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Showing posts from October, 2017

Westworld Halloween Cake

For Halloween, I like nothing more than to dress up and make a cake. Last year, I dressed up as Melisandre from Game of Thrones and made a three layer cake with House Sigils, famous show quotations, a gum paste Iron Throne and a fondant dragon. This year, I opted to go as Delores Abernathy from Westworld, and make a fun show-themed cake. For the cake, I decided to use tried and true vanilla and chocolate cake recipes. I didn’t want to make a tiered cake and driving that 3 tiered cake down from Maine to New Hampshire last year for work was an incredibly stressful endeavor. By making 2 8 by 8 inch 2 layer cakes and sticking them together, I created a lower-profile, more transportable cake that still had plenty to serve all my coworkers and clients.  For a fun filling, I decided to make a white chocolate mousse; this does require refrigerating the cake until serving, as with any whipped cream-based filling. To frost, my classic and foolproof vanilla butter cream is my go t

Patty Melt

A petty melt is the delicious result of smashing together a burger and a grilled cheese; decadent, buttery and over the top. This is ultimate comfort food. It’s unclear who invented the patty melt, but there are records of them being served all the way back to the 1940’s.  Traditionally, a patty melt is served with American, Swiss or Cheddar cheese and caramelized onions on slices of rye or sourdough bread. I like American since it melts so beautifully and I add provolone cheese for the stringiness. I enjoy both sourdough and rye bread, but in a pinch I have used plain white bread and the sandwich is still a winner. For the caramelized onions, I like to use a mix of red and sweet onion. I like the mix of colors and the different sweetness the two onion varieties impart. I like to partially caramelize the onions; I don’t cook them down to dark brown onion jam. I leave them browned but still with a little body. It takes less  time (and so I get to eat my sandwich sooner

Chicken Cordon Bleu

The first time I ever had chicken cordon bleu I was 17 years old. I was meeting my then-boyfriend’s, now-husband’s paternal grandparents for the first time. They were called Meme and Pepe. I was so nervous to meet them, but thy were such hilarious and warm people that they set me right at ease that first night. I remember Meme served chicken cordon bleu; I thought it was the most delicious dish ever. Later that summer, Meme and Pepe hosted a family get together. I distinctly remember this party because it was the moment I knew that Meme and I were kindred spirits. Meme had made pistachio pudding, and was playfully hassling my husband (then-boyfriend) to try a bite of it. Now, pistachio pudding isn’t for everyone and it has a very distinctive and possibly of-putting green color; as such, my husband was vehemently declining. She ended up dumping a large spoonful on his shoulder, and lamented, “I meant to plop it on his head.” Sadly, Meme passed shortly thereafter. We’d vis

Hermit Cookies

My father is in the hospital tonight and I am baking.  My father is building my house. He has built houses as a business for years, and my house is meant to be his crowning achievement, his last before he retires. My mother and he have been working hard day in and day out to get the project done on time and under budget. My husband and I have been helping as much as we can, mostly on weekends. As excited as I am about getting a brand new house that my father built and designed, I am enjoying making memories with my parents more. While siding my house, my Dad fell off the staging which was four or six feet off the ground. He has broken various vertebrae, his sternum, bumped his head, hurt his hand and will have to wear a neck brace for the next three months. My Mom was working with him, and thankfully called for the ambulance right away. He is out of intensive care; he can walk and talk and joke, however, and for that we are all very thankful. The night before m

Cider Doughnuts

For my birthday this year, I decided against a cake (But of course, I changed my mind). My birthday is in October and I wanted to enjoy a treat that encapsulates the best the season has to offer and in my mind, that means apple cider doughnuts. (Plus, I have an epic Halloween cake planned and two heavily decorated cakes in one month just seemed too much, even for me). I made these last year for Thanksgiving and they flew off the plate. The cider glaze puts them over the top. I have made these doughnuts before boiling the cider down myself, but the flavor just isn’t there. Commercial boiled cider is the way to go; the flavor is intense and doesn’t get diluted down in the doughnut batter. I bought my cider from amazon; the brand I like is Mountain Cider Company.  I like the addition of tart apple pieces but you can leave them out. These doughnuts get quite brown as they cook due to the cider and the high sugar content; don’t worry, they are not burnt. Once rolled in cinnam

Lobster Mac and Cheese

When I was a waitress in Boston, I worked at a restaurant where the famed dish was its lobster mac and cheese. They had a classic version and a buffalo version, and I feel like I served more of those than any other dish on the menu. I was always salivating when I brought the pasta to the table; something about the aroma of lobster and cheesy pasta is so tempting to me. Being from Maine, a lot of people expect that I eat a lot of lobster. I don’t, and not because it’s expensive. I am often invited to lobster boils, but I rarely crack open and eat a whole boiled lobster. I like to eat the claws dipped generously in drag butter and hit with a squirt of lemon, but that’s about it. I like lobster by itself like that ok; that doesn’t justify the expensive of me wasting a whole boiled lobster. However, a lobster roll or lobster cake or lobster mac and cheese? Lemme at it! Something about combining lobster meat with mayo and bread, or aoli and bread crumbs, or cheese and pasta,