Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Baby and the Cookies

It probably wasn't until a month before the due date that we were able to tell our friend was soon a mother going to be.......the truth is she looked so great we had no need to alter our social schedule whatsoever and so the  three of us and the guys kept the BBQ's, lunches, dinners, morning coffees and cocktail nights coming...

The odds of course suggested it would be at one of these lovely encounters that baby M was to make his appearance...and that J and I (picture obsessive) would document it of course

I even recall a clothes & cosmetics shopping marathon I was not able to join the girls for ,  and which i was sure would have an exquisite shoe shop to be the scenery... but it wasn't...


Fortunately baby M arrived as planned and gave me time enough to bake his mom these cookies

When we arrived at the hospital  J2 ( there's 3 J's ) couldn't believe she looked ready to go shopping again!

It took her a minute to make the cookies disappear...  and half to look her amazing self again!

Welcome Marcos!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chocolate Cheesecake

I had only made Berry Cheesecake so far and decided to give a Chocolate cheesecake a try

 this is more or less what it looked like

a crunchy base

a soft and creamy mix of dark chocolate and cheese filling 

topped with minni cookies

and this is more or less what the one i then of course had to make for home looked like...
 sliced right away!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Butter Walnut Cookies

I was on the other side of the room when the phone rang. The paralyzing ring...I stood immobile only my head turned round in the direction of Bell's element of morning torture. I stood immobile... a chill ran down my spine as everything went into a Hitchcock black and white mode...would it be the squeaky voice that had tried to persuade me down the 200 TV channel lane? the sinister gas company "converters"? I 'd already refused to change my air conditioning, and answer any surveys, so "who could it beeee nowww?"
I  shyly approached the phone(they weren't giving up) to take a peek at the incoming number, I mean after all they couldn't see me... right?
I picked up...  RELIEF -  it was a friend in need. She began to speak... (did I say  relief?) After three minutes of chat it became clear that "having something sweet would make her feel sooooo much better" and as i tried to find solutions to the topic of our conversation...she pointed out she really wouldn't take that long to get to my place, "after all, these conversations are much more productive in person"... I kinda got the hint...

After all, cookies hadn't been on the menu for a while...and here's why you should always have this easy as can be Slice & Bake cookie dough in your fridge

How to ?
1 cup of butter and1/2 cup of sugar
Add 1/2 cup powder sugar, and a pinch of salt
Kkeep beating
Add 2 egg yolks  and then mix in 1 1/2 cups of flour
If the dough gets too hard you can  finish mixing with a spoon, add chopped walnuts
Divide dough and shape into logs, chill in plastic wrap for 3 hours min in refrigerator
You can roll them in sugar before you slice and bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly brown

to help a friend in need...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Bread Story ( "the simple truth about the sweet it brings to me")

Easter bread is a tradition in many countries ...specially the Mediterranean of which the Italian "Colomba Pasquale" is perhaps the most easily found in shops...And more to the East, there's the Polish  "Babka", the  "Kulich" in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Bulgaria for example...

My memories of a particular smell and taste of Easter Bread this year go back to when many of the Eastern countries mentioned above were all one and by that, i mean a while ago. I suppose that's why what i mostly recall is the hours and hours spent sitting, head resting on my arms crossed on the other end of the table, (not far enough to avoid getting sprinkled with flour now and then) feet hanging from the chair observing our cook. She was a woman of powerful complexion with powerful pinkish white arms that scooped and poured and mixed and tossed and worked that wooden spoon in a way i kinda felt sorry for it. She was making "Cozonac", the local (Romanian)Easter Bread... 

The hours seemed endless as i sat quietly waiting for the dough to rise... She would come back to slap it and punch it (now that i think of the religious and symbolic significance of bread it's kinda ... well, it seems strange) only to leave it again to rest covered in a cloth close to the stove. I was eager to taste the lovely "yeasty" flavor i still love and would wait to be alone in the kitchen and pinch it here and there - yes i would eat it raw...the funny thing is that i was rarely discovered as the dough would swell and sponge back up leaving no trace of my crime, and that's when i discovered the importance of the slapping and punching ... That, and the quality of the yeast of course

I decided I'd made the "cutesie" pastel colored egg shaped truffles, the chocolate Easter eggs, the candied this and that, last year so... this year i was going back to what i consider a ritual in itself -  the making of the bread, a tradition passed form grandmothers to mothers to daughters...(or so the romantic in me likes to think)  and why not -  from special cooks that make impressions on young apprentices...

As the question"Where do I begin?"(so now you get the title of the post?)ran through my head, I decided to just mix and mingle the grandmother, the mother, the cook, the experience of one, the notes of the other, the cooking skills of all...Italian, Uruguayan, Romanian, who cares?Perhaps its the secret to the story of "how great a bread can be"...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tea with Eve

The main characters: the sinful red apple...

the just as equally sinful green apple...

 conspiring mischievous cinnamon , brown sugar and  walnuts to do the rest...


the result : soft and crunchy creamy apple filling

trapped in a warm home made and hand kneaded crust 

lattice apple pie crust to be precise

and ready to go!

..or eat !

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Minni Cravings

These Minni version craving stoppers will provide smiles and no guilt!

Minni chocolate cupcakes  

in chocolate buttercream topping...

caramel and cheese...

or vanilla buttercream