Super Sweet Award
I love this award, maybe because I have a real sweet tooth. Thank you to Francesca for giving me this sweet award. If you haven’t visited Francesca’s amazing blog Flora’s Table, you must, it is a collaboration between Francesca, her husband Stefano (wine expert) and Nicole (baker). You will not only find amazing recipes and photography but information about wine from Stefano. It’s a veritable wealth of information all in one blog. Thank you so much Francesca for the lovely award, I truly appreciate it.
The rules of the award are:
1 Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2 Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
3 Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.
4 Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen” (12) blogs for the award, add a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
5 Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.
The Super Sweet Questions are:
1. Cookies or Cake? Cake
2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
3. What is your favorite sweet treat? This is a hard question depends on my mood, love Snickers
4. When do you crave sweet things the most? In the afternoon and evening
5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? I’ve never had a nickname???.
Drum Roll please!!! I am nominating for this super sweet award:
Shut Up And Cook (The Attainable Gourmet)
Home and Food Co. UK
Our Growing Paynes
A Taste Of Wintergreen
Inspire And Indulge
Fig And Quince
Petit 4 Chocolatier
Chef Mimi Blog
When I worked on my post last night I clamored to list blogs that I love and visit all the time, I want to mention a few more blogs that are beautiful and full of great recipes. So in the interest of making this brief here are a few more blogs that I love and are deserved of awards. There are so many great blogs I couldn’t stop with the ones mentioned in the previous post. You have to visit these also, they are amazing. How can I just pick a few when there are so many that are so wonderful. You can pay it forward if you like but no obligation I just wanted to add you because I admire and love your blogs. I think it’s important for everyone who visits here to get to know you also.
Daisey And The Fox
Fleur de sel
Cambio de humor
A Taste Of Wintergreen
Real Italian dish
Chef Mimi blog
Sisterhood or brotherhood
I want to thank Veena whose wonderful blog Vina’sdeliciousrecipes is always a source of inspiration, and for awarding me the Sisterhood the the World Bloggers Award. We are all linked by our passion for cooking and creating and being able to visit each others sites links us with those halfway around the world. Thank you Veena, I truly appreciate this, please visit her blog you will find amazing and delicious recipes and cultural information.
Here are the 10 questions.
- What is your favorite color? green and pink
- Your favorite animal? dog
- Your favorite non-alcoholic drinks? hot cocoa
- Facebook or Twitter? twitter
- Your favorite pattern? paisley
- Do you prefer getting or giving presents? Giving
- Your favorite number? 5
- Your favorite day of the week? friday
- Your favorite flower? peony
- What is your passion? cooking, my dogs,my family,my work
Bloggers I would like to nominate:
The Healthy Epicurean
Lilly Sue’s Bites and Brews
Go Bake Yourself
The Kat & the Falling Leaves
Food Thoughts to Share
Two Dogs In The Kitchen
I admire and visit all of these blogs all the time, each one is full of great recipes, is informative and beautiful. If you choose to pay it forward , link to this post please. Just letting you know I love your blogs and admire your work.
I know this is probably nothing new to many of you but for me if was a revelation, making your own almond milk is easy and yields (IMHO) a product so superior to the commercially prepared milk, I honestly was blown away. It’s my new obsession and I use it everyday in shakes or on cereal or as a snack. I researched several websites to see how it is done and tried a few different methods, I made a few changes to the recipes I saw online. You need raw almonds, bottled or filtered water, a sweetener is optional, as is flavoring and salt (preferably sea salt). I decided that I like it with just a touch of sweetener and vanilla. I probably use a little less water to make it than other recipes because I like it rich and creamy. It is delicious, nutritious and a real treat. I always used soy milk in my morning shakes but not anymore. This morning I had a banana, date shake made with the almond milk and it was heavenly. I used the leftover pulp to make some granola this weekend and it was great I have to try to think of ways to use it right now it is sitting in my freezer in ziplock bags. If any of you have any ideas on what to make with the pulp please let me know. You will need raw almonds of course, filtered or bottled water, cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and thats it. There is no real formula you can add or subtract from the amounts in this recipe. This is how I like to make it.
3 cups raw almonds
6 cups filtered water
Place almonds and water in a lidded container and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
Making the Milk:
5 cups water
pinch of sea salt
Drain the almonds in a strainer, add to vitamix or food processor, add 5 cups bottled or filtered water, sweetener (I used 1 1/2 tsp organic cane sugar) optional flavoring (I added a tsp of vanilla), and sea salt, blend or process, If using a vitamix 2 minutes will do and if using a food processor 3-4 minutes.
Have doubled cheese cloth or nut milk bag ready over a large bowl, pour into cloth or bag and squeeze, until it is dry. Pour into container and refrigerate until ready to use.
NOTE: My first batch I used cheese cloth doubled, it worked pretty well but I found it was not completely strained, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a few errant pieces of nuts in your milk. The second batch I used a clean cotton tea towel and it worked like a charm, no nut pieces and it was large enough that I was able to really squeeze it and get every drop of milk. I am going to invest in a nut milk bag very soon.
Today is the anniversary of the first post on my blog, it’s hard to believe it has already been a year since I started this blog. I have learned so much during this time and like to think that I have improved a bit both in content and photo’s but it is still a work in progress. The best part of this little adventure really is the wonderful people I have met, virtually for the most part but I feel like I know so many of you personally. I have come to know and follow so many blogs and I strive to achieve what so many of you have already managed to do. This was my first blog post, a recipe I created for a citrus contest on Food52.
Mixed Citrus Curd
Makes 2 cups
1 each orange, tangerine,clementine, lemon (I used a navel orange and honey tangerine)
2 1/2 tbs zest from the fruits
1/2 cup juice (mixed from each fruit)
6 extra large egg yolks
4 oz unsalted butter cut into pieces (1 stick)
1 1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp orange zest (added after its cooked)
Zest the fruit and set aside 2 1/2 tbs, juice the fruit, mix together and set aside 1/2 cup. In saucepan add the egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat with hand held mixer until creamy and light. Whisk in the juice and zest and add the butter, cook over medium/ low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Place thermometer in pan, keep stirring. Its done when temperature reads 175, remove from heat. If you don’t have a thermometer cook until thick and it coats the back of your spoon, with your finger make a stripe and if it stays intact its done.
Pour through a sieve into a bowl, add the tsp of orange zest, stir to combine and cover with plastic that sits directly on top of the curd, allow to come to room temperature then refrigerate overnight.
The latest Food52 contest was all about beer, I love a challenge and wanted to create a drink using beer that could comfortably be consumed when it’s cold outside. I primarily think of beer as a summer drink. A hot buttered rum came to mind so I set about switching the ingredients so as to use beer instead of rum and water. I thought that an ale would be nice and added browned butter, brown sugar, some spices and a splash of brandy and the result is really quite delicious. It’s a great way to enjoy beer if you live in a cold climate. The bitterness of the ale is offset by the sugar and spice and the browned butter adds a richness reminiscent of a hot buttered rum. I was so pleased that the recipe was chosen to be tested as a community pick and was thrilled to see that it was chosen to be showcased and photographed by the editors at food52. Kukla, one of our outstanding community members tested the recipe and wrote a lovely review. Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy if you decide to give it a try.
- 12 ounces ale of your choice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- splashes brandy (about 1 tablespoon) per glass
- 1 Cinnamon stick for garnish
- Add butter to small saucepan and melt on medium heat. Cook until butter becomes a light brown and has a slightly nutty smell (approximately 3 minutes). Reduce heat to low and add brown sugar and spices — cook until brown sugar is dissolved and the mixture is paste-like. Scrape into small bowl or ramekin and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Add the ale to the same saucepan and heat on medium until hot. Spoon two tablespoonds of the spiced butter mixture in serving glass, pour hot ale into glass and add a splash of brandy (about 1 or 2 tablespoons) and stir. Garnish with cinnamon stick.
Photo by James Ransom for Food52
I have a bunch of over ripe banana’s that need to be used ASAP, I have made loaf after loaf of banana bread and wanted something a little different so I decided to make cupcakes, banana cake is wonderful and something I haven’t made in a very long time. I saw this recipe for the cupcakes and caramel sauce on Martha Stewarts website and it sounded delicious. The homemade caramel sauce with banana cake and cream cheese icing sounds perfect.
I have to confess, I have never made caramel, real caramel before. For some reason I was intimidated by it, maybe it was the bubbling that occurs when you add the cream, or the fear of failure, who knows but I avoided making it until today. I have to admit this caramel sauce is wonderful, delicious and so easy to make, I didn’t even use my candy thermometer I simply went by the color of the caramel and it turned out perfectly. You can make the caramel sauce the day before the cupcakes so it is cooled sufficiently and thick enough to pipe onto the cupcakes. NOTE: I halved the recipe for caramel sauce.
Makes 10 oz of sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tbs unsalted butter cut into tbs size pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
sea salt (I used Maldon flakes)
In medium size heavy bottom sauce pan add the sugar, turn the heat to medium/high and let the sugar start to melt, when you see that it’s melting start whisking the sugar, it will clump it’s ok keep whisking until it’s completely melted. Let it cook until it turns a deep amber color swirling the pot every now and then. Once it’s a deep amber color add the butter and whisk until sugar is incorporated. Remove from heat and add the heavy cream, whisk until combined and add a pinch or two of the sea salt. Let cool for 20 minutes and then pour into container, it will be thin but it thickens up beautifully.
Makes 24 regular size cupcakes or 12 jumbo
- 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in cupcake tins.
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
Reduce speed to low. Mix wet ingredients (bananas, buttermilk and vanilla) in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each full.
Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes for jumbo cupcakes increase cooking time to 25-30 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese softened
8 oz unsalted butter softened
4-6 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Cream butter and cream cheese in stand mixer using paddle attachment, add the confectioners sugar a cup at a time beating until smooth and spreadable consistency, add the vanilla and mix until combined. Frost cupcakes immediately.
Pipe icing onto cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce. Enjoy!