Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blueberry Banana Cake With Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting & July's LOL Food Blogger Posts

When I found this recipe on Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn I knew I had to make it. Then I saw a version on Real Mom Kitchen that switched it up a bit to add lemon to the frosting.  I had to make it immediately.

The recipe calls for a 9x13 inch baking pan. I did mine in a loaf pan which was a mistake because it came out too moist on the bottom.

Regardless. The cake was delicious.

Make this now.

Original recipe Here. Real Mom Kitchen's Version Here.

Here are food blogger posts I read this month that made me smile, chuckle or laugh out loud...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Travel Agent Cupcakes and The Husband's Ex Girlfriend Tour

After my husband and I were dating for awhile it was time to take that all important step and meet his family. We were living together in Munich at the time. I also had a second flat in Cologne for work where we would sometimes spend weekends. Dr. B grew up about an hour outside of Cologne. One one of our weekends there, we got in the car and headed out to meet his mother have coffee and then to his sister's home where I would meet her, her husband and their five children.

As if this wasn't enough for one day, we then headed to Aachen, Dr. B's old medical school stomping ground and proceeded to have more coffee dates with two of his ex girlfriends. I admit, aside from feeling a bit like I was on display..

 Hi everyone! Meet my new girlfriend of the rare Americanus species.

I found this whole being such good friends with your ex thing strange. This was definitely my problem and no one else's. They were all lovely and gave me a warm welcome. Over the years, I've met and socialized with them all. I also think it says a lot about them (and Dr. B) that they maintain good friendships to this day.

One of his ex's, Uschi owns a travel agency.

Over the years, Uschi has gone the extra mile to book many lovely vacations for us and is in charge of getting Dr. B home to me every 5 weeks (the commercial flying part once he's out of Iraq).

It was her birthday recently, we were invited to her place for a birthday dinner. Uschi is one of the most amazing cooks ever and always puts out an impressive spread.  She also makes Thai food like nobody's business and would definitely rock a food blog. Unfortunately, she has no time or interest for blogging. For her birthday dinner,  I made her these birthday travel agent cupcakes thinking these would give her a laugh.  She loved them.

I made my go to vanilla cupcake recipe which is from the fabulous Hello Cupcake book.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kick Ass Carrot Cake with Pistachio Buttercream

I saw this recipe for Leena's Kick Ass Carrot Cake on Leena Eats's blog.  Let me tell you, it did kick my ass and woke me up to a whole new level of carrot cake.  It is the best I've ever eaten or made and I am not a huge carrot cake fan. Like 'em occasionally but don't love 'em.

I loved this one.

She's hard core, that Leena. Her original recipe calls for stuffing the cake with ice cream, sorbet and adding pistachio cream cheese buttercream.   Btw, Leena's blog is seriously fabulous, funny, informative and so well written.  Give it a test drive.

Her original recipe was too challenging for me (because, of course I would have had to make my own sorbet and ice cream.) We were expecting guests for the German 3pm coffee and cake thing. I was in a bit of a time crunch.

Leena's carrot cake recipe has pistachios in it and I was all over the idea of pistachio buttercream. Where do I sign up?  Pistachios are pretty much at the top of my list of favorite flavors.  I make pistachio pesto, pistou, ice cream, cheesecake crust, throw them in salads, etc. I'll take any excuse to add them.

And as a color? Well,  just scrumptious.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oscar Cupcakes and Hollywood Walk of Fame Cookies

When I am in the States I spend a lot of time in Milford, PA where my friends have a country house.  It's a fabulous quirky place with creative people, great parties and fun events.  The town even has a small and wonderful film festival called the Black Bear Film Festival.

Btw, black bears are everywhere in Milford.  Here's a view out of my friends' living room window one recent morning....

He was after the bird seed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Golden Kiwi Vanilla Bean Custard Tartlets With Chocolate Crusts

I found these golden kiwis in the market recently and had to try them.

They are sweeter than regular kiwis (no tart flavor), and the skins are hairless and edible. I got curious so I googled them. Here are some interesting facts about Kiwis involving two visionary women, the cold war, the Galloping Gourmet and horse turds. Who knew?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thumbprint Cookies with Fine's Sour Cherry Jam

We have a gorgeous Cherry tree in our yard.  Unfortunately I left home for the summer before any cherries were ripe so none for me this year or for the blog :-(  The dwarf goat likes to stand on the chicken house and eat them right off the tree.

Our Cherry Tree in Bloom
My mother in law, Fine, makes preserves out of all the fruits from the trees on our property. She has a huge closet full of them.

In anticipation of spending several months away from home, I pulled everything out of the freezer and found dough from the four ingredient cookie I like to make different versions of. The recipe is from a 37 year old German cookbook I bought in the local thrift store.

I also had a bit of leftover hazelnut marzipan so I layered it in with the jam on some of the cookies. It was a winner. Great taste combo.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

MacTweet's Challenge: Rhinegold and Punk Rock Pink Macarons

This month's fun MacTweets Challenge was to create a macaron based on a song.

I found myself with a list way to long to choose from so I decided to represent my two extremes, classical and punk rock. There are plenty of music styles I love in between  - show tunes, world music, Disco, Jazz, Gospel... but me, I have always been motivated by extremes.

Dr. B is a Wagner freak. He saw his first Ring in 1988 and opera is heard most frequently in our house.  He can sit with the texts for hours playing the music and following along, studying the way the pieces were constructed.

Before we met, I wasn't much into opera except a piece here and there. Then came total immersion when we lived in Munich.  I sat through all 16 hours (on four separate nights) of The Ring at the Munich Opera. It was a modern version. Siegfried was represented as a homeboy with a boom box and the Rhine Maidens were three slutty party girls. Even though Wagner may have been spinning in his grave, it was a fabulous piece of theater with a opera star studded cast and I loved it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The July 4th Cake Pop Saga

I thought July 4th cake pops were a cute idea.  Like the Earth Day Cake Pops, I used Bakerella's recipe and instructions.  My problem was coloring the chocolate. I had no access here to oil based candy colors so I used royal icing instead.

A much bigger pain in the ass then just dipping the pops into chocolate. And because I cannot seem to leave well enough alone, after blending together the cake and frosting mixture,