Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friday Favorites from Elizabeth Floyd, Ewa in the Garden, Tone on Tone, Relish and More

Good morning! Another Friday is upon us, I think my in-laws are correct, the older you get the faster time seems to go by. I have been so busy this week, I am so ready for the weekend. Last night, the weather finally turned cool and I am feel like its Fall. I don't mean to complain but it is hard to get into Fall when it is still in the high 70's and you are wearing shorts.


Image from Elizabeth Floyd


This week my favorites reflect those sentiments, the straddling of summer/fall. Elizabeth Floyd showcased her latest painting and it is stunning! I was introduced to Elizabeth's work from a post that Loi of Tone on Tone wrote and since that day I have been in love. Isn't this painting of hydrangeas' in Blue Willow fabulous? Follow along on Elizabeth's blog and you can get an idea of how she creates these amazing still life paintings. Perhaps you may want to commission one for yourself.


Image from Tone on Tone


Speaking of Loi, at Tone on Tone, did you see his breathtaking photos from his recent trip with Tom to their new house in Maine? If not you must check it out. The Fall colors are spectacular! 


Image Ewa in the Garden


For fans of gardening, and more specifically Vita Sackville-West and her English garden, check out this book review from Ewa in the Garden. I think it sounds like a great read, even if I do not have a green thumb. 





I am already thinking about the upcoming holidays and what tasty treats I am going to make. Honestly, I am all about appetizers and dessert so that is really what I am gathering recipes for, after all I can leave the turkey and other proteins to my husband.


Image from Relish



Of course it would not be the holidays without a pie or two. Whether you will be making your crust from scratch or using one from the freezer section you can make it look special by using these great techniques from Relish.


Bake Brie from Will Cook For Friends


I LOVE cheese! And melted, oozy, gooey cheese is a favorite. This Bake Brie with Honey, Rosemary and Candied Walnuts from Will Cook For Friends. Doesn't this look like a great appetizer for a party? Or even for  Friday night at home with your significant other? I am making this brie this weekend.


On that note, I wish you a relaxing and safe weekend! Enjoy!



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Apple Slab, Apple Pie, Apple Soup, Apple Sandwiches and More


Slab Apple


For the most part when I think of Fall I immediately think of pumpkins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and anything else that contains pumpkin. 


Harvest Apple Pie, Pine Cones and Acorns

But to be honest, I bake and cook with apples just as much. After all what would a Fall be with out caramel apples or apple slab, both of which are things I used to love making with my grandmother.




This year, I am looking for a few new recipes to try and I did not have to go further than my Fall Pinterest board, it is filled with sandwiches, cakes, cookies, pies and more.

Here are a few of the recipes from my Fall board that I have on my list to make in the next few weeks.



Caramel Apple Galettes from Cooking For Keeps


Dutch Apple Pie from A Spicy Perspective

Apple Cake with Maple Frosting from a Kitchen Addiction
Irish Apple Cake from The View From the Great Island


Apple Artisan Cheese Sandwich from Taste Blog

I hope that you have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce and Toasted Pecans

Good evening. I have been so busy today I forgot to post this. My weekend was so lazy and relaxing I wish I had another day. What about you? Did you enjoy yourself? What did you get up to? Reading, relaxing, soaking up the last of the sun before Winter sets in?





I made this Pumpkin Bread Pudding, and it is delicious and a little bit of a twist on bread pudding to suit the flavor of fall. Admittedly, the recipe came about because I was trying to do too many things while baking pumpkin bread and the bread overcooked. So rather than throw it away I made a little custard and made it into pumpkin bread pudding.






You can use any recipe for pumpkin bread that you like, you can even make a loaf from a box and it will work just fine. I think this is a unique dessert for the upcoming holidays and honestly would be great with a variety of breads. 





Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 9 inch loaf of prepared pumpkin bread
Recipe HERE


Custard:
Recipe from Bobby Flay Food Network
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons vanilla bean paste
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons Bourbon


Heat oven to 325. Cut loaf of pumpkin bread into cubes and place on baking sheet. Bake until toasted, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with butter, and scatter toasted pumpkin bread cubes across bottom.

In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, milk and vanilla bean paste. Bring to a simmer and set aside. In a large bowl combine eggs, maple syrup, pumpkin and whisk together.
Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the egg mixture, then add the Bourbon.
Pour the custard mixture over the pumpkin cubes and let sit for 15 minutes to soak in. Press down on the cubes to submerge.

Place the pan into a larger roasting pan and then pour hot tap water into the large roaster until it comes half-way up the sades of the pan containing the custard mixture.

Bake in the water bath until the sides are slightly puffy and the center jiggles, about 1 hour.

Remove pan from water bath and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Salted Caramel Sauce from American Heritage Cooking

Toasted Pecans

Place serving of bread pudding on serving plate, drizzle with caramel sauce and top with pecans.

Enjoy!




Are you a fan of bread pudding? Do you like pumpkin? Than this dessert may be just the ticket. It is a fabulous dessert and an even better breakfast, after all pumpkin is a super food!






I hope that you try this, if so let me know and if you have a pumpkin recipe please share it with me, you know how I love pumpkin!

Have a great night!



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friday Favorites from Waiting on Martha, Two Peas & Their Pod, Carmel Moments and More


Good morning! I love Fridays, the end of a work week and the endless possibilities ahead make me jump out of bed in anticipation of adventures ahead. 




My choices seem endless, walks along the ocean, drives in the country,  a stack of recipes waiting to be baked, an excellent book and of course time spent with my husband and pups. 

This week my favorites are all about Fall, entertaining, cooking, baking and nesting.





They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I would love to start my day with these Pumpkin English Muffins from Carmel Moments



Two Peas & Their Pod



Two Peas & Their Pod made this Butternut Squash Pasta filled with all of the flavors of Fall.  You will not believe how easy this pasta is to make, I made it twice this week and it is delicious.



The Hungry Mouse


What would a weekend be without dessert? The Hungry Mouse made a Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake with chocolate shortbread crust that looks and sounds delicious. I am definitely making this soon. 



Image Waiting on Martha


Waiting on Martha created a stunning tables cape to celebrate Fall. The flowers, the place settings, everything is a feast for the eye. So many great ideas for my own holiday entertaining.

The Neo-Traditionalist published an excellent list of reader recommended books this week. As someone who is a voracious reader I always enjoy recommendations from other book lovers.


I hope that you find something new here and of course if you have something to share please do.

Have a wonderful weekend.





Thursday, October 16, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Think Pink!

Good morning! I am sure that you have taken note of all of the pink products, the pink uniforms and the pink ribbons around this month, that means it is time to think about breast cancer. It is time to raise awareness! 

I have written about my families experience many times on the blog. This month I just want to take a minute to remind you that breast cancer is a serious disease and that it can be prevented! Be vigilant with your self and remind a woman or all of the women in your life that you love.

Instead of reinventing the wheel I am re posting this post from last year.

Image from Julep and The Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation



As you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and is a cause that is very close to my heart. If you have read my blog for awhile than you may have seen mention that my mother had breast cancer when she was 36, my cousin had it at 35 and sadly passed at 39, her mother was diagnosed several years later and several of my grandmothers sisters passed from the same disease. 

Ladies CANCER is a scary and deadly disease but it can be detected early with monthly self breast exams and yearly mammograms. Yes, they are a little uncomfortable (not painful) but isn't a few minutes of discomfort worth a little peace of mind? 

I urge you to take care of your health as well as the health of your friends and family by encouraging them to get yearly mammograms.

If you would like more information please visit The Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation to learn about the current research and tirals being done, to give a donation of to learn more about prevention.

In addition you can visit The American Cancer Society for new studies and information on all cancers.


I hope that you have a great day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Raspberry Filled White Almond Cake Frosted with Whipped Vanilla Bean Butter Cream

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was great, my husband and I took a few long walks and by that I mean about 10-12 miles along the ocean. Yes we are crazy like that especially if the reward is an almond croissant from the French bakery. The weather was perfect and honestly walking along the ocean is so beautiful especially when for long stretches you are the only one there.





October has been keeping my busy, three birthdays, travel, a new car, and various other projects, as well as lots of baking and cooking. Both of which I enjoy at any time but more so in the Fall and Winter when I am in my nesting mode.





This past week I made, if I do say so myself, the most scrumptious cake to celebrate my husbands birthday. Believe it or not, it was not chocolate or carrot cake, after all it was his birthday. In the past I have made one or the other and tried to convince him how much he loves them. This year I decided to try something new, something that resembled our wedding cake which he loved. Our wedding cake was a white almond cake, with fresh raspberry filling, a layer of cheesecake and vanilla bean butter cream. This cake has the same flavors minus the cheesecake. I was lazy, what can I say. 





This cake is so easy, it starts with a mix.  Yes, I know there are some of you who are baking purists and will poo, poo this but I have seen this white cake recipe on Pinterest for over two years and I wanted to try it. I believe the original recipe is from allrecipes.com and it has now been adapted several times.






After you make the cake you make a berry filling and lastly you whip together lots of butter and sugar and you have the perfect frosting! Put it all together and voila...the most scrumptious cake perfect for a party or just to enjoy to celebrate an ordinary day.


White Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Bean Butter Cream Frosting


White Almond Cake

1 package white cake mix
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of white sugar
3/4 tsp salt
11/3 cup water
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites 


Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour your cake pan(s), 2 8 inch pans or 1 11x13" pan. 

Stir together cake mix, sugar, salt, and flour. Pour in sour cream, water, oil, extracts, and egg whites. In an electric mixer on low, mix all ingredients together until ingredients are moistened and mix, about 4 minutes. There will still be a few lumps. 

Pour into prepared pans. Bake about 20-25 minutes. All ovens are different so be sure to watch your cake. Cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean and cake is golden.


Filling

11/2 cups frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup of sugar

Place all ingredients in a saucepan  and bring to a boil over over medium- high heat. Keep stirring until thickened. Let cool completely. 


Frosting
Recipe from Sweetpolita

3 sticks of butter softened
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
3 cups of powdered sugar sifted
3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream


Frosting

Beat softened butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on high for 6 minutes until light and fluffy. Then add the sifted powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste. Then add the heavy cream. Beat for 8 minutes until white and fluffy!

To assemble the cake, cute the layers in half and place one layer on a plate. Pipe a circle of frosting around the layer and then spoon raspberry filling into center. Repeat using remaining layers. Then spread a light layer of frosting over entire cake and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes, this will catch all of the crumbs. Then frost cake with remaining frosting. Decorate the top with a few berries and serve. 

Note:

I used 4 6" cake pans and made 1 3 tier cake, saving the other layers for another cake that I was making. 





I hope that you try this cake, I promise that you will love it! Did you bake or make anything yummy this weekend? If so, please share I would love to hear all about it!






Have a fabulous week!



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