Boulangerie Bliss

If Gustave Eiffel never designed his infamous Eiffel Tower for the World’s Fair in 1889, the baguette would be the unofficial national symbol of France. French culture entirely revolves around this irresistible bread. Every other block in Paris contains a boulangerie, and picnic lunches always include bread and cheese or a sandwich on a baguette. Every café or restaurant begins its meal with a basket of fresh bread, it’s impossible to get on the metro without spotting a Parisian wielding a baguette, and Marie Antoinette never would have said, “Let them eat cake!” if the French didn’t depend so heavily on their bread.   Continue reading for recipe.

July 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. 4 comments.

Grilled Cheese Cheese Cheese

On Sunday, I lived in a nursery rhyme. Just like in “The Three Little Pigs,” the Big Bad Wolf huffed and puffed and threatened to blow my house down. Because my home isn’t make of sticks or straw, it managed to stay standing, but all of that wind left me cold, chilly, and in desperate need of some comfort food.   Continue reading for recipe.

April 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 4 comments.

T is for Tortillas

Say “tortilla” and I’m immediately transported back to my childhood where I’m standing in front of Chevy’s mesmerizing tortilla machine. The cook stuck a dough ball in one end, and the machine pressed it into a flat disc, which then cooked as it spiraled down a conveyer belt. Two minutes later, it emerged from the other end in a warm, perfect tortilla. As a tiny girl, the workers found me cute enough to give me a dough ball to play with every time I wandered away from the table to watch the machine. Chevy’s was my favorite restaurant growing up because of those dough balls.    Continue reading for recipe.

February 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Alphabet Adventure. 11 comments.

Saturday Morning Memories

When I was a tiny little girl, no more than five, Saturday mornings were my favorite time of the week.  My internal alarm clock woke me up at 6 am, just in time to toddle downstairs to watch “Blue’s Clues” and “Gullah Gullah Island.”  The latter was my favorite.  I sang along to their theme song before lying down on the couch to watch the episode and daydream about dancing with their bright yellow frog friend.

 

But the best part was when Mom brought me breakfast during my Nickelodeon shows.      Continue reading for recipe.

January 22, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. Leave a comment.

Breaking My New Year’s Resolution

It was quite the affair.  A sinfully chocolaty affair.  As I stood in my kitchen, preparing to begin the ordeal, I felt so guilty.  But who doesn’t, after desperately trying to stick to a resolution?      Continue reading for recipe.

January 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. 2 comments.

O is for (French) Onion Soup

The closest grocery store was fresh out of octopus, and since I’m not Southern, okra was out of the question.  With the weather outside being so cold I can’t feel my fingers through my fleece-lined gloves, soup became the most appealing option.      Continue reading for recipe.

January 9, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Alphabet Adventure. 2 comments.

Thinking Outside the Pocket

Earlier, I made a batch of pita bread.  Such a huge disappointment…  After spending too much time rolling and shaping the little pockets, they looked so pretty when they puffed up in the oven but were completely lacking in the taste category.  Because I made more than a dozen pita pockets, there was absolutely no way I could eat that many sandwiches and stay sane before mold invaded my bread, so I tried to think outside the box.  What other recipes could pita bread be used in?  I came up with…

  • croutons
  • baked as chips for hummus
  • the crust for individual pizzas
  • or…

    Continue reading for recipe.

January 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 4 comments.

What’s Your Favorite Smell?

My favorite smells in the entire world are…

~ vanilla-scented anything

~ coconut lotion

~ the first few drops of rain

~ fresh baked bread

 

Lately, I’ve been craving the bread smell more than anything else, but by the time I actually get around to pulling the ingredients off the shelves, it’s pretty late in the afternoon and my bread wouldn’t be ready until after I finish eating dinner.  Although most days I wouldn’t mind eating warm-out-of-the-oven bread for dessert, I wanted this batch to be ready before the meal.  To solve that problem, I turned to my baking cookbook, flipped through the pages, and stopped when I found a recipe that only required an hour for the bread to rise.  Perfect!          Continue reading for recipe.

December 31, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Baked Bliss. Leave a comment.

C is for Chili and Cornbread

I need to practice my poker face, find a casino, and play some Texas Hold ‘Em because I’ve got a sweet lucky streak going on.  Is it possible to make four tantalizing dishes I’ve never attempted before three weeks straight?  Going by my taste buds, it certainly is.

Now that it’s beginning to feel like fall, chili seemed like the perfect “C” meal to try, and even though I’ve made cornbread previously, it perfectly complements this hearty dish.  (Chili was the main C, so I decided it’d be okay to bend the rules a little and just try a new cornbread recipe.)  On cold winter days, the kinds with a fire crackling away in the fireplace and a football game on TV, Mom used to put some cornbread in the oven, heat up a can of chili, and we’d have an easy and tasty meal.   Continue reading this post.

October 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Alphabet Adventure. 4 comments.

B is for Buttermilk Biscuits

“Buttermilk biscuits” popped into my head the moment I moved on to the second letter of the alphabet.  Growing up, the only biscuits we ever ate were made by the Pillsbury dough boy, although that never mattered when my brother and I came in from freezing our fingers off for three hours at our marching band rehearsals on the football field.  My marching band days are long gone, but I still crave the delicious smell of biscuits in the oven – and the even better melt-in-your-mouth reward once they come out.

I’d never actually cooked with buttermilk, or even tasted it, before I attempted making these biscuits.  Its thick consistency and buttery smell surprised me, although the latter of the two I probably should have deduced from its name…  After some quick mixing, shaping, and rolling of the drop biscuits, I popped them into the oven and waited while the delicious smell wafted out of the kitchen.  Believe it or not, the biscuits tasted even better than they smelled, all rich and buttery and so much more comforting than the Pillsbury dough boy!

October 18, 2010. Tags: , , , . Alphabet Adventure, Baked Bliss. Leave a comment.

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