Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sundae Crêpes: Avocado Corn

We are still in enveloped in full LOST mania over here in the Olson household; just 14 episodes to go! I've been thinking, dreaming, obsessing and philosophizing about LOST non-stop for the past month.


We just began Season 5 today. My latest theory is the belief that someone built the Island. It potentially answers why the Island is not fixed in time?, and why the Donkey Wheel is embedded in the core of the island?, among other questions.

2 more days until the finalè! To get us through the last episodes we needed a hearty breakfast.
Avocado Corn Crêpes with Onion Reduction Sauce

1 ripe avocado, cubed
1 can corn, or 10-14oz. of shucked corn (1-2 ears), drained
2-4oz. sprouts
3oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Onion Reduction Sauce
1 quarter of whole yellow, or white onion
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Puree in blender until smooth
Transfer to a saucepan over low heat

Add
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Cook until mixture thickens

Crêpes
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
Whisk milk and eggs until frothy

Add
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup flour
Dash of salt
Whisk together until smooth
Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes

In a well buttered crêpe or round pan, pour a few tablespoons of mixture over med heat
Spread thin
Allow to cook for a few minutes,
Flip over, repeat on opposite side
Remove crêpe and add a dab of butter, allow to melt

Finalè:
Fill with a spoonful of cubed avocado, and a spoonful of corn
1 pinch of sprouts
Top with shredded cheese
Fold over both ends
Top with onion reduction sauce, and a few additional sprouts

Recipe will yield about 6-8 crêpes


Enter my giveaway to win
1 ½ pounds of Valentine's Day Fahrenheit 350°
for your sweetheart.

Leave a comment everyday;
become a follower;
or post on your own blog for even more chances to win!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Recommending: Stràw bërri

Fresh strawberry purée kneaded into a creamy vanilla candy fondant,...


enveloped with a rich, chocolate fudge caramel,...


and coated with buttery, perfectly toasted brown sugar pecans...


constitutes the new Fahrenheit 350° Stràw bërri Sweet Pecan Log.

Available now at Fahrenheit 350°,
and in person, February 5, at the Salt Lake City Art Market.

Want to win one for your sweetheart
this Valentine's Day?



How about an entire
Fahrenheit 350° package?
1 ½ pounds of candy for your loved one!


One 8oz. Chocolate Pecan Sweet Log


One 8oz. Traditional Pecan Sweet Log


One 8oz. Strawberry Pecan Sweet Log


How to enter:
1 entry x 10: Comment every day through February 8th, earning one entry per comment, per day, per person
10 extra entries: Blog about this giveaway, include URL in comment
5 extra entries: Become a new follower... If you are already a follower, just leave an indicating comment
Winner will be chosen at random(.org), and announced on February 9th
Winner will have 24 hours to respond; must check back on the 9th to see if you are the winner
Good luck!

***Giveaway Closed; Winner announced!***

One year ago: Eat More Fruit, Walnut Pear Tartelettes

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Easy as Pie

I'm so excited to be guest posting over at Camile's blog: Make it Work Mom! January is a difficult month-not only are you coming off a high from Christmas, but you are making new and consequently trying to stick to New Year's resolutions (which I'm totally against btw). You've got to work off those extra pounds, you've got bills to pay, you've got some sort of lag from traveling, you are still reeling from all the family drama, and Valentine's Day is looming ahead. You are stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place.


(Notice I didn't mention it's also cold, dark, and wet. I love the cold; you get to wear adorable coats and cute matching accessories. I love the dark; perfect for snuggling. And I love the wet; it's my Oregonian background, it's cleansing, magnificent, and promising.)

All month long Camille has been sharing ideas to brighten your day... and in Camille's words: "We all know that sugar brightens anyone's day!"

This is a fun recipe because you don't have to exert much effort for it, yet you still receive just as much reward from it... and with the right decoration, this is an excellent Valentine's Day treat-even for someone who wants to impress but isn't kitchen inclined!
Candy Cane Pie

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SHF #61: Sweet Comforts


This month's theme for Sugar High Friday is Sweet Comforts: Desserts You Turn to for Comfort, and is hosted by A Merrier World.


When I get to a place where I need comfort food, I'm not spending any time trying to buoy my spirits in the kitchen; definitely not happening. No, I'm rushing to the store for something sweet, maybe tangy and chewy, and probably chocolate more often than not. I want something satisfying, and I want it now.


The next best thing is an old family favorite: Candy Pizza. This recipe incorporates half of this philosophy, combined with the best cookie crust you will ever consume. If I'm not so far gone, however, that I'm willing to exert a little bit of effort, yeah this would be the winning recipe too. It's incredibly indulgent and sinfully rewarding.
Candy Bar Pizza
Topping
1 pound bag of M&M's, holiday colors are always appropriate
4-8 of your favorite candy bars
(Twix, Payday, Reeses, Snickers, Rolo's, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Kit Kat, Nestle Crunch)
Crush, cut and mash into tiny pieces
Mix together in a bowl, set aside

Cookie Crust
1 ½ sticks softened butter
¾ cups white sugar
¾ cups brown sugar
Cream together until fluffy

Add
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
Mix together until color lightens

Add
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ¼ cups flour
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Stir until flour is incorporated

Spread into a greased jelly roll pan, or lipped pizza pan
Bake at F350°, 10-12 minutes until edges just begin to brown
Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes
Prepare sauce
Sauce
2 cups, or ½ bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
Melt, and stir until smooth
Spread evenly over cookie crust
Top with candy bars
Let cool


My sister Pammy posted a great photo tutorial of her process making these cookies; like I said, it's a family favorite.

What desserts do you turn to for comfort?

One year ago: Simply Delicious, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sundae Crêpes: Blackberry Lemon

Gabriel and I stayed in all weekend. We played Super Mario Wii until I developed carpal tunnel. We enjoyed strawberry crêpes on Saturday, and blackberry lemon crêpes on Sunday. Gabriel told jokes, and I giggled.

We developed a new tradition: Sundae Crêpes.

Blackberry Lemon Crêpes

Lemon Curd
1 tablespoon lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup butter
2 cups of sugar
In a double boiler, stir over low heat just until sugar is dissolved

Add 3 eggs
Stir consistently until mixture is clear and glossy and coats the backof a spoon
Strain and chill

Blackberry Purée
½ cup partially mashed blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
Stir to blend

Crêpes:
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
Whisk milk and eggs until frothy

Add
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup flour
Dash of salt
Whisk together until smooth
Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes

In a well buttered crêpe or round pan, pour a few tablespoons of mixture over med heat
Spread thin
Allow to cook for a few minutes,
Flip over, repeat on opposite side
Remove crêpe and add a dab of butter, allow to melt

Finalè:
Fill crêpe with one large spoonful of blackberry purée, and one spoonful of lemon curd
Fold over both ends
Top with whipped cream, purée, and lemon curd

Recipe will yield about 6-8 crêpes


One Year Ago: Destiny Calls, Claire's (Eclairs in honor of the Season 5 Premiere of Lost) with French Americàine Custard & Whipped Cream and topped with Chocolate.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cup of Soup



I'm so happy to be guest posting over at Vanessa's blog: I Never Grew Up... especially on such a ambitious topic as the dreaded dinner meal! It's really not enough for dinner to just be yummy and inexpensive..., it's got to be easy, versatile, and packed full of vegetables right?

Simple!
Creamy Potato Crockpot Soup


One Year Ago: Food Appreciation, Mini Banana Maple Bundt Cakes with Maple Walnut Butter Glaze.

Monday, January 18, 2010

15 Days

Island Cookies


These cookies were inspired by circumstance. We are in the midst of re-watching all the episodes of LOST to date-starting with the Season 1 Premiere. Every night, every day, every spare minute, particulary utilizing weekend timeoff hours. The past two weekends have been comprised of Lost Marathons, 12+ hours/day of LOST Mania. By end of day today we will be on Season 2, Episode 15: Maternity Leave.

15 days until the final season premiere on February 2, 2010 8/7c; only 64 episodes to catch up-4 per day.



It's going to be aweeeeeeesome!



All the goodies in these cookies originate from an island source, coconut, pecans, chocolate, maybe the island itself... They have everything a good cookie should. They are cripsy, crunchy and the sweetness of the coconut resonates and compliments the chocolate and the pecans. Plus, they are LOST themed.

Can I just add: Shun the Non-believer...


½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
Cream together until shiny

Add
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat until batter increases in volume, and lightens in color

Add
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup pecans
1 cup chopped chocolate
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Mix together until incorporated

Stir in 6oz. condensed milk

Drop .75oz spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet
Bake for 7-9 minutes
Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poppycock

Wicked: A captivating biography of the Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz (on the off chance you didn't know...).



While the Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum, tells the story of Dorothy's ascent from simple farm girl to hero of an entire nation, Maguire offers the perspective of she who was sacrificed so that Dorothy could obtain her solitary wish. It is a mesmerizing tale, but...

...if there is one thing that sends me into a tizzy, it's an cheap ending to a rich, expansive and fulfilling story. I'm not one who likes everything wrapped up into a pretty expensive bow, in fact I prefer a few loose ends-a few threads that I can weave into developing anecdotes, but I do need a few final climatic verses to leave me satisfied.



The blathering on of Maguire for the remaining 40 pages left me fuming until the last syllable... I very nearly tore out the last few pages, and were it not a borrowed book I would shred every page written after Auntie Em's and Uncle Henry's house fell on Nessarose. This slanted view of Elphaba's demise was so entirely insulting to the reader. Maguire dedicated 9/10 of the book to the development of Elphaba's character, begging us to empathize with her plight and then, like a hard slap across the face, he dishonored her and offended his reader, by allowing her to fall apart in the presence of a little girl in a checkered dress who asked for only the most obvious and easily foreshadowed plot question of all time! Killyjoy smelled the ending coming for miles and sacrificed himself so he didn't have to witness it.

Unfortunately, it wasn't just the ending I can't come to terms with. One scene in particular that I can't begin to reconcile the purpose of, is that between Elphaba and Princess Nastoya. This scene was completely unnecessary and derivative, and seemed to act merely as some grand excuse to begin calling Elphaba a Witch. While Nessarose was titled a Witch by the Munchkinlanders as an interpretation of her Eminence; could not the same possession of the title, and the more congruent and fluent title at that, be given to Elphaba as a result of her inattention and inability to form personal relationships?



The teeth? The broom? The Maunt? It is these details, whether the insertion or deletion of them, these key elements that infuriate me as a reader. Details without necessity or meaning destroy the complex inner workings of storytelling. They are not supplemental or decorative, they are confusing and misleading.

And then there is the revelation of Elphaba's father which was neither anticlimactic nor shocking, due to the absurdity of it's delivery. First, the dwarf mysteriously announces the liberal involvement of Yackle throughout Elphaba's life, and though Elphaba has been little more than obsessed with Yackle throughout the book, dismisses this apocalyptic announcement as though it were infertile nonsense in as many sentences as it was delivered. Immediately thereafter, when the revelation of her father is finally proclaimed, even from the mouth of the Time Clock Dragon in which she was birthed, Maguire offers no additional commentary from Elphaba's perspective or from the 3rd person author narrative, dismissing the best part of the book, with no more than an utterance of "poppycock"!



It's reprehensible; from "Horrors" to "poppycock".

This is a story written in 3rd person omniscient narrative, with the express purpose of giving a soul and a history to a character that has been villainized by popular culture for the past 50 years. Yet Maguire, after a heroic 350 page effort, gives up. He omits pertinent and revelatory information about key aspects of her life whether to humor himself, or out of sheer laziness, is incomprehensible.



I loved the book,.. most of it,... but something just doesn't add up when you have to make a chocolate cake to feel better once it's over.
Sweet Chocolate Cakettes


This cake will positively make you feel better with a sultry orange hint, a smooth seeping glaze and a textural crunchy bottom layer, inspired by Better Home and Gardens Double Chocolate Orange Torte.
Cake
Melt 8 oz. milk chocolate, stir until smooth, set aside

½ butter
1 cup sugar
Cream together until light and fluffy
Add 4 eggs, whip until color lightens

Add
4 oz. melted chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
Zest from 1 orange
Whip together

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Stir into batter

Pour into prepared 8x8x2 greased, and floured pan
Marble remaining 4oz. of chocolate over top of cake, use a knife to distribute chocolate evenly
Bake at F350º, 30 minutes, or until cake springs back to the touch
Invert on wire rack to cool

Orange Marmalade Butter Nut Crust
2 cups sugar
Juice from one orange
½ cup butter
Melt over low heat until combined
Bring to a low boil and cook for 5 minutes

Add ¾ cup of whole pecans
Stir to coat
Pour into bottom of 8x8x2 pan
Bake at F350°, just until mixture starts to brown, approx. 5-10 minutes

While crust is cooking, tear cake into bite sizes pieces
When crust is fresh out of the oven, immediately spread cake to fill pan
Press firmly with spatula to compress
Top with ganache and spread evenly to coat

Ganache Glaze
½ cup whipping cream
7 oz. milk chocolate
Melt over low heat until incorporated
Let cool just slightly, pour over cake


Finalè
Slice cake into indivdual sized bites
Serve in candy cups
Enjoy until you feel better!

Alternative:
Bake cake as directed and omit crust
Top with glaze
...and don't even get me started on the Musical, a farce of an adaptation which bears resemblance in name only. What is with Hollywood dramatics reducing brilliant masterpieces into a regurgitation of the same, tired, washed up old whore of a story that we've passed in the red light district ten thousand times before.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Depositor of Dust

Lucky for us, every one of my parent's children were sprinkled with Baker's dust before our entrance to Earth... but some, more than others, must have had a very special relationship with The Depositor of Dust; while some, less than others, received only a trickle of the special Baker's powder.



My sister Candice is affectionately known amongst the family as the Underbaker. Unless she has had a recent visit from the Baker Fairy, her chocolate chip cookies are still likely coming out of the oven stark white. She was always nervous about overcooking them-while my other sister Tina, in contrast... her husband would jump over a cliff for burnt cookies; to each their own!

Candi looooved to make cinnamon rolls, and that is an understatement-I've never seen anyone bake more cinnamon rolls than her; she is the Cinnamon Roll Fairy. I would not be exaggerating if I said every time I came to visit, which was often as she lived just a few minutes away in Washington State, freshly baked, stark white, cinnamon rolls would be cooling off on the counter top.
Stark White Cinnamon Rolls


These cinnamon rolls are stark white for their frosting, not for their baking time. They are flaky while soft and quick and easy. Stuffed with marshmallows and pecans, and paired with a decadent white chocolate cream cheese frosting, I have no doubt your find yourself making these cinnamon babies over and over and over again.
Dough
½ teaspoon yeast
¼ cup warm water
Dissolve yeast in water, set aside

In seperate bowl melt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
½ oil
½ butter
Stir to dissolve sugar

Mix one cup of flour to lower temp of liquid
Then add 2 eggs and yeast mixture

Add 2-4 additional cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is soft, pliable and still tacky but does not stick to your fingers
**Tip: Too much flour will create a dense, compact bread, while just the right amount of flour will allow the yeast to multiply to create a soft texture.
Allow to rise for 1 hour, punch down and roll out in a rectangular shape, 1" thick

Filling
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ sticks of softened butter
½ cup cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
Stir together and spread evenly over dough

Optional: Marshmallows and pecans

Roll dough lengthwise and pinch seams shut
Slice evenly sized buns from log
Place in greased pan with room to rise, flatten
Bake at F350°, 20-25 minutes
Yields 10 large rolls
**Tip: Cinnamon rolls can be baked in a variety of pans from bundt pans to muffin tins, cake pans to casserole dishes-allow 1" between rolls to allow for rising when able


Frosting
1 stick softened butter
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup melted milk chocolate
2-3 cups powdered sugar
Mix with handheld beaters until smooth
Slather generously over rolls fresh from the oven

Clint said,
"I would love these cinnamon rolls for Valentine's Day!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Horrors

Horrors.

Ironic isn't it, how delightful a word that is? So descriptive, compelling, and inciting. The thought of it being a baby's first little word is quite imaginative. I think I'll work very hard at making sure my someday little ones say something equally attractive the first opportunity they get to exercise their vocal chords.

Don't give away the ending,
I'm not quite nearly finished with Wicked, but I'm having an impossible time keeping away! Am I last person to read this bewitching story?

Here's a quick recipe... I've got reading to do!

Whip Cream Cake by Rose Levy Beranbaum

This cake was described as being extremely light, but I found it to be more dense in texture than anticipated, more resembling a sponge cake. Still, it's fantastical and fairly simple for a witch or wizard to conjure.

1 ½ cups 40% butterfat heavy whipping cream
Whip until stiff peaks form

Add
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix until batter resembles mayonnaise

Add
1 cup powdered sugar
Whip 30 seconds

Sift
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cups cake flour
Fold into batter in two batches

Pour into greased bundt cake pan, or ungreased angel food cake pan
Bake at 375°F, 25-35 minutes until cake springs back to the touch
Let rest in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack
Adorn with whipping cream and a dusting of powdered sugar

For a festive Valentine's Day adornment: Embellish this cake with pink whipping cream.
Simply whip your cream as normal, but add a few drops of red dye to your cream when you add your sugar, just as it begins to thicken and take shape.

One year ago: Fondly Reminiscing, Lemon Coolers

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Twisted Treats

I had a friend growing up, my BFF, through the 6th grade until I received a letter from her while I was away for the summer visiting my sister. It was a "Dear John" letter, of sorts.

My mom thinks I've never recovered, but she's overly dramatic anyhow, although I can't say it wasn't traumatizing. Effectively,.. the little tramp had been cheating on me, and then dumped me; in so many words she told me I wasn't good enough for her. Unbeknownst to me, apparently 12 year olds can only have one friend at a time... I wonder if I still have that letter-I'm sure it said something along the lines of, "It's not you, it's me." Thinking back on it, the whole thing was a little creepy.



Her family was not known for their culinary arts. I remember she and I made deviled eggs once with a recipe that called for 2 tablespoons of vinegar, to a six egg ratio-they were nasty, and I learned not to trust a recipe. However, her family did have one wonderful cookie crust recipe that I now use in everything! And I've got cookies on the brain, since...
My now BBB (Best Blogging Bl*ister), Evan of Buttercakes, sent me some of her Best Chocolate Chip Cookies... Ever... No Lie...

They are the best... No Lie... even after traveling 2,065 miles...

...this is all that is left (all that was left after about 20 minutes):



This month's recipe swap is all about Twisted Treats!, the combination of two favorite treats to create one. I'm really surprised at the lack of twisted treats I was able to find; maybe it's me, either way I'm super excited to see what you have to share!



#1: Yin-Yang Cookies, by Lily's Wai Sek Hong
Rarely am I so impressed with the artistic quality of a dessert. These cookies are intensely gorgeous and tempting!

#2: Peanut Butter Brownie Mini-Cupcakes, by Brownies for Dinner
Though Patricia arrived upon these cupcakes under misfortune, we can all thank her for being misdirected! Peanut butter, chocolate, cookies and cake - oh my!

#3: Triple Threat: Cookie-Cake-Pie, by CakeSpy
Jessie says that her guests "all but licked the plate clean"! All but? Why stop there, I know I wouldn't! This heavenly dessert leaves nothing out!


#4: Brookies, by Fahrenheit 350° (oooh! that's me!)
I've been craving brownies
and cookies, so,... I give you-brookies!

Brookies
Cookie Batter
12 tablespoons butter
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
Beat together until smooth

Add
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix in until batter is fluffy

½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ¼ cups flour
2 crushed Butterfinger Candy Bars
Stir until flour is incorporated
Spread evenly into prepared, rectangular 16 x 11 sheet pan
Set aside

Brownie Batter
½ cup butter
½ cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
Beat together until smooth

Add
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
¼ cup maple syrup
Mix in until batter is fluffy

¾ cup cocoa
2 cups flour

Stir until flour and cocoa is incorporated
Spread over cookie batter
Bake at 325F°, 20-25 minutes
Let cool
Now, it is your turn! Share your favorite recipes, and be sure to include a link! I will pick a recipe at random(.org), and highlight it on my blog!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin