Entries Tagged 'Adventures in Baking'

Cheddar, Parmesan, and Cracked Pepper Scones

Cheddar, Parmesan, and Cracked Black Pepper Scones

These are amazing.  I’m calling them savory scones, but you might recognize them as a rich version of cheddar biscuits.  I really don’t care what you call them as long as you make them for someone special. Continue reading →

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Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge: Panettone

Bread Baker's Apprentice Panettone

I’m sad to report that I have now had my very first failure in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge.  I’ve made mistakes and had a few problems with some of the earlier breads, but they all managed to pull through and turn out pretty great.

Then I met Panettone.

Panettone is a traditional Italian Christmas bread that originates from Milan and is popular throughout the world.  I’ve always loved it.  My first experience with panettone was when I worked for Lenscrafters in college.  Lenscrafters is owned by an Italian company and our Christmas bonuses came in the form of this sweet, rich, and fruity bread.  Not everyone liked it, so there were always extra boxes of panettone sitting around the Lenscrafters break room in December.  But I loved it.  I would toast big hunks of it (under the broiler because it was too big to fit in my toaster) and eat it dripping with butter.  It makes great french toast, too!  I also ate my share of panettone while living in Sicily.  It’s sold everywhere in Italy – little shops, big grocery stores, from the back of trucks on the side of the road. Continue reading →

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Whole Wheat Persimmon Bread

Sliced Persimmon Bread

Like most places around the country, autumn in California’s San Joaquin Valley is a beautiful time of year.  While we might not have as many vibrant colored leaves as other places, we do have fruit trees.  Pomegranates, persimmons, lemons – these are our fall colors.  Take a drive through the country or just about any older neighborhood and you’re bound to run across some of these beautiful trees with their red, orange, and yellow fruit.  Persimmon trees are my fall favorite.  The trees drop their leaves as the fruit ripens, leaving nothing but the spectacular glowing orange orbs – it’s quite a beautiful sight. Continue reading →

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Praline Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting

Praline Pumpkin Cake

You won’t believe how easy this cake is.  Delicious, too!

I usually have a couple of boxes of yellow cake mix in my pantry in case I need to whip up one of Nana’s Lemon Jello Cakes – it’s just good to be prepared.   But last night I was craving pumpkin cake.  I had planned on throwing together a quick pumpkin spice cake from scratch until a Google search led me to this Praline-Pumpkin Cake from Betty Crocker. Continue reading →

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Food Blog Friday: Caramel Apple Pear Cake from Zoë Bakes

Caramel Apple and Pear Cake from Zoe Bakes

It’s definitely time for another installation of Food Blog Friday and this week I’m featuring a gorgeous Caramel Apple and Pear Cake recipe from the wonderful baking blog Zoë Bakes, written by pastry chef and cookbook author Zoë François.

Even if you aren’t familiar with her blog, you might recognize Zoë as co-author of the popular bread baking books Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  The books are great and so is the Artisan Bread in Five blog, but it’s really been a pleasure getting to know Zoë through her personal baking blog over the past few years. Continue reading →

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Fall Fest: Sour Cream Pear Cake with Pecan Streusel

Sour Cream Pear Cake with Pecan Streusel

Welcome back to Fall Fest!  I missed pumpkin party last week, but I really think this simple and delicious pear cake will make up for it.  This rich and spicy cake is filled with fresh pear chunks and topped with a buttery, crunchy pecan streusel. Continue reading →

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Honey Lemon Olive Oil Muffins with Lemon Glaze

Honey Lemon Olive Oil Muffins in Basket

I woke up this morning thinking about Sicily. I miss the first house we lived in with the fig, olive, and lemon trees.  The figs should be ripe now. There were two olive trees and my dog would constantly chew up then spit out the olives that fell to the ground.  They tasted terrible and I don’t know why he kept trying, but he kept it up.

My landlord taught me how to cure the green olives by cracking them with a hammer and submerging them in salted water for weeks.  My cutting board is still stained in one spot from cracking olives that afternoon six years ago.  He also taught me to pick the ripe and nearly-ripe olives and cure them by layering olives with salt in a basket and letting them sit for a few weeks until they were shriveled and pungent and delicious.  I didn’t speak much Italian, he spoke no English, but we figured it out. Continue reading →

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Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk

Sometimes you just have to bake cookies.

It’s been a busy summer.  I’m going through some pretty serious life changes – stressful life changes.  But as we all know, life never slows down to let us deal with tough situations.  The world doesn’t stop spinning just because you need a break.  So sometimes, in the middle of everything, you’re the one that has to stop.  Yesterday, in the middle of an afternoon filled with a million other things I was supposed to be doing, that’s just what I did. Continue reading →

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