Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Sugar Cookies

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of What the Fruitcake?! Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

The theme for this challenge was 'September'; we were allowed to create anything representing what the month meant to us.

For me, September represents a lot.  The end of summer, the beginning of a new school year, cooler days, with fall just around the corner.

September brings my favorite colors to life, with leaves painting a canvas full of warm, comforting hues.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


We all have that one ice cream flavor that continually has the ability to transport us to younger, summer days.  The flavor we chose as our reward for, perhaps, nothing more than being a kid.

As an adult, that very same ice cream flavor reminds us of days when our biggest decisions were the vessel to hold the ice cream - cup, sugar cone, waffle cone - and our most stressful moments were in not allowing a single drop of ice cream to escape down the side of the cone.


When I asked Mike to reveal his favorite childhood ice cream flavor, he adamantly answered, "Mint chocolate chip."  No question.

Since he has been particularly sweet and supportive these past few weeks, I decided to spin a homemade version of his beloved mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Monday, September 13, 2010

White Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream


On Saturday, a group of wonderful people gathered in a beautiful backyard in Brooklyn to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a sweet baby boy.

I wanted to create a sophisticated cake for the occasion and finally decided on a simple white cake with vanilla bean buttercream, colored to a robin egg blue.


Using a small pedal tip, I created whimsical zig-zags around the top and bottom of the cake with uncolored buttercream.

I served mini whoopie pies alongside the cake, which visually contrasted nicely with the cake, but also provided a taste of chocolate.


It was a gorgeous afternoon, complete with good food, great company and much excitement.

I can hardly wait to meet 'Little Erik'!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars


I have been filing this recipe away since I saw Ina Garten create them in her amazing kitchen a few months ago.  I finally found the perfect excuse to try the recipe, packaging them as a perfect on-the-go snack for friends who are new parents to a beautiful baby boy.

I don't know from experience, but I imagine a newborn does not allow for a lingering breakfast over an endless pot of coffee in the morning.

My mother confirmed this hunch.  And I'm pretty sure she silently inserted how long she was in labor with me.

Either way, I thought two new sleep-deprived parents could use a nutritious, quick, energy-packed start to the day.

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