When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: Creme Brulee September 30, 2008

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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I was actually really happy when I saw this weeks Tuesday with Dorie recipe.  The recipe was chosen by Mari of Mevrouw Cupcake and she selected Dorie’s Creme Brulee, which is located on page 393 of Baking: From My Home to Yours. I have actually made creme brulee many times before but it was always vanilla flavored.  This time I knew I wanted to mix it up a bit so I went to Dorie’s Playing Around section of the recipe and picked Espresso Creme Brulee.  It sounds fantastic 🙂 (more…)


The Daring Bakers’: Vegan Crackers and Dips September 27, 2008

When I saw that this months Daring Bakers’ Challenge was chosen by two of the Alternative Daring Bakers : Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl.  They chose for this months recipe to be Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

The Challenge was to make Lavash Crackers and create a dip/spread/salsa/relish to accompany it.  The catch was that all dips/spreads/relishes/salsas must be vegan and gluten free.  So essentially it is Vegan Crackers and Dip.  I was sad for a second that it wasn’t something sweet.  Then I was extremely happy for two reasons: it was vegan, and it was savory.  I have been making so many sweet dishes lately that savory was a nice change.  I was happy that it was vegan not because I am vegan (I am an omni actually) but because if you are a regular reader you know about my Vegan Adventure. (more…)


Happy Birthday

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To Ghost Rider

Filed under: Uncategorized — pastrybrush @ 6:00 am

Over a year an a half ago one of my friends and co-workers passed away.  Ghost Rider was an avid motorcycle rider, and a few months after he passed his family and friends decided to have a ride to honor his memory.  I really wanted to go on this ride, and they were letting cars come along too.  I actually ended up having to work that day and run the coffee shop that I was working at, pooper.

I no longer work there anymore and was looking forward to the ride this year.  They finally decided that they were going to have the ride on September 27th, today.  I was so excited.  I was finally going to be able to honor Ghost Riders memory with his family and friends.  I checked out my calendar and lo and behold it is my grandfather’s 80th birthday (The family is throwing a huge party, and this is a once in a lifetime event).  So all my planning went out the window.  I was actually going to ride as a passenger with my friend, DrFaulken.  I have been riding with him for over a year and have been thinking about taking the motorcycle safety course to ride on my own.  My dad has even told me to take it so that I could teach him 🙂 Silly dad.  He has wanted to ride since I was a kid, but my mom keeps telling him no.

So this is my entry to Ghost Rider.  I wish I was out there with your friends and family honoring your memory by riding.  Maybe next year I will be able to make it.  But I will be thinking of you and honoring your memory in my own way, sans motorcycle.


Heads up September 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am

For the next two days, I won’t be posting anything because I am actually working on making cookies for my PapPap’s 80th birthday on Saturday 🙂

I am making five different types of cookies for him.  Of course I will be making Anise Cookies and Anise Biscotti (walnuts, anise, and orange peel) because they are family recipes.  But on top of that I am making Italian Fig Spirals, Butterballs aka Mexican Wedding Cookies (made with walnuts), and New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I really wanted to make some pizzelles but I was afraid that they would get crushed since I am taking these on a plane with me.

Here is a preview of the anise cookies. 

I was actually trying to do a pretty design on them and after a lot of frustration with the royal icing, I did it.  I usually just dip them in a random color frosting, nothing fancy.  Imagine brown cowboy boots.  Weird.  Yeah, one year I wanted cookie cutters and all my dad could find was a cowboy boot, coyboy hat, catus, dog bone, and a fish.  So for christmas a catus or cowboy boot will randomly show up.  If you haven’t noticed I grew up in TX 🙂


Vegan Adventure #15 September 24, 2008

I had two things go through my head when I saw this recipe the first time: 1) how do you make a vegan pastry cream and 2) what is agar powder. Both questions were quickly answered by reading the recipe and looking up “agar” on Wikipedia. Simply stated agar is the vegan form of gelatin 🙂 The hard part was finding it. I decided to just take a look at the local grocery stores just in case, but no dice. When all else fails find it on Amazon. I ended up buying agar powder and nutritional yeast flakes. I am ready for any sweet or savory dish.

I know, you want to know what my adventure was this time. Well of course it was another cupcake. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Dimply Plum Cake September 23, 2008

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am

This weeks Tuesday with Dorie was chosen by Michelle of Bake-en she selected the Dimply Plum Cake on page 41 of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  I had a few problems with this recipe.  First, I was borrowing some cardamom from a friend and it ended up opening and spilling in my messenger bag.  So now my bag smells all SPICY!!  My next problem was with the plums.  I decided that since the plums are bigger to buy fewer than what Dorie suggested, but I ended up being one plum short.  Finally, removing the seed from the plums was a pain in the butt.  I ended up trying to cut around the seed and then tried to pry it out and the tip of my paring knife broke off.  That plum was a strong sucker.  In the end I got a spoon out and pried the seed out with that. (more…)