Batter Licker

March 21, 2012

cherry-studded banana bran whole grain muffins

I recently started setting up a sort of brown banana renewal system. I’ll buy a few super green ones and a few yellow ones each week, and then find myself with a consistent supply of brown, spotted mushiness that is sufficient for my peanut butter shake and green smoothie purposes.

It was all working out swimmingly until I got tempted by the very cheap, very large bunch of jet-sized bananas at Costco. Suddenly, I had a serious overflow problem.

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The first resolution that came to mind was banana bread, which would also conveniently free up some precious space in my overstuffed pantry. Okay, maybe it was actually equal parts resolution and excuse to fill my apartment with the fragrant aroma of freshly baked banana bread.

Either way, I wanted to make a more portable, healthful, whole grain, breakfast-appropriate version. (more…)

January 12, 2012

we do

Filed under: bars,cake,candy,cookies,dessert,non-food — Tags: , , , — Kristen @ 1:43 pm

On October 14, 2011 …

… Jay and I prepared to exchange rings and formalize what we had already felt in our hearts since moving to San Francisco together in 2005.

… we arrived at the Julia Morgan Ballroom quite early, and spent a few hours snooping around while everything got set up; ordering two insanely large platters of Mediterranean salads, hummus, falafel, gyros, and shawarma wraps for friends and family who intended to stop by; running around downtown San Francisco in search of pita bread once we realized it had been omitted from our order by mistake; and spending a wonderfully private lunchtime together.

… I kicked Jay out once my mom arrived with my dress in tow, and sent him back to his parents and grandmother at the Omni Hotel across the street.

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… the scene was set with flickering candlelight, plush couches, roaring fireplaces, and a colorful assortment of fall elements, ranging from purple and green artichokes to fiery calla lilies to Brussels sprouts, gourds, squashes, chili peppers, pumpkins, and berries.

Yes, those are artichokes in my bouquet; it was utterly fabulous. (more…)

December 15, 2011

check me out on BlogHer!

Remember this Project Wedding Dessert Bar Series post on bourbon spice and fleur de sel caramels? I am thrilled and honored that BlogHer asked me to share my caramel recipes with the millions of BlogHer Food readers!

Syndicated on BlogHer.comPlease head on over to BlogHer.com and check out my post, in addition to the many other fabulous recipe- and food-related posts shared on their site by incredible bloggers! Right now, they’ve also shared a lot of great holiday ideas if you’re still scrambling to pull things together, from gifts to crafts to meals.

December 14, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 13 (jay’s secret chocolate cake)

It’s taken me awhile, but this is the second-to-last post in my Project Wedding Dessert Bar Series. Did I mention this recipe is for a surprise cake? For THE cake-to-end-all-cakes (at least in Jay’s book)?

Jay loves chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, as it was present at all his childhood birthdays and celebrations. Somehow I baked, chilled, frosted, hid, and transported it without Jay finding out, even though he tried to ruin the surprise – TWICE.

First, after driving back from a morning client meeting, he came up to our apartment to check in on me and my dessert bar baking shenanigans instead of dropping the car in the garage and going straight to work like he usually does.

Photo by Dana Hargitay of enLuce Photography

Then, when my mom and sister Cassie helped me transport the desserts to the venue a day before the wedding, he took an early lunch break – without giving me advance notice – and walked over the venue to help us unload everything. Thank goodness the cake was on a covered stand and Cassie had a jacket to throw over the top of it. While we unloaded everything else, we hid the cake on the passenger side floor of the car. When we dropped everything off in the venue director’s office, I awkwardly hesitated to leave, even though she had another bride and groom in her office. The look on my face must have indicated I was on the verge of a meltdown (I wasn’t; worst case, the surprise would be ruined, which would not be the end of the world but hopefully would be avoided); she immediately came up and gave me a concerned look and a hug. I whispered that there was one more load coming up, then ran down the hall to catch up before Jay noticed. But how would my mom and Cassie get the cake upstairs without Jay noticing?? (more…)

December 5, 2011

gingered pear sorbet

San Francisco has handed me some winter sorbet weather recently: very sunny skies, and strong but warm winds.

Back when I lived in Los Angeles, we called it Santa Ana winds, but I don’t think the same lingo applies to Northern California. Up here, people call it earthquake weather. But that’s a bit over-dramatic and scare tactic-y for my taste. Hence, I’m calling it winter sorbet weather.

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While raspberry zinfandel sorbet absolutely knocked it out of the park for Thanksgiving dessert, I must admit I might never have gone down that road had I not first experimented with the overabundance of Warren and Bosc pears I received courtesy of Frog Hollow Farm.

In an effort to ensure they didn’t go bad, which is a problem I constantly face with pears even though I love the juicy fruit, I put some to use in a sorbet.

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My inspiration came from a scoop of pear sorbet I had enjoyed a little over a year ago in Paris on a brisk Autumn day. It wasn’t too sweet, but tasted exactly as I imagined a juicy, frozen pear would. (more…)

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