Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July's Funny Food Blogger Posts

Here are the posts that gave me a smile this month:

Thursday Night Smackdown's Shit With Screwed Up Priorities Monday

Piece of Cake's Kool-Aid Marshmallows

Lentil Breakdown's Fat Time Off and  A Bi-curious, Two-timing Almond Cake Affair

Cake Spy's Oreo Etiquette 

Oh My Veggies Vanilla Ice

Cake Wrecks Oddly Specific Apology Cakes 

Salty Seattle's Renovation Saga Week Three: The Crazies of Craig's List

David Leite's That Paris Effect

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mermaid Cookies for a Mermangel Over Manhattan Event

This week at work we produced a great event for one of our clients involved with a Protect Water campaign. We rented  pool and world record holding free diver Şahika Ercümen taught our invited guests some breath holding techniques and how to swim with a mono fin. Here is a short stunning video of Şahika doing her thing.

The Protect Water campaign calls her a Mermangel but you would swear she is a fish. We provided our guests with monofins, towels, goggles and Jamba Juice smoothies  and they all had a fun, interesting afternoon trying to learn to master the monofin in the pool.

My original idea for these ookies was to put angel wings on a mermaid. All of my 300+ collection of cookie cutters are still at our home in Germany and I just couldn't find the right cutters here in NYC to put the two together, had no time to order online or make stencils. So I did the best I could with the mermaid cutter I found a Broadway Panhandler down the street.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Tiki Birthday Cake

Apologies in advance for the quality of the photos in this post. I didn't have a chance to photograph everything in good light.

My brother lived in the East Village in NYC for years. His apartment was a Tiki lounge complete with an authentic Tiki bar and glasse to match. We used to have Tiki cocktail parties where we would make exotic drinks and invite our friends. I still marvel at how many people we could cram into his studio apartment.

Now that he has a house the Tiki theme has been relegated to one room and then spills over into another. I am just happy the fun hasn't been left behind.

There was no question when his birthday came up I had to make this Tiki cake.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Salted Caramel Peach Crumble Pie

Ok so I just had to share this pie with you. It's the third time I've made it and I've mentioned it in a previous post. The recipe comes from Kelly over at Evil ShenanigansIt's so darn sweet salty finger licking summery good. The first one I took out to my mother's. It disappeared quickly. the second one I took to a barbecue and served it with vanilla bean ice cream. Gone!  Then this one I took to work where it was quickly descended upon. Gone!

Our little neighborhood farmers market has the juiciest peaches around. The woman who sells them swears it's because she leaves them on the trees longer than normal. They're also huge.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cashew Chipotle Pesto

There is a farmers market near our apartment on Tuesdays that has what must be the best deal on basil in the city. A fragrant almost two foot abundant sheaf with the roots still attached costs $3.00. I can't resist buying at least one bunch a week. When I get it home it usually finds its way into a couple of caprese salads and some other dishes but eventually I become stumped about what to do with it all so I start playing with pestos.

I love experimenting with different nuts and oils. Once I have all my nuts and oils lined up I mix and match them to make four or five different versions at once. It takes only about a half hour total. Pesto freezes well so I start stockpiling homemade pesto now. When the winter sets in, we all know how expensive one measly thin plastic container can be. It's also great to have these on hand now for summer barbecues. Pasta with homemade pistachio, almond, pecan or pumpkin seed pesto becomes my go to side dish to bring or serve. All I have to do is select one to take out of the freezer the night before, boil up some pasta the morning of, mix it up and done.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lemon Mixed Herb Ice Cream

I kill things. Let me rephrase that. I kill most green things. I take amazing care of animals but a plant can be in the corner of my living room screaming "water me!" and I will walk blithely by not hearing its cries.  So it is a real life miracle that my herb garden survived the winter on my terrace. I abandoned it after the summer and left it to fend for itself. Surprisingly, it came back stronger than ever and I made this ice cream to celebrate.

I also used lemons I brought back to NYC from California picked from my friends' orchard. Only the zest was used. Since I am always squeamish about adding lemon juice to milk product for fear of curdling, I took the chicken way out and flavored the ice cream using lemon extract. 

Basil, rosemary, and thyme from my NYC terrace herb garden were chopped it up and infused into the custard. The result was a light lemony taste with unexpected bursts of herb flavor. A Perfect summer treat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Piña Colada Oatmeal Cookies

These were not my idea. I borrowed this from Jessica over at My Baking Heart. I am a bit of an oatmeal cookie freak and after I put my eyes back in my head after seeing her recipe, I started plotting just when I could squeeze in the time to make them. So I found myself mixing up a double batch of batter after being out dancing until the wee hours of the morning on a recent Saturday evening to bring them to a picnic the following day. The morning of I baked three and a half dozen and they were gobbled up that afternoon earning rave reviews. Maybe refrigerating them overnight deepen the flavor.

I changed and added a few things from Jessica's recipe. I started with my all time favorite oatmeal cookies recipe from the Quaker Oats box as a base. Then left out the alcohol (but used rum, coconut and vanilla extracts) plus added shredded coconut, dried pineapple chunks and vanilla flavored white chocolate chips.  The result was more like a Piña Colada bomb than a cookie.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 4th Treats and June's Funny Food Blogger Posts

Well I did it. I managed to fall almost completely off the blogging wagon. As many other bloggers will tell you, after the initial angst, there is a sort of freedom that comes with not being a posting slave. But longing and guilt eventually set in and here I am again vowing to do better in July.

However, I did do a fair amount of baking. There were two gay wedding this month so I made 160 of these:

Yes, the grooms' initials were B and J.
What's a gay wedding without a gay  joke?

And 80 more of these:

Then Gay Pride happened and I made this:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Great White Shark Macarons with Pink Sea Salt Caramel Filling for Mactweets Challenge #30

This month's Mactweet's Mac Attack theme is Vacation Getaway Macarons. Macinistas Jamie and Deeba asked us to create a french macaron reminiscent of vacation. 

Most people go on vacation to relax and decompress. For me, vacations are mostly about adventure. Exploring new countries, meeting different people and especially encountering exotic creatures both above and below water.

I've gone on and on here before about my love of scuba diving. I met my husband on a dive boat and most of our vacations are planned around dive trips. This year, we just bought a country house so most of our free time this summer  will be spent settling into the house and enjoying it yet we both constantly dream of getting back in the water soon. No telling when now with both our work schedules.

So these macs represent one of the most thrilling dive trips of my life and one I would gladly repeat in the near future and one I will relive for this post.

Photo Taken off Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Growing up on a barrier island off of Long Island with the beach just down the street, I was a major mermaid. My mother was an expert swimmer and often took us out beyond the waves to swim in the deep water. I loved the ocean along with all our beach loving neighbors. Everything changed in 1975 when the movie Jaws was released, No one I knew wanted to go in the water that summer...no one except me. I went looking for that shark. I just had to see it up close. It started a life long fascination with these amazing creatures, the apex predator of the oceans.

Photo Taken off Guadalupe Island, Mexico