Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TWD: Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie was selected by Donna of Life’s Too Short Not to Eat Dessert First.

Now I’m not a fan of coffee flavored desserts, but these weren’t half bad. A little less coffee/espresso and a little more sugar and these chocolate shortbread cookies would have been perfect for my coffee-adverse taste-buds.

And I was really WOWed by the tip about rolling out the stick dough in a zip-lock bag. Why has it taken me 40+ years to learn that trick? Thanks Dorie, I’m always learning something new from you.

Update on the job front: Only one week till I start my new job!!! Yea!!!

I’ve been working as a “temp” since I was laid off in June. It is/was a good job except for the fact it offered no benefits. And being uninsured really had me worried. I must have had a hundred nightmares about getting into a car accident and having to pay hospital bills out of pocket! Yikes! Come on September 7, I need a good night's sleep.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Katrina: 5 Years Ago Today

August 29, 2010. A rainy, gloomy kinda day in New Orleans, so much like that faithful day five years ago that it is eerie. I feel like I should do something to mark the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, but what? I’ve been watching videos on You Tube, talking to friends and family, and flipping TV channels watching all the documentaries on “The Storm”.

It is so strange to think that five years ago I was trapped in a hotel room (with 15 other people, 5 dogs, 3 cat, a rabbit, and a hamster) knowing that my home, my job, my life were being washed away…

Here are some photos I took along the way...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TWD: Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart

This week’s “Tuesday with Dorie” selection of Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart was made by Rachel of sweet tarte (how appropriate).

Now I’m not a fan of custardy desserts, but this tart made a convert out of me. It was delicious. Delicate fruit, creamy custard, crunchy topping, and a flaky crust. The “flaky crust” part is not true to Dorie’s recipe which called for a “Sweet Nut Tart Dough”, but I was lazy and just used a ready made crust instead of making my one. Sorry Donna. Sorry Dorie.

Here are the tarts about to go into the oven. Not knowing if I would like the tart, I cut the recipe in half and made four mini tarts instead of one big tart. I also just diced the peaches instead of making the elegant “fan pattern” that Dorie suggested. I know, I know, I’m a lazy bum.

Here are the tarts just out of the oven. That mess you see on the pan is from the streusel topping that accidentally slid off the tarts (what a waste of good topping). Dorie suggested leaving the pan in the oven as you sprinkle the streusel on top of the tart, but this didn’t work for a klutz like me. I burned my hand in two places reaching into the oven, and I also lost some of the prize streusel as it slid off the mounds of peaches. Poor streusel.

Any here is the final product. Ta-da. Sweet peaches, creamy custard, flaky crust, and crunchy almond topping. What more could a girl ask for?

Side note on the job front... I got a job!!!! I'm starting on September 7th. I have to go to Houston for 2-1/2 months of training, but then I'll be back home in time for Thanksgiving. To celebrate I went on a shopping spree this weekend, buying things that I have been putting off for months: a new garbage disposal (the old one broke a few months back), a new vacuum cleaner (the old kept spitting things back at me), new tires and windshield for my car (need to be safe on my trips back and forth to Houston), and a new purse (just because). Hopefully now my life can settle back into a normal routine. Looking for a job was extremely stressful and VERY frustrating, and I hope to never have to do it again!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pound Cake Love

I’m a lover of all things Pound Cake, and this recipe is by far my favorite. It is a combination of two excellent recipes I found on Food.com (formerly RecipeZarr.com). Elvis Presley’s Favorite Whipping Cream Pound Cake and Five Flavor Pound Cake.

Both cakes are excellent but in different ways. The Elvis cake is dense and rich and simply melts in your mouth. It has that crunchy-sugary top that is the hallmark of a great pound cake. The Five Flavor cake is lighter and fluffier, and has a heady mixture of scents and flavors that fill your nose and mouth and make you snatch up slice after slice. It is additively delicious.

So in my quest for the ultimate pound cake I combined my two favorites. The dense, richness from the Elvis recipe and the "explode in your mouth" flavors from the Five Flavor recipe.

Here is “Pound Cake Love” ready to go into the oven. I cut the recipe in half and made a it in a single load pan.

Just out of the oven. The sides were a little burnt and tough, but just look at that crunchy, sugary top. No glaze needed here.

In the end I sliced away the overcooked sides and bottom to expose the soft, moist underbelly of the pound cake.

Yumm. I’m in Pound Cake heaven.

Pound Cake Love


• 3 cups sugar
• 1/2 lb butter (2 sticks), softened
• 6 eggs, room temperature
• 3 cups cake flour, sifted twice
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon butter extract
• 1 teaspoon coconut extract
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 teaspoon lemon extract
• 1 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
• 1 teaspoon pineapple extract (optional)


• DO NOT preheat the oven, this cake goes into a COLD oven
• Butter and flour a 10 inch tube pan
• Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Sift a second time and set aside.
• In a measuring cup combine the cream and 1 teaspoon of each of the 5 (or 7) extracts.
• Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).
• Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
• Mix in half the flour mixture, then the whipping cream, then the other half of the flour mixture.
• Pour into prepared pan.
• Set in COLD over and turn heat to 350 degrees F.
• Bake 60 – 70 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the cake comes out almost clean. Do not over bake or it will come out dry, if anything err on the side of undercooked.
• Cool in pan for 5 minutes, and then remove and set on a wire rake to cool completely.