Monday, May 10, 2010
I’ve decided, beyond what the traditionalists say, that it’s officially summer. And do you know what that means? Doughnut Days. Each year the family goes on a vacation to Del Mar, CA. Have you been there? Go there. And see this.
The view from our wedding site and favorite pic nic site.
And see this. And then when the races begin, get up early and go to Doughnut Days at the track. It’s all you can eat doughnuts, a little bit of watching the ponies work out, and lots of fun.
Or crumb doughnut. Is that technical term? Crumb?
Wash those doughnuts down with OJ or,
…way too much cream and sugar.
See those hands and those binoculars? They belonged to an experience doughnut eater and handicapper.
That expert is my dad. I think his record for doughnut day is 11 doughnuts. And do you see those bones? Yes, not covered by one ounce of fat. How is this fair or possible? Don’t ask. My husband’s the same way. Can’t. Stand. It.
Watch out. He’s a serious eater. One time, he ate an 11 egg omelet with 4 pancakes and 3 strips of bacon, and then dessert.
So you know where I’ll be this summer. If you stop by Del Mar, please say hi to me and my thighs. Because with doughnut days, who even knows. But in all seriousness, can you help me get a jumpstart? What’s your favorite homemade doughnut recipe? Maybe I’ll have my very own doughnut day at my house. Just to see if dad can out eat his record.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I’ve never had Blondies until this moment. I’m a brunette, and so the thought of ditching the chocolate in a brownie seemed like I was buying blonde hair dye to cover up these dark locks of mine. Which, of course, I have done.
But the truth is, I have nothing against Blondies, or blondes for that matter. I’ve tried to be one, a blonde that is, and this week I ate a million Blondies. I could sit here and count them, but frankly you would be shocked and appalled and I might be too.
But what really sealed the deal was a big glass of milk. Serious. If you didn’t want a Blondie yet, you will now.
Just look at that. The perfect dip stays in the milk long enough to let the Blondie become saturated in milk, but not so long that it becomes soggy. This takes practice. So try out a few, or a million.
And these, my friends are made with whole wheat flour and a touch of Maple Syrup. So if that makes you feel better, then great!
P.S. I want everyone to know that I wrote this post while watching Coyote Ugly on TV. And I cried while watching it. And got goosebumps.
Whole Wheat Maple Blondies adapted from Better Homes and Garden
makes 36 bite-sized Blondies
2 cups light brown sugar
2/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 13x9x2 inch baking pan. In a medium to large saucepan over medium heat and heat brown sugar and butter. Continue to mix slowly until butter is melted and the butter and brown sugar are smooth. Remove from heat, stirring. Whisk together eggs in separate bowl, and pour slowly in a thin stream into butter and sugar mixture. Be sure to whisky thoroughly as the eggs hit the mixture, as it will still be hot and could cause scrambled eggs to appear! Once eggs are fully incorporated, stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Place saucepan over medium heat, and stir in flour one cup at a time, followed by baking powder and baking soda. Now, your batter is ready.
Pour batter into the greased pan, and tap on counter to even out the batter. Pour remaining Maple Syrup in a zig-zag over the top of the batter, so it can bake into the Blondies. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until an insert comes out clean when inserted. Let cool for a few minutes, and cut while warm. Enjoy
Friday, April 16, 2010
We had the Glee Party. And we loved every minute of it. The morning began with a little message from a report at CNN.com. They were doing a story on Glee and found my blog and wanted to interview me for their story. WHAT?! I half-expected for her next statement to be that she had a brother who was a prince in a foreign country who needed my social security number to get me my fortune. But, that never happened, and the story was run later that day. Check it out. I’m super excited to be included in this article! Thanks, CNN!
The cupcakes came from the same recipe I used for this Vanilla Bean cake. Ok, I can not lie. They came from Trader Joes box mix. BUT, if I had more time, I would have used the Vanilla Bean Cake recipe. It’s moist, delicious, and homemade. And not hard.
And then you add a bit of this Rose extract. I bought this at Sur la Table, and it’s wonderful. These cupcakes really do indeed taste like how fresh roses smell. And here’s a bonus: it says to use it in baking, or you can add it to a bath with a bunch of rose petals. Heavenly? I think so.
I cheated again and used Betty Crocker Dark chocolate icing and then sprinkled a bit of sanding sugar. Because, when you are entertaining, you work, you have school, etc. then sometimes it’s just about putting it together in a timely manner and entertaining well. And entertaining we did. In addition to the cupcakes we had a spread of appetizers, Dulce de Leche Coffee (post soon), and a little wine tasting competition!
Each person brought a bottle of wine that is $5 or less. We covered the labels with a sticky note with a number on each one, and everyone tasted their hearts out! During commercial breaks, everyone voted. The first place winners (there was tie) got a free pint of ice cream of their choice from Bonnie the Baker herself. The second place winner got another prize that will be revealed in another post.
Don’t you love entertaining? And don’t you love Glee?
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Rose-Vanilla cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.
8:30 pm, the GLEE begins.
Friday, April 9, 2010
I know that most people know this trick. Making your own Dulce de Leche in the crockpot. But I must tell you that I felt like a scientist, like Bill Nye, or a chemist of sorts when I made this. Seriously. Easiest, most rewarding recipe yet.
And this ice cream is super easy as well. For those of you that get nervous about eating eggs in your ice cream, never fear this recipe doesn’t call for it. The Dulce de Leche is so thick that you really don’t need any. Or, if you want to get over your fear, here’s a few tips on putting eggs in your ice cream.
And guess what else I did? I made this affogato. This is a fancy term for pouring some hot espresso (ok, I’m not that fancy, it was only coffee) over these scoops. Affogato in Italian means to “drown”, you are literally drowning the ice cream in espresso. Like a Dulce de Leche coffee, only hot and cold. Delicious.
Oh, and I put it in this Cowboy martini glass. I know! So cute, right? My friend Megan gave this to me for my birthday a few years back and I just love it. I wear cowboy boots quite frequently and I woke up to the Dixie Chicks almost every morning when I was a junior in High School. It’s still my mom’s jam.
And seriously making your own Dulce de Leche is like magic.
Dulce de Leche Ice Cream adapted from Epicurious.com
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh brewed coffee or esperesso (optional)
Before you go to sleep, place can of sweetened condensed milk into small crock pot. Fill with water until can is totally covered. Place lid on, and set to low. Go to sleep. Wake up. Turn of crock pot, and carefully remove hot can from crock pot. Open with can opener and magic! Dulce de Leche. Set aside.
Place heavy whipping cream and whole milk into large saucepan over medium heat. Heat while stirring until it’s almost to a boil. Remove from heat. Whisk Dulce de Leche into milk and cream until fully incorporated. Whisk vanilla into milk and cream. Pour mixture into metal bowl. There will be some small pieces of Dulce de Leche, no harm done, add them to the metal bowl by scraping the pan. Place bowl into refrigerator and let cool completely. Churn with ice cream maker that has been frozen according to manufacturer’s instructions. Let freeze overnight to get to be ice cream consistency. Scoop into bowl and pour as much hot espresso or coffee over scoop until it is drowned. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I have a habit of texting possible children names to my husband. I am not pregnant. We are not planning on having kids soon. But I would like to pick out a good, solid name. With parents named “Bonnie” and “Josiah” my kids better have a good name. My favorites are state or country names. These names are classic and have the ability to sound whimsical yet dignified. Done and done.
And so you can imagine my utter excitement when last week I decided that “Basil” was a wonderful name. Not Basil that rhymes frazzle, but Basil. Legit Basil. I got no text back.
So Basil isn’t approved for a child’s name. But it is fully approved for an ice cream. I’m not even joking. I wasn’t joking about the kid’s name either. Do you think that I get a bit more say since I will be carrying the baby for 9 months? Since I will gain the weight, get the morning sickness, and wont be able to sleep on my favorite stomach sleeping position?! I mean really.
And as kids they will do things like dye Easter eggs. I know this because my family came to town and we did this. As adults. ”Hey, Carolina Lewis, what color did you dye your egg?” ”London Lewis, are you going to write something with the magic crayon?” ”Hold on Georgia, your sister is not done with that color yet.” Clearly these two names are at the top of the list. My sister said that “Carolina Lewis” sounded like she would be cooler than every member of our family combined.
And so here I sit. Nowhere closer to nailing down a baby name, and frankly that’s probably a good thing since, well, there is no baby. But these conversations are good because they gave birth (no pun intended) to this freaking great ice cream. And don’t you think Basil Ice Cream should be eaten out of a wine glass? It’s just that classy.
Classy like my kids: Carolina, London, and Georgia.
Basil Ice Cream very slightly adapted from David Lebovitz
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1 lemon, zested and a squirt of lemon juice
Blend basil leaves, sugar, and 1 cup of cream until the basil leaves are as fine as possible. Pour about half of this mixture into a large metal bowl and add the remaining 1 cup of cream. Place the other half of the basil mixture into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and salt and use a heatproof spatula to slowly combine the ingredients.Do this until just combined. Do not let mixture come anywhere near a boil. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Add about 1/2 cup of the heated mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Remove basil and milk mixture from the heat, and pour egg yolks into saucepan, whisking constantly and adding the yolks in a thin, constant, stream.
Place saucepan over medium heat and use the heatproof spatula to continuously stir until the mixture is thick enough to lightly coat the spatula. Now your custard is finished. Remove from heat and pour into the large metal bowl containing the other half of the original basil mixture. Give this a stir. Place bowl into refrigerator and let cool completely. Once cooled, zest a small lemon into a small bowl and set aside. Lightly squeeze the juice of this lemon into the cooled mixture. Pour mixture into ice cream maker that has been frozen according to manufacturer’s instructions. Churning cycle will take about 35-40 minutes. Once cycle is done, fold in lemon zest and store in airtight container until ready to eat.