Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

     Last night, I went on a confectionery rampage and churned out cream cheese truffles and cake until 3:30 AM, including the time it took to wrap the candies up all pretty in little tins for mine and my boyfriend's families.  So tell me why this morning I still felt like baking.
     I have some time before I hafta get all clean and ready to go to my Aunt and Uncle's house for dinner (tradition is beautiful), but not TONS of time, so I decided to go for snickerdoodles to bring with me along with the truffles that aren't terribly awesome-tasting, but are very pretty.  My family is probably gonna ask me why I'm trying to set them up on a blind date with diabetes.
     I wasn't gonna use a snickerdoodle recipe that needed shortening.  I hate shortening. I hate cooking it and I hate [knowingly] eating it.  I dunno. So yeah, one batch is cooling, one is still baking. My cookies don't usually turn out very ideal, texturally-speaking. We'll see.

                                                    Happy carb-crashing, everyone! Tell your families I said hi!

UPDATE: The cookies are freaking awesome. That's all. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apple cakes and tons of qiunoa!

     Okay, yes, it's been awhile. Like..a long while. Sorry. But during these past couple of months I HAVE been doing a whole lot of cooking. And even though I can't remember enough of it to make a huge deal about, one highlight has definitely been this caramel apple cake:
      It doesn't look particularly dashing in the photo, but if it makes a difference, this was taken before the nine gallons of homemade caramel were poured on top.  Plus, it's just not a very photogenic dessert in the first place. Anyhow, I came across the recipe in the October issue of Food Network Magazine.  It's a pretty complicated recipe. Many steps. Sort of intimidating. But I like a culinary challenge, and I thought it'd be perfect for my mom's birthday cake. It came out [almost] perfectly, and it looked pretty much just like its photo in the magazine. (By the way, Food Network Magazine has quickly become my favorite magazine ever.)  I'd never attempted to make real, homemade caramel before, but despite the awful mess it was scrumptious beyond belief.  However, about three weeks ago I made another, and some of the caramel dripped off of the spoon I was using to stir it and seared itself right into the flesh on my hand. Still hasn't healed. Anyway, Complicated Caramel Apple Cake= success.
      Also worth mentioning is the fact that I'm in the midst of a pretty serious quinoa phase. Actually, I feel like this phase might go on forever. I freaking love quinoa. One of my favorite concoctions to throw together so far is a somewhat chaotic mixture (a "pilaf" sort of thing, maybe?) of quinoa (Trader Joe's FTW),  wild rice (I overuse parentheses, I'm aware), and lots of vegetables like roasted red peppers and roasted cauliflower, and sometimes some toasted almonds or something.  I like to mix together extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic and lemon juice, and drizzle it on top of my...mixture, or whatever it is.  Actually, I've got quinoa cooking right now.  What will it end up mingling with?  Who knows...
     So who's stoked for Thanksgiving, eh?  My mom, my boyfriend and some friends had an early Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, and it was awesome.  Feast number two 2010 is only three days away! For my family and possibly my boyfriends', I plan on putting together these really, really tasty little truffles I made a couple of years back from a recipe I found in a Girl's Life Magazine, of all places.  Now the only challenge is locating the recipe...