A Mother’s Magic Touch

Quick reminder: the homemade cookie giveaway ends this Friday! Post a comment on my new URL to enter!

 

blueberry almond flat-cakes

 

I tried mixing up a batch of just-like-Mom’s blueberry pancakes last week. After burning the first plate and chucking it in the trash, I realized I really should have paid closer attention to Mom’s cooking in the kitchen as a 5-year-old instead of banging on pots and pans with a wooden spoon…

 

But I was just too picky of an eater! The moment that Mom flipped my plain pancakes onto my plate, I’d smother them in syrup and happily munch away, completely ignoring Mom as she stirred fresh blueberries into the remaining batter. (I hated things mixed into my pancakes. No fruit, no nuts, no oats… Well, I might’ve been okay with chocolate chips or sprinkles.)  (more…)

February 18, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Midweek Meals. 14 comments.

Share the Love — Valentine’s Day Blog Swap

Today is our lucky day! Andrea from Mrs. Webb in the Kitchen is going to teach us how to make special truffle stuffed strawberries. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

 

Andrea and I met in high school and bonded over cold nights marching around the football field for band and giggling our way through nasally accents in French class. Although we lost touch for a few years after graduation, I found out last fall that she now works in a bakery—my dream job! She has picked up lots of tricks and tips, especially in the cake decorating world, and I begged her to share some with us.

 

In exchange, I wrote a guest post for her with a recipe for heart-shaped french toast for two. Be sure to check it out after reading her truffle tutorial, as well as her dainty French macarons and moist gingerbread cake with molasses frosting!

 

truffle-stuffed chocolate covered strawberries

 

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day. Even before I had a sweetheart of my own, I adored a day dedicated to pink hearts, pretty flowers, and candy. In my elementary school years, I couldn’t wait to hand out silly and sweet paper valentines to my classmates- each of the pre-printed sentiments carefully sorted into classmate, crush, or friend-worthy categories!

 

This year, in lieu of passing out stale old conversation hearts, I thought I’d try my hand at some hand-crafted truffles. These strawberry truffles, however, are a fusion of two of the most classic heart day treats: truffles and chocolate covered strawberries! My original plan was to add a berry-flavored extract to ganache to make a traditional truffle interior. Instead, I decided to stuff the ganache inside a real, live strawberry.   Continue reading for recipe.

February 11, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 6 comments.

Sourpuss Turned Sweet

My last post didn’t publish correctly… I was thanking you for all of the thoughtful comments you left on my sweet and sneaky veggie series! I also asked what vegetables you’d like to see in the next sequel series, so please leave a comment with your requests!

 

And now on to fruits

 

blueberry lemon yogurt cookies

 

Everyone I know owns a lemon tree. My coworkers, my parents, the mailman, the speedy grocery cashier, that one house on my morning running route… Everyone but me.

 

I sulked for a while over that fact. They were so lucky; they could walk outside and pick citrus any time a lemonade, lemon bar, or lemon meringue pie craving hit. Me, I had to plan ahead for my cravings to ensure I wrote “lemons” on my weekly grocery list.

 

But then the light bulb in my brain flickered on…   Continue reading for recipe.

February 4, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 32 comments.

Best Desserts of 2012

With New Year’s Eve drawing near, I started flipping through photos from 2012 to smile at the year’s fun memories. As I scrolled through the albums, I laughed… All of my pictures were of food! (Well okay, except for the summer vacation to Kauai. And the father-daughter trip to Arizona.)

 

So I can’t exactly share very many memories, seeing as I barely remember lots of them, but I can relive a few of my favorite recipes instead!   Continue reading for recipes.

December 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 19 comments.

I Should’ve Been a Boy Scout…

blackberry cobbler for one

When I mentioned to my guy that I had never attempted to make a cobbler, he replied, “Oh, it’s really easy!” Pause, rewind… WHAT? My man, who avoids baking like the bubonic plague, has made cobbler before me??

 

After I nearly went into anaphylactic shock, he finally explained that he baked cobblers in Boy Scouts. They emptied canned peaches into a Dutch oven, dumped a boxed biscuit mix on top, and heated in over the fire until their stomachs growled and the fruit juices bubbled.

 

Well then.   Continue reading for recipe.

December 19, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts, Midweek Meals. 4 comments.

Falling for Fall

apple and cinnamon muffins

Oh autumn. The rusty orange leaves, the gray morning fog, the briskly blowing breezes… Yeah, I could do without the last two. While they give me the perfect excuse to curly up inside with a fuzzy fleece blanket, I much prefer other reminders of the changing seasons. Ones that warm my bones instead of freezing them stiff and solid.

 

Like pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake… Or ginger. Gingerbread, gingersnaps, gingerbread cookies… Or apples.   Continue reading for recipe.

October 15, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. 2 comments.

Scones (or Bust!)

On the last Sunday of the month, the country club in my parents’ town hosts a gourmet buffet brunch. Long white-clothed tables tremble from the weight of bacon, sausages, hash browns, shrimp, salads, eggs benedict, chicken cordon bleu… At the end of the spread, a smiling chef stands ready to cook waffles or omelets to order, complete with fresh hand-carved meat. Yet another table holds the desserts, ranging from New York cheesecake and crème brûlée to chocolate-dipped strawberries and glazed fruit tartlettes.

 

In June, my brother discovered the buttery cranberry scones, and despite a shower of crumbs falling to his plate, he quickly recommended them as he stood up to take another. I followed him back to the buffet line to snag my own. After my first bite, I nearly took the entire platter back to our table, but my little conscious whispered that wouldn’t be the politest thing to do…

 

So I waited (rather impatiently) until July to eat a second. And promptly scolded my goodie-two-shoes conscious. That batch lacked both flavor and texture, and I left the half-eaten pastry on my plate.   Continue reading for recipe.

August 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Midweek Meals. 5 comments.

Feelings About Fillings

Pies bring out my inner neat-freak. Not from the flour spilling all over the counter when rolling out the crust or from the dough tearing and sticking to the rolling pin. Not from the fruit unevenly poured into the shell or from the juices haphazardly bubbling up through the slits in the crust.

 

It’s from slicing the pie into pieces to serve. After the host removes the triangles, the remaining fruit oozes out from the pie into the base of the tin, creating a sticky gooey mess. My hand twitches involuntarily, and I try to resist the urge to scoop up the offending fruit with a spoon and eat it just to clean up the pie plate.   Continue reading for recipe.

July 19, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. 6 comments.

Prepare Your Forks…

I know I sound like a broken record, but the guys in my family love lemon treats. That’s a capital L-O-V-E love. When birthday season rolls around and they hear my electric beaters whirring and see me juicing lemons, they turn into Pavlov’s dogs. Complete with the perked up ears and salivating mouth.

 

To start the doggies (er, men) drooling a little early this year, I decided to work on perfecting modifying their favorite lemon bundt cake. With such gorgeous juicy strawberries in season, I doubted they’d mind if I added a few to the batter. Or to the glaze.   Continue reading for recipe.

May 31, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 3 comments.

My Mom’s Day

For Mother’s Day this year, I drove down to visit my parents the night before. We prefer celebrating on Friday or Saturday to avoid the long lines and crowds of people overflowing restaurants for brunch of dinner. Mom still gets her special day, just a bit earlier than every other mother so she doesn’t need to share it with the rest of the world!

 

She wanted to eat at her favorite downtown restaurant, the Pub. She and Dad opted not to share their typical nachos, instead choosing the ultimate grilled cheese and Philly cheese steak. As for me? I ordered my favorite salad on the menu (salad at a pub, crazy I know)—and then snagged a few crispy beer-battered fries off of someone else’s plate too!   Continue reading for recipe.

May 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. Leave a comment.

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