Monday, April 30, 2012

A New House & April's Funny Food Blogger Posts

It's been one crazy busy month. I got a day job with a small creative agency. We bought a weekend getaway house and what followed were endless appointments with painters, tile and floor installers and plumbers. There were five birthdays including Dr. B's where I surprised him with tickets to The Daily Show. We had out of town visitors, a screening and a gallery opening and tons of other events.

April was a blur...but in the middle of it all I made 70 of these for a wedding party of a dear couple:

There just seemed to be endless lists of other things to do. Something had to give and this poor blog took the hit. So many ideas... and no time to make them happen.

Here's a peek at my new weekend play space:

It's a huge kitchen. This is only 2/3 of it. Those of you who know my love for color understand how the grey, black, wood combo is not exactly my taste.  Over the next months, the plan is to slowly customize it to my satisfaction.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ombre French Macarons - MacTweet Challenge #29

Jamie and Deeba, those colorful and worldly mistresses of MacTweets threw down a Color My World Challenge this month. 

My first thought turned to my obsession with all things ombre.

These were a bit more work than regular macarons to make. Lots of separating and coloring batters and frostings. It took two batches each of the shells and buttercream to get these four different colors of ombre. I should have taken them a step further and flavored each one differently. But I didn't. Sorry about that now. This post would have been so much more interesting.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Espresso Macarons with Chocolate Rum Ganache Filling

These macarons are ones I make frequently and I realized I never posted them. Espresso macarons are my standard gift to bring with me to a party and they are a hit. Every. Single. time.

This past weekend I gifted another friend with these but this time I filled with chocolate buttercream instead of ganache, also a perfect filling.

This double whammy of caffeine and sugar is scrumptious.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chili Vanilla Cupcakes

Lots of birthdays this week, lots of baking. These were for some work colleagues. We had three birthdays this week in a row on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I am surrounded by Aries as my husband is one as well.

I used the Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcake and buttercream recipes and just added a tablespoon of chili powder to the cupcake batter.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

White Chocolate Butterscotch Babka with Caramel Streusel

"With Caramel Streusel" have to be three of my new favorite words. I'll take caramel over chocolate any day although the two of them together can park their slippers under my bed anytime. I'm kinky like that.

But I digress. I was on a quest to reinvent the chocolate babka of my youth. I remember the crumbly chocolate buttery goodness especially around Passover. A fond memory for sure, but it was time to amp up the flavor.

White chocolate and butterscotch chips and some leftover caramel sauce were procured from my kitchen cabinets and laid out on the counter. Perfect flavors to try.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Jemima Code Exhibit & Reception at the James Beard House in NYC

"They whisper wisdom through prized recipes handed down by word of mouth and published in a few rare cookbooks."*

"When we embrace their gifts of dignity, courage, creativity and perseverance, we add warmth to our kitchens and our children are inspired."*

Last Sunday, along with my dear friend Debbie at Ready4Air I attended the IACP's Culinary Expo and Book & Blog Festival in Soho here in NYC. As a TV producer I am a veteran of these types of events so I am a little jaded.  However, we had great fun, the people were warm and welcoming and the food sampling was terrific.

The best part of this event was a chance meeting with immensely talented Jamie from Life's a Feast. Jamie, along with Deeba at Passionate About Baking are the creators of Mactweets blog and monthly challenge. After baking along virtually with them for over a year I was so excited to meet Jamie I hope I didn't break her with my bear hug.

As much as I enjoyed the IACP events, I am sure other bloggers will better cover them. The best part of the day was later attending the Jemima Code Exhibit & Reception at the James Beard House Greenhouse Gallery in the early evening.

"These wise servants nurtured spirits, salved wounds, created character, and delicious masterpieces from humble ingredients, often while working outside of the home."*

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pink Easter Bunny Eclairs with Key lime Curd Filling

Now that I am done with these I realize they probably look better without glaze or I should have just used a thin transparent one. Once I started with the pink glaze it was only a short hop to sprinkling pink sanding sugar on them and attempting to give them faces. They look a bit demented, not unlike some goat lamb cookies I made last year. They do look slightly cuter in person. Promise.

For the choux part I used Tish Boyle's recipe. It always works perfectly for me.
I piped the batter in the shape of a bunny by making and round part for the body, attached a smaller round shape on top for the head, then piped the ears and the feet.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Almond Flavored Faux Matzah Candy Bark for Passover

Yeah, yeah, I know this is my second faux food posting in a row. In truth the more elaborate Easter post I had planned for today did not get done and these were quick and easy to make. Too much happening here now. But it's all good.

I remembered the basket weave mold I used for my Thanksgiving cornucopia cupcakes and hauled it out and used white candy melts, some almond candy oil for flavoring and brown food coloring.

These are a fun Passover treat. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sushi Truffles - April Fools!

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you know how much I love to make fake foods. First there were the french fries with "ketchup" and "mayo".

and then the marzipan weenies in blankets. 

Both are cookie ideas. It was only a matter of time before I branched out into making fake foods out of other things. What gave me the idea for these sushi truffles was some leftover fondant that was the color of dark green seaweed, the kind they wrap around sushi.