Bissy the Bodacious BakerOctober 4, 2010 at 12:00 am | Posted in Dessert, Entertainment | 1 Comment
First off, did you know that my family nickname is Bissy?? My cousin Martha (Marfi) started calling me that (when she was one and I two) when she couldn’t say Elizabeth in full. Its cute and so commonplace now that when someone in my family calls me Elizabeth it sounds strange to me! Isn’t that funny??
So I really was a bodacious baker this past month. It all started with a birthday party, a 30th birthday celebration in late August… It was going to be a grand night of live folk music and singing and dancing and eating 40 peanut butter chocolate cupcakes! But this wee little baby that was inside Renee’s tummy decided she wanted to have a birthday party and so Colette Vie was born in the early afternoon on August 21. So naturally, I decided to become the cupcake delivery person and spread the numerous bounty all over Maryland! The best delivery I made was to Johns Hopkins hospital that day and the cupcakes were oogled over and savored by Renee’s large family and some of the nurses and hospital staff! See this delightful cupcake here below that was adapted from this recipe. Oh but I forgot! This was not the first of my baking adventures, I first made this recipe in cake form for my roomate Jenn who was celebrating her 30th birthday! And that cake went over SOOOO WELL I had to make it again in cupcake form.
So that was the cake(s) adventure. I took a week off and celebrated my birthday and then got back into the kitchen. One of my new best buddies at work, Kendra, celebrated her birthday in the middle of September and lucky her got to go on a cruise and became engaged on that trip! To send her off I made the smitten kitchen blueberry crumb cake. As I was making this crumb cake I realized that I was going to be seeing my sister for high tea on her birthday and HAD to make something for her! She loves coconut and even though I loathe the stuff with a passion, I went searching for a delectable treat with aforementioned ingredient. Joy the Baker came through for me and I got to test out my dough rolling skills with these toasted coconut cookies. Fortunately for my buddy Renee, she was able to reschedule her big birthday bash for the 11th and so I vowed to make something as amazing as those cupcakes. Joy the baker, she’s a winner, she makes me wittier every time I read her blog and she makes me look good. (In terms of tasty treats…) I found this recipe, a berry cobbler pie bar, and it rocked our socks off! So much so that I fully intend on making a double batch of it this Thursday for our upcoming housewarming/birthday bash! See the filling after the jump!
Oh beautiful berry filling. You were goooood. So after that weekend, I had a slow baking week. One of my bosses at work is a very good baker herself. I wanted to show her my gratitude for putting up with me and my ill worded case narratives, so I decided to make and deliver her a treat before her upcoming birthday that Sunday. I was fixin to make something with lemon, but she put the kibosh on that and so I went with every woman’s addiction: chocolate. I had a Ghiradelli brownie mix in the pantry and so whipped that up and spread a nice layer of chocolate ganache on top of that (ganache recipe from pb cake above). They were chocolate insanity. 😀
Next up was making something for a small housewarming party at our house. Alot of housewarmings going on you might think?? Well my house, this rowhouse, that I am so lucky to live in was built in 1880. The inside was torn apart last December and put back together with so much care and attention to detail and was finished just in the nick of time in July. I will get around to posting some before and after pictures at some point, but for most people that see the transformation, its breathtaking. Jim Dorsch has many gifts from God, but one special gift is the ability to do renovations with so much energy and vigor! Okay so back to the baked goods… I was perusing a blog one day at work (sorry Vince…) and found this recipe. I was very skeptical, VERY. Because who would guess that a can of black beans + brownie mix would produce such a tasty brownie! It works, not in the exact same way, but very close and very healthy. So I made brownie bites in mini cupcake molds and topped it off with some more ganache (ganache can hide a multitude of sins :-D. And I went poking in the pantry again and figured that I could whip up these treats from Ina, peanut butter and jelly bars. Not my favorite treat from her, but definitely tasty.
And where does that bring us in my bodacious baking adventures?? Almost to the end. (thanks for sticking with this long winded story my friends.) So about two weeks ago I left work with a hankering for some oatmeal cookies. I don’t usually go for the raisin oatmeal cookie variety so you won’t be seeing that from me. I stopped at the market and found tollhouse chocolate chunks, which was a good idea. I adapted this recipe from smitten kitchen and they turned out so well. I baked one batch and then left a chunk of dough in the fridge for a week and then baked it last Tuesday. The second batch was heavenly, so chewy, so chocolatey.
I’m very glad I actually baked one thing for myself last month! I try not to do that sort of baking too often cause well, I’ll be honest my friends…. My waistband has expanded to scary (for me) levels and I need to wake up and get my butt moving once again. Jenn and I started p90x last week and I did three days of it and am so thankful I have her to help motivate me. So cross your fingers that I stick with it this week while she is in New Mexico for work! I love exercising so much, it annoys me that I forget how much I love it and get lazy and let myself gain weight… Weight has always been an issue for me and my family. We just love sweets too much and depend on food for comfort… But that is another story for another day…So lets change up that discussion, anyone want to chime in on how they kick themselves into high gear in terms of exercise and abstain from the sweets??
But just one last baking adventure for the road. Sunday was my momma’s birthday and she has a love for the beach and for key lime pie (childhood springs spent in Key Biscayne for spring training and such!). So although I couldn’t take her to the beach, I made her key lime tarts and took her to see the O’s play the Tigers. Happy Birthday Mamacita! I love you!