Sunday, June 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

OK this probably seems like a strange question but has anyone never been stung by a bee? I have not. Well, had not. I had started this post a few days ago. I got stung by a bee today. Somehow it got in the garage with me. I felt something on my arm so I went to brush it when it got me again. It stung me 3 times before I beat it. Apparently I had maimed it at first because it was laying on the ground still buzzing and moving a little but not able to get away. I didn't know where it was but I could hear it buzzing and I didn't feel like getting stung again. Then I found it. And I killed it.

Apparently this is unusual. I stay away from the bees. Why would you go near them? Seems to make perfect sense to me. But so far everyone I have asked has been stung at some point in their lives. Someone please tell me they have not been stung and this is not strange.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program. Well, your regularly scheduled program should've come out a few days ago so it's late but whatever.

I actually did make these. And I even started off following the recipe! Key word being started. Errr key words being 'started off'. OK this is clearly not going to be one of my more well thought out posts. Bear with me here. Or don't if you are already confused/bored.

I forgot to put the flavorings in the mousse and then I just never quite got around to making the mascarpone cream. I made the meringues fairly small and put a big scoop of the mousse on top. I still had quite a bit of the mousse left even though I was very liberal with it.

I brought them in to work. We were celebrating H's birthday. It wasn't actually H's birthday. We decided that any time we needed to do a food thing we would say it's H's birthday.

Anyway, that's my really incoherent post. I never bothered taking pics of these. I still have a couple in the fridge so I guess I still could but I won't.

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

First off, I would just like to point out how wrong it is to have the AC running full bore and the oven on when it's 95 degrees out. For some reason that was the day I chose to do it. Of course it's been 90+ every day for the last week and will be as far as the 10 day forecast showed. There is a cold front coming through where it might get down to 92 in a few days. The joys of summer in the South.

Anyway. This recipe was chosen by Gwenn. I have been meaning to make her peanut butter pie but haven't quite gotten around to it yet. Maybe next week.

I made mine in a bundt pan so I put the crumbs on the bottom. My coffee cake, that is. Because who would make a peanut butter pie in a bundt pan? Oh wait, I probably would if I couldn't find a pie pan or something. Of course, I think I have 3 pie pans so the chances of me not being able to find one should be pretty slim. But then again, this is my house where an empty pan or bowl is the perfect place when you need somewhere to put something. Anything.

I added wonderberries from the garden into the middle layer with the crumbs. A wonderberry, aka sunberry, is extremely prolific. When ripe, it has a dull black/blue color. Uncooked, the flavor is fairly mild. However, when cooked with sugar, it tastes a lot like a blueberry. Or so I'm trying to convince myself. I picked about a quart of them in the last couple days and there will be lots more. Didn't think about what I was gonna do with them when I decided to plant them.

I didn't double the crumbs like a lot of people recommended. I figured 2 sticks of butter was enough. I suspect the texture of the crumbs would have been better if they had been on top in the oven but it would have been weird to have them on the bottom of the finished cake.

I just realized apparently I didn't make the glaze. Oh well. Pretty good even without the glaze.

The cake is very soft and fluffy. You know how some coffee cakes are more bready, a la B&W Bakery in Hackensack, NJ? Well this one is not. It's very springy and delicate.

I thought I did take pics although if I did, they are probably on my camera. My camera is downstairs. I am upstairs. So you see me dilemma.

This is one of my most incoherent blog posts. I blame the heat. Which means they aren't going to get any better for a while. Sorry, suckers. Your fault for reading :) I guess I should post this sometime before the end of the month.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers: Scalloped Tomatoes

The garden is doing quite well. I just started getting tomatoes. I have a feeling this is going to get insane in a few weeks. So this recipe is perfect to use up a bunch of these.

I didn't have (well, technically, I didn't see it until after I had already made this) any bread so I decided to use tater tots instead. Random, I know. I had some sort of craving at some point for tater tots so I bought a bag. They then proceeded to sit in the freezer until now.

The tater tots kinda fell apart once I put the tomatoes in. It was not the prettiest dish. It came out OK although I can't say I really loved it.

Flavorwise, it was very tomatoey. Yes I consider that a word.

Here's the recipe. I didn't take a pic because it was pretty unattractive. Dog food probably looks better. Oh well. The coffee cake is prettier. Maybe I'll post that pic.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


This is what happens when you don't check your plants very carefully. I checked my plants tonight in the dark after getting out from work late. I started nosing around the plants when I noticed a shadow under one of the zucchini plants. Well, this is what I found. Not sure how long it had been growing there but this monster was about ready to take over the world. Fortunately I found him and cut him off. I'm gonna need a whole bunch of zucchini recipes really soon. Feel free to share if you have any.

I took a bunch of other pics of the garden but none of them are motivating me to add them to this post right now.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Yet Another Garden Update

Are you sick of these yet?

This is my plot from a distance. Definitely easy to pick mine out. It's the one with the giant sunflowers.

The sunflowers are now probably 7-8 ft tall. Too tall for me to guess at their height accurately. The first couple full fledged flowers have just popped up.

This is corn. Woohoo it's actually growing. Some of them have more than one ear of corn on them too. For some reason mine are a lot shorter than everyone else's. Mine are 2-3 ft tall whereas some other people who planted theirs a month after I had planted mine are 4-5 ft tall. But I have corn ears and they don't. So ha. Just have to figure out when to harvest. I don't think it's yet. Hopefully I'll figure that out before they are ready.

Here's the start of the tomatoes. These were supposed to be Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes. They never sprouted after 3 tries. I threw some slightly rotten cherry tomatoes that I got from the grocery store into the soil and sprouts came up. Thats' what's growing here instead. This one seems a lot more viney than the other ones.
Next: Lollipop Tomatoes. These should turn bright yellow when they are ripe.
Green grape tomatoes. Not entirely sure how you know when these puppies are ripe. I think my rule will be whenever I start picking the other ones I will pick these as well. That or I'll pick one every day and taste.
I know, I really should have learned to turn the flash off by now.
Cherry tomatoes. Someone explain to me why these puppies are over 2" in diameter. And why I keep referring to my plants as puppies.
Mini Orange Tomatoes
Dr Carolyn. These should turn yellow too. Apparently I was in the mood for yellow tomatoes when I ordered seeds.
Look they're yellow! oh wait, that's my crappy photography skills.
Wonderberries. These are growing like a massive bush. With about a billion little fruits. I just looked up what a wonderberry is. I had bought the seeds because they had a cool name. They turn a deep bluish purple. Mildly sweet and sour flavor, something like a blueberry, or so they say. I'll let you know.
Pineapple Tomatilloes. I was hoping these would be more prolific. There are a bunch of them, but no where near as many as say the wonderberries. And I know these are good. Still TBD on the wonderberries. Might just have a million little fruits that I don't actually like. That would be sad.

Butternut Squash. Between, Dr Carolyn and Wonderberries. There are also 2 pepper plants in the back somewhere but I suspect the butternut squash is gonna take those over. Harvesting is gonna be interesting.

And peppers. I have 2 of these growing so far. 2 peppers. On at least 4 plants. Sigh. Hopefully the others will grow something too.
Basil. Which I meant to harvest some for a caprese salad with the heirloom tomatoes I got from the farmers market. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow. Hopefully I'll remember before the tomatoes go bad.
Zucchini. Once again. Me and flash just don't get along. I harvested a couple that were about 6" on saturday. Sauteed with some onions and mushrooms on a pizza with gruyere. Yum.
Cucumbers. No fruit growing yet but there are some flowers. Not sure what I will do with them if they are very prolific. Any suggestions?
Watermelon. Right now just leaves and vines and weeds. Hopefully the first 2 will win and make me some watermelon. And if you are wondering about the newspaper in the corner, well, everyone else was doing it. And it seemed to help with the weeds in their gardens. I might have been a bit late putting it down though and I didn't really have all that much paper so I only did a small section.
Cantelope. Yes, I know, the weeds around them are much bigger. But at least they have true leaves growing now. If you squint hard enough you might even be able to see them.

I forgot to take pics of the dill but that is doing very well. The lettuce bed and the rest of the herbs... not so much.