Sunday, February 22, 2015

Brief Blogging Break

Hi! I've got a busy March planned, so I'm taking a brief blogging break. See you in April! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Poetry

Philip Levine was a Poet Laureate for the United States. He passed away last week. His ability to find poetry in daily life was a enviable talent. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Nutella Brioche Flower

Nutella Brioche Flower Bread...that pretty much says it all. Nutella is spread on an eggy dough. Then, it is cut and twisted into this fancy flower shape. 

I think that bread being baked is pretty much the best aroma on the earth. You add in the scents of chocolate and hazelnuts and you've created nose nirvana in your kitchen. Even bunnies can't pass up this treat!

I used this recipe from The Bread Kitchen. The video is definitely worth watching. It's somewhat tedious to assemble, but it's not difficult at all. The only change I made was to the timing. I let my dough rise overnight in the fridge. That way I only had shaping and proofing to do in the morning. 

The swirled bread came out tender and sweet. If you don't have Nutella on hand, don't let that hold you back! I think this would be amazing with cinnamon roll filling or your favorite jam. ♥

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sunk to a New Low

Yep, I made cake in a microwave. I've seen "microwave mug cakes" here and there online. I figured they'd be gross, but my curiosity got the best of me. 

I used a recipe from Pop Sugar for red velvet cake. In five microwaved minutes we had a cake! I don't know if this should make me happy or very sad. Part of the fun of cake is the care that goes into prepping it, and then enjoying the wait while it bakes and cools. Microwaved cake is definitely way less romantic. 

How was it? It was tough in spots and tender in other spots.  It surprisingly looked and tasted like cake. It would scratch the itch if you had a mega cake craving, but oven baked cakes are definitely worth the time and effort. If I didn't have an oven, I'd probably make this occasionally, but, since I do have a oven, this will probably be the only time I do this. 

Hopefully your Valentine's Day is a little sexier than microwaved cake. As for me, I hope mine will include chocolate. Hint. Hint. ;)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dulce de Leche + Alfajores

Alfajores.  These little unassuming cookies are packed with delicious flavor.  They take a few steps, but they are extremely simple skill wise.  These are definitely going in the keeper pile.  


Step 1-Dulce de Leche
I used this recipe.

Step2-Alfajores Cookies
I used this recipe.


Step 3-Assemble & Roll
I processed my coconut so that it would be a little finer texture.

***I've made dulce de leche before using a different method.  Both work, but I'll be using this new way in the future.  I prefer to use my oven vs. crock pot. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness Week

Tomorrow is the start of Random Acts of Kindness Week 2015.  Yes, that's a real thing.  I am the first to eye-roll at things like this, but, once I'm done trying to be cool, I have to admit I'm a fan of the idea.  I've had a lot going on lately, and this will be a fun distraction.

I am going to make sure I complete three random acts this week.  It's a small goal, but it's something.  I am really excited to look for opportunities to be consciously kind.  I'm thinking a treat for the neighbors, a note for a friend, and maybe even something kind for my main squeeze.  Here's to a fun week! ♥  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cake. Cake. Cake.

Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla...just like my childhood favorite ice cream flavor, Neapolitan! 

I debated for way too long about the perfect frosting situation. Thought of matching flavors to the cake. I considered strawberry jam. In the end, basic vanilla buttercream just felt right. 

Sometimes I try to make the surface as smooth as my skills will allow, but this time I wanted to keep the texture. 

I put the baked layers in the freezer to make shaping and frosting easier. After carving, I did a quick crumb coat. I don't always do that, but for this cake I wanted to keep the frosting fairly thin. Even though I'm a frosting lover, I'm learning that with a layered cake it can be overwhelming if it's too thick. 

The end result is just what I had hoped it would be. Don't you just love it when things turn out that way? After a very disappointing experience with fondant a few days ago I felt extra happy when this turned out right.