September 2008

    “Woke up. Jumped out of bed. Dragged a comb across my head.”

      (Well, maybe jumped is a little over exaggerated)
        (John Lennon)

and remembered it was Dorie’s Day (Tuesday – DUH!!!) and realized I had not made the Creme Brulee. No worry, thought I as I sprang (actually, that is an overstatement) from my bed. “I can make them this afternoon when I get home from work.” Yeah!! Right!! NOT!!!Thought about it all day and looked forward to experimenting with tea flavors and creating just the right crackle on top. Got home. Pulled out Dorie. Pulled out the ramikens. Pulled out the tea. Pulled out the milk and the eggs. Pulled out—— what, wait —- NO CREAM!!!! AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!! Where was my cream. I know I had some in the fridge. Oh, wait, there it is – WHEW!!! Or so I thought. Only 1/2 cup! There must be a cream gremlin in my house ( his name is Hubby!!!) Hope he enjoyed his tea with MY CREAM!!!

Egg shell in the batter last week. Missed the Daring Challenge this month> And now, no Dories Creme Brulee!! JEEEEEEZZZZZZZ!!!!!! My life is in RUINS!!!!

If I get to the store I will get some cream and try and get it posted. PLEASE check back.

To see how the other Dorie Fans did, click on TWD on the right.


Where did this month go. Only yesterday I was saying I had month to make the lavash. Gee, how good they looked and how much fun they would be. How creative I could be if I tried. And then, here it is the 28th and NO LAVASH!!!!! OMG where is my head. Sorry Daring Bakers, mine just didn’t come in this month. Still plan to try, but….. If you want to see some of the other’s creations, just click the Daring Bakers Link on the right. Maybe next month…….

Today is my Hubby’s birthday. He is……………, well, he is older than average. But then I am older than average, so it just works. I am, however, 14 weeks older and he does not let me forget that I married a YOUNGER man. Hee Hee. Anyway, I made his favorite cake – CARROT CAKE!. The recipe is actually Emeril’s, but the picture at Carmen Cooks is what clinched it. It happened to be THE day I was looking at all the TWD’s Dorie’s Dimply Plum cake and there was this great picture of carrot cake. I had been searching for a new recipe as mine had run away with the missing socks. The recipe is for three layers and enough frosting to cover the layers.

Three layers of YUM!

Three layers of YUM!

This is how I wanted to leave the cake, but Hubby said it needed more frosting. And it was his birthday.

Fully Frosted

Fully Frosted

So I made another batch of frosting.

Do you know how hard it was to look at this cake on the counter all afternoon? I couldn’t cut it until after Hubby’s Birthday Dinner (Steak, Potatoes, and salad). But let me tell y’all something — IT WAS WORTH IT!!!!!</strongSo, Happy Birthday, Hubby. This cake is for you.

A cake, A cake! My kingdom for a cake. Yay, no more cookies. Now don’t get me wrong. Cookies are great. They go together quickly. You can make them with almost anything. You can pick them up with your fingers and people won’t look at you funny eating them with your hands. In the last few weeks we have made
Granola Grabbers, Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chipsters, Malted Whopper Drops,
and Chocolate Chunkers. And each one better than the one before (especially those Chunkers!!!)

But like many of you I was ready for something different. (Now, watch when it comes time and it’s my turn to pick it will probably be the 4th batch of something in a row. I’m thinking Cheesecake.) I read through the recipe for Dorie’s Dimply Plum Cake. Let’s see, brown sugar, CARDAMOM (OH YEAH!!!), zest. Looks good so far. Plums! DUH!!! It is called Dimply PLUM cake. Well, fruit is good, but I am not a big plum person, (Although that is my body shape!)and the recipe called for 8 of them to boot. Well, I didn’t want to use plums, and I did have other fruit I had one pluot (almost a plum, but not quite), one nectarine, one plum, and some canned apricot halves That would have to do. I got all of the other ingredients together, started mixing the dry. Mixed the liquid. Added an egg – AND THE SHELL!!! That egg just jumped right out of my hand into the bowl of sugar and butter and before I could even reach for the switch, there was egg shell EVERYWHERE including the batterWell, now, this is interesting. Remove the bowl, remove the shells (it was my last bit of brown sugar) and hope for the best. The one time I don’t put the eggs in a separate bowl first and look what happens. Continue on. Evidently I retrieved all the pieces because no one has gotten one yet as the snacked down. (ah, well – SIGH)The second egg went in another bowl (not doing THAT again) and then in went the oil, well almost. It was just not my baking days. Reached for the oil, knocked against the cup, oil on the counter. OH, BOTHER!!! Easier to clean than the batter, but jeeeezzzzz. Murphy was in my kitchen. “Measure more. Move slowly. Must get oil to bowl!!! WHEW!! Got it!! All down hill from here. Fruit next. Dorie said she used 8 plums cut in half. Must have been awful small plums, ’cause I could only put in 9 pieces instead of 16. One thing, it wasn’t easy halving those plums and pluots. The seeds didn’t want to come out. Evidently they don’t make free-stone plums. Is there an easy way to do that? Into the oven – about 40 minutes – and done.

Dimpled Cake

Dimpled Cake

Okay. what about this cake. The hint of cardamom was just right (well, I think I would add a tad more next time) Maybe use Chai spice next time. Anyway. The cake was not real sweet. Another plus. But I just didn’t like the fruit in this one. But my friends liked it so maybe I will make it for them.

Thanks for this choice, Michelle. Visit her website – Bake-En for the recipe or get Dorie’s book Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Chocolate Chunkers

Chocolate Chunkers

If ever there was a cookie that needed to be on a pedestal, this is the one. Chocolate Chunkerswas the TWD choice this time. Danke schoen! to Claudia of Fool For Food, it was a delicious choice. Sehr Gut!!! Anyway, these cookies were wonderful. But then they did call for unsweetened, bitter sweet, semisweet, and white chocolate. How can you go wrong with those. The only changes I made were one of the chocolates and replaced the raisins. I didn’t have any bittersweet chocolate, so I used some more of my Mexican chocolate which has a little cinnamon in it. It did make the cookies a little sweeter, but the subtle flavor of cinnamon really enhanced the cookie flavor. I also don’t care for (and didn’t have any) raisins, so I put in dried cranberries instead. See that little shiny bit on the cookie?? That’s cranberry. They are sweet, too and not as tough as raisins. They were good, too. The fact that we filled the cookie with chunks of different sizes added a lot to the look of the cookie. Little patches, big patches, of melted white chocolate, semi sweet chocolate. UM!UM!UM!GOODNow today is Friday. I cannot post until Tuesday, I baked cookies on Tuesday last, they were gone by Thursday morning. Good thing I saved some to photograph. If I had waited until the camera charged, there would not have been any to take pictures of.

Any problems with the cookie? Yes, one little one. Since we were only baking one sheet at a time, the batter tended to dry out. I covered it with plastic, but it didn’t help. My last batch were pretty crumbly and a little dry. I want to make these again, but will have to find a way to keep the batter from drying out. Bottom Line – these were really, really good cookies.

Have you ever wondered what your favorite dessert is? I mean your REAL FAVORITE! Is it hard to pick just one? Yeah, I know what you mean. I always thought Chocolate Cake was mine. And then for a while it was Apple Pie. And PB Ice Cream has always been high on the list (Remember Dorie’s Chocolate Banded Torte? But I have to say, that after half a century + of eating desserts in different countries of the world, I think I have to say my favorite (well, for now….) has to be (drumroll……..)


Cream Cheese and sugar. How can you beat that! But what kind of Cheese Cake? There are so many different types and flavors. With Crust. Without Crust. What’s a baker to do? Only one thing a baker can do — try all of them. I have made Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Pumpkin, Strawberry, Strawberry Swirl, Chocolate Swirl, Plain. New York style. Graham Cracker Crust, Sponge Cake Crust, Shortbread Crust, Oreo Cookie Crust. Yup!!! Tried them all.
Recipes from Alton,
Marthaamong many others.

Then, one day a new cookbook came in the mail and my recipe dilemma was resolved.

I had finally found MY recipe. Junior’s is located in Brooklyn and their Cheese Cakes are well known in many parts of the states. They are wonderful. And so many to choose from. And different crusts rather than the usual graham cracker crust. So many choices. So many POUNDS!!!!! The sacrifices we make for cooking science. Hee Hee!!!!

Junior’s Original New York Cheese Cake
courtesy of

    Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook

    4 8-ounce full fat cream cheese, at room temp
    1 2/3 cups sugar
    1/4 cup corn starch
    1 Tbl pure vanilla extract
    2 extra large eggs
    3/4 cup heavy cream

Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in remaining sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Beat in the cream just until blended.
Be careful not to over mix! Gently spoon into 9-inch spring form pan. Wrap pan bottom and sides in foil and place in water bath with 1 inch of water coming up the sides of the pan.
Bake 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from water bath and cool in wire rack for 2 hours. Don’t move it once it is on the rack. Leave cake in pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight (which ever you can handle….) EAT!!!

I only made one change. I did not put a crust under the cheese cake. Junior’s has several possibilities, but we prefer no crust. Guess it goes back to our Low-Carb days.

Now about that favorite snack……

I was surfing the food blogs a few days ago and found something fun. Then when I looked for the ‘recipe’ for this fun thing I couldn’t find the page again. Going on the memory of how it looked I just played it by ear. We enjoy fried cheese, but don’t really like them with batter. Too much. So when I saw these Wonton Wrapped Fried Cheese Sticks…..
I gathered my ingredients. Boy that was hard!

I had tossed a couple of string cheese sticks into the freezer earlier.

Rescued them, wrapped them in a wonton.
Tossed them in the hot oil (I was already frying chicken) and fried them golden brown WhooHoo!!! that was good! They are really easy to make. Make sure you dampen the corner that wraps around the cheese stick and the other corner to make sure the ends stick together. I just dampened a finger and gently rubbed the corners where they make contact. I would make one change next time. They weren’t very ‘melty’. I think it was freezing them first. But I didn’t want the cheese to melt into the oil and make it all yucky. Maybe not freezing them will make them ‘melty’.

Wrapped in wontons, does that make them Asian?? Maybe sweet and sour sauce instead of marinara? Try them!

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