Lemony Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

Hello Summer!  It is finally reaching Seattle (keep your fingers crossed).  And what better way to celebrate than ice cream!  So I bought this adorable ice cream maker (remember, I am very attached to my kitchen gadgets).

No-Knead Bread

This bread is hands-down the easiest bread you will ever make.  The recipe was developed by Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery.  The man is clearly a genius.

You may be thinking: isn't kneading what makes bread work and taste delicious.  Well, you would apparently be wrong my friend because this bread is amazing.  Professional kitchens have really awesome ovens which cook bread at a high temp but also keep it moist.  You'll have trouble reproducing the same circumstances in your oven, unless you use a dutch oven.  It traps heat and moisture and makes for some seriously delicious bread.

Mini Hostess-esque Cupcakes

I was talking to the lovely and talented Sierra yesterday about what my next baking project should be and she suggested hostess cupcakes.  She is also very smart.

So here you are, my take on the Hostess cupcakes (little white squiggle and all).

Caramel Eclairs

I realize sometimes my idea of an easy recipe does not align with most people's ideas of an easy recipe.  I suppose if you've been cooking since you learned to read and you especially love trying new and complicated recipes, you may have a slightly skewed world view.  Specifically I think I say a recipe is easy if each step is easy, regardless of how many steps there are.  Perhaps instead I should say a recipe is straight-forward. 

Anyway, this is a recipe that is not easy, regardless of which definition I use.  To begin with, it is actually 3 different recipes, one for the dough, one for the cream filling and one for the icing.  The recipes themselves are a little finicky.  There really is no surprise here.  The French are renown for their pastries.  However, I know at least two good reasons to give it a try anyway.  First, if you are at all serious about learning to bake delicious desserts, you will eventually have to make a foray into French cooking.  Second, if you succeed no one will stop you from eating the entire batch of eclairs yourself.

Happy Father's Day!

I have mentioned my mom a fair amount on here, but not really Dad, so I want to give him a special post and say Happy Father's day. No recipe though, although I know he loves the rhubarb tart

My dad is super smart and very friendly and he taught me long division and also about fuzzy logic. Also, happy father's day to my grandpa, who allowed me to drive his lexus when I was 16, and to my uncle Charlie who taught me how to fish and play poker. And to all the father's out there who may have daughters who are at times mystifying or frustrating, we do love you and appreciate everything you do.

Nutmeg-Maple Cream Tart

I want to share with you a story lest you have any misconceptions about my innate cooking abilities.

This tart is not a complicated recipe but it does require par-baking the crust. (In case you, like me until two days ago, don't know par-bake stands for partially bake. Crazy, I know!). First you bake the crust (at 375) and then make the filling. Then you have to reduce the temperature of the oven to 300, fill the crust and bake for about 1 hour.

Tofu Curry Pot Pie

I have some amazing friends and every year for the last 4 years they have organized a pie bake off to raise money for the Emergency Feeding Program. This year there were something like 36 pies, all delicious. Although there were prizes awarded (I won best savory pie) I think, we gorged ourselves on pie while sitting in the sunshine and raised money for a really worthwhile cause, so everyone wins!

Blueberry Boy Bait

First off, this dessert has the most adorable name ever.  Plus it is totally delicious and easy.  Unfortunately, no boys were baited with this.  I made it for a group of lovely ladies who get together to discuss interesting articles and pod casts and pretty much whatever else.  They are absolutely marvelous.

Rhubarb Tart

 My favorite thing in Paris was probably the cooking class we took.  It was a four hour, English-language, class through La Cuisine Paris.  We began at the market to shop for food.

After that we went back to the kitchen to make and then eat an amazing lunch.  We had cod with shallots and thyme, asparagus and peas, turnips with hazelnuts and parsley, salad, a variety of goat cheeses with a cherry chutney.

For dessert we had a delicious rhubarb tart with a strawberry mint compote.

Salmon Crepes

For our stay in Paris, we rented an apartment for a week. I thought it was the best way to travel. We ate breakfast (mostly consisting of croissants) at the apartment most mornings and we made a couple of meals there as well. One of the meals were smoked salmon crepes.

I loved our little kitchen. All these copper pots and pans, dark wood beams, really adorable. Although actually, you should probably use a iron skillet for making crepes.  

Mandel Bread

I'm back!  I was in Paris all of last week and this week I have been trying to return to functioning normally.  I had plans to get these posted sooner and then work and jet-lag got in the way.  But I promise I have lots of food and pictures and inspiration from Paris, so I'll be posting a lot more.
But first, before Paris, here is a recipe I made before I left and ran out of time to post.  But it relates to Paris because it is a recipe from my aunt Leslie (my mom's twin) who came to Paris with me.  My aunt Leslie made a cookbook with our family recipes, which I love.  In keeping with my family about 50% of it is food and 50% of it is baked sweets.  This recipe is for mandel bread (basically Jewish biscotti) which is from Leslie's husband Charlie's mother Lela.  It is super easy and delicious, the criteria for any recipe.