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August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Garden Moments

flutterby and bee

Spotted flitting between the anise hyssop and this aptly named butterfly bush in the herb garden one August day, this beauty is a Red Admirable (or Red Admiral if you must be modern). They are common as the nettles upon which they nectar but I still love those marbled-looking underwings and bright blue spots.

According to Robert Pyle's book, The Butterflies of Cascadia, they also like rotting apples, which means it is probably good that the apple tree has a guardian.

One more bit of pretty after the jump...

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February 09, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Valentine's Day Cinnamon Roll

I Love Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you are either spending it with someone you love or finding a creative way to ignore it until the redPinkWhiteHeartsAndFlowers craziness is over. (This bread is a variant of Farmgirl's Oatmeal Toasting Bread, slightly corrupted, enriched with milk, eggs, brown sugar and spices.)

December 17, 2010

How to Shape Christmas Tree Bread

From the archives...

I really dislike posting a recipe I have only made once. What seems to be a simple bit of culinary magic one day may fizzle on second try. Even well-tested recipes can run into problems when moved from one region of the country to another: the moisture level of flour changes noticeably from a wet climate to a dry one, for example, and altitude screws with baking and boiling, not to mention your alcohol tolerance. (My brother-in-law who works as an EMT a mile up in the mountains tells great stories.)

There are, however, a few writers whose recipes I trust enough to go with a single pass at a recipe when I am short on time and I turned to one of them for the sweet roll dough I used for the tree. Modifications were made, of course: I zested an orange, toasted and ground cardamom, sprinkled in cinnamon, and tipped in a splash of vanilla; milk became buttermilk; sugar was reduced a little bit - there was a LOT of sugar. Ten minutes after I put it in the oven the house was filled with a heady mix of spices and I was regretting not putting an extra 'tasting' loaf in the oven. (After I took photos, I tore into a golden ball of dough; I can report the flavor lived up to its aroma-vertising.)

The crumb, sadly, did not. Dense and chewy, not tender and light. Totally wrong.

Continue reading "How to Shape Christmas Tree Bread" »

December 01, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Beet Geodes

beet geodes

The first step in drying beets is cleaning and peeling to reveal the beauty beneath.

January 15, 2010

Soothing Sunset for a Stressful Week

01.15.10 The view from here

The interwebs are burning up with chatter about Haiti and each image is more painful to look at than the last. The world, which seems so small in these days of the Internet, is suddenly both huge and tiny: the people in pain are our family, yet they are so distant that all we can do is ache...and write checks. (I recommend Doctors Without Borders via the web , or a $5 donation by texting "DOB" to 90999.)

This is not that. 

This is a momentary break. A brief moment of beauty in a high-stress week.


September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Smoked Salmon Stuffed Zucchini Flower...Yarn


Sock yarn: hand dyed (with tea and wine) from Draygone Yarnes

June 21, 2009

Look what we can do! Cupcake kebabs.

cupcake kebabs
inspiration from Nibbles by Nora, seen on Cupcakes Take the Cake and Serious Eats.

Inspired by those cupcake kebabs that have been making the rounds, theKid and I put together our own version for a Solstice party yesterday. theKid did the heavy lifting, baking about 250 mini-cupcakes from five different recipes, each with its own frosting. More amazing, she got just the right amount of frosting for each type of cupcake.This impressed me at least as much as doing all the baking.

Continue reading "Look what we can do! Cupcake kebabs." »

June 19, 2008

food porn: duck pizza

babyduck pizza

We had make your own pizza night during thump thump giggle giggle and most people made faces. DracoMiss made a pepper-breathing dragon, Monstrrr made something monstrrrlike, I made a wand with pepper sparks, and someoneElse babyduck made the cutest duck pizza you ever did see!

May 30, 2008

food porn: cookbook author's lunch

Cookbook Writer's Lunch

This is version 4 of the cake and I think I nailed it. Simple but tasty. Good stuff.

Bad stuff: This is the second cake I have baked (and eaten too much of) in as many weeks.

Good stuff: The recipe is finally right so I can quit screwing around recipe testing.

Bad stuff: I have to make another one of these this weekend so I can take pictures.

Good stuff: Leaving a message on Farmgirl's answering machine taunting her with, "I have buttercream all over my hands and you don't!"

Badder stuff: I have 3/4 of this one on the counter and while theKid is coming down, she's off sugar!

Good stuff: Free to good home: 3/4 of a delicious cake. Must be picked up at my place today.

Tomorrow's ad today: Free to good home: 1/2 of a delicious cake. Wish you'd picked it up yesterday!

May 29, 2008

food porn: Grilled Cheese Cakewich

grilled cheese cakewich

Best grilled cheese sandwich ever!

Two thin slices of pound cake, a generous slice of apricot-studded Stilton cheese, a few minutes in a skillet with a dab of butter. Moan in delight.

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