Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Steamed Lemon Pudding

The other night I was in the mood for a lemon flavored dessert, it seemed the perfect thing to eat on a hot summer day. I found this scrumptious recipe on www.nymag.com  (via google) and made a few modifications to it; the lemon pudding turned out wonderfully. The pudding also called for a berry compote which was perfect since there were two pints of berries in the fridge just waiting to be eaten. I made the desserts in my little Fire King ramekins that I bought at the market a month ago, and I am glad to say that they held up to the test and did not crack in the oven.

Steamed Lemon Pudding With Berry Compote

Softened butter for ramekins
3/4 cup granulated sugar plus additional for ramekins
1 cup buttermilk (I did not have buttermilk; I substituted plain yogurt)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 2 lemons, finely chopped (I used zest of one lemon)
Berry Compote
2 cups blueberries
2 cups raspberries (I used strawberries)
1/4 cup sugar


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Grease the insides of eight 4-ounce ramekins with butter and coat with granulated sugar. Combine in a mixing bowl the buttermilk, lemon juice, and the egg yolks. Mix the flour, remaining sugar, salt, and lemon zest in another bowl. Whip the egg whites in a third bowl until soft peaks form. Whisk the dry ingredients with the buttermilk mixture, and fold in the egg whites gently, a third at a time. Ladle the batter into the prepared ramekins, filling them almost to the top. Place the puddings in a roasting pan, and pour warm water around them until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover with foil, and bake for 18 minutes or until puddings begin to rise slightly. Remove the foil, rotate the pan front-to-back, and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until pudding is golden and springs back when touched.
While the pudding is baking, place the blueberries in a saucepan with the sugar and cook over medium heat until berries just start to burst. Remove from heat and fold in raspberries. Serve puddings at room temperature, or reheat in a warm-water bath before inverting onto plates and surrounding with compote.
The recipe says that it yields four, but I was able to fill five ramekins.
I will definitely be making this recipe again, they were good the next day too; cold out of the fridge.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rosemary and Potato Pizza

The other day while driving back from work, I concocted a recipe for a rosemary potato pizza with goat cheese and caramelized onions, and to my delight it turned out delicious! Some people might think that potatoes on pizza is a little strange, but trust me it is wonderful!

Rosemary Potato Pizza

4 8'' Boboli Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts
4 oz. Goat Cheese
3 Red Potatoes
2 tsp. Rosemary
1 Large Red Onion
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Scrub potatoes, cut into 1/4'' slices, lightly coat with olive oil and toss with one teaspoon of dried rosemary. Place potato slices on cookie sheet and bake until tender, about fifteen minutes, flip slices once during baking. Drizzle olive oil in a pan and slice red onions into rings; cook over medium heat until soft. Spread 1 oz. of goat cheese on each pizza crust. Sprinkle remaining rosemary equally on four pizza crusts. Top pizzas with potatoes and onions. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Serves four.

I put fresh rosemary on the pizzas, in addition to the dried. Next time I want to try to make my own pizza crust, but I was pleased with the way it turned out on the Boboli crusts.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

I embarked on a little project over a year ago to make a growth chart for my nephew's first birthday, well I am happy to announce that a year later I have finished! (Better late than never, right?) This project reminds me of a time that I begged my mom to buy me a Christmas themed latch hook rug kit and I assured her I would have it done by Christmas. She bought it for me before Thanksgiving and it was not done until the following year, my grandma came out to visit and finished it for me. Thanks grandma! Needless to say, that was my first and last latch hook project.

The growth chart pattern came out of this cute book "Baby Stuff".

All finished and wrapped up, I just need to get it in the mail before July 5th! Yeah, I know that it looks like a diploma, my ribbon collection is becoming rather pitiful. I would like to get some baker's twine to add to my little stash, I found a giant roll of it on Amazon. Maybe soon...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summertime Lemonade

These past few weeks I have found myself patronizing the local library quite a bit, using the online library catalog to request items from neighboring county libraries. I checked out a Martha Stewart DVD full of summertime ideas, one of which was a recipe for homemade lemonade. Dearest d. and I made a large pitcher of lemonade to accompany our homemade sweet potato fries. Mmmm, yum!

Summertime Lemonade (from Martha Stewart)

Makes about 2 quarts
1 cup sugar syrup (recipe follows)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about six large lemons)
 In a large pitcher, combine 2 quarts cold water, sugar syrup, and lemon juice. Add ice, and serve in tall glasses.
Sugar Syrup
Makes 1 cup
2/3 cup sugar
4 two-inch strips lemon rind (yellow part only)
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, 1/2 cup water, and lemon rind. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and cool.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Banana Coconut Muffins

Yesterday was such a dreary day that I decided to bake some scrumptious coconut banana muffins and have a cup of tea. The muffins are the best when eaten right out of the oven , but be careful, they are addicting!

Banana Coconut Muffins

1 1/4 C. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3 mashed bananas
1/2 C. butter (melted)
2/3 C. sugar
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
3/4 C. coconut

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened. Divide batter into muffin tins and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup coconut on top. Bake 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Yields 12

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Discovery

While reading the book Crafty Superstar and I discovered a most valuable resource; picnik, a free photo editor. Take a look at some before and after shots.


I decided I need to actually put some "mold" on my cannoli. I can see myself easily spending a lot of time on picnik editing photos.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Birdie Boutonnieres

Yesterday I decided that I was going to finally make something that has been on my "to-do" list for six months, make these cute little boutonnieres for my wedding. I used some of the supplies that my sister got me for my birthday from the etsy seller Caramelos. All of the other supplies were things I had hanging around my craft box; wire, floral sprays, pieces of my sister's outdoor wreath that I found on the front porch (see, I did put those to use), feathers, ribbon, and buttons.

This one is my favorite.

This one is my least favorite and made me really mad, the bird looks way too big. Unfortunately I don't have any other birds to replace it with, I guess this means I need to take a trip to the craft store.

This is the groom's, made from an old peacock feather earring of mine.

He has such a cute green face, I want to give him a *kiss*.

Here's that giant bird again! Aaargh!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pretty Ponies

I found a post on design*sponge featuring the artist Ann Wood. The post featured Ann's original design for a D.I.Y. tutorial on making a stampede of wild horses. I had much too much fun with this tutorial and I whipped up four pretty ponies to hang above my bed.

These scraps were the basis for all of my ponies, cardboard cereal boxes, origami paper, newspaper, an old maps.

Notice that the legs are put together with buttons? I have a very limited button supply which is why I wish I bought that bowl of buttons at the art trail this weekend, oh well.

I am rather pleased with the outcome, here is the original tutorial.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Westcott Art Trail

This weekend I strolled through a central New York neighborhood that was participating in the annual Westcott Art Trail. Creative homeowners set up shop on their front porch/front yard to sell their handmade wares. Now this sounds like something I would like immensely, but I did not care for it too much. There was a strange new age vibe in most of the handicrafts and most of the people walking around bore a striking resemblance to the wizard Gandalf. I can imagine that many of these people owned home decor that included the likes of faeries, wizards, dragons, and magic crystals. All was not a bust though, I did find this cute albino bunny button, which was given to me free of charge. The bunny was sitting in a bowl of buttons, but my eye was only on the bunny. I do wish I bought the whole bowl of buttons though, why you ask? Well you will see tomorrow.

What a cute albino bunny. Notice that my picture is not blurry? Courtesy of my dearest D. who has sort of given me his camera. Oh, he's so nice.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bagel Bonanza

I recently left a job where the bagels flowed like milk and honey, and I could partake of one any time that I wished. Since my departure I find myself occasionally pining away for delicious everything bagels. I recently came across a bagel post at the angry chicken which used this fabulous recipe. They turned out wonderful, I do think that I will make my bagels from now on.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Finds I Found

This past Sunday, I went to the local produce market looking for plants for my garden, but I found much more than produce! I couldn't believe the goodies that I found. I didn't even end up buying any plants. I got this entire mushroom set for $8.00.
These Lu-Ray Pastel saucers were only $4.00 for the lot. I found the exact same saucers on eBay for $14.00 for a set of two!
Lu-Ray was made from 1938-1962.

These are my absolute favorite, a complete milk glass set (only $12.00!) and five Fire-King ramekins ($4.00). I can't believe all the treasures I found. I will have a nice little collection of vintage for my kitchen.

Once I came back from the market, I started researching the brands I found, Fire-King is easy to find on eBay and very reasonable, I might need to add to my collection...
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