Sunday, May 31, 2020

Small-Batch Brown Butter Strawberry Cardamom Crumb Bars with Orange Icing

Strawberry Crumb Bars, Brown Butter Crumble, Small Batch Cookie Bars, Strawberry Bars with Orange Icing, Strawberry RecipesOne of many things I've missed these last few months is doing my own grocery shopping (with two little boys, I've only been able to occasionally go alone on weekends, or more often just use the grocery pickup option during the week, while we all wait in the car).  I really don't like having other people choose my groceries, especially produce, since I like to look it over carefully and pick the best fruit and vegetables.

My boys don't care about the shopping part, but they miss riding in the car cart and getting a free cookie to eat while I shop. And my oldest son really seems to miss being around other people and wants so badly to make friends - he kept trying to say hi to some workers who were replacing our neighbor's roof, and when we happened to be outside when our trash was picked up, he called out to them, "hey guys, you want a popsicle?"

Besides choosing my own produce, another advantage to shopping in the store is getting to see all the seasonal fruit that's available, especially now that we're heading into stone fruit season.  I buy blueberries and strawberries all year 'round, but there's no denying that they're best this time of year.  And while it's still strawberry season, I had to make another new recipe to celebrate this beautiful fruit.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

S'mores Cake

S'mores Cake, S'mores Recipes, Chocolate Buttercream, Graham Cake, Meringue Recipe, Marshmallow Cream Recipe, High Altitude S'mores CakeGenerally speaking, I'm not that into meringue or marshmallowy things, but when the days are warm and the evenings are cool, everyone slows down after a busy day to relax around a campfire while the sun sets and the light turns golden, I can totally get behind an ooey, gooey, sticky s'more.

Marshmallows on their own are not that interesting - unless they're homemade, which are much tastier than store-bought - but something sort of magical happens when a hot, toasty, melty marshmallow is squished between two graham crackers with a few squares of chocolate.  I've wanted to make a S'mores Cake with these iconic flavors for such a long time, and I couldn't be more pleased with how this cake turned out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Watercolor Cake with Macarons

Watercolor Cake, Cake with Macarons, Funfetti Cake, Pink Birthday Cake, Pink and Orange CakeOne of my favorite decorating techniques is watercolor buttercream - soft pastel hues, blended together to create the look of watercolor.  It's just so pretty.  For this cake, I chose pale shades of pink and orange, swirling them together into a soft ombre watercolor effect, finished with a little piping, swirls of buttercream and pink macarons.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Frozen Custard, Ice Cream Cone, Ice Cream PartyWhile eating a scoop of the no-churn chocolate ice cream I'd made a few weeks ago, my husband confessed that he missed the deeper, richer, more complex flavor that you get from custard-based ice cream.  I realized it had been quite a while, maybe two summers ago even, since I'd churned a batch of "real" ice cream made with egg yolks.  I looked back over my ice cream recipes, and decided to re-visit the first custard-based ice cream I'd ever made, almost 8 years ago - strawberry.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Black and White Cheesecake

Black and White Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake, High Altitude Baking, Chocolate and Vanilla Cake
For Mother's Day weekend, I made this black and white cheesecake for my family (and shared with a few neighbors, as well).  With dark chocolate cake on the bottom, topped with creamy, no-bake vanilla bean cheesecake, this cake combines the best flavors and textures of cake and cheesecake into a luscious dessert that's both impressive looking, and simple to create.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Orange Lavender Chocolate Chip Muffins with Orange Icing

It's been a few years since my husband and I have been able to visit one of our favorite places, Paonia, Colorado.  We spent many happy, relaxing weekends there over the years, sipping wine, wandering through vineyards and orchards, photographing the gorgeous countryside, driving around sampling wine and balsamic vinegars, and filling the car with peaches and bottles of wine to take home.