Thursday, January 27, 2011

In A Rut

Lately I feel like I have a surplus of energy! Maybe after working 67 hours a week, consecutively week after week, having an extra 27 hours makes a normal 40 hour work week suddenly feel so unproductive!

Gabriel and I talked about having this pie on Christmas; on Christmas, however, I wasn't feeling so productive. Now I am surely enjoying all this renewed motivation - despite long hours working, not sleeping well, and living in a constant mess from renovating!

Boston Creme Pie
(Adapted from the Food Network)

1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
¾ cup white sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt
Sift together in a large bowl until incorporated and make a well in the center

½ cup 2% or whole milk
¼ cup canola oil

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together with a handheld mixer, at least 3 min
utes, until thick
Set aside

In a separate bowl mix 2 egg whites and ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar until stiff peaks
Fold egg whites into cake batter

Pour into 9" round, greased and prepared cake pan

Bake at F350°, 25 minutes, or until cake springs back to the touch

Transfer to wire rack and let cool
Orange Pastry Cream
(May be made up to 24 hours in advance)

Bring 2 cups, 2% or whole milk to a boil over medium heat
Remove from heat

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Rind from one small orange
1 half orange, whole
Let soak in warmed milk for 10 minutes

Meanwhile beat 6 egg yolks and ¾ cup white sugar until light and fluffy
Add ¼ cup cornstarch and continue to beat until mixture leaves a trail when removing beaters
Slowly add milk mixture to eggs and whisk vigorously until mixture is well incorporated and frothy
Strain mixture back into saucepan, over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens and is at a slow boil
Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter
Transfer mixture to a bowl and cover in fridge until set (minimum 1 hour)

Bring ¾ heavy cream to a boil

Remove from heat and pour over 8oz. of finely shredded or chopped chocolate

Stir until melted

Slice cake in half, and trim top of cake until level
Beat pastry cream until smooth and top one cake layer evenly
Place second half of cake over cream
Pour warm glaze over cake and allow to drip down the sides
Store in refrigerator
One year ago: Sweet Comforts, Candy Bar Pizza
Two years ago: Eat More Fruit, Pear Tartlette

Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom  sponsored by Whirlpool and enter to win a new Whirlpool Range

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Man's Best Friend(s)

Though we are several months behind, and it is a bit belated to finally blog about Tipsy's birthday, I just can't leave her out. For Gabriel and I, our little doggies are our children. Regardless of how things change in our lives - no one, no thing, can take their place. While we painfully struggled with infertility for 8 years, Danger and Tipsy blessed us with companionship, love and unending affection. Whether you are a dog person or not, it's impossible to deny the friendship and solace a pet can bring into your life.

Tipsy turned three years old back in October, on the 8th, and we celebrated her birthday with carrot cake cupcakes. It would be an understatement to say that Tipsy loves carrots. Whenever I take them out of the fridge, wherever she is, she comes running. She jumps and whines and begs mercilessly until I give in, and then once she has her prize she trots over to the nearest blanket, sprawls out, and devours that carrot leaving tiny entrails all over the house.

It only seemed fitting to make her carrot cake cupcakes for her special day.
Carrot Puppy Cakes
Adapted from Doggy Desserts by Cheryl Gianfrancesco

½ cup honey
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3 carrots, shredded
Stir together until combined
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Stir until well combined
Fill cupcake liners ¾ full
Bake at F350°, 15-20 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch
Transfer to wire rack
Yields approx 12 puppy cakes

One Year Ago: 15 Days, Island Cookies

Friday, January 7, 2011

12 days of Christmas

My 12 days of Christmas were spent buried under 30 inches of snow. Literally. Working for an airline whose hub and major routes fall between Boston, New York City, and the entire Northeast, JetBlue Airways, we felt the literal effects of snowpocalypse/snowicane/snOMG; call it what you want, it was 30 inches of snow in 30 hours.

The result for me, and many of my fellow crewmembers, was 12 days straight without a break. Specifically for me, it meant clocking 67 hours last week alone, and beginning this week by begging a friend to cover an hour for me so I could attend my new nephews blessing Sunday morning. I could/would go on, but you get the point.

Though it was exhausting, I can honestly it was not only rewarding but highly enjoyable. I recently moved from the Reservations department to the Social Media Strategy/Real Time Recovery team. Our team is small but mighty. 16 smart, witty, and fun people who spend a lot of time laughing, eating and tweeting. Yes, a huge majority of our efforts this week were responding to hundreds of tweets an hour from customers looking for any way out of the powder.

So with that: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Stay safe during Snowmageddon, and in taking a break from my normal blog posts I thought I'd share some pictures from my families' chocolate making extravaganza. Heaven knows I haven't had time to bake anything to post.

Together we made over 770 chocolates, not including Fudge, English Toffee and Turtles. Our chocolate flavors included strawberry, coconut, brown sugar, pumpkin, lemon, orange pecan, chocolate, caramel vanilla, peanut butter, peppermint, and more.

To learn how to make your own chocolates, and host a chocolate party of your own visit my easy how to, two part series.

One year ago: Piece of Cake, Cashew Crunch Butter Cake

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