Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stay tuned...

I'll be taking a few days off to treat my inner 12 year old(s) to a long birthday weekend, but I will return next week with a few different types of pizza!

In the meantime, why not watch some MythBusters videos to keep you entertained ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another way to sneak booze into food...

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes! It just so happened that I had a bottle of Fuller's London Porter languishing on the shelf, so when I came across this recipe over at A Whisk and A Spoon , I knew I had found a good use for it. The recipe is quite simple to follow, and bonus - it's vegan. Not that I've suddenly started eating only things that don't cast a shadow, but good vegan recipes are handy when you live with a lactoad (someone who is lactose-intolerant).

Rather than make the cake, I opted for the cupcakes so I could share more easily (or rather so I wouldn't eat it all myself :P ) and they came out nicely, though not quite as fudgy as the original recipe shows. But for a recipe with no eggs or dairy, they were light and moist, I was impressed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Baking with Julia: Irish Soda Bread

I don't really have much to say about this recipe, except: It was freakin' delicious. After the rugelach adventures a few weeks ago, I am *all about* something that is tasty and easy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Maxwell & Williams Microstoven bakeware

This unassuming little casserole dish is, hands down, one of my favorite kitchen items. I love it even more than my immersion blender and my digital scale, put together. Maybe not quite as much as my KitchenAid stand mixer, but then even B has a hard time competing with that. ;)

It is a Maxwell & Williams Microstoven dish... a silly name, perhaps, but it is one worth remembering. The Microstoven line is (as the name suggests) made to be used in the microwave, on gas or electric stove tops, and the oven, as well as being both freezer and dishwasher safe. And it is non-stick. *fans herself frantically* For me, that last one is the best bit... I can bake a batch of gooey macaroni and cheese in this dish and once it is empty, simply wipe it clean with a paper towel.

Hang on, let me say that again... after baking macaroni and cheese in this dish, I can clean it using nothing but a paper towel. (I actually clean it with soap and water of course, but I could just wipe it out and no one would be the wiser!!) For a girl who hates doing dishes, that's huge. There may have been a few tears shed the first time I cleaned it. But ease of cleaning aside, this dish just bakes things well. Everything I have cooked in it has come out perfectly... it heats evenly and I've had success with both savory dishes like stews and casseroles as well as desserts like bread pudding.

They have a large variety of shapes and sizes as well, including tajines, pie dishes, rectangular baking dishes, etc. They're a little bit more expensive than brands like Pyrex or Corningware, but I've often found them at Sears or The Bay on sale at a good price, and for the superior quality of the dishes, I think they're well worth it. If you come across them, I highly recommend you get yourself a piece (if not more). Bake ware doesn't usually inspire me to gush like this, but the Microstoven pieces have rocked my world. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How to Kill Your Friends with Too Much Food

I don't really know why (and frankly have learned not to question these sudden "I have to...!" urges anymore) but I decided it was time to host a cheese tasting. So with the help of a few friends, we organized a sort of pot luck evening where everyone brought a bit of cheese and drink to share.

Now, I had fully intended to have everything perfectly organized and do the evening in three services. First would be the soft/mild cheeses, then the stronger aged cheeses and finishing up with the stinky blue cheeses. Each course would be accompanied by a variety of nibbles and drinks with dessert and tea to finish. I also intended to have everything go seamlessly so I could flit about and take tons of pictures and make sure everyone was happily enjoying the offerings, while still saving room for the next service.

That was the plan. It sounds lovely, no? In reality...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Baking with Julia: Rugelach

This recipe was tough. Really tough. Rather than being satisfied and proud with the pile of gooey, crunchy/crumbly cookies I had at the end of it, I was irritated and cranky. What I got as an end result were actually very good, but the steps leading up to that were so frustrating, I really couldn't take much pleasure in the finished product.
Apple/Raisin/Walnut Rugelach