Categories
cupcake desserts Recipes

VIETNAMESE-COFFEE CUPCAKES & A PARTY FOR 2


Musical pairing – Just the Two of Us by Bill Withers

It was a perfect holiday weekend for The Professor and me; for several years, we’ve hosted a July 4th party at our home with 20+ invited guests.  A whole lotta food and many hours later, we’re spent but very, very happy and content knowing we have such great family and friends.  Last year’s July 4th, we were in Connecticut and didn’t have our party; this year we’ve traveled quite a bit and are now in the process of updating our dining room so we didn’t plan a party . . . not a big party anyway . . . but the perfect party for two which included these lovely Vietnamese Cupcakes.

Categories
desserts fruit Recipes

LET THEM EAT CAKE – LOU’S RHUBARB CAKE!


Musical pairing – Lucky by Jason Mraz

As a child, I remember having rhubarb plants in my backyard and my mother making stewed rhubarb – I L-O-V-E-D it; but I also remember mother saying that the leaves were toxic and gave me direct orders that I wasn’t to eat them . . . ‘hmmm’ . . . my defiant 8-year-old mind asked, ‘Is that really true or is she just saying that so I won’t eat it all raw?  Do I tempt fate, try it and see what happens?  What would happen if I only ate a teeny-weeny little bite – would I die and more importantly, would they ever find my body?’ (I was a bit dramatic).  In the end, I decided to obey – a rarity for those of you who know me well . . .  let’s just say that I have never been one to conform . . .

Categories
breakfast desserts Recipes

MY IN-LAWS & DORIE’S CARDAMOM CRUMB CAKE



Musical pairing – This I Know by Sam & Ruby
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It’s been a rough winter for my in-laws.  After months of pain meds and limping around with a bum leg, my mother-in-law had hip replacement surgery in February.   The surgery required a couple of days in the hospital, home to recover, a wheel chair, compression stockings, physical therapy, a walker then finally graduating to a cane – WOO!  But that left my father-in-law, ‘Big D’ in charge of the cooking . . .

Categories
desserts Recipes

MY BABY SISTER, EDDIE MURPHY & BROWN BUTTER ICE CREAM


Musical pairing – Fever by Beyoncé Knowles
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I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!!!! Did you ever scream those words as a kid?  I sure did!  Was there an ice cream truck meandering through your neighborhood throughout the summer?  As a child, I remember hearing the tinkling of that bell and everyone would stop whatever it was we were doing and run hell-bent into the house (I’m certain we didn’t look both ways for cars) asking, begging, mom and dad for money so we could get ice cream.  I always chose the ‘Creamsicle’, my brother always wanted one of those red, white and blue rocketpops, my dad would flip between the Creamsicle and a Fudgesicle, I don’t remember what my mom or my sister chose . . . but my heart belonged to the Creamsicle – dreamy, creamy vanilla and orange swirls . . . ooooo this just takes me back . . . They still have ice cream trucks but I believe they’re all motorized now; whizzing through neighborhoods so fast it’s impossible for any kid to catch them – and I’m betting they don’t get much in sales.
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Categories
desserts Recipes

GOING ROGUE – COCONUT CUSTARD TART

Dorie's Coconut Custard Tart; Photo by The Professor

Musical pairing –  Is This Love, Bob Marley & The Wailers

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I have a confession to make . . . well maybe two confessions to make . . . first, I’m going rogue on my Tuesdays With Dorie group this week; this should come as no surprise to those of you who know me as I’ve never been one to run with the crowd . . . that’s just how I roll . . .  But hear me out – it was my birthday weekend and somehow Honey-Wheat Cookies just didn’t seem as celebratory as a Toasted Coconut Custard Tart which brings me to my second confession:  I’m crazy for coconut, I’m crazy for coconut!!!  And yes, that statement deserves triple exclamation points!!!

Categories
desserts Recipes

GIVE THE PROFESSOR A COOKIE . . .

Dorie's Chocolate Chip Cookies; Photo by The Professor

Musical pairing –  Call Me Irresponsible, Michael Buble


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In an effort to broaden my baking skills, I’m now following along with more than 400 bakers in the blogging community to participate in Tuesdays With Dorie, which you can read about here.  I’ve requested to join the group and be added to their list, but it’s not clear if they’re accepting new members so I’m just jumping in – I’ll be muddling my way through ‘Baking, From My Home to Yours‘, by Dorie Greenspan, baker extraordinaire!

Categories
desserts Recipes

AVERY & CHELSEY'S MEYER LEMON BARS

Meyer Lemon Bars; Photo by Avery & Chelsey

I’m absolutely thrilled to have one of my fabulous nieces, Avery, and her friend Chelsey, as guest contributors to my blog!  Both girls love to shake it up in the kitchen and have had more dinner parties than I have had which is really saying something – after all, they’re only 17 and I’m . . .  well . . . I’m . . . older than dirt!  Take it away girls!

NOTE:  All the beautiful pictures are also theirs! Don’t they make your mouth pucker??!

For what seems like eons now, I’ve been hearing about Meyer lemons: from Food Network chefs talking them up to one cookbook author claiming they’re the only lemons she likes to use for their “delicate sweetness,” the Meyer lemon has long fascinated and eluded me.  Every time I’d check my local grocery store’s produce section, I’d find only bright yellow, conventional lemons—perfectly fine in their own right, but not quite the mythical crossbreed of lemon and mandarin orange I was seeking.

Categories
desserts Recipes

BUTTERSCOTCH PEAR PIE

I married a man who would eat sweets morning, noon and night if he had his way; in fact, the whole fam-damily loves sweets, including the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – every single one of them inherited a sweet tooth.  And if pie is on the menu, well then, it’s going to be a great day for everyone involved!  This family dreams and fantasizes about pies in every shape, size and combination including, but not limited to, what’s known in these parts as the infamous ‘pie-in-a-jar’.  In fact, they have been known to hold what’s called a ‘Piepalooza’ wherein the only item on the menu is dessert pie and plenty of it.

Categories
desserts Recipes

CHOCOLATE-CARAMEL COOKIE BARS ALA MARTHA STEWART

SMITH BITES CHOCO CARAMEL 11-6-091

We spent this past weekend with our ‘Nati’ family (translate: Cincinnati family) which is always filled with lots of laughs and great conversation; in fact, there was a story about cupcakes that put all of us into fits of laughter but that story will have to wait until another post.  I love, no, make that LOVE caramel – deep golden amber, buttery, silky, melt-in-your-mouth rich caramel.  Pies, cakes, cupcakes (there’s that word again), candy – doesn’t matter – if it has caramel in it, that’s always my first choice for something sweet; add a bit of chocolate and a pinch of salt and I’ve died and gone to heaven.  And since this weekend was going to be a super quick trip and since I was dying to share this recipe and since I knew I’d be leaving the leftovers with them (because really, I could eat an entire batch myself!), it was perfect timing.  And because really, how can you go wrong with a Martha Stewart recipe?