The day before Thanksgiving always begins with our pie baking. Currently, large beautiful snow flakes are falling outside and we have about an inch of snow on the ground. The perfect baking day! Here's a preview of the pie crusts the girls and I have been making. Sources for the pie cutters can be found below.
Wishing you all a most happy Thanksgiving! Many new items are now available in the EAB Designs shop, and the Pemberley Collection, for your holiday shopping. Also, our popular personalized stockings are ready to ship as well.
Leaves are formed with decorative cutters for pastry and cookies,
After a week of steady rain and overcast days we woke up to a beautiful, sun-filled and breezy autumn day. The windows are open and we're enjoying lots of our traditional fall activities.
We always use the Martha Stewart traditional sugar cookie recipe with royal icing frosting.
As I type this the pumpkins are being carved for next Friday. A tip I learned to preserve pumpkin carvings is to rub petroleum jelly over the cut edges and then place a cool damp cloth over the surface. Afterwards, place the pumpkin in a cool basement or garage and keep replacing the cloth. We've done this in the past, when carving our pumpkins early, and it truly does help preserve them. With sunny days in the forecast, I hope to be able to photograph some projects which I'll share next time. Enjoy your Sunday evening!
On Sunday evening, I made these Zucchini and Corn Parmesan Fritters for dinner and they were beyond delicious! With an abundance of fresh corn and zucchini available at the farm stands, it's the perfect time to mix up a batch. The recipe is from a favorite food blog of mine, the Flourishing Foodie by Heather Hands. If you enjoy wonderful recipes and beautiful food photography, you'll definitely want to add her blog to your must read list.
And don't forget to squeeze on the lemon juice - it adds the perfect flavor!
Who doesn't love a madeleine? A delectable, moist little cake with a charming shape and simple ingredients - butter, flour, eggs and sugar. To achieve a lovely domed shaped prepare the batter the day before, then bake them off the next morning with little effort. We enjoyed them during our Breakfast at Wimbledon this morning.
Although simple to make you will need a madeleine pan. I love this one, non-stick and a pretty golden color.
A quick dusting of powdered sugar right before serving. I love them warm from the oven.
Sharing is always a good thing, so I packaged some up as a treat for our neighbors. There are many recipes available on the web with interesting variations. I used a traditional recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking cookbook - a favorite of mine.
Yesterday morning I picked up some artisan rolls to go with a quick dinner I was preparing. This morning as I was preparing breakfast, I realized I forgot to serve them and they were no longer crunchy but soft and chewy. When I have leftover day old bread, or in this case forgotten bread, I love to make homemade croutons. Just break apart the bread, add some extra virgin olive oil, fresh ground pepper and toss in some minced fresh herbs (today it was rosemary). Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, stir then bake for an additional 6-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. While still warm, I sprinkle them with my favorite salt. They'll be perfect atop a spring pea soup I'm making for tonight - that is if there are any left at the end of the day as they also make an irresistible snack.
This is my favorite finishing salt, Fleur de Sel de Camargue. It's not inexpensive, so sprinkle it on your dishes just before serving. You'll love the flavor it brings to your dishes. It also makes a most welcome hostess gift, in lieu of a bottle of wine.
Sugar cookies, fresh out of the oven, and waiting to be decorated. These have been an Easter tradition in our house since the girls were little. Too adorable, once decorated. (I'll share photos later.) The bunny hatching from the egg, and the chicken were sold as copper cookie cutters from the Martha Stewart catalog many years ago. I never owned the cutters, but rather simply drew the images onto thin cardboard and cut them out like a paper doll. We lay the cardboard images over the rolled dough and just cut around it with the tip of a sharp knife. A simple method for whatever custom cookie shape you may need. Back to baking! Have a wonderful evening.
Last evening, while this pizza was baking, the aroma coming from the kitchen was so inviting I thought I was in a fabulous bistro. Super easy to make and beyond delicious - I hope you'll give it a try. The potato portion of the pizza came from a recipe in my California Pizza cookbook. (You can find the recipe online here.) I just made the potato part of the recipe, then simply brushed the pizza dough with olive oil, crumbled on some goat cheese, added some thinly sliced red onion and layered on the potatoes. Ten minutes in the oven and it was ready to be enjoyed. (For recipe sources for my pizza dough, visit my earlier post here.)
In between posts, you can find me on instagram.
The sun is shining bright, a rarity this winter, and I've happily spent the last couple of days pottering around the kitchen.
favorite flowers, a gift from Mr. E, and my best friend in the kitchen, my kitchen-aid mixer
my go to items, easily accessible
one can never have too many whisks, or tasting spoons
the one thing I miss the most during winter is fresh herbs from the garden - I do manage to keep one little basil plant indoors that I replace every couple weeks after it's been plucked bare
could not do without my kitchen scale - makes baking so much easier & precise
Having friends over for dinner tonight. Comfort food is on the menu - oven fried chicken and cauliflower gratin. New recipes I haven't tried before. Wishing you all a happy weekend!
I picked up some of these paper baking pans to use for gifting cakes during the holidays. Today I was packaging cookies to send in the mail and realized what a great container these would be to pack the cookies in. I wrapped some plastic around the paper pan for those I was mailing, but for gifting to neighbors you could present them just as is. I love when I find a use for something I hadn't thought of before. Now back to baking cookies! The house smells so good.
The girls are home, there's light snow flurries outside and we are in the midst of pie baking. This crust will soon be filled with a custard sweet potato filling - a favorite pie recipe from my mom.
Wishing you all a blessed and happy Thanksgiving day!
(Sources: Pie Crust Recipe from Cook's Illustrated Baking Cookbook & Leaves are formed with pie cutters from Williams Sonoma)
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When entertaining, sometimes I enjoy spending lots of time in the kitchen preparing complicated recipes and other times I like to prepare a simple but equally delicious menu. This weeked it was all about keeping it simple, preparing everything in advance and having nothing to do once my guests arrive.
I always set the table the evening before, including setting out any platters or serving pieces I'll be using. Simple white dishes and a row of tea lights was all I needed.
Dessert was prepared the day before, individual sized chocolate ganache cakes. I remove them from the fridge at the same time I serve the entree so they'll be at room temperature for serving.
Just use your favorite chocolate cake recipe. From two 9" layers, I cut 8 little rounds with a biscuit cutter. You can stack them for four larger sized desserts, or keep them as single layers. The ganache takes only a few minutes to make and then I just spoon it over the top of the cakes. Ganache recipe can be found here. The little candied violets can be found at baking supply stores. I always keeps an assortment on hand for adding to cupcakes or desserts.
The left over pieces from the cake can be eaten straight away (chef's treat), or wrapped and placed in the freezer. In the future, when you're in need of a quick dessert you can whip up some vanilla pudding and use the saved cake pieces to make a trifle.
For the first course I served an iceberg wedge salad. The day before I clean and quarter the head of iceberg, fry some turkey bacon and dice it, and prepare the dressing. Everything goes in the fridge, ready to serve. While my guests are enjoying an appetizer, I quickly seed and dice a few tomatoes to place over the salad. Dressing recipe can be found here.
For the main course, I served a beef stew which is placed in the oven hours before your guests arrive. All you have to do is plate it and serve with a loaf of crunchy french bread. So comforting on a chilly fall evening. There are numerous recipes for the "no peek" slow cooking beef stew on the web. Just pick one with your favorite ingredients and spices. Couldn't be easier.
I appreciate all things creative and am inspired by the smallest of details. Here is where I love to share projects, designs and favorite things. ~ (more)