August 18, 2009

It may still be summer for most of us but in the world of retail fall has arrived. I saw my first pumpkin decorations today and I'm sure the ghosts and goblins of Halloween aren't far behind. The scents coming from my kitchen today were also unmistakably autumnal as this week's TWD, Applesauce Spice Bars, baked away in my oven. My version consisted of diced Braeburn Apple, chopped walnuts and a bit of brandy and the glaze on top reminded me of caramel apples.

You know, rushing the season isn't such a bad thing when apple and caramel are involved but please, no snowmen yet, ok?

August 15, 2009

Kitchen Cousins

Meet Kaitlin. Budding chef, gymnast, all around great girl, and my cousin. At thirteen she has already mastered chocolate souffle- I don't think I even knew what a souffle was at her age. An avid food blog reader and food network watcher, Kaitlin is getting a great head start on knowing her way around the kitchen.

Today the student became the teacher when I packed up all my kitchen gadgets and headed over to her grandma's house for a day of baking. On the menu:
Red Velvet Mini Layer Cake and Cupcakes Lemon Tart Rugelach Croissant

Quite a line-up but after 16 weeks of baking class, infinitely doable. I got a head start on the croissant dough and did all four turns of the dough the day before. We made plain and chocolate and came out beautifully.

Kaitlin had checked out my blog and made special requests for the Red Velvet and Rugelach recipes.

I also wanted to teach her a great sweet tart dough and with fresh meyer lemons from the backyard, we tried our hand at Dorie's Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart. Here Kaitlin exhibits her natural knack for presentation.

After a full day of baking we took advantage of the beautiful afternoon light taking photos for Kaitlin's new blog, Starting From Scratch.

I 'm so proud of my cousin and can't wait to see what she does next. I'm pretty sure she'll be teaching me a thing our two real soon.

August 11, 2009

TWD- Cute as a Peanut Butter Brownie Button

At 5'4, of course subscribe the the adage that good things come in small packages. My perfectly petite mother always has a bag of Hersheys kisses in her fridge is it utterly content having one or two at night for dessert. However, despite my diminutive stature, when it comes to desserts it's gonna take more than a bite to make me happy. Take for instance this week's TWD, Brownie Buttons- bite sized morsels of brownie perfect for when you want a little bit of chocolate.
Are these baby brownies tasty? Sure. Was I satisfied with just one? Heck no! Even with the increased richness of a peanut butter glaze I could still pop three of these in my mouth without batting an eye and would then come back for more.

These Buttons would be great for cocktail parties, office kitchens, and the kid's lunch box but if I'm really in the mood for a brownie (and I usually am) only a generous square will do.

Need a little more brownie yourself? Checkout the blogroll.

August 4, 2009

Prescription For Happiness- Banana Bundt Cake

I realize Banana Cupcakes won't keep me from feeling moody from time to time, but I can relate to their changeable nature. Part muffin, part cake, their lightness fits in with summer, but their warm heartiness reminds me that fall will be here soon. On days like today when I'm examining all the ups and downs of my life, making these mini versions of this Classic Banana Bundt Cake is a comforting way the spend the afternoon.

Frustrated, anxious, a little on edge? Have a muffin. I challenge anyone to worry and eat one at the same time. Plus, they taste so good the next day you'll look forward to tomorrow morning too.
For other variations on this cake, check out the TWD blogroll.