Monday, November 24, 2008

Cranberry Biscotti dipped in White Chocolate

I recently filled orders for Cranberry Biscotti. I put white chocolate chips into the batter and I drizzle a bit of melted chocolate on top. It is such a simple and delicious treat to have on hand. I made sure I had a bunch left over (pictured here) to keep around the house. It's perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tea. The kids like it to dip into hot chocolate.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fresh Baked Cranberry Muffins & Banana Bread

Is there such a thing as scent overload?
If there is I must be suffering from it!
In an effort to save time this morning I am baking cranberry muffins with a hint of orange peel while I am also baking banana bread.
My nose is kind of like 'Emeril' from those toothpaste commercials-Bam!
It smells scrumptious in my kitchen. With the holiday coming I have extra baking to do so I am simply trying to save time. My nose doesn't seem to mind.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chasing Rainbows & Perfect Pecan Pie

Did you see the rainbow (actually there were two) extending over the Upper Cape this past weekend?

We had to head off Cape on Saturday to bring Nathan to his Basketball Tournament in Bridgewater. It had been dark and rainy earlier in the day and then the sun suddenly decided to pop out and help create an amazing rainbow.

The drive on 28 between Falmouth through Bourne felt as if we were chasing a rainbow.

I suggested to Sophia that she make a wish--I heard her say very quietly, "I wish that this rainbow will always stay in my heart". She is four! It was one of the biggest and brightest rainbows I have ever seen. There was even a smaller, fainter one just behind it.

On Sunday I baked a perfect pecan pie. Traditional pecan pie is basically light Caro syrup, butter, sugar, egg and pecans. I made a double layered crust on the bottom. I mixed an egg with a package of cream cheese and brown sugar and a hint of vanilla. Then I layered a cup of pecans. I topped it with a whipped mixture of light Caro syrup, butter, eggs and a bit more vanilla. I baked it at 350 degrees for fifty five minutes.

Nathan said, " This is de--licious"! Bella said, "You have to make this for thanksgiving". I am pretty sure they liked my new dessert as much as Sophia liked catching the rainbow on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baking Life into the House

People often comment that I seem to really enjoy baking. I do. It's kind of a long story. The short version is that I have always wanted to give to the people around me and I have always wanted my home to be filled with life. Baking has been a quick route to satisfy both for me.

The smells, the heat from the oven, the textures and tastes of all the ingredients come together and turn my house from an ordinary structure into a really great home.

Over the summer we often have quite a few house guests--people who are just dying to see us--oh, and Cape Cod in the summer!

Last summer an old family friend came to stay with us for a week. They were a family of four coming from California and had never really been to New England. It's always a lot to have people stay in your home. Yet I wanted this particular group of guests to have an extra special memory of Cape Cod and their time with us.

So I decided to bake for them every day or at least as much as I could while they were visiting. I had jumbo chocolate chip cookies made for them when they arrived. Cranberry Biscotti dipped in white chocolate, peach and pecan empanadas and fresh baked lemon cake ready for them to wrap up and take with them when they headed into the City or over to the Vineyard for the day. They woke to the smells and tastes of fresh baked banana bread in the morning.

The last I heard the mom (a good friend of mine) took to the art of baking herself and that the rest of her family have been quite happy with her new found passion.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sisters, Cookies & Cakeballs

I was chatting with one of my sisters on the phone the other morning. I casually mentioned that I had a fire in the kitchen the other day while I made pancakes for the kids and baked some cookies to fill an order.
"How terrible, what happened?" she asked anxiously.
You have to know my sisters. I love them, always will.
Although this particular sister takes most things quite literally.
I said, "it was in the fireplace".
Here is a picture of bite-sized cake balls so you can see what they look like.