softening, and then easily mixed it together to throw in the oven. I used all the strawberries I had - I believe it was a 1.5 pints. The recipe seemed really agreeable to this.
The only difficult thing was gauging when the bread was ready to come out. I started checking around 50 minutes and left it in for about 14 minutes longer. I suspect the extra strawberries had to do with this.
The bread turned out extra moist and just sweet enough with lots of strawberries!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Productive Morning : Berry Muffins

This morning, I felt productive.

Blueberry and Raspberry Muffins using this recipe

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. S!

It's been kind of slow on the blog front, but for very good reason!
Two of my friends got married last week, and they were gracious and awesome enough to let me bake for it!

I, admittedly, am not skilled enough to test the waters with my own recipe creations, so I often go sifting through the internet (or blogs I'm subscribed to) to find something special.

After a few trial wedding cakes, it came down to this lineup...

The Cake:
Delicious white cake recipe I had found on Baking Bites blog. I found this recipe last year and it is the same I used for my Dad's wedding cake. I used vanilla bean rather than vanilla extract, and this time around I used coconut extract instead of the almond extract.

The Filling:
The couple's muse for the cake was a coconut cupcake from The Steeping Room. I figured the only way to incorporate coconut into the cake was through the filling. Next time I'm in Hawaii, I'll definitely have to find Chantilly Cake! I combined the recipe for Chantilly Cake Frosting with whipping cream to lighten it up for a filling.

The Buttercream:
Absolutely the only buttercream recipe I will ever use! I found this recipe for Swiss Buttercream last year for my Dad's wedding cake on Smitten Kitchen's blog. It is so delicious! My taste buds were after this buttercream after having tasted something similar on my best friend's baby shower cake. Smooth, buttery, and just sweet enough...this buttercream never fails me! This was my crumb coat on the wedding cake in this instance.

The Fondant:
I haven't experimented with fondant at all until this opportunity! It was somewhat exciting to do so, and I was even more excited to learn about Marshmallow Fondant. Having had many wedding cakes with TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE tasting fondant, this was a simply amazing discovery for me. Initially, I had used a recipe where you combine marshmallow fluff with powdered sugar and let my mixer do all the work - for the real deal I used a completely new to me recipe from What's Cooking America for Marshmallow Fondant. It was extremely easy and saved my mixer some burn up time.

Everyone loved the cake. I wish I could take credit for it, but it's due to all these wonderful people who came up with the recipes!

Baking the cake was really fun. Being cake number two, I still need to work on my timing and cake decoration skills. Which equals...naked cake!

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. S!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Or however you spell Gram makes them the best.
Being on the other side of the country from her for all my life, it'd be a treat to have them when I did. Luckily, my Dad knows how make them, and that's how I learned.


1 Medium Cabbage
1 lb Ground Pork
1 lb Ground Beef
2 cups of rice (uncooked)
1 large can of Stewed Tomatoes

Cook up the rice as instructed.

Peel away the outer leaves of the cabbage, and then cut out the stem. Fill up with some water, cover, and put into a microwaveable bowl - microwave for 5-8 minutes. Carefully peel leaves off of the cabbage. Have a plate and paring knife nearby. The middle vein of the cabbage leaf will be prominent, cut this back with the paring knife. Put leaf on plate and repeat until you have a pile of leaves to work with. (I find when the leaves get annoyingly small or there's too much to cut off the leaf that you won't have one left, use these to line the base of the crock pot - it will prevent burning of the gawumpki)

Combine pork, beef, rice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. You can start by mixing with a fork, and then mix around with your hands to make sure that everything is mixed in evenly.

Take a cabbage leaf into your hand. At the base of leaf, place a large spoonful of the meat/rice mixture. Fold up the sides of the cabbage leaf and then curl the leaf in your hand until it is a sealed roll. Place it in the crock pot.

Continue until meat or cabbage is used up or the crock pot is full. Whichever comes first.

Take the can of stewed tomatoes and pour over the pot of gawumpkies.

Cook in crock pot on high for 4 hours, low for a only an hour/hour and a half more if you are paranoid. Any more and you'll burn them for sure.

Dad swears by short or medium grain white rice. I don't tend to have this in the house, so today I experimented by using brown rice. Now I think the importance of the white rice is the starch, which my brown rice lacked, so my gawumpkies were a little more crumbly than usual. I think I picked up the wrong kind of tomato can, too (I picked up crushed) - but in the end they turned out pretty darn tasty. And it doesn't hurt to know that these things are always better the second day!

Some of my cousins eat them with ketchup, and I think that ruins it...I'm a salt and pepper kind of girl. Yum yum yum!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Other Grape Leaves - Yebret

When most people hear grape leaves, they tend to think of Greek Dolma, a grape leaf stuffed with tomato based rice and spices. When I ask for grape leaves, I ask if there is meat inside of them. So far the only place I have found them at a restaurant is in Tucson at Shishkabab House. Luckily, I have been fortunate enough to learn how to make Syrian Grape Leaves, or Yebret, enough times that I am able to recall the recipe and share. They are stuffed with meat and rice - I use lamb, because I think it has more flavor, but have also made with ground beef, chicken, and turkey. Yes, they are ordered in preference.


1 jar Grape Leaves
1 lb Ground Lamb
1 tbsp Allspice
1 cup Long Grain Rice
2 tbsp Pine Nuts
3 cups Water
3/4 cup Lemon Juice
6 or 7 Garlic Cloves

In a bowl, combine the lamb, allspice, rice, and pine nuts.

Drain the grape leaves from jar and place them on a plate. Some grape leaves will still have the stem on them, cut them off as you are folding the yebret.

Unfold a grape leave on a cutting board, veiny side up. At the base of the leaf, place about 1 tbsp of lamb mixture. Squish the meat down so it makes a long rectangle at the base of the leaf. Begin to roll the base of the leaf towards the top of the leaf, folding in both sides, and tightly roll until you get a little grape leaf shaped cigar. Continue until you run out of meat.

Chances are you'll probably have extra grape leaves. Line the bottom of the pot you intend to cook the yebret in with the extra grape leaves - this will prevent burning of your yebret. I use a 5.5 qt skillet and usually end up with a single layer of yebret. Add the water and lemon juice. Then sprinkle the garlic cloves on top. Find a plate that will fit inside your skillet and use that to hold down the yebret. Place lid on top of the skillet.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let the yebret sit for at least 30 minutes, but the longer you leave them be the better the taste seems to be!

I like to serve them warm with a garlic yogurt as a dipping sauce. It's very simple, just requires time to chill and bring out the garlic flavor:

Garlic Yogurt
Plain Yogurt (or Greek Yogurt if you like thicker)
Pressed Garlic, to liking.

Mix together and store in the refrigerator before use. I like to keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavor will be.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kielbasa and Broccoli Egg Bake

Like every Connecticut visit, I had to bring home several rings of kielbasa from Filipek's. They make the most amazing kielbasa that it's worth the bag charge. (Although, I think I was flying Southwest that time so HA HA HA take that airline baggage fees!)

Typically, standard fare is to boil up the basy, saute some sauerkraut/onion/butter/salt/pepper, and eat with some good spicy mustard. If I'm feeling super fatty, I'll cook up a box of the frozen pierogies, too. Alas, if it's something my Polish genetics can't's the excessive carbs.

So I thought I'd try and find a different way to consume my mass quantities of kielbasa. My Gram got me hooked on kielbasa and egg sandwiches on one of my return flights - the second I took a bite of that sandwich, I knew that kielbasa + egg = amazing.

Kielbasa Quiche it must be.

Sans crust.

Add broccoli, onions, and feta (it's what I had in my fridge).

And we come up with Kielbasa and Broccoli Egg Bake.

I didn't measure anything other than the eggbeaters, so here we go:

Kielbasa and Broccoli Egg Bake
1/2 ring of Kielbasa (probably about 8")
2 1/2 cups of eggbeaters (10 eggs)
Frozen Broccoli
Frozen Onions (I think this was 1/2 an onion)
Some Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper
Feta Cheese

Use 9x13 baking pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350.

Cook the whole kielbasa by putting it in a pot, filling with water and let boil. With fresh kielbasa you'll notice it will plump up. Not sure with Hillshire or other store bought preservative laden rings. Don't let the casing explode - if this happens you've cooked it too much.

Defrost frozen broccoli and onions. Drain as much as you can, then saute in a pan with a little bit of olive oil (I took the bottle and drew a quick circle around the perimeter of pan). I also sprinkled some salt and pepper on the veggies. Saute enough that the water is pretty much evaporated. Don't brown it. Put into large bowl.

Cut half of the kielbasa ring and dice into little squares. Do the same for the feta. Empty into veggie bowl.

Add your eggs/eggbeaters to the bowl and mix together. Empty into prepared baking pan.

Put into oven and time for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, check it out...mine still needed some more baking, so I left it in for 5 more minutes. I would say take it out before it browns on the side because if/when you reheat it, it will probably be rubbery. Sometimes less is more :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Two Pound Strawberry Cake!

I've never made a strawberry cake before, so I figured the first go is only proper if from scratch and with real strawberries! The few searches online mostly yielded recipes using a white cake box mix, and I finally stumbled upon one that was worthwhile.

Luckily, Costco had 2 lb containers of strawberries in a somewhat off-season? Thank you, Costco!

To process the strawberries so that they wouldn't be completely watery, and therefore ruin the recipe, I first cut off the tops of the strawberries and then squished them through an egg slicer. From there they went into a food processor and were pulsed until they were processed just right without a bunch of strawberry juice in the bottom.

One of the comments in the reviews for the recipe noted separating the egg yolks and the egg whites, decreased sugar, and increased the baking powder to yield a more fluffy cake. It all sounded good to me, so that's exactly what I did. Mixed the yolks with two tbsps of water, added the mixture with the butter/sugar/vanilla bowl. Once you got to mixing the flour bowl, sugar bowl, and strawberry puree, the batter became very thick. The final bit was to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and then fold it into the batter. This seemed to lighten it up as far as mixing goes. In two 8 inch rounds, I set the timer for 20 minutes and babysat it after that. It smelled nice as it was baking, but we'll have to see how the cake fares later.

The frosting was another experiment of sorts. Cream cheese frosting seems to be the favorite as of late, so since I still had an abundance of strawberries left from my 2 lb Costco buy, I figured why not? Used the same technique with the squishing of strawberries with the egg slicer and then threw it into the food processor. This time I was paranoid about extra moisture/strawberry juice, but I didn't want my frosting to be chunky. So I pureed it almost to a pulp, then strained the liquid out. This seemed to work very well.

My mistake while making the frosting is a simple one. Let your cream cheese and butter soften all the way!! Otherwise you'll end up with chunks of cream cheese and it's very hard for them to be worked out afterwards. I never really knew, cared, or understood this until a few years ago. Seeing the curds in my frosting today reminded me of my early cheesecakes where it was very curdy and I thought I was just a horrible cheesecake baker. Turns out I was just impatient! :) So, while there are a few chunks in the frosting, the strawberries did well in masking it, at least I hope so!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

2 8oz boxes of cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup processed/strained strawberries
Powdered sugar to your liking - I think mine today was roughly 2 1/2 cups?

Take out cream cheese and butter and leave out on counter to soften. This is very important!
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix together cream cheese and butter.
Add strawberries.
Start adding powdered sugar, slowly, to liking.

Frosts a 2 layer 8 inch cake, plus some to spare!

After the cake and the frosting was made, I still had some strawberries left over. My original vision was to egg slice the strawberries and put them in between the layers. I decided against this, and ended up halving the remaining strawberries and decorating the cake with them.

We'll see if this cake makes the fingers are crossed! With two pounds of strawberries in it, how could it be wrong?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aloha Musubi!

One of my friends recently picked up a can of Spam. I think the discussion was what to do with a can of Spam. I remember my Mom would use it occasionally in Kimchee Fried Rice.

My first encounter with Musubi, or Spam Musubi to be specific, was in Tucson at Lani's Luau - a small Hawaiian restaurant. I heard of Musubi while visiting Hawaii, but never tried it! It was a simple seaweed roll with rice and spam.

So, when it rolled around to the friend's birthday, it was time to make some Spam Musubi!

It's pretty simple and I didn't really measure, so try at your own discretion...

Spam Musubi
2 cups of Sushi Grade Rice (short grain)
Seasoned Rice Vinegar
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Toasted Nori
1 can Spam

Cook the rice in rice cooker as directed on package. Once the rice is finished, scoop into large bowl and add a little bit of the Rice Vinegar and sprinkle some sesame seeds. Mix the rice together.
I have one of those bamboo rolly dealies...They are hard to clean, or I should say, I never feel like they get clean - so I wrap mine in saran wrap before using.
Have the bamboo dealie flat. Put a piece of nori on the bamboo. Then take some rice and spread it on the nori.
When cutting the Spam, I cut it horizontal to the can shape. Take two of these pieces and put them in in the center of the rice. Take one end of the bamboo and roll it over the Spam. Then take the other end and do the same. Squish down securely. Once the roll is formed, place onto a separate plate, fold side down. Cut the roll into pieces.
Makes about 5 rolls.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Yeah. So the cake story continues!

There was mention of fondant when talking with the friends. I've never made fondant in my life, and I personally have never had tasted fondant that did not need to be scraped off the cake before eating the rest of it. It was a challenge though, and why not?

And it's a good thing. Seeing the "buttercream" recipe from the Throwdown was horrible, fondant was my last chance at salvaging this cake.

I found a recipe on Allrecipes for Marshmallow Fondant. Now, I've never really thought about what Fondant is other than disgusting. (Wikipedia entry here: Fondant) But marshmallow was sure to make it better. At least in my mind.

The recipe seemed somewhat involved, but not too bad. Then I ran across the first comment of the recipe. Some brilliant woman used chilled marshmallow cream! This is what I was going to do.

Put the chilled marshmallow cream into my Pam'd mixer with paddle attachment, and poured some powdered sugar in. The mixer did all the work, and boy did it work. It started making noises and I was scared for my precious mixer! Luckily it went from powdery crumbs to solid ball of fondant. I took the fondant out of the bowl, mushed it into a ball, put it in saran wrap and froze it for about 30-40 minutes.

After being in the freezer, I littered the counter with powdered sugar and started rolling it out. (I watched some YouTube videos to figure out how to do this beforehand.)

The Big, Important Tips:
1) Roll out the fondant to be at least the diameter of your cake plus the sides.
2) Use your rolling pin to fold the fondant over and flip or roll over the cake.
3) Smooth the fondant up on the cake, not down. This will prevent ripping.

I was so happy with my first fondant attempt! It was actually tasty - but we'll see how it all tastes together with the rest of the cake.

...also, MMF = Marshmallow Fondant, if you haven't already guessed :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Almost defeated by the Throwdown

Two of my new friends are getting married end of March! I'm trying to woo them with some different wedding cake possibilities, and after talking to them it sounded like they wanted something with coconut - since their favorite cupcake at The Steeping Room was the coconut cupcake. Having never baked with coconut before, I thought I'd sniff around for a decent recipe.

I came across Bobby Flay's Throwdown Coconut Cake from the Food Network site. I read through it and it seemed pretty good, essentially a white vanilla bean cake, using coconut custard in between the layers, and a coconut simple syrup. There was even a recipe for coconut infused buttercream. Yippee, let's do it.

There were a few steps that required chilling ahead of time. For me, it's easier to break these up to the night before so I'm not slaving away in the kitchen all day. However, the simple syrup is all I had steam for.

The next day, first thing was the coconut custard. Making the custard reminded me of when I had made vanilla bean ice cream. You have to delicately mix the heated milk mixture with the egg mixture and hope it doesn't turn into scrambled eggs before your eyes! Both times I've done this, I've been lucky and came out unscathed. After the custard had time to cool and spend time in the refrigerator, it was time to make the cake.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like baking the cake is the easiest part. I love using vanilla bean. You cut the bean open and scrape all the seeds out. The scent is so fragrant and it's amazing how it all breaks down to little dots. Maybe it's the simple things...but I love vanilla bean. Ok, so basically this cake recipe is a white cake with vanilla bean and egg whites. It seemed to be light and fluffy.

Once the cake was done and cooled, I began to make the coconut cream and the buttercream. The coconut cream was a cinch, no biggie, and went back into the fridge. The buttercream, however, I would not recommend to anyone. I had my doubts as I was mixing it together. 3 sticks of butter. 1/2 of the coconut custard. A smidgen of powdered sugar. NOTHING ABOUT THIS WILL FLUFF INTO MAGICAL BUTTERCREAM! Mixing and mixing, and realizing I was about to be late to my dance class, I called it good and was stuck with a major decision. This stuff was basically pure butter. If I left it out, it could melt further and not be usable. If I put the buttercream into the refrigerator, it'll rechill and not be usable. I decided on the latter, hoping to make it work.

I get home an hour later and sure enough, the buttercream is harden back to its butter form. I put it back in the mixer and try to salvage something of it. I almost scream defeat at this point because it looks horrible. I do what I can to make a crumb coat on the cake, and decide the rest is better off in the trash.

This means all my eggs are in a basket for my first fondant attempt. I couldn't take anymore baking disappointment that night, so I decided it's best left for the next day.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What the eff is Red Velvet anyways?

Seems like Red Velvet flavored anything is all the rage these days. I know I got sucked into it when Coffee Bean Tea Leaf featured their Red Velvet Cocoa. I couldn't explain the flavor to you other than tasting really sugary and artificial, but I was hooked. Leaving Austin and visiting Tucson, where there are no Coffee Beans, I was having Red Velvet Cocoa withdrawals. The dessert hangout, Something Sweet, had a red velvet cake to offer...and even in shake form (they make a shake combining the cake with ice cream and milk, or something to that effect). I went with the plain ole cake.

Even with the cake, I can't tell you what it actually tastes like. Most red velvet cake I've experienced has been dense, dry, and tasting of red food coloring. I think I keep trying it everywhere in some sort of search for the Holy Grail of Red Velvet. Somewhere out there has to be the most delicious Red Velvet Cake that will extinguish any thought of this cake being anything but delightful!

So, when a friend's birthday party came up and the request was for red velvet cake, I thought it was fantastic! Immediately, I started looking up recipes online. I couldn't find one that didn't have at least 2 tbsp of red food coloring, and I didn't want that taste. Finally, I remembered I had a cupcake book, Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski, that was gifted to me from Mrs. B, and I wanted to try the Red Velvet Cupcake recipe that it had.
Her description of Red Velvet Cupcakes is as follows:

"The origins of red velvet cake are a little hazy, but it's widely recognized as a Southern creation. The cupcake version of the extra-mild chocolate cake is topped with a cream cheese frosting that's laced with buttered pecans, a decidedly Southern ingredient."

Ok, so the flavor is supposed to be extra-mild chocolate? I suppose I could buy that, seeing that cocoa is one of the ingredients.

As far as the color, red food coloring is added, although in this particular recipe it didn't have me adding two bottles of red food coloring - Thank Goodness! According to some article on the internet (so surely, it must be true right? ;-) ), the red colored cakes were due to a chemical reaction between unprocessed cocoa and the acid in the sour milk. I think if I were to have left out the red food coloring, the cakes would have come out a lighter chocolate color.

Anyhow, the recipe was fairly easy to put together, three bowls of ingredients, and by the power of the mixer, the batter was formed. I was a little put off by the batter, as it seemed awfully thick. Loaded up the cupcake liners, and to my dismay, the recipe that claimed to make 12 cupcakes only yielded 8. Not a problem, doubled the recipe and finished off my cupcakes.

Taking them out of the pan to put on the cooling rack, these things felt like bricks. Very dense. My panic mode ensued. What else could I do? Try another recipe and make more cupcakes? Run to Hey Cupcake and buy a dozen? Then the words, or word, of my Grandmother hit me..."whatever!"

The Cream Cheese Frosting recipe came from the same book, and it was an absolute hit!
The cakes did come out a little dense, but they did have a nice "extra-mild" chocolate flavor. The color was more of a rosy pink rather than the traditional bleeding red. Overall, it was an ok recipe...and our birthday guests of honor seemed happy.

Now that I have a small idea of what Red Velvet is...I might have to experiment more to find the damn Holy Grail of Red Velvet.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is ready for all 2011 has in store :)
Of course there was some holiday baking/cooking/crafting, but I didn't seem to keep up with the pictures.

Snickers cupcakes were a success from Gram's 90th bday!

Babka, an annual Christmas tradition for my family...and my first experience with failed yeast.

Martinis and gingerbread house/tree assemblage...who knew that building a gingerbread house takes hours?

Sous chef to Mrs. B's baking extravaganza...she had the cookies already finished by the time I got there, and I got to help with the cheesecake.

Fresh pesto and veggie pasta for Christmas extra dish instead of Thanksgiving's extra five.

Here's to the New Year! :)