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All posts for the month January, 2009

UnResolution Month officially has this post left and then it’s all over.  *sniff, sniff*  Are you as broken up as I am?

Well, don’t worry.  I have a sneaky suspicion unResolution month will be back next year.  I happen to know the owners and they’ve agreed to go unResolution again next year!

Regardless, I didn’t want unResolution month to go out without a bang so I was very careful when I picked my last “A month is four weeks, which is 28 days BUT January has 31 days so I need to find 3 more days worth of delicious but unhealthy foods” post for unResolution month.  I knew I wanted to do something pretty fantastic and when I saw this recipe, I knew it would be perfect.

Giada De Laurentis’ Blueberry Turnovers

Dessertwise, I owe Giada De Laurentis a lot.  She was the one to first get me to try Nutella and for that, I can never repay her.  Not ever.

So it came as no surprise that she has mastered another dessert, simple to do, that I think is going to blow your socks off.

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Stuffed Dates from Cook LocalUnResolution month…how we hardly knew ye.  Yes, that’s right, unResolution month is almost over.  There is but one post left after this one.  Ah, so many calories, so little time.

Anyway, I never meant for the “A month is four weeks, which is 28 days BUT January has 31 days so I need to find 3 more days worth of delicious but unhealthy foods” section of unResolution month to be a review of other bloggers’ ooey-gooey, delicious, and plain ol’ bad-for-you-but-still delicious recipes, but that’s how it turned out.  So why, fight it?

Today’s post comes from Cook Local a great food blogger I met on Twitter who seemed to really embrace unResolution month as a concept and suggested:

Parmesan Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Yep, that’s right.  Cheese, bacon.  For the carnivores out there, this recipe is for you.  For the vegetarians, might I suggest some nice vegan bacon and vegan Parmesan?

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For unResolution month, sometimes we need to drink our calories, too.  That’s why I turned to Natalie from The Liquid Muse, who directly inspired this very blog you are reading now and who is the finest mixologist/cocktail blogger I have ever read.

I knew if I needed to find the official drink of unResolution month, she would have it.  And, as usual, I was not disappointed:

Pumpkin Pie Preggatini

Though this recipe was featured on her blog, she also has a book out called Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-be, a collection of non-alcoholic drinks which look absolutely delicious. And while the book says its for the mom-to-be, it’s also great for anyone who does not drink or cannot have alcohol for whatever reason.  (Personally, I would have called it Delicious Designated Driving but that’s just me…)

Anyway, when I was mapping out what I was going to do for the “A month is four weeks, which is 28 days BUT January has 31 days so I need to find 3 more days worth of delicious but unhealthy foods” section of unResolution month, I just knew this was the drink for me because I love pumpkin and this one does not shy away from the calories.

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Are you as sad as I am?  It’s over: the dessert week of unResolution month is over and very soon unResolution month itself will be ended.  But if we’re going to go out, we’re going to go out with a bang.  That’s why tonight were going to explore the wonderful deliciousness of

Chocolate Cheesecake

I love cheesecake.  I absolutely adore pretty much everything about cheesecake except that there is not an infinite amount of cheesecake.  And there’s no real good way to do cheesecake low cal.  But that’s only something that is going to bother me after unResolution month is over.

I first made chocolate cheesecake for my wife around Thanksgiving.  She, too, loves cheesecake and she is the big chocolate fan of house.  However, around Thanksgiving, I love to make pumpkin cheesecake, which she absolutely despises.  So I make her chocolate cheesecake and I don’t have to share my pumpkin cheesecake with her.  Yay me!

Anyway, let’s get to the recipe:

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A Delicious Berry TrifleWow, only five posts left in unResolution Month and sadly only two calendar days.  That means that I am going to have to do some serious typing and you’re going to have to do some serious eating!  Deal?  Deal!

I know we got off schedule a bit because I was too busy having the type of pure fun that one can only have while snowed in in Tulsa.   To recap, this is actually the sixth post of the dessert portion of unResolution month with tomorrow being the final unResolution month dessert.  After that, we’ll be heading into the portion of unResolution month cheerfully entitled “A month is four weeks, which is 28 days BUT January has 31 days so I need to find 3 more days worth of delicious but unhealthy foods section.”

I’m checking with the marketing department, but I kind of like that title for the last 3 days of unResolution Month.  Anyway, as stated before, I am not a baker, so I’ve really been trying to find some of the best chef’s desserts I can and this has lead me to a deep exploration of

Trifle

Another TrifleNow I know what you’re thinking.  A trifle is totally different than tripe in every way, shape, and manner possible.  Let’s not go there.

Secondly, you may be thinking “What is a trifle?”  A trifle is a kind of layered dessert made by alternating cake (usually sponge cake), liqueur, custard, whipped cream, and oftentimes fruits or nuts or even chocolate.  Trifles range from simple berry trifles to lemon curd trifles to decadent chocolate trifles.  They are usually  served in one giant cup (called a trifle bowl) or in individual glasses (strangely enough not called a parfait.)

Thirdly, you may be asking what is the difference between the English trifle and the Italian zuppa inglesia which is a layered dessert made by alternating cake (usually sponge cake), liqueur, custard, whipped cream, and oftentimes fruits or nuts or even chocolate.  The general consensus is they’re either cousins or basically the Italians took one look at the trifle, called it English soup and viola! they’re exactly the same thing.

I leave the debate up to you and to history.

Ready for a recipe?  I am!

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This month’s challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

So for this installment of unResolution month, two grand traditions have come together.  These being what can only become an annual BlogWellDone.com tradition, unResolution month, and what can only become a monthly BlogWellDone.com tradition, the Daring Bakers.  For those unaware of the Daring Bakers, it’s a secret organization of bakers and food bloggers who meet triannually at a secret location known as The Meadows.

Actually, it’s an group of dedicated bakers that get together to take on Iron Chef-level baking challenges, challenges for which I feel like a wee baby lying on my back and flailing my arms, all the time crying for momma.

If only I knew how to bake.

But in the spirit of unResolution month, I knew I had to try to make

Tuiles

A tuile summed up briefly, is a delicate almond cookie.  For the challenge, I was to make the dough, shape it, and pair it with something light.  Easy, no?

Now, a tuile is supposed to look like this:

I however, went with the alternate recipe:

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Marshmallow Fluff = AwesomeWell, for tonight’s unResolution month post, I was going to post my Daring Baker’s challenge for the month.  However, my Daring Bakers attempt for the evening was EPIC FAIL.  EPIC FAIL.  Thank goodness I have a few more days.

So instead, I am going to do something real quick and easy, and sort of not dessert-y.  But at the same time, set this dessert down in front of the right crowd and they will love you for it.

Tonight we’re doing…

Fluffernutters

What the heck is a fluffernutter anyway?  Well, it’s a sandwich that part marshmellow fluff, part peanut butter, and 100% more sugar than anyone needs in their lifetime, but they are sooo good.  So good in fact, that you really don’t need to kick them up with anything.  However, this is unResolution month, so we gotta do something.  How about chocolate?

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Vegan Bread Pudding with Cinnamon CrumbleAnd the desserts keep on rolling in this, the last week on unResolution month.  Hopefully yesterday’s crepes hit the spot, but today we’re going in a different direction: we’re dipping back into vegan territory!  After seeing my post for Egg Nog Bread Pudding, my friend The Word Vixen asked for a vegan version.  Who am I to refuse?  So today we’re making:

Vegan Bread Pudding With Cinnamon Crumble

Continuing this tradition of chef’s desserts, or at least desserts that don’t require fancy baker’s techniques  (which will have their day, I promise!), bread pudding is one of those desserts you can make without a whole lot of fuss.  In fact, making vegan bread pudding is easier than making the non-vegan kind because there is far less mixing of eggs and milk to make custard.

Of course, I wanted to give this dish a little more oomph than a normal vegan bread pudding so after careful deliberation, I decide on adding a little cinnamon crumble.  Given the prevalence of vegan margarine these days, doing a vegan crumble is as easy as doing one with regular butter.  Still, if you can’t find vegan margarine, use just a little bit of soy milk.  It’s not going to be quite the same, but it will taste cinnamon-y and sugar-y and that’s a good thing!

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Dove ChocolateHappy Friday!  It’s kind of hard to believe there’s only one more Friday left after this one in unResolution month, isn’t it?!  Seems like just yesterday we were eating cheesy gnocchi and deep fried vegan sushi.  Well with time short, let’s not waste a minute more getting to our next dessert.

Almonds and Chocolate

So when Kathy first suggested this dessert, I knew there was something delicious in its simplicity.  As far as chef’s desserts go, there’s nothing simpler than adding chocolate and almonds and chowing down.  In fact, as your making this recipe, I suggest you take a square of chocolate, add a couple almonds and insert into mouth.  Mmm…

However, I wanted to do something a bit more unResolution-y and so I got to thinking about ways to deliver the almonds and the chocolate.  My first thought was that I wanted to add a little marshmallow to my chocolate and almonds and make smores.  But that’s too simple, so then I started thinking crepes instead of graham crackers.

So in order to most deliciously snack on your chocolate and almonds, let’s make

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Or something.

Anyway, I was recently (like two weeks ago) a guest on Chef Mark Tafoya’s ReMARKable Palate podcast.  I told myself (and Chef Mark) I was going to type up a blog post on the ol’ BlogWellDone.com when the episode was posted and um… well…

So definitely go check out the ReMARKable Palate podcast, not just to hear my voice (ha ha), but because Chef Mark is one of my favorite culinary podcasters and he knows so much about food.  Even before I met him via Twitter, I was listening to his show and I hope you like listening, too.

Enjoy!