See if you can guess what I am?


Dinner rolls, right? Yup, got it in one.

It started out innocently enough with an easy rising dough made with sour cream. No sour cream , so used some Greek yogurt with a little baking soda and got a nice soft dough just like I was promised. No problem with the dough.

The problem was with my clumsy attempt to replicate these little darlings


Nice aren’t they? Well I don’t even think they use dough! If they do it didn’t rise to make a bunch of slugs which is what mine look like. I suspect they were made with a pair of bonsai scissors not kitchen shears.

Here’s what I got instead of bunnies…


Jab a the Hut


A slug


A walrus 

Here’s my best one 



However, I can tell you they taste terrific and will be the base for a lovely little appetizer with Brie and rosemary ham. Maybe next time!

Tahdy for the Pahdy….


The family was definitely late for St. Patrick’s day. We didn’t get together for the family high holiday dinner until Sunday, which of course gave me an extra week to make interactive cupcakes featuring chocolate cupcakes with Bailey’s nips, conveniently sized to uncap, invert and plunge directly into the top of the cupcake! And they’re green, so the qualify for the green color challenge during the month of March!

Taste of the Tropics

Really there is nothing to do in this abysmal weather but to bake….I thought I would take advantage of the 4/$5 mangoes at the market on the weekend and attempt a copycat of this tart that I had around this time last year. I’m grateful for the ilities that we take for granted; safe, warm and dry housing, a responsive thermostat, a garage, plow service, a full refrigerator and power, but enough already! At this rate, I won’t be able to plant tomatoes till July!

Yesterday I made a short crust with flour, cold cubed butter, a little cream, and sugar. I made it in the cuisinart and then pressed it into a round foil tin. I didn’t have a tart pan, but this did the trick for the first time.

Then I made a pastry cream with egg yolks, sugar, cream, milk and a vanilla bean. Split and scrape the vanilla bean and let the vanilla bean and vanilla steep in boiled mixture of cream and milk ( removed from heat) for 15 minutes. Add a little hot mixture at a time to the mixed egg yolks and sugar so it tempers and then mix the remainder. Put the mixture back on the heat to boil and thicken.

Cover the thickened pastry cream with a piece of plastic wrap so it doesn’t grow a skin and refrigerate

This morning, I peeled and cut the mangoes into slices. I bought four mangoes but only needed to use two, so the rest will go in a smoothie or some kind of salad. I think they needed another day to really ripen, but I forged ahead regardless.

Then I filled the tart shell with pastry cream and started to arrange the slices to resemble a flower starting at outside rim. Once complete, I added a little hot water to some apricot jam and glazed the top of the tart so the mango won’t turn brown.

Here’s the finished product!

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Yet Another Obsession


The Hubs and I don’t usually exchange Christmas gifts, preferring to spend our pennies on “pudding” instead. But Santa did leave a couple of cookbooks for my review.
I looked through the Madeleine cookbook and of course now have a new obsession with small pieces of French baked goods, called Madeleines.

The cookies, made famous by Marcel Proust, in “Remembrance of Things Past” are a light genoise batter and can be flavored in different ways, sweet or savory. And they are always baked in scallop shell pans, so I decided to break in my new pans with gruyere rosemary Madeleines to accompany dinner of an antipasto salad.

Easy enough batter of melted butter, eggs whisked together and then whisked with flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Finally fold in the rosemary and shredded gruyere. Bake in greased scallop pan for 12 minutes at 375. I shut the oven off and let them brown a little as the oven cooled.







I’ll keep you updated on progress of new versions. Here’s the finished product!


Boiled Bread….

The only dough most people know of that gets boiled is bagel dough. Except if you knew my Nana. She was a great cook and a great baker and cooked in service in Boston when she emigrated from Ireland. She made the best date nut bread on the planet and the secret is the boiling of ingredients. You boil the dates and raisins and brown sugar for ten minutes and then mix the liquid with the dry ingredients. The result is somewhere between molasses and cement consistency, but the batter transforms itself via a 350 degree oven into a fabulous bread that should be sliced thin and served with your choice of butter or cream cheese! Yum! This recipe makes more than one loaf pan. I actually get one loaf pan and 2 mini loaves ( good for stocking stuffers) out of one batch. And err on the side of caution to make sure it is cooked all the way through! Enjoy!