Category Archives: Baking



This week brought us in the Northern Hemisphere the first day of Autumn.  It also brought Smedette her first day of school.

After being away from the world of academia for a decade, I have ventured back into its seemingly inviting embrace.

I’m looking to upgrade a current credential/degree and set myself on a path for even more education (and debt).  I’ve missed using my brain.

I admit, I feel overwhelmed right now.  I have forgotten how to be a student, how to appropriately manage my time, but maybe that is just seeing a stack of syllabi and realizing this is for real now.

So, I did what any reasonable adult would do and baked.  Sure, I probably should have been reading, but I really feel my nerves were but to better use by peeling and chopping fruit.

Mixed Fruit Crumble

  • In a mixing bowl, peel and chop enough fruit to fill the entire bottom and half the volume of baking dish of your choice.  Stick with pears, apples and stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, etc).
  • Sprinkle the chopped fruit with lemon juice (like from half a lemon, more if you want…as you can tell, this is going to be very free-form) and freshly grated ginger (how much?  I don’t know, use your nose.  You will know when it’s enough).  Drizzle a bunch of honey over everything, mix and pour into your baking dish.
  • In the same bowl, add some quick-cooking oats (for a 9×13 baking dish, I probably used two cups), healthy sprinkle of cinnamon, handful or so of chopped nuts; mix well.  Feel free to toss in any other spices: nutmeg, cloves, additional ginger, etc.  Add a few tablespoons of melted butter and mix.  There will be dry bits and wet clumps; this is fine.  Do not drown the thing in butter.  Pour over the fruit.
  • Bake at 375F until golden brown; this could be 30+ minutes.
  • Eat to avoid math homework.

Posted by on 24 September 2013 in Baking, Cooking, Food, Fruit, Recipes


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Pi Day 2012

Blackberry-Lemon Pie

Cheesecake with Lemon Curd and Raspberries

Almond-Pear Tart

Pepper-Onion-Garlic-Asparagus-Smoked Cheddar Quiche


Posted by on 14 March 2012 in Baking, Cooking, Food, Holidays, Photographs


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>Tuesdays With Dorie: Devil’s Food White-Out Cake


Uh, yeah. After a recent late night Ben & Jerry’s binge, this cake is so not in my future.

Kudos to Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater for selecting the cover cake! Complete recipe information can be found on her post or on page 247 of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Be sure to visit the Tuesdays With Dorie blog roll and see how the other bakers fared.


>Tuesdays With Dorie: Thanksgiving Twofer Pie

> I found myself quite excited about this recipe, selected by Vibi of La Casserole Carrée. Many people speak of the great debate at Thanksgiving: Pumpkin vs Pecan, but I have never participated in such a debate as I cannot say no to either and end up consuming mass quantities of both.

Nothing says “Hooray for the pillaging of stolen land from native people!” than good ol’ fashioned American gluttony. Onto the pie.

Thanksgiving Twofer Pie

* Pie Crust
* Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree
* Heavy Cream
* Eggs
* Rum
* Vanilla Extract
* Cinnamon
* Ginger
* Salt
* Corn Syrup
* Brown Sugar
* Unsalted Butter
* Pecans – Halves or Pieces

The pumpkin filling is made and poured in first followed by the pecan filling. I had pictured a layered pie, but this was not the case – the pecans are not formally mixed with the pumpkin, but pushed under.

Despite my high hopes, I was not happy with this pie; found it heavy on sweet and not much else (I tend to add a lot more cinnamon, ginger as well as ground cloves to my pumpkin pie). Not a terrible pie, but I think I will keep these two personalities separate in the future.

For complete recipe information, please visit Vibi’s post and be sure to see how all of the other bakers did this week by searching the blogroll.

Now, for those who know me, you may say I’m a cynic when the holidays roll around and I would not be one to argue with you. However skeptical, suspicious or disgusted with the commercialism I may be, there has been, on the rare occasion, a faint beating of my pitiful black heart hidden away in my dank chest cavity. Riding high on this emotional wave, I would like to acknowledge what I am thankful for:

* My health. We’ve had our ups and downs, but Health, as long as you keep your shit together, I’ll look into a few less hangovers.
* My little sister, Emily. Before the rest of my siblings get their panties in an uproar – I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU TOO, JERKS! Emily and I are 11 years apart and I always picture her as this little kid who would hold my hand to cross streets or laugh until she cried with glee when I let her stay up past her bedtime. She’s now 17 with multiple facial piercings and we do not talk as often as we should, but when we do she blows my mind. There have been two moments in my life when Emily has muttered the most mundane series of words, but they pulled me back from falling off the proverbial edge. Watch out for this one, World.
* Matt. Thank you for all you do.

I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, Internets.

Posted by on 25 November 2008 in Baking, Holidays, Pie, Tuesdays With Dorie


>Tuesdays With Dorie: Arborio Rice Pudding

> One word for you: disgusting. I hate rice pudding with a passion that runs deep. It is a foul substance and looks like maggots feasting on other maggots in their own frothing waste.

You’re welcome.

My apologies to Isabella of Les Gourmandises d’Isa who selected the recipe. I just could not bring myself to do it.

However, I spent some time baking non-vomit-inducing alternatives (read: make-up from when I was a bad, non-participating baker):

Pumpkin Muffins

Lemon Biscotti

Both were great and have wonderful futures in this house. The post today is succinct as we are hosting a cocktail party this weekend and I need to do my wifey duties and get to menu plannin’.

Please visit the Tuesdays With Dorie blogroll to see how the amazing bakers did with all of these recipes.

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Posted by on 18 November 2008 in Baking, Tuesdays With Dorie


>Tuesdays With Dorie: Kugelhopf

> I grew up calling this yeasty treat “gugelkupf”; the base recipe was always the same, but the fruit and nut additions changed with the seasons.

I had guglekupf was about a year ago when my Czech landlady left a cake on the tiny kitchenette counter outside of my rented bedroom. It was acting as a paperweight for my rental agreement and the meticulously typed house rules. The last time I ate this cake was when we said good-bye; she wrapped up a slice for my train ride to Austria.

When making this in the past, I’ve let the dough rise only twice, but I decided to follow Dorie’s explicit instructions. Thankfully, I read over the recipe in advance; this was critical step as I had no idea it needed to sit in the refrigerator overnight, as well as other extended rising times.

I mixed everything by hand without issue. My kitchen smelled amazing while it was baking and I’m pleased with how the gugelkupf tasted – not too “yeasty” which can turn some people off.

Not sure why it has been so long since I’ve baked one! Won’t let that happen again.

Kugelhopf (Gugelhupf):
* Raisins
* Yeast
* Whole Milk
* Flour
* Salt
* Eggs
* Sugar
* Butter

My notes:
→ To fit the season, I added pureed pumpkin, ground cinnamon and cloves to the batter; cooking time needed some adjusting.
→ I soaked very thin apple slices in rum and then layered them in the bottom of the pan before pouring in the batter.
→ The final rise (in the pan) technically happened; think my kitchen may have been on the cold side and it did not “rise to the edge of the pan”. However, I do not think this affected the cake (was not dense)
→ Pouring melted butter of the top sounded amazing, but I opted not to do this as rum-soaked apples seemed like a fair substitute.
→ Was excellent with a hot mug of spiced cider.

This recipe was selected by Yolanda of The All-Purpose Girl and the complete recipe can be found on her blog or on page 61 of Baking: From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. To how the other bakers fared with this recipes, please visit the blog roll.


Posted by on 11 November 2008 in Baking, Cake, Tuesdays With Dorie


>Tuesdays With Dorie: Caramel Topped Peanut Brownie Cake

>This recipe was selected by Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy. I haven’t been able to read much of Tammy’s blog, but that is about to change as I found it full of fabulous photographs and baking ideas.

Now, I’m full of food related contradictions: I like chocolate cake alone, peanut brittle alone, but cannot get enough of chocolate-peanut butter candies, fudges and ice cream. I’m also weird about the sizes of nuts, but that’s a story for my therapist.

The cake mixed and baked well and I did get the concave center that Dorie warned about. The caramel topping seemed to take forever to become, well, caramel. The recipe made a great deal of sauce and gave the cake picturesque dripping.

Caramel Topped Peanut Brownie Cake:
* Flour
* Baking Soda
* Salt
* Butter
* Bittersweet Chocolate
* Eggs
* Brown Sugar
* Sugar
* Corn Syrup
* Vanilla Extract
* Sugar
* Water
* Corn Syrup
* Heavy Cream
* Butter
* Salted Peanuts

My Notes:
→ To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with this dessert. The cake was moist, but I thought it was a bit bland; not as chocolaty as I hoped for.
→ Not having peanuts on hand, I subbed hazelnuts as well as hazelnut extract for the vanilla in the cake.
→ The caramel sauce was nice, but I think I would have chopped the nuts a bit more; the nuts seemed to compete with sauce rather than blending well.
→ I would like to try this recipe again – perhaps as cupcakes. And, contradicting my earlier contradiction, I think I will stick with the hazelnut extract and maybe add some espresso and more chocolate.

For complete recipe details, please visit Tammy’s post. To see how the others fared, please visit the Tuesdays With Dorie Blogroll.

I remember taking photographs of this cake, but cannot seem to locate….will post them as soon as I figure out what I did…..

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Posted by on 7 October 2008 in Baking, Cake, Dessert, Tuesdays With Dorie


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