February 28, 2012

Mario Batali's Grapefruit & Honey Cake

Oh my word. Oh my word. OH.MY.WORD!

If you are looking for a delicious ending to the perfect Italian meal, this is the cake for you!
If you've been searching for a citrus-y morsel for your tea table, this is the cake for you!
If you don't care what time of day you eat cake, then this is the recipe for you!
Last Spring, Mother Nature froze the blossoms off our lime & lemon trees.  (We love those fruit for the goodness they bring to grilling, drinks & desserts!) She graciously allowed a few oranges to survive. That fickle woman barely touched the grapefruit tree!
Having a few grapefruit to dispose of, and wishing to use olive oil & honey instead of butter & sugar; I Googled  those terms and found this:
I have never baked a cake with bread crumbs before, and have no idea what their purpose is. Texture? Taste? Whatever -- this cake rocks!

I used a springform pan, fitted it with foil, greased it well, then dusted with bread crumbs.
shhhhhh -- Don't tell! -- I mixed all the ingredients in the food processor.
The cake baked nicely --
but did form cracks as it cooled.
Looks lovely on my Depression Glass cake stand.
Lovelier still with confectioner's sugar sifted over top.
This is the reason we didn't make a glaze for it! We served it with a bit of vanilla bean ice cream and a fresh blackberry sauce.

how I create a baby quilt:

  1. facestalk the expectant couple
  2. drink a gallon of coffee while contemplating the info gathered
  3. draw grid (OK, so it's just a table...) in Publisher®
  4. scroll through embroidery designs to find items to fit the theme
  5. (buy new designs, if needed...)
  6. arrange embroidery design jpgs in grid
  7. dig through fabric stash to find cloth to fit the theme
  8. (buy new fabric, if needed...)
  9. arrange fabric jpgs in grid
10. embroider designs
11. cut remaining squares
12. lay out quilt on carpet for dog to roll on
13. stitch squares into rows, then rows together...
14. "sandwich" top with batting & back fabric
15. quilt & bind

(I'll be linking up with Skip to my Lou for Made by You Monday.)

February 27, 2012 my money's-worth out of that one!

I'm referring to this pattern:
I finished my 4th & 5th purses from View A this weekend. (You can read about the first two for my sisters here, and the third here. I also stitched a View C/D bag out of old suits here.) I think I will give the pattern a rest for a bit -- then maybe work on another couple with the patchwork style.

But back to the ones I finished yesterday:
For the first one I made a raggy & singed flower. I wanted to use a magnetic closure; but I needed something to "pop" on the bag's front in place of the button.  
The closure is not at all difficult to install; but in order to ensure that it & the surrounding fabric would wear well, there were a couple "extras" I decided to incorporate.
First, I used a leather scrap so the closure wouldn't eventually pull through the fabric. Secondly, I had to treat my top-stitching differently than in the other bags to better support the magnetic closure's weight.
It turned out to be a very pretty little purse.
The last one is MINE.  After stitching the previous four bags I knew what extra touches I wanted in mine.
I found a cute vintage cardigan button that was a little rose-y in color.
I totally needed this loop to keep my hand sanitizer
(it just looks bad attached to the handle of my suit bag...)
I really wanted a clip for my keys
I wanted a pocket to keep pens & my phone
& I wanted a pocket with my monogram. 

Now I've got it all! (...well, at least until I stitch up some accessories...)

(Gonna link up with Skip to my Lou.)

Julie invited me to her party, too!

February 16, 2012

Ginger & Carrot Evolution

It's time again for our 2-Ingredient Improv Challenge with Kristen. The ingredients for February are... what the heck!? Carrots & Ginger?!? We don't "do" carrots sweet at this house. No braising them with citrus, no glazing them with ginger, and we most def do not sauté them with honey & herbs! Carrots are either eaten raw (every day, in every lunch) or roasted with other root vegetables with olive oil drizzle.

Whilst deciding on an acceptable recipe, I determined I would make crystallized ginger for my dish. (You can read my blog about that here.)  It was not too arduous a task; & the house smelled sooooooo delicious!

I figured I would create some kind of a gingerbread shortbread, because I totally wanted to utilize my ancient Pampered Chef clay mold
(which, by-the-way, hasn't seen any action for decades, except to decorate my kitchen wall the past ten years...)
Unfortunately, adding a carrot purée to shortbread maketh a most sticky mess! Plus, I wanted my cookie to be a little healthier than pounds of white flour, butter & powdered sugar would be... (Although -- I do know my way around a shortbread cookie!)

Anyhoooooo -- I whipped up a semi-healthy concoction I named "Gingered Carrot Drops" and made a little Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling to sandwich them together. Here are the recipes:

And here are some pics on how I made them...
Hate to see all that beautiful crystallized ginger chopped up. Ahhhh, well...

Be sure to smash squash flatten them with a glass dipped in sugar.

Bake them, & then let 'em "chill" for a bit...

Can you see the yummy little ginger chunks?

mmmmmm -- cinnamon & cream cheese!

Spread some love!

...tasty little sandwich...

This stack won't last long after the boys get home from school...

So very delicious with a cup of Earl Grey...

Improv Challenge