Monthly Archives: October 2012

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So it's just a few days before Halloween, and you realize with a panic that you wanted to make something cute for the kids to bring to school, or to hand out at work. You're running out of time, and you want something delicious and fun.

Dash and a pinch here, to save the day.

The answer is simple:

Rice crispy treat balls! Perfect and individually sized, and you can do a billion things with them. For example, the ones drizzled in milk chocolate and white (orange) chocolate are actually peanut butter rice crispy treats. You just add the peanut butter after you melt the marshmallows.

And the ones stuffed with candy corn have just a pinch of pumpkin pie spice in them, to jazz them up a bit.

Or what about halloween funfetti cake mix treats? Or pumpkin shaped treats? There's so many variations of these things, your possibilities are endless. Don't think you'll get many trick or treaters this year? Stuff your treats full of bite sized candy!

And the best part is, if you lose power (like a good chunk of us on the East coast are going to), and you have a gas stove? Bingo. You can mix and match ingredients you already have, while killing time waiting for the power to come back on.

I read somewhere that it's illegal (or was it impossible?) to say no to a rice krispy treat. And in fact, it was the first treat that I brought in to work that both my boss AND only co-worker got really excited about, and decided to ignore their diets for. So if it can please them, your coworkers/friends/kid's teachers will love them too!

All you need now are treat bags, ribbon, and if you're trying to promote your blog, fancy tags :)

*side note: I am typing this like a banshee, praying I can get this posted before the wind knocks my power out. We aren't even that far east, but my town loves blackouts like Joanie loves Chachie. So to all of my East coasters, stay safe, batten down the hatches, and ride it out. See you on the other side!

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I've been sitting on this post for three weeks because I wasn't thrilled with how the photos came out. I made this the weekend that my sister was in town, so I was trying to make a huge dinner while keeping an eye on my very curious nephew who suddenly wanted to cling to me. But I'm sucking it up and posting it, because regardless of how drab I made it seem with my less than stellar food styling, it was unbelievable. 

cornish, game, hens, poultry, chicken, stuffed, stuffing, mushroom, wild, rice, earthy, fall, autumn, fancy, date, romantic, sexy, porcini, shiitake, morel, chanterelle, legumes, veggies, vegan, vegetarian, roast, baked, crispy, tender, juicy, fungi

See?

It was the most earthy, perfect-for-autumn dish you could imagine. I saw this recipe in my Oprah Magazine Cookbook that I got for Chanukah last year, and I've had it bookmarked for 10 months, just waiting for the leaves to start dropping so I could make this.

And it was worth the wait.  ...continue reading

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cookies, sugar cookies, halloween, sugar, candy corn, party, easy, dough, roll, rolling, color, orange, yellow, sprinkles, cute, small, kids, children, kitchenaid, stand mixer, beater, October, fall, autumn, hallow's eve, costume, party

I made these adorable cookies last autumn for a halloween party, and I just couldn't resist making them again. This year, however, I have a year of cooking under my belt, and they came out MUCH better.

Better flavor, better consistency, and the addition of white crystal-like sprinkles added a little sparkle and a fun texture.

cookies, sugar cookies, halloween, sugar, candy corn, party, easy, dough, roll, rolling, color, orange, yellow, sprinkles, cute, small, kids, children, kitchenaid, stand mixer, beater, October, fall, autumn, hallow's eve, costume, party

The best part about these cookies is how small they are. They are literally bite sized, so you can eat a whole handful without feeling bad about it. Well, too bad.

I mean, I ate like 4 dozen of these by myself and I feel great!

cookies, sugar cookies, halloween, sugar, candy corn, party, easy, dough, roll, rolling, color, orange, yellow, sprinkles, cute, small, kids, children, kitchenaid, stand mixer, beater, October, fall, autumn, hallow's eve, costume, party

Simply follow the instructions for the last time I posted this recipe, up until the part where you cut the dough. Then jump in here.  ...continue reading

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Well...I finally took the plunge, my friends. I attempted and succeeded at making my very first multi-tiered fondant cake!

*Applause*

I have been admiring fondant cakes for years, but was always terrified to try my hand at one. And up until a few months ago, I couldn't even get a damn cake to rise correctly! But with multiple  baking successes under my belt, I decided it was time. I even had some worthy inspiration: This weekend my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew came to visit.

Yes, they visited us a week after I visited them. So what? 

The reason for the visit was primarily to celebrate my mother's birthday together, a few weeks early. We all wanted to be in the room when we told her that she was going on a 7-night Caribbean cruise over Christmas break, and Leah's family, Kevin and I, as well as my grandfather and his wife were joining us! Her reaction was  totally worth the two years of secret cruise-wear shopping I had to hide from her.

But back to the cake. My mom's favorite flower is a sunflower, so I thought I could make a giant one on the top of the cake.

And because her birthday is late October and we are just getting into fall, I decided that I would attempt to make some cool fondant leaves.

All in all, the process took me 3 days of fondant making, rolling, sculpting, cake baking, and decorating. I went through several bags of sugar, but the end result completely shocked my mom.

She had been refusing to see the cake in progress, so when it was finally revealed in all it's autumnal glory, she couldn't believe it. And when we cut into it to see that it was a chocolate and vanilla stacked cake, she was thrilled.

And no one was happier (or more relieved!) than I was when we all took a bite and discovered that the fondant tasted incredible!

The trick was making homemade fondant out of marshmallows. With my handy dandy kitchenaid (thanks again, dad and Ellen!), whipping up the fondant was a snap. And kneading it brought me back to years of pottery and ceramics lessons, so that was nice and therapeutic for me.

Now I won't lie and say I did a perfect job:

I rolled it out too thin and tore some holes in it

A beautiful view of my slightly lopsided, lumpy-ish, air bubbled cake with uneven seams. Isn't it perfect?

But you know what? I am thrilled with how it turned out. I worked late into the night, tediously veining leaves while I watched the presidential debate, throwing together cake levels while dashing about the house, cleaning it for my sister's arrival.

It even brought my family together, as cliche as that may be. My brother-in-law had plenty of helpful suggestions on food styling:

He's a 30-something year old man who buys alien keychains. For himself, not his son. The skull I already had from my pirate post.

And Charlie was VERY excited about the big cake. He was pretty happy when I slipped him a fondant leaf when my sister wasn't looking...and if he was slightly more energetic that afternoon, I had nothing to do with it.

I will post a little later with the details and recipes of how I actually made the cake!

 

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Last weekend, Kevin and I drove up to Connecticut to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and adorable nephew (who is now speaking in sentences! Crazy). The purpose of this trip was an amazing local farm dinner, which is held at Scott's Farm and Greenhouse every year, in Essex. My sister has been for the past several years, and has always loved it. And now that I am, and am dating, a foodie, she bought tickets for Kevin and I!

...continue reading