December 10, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 16 Comments
“I MANAGE A TOAST TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE AND ONE TO THE SWEET ABSURDITY IN THE MIRACLE OF THE VERB TO BE. LUCKY YOU. LUCKY ME.” Miller Williams
So how do you handle Christmas? Do you plan months in advance? Are your decorations up the day after Thanksgiving? Do you shop black Friday and cyber Monday?
I must admit I am a procrastinator and last minute shopper. It’s not that I don’t care. And it’s not that I can’t manage time. But for me, the mood only hits around Thanksgiving. And so any time before then, well I’m just not ready.
One of the things I’ve always wanted to do for Christmas is to create an edible tree. I’ve been thinking about it for years, actually and have more ideas for edible ornaments than I know what to do with! What has always stopped me in the past is the planning ahead thing. But this year. This year, I decided to go for it!
So how do you eat a Christmas tree? [Read More...]
November 24, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 28 Comments
“GIVING CHOCOLATE TO OTHERS IS AN INTIMATE FORM OF COMMUNICATION, A SHARING OF DEEP, DARK SECRETS.” Milton Zelman
Do you love giving food as gifts? How about receiving? Yes and yes for me, too!
Home made truffles always make a great edible gift. They are not at all difficult to make. You can package them easily. And you can create so many flavor combinations with them.
These dark chocolate truffles have a semisweet chocolate base, are flavored with espresso, spiked with Kahlua and rolled in bits of crumbled English toffee. [Read More...]
November 20, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 44 Comments
“CAKES HAVE A TERRIBLE HABIT OF TURNING OUT BAD JUST WHEN YOU ESPECIALLY WANT THEM TO BE GOOD.” L. M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)
Ok. I’m going to keep it real.
My first of the “Great Cakes” was not so great.
I did not care for this cake. At all.
The Cake Slice Bakers are a wonderful group of women who have a passion for baking CAKES! Paloma, of The Coffee Shop, is our wonderful and fabulous leader. We choose a cake cookbook each year and post a new cake from it on the 20th of every month. We have just started a new book, Great Cakes by Carole Walter. It does look like a GREAT cookbook full of GREAT cakes. I just was not a fan of this one.
Why didn’t I like this particular cake? [Read More...]
November 18, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 34 Comments
“WHEN YOU DIE, IF YOU GET A CHOICE BETWEEN GOING TO REGULAR HEAVEN OR PIE HEAVEN, CHOOSE PIE HEAVEN. IT MIGHT BE A TRICK, BUT IF IT’S NOT, MMMMMMMM, BOY.” Jack Handy
You are going to pie heaven. This week!
The Theme Weavers are a group of creative, culinary whizzes. Every month a theme is chosen and we celebrate it all week long.
This month’s theme is PIE! And what a selection we have this week. Somebody pinch me!
I’m going to help kick off the week with my American holiday version of an Italian ricotta pie. Sweet cherry preserves mingle with cranberries and layer a sweet pastry crust which is then filled with light and luscious amaretto and orange scented ricotta!
And if that’s not enough, we have 18 other selections. Do you want me to pinch you, too??? [Read More...]
November 8, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 55 Comments
“INVISIBLE THREADS ARE THE STRONGEST TIES.” Friedrich Nietzsche
I have an obsession with collecting vintage bakeware! And I’ve come to realize that I love the feeling of being tied to the past and connected to a total stranger who was as passionate about baking as I am. One of the things I love to collect is bundt pans.
I love the simplicity of bundt cakes so much, that I’ve joined a group called Bundt a Month. Led by Anuradha of Baker Street and Lora of Cake Duchess, this is an amazing and talented group of bakers. Once a month we are given a key ingredient or theme to serve as the inspiration for our cakes. This month we were asked to use our favorite jam. Mine is a simple butter pound cake, adorned with a crown of mixed berry jam, and garnished with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. My inspiration? . . . . . [Read More...]
November 4, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 21 Comments
“IF YOU’RE AFRAID OF BUTTER, USE CREAM.” Julia Child
I’m not afraid of butter or cream! Which is a good thing since both ingredients are found in these light, chocolatey scones!
I belong to a group of bloggers who love to celebrate chocolate. Roxana, of Roxana’s Home Baking is the founder of The Chocolate Party. Once a month, Roxana gives us an ingredient to pair with chocolate and we get to do our thing with it. This month’s ingredient was pecans!
I am a huge fan of scones. I love them in all sizes, shapes and flavors. They are such a sweet, crumbly treat. These are made with chocolate, oatmeal and pecans. And yes…..butter and cream! Indulge yourself. After all, you deserve it! [Read More...]
October 23, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 23 Comments
“IF YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE A FRIEND, GO TO SOMEONE’S HOUSE AND EAT WITH HIM…THE PEOPLE WHO GIVE YOU THEIR FOOD GIVE YOU THEIR HEART.” Cesar Chavez
How often do you cheat yourself out of a really good meal or a fabulous dessert because you are eating alone?
Just me tonight? I won’t bother to cook. I’ll just throw together a sandwich for dinner and scoop a little Ben & Jerry’s for dessert.
But when you are having dinner with friends, all of a sudden the food you eat matters, and what you make has to be extra special. After all, it’s a reflection of yourself and a display of affection and gratitude for your friends. Tonight, Eileen from The Joy of Caking has invited me to join her and some of our amazing blogging friends for a lovely and unique Fall Harvest Dinner. I’m bringing one of my most favorite desserts. Home made applesauce lightly sweetened and spiced fills a flaky, buttery crust and is topped with thinly sliced apples, all sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. [Read More...]
October 20, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 44 Comments
“IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO HAVE A HAPPY CHILDHOOD.” Tom Robbins
I grew up in an age where penny candy was actually a penny! And one of my fondest childhood memories was spending a dime at ‘The Corner Store’ and filling up a little paper bag with pieces of my favorite candy. At the movies, however, I would always buy a box of Goobers. I wonder how much they cost at the theater these days?!
What do you do when you want to relive a piece of your childhood? Ride a bike? Go to the zoo? Eat a special sweet treat? [Read More...]
October 3, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 24 Comments
“OCTOBER, TUCK TINY CANDY BARS IN MY POCKETS AND CARVE MY SMILE INTO A THOUSAND PUMPKINS.” Rainbow Rowell
Autumn is my favorite time of year and October is my favorite month. The reasons are many. I was born in October. You can trick or treat for your favorite candy in October. Honeycrisp apples are here! The days are still mild. The nights are comfortably cool. Nature’s colors are richer and more vibrant. My cooking becomes heartier. And baking warms my kitchen on a regular basis.
Oh…..and the pumpkins! So many recipes, so little time! But I’ve decided to kick off the season with donuts!
These baked pumpkin donuts are light and airy; iced with a little sweetened cream cheese and topped with crunchy, spiced honey pumpkin seeds. They were also an editor’s pick and featured in Yahoo Shine in Canada!
But speaking of a thousand pumpkins . . . . .
October 1, 2013 By Anne Boeckl 23 Comments
“OF ALL THE SEASONS, AUTUMN OFFERS THE MOST TO MAN AND REQUIRES THE LEAST OF HIM.” Hal Borland
For me here in Washington, D.C., there’s always an awkward transition time between summer and fall. Depending on where you live, you may know what I mean. It’s officially autumn, yet the temperatures are still warm. And that light jacket that you left the house with on a chilly morning becomes a burden by the afternoon.
I have similar issues with baking. I want to delve in to more homey, comforting baking. But then there are those warm October afternoons that leave you thinking about what you want to grill that night instead of what you want to bake that day!
Twelve Loaves is a group of bakers who are very inspirational to me! A huge thank you to Lora, of Cake Duchess who founded the group and to Renee of Magnolia Days and Paula of Vintage Kitchen Notes for all they do to keep this group running smoothly and on track! Each month, we are given a theme or ingredient to bake with. This month I was challenged with root vegetables! The slight crunch of walnuts give a little texture to this bread; which is moist and lightly sweet with the flavors of carrots and apples. And though this quick bread is full of autumn’s best fruits and veggies, it won’t have you in the kitchen very long! [Read More...]