Tag: baking

Operation Cheesecake: aka Kitchen Applique

Operation Cheesecake

One of the things I’ve learned in marrying in to an enormous family is that there is always a good excuse for a party.  While catering was never on my list of things to accomplish, I find my over-riding need to make pretty things overflows the studio and into the kitchen.  The party in question??  A Bon Voyage for a bros-in-law who’s headed off to med school.  Obviously, a medical theme was required.  Me being me, out came templates and exacto knives, tweezers and clippers.  While never having worked with fondant before, I was sure that if I approached this as I would a penny rug or quilt, I’d achieve a modicum of success.  Hubby and I tested and practiced, and scratched the Red Velvet cake when we discovered a dislike of chocolate in the honored guest.  A New Your style cheesecake (the first I’ve ever made!), became the unusual foundation for my stitch and bitch culinary session in the kitchen.

And it was fun.  And it was yum.

Puttin' the Fun in Yum.

Baking Day

sun-dried tomato and pesto bread

A few years ago I picked up a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  We haven’t bought a loaf of bread since.  The smell of baking bread and warm tender slices fresh from the oven—well, nothing beats it.  Most of the time I just make some sort of organic white, wheat, or combination thereof, but I occasionally get fancy.  Last weekend I woke with a hankering for a buttery slab of cinnamon raisin bread, so  I caved and added an extra 5 minutes to my bread routine.  Rolling out my usual dough into a thick rectangle, I smothered it with butter, honey from a local farm, plump raisins, nutmeg, and a generous dusting of  cinnamon.  The whole darn thing got rolled up and dropped in the pan and baked as normal.  Yum.  Now I’m on a bread inclusion tear.  Earlier this week I pulled out the second to last garden pesto from the freezer (yes, I’m counting) and made pesto and sun-dried tomato bread.  And I’m remembering other favorites:  chocolate cherry, olive parm, honey pecan.  I’m also dreaming up new combinations like honey walnut gorganzola, speck and asparagus, and strawberry marmalade with brie.  Ah, yes.  I definitely enjoy the kitchen arts, too.

getting prepped
fresh from the oven