Monday, November 29, 2010

Im officially a Daring Baker ;) !!!!!!!

"La scoperta di un piatto nuovo è più preziosa per il genere umano che la scoperta di una nuova stella." Brillat- Savarin 

Yayyy!!!! My first Daring Baker challenge :) Crostata. I was a bit scared because this is something I have never done before. It was really interesting, and a learning experience. The recipe is really simple and easy to do. Just make sure you don't do like me and make sure you have all ingredients at hand and measured. And if by any chance yo ran out of flour with 1/4 of a cup missing do please go buy some more instead of using self rising flour instead.... IT WONT BE THE SAME!!!!!! As you can see my crostata looks puffy, but still... It was delish!!! 

I didn't had a tart pan, I just used a cake pan but left the sides half way so it wasn't too high.

I want to do this again!!! Let's see which  filling Ill use....

For the recipe you can go to The Daring Kitchen ... Do yourself a favor and go, there are lots of great recipes waiting for you ;)


Monday, November 22, 2010

Mom's Birthday Cupcake Cake....

 "A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."  ~Tenneva Jordan

     I'm officially converted... I'm a Buttercream believer!! Italian buttercream that is. I have always been a bit afraid of making cakes because I didn't like buttercream, the kind thats just butter and sugar. And even worst with shortening. Don't get me wrong, I know there are some who like it that way and thats just fine, but I can't stand it. Don't like the after taste, the greasy feeling on my mouth. Therefore, the only frosting the cakes I  have made (which are just a few), were with cream cheese chocolate frosting. But like I have said before, mom doesn't like chocolate, so I decided to try buttercream one last time.... It was just perfect. No after taste, no greasy feeling ... Just perfect. I wanted to achieve something like Gail from One Tough Cookie.... have you seen her cakes? They a re adorable!! cookie decorated clever is that? She uses Swiss meringue buttercream (ill be sure to try that one next time) but I read somewhere that the Italian version is more stable, and with my luck, I need all the stability I can get.  They are similar in terms of ingredients, egg whites, sugar and butter. But the technique is different. On the Swiss version you heat the eggs along with the sugar over a double boiler, on the Italian version you make a sugar syrup and pour over the meringue. Either way, the result should be a silky smooth buttercream with an excellent taste. The recipe I used is Joe Pastry's Italian Meringue buttercream. If you have never done these types of buttercream before, visit these sites, they both have great tutorials ;)

For the cake part  I used the same recipe from Dad's birthday cake, you can find it here. But instead of a cake, I made cupcakes ;)  I Filled them up with a bit of passion fruit, and decorated them with the IMBC. Since Mom loves flowers, I sort of did a cupcake garden...

I absolutely love this picture

Don't they look cute!!! I'm so happy with them!!!

And Now.... the master piece!!!

(What you see on the cake stand is condensation, I forgot to wipe it ....)
Its two small cupcakes, filled with passion fruit, frosted and decorated with IMBC.... I love it!!!!! 

See how cool... she cut it just like a regular cake... lol

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hecmi's Apple Pie


“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” Author unknown. 

     When I saw that Cheryl from Tidy mom was hosting Love the Pie party I knew I had to bake one. I'm not a pie expert or a fan. As a matter of fact the first pie I ever tasted, I baked it. So I really didn't know what I was looking for on the pie, other than to taste good. Crust was always a big issue, I honestly don't think I have made a flaky crust before.... up until now. The tragedy of it... Why you ask? Well, from the moment I finish the crust I was giddy, happy and I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't for the fact that I'm 7 1/2 months pregnant, I would have been jumping as well. It simply looked beautiful!!!! You could see the butter bits!! I knew It would be a beauty of a  pie, so I decided to try a lattice top. I mean, the crust was great, the apples were macerating, sure a lattice top would be the perfect end. I did it kind of curvy, to give it a different look. Everything was going great, time to assemble. I didn't had a pie pan big enough so I ventured with a regular cake pan. I got the juices of the apple and boiled them with some butter and a bit of corn starch, yum! This is how my baby looked :)

For me, It was just perfect. Until my oven decided to play nasty tricks on me. The pie was almost done, I remember I looked at it, so cute. Five minutes left on the timer, the ugly timer that decided not to work!!!
I was alerted by my husband when he sweetly told me ...  the pie looks burned.

Burned indeed!!! : (

I was truly thorned about posting this, but this is just part of my baking journey, part of the learning proses. Maybe some day I will laugh about this, a far far away day. The worst part , the crust was really flaky, even burned.

Better Luck next time....


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nutella Gone Bananas Crepe

  “Every second you spend thinking about someone else’s dreams you take time away from your own.” –                Yogi Ramen

   The other day I was checking out Tidy Mom and I have to say if you haven't been to the site you are missing out. Cheryl is great, she has amazing stuff on her site from yummy recipes to cool DIY projects and everything in between. While checking her site I saw this recipe for Nutella Crepes and I had to do it, they look so heavenly! I did added bananas since I had them, but you can use strawberries too or pretty much anything you want ;)

2      eggs
1      egg yolk
1     cup milk
1/2   cup water
pinch  salt
1.5   ounces butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
dash of vanilla
1    cup all-purpose flour
extra butter to cook with
Powdered Sugar for garnish
Combine 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk, salt, sugar, vanilla and and flour until well combined. Add melted butter, water and milk, whisk until foamy ( You can also use a blender). Let the batter sit for an hour. 

For the bananas I just heat them up with a bit of butter and honey for an extra sweet kick, until they are soft and tender. 
Then, on a small non-stick pa, add butter to coat, and pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly.  Cook until the top loses its gloss, which should only take a minute, then flip ( careful there). The bottom should be golden. Cook the other side for about 15 seconds and then slide out onto a plate. Keep warm in a 250F oven or serve right away spread with Nutella, add your bananas, roll and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Makes about 12 large or 16 small crepes.
You can leave it with only Nutella...

Or add some fruits..
And ENJOY!!!!!

Don't forget to pass by Tidy Mom and explore her site, you are going to love it ;)


Friday, November 5, 2010

A Different Kind of Sweet...

"I Loved you the minute I heard your heartbeat. I 

loved you the minute you were born. Then I saw your face and I fell 
in love some more. You were only a minute old, but I knew I would 
die for you, and to this day I still would. When you choose to have a
child you make a decision to allow your heart to walk around,outside of your body." From someone's Facebook status. 

Hand Embroidered Pillow case... The cute dog is our fur baby Leia... 
     This year started out crazy, I was missing something.  For the first time in my life I cried on New Years Eve, just as the clock said it was a new year, and it wasn't out of happiness. My new years resolution.... It wont happen again. At that moment I decided I waited enough to go after what I want. I started thinking about it and I came to the conclusion that I just wanted two things more than anything, I remember I even posted it on my Facebook status on my birthday. Two thing to feel my life was on the right track, to make my dreams come true. First my own baking business and second, my baby. We had been waiting for a year, waiting for our little miracle. Finally, two weeks after my last day at my former job and two days after my birthday we got the amazing news. We were ready to wait longer, we left it all in God hands, but he decided it was time for us, He gave us the biggest blessing we could receive, and we couldn't be more grateful.  Our beautiful baby is on the way...

     So a new journey begins, morning sickness had me away from the kitchen for a while :( and  I ended up digging up my sewing machine ( which I had never before properly used) and started creating for my baby...

     Please take into consideration that I really don't know how to do any of these... lets just say You Tube is an amazing tool.

Minky blankets for my boy!! 

So cute!!! Can't wait to see him wearing these... lol

I'm quite proud of this, is not perfect, but I love it!
     If you are interested on learning crochet, I suggest you go here, she is great!!! you can also visit her website The Art of Crochet by Theresa. She explains everything very clearly. On her page you can find the written patterns plus a video. Even if you have never done this before (like me) you can create something beautiful. 
Shhhhh Sleping Baby!!

Love it!!! The elephant is my favorite....

     I have other projects pending, Ill post them once they are ready :)

     I guess is true, pregnancy does bring out the crafty woman in you ;)

Have a wonderful day!!
Hecmi ;)