23 December 2011

So this is why I haven't been posting much.

Frankly, the smell of baked goods made me feel pretty nauseous for a while and I was exhausted most of the time. Now that I'm in the second trimester, I'm feeling better. Still not in the mood for sweets at all.

Happy Holidays!

04 December 2011

Cinnamon Crown Cake

A few years ago, my mother-in-law and father-in-law gave me a great recipe book (linked in my last post) and a Nordic Ware bundt pan. For some reason, I use it mostly in autumn. Autumn makes me think of cinnamon and coffee cakes, I guess.

I just started a new job in October and decided to bring a treat in for my training group. I made the Cinnamon Crown cake.

24 November 2011

Apple Streusel Cake

I told you that I had a few posts up my sleeve! Here is the first, apple streusel cake. In September, if you recall, I went apple picking with my friend Mary. I picked a half bushel of apples. I made 4 pans of apple crisp, crock pot apple sauce (which I used in my next blog post) and then when we were sick of the apple crisp, I made this cake. 

21 November 2011

My apologies!

I'm sorry for my absence as of late. I started a new job a month ago and we found out 6 week ago that we're pregnant. I've had all the normal experiences of pregnancy except morning sickness, thankfully. So, with that said, I've been exhausted after 8 hours of training, walking our dog Dougal and making dinner.

I have two recipes to write for you and I will try to do that this week as I have some time off!

04 October 2011

Apple crisp.

One of my favorite things about being back home is the season of Autumn. It is another beautiful rainy autumn day here. I know, I know, it sounds odd, but after living in the desert for almost eight years, I'm happy to see the rain. This morning I woke up to the sound of it pouring. What a wonderful sound!

A couple of weeks ago I went apple picking with my dear friend, Mary. It was a rainy day but that didn't stop us from grabbing a red wagon and heading out in to the orchard. I picked a half bushel and arrived home trying to decide what to do with all these baking apples (Cortland). I made slow cooker applesauce (only to find out my husband doesn't like applesauce). I made several apple crisp (because I found out my husband is crazy about apple crisp). Lastly, I made a cake (which will be the next blog post).

26 September 2011


I was watching Barefoot Contessa on Food Network the other day. She was making a mixed berry pavlova and it looked incredible and light. I made it yesterday. One word: divine.

08 September 2011

I'm home!

We're finally settled in to our new east coast home, happily. I haven't started back to work yet, but I have an interview next week. T started his new job on Tuesday.

I used to say that I didn't think I could stay home all day. Even if I won the lottery, I would work, but after having been home all week, I've changed my mind. I've gotten so much done and am so relaxed. As soon as I get everything accomplished on my list: living room curtains hung, cleaning, dog walking and the gym; I'll get back to baking up a storm.

This weekend I'm throwing a birthday/welcome to the east coast party for T. I'll be making seven layer bars and his favorite birthday cake (yellow with chocolate icing). We'll be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs on T's birthday gift. Nothing fancy, but it should be fun!

It will be great to see my friends that I've been 2700 miles away from for the bast 7 1/2 years.

In other news... it never ceases to amaze me all the things you find you need when you move into a new place. I've been living in my own place (with or without roommates/family) since I was 17 and still, we didn't have things we needed. We have less cupboard space here than we anticipated. I have to say though, I would have missed out on this sweet pie safe if we'd had enough cupboards.

One last picture, of my pup, Dougal, on his cross country ride. He usually doesn't like car rides, which is a rarity in dogs. He did amazingly well! Look at him, so chill. Having him in my life has made all the difference. I can't imagine a day without his fuzzy face. Please check out the new page for adoptable pets!

07 August 2011


Sometimes you try a recipe that looks and reads as if it will be amazing. You read the recipe several times, carefully select the best ingredients and  put in the effort to follow the recipe meticulously only to find that it's terrible.

This is one of those disappointing moments. This is that recipe. I'm not going to post the recipe. I want to work with it an improve it.

03 August 2011

I hate and love summer.

Summer is wonderful for fresh produce and grilling and getting my skin to stop being quite so translucent. Unfortunately for B in AZ and, more surprisingly, for me in NY, summer is just too hot for baking. Every time I turn on the oven I find myself praying to be delivered from hell. I live in an attic apartment with my husband (who, during the summer, seems to run disappointingly hot) and if we don't have our one window AC running, I could practically cook a loaf of bread by simply mixing the dough and leaving it in a pan for a couple of hours. The midwest gave us a heat wave a few weeks ago and it's just now starting to cool enough to think about baking. I'm dying to do custard again; it just tasted so good and it's a great chilled dessert. But I've had peaches in the fridge and I've hidden the gingersnaps from the hubby and as much as I'm craving custard, I know what's next.

Peach pie with a gingersnap crust, only days away.

15 July 2011

Stuff and nonsense.

I haven't been baking much. There is so much to do and to be honest, it's hotter than hell here. We're in the height of monsoon season and we had a haboob last week! It was massive! (I'm not explaining, you'll just have to Google that one!)

  • I gave my notice at work on Monday. That felt amazing. Seriously amazing. Four more weeks of work and then I am done. 
  • We have to go through our spare bedroom this weekend. It's time to sort through the things we own and determine what is really necessary. It's amazing how quickly we accumulate things. 
  • I need to download some Neil Gaiman and Kurt Vonnegut books for my Kindle. It looks like we have five solid days of driving back east, so I'll be needing some entertainment. 
  • We need some new tunes for the ol' iPods. (Recommendations welcome!)
  • Packing. Oh holy crap. I hate this part. I hate having my life segregated in to label boxes and chucked all over the place. 
  • Address changes, turning services off, turning services on. 
  • Keeping the doggie calm. I have to make sure he's ok with the move. He's a sensitive boy. I have a feeling I'll be riding in the back seat with him most of the journey.

I guess that sums up the next six weeks or so. We are so excited... beyond excited really.

A new chapter and lots of adventure! 

06 July 2011

More big news!

We've been approved on the place we put a deposit on! Woohoo, we have an address!!! I also had a brief preliminary interview this morning with a full phone interview on Friday. If I make it past the phone interview I may need to fly home for an in office interview on Tuesday. Eep, that will be pricey! The start date would be while we are driving cross country.

Fingers crossed that it all works out!

04 July 2011

Big news!

On the baking front there is nothing new to report. It is far to hot (117 degrees F just the other day) to turn on the oven in our wee kitchen. I've mostly made no bake recipes like coconut cream pie.

I'd like to introduce you all to my friend Lisa. She has just started a blog called Kissin' Frogz about her misadventures in trying to find a date and dating.  It is charming and funny, a great read over all. It often makes me laugh as well as making me appreciate being married! Follow her and show her some love!

Our big news is that we have plans to move east on 20. August 2011. We've sent a deposit on a place to live and are just waiting to hear if we've been approved. We've given notice that we're moving to our current rental company (No, shockingly, we don't live in a house, but a two bedroom apartment we've outgrown. We just couldn't commit to living here.) Two weeks from today, we'll give notice one month notice at work (as such, I'm not sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter).

It should be five fun filled days of the three of us in the car driving 2,700 miles. Our dog, Dougal, hates riding in the car and cries most of the time. I'm currently researching ways to make him more comfortable.

We're very excited and scared but feel is the best thing for us. We'll arrive just in time for autumn! I can't wait for a white Christmas. New England, here we come!


19 June 2011

An Spéice Brown Bread

After much searching on the internet for the bread that I loved so much and enjoyed daily in Ireland, I e-mailed our favorite bed and breakfast, An Spéice, asking for the recipe. Mrs. Hannafin happily obliged, e-mailing me with the recipe.

17 June 2011

It's that time of year again!

Yep, time for the charity bake sale at work. I spent all day yesterday baking, taste testing and packing my items. I pared it down a bit from previous years. I made seven layer bars (they're always a big seller), mini coconut cream pies with graham cracker crusts, cranberry cheesecake bars and lemon blossoms. This last item is new for me.

09 June 2011

Banoffee Pie!

We had this delicious pie our last night in Galway. It is a banana and toffee pie that can be made with either a graham cracker crust or a regular pie crust. I decided to use a basic graham cracker crust. I found the filling recipe at A Beautiful Mess. The filling was the right flavor but consistency wise a bit off from what we had. It should be creamier. Next time, I think I will try making this recipe, from Saveur.com.

21 May 2011

Ballymaloe Brown Bread... still not the right bread.

I am still in search of the bread we had in Ireland every morning. Considering that every where we went served it with every meal, you wouldn't think it would be so hard to find a recipe. I tried the recipe for Ballymaloe Brown Bread for epicurious.com. While delicious, it's not the right bread. I will make it again though. It's simple, only requiring one rise and no kneading. It has a nice crust and was fantastic warm with some nice Kerrygold Irish butter.

Wee little almond cakes

It's been a ridiculously awful two weeks at work. I left on Friday feeling frustrated and tired and looking forward to a day off. On my way through the mall, I passed Williams-Sonoma and decided that today was the day. I was going to go in there, pay more than I probably should, and leave with the NordicWare Teacake pan I had been coveting for ages. If I was coming back to work on Sunday, I was coming back full of tiny, tiny cakes.

16 May 2011

Fluffy Pink Bunny Cake

I am pretty sure that my ridiculousness knows no bounds. Just because something is made to look ridiculous, though, is no reason that it shouldn't also be delicious. Case in point, the Fluffy Pink Bunny cake.

08 May 2011

Ireland and the search for the right Irish brown bread.

I've been meaning to write about our honeymoon, but between adjusting to the time change on the way back and our normal schedule kicking my butt the past week, I was too exhausted. I've been craving Irish brown bread, which we ate daily, since we've returned home. I have a loaf of it in the oven as I type (smells wonderful), so I figured, "What better time to reminisce?"

01 May 2011

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

While we were in Ireland, I tried every dessert I could get my hands on that I'd never seen here. Chocolate biscuit cake was one of those.

30 April 2011

The Helga Cake from the book...

... My Life from Scratch: A Sweet Journey of Starting Over, One Cake at a Time. This is one of my favorite books and I know I've mentioned it a bunch of times, but I urge you to get it. Her story telling is great, her detailed instruction is wonderful and the art work done by her husband is lovely. Also, if you ever get stuck, she puts tutorials on her blog!

29 April 2011

... and we're back!

My apologies for the lack of updates my beloved eleven thirteen readers (welcome)! I was in Ireland and it was amazing. I've been dreaming of going to Ireland my whole life, imagining it over and over. It was better than my dreams.

I'll get back to baking and posting soon!

03 April 2011


One of my favorite bloggers and bakers just came out with a new (and her first) cook book; Sugar Baby: Confections, Candies, Cakes & Other Delicious Recipes for Cooking with Sugar. I was so excited to get this in the mail from Amazon last week. I decided to make the eclairs.

23 March 2011

Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.

Say that ten times fast! This was adapted from my Nestle Toll House Cookie cookbook. I didn't use Nestle products in the recipe and I added oatmeal for texture. With the peanut butter and butter, these cookies were pretty slippery, the oatmeal gave them balance. I also left out the chopped peanuts. 

21 March 2011

St. Patrick's Potluck

So I hosted a little dinner party in my apartment on Saturday. As Thursday was St. Patrick's Day, we had a clear and delicious theme for the potluck spread. Being the hostess, I went overboard.

I started with my now-famous Guinness corned beef. There are two bottles of Guinness Extra Stout poured in the crock pot over this along with a can of beef broth. It's cooked on low for eight hours and falls apart under the fork.I also made simmered cabbage. Most people aren't impressed with cabbage but I think it's because people cook it lazily. I like to cook mine in beef broth with butter, olive oil, and white cooking wine. It adds a lot of extra flavor.
I cooked a little of the cabbage in butter first and combined it with Thursday's potatoes and corned beef, some shredded cheddar, and wrapped the mixture up in egg roll wrappers, deep frying them to a delicious golden brown. Voila, Irish egg rolls!
And to cap it off, I made black and tan chocolate mousse. The dark portion is a Guinness and bittersweet chocolate mousse and it's topped with a mixture of white chocolate (or, as my Aunt Joan insists, "almond bark, there's no such thing as white chocolate!") and whipped cream. The prep uses so many dishes that my husband will now have to clean but they're so rich and so worth it.
One couple brought champ, a fantastic buttery mix of mashed potatoes and scallions served with extra butter. Nothing makes me happier than extra butter. The other couple brought a great Irish soda bread, Scottish shortbread (made with dark brown sugar, giving the cookies a molasses-y flavor), and Irish cream chocolate cheesecake. One friend brought some green beans with almonds and kale instead of her boyfriend. I love nights with good food and good company.

17 March 2011

Irish Soda Bread

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I made soda bread to go with dinner tonight (a delicious pot roast with roots vegetables and homemade gravy).

This is a super easy recipe and comes together quickly.  I used 3 1/2 c. of flour, 1 tsp. of baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 1/2 c. of buttermilk. Shape the dough into a 6-7 inch diameter circle of dough, cut a cross in the top and bake for 35 minutes @ 425 degrees and done!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

12 March 2011

Baby shower cupcakes!

I had a cupcake order this morning. Three dozen cup cakes for a baby shower. I made one dozen lemon filled with lemon cured and iced with Swiss meringue butter cream, one dozen chocolate filled with raspberry and iced with chocolate butter cream and once dozen vanilla butter iced with butter cream. I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

I found really cute cupcake wrappers at Fancy Flours that perfectly matched the mom-to-be's nursery colors. I purchased a cupcake stand from Cupcake Tree and trimmed it with ribbon to match the colors. My husband sampled the extra cupcakes I had and said they were delicious. I'm partial to the lemon ones, but then again, Swiss meringue is my favorite icing. With two and a half pounds of butter, you can't go wrong. Delicious!

Chocolate and lemon, followed by vanilla.
Aren't the wrappers darling?

We'll be off to Ireland in just five weeks for our honeymoon. I'm planning to bake something to celebrate St. Patrick's Day next week and will hopefully have time to make a couple more new things before we depart. 


14 February 2011

Valentine's Day.

My husband calls this the made up Hallmark holiday.

It's true that St. Valentine's Day has little to do with love, affection and little diapered cupids floating about and is about Christian martyrs.

Still, I enjoy the reminder to take special care to show love and affection everyday and to do a little something special. Sometimes the days get hectic and blur. Time passes and we can forget how truly fortunate we are to have the people we have in our lives and that we are lucky to be able to love.

Every year, I make this cake for my husband for Valentine's Day. It's a simple yellow cake with chocolate butter cream. It is his favorite. This small token makes him smile and for me, that is the best thing in the world.

08 February 2011

Zucchini bread.

What do you do when you realize that you bought two zucchinis and haven't any plans to cook them any time soon? You search your favorite websites/blogs for a zucchini bread recipe.

I went with the recipe on Smitten Kitchen and opted to make the batter into muffins because I do not currently have a non-stick bread pan and my glass bread pans have let me down recently.

28 January 2011

Peanut butter chocolate chip pound cake.

I love trying new recipes. On a weekend night, with work early the next morning, I especially love a new recipe with only six ingredients that I happen to always have in the kitchen cupboards.

I found this recipe on Piece of Cake: Freshly Baked Stories, Recipes and Photos. I altered it a bit, using full size bittersweet chocolate chips that I had on hand. I love bittersweet chocolate with anything. This cake comes out moist and delicious. It does not have a strong peanut butter flavor, just a hint that makes you crave another piece.

24 January 2011

Bridget: Irish Cream Cookies

Hi! I'm Bridget and I'm here to share my adventures in baking. On Saturday night, my husband requested cookies. Ready and willing to comply, I started to dig for recipes. Suddenly, he had a flash of inspiration: "Are there Irish cream cookies?" After some googling, I found that there were and after a few minor tweaks to the recipe I settled down to make them.

16 January 2011

To the new year!

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! I certainly did as well as my ten day vacation. I did not enjoy returning to my day job though. One day... this will be my day job, one day.

I haven't baked anything new this year, but I was given the pasta making attachments for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas. eeeeeee! I've made fettuccine and ravioli so far. YUM! (Pictures below.)

I've been thinking about my resolution for 2011. Reaching 53 new baking recipes was a wonderful goal last year but it greatly inhibited my health goals for the year as well. Once I'd found my wedding dress, I needed to maintain my weight at the mid-point of my goal to avoid alterations. Now that the wedding has passed, I need to focus on completing my weight loss goal. With that said, I will continue to strive to make new recipes and hone my baking skills, but I'm going to make a change to this blog to share the work. I'm adding a second writer!

Everyone, welcome Bridget! She is a dear friend and a fantastic writer and a cook/baker in her own right. Be sure to check out her blog, A One Woman Book Club.