Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Digging these new year's eve decorations from martha. And how pretty is that ball dropping? (The only photo credit I could find is Shannon Stapleton  /  Reuters)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

west virginia

I went to Berkeley Springs WV the week after xmas and happily it was still covered in snow! These pictures are from a hike we took in some little park. Afterwards we took the waters which was especially nice in the frigid weather. I am always itching to go away in december- I think winter vacations are underrated. I have been planning vermont and france trips for years... but wv it was. (yes... I am a compulsive trip planner)

Friday, December 25, 2009

merry christmas!

ps- look closely there is a camera in his hand. He was filming himself while he sang christmas lounge classics. It was freakin' awesome.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

snow day

It snowed for the first time in long time- a real snow like when I was a kid. Right before Christmas too- I hope it sticks around. Like everyone else in Maryland I panic and run to the grocery store at the mere mention of snow so I was prepared with plenty of things to bake. (I spent most of the day making desserts that will be part of a future post) It was finally cold enough to freeze my ice candles- and they looked lovely in the snow. Plastic bag snowflakes get hung in my giant corkscrew willow tree every year after I receive my semi- threatening letter from the community association telling me that at a resident on the parade route it is my duty to decorate. I wanted some eco-friendly, weather proof and non-denominational enough that it wouldn't matter that I typically don't get around to taking them down until march. Xmas lights don't really work because the parade is during the day. So I have been making my snowflakes for a couple years and love the way they look from the road- especially in the snow. If you haven't already tried fusing plastic bags learn how. I usually use fabric bags, but I always manage to pick more plastic ones than I would like- this uses up my entire years stash. After all of my dessert baking I decided that a pot pie was the only logical thing to make while snowed in-- and luckily I had made some puff pastry the day before in preperation. I used the leftover roast chicken and cider/apple/mustard sauce that I had made a few nights ago and just thickened the sauce with a little cream and beurre manie. I added potatoes and veggies too. It was awesome. The roast chicken recipe is from my current favorite cook book: Roast Figs Sugar Snow. I was feeling cutesy and cut out little snowflakes for the top with my pastry scraps.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

christmas cookies and parade

Ciambelle (lemon wreath cookies) with little sugar snowflakes,

a baby riding a baby pony, a pony wearing socks,

bourbon date balls, more of my kugel ornaments & a pretty green rock,

my frankenstein xmas tree composed of pine branches and holy swiped from the vacant lot by the elementary school, rosemary from my garden and more kugel ornaments,
cuccidati (fig cookies) It seems I was feeling Italian this year. There was panaforte and torrone too,

salty peanut butter cookies.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

xmas wreath

This wreath is obviously made of torn up plastic bags- but it started off as a way to use up the handles and bits let over from making plastic bag yarn. I made a crocheted wreath with the insides of the bags but it wasn't nearly as exciting. I love the texture of the torn plastic.

Monday, November 30, 2009

rainbow cookies

They are a bit time consuming, but totally worth the effort. They were the first to go.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

fairy princess crowns

Made these out of felt for my baby cousins (actually 1st cousins once removed but that is a mouthful) and the kitties liked them too.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Chocolate Pecan Loaf & Rosemary Boule

Friday, October 30, 2009

bourbon baked apples

Every year around this time I start wanting baked apples- and I have convinced myself that that are reasonably healthy although that's probably not true... I don't give quantities because it's the sort of thing that I make with whatever I have handy- and how ever much of it I have.

  • apples
  • butter
  • pecans
  • old fashioned oats
  • ground cinnamon, clove and nutmeg
  • bourbon (or apple cider)

Peel the top 3/4's of the apple (leave the base un-peeled so it holds together while it cooks) Core and scoop out some of the center of the apple- I use a grapefruit spoon to do this. Meanwhile chop up some pecans and whatever non-core bits of apple you scooped out and and them to teh softened butter along with oats, brown sugar, and spices. Put your apples in an ovenproof dish and pour some bourbon into the dish. Roast in a 375 oven until cooked through and brush with the bourbon occaisionally.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

fall, pumpkins & galette soubise

Galette Complete Soubise is a buckwheat crepe traditionally with ham, cheese egg and onion from the Brittany region of France. Mine is bacon, onions and apples sauted together topped with gruyere and a fried egg.

That pumpkins has somehow grown around the fence that is supporting it's vines- it's in an alley near my friend's house.

Wreath is made from bittersweet branches and orange latern from my garden.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

fall table

orange barnwood, various pumpkins, apples and candles. (I grew the little white pumpkins!)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

pumpkin coriander waffles

Pumpkin coriander waffles with pecan brussel sprouts. Best dinner ever. I made some chicken and waffle style too. Mmmm chicken and waffles....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

braided rose challah

I have been helping my grandma record the family history of late, and discovered that my great grandfather was a baker who specialized in decorative ceremonial challahs. Weirdo that I am this launched a huge research project for me into elaborate bread decorations. I have gotten the roses down- still working on the birds- another traditional holiday bread decoration. I have also been trying to recreate a mysterious "corn bread" that my grandma always talks about. I came close with Broa which is a Portuguese style of bread. Still working.

Monday, September 7, 2009

berkeley springs, wv

Went to Berkeley Springs for Denene's birthday this weekend. Did you know that it's the Bath of North America? It wasn't a bad drive from Bmore and we had a great time stuffing our faces and taking the waters. I especially enjoyed all of the faux George Washington history posted everywhere. That hole in the ground labeled "George Washington's Tub" yeah... that is a reproduction of what may or may not have been used at the time, although Berkeley Springs the town didn't exist yet when Georgie was there. He worked as a surveyor in that county... not necessarily in that area. Cracks me up. Anyway we had an amazing dinner at Panorama at the Peak- all locally farmed and tasty but without the little tiny big city portions. Great fried green tomatoes, and I'm a bit of a green tomato snob. We also had an awesome curried lamb shepards pie. The decor was bizzare (but funny bizarre) and included life size floral emus. Good times. That last picture is out birthday dessert and forties in bed. We were in WV after all.

Friday, August 21, 2009

goat cheese stuffed figs with bacon

Figs have been quartered, stuffed with goat cheese, then sauteed with olive oil and honey. Salt, pepper and a bacon flag finish them off.