Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blueberry Pie, Deep Dish

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Like many lovers of pie, my favorite part of a pie, is its crust, followed closely by a gratuitous amount of filling. With that in mind, this Deep Dish Blueberry Pie easily becomes the ideal ratio for enjoyment. Its flaky lard and butter crust is pressed across a springform pan for easy handling and filled to its brim with a freshly made blueberry filling. A very small part of me thought bringing this recipe to a barbecue with only a few people would leave a few slices to be eaten (by me) later ... but I underestimated how much people love their pie. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Corn Cakes, gluten-free

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Can't eat gluten but love cornbread? These gluten-free Corn Cakes rely on a cauliflower puree to complete this pancake version of the delicious treat. A shallow fry completes the fluffy corn cake, which pairs as a great side with dinner or on its own as a warm buttery snack. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Coconut Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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Whether you're craving a tropical flavor or decadent dessert, even if you don't yet know you have such a craving, this three-layered Coconut Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream is sure to satisfy! The simple white cake stacked on heaping layers of 'fancy frosting' remains light and fluffy with each bite. The sweetened flakes within the batter suggests what its coconut flaked exterior provides: a deliciously classic coconut cake. This was another dessert eaten up in less than 24 hours, so be sure to save a slice for later if you want seconds! Enjoy!!
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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Chocolate Stuffed Pound Cake Bites

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If you loved the Cream Cheese Pound Cake, then you may love this one a bit more. This alteration takes the same recipe and repackages it for a tasty morsel of sweet. The miniaturized Chocolate Stuffed Pound Cakes are baked in a miniature muffin tin, with a piece of chocolate placed into the center of each. It makes for a  great bite-sized surprise for those not wanting to commit to a full slice of a cake. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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When I was growing up, Cream Cheese Pound Cake was a family favorite for a smidgeon of sweetness to go with a warm cup of (decaffeinated) coffee. Dense by nature, the cake is also soft, moist, with a nice spring in its form. It bakes into a soft buttery yellow and hits the right spot(s) each and every time! Enjoy!! 
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Chocolate Drop Peanut Butter Cookies, Salted

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I wanted to stray from the cookie tray, but these Salted Chocolate Drop Peanut Butter Cookies kept calling me back! This classic cookie was not laden with peanut butter, but rather teased the tastebuds with only a hint. Don't worry! The peanut butter does permeate, in the subtlest fashion, its cake-like container under a drop of dark chocolate and sprinkle of coarse sea salt to finish. A variation on a traditional treat, but for me, far more preferable to eat. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Classic Cinnamon Rolls, revisited

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Lately, I have been thinking about how I could simplify dough-making for a comparable, but faster, treat. I revisited my Classic Cinnamon Roll (See Recipe) to remove the wait time of a traditional yeast rise. In less than 25 minutes, I had a workable dough, layered and rolled with cinnamon-sugar, sliced and baking in the oven. While still warm, I glazed the rolls with a sweetened thick, creamy frosting, oozing down the sides of the hot pastry. Now how did the golden sweet rolls compare? Well, in less than 24 hours, ALL of the cinnamon rolls were consumed! Enjoy!!
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Homestyle Hamburger Buns

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If you were ever wondering how to make Homestyle Hamburger Buns to serve with a juicy barbecued burger, you’re in luck: I wondered the same thing! Playing with dough can be instructive: some tinkering with egg led me to forming these buns, readily mistaken for a bag of freshly baked buns at a local bakery. The buns were light and fluffy with a sprinkle of sesame seeds sealing the look and eliciting the doubt-laden question: “Wait, you made these?!" Bake to impress. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

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If anyone wonders where to put the extra jam leftover from an earlier recipe, these Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars may be the solution. When I make fresh jams, I usually make more than I can actually use, resulting in some alternative applications (think: sweet meets savory). In this dessert, the wonderfully tangy raspberry jam swirled into the vanilla cheesecake filling is a great blend of silky sweet atop a buttery shortbread crust. Another sharable treat that makes for a charmingly sized barbecue bite. Enjoy!! 
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Danish, Raspberry or Cheese

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While fiddling around with buttery croissant dough, I realized during the "butter layer" stage I made a particularly delicious blunder.  Spreading softened butter onto the dough prior to folding, instead of using a semi-firm butter layer, made for a softer layered pastry. And thus these Raspberry and Cheese Danishes were fashioned. Filled with a dollop of cream cheese, or freshly prepared raspberry jam, this buttery pastry was  delectably soft and layered, making for a delightful breakfast treat. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Raspberry Jam

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This fresh Raspberry Jam is a perfectly tart addition to the growing collection of jams, jellies, and compotes. Serving up heaping flavor in a small spoonful, it works wonderfully as a glaze, atop breads, or as a filling. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Buttery Croissants, Almond or Plain

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Besides their signature flaky layers, croissants are best known for their buttery taste. The chilled butter worked into the dough separates it from a basic bread and forms the layers many of us have come to appreciate. These Almond and Plain Croissants were inspired from a local pastry shop that makes some of the best croissants I've enjoyed in Los Angeles. The almond paste and glaze permeate the croissant with a delicious almond flavor and each buttery layer is thoroughly enjoyed with no need for additional condiments. Of course, if you want a croissant absent the sweetness, simply remove the almond paste and glaze from the mix. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tarte Tatin

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Years ago I met a wonderful French chef who baked some of the tastiest desserts, with Tarte Tatin being among my favorites. Forming the method from memory, coupled with my experience in classic southern pies, I shaped the dessert I thoroughly enjoyed. The caramelized apples flipped perfectly onto the golden crust and formed beautifully along the top of the apple tart. The dessert was just as delightful as I remembered and welcomed quite warmly by friends. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Almond Butter Truffles

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A cook rarely complains when any particular dessert is incredibly easy to make, especially with a party on the horizon. These Almond Butter Truffles are a simple morsel of confection offering up what their name suggests: almond butter pressed into a rich chocolate. Served chilled, these truffles are lightly sweetened mouthfuls for dinner guest enjoyment. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Peach Cobbler

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Sometimes on those warm, sunny days, you just don't want to share your afternoon treat with anyone. Paired with a refreshing iced tea, an individually portioned Peach Cobbler will satiate any summer afternoon! Each cobbler combines fresh peaches with a cloud of buttery cake, satisfying when served warmed or chilled. Why not brighten the afternoon with a portion for one; what began as yours, can remain yours! Enjoy!!
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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Peanut Butter Fudge

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Now here's a simple treat that will take minutes to make and only seconds to finish. Peanut Butter Fudge is the disappearing dessert, combing popular flavors, packaged in its seducing fudge format. I made this particular recipe to use up a few ingredients and simplify down from all of the baking I have a tendency to do. The deliciously smooth fudge is something many learn in their pre-teens, and it remains just as delicious now as it was then! Enjoy!!
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lemon Bars

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Have you ever been to a picnic or potluck and stumbled upon a tray of Lemon Bars? At the end of the event, were any left? With how often I have seen them around, it seemed time to put a version of the tart treats on eatTALK. With a buttery shortbread cookie crust to soften the zesty intensity of the lemon filling, wanting more becomes more certain with each bite. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Almond Glazed Chocolate Madeleines

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Until I was gifted with a madeleine tray, I never imagined I would make my own batch of these fancy miniature cakes. These Almond Glazed Chocolate Madeleines took some experimentation in their making,  but thankfully the process yielded that worthwhile spongy finish. If you're looking for another coffee companion, perhaps a light almond glaze around chocolate purity is just what you need! Enjoy!!
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Banana Muffins, Eggless

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A warm muffin can make a morning and these Eggless Banana Muffins may do just that. The blended banana permeates the moist cake with a surprisingly light cinnamon finish. Eaten fresh from the oven or cooled to room temperature, a dollop of butter will pair perfectly but is certainly not necessary. Good luck keeping people at bay, as these treats will surely disappear from any tray. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

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Changing up a classic is something that renders me continuously curious. Inspired by suggestion, several conversations, and memory, I varied up my previous Country Buttermilk Biscuits to create for these Bacon Cheddar Biscuit mouthfuls. A bit heavier than a traditional buttermilk with a bacon 'n cheddar flavor that is difficult to decline. For a tasty breakfast treats, I warmed up a biscuit with a sprinkle of cheddar, a thin layer of mayo, and scrambled eggs. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Signature Stock

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Kitchen basics can be as uninvolved or as involved as its creator desires. Take this chicken stock for example: simply boiling chicken on the bone yields a savory stock ready to be strained and used. However, en route to the finish line, adding a bit of flavor can create the perfect base for gravies, soups, and sauces. Take a few minutes and prep a stock and see just how you can make it your own. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Brownie Bites, Eggless

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How often do we look through the cupboard only to find we have everything but one or two key ingredients to complete a recipe? Recently, I wanted to make brownies just after eating the last bite of a meal using the eggs I would have otherwise set aside. Not to worry, some careful thought on how to both moisten and bind the chocolaty gooeyness resulted in these Eggless Brownie Bites. Eaten as one bite or two, the morsels are deeply flavored with dark chocolate, a hint of peanut butter, and irresistible deliciousness. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chicken Marsala

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Late night menu planning pointed toward Chicken Marsala as the protein du jour. An evening of collaborative culinary efforts yielded a dish I've only ever tasted, increasing my familiarity with marsala. Reducing the wine while dredging the chicken increased kitchen efficiency while purposefully concentrating the flavor. The method to it all is simple, yielding a lightly fried protein with a deliciously flavored sauce for an intimate dinner party of four. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Mushroom + Asparagus Risotto

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I openly admit, cooking with rice is not a strength, so in challenging myself with a new dish why not explore it a bit? In a joint dinner party effort my friends and I decided on a Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto, mostly for how delicious it sounded! Cooking up the crimini mushrooms was the easy part. Cooking the rice on the other hand left a few learned lessons: rinse the rice before use, cover between stirring to facilitate absorption, and add butter at the end for a satisfying buttery finish. The final flavor was a combination of spiced garlic, butter, and wine subtlety with the mushrooms and asparagus providing texture abound. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

White Chocolate Strawberries

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When you want a last-minute sweet treat, there are few desserts that seem to beat out the simplicity of a chocolate covered strawberry. These White Chocolate Strawberries go a step further with their lightly sweetened graham cracker crunch. Though only bite-size, this simple snack offers up a not-so-subtle white chocolate strawberry cheesecake flavor without the considerable wait time. So how about perfecting the dinner party platter by adding a batch of these to the feast? Enjoy!!
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cheddar Mac 'n Cheese

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When I was making this dish I went a bit more traditional than the confusing cheese laden "gourmet" version restaurants can offer. This is a good ole super cheesy Cheddar Mac ‘n Cheese stemming (of course) from a grandmother’s influence. The milk is warmed and the cheddar is melted. The noodles are softened, tossed, and coated. The bread is processed, buttered, and browned. The completed classic is served up casserole style ready to be appreciated by any lover of cheddar. Enjoy!! 
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Deep Dish Pizza, Do It Yourself

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I called up one of my pizza eating friends and suggested we try our hand at making a couple of Deep Dish Pizzas. I blended semolina, all purpose flour, and corn meal for a slight granular crust lightly brushed with a garlic butter egg wash. The pie itself was gratuitously filled with hearty marinara, mozzarella cheese, chicken and meatball or pepperoni. Unsurprisingly, we ate the first pizza in its entirety while waiting for the other! Yes, yes: we were hungry. Have fun with how you fill it up and amaze yourself with a pizza very few will turn away! Enjoy!!
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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Green Tea Cookies

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Cookies with a hot cup of tea sounds like the making of a great afternoon snack, so why not combine the two for a little crumbly herbal crunch? A batch of Green Tea Cookies mirrors the steeping of an actual cup, hosting a light green tea flavor throughout the easy-to-break treat. They are perfect dippers, mildly seasoned, and a delight to eat. Enjoy!!
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Thursday, January 01, 2015

Fresh Fettuccine with Creamy Cilantro Pesto

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Following the flavor is why I pursued this path of pasta. This simple Fresh Fettuccine combined egg with semolina flour for a stretchy hold, surviving a rather thin press and boil. The egg pasta has a yellowish color, can be formed into strips, as used here, or into whatever imaginable shape the dough can stand. The Creamy Cilantro Pesto is a modified version of my Zesto Cilantro Pesto, adding a deliciously tangy finish for my latest dinner feat. Enjoy!
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