Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Know I've Been Putting A Lot Of Baked Goods Up Here But ...

This is possibly the prettiest looking food item I have ever produced :)

Just look at that swirl! These are Butterscotch Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies. I have yet to taste them, but they look absolutely delicious!
This is a little recipe from the Magnolia Bakery in NYC :) If you want the recipe, I can give it to you upon request. They aren't technically "brownies" when you think about it; they're more like "orangies".

I'm trying to decide what to make for the Annual Young Women's Camp Fundraiser Dessert Auction. Last year, I made flan which was delicious but under-appreciated (I know this because my parents bought it). At the time, I thought that flan was a pretty fancy dish that people would want to bid on, but I was wrong. I think it cost me more to make than it brought in.
So, this year, I am determined to make something that sounds so scrumptious that it will cause an all out bidding war!

What do you think?

Here is a list of some tasty sounding treats I am considering - please tell me which one you think will be the most popular:

Butterscotch Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies (pictured above)
Red Velvet Cupcakes (from scratch with the Hummingbird Bakery's recipe)
Black Bottom Cupcakes (chocolate sponge cake with chocolate chip cheesecake on top)
Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies (this is a three layer brownie)
Heath Bar Almond Crunch Cheesecake
Gooey Coconut Dream Bars (from Amy's Bread)
Zesty Lemon Bars (Also Amy's Bread)

So, tell me what you think! I will let Justin sample the Butterscotch brownies when he gets home to see if they are a real contender.

Another thought is: should I just make a dessert bread? Anyway ... I'm rambling.

What say you?!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Hair, It Is A-Changing

Well, today was a momentous day. I have made a serious change... to my hair!

First, let me explain my hair history. I didn't have any hair at all until I was a year old, even then it was just fuzz. By the time I was two, I had pretty much a bowl cut just because it had finally grown down that long. Throughout the rest of my young life, my mom always had my hair cut with bangs. By the time I was 14, I had had enough of the bangs. I was finally old enough to have a say in what I looked like, and I decided to grow out my bangs.

It took me almost 3 years to grow them out.

Those of you who knew me back then know that I wore a headband everyday for years - this was because I was growing out my bangs.

So, ever since then, I have always kept to a similar haircut: Mid length and layered.

So, yesterday, I made a hair appointment and started thinking about change. I had contemplated various hair cuts over the years, but my highly analytical brain always talked me out of it due to the slow rate of growth if I didn't like it.

Today, I took the plunge:

With the talent of the lovely Tara (the only one I trust with my hair), I now have BANGS!

It was quite a shock at first. It didn't feel like it was my hair, more like I was wearing a nice wig :) But it is indeed my hair.
This is an after shot of the carnage. Almost half of my head was laying on the floor.

So, now and for at least a few years to come, I will look very different. I really do like it, but it will certainly take some getting used to. I feel so mod and fashion forward. Hopefully I can make the rest of my attire live up to the new do!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another Week, Another Bread...

So, it seems that Monday has become bread-day.

I made a new bread last Monday, and I have made a new bread again this Monday :)

I've been looking through me cookbooks lately, and I was intrigued by Martha Stewart's recipe for Coca Bread.

Martha says that this is a traditional Spanish yeast bread (even though I couldn't find any pictures or recipes of it anywhere except in Martha's cookbook).

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water (110F)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter - plus more for the pan
  • 1/4 cup honey, for drizzling
  1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and warm water; let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. In a bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar, 4 cups flour, and salt. With a wooden spoon, stir in yeast mixture, milk, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup melted butter until combined. Using your hands, work the remaining flour into the dough, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough isn't sticky.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it develops a smooth satiny texture and springs back when you poke it with your finger, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly buttered bowl, rotating the dough in the bowl to coat with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Generously grease two baking sheets with some of the melted butter. Turn the dough to a clean work surface, and cut in half. Place half of the dough on each prepared baking sheet, and press into two 8x17" rectangles. Allow the dough to proof(?) for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 egg with 1 tbsp water, abd brush onto the dough.
  4. Generously sprinkle the dough with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and drizzle with honey. Bake until golden and crispy, about 18 minutes. Transfer the breads to wire racks to cool.
So, there's that. And here is the first picture of Coca Bread on the internet thus far :)
This bread is really more of a dessert or a sweet breakfast food. It is really sweet from the sugar and honey and it's absolutely fantastic when it's fresh and warm. It was nice and yeasty :)

I promise to write something about our actual life here soon. For now, it's just so much easier to enjoy the bread :)