Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Midweek Ruminations: 2 (or maybe 3) Things

Thing 1--I said I was going to make Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins next. And I did. I just neglected to take any pictures as documentary proof. So, you'll have to trust me that they were amazingly delicious. Mostly because of these tasty little morsels:

And, that link may be your best way to find them. We visited several different grocery stores looking for them, found them on maybe the 5th or 6th. Were they worth the hunt? OH YES. And now I'm trying to think of other ways I could use them. In pancakes? Yes. In Snickerdoodles? Why not?! And now that I know where to find them, I'm set!

Thing 2--Remember these sweet little babyangels from my Wine Cake post?

I have, for a while now, been occasionally checking ebay and Etsy to see if anyone was selling a set, and SUCCESS! A complete set, in perfect condition, still in their original box.

I think they're a little smaller in scale than The Pie Queen's, and will therefore require skinnier candles, but still! Aren't they the cutest things you ever saw?!

I can't wait for an opportunity to use them.

Thing 3--Sometimes I am a cupcake whore. Somebody gave me one of these at work yesterday:

(from Mrs. Backer's Bakery in Salt Lake City) and it made my day in ways you can't even imagine. They're not the best cupcakes on the planet. But they're certainly not the worst. And it was JUST what I needed. So my message to you is this: if you have a cupcake to spare, give it to someone who looks like they need a cupcake, you have no idea how happy you might make them.

Who am I kidding? Is there any such things as a SPARE cupcake? No. Except in my office, apparently. Weird.

Next up: I had a magical summer doing this. The only problem is that nightly rehearsals leave little time for summer evening campfires or...more specifically...s'mores. So. Before Labor Day comes and shuts the door on summer, I'm making a s'mor-ish dessert. Nothing complicated or fancy. But it looks so yummy to me, I have to try it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fresh Blaspberry Pie

I intended to bake a rhubarb pie this week. All rhubarb, no strawberries, no cherries. Just rhubarb. Because my friend Dan issued the challenge. And it was his birthday. But, silly me, having never worked with rhubarb before AT ALL, I didn't realize it's out of season right now. And when rhubarb is out of season it is apparently not available ANYWHERE. So. I made this instead. Partially because a stylish birdie told me Dan likes berry pies. And partially because he's my favorite BLASPhemer. And I could make a clever pie name for him--BLASPberry. It works for me even if it doesn't for you.

And to tell you the truth, I didn't taste this pie. I tasted a little bit of the filling as I made the pie, but that was about it. I liked what I tasted. I liked the way the lemon zest sort of accentuates the other flavors. Not too sweet, just right in the "glaze" department. I heard reports that the pie was good, but I can't confirm that first hand. You'll have to make it and tell me what you think. Because I'm not making it again anytime soon. But only because I've had enough heat-induced pie crust trauma this summer to last me a couple of years. So I vow to make no more pies until Autumn comes. For real. Not that fake Autumn that we sometimes get in September only to return to over-90-degree weather. Real Autumn that comes in October and brings crunchy, smoky, brownish, spicy things with it.

Anyway, here's the recipe:

Fresh Blaspberry Pie *click here for printable version*

1 baked 9 inch crust, cooled
1 c. sugar
16 oz fresh blueberries
18 oz fresh raspberries
2/3 c. water
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 c. water
½ tsp lemon zest
Whipped cream

Crush 4 oz of the blueberries and 6 oz of the raspberries together. They don’t have to be crushed too finely, some chunks are fine. Mix the sugar and crushed berries together with the ⅔ cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Mix cornstarch and ⅓ cup water to make a slurry. Add to the sugar and berry mixture and cook over medium low heat until thickened, stirring almost constantly. Stir in lemon zest. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Mix remaining berries together and place in cooled pie crust. Pour sauce over fresh berries. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Top with whipped cream.

From what I can tell...

TGIP Rating--Fresh Blaspberry Pie--KEEPER. Although, I have to admit, I'm partial to the regular, old Fresh Raspberry Pie. When rhubarb is back in season, I WILL make a pure rhubarb pie for Dan. Somebody set an alarm for me, or something.

Next up: Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins. You know you're about to have 25 pounds more zucchini than you know what to do with.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

TGIP Field Trip: So Cupcake

Looks pretty. Brightly colored, etc. Tastes like crap. Seriously. Overly sweet. I couldn't taste anything but sugar. The key lime cupcake tasted exactly like the red velvet, WHA?! The shop was dark and dingy. I was decidedly unimpressed. Note to cupcake shops: The Sweet Tooth Fairy's in town, you need to step up your game.

TGIP Rating--So Cupcake--NEVER AGAIN. I had to go to The Sweet Tooth Fairy 2 days later to wash the taste and memory out of my mouth.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Coconut Cream Pie

This is a work in progress. Which may require several more tries to reach perfection. I don't think anyone in my house is going to complain about that. Once perfection is reached, I'll post the recipe. In the meantime, know this: liquor does, in fact, make an already flaky pie crust even more flaky and doesn't change the taste. So, that's good to know. Enjoy some pretty.