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Posts Tagged ‘ari hest’

Sadly, I didn’t have time to do May’s Daring Bakers Challenge.  But my kitchen has still been busy.  I had an Easter cake to whip up (when I say “whip,” I mean 12 hours of work) and another cake a couple weeks later for my dad’s birthday/mother’s day.  Also attended a couple concerts.  Busy busy busy.

First was the Easter cake.  I’ve had a duck cake pan for quite some time and never used it.  So I decided to make the duck cake (chocolate) and decorate it in flowers to look Easter-y.  But it couldn’t just stand alone, so I put it on a yellow cake lake with a couple rice crispy ducklings.  Turned out quite well, though there were a couple details I would have liked to add but didn’t have time.

The next cake was dual purpose that fairly seamlessly worked together.  Half was for my dad’s birthday that featured a modeling chocolate dinosaur, which in no way was a reference to that fact that he just turned 60.  The other half was flowery for Mother’s Day.  A blue sky with scattered clouds was above both scenes.  The idea was good, but I only spent about 4 hours decorating it.  It could definitely have been more professional, but I also didn’t want to use fondant.  It’s not my favorite medium.

Other than that, I’ve still been churning out cookies.  Ari Hest and Matt Wertz each were in town, so I took them some goodies and guitar picks.  I flew to Minneapolis to see Bob Schneider and his fantastic band/crew with a few Bob Bars and derby pie bars since it was Kentucky Derby Day.  And a couple days ago I went to see the Script in Los Angeles so I made them my renown fortune cookies with personalized fortunes for the band members.  One of Danny’s cookies simply had my phone number in it.  He hasn’t called yet, by the way.  I didn’t have enough time to personalize fortunes for the crew too.  Those things take long enough to make as it is.  They also got Bob Bars (no fail) and white chocolate chip craisin cookies.

Right now, there are no concerts on the calendar for the next two months.  That will probably change, but in the meantime, I’m going to try to come up with some signature recipes.  Will probably focus on the standard chocolate chip cookie first.  Usually I just make the recipe from the nestle bag.  But I’d like to see what I can do with making my own recipes.  Will take some time and I’m sure there will be several taste-testers involved, but we’ll see if I can create the most delicious cookie.

              

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Settled in my condo and adjusted to my new kitchen (still not thrilled with the electric stove), I’ve taken to hosting dinner parties for friends and family.  I think I should be Martha Stewart’s apprentice.  I’m getting better at cooking (though I can’t say I didn’t know how to cook, I just never did) and find it really fun to have people over rather than go out to eat.

My parents were the guests at my first dinner party.  I made pan-fried pork chops wrapped in prosciutto with capers and spinach, and a rich chocolate mousse, recipes courtesy of Curtis Stone.  It turned out well, but the pork was a bit too lemony.  Lesson learned.

I had nine friends over for my next dinner party.  It was BYOC (bring your own chair).  It was right before St. Patrick’s Day so I served up some beef and guinness stew with potatoes, soda bread, and apple/blackberry crumble.  My friend Roddy also brought a Shepherds Pie.  It was great fun, but I made way too much food.  Three months later, I still have a few tupperware containers each with a serving of stew in the freezer.  And I ate one the other day.  And I didn’t get violently sick.  How long does frozen stew last?  Oh well, still have a lot of soda bread in the freezer as well too.  Maybe that should get thrown.

Shortly after that party, I had my aunt, grandparents, parents, and brother over for some pan-fried chicken with a green olive, onion, and tomato topping, baked potato wedges, and tiramisu.  That was quite a success as well, except my grandpa wouldn’t try the tiramisu after he found out there was brandy in it.  I didn’t really think it was very strong, but the others could taste it.

The tiramisu had been a previous Daring Bakers Challenge that I didn’t complete, because I didn’t have the time.  It was something I had always wanted to make, so since I had done part of the challenge in making the lady fingers from scratch (and freezing them, of course), I decided it would be a good dessert.  Plus, I love living alone, but I can’t keep up with eating all the things I bake.  So if I don’t have friends/family over to help me eat the goods, they go to work the next day and get devoured within an hour.

I don’t really have any new baking techniques to report on at the moment.  The baking that I’ve done recently are things I’ve made before, like pumpkin muffins, apple pie, chocolate chip cookies (for Tyler Hilton, Reckless Kelly, and Ari Hest ), and brownies.  I shall try to do something new soon, I’ve just been busy with work and globe-trotting, not to mention my new-found enjoyment of cooking, that I haven’t had much time for the sweet stuff.  But I’ll come up with something soon that is sure to impress you.

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