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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chocolate-Raspberry Truffles



I call them chocolate-raspberry truffles.  My friends and relatives call them "the candy things", "raspberry fudge", "the chocolates", "those things that you make".

They have asked me about them when talking about an upcoming party at my house--"Will you have those things that you make?"

When I'm invited to a friend's house and I ask if I can bring something--"Bring the chocolates."

When I'm hosting a party, about to serve dinner--"Where are the candy things?  I want one before they're all gone."

Or, commenting on a friend's facebook post this week, (which had nothing to do with my cooking) her response to my comment--"I love your raspberry fudge!"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cooking Experiments, and Pear Coffeecake with Maple Frosting

I'm so lucky that my family puts up with my cooking experiments.

Recently, there have been a few failures.  Nothing that was so terrible that they wouldn't eat it, but stuff that was definitely not going into the "mmm, must make this again" recipe file.

Like these caramel-filled snickerdoodles.  If you're looking at this picture and thinking, "Hey! Those look pretty good!" you would be half-right.

Half-right because they were good while they were warm, but when they cooled down the caramel hardened and was impossible to bite through.  As in take-a-bite-and-now-I've-pulled-the-entire-caramel-center-out-but-I-can't-chew-it-because-my-teeth-are-glued-together-by-caramel sort of impossible.

PRETTY CARAMEL COOKIE, YOU FAIL.

And there was my Caprese Egg Roll experiment.  I LOVE Caprese salad in all of it's incarnations, whether it's a basic Caprese salad or Caprese skewers or Caprese salad with avocado and olives.


It looked promising as I rolled it into egg rolls.


They looked good as I arranged them around the tomato sauce that we would be dipping them into.


They look okay, right?

But the truth is, I'd rather just eat a plain old Caprese salad. Or if I'm going the exotic egg roll route, I'll make a batch of Italian egg rolls.

Okay, enough about my failures.  

I finally put an end to my losing streak when I was trying to find a way to use up two very ripe pears.  I immediately thought of adding them into a coffeecake, but I have never added pears into a coffeecake so I decided to check foodnetwork.com for a recipe.

Of course I couldn't find what I was hoping to find.
But I did find a recipe for Apple Coffeecake!  And along the way I found a recipe for Raspberry coffeecake with Vermont Maple Frosting.  So the alchemist in me decided that switching out the apples for pears and combining it with the maple frosting would be a great combination--and it was!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cooking Show #3

We filmed another episode of the cooking show over the weekend.

Still climbing my way up that steep learning curve, but having fun along the way!  I didn't forget any ingredients this time around, but I did forget to take pictures when we were through.  

We were already eating French onion soup and enjoying rum punch when I remembered about the pictures.

So I made the rounds, checking out all of the half-eaten bowls to see if there was perhaps ONE bowl that I could get a decent picture of.  Mr. Terrific's bowl was the most photogenic, a fact which I found really puzzling, because he loves French onion soup more than anyone I know and I would have expected him to have been a bit further along than the rest of us.

And it was then that I realized that he was on his second bowl.  I made six bowls, there were only five of us there taping, and he hated to see that last bowl of soup go to waste.

Click on the titles under the pictures to be taken to the recipes!




Fortunately, I was able to take a picture of the chicken and the salad before we dug in.  If you're wondering what the large round thing on the right is, it's a caperberry, which is what capers turn into when they are full grown.  Capers being the immature buds of the caper bush.

Little bit of an agricultural lesson there for you!

And last but not least....


Mmmmm.  The rum punch was also half-gone by the time I took pictures, but that's because we started drinking it as soon as it was made.

A great big thanks to my friend, Gayle, for graciously assisting me, and whose love of capers and rum punch inspired our menu for this show.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Puppy-Sitting, and Pumpkin Dip

A lot has happened since my last blogpost.

The Red Sox won the world series!!!

 Here's a picture I took of Clyde and Gus, during the final inning.  They knew I was getting excited.

Clyde was getting excited, too.  He's such a party animal.  Gus was just very concerned.

Here's a picture I took after the final out was made.

Mr. Terrific raised his arm in triumph, quite a display of emotion for him.  Clyde is off partying somewhere.

Gus is still very, very concerned.  It was way past his bedtime and he just wanted to call it a night.

Meet Georgia.  She's an 11-week-old Silky Terrier.  

She belongs to my friend, Maureen.  Maureen needed a puppy-sitter for a short period of time last week, and I volunteered.

Clyde volunteered, too.  Gus happened to be at the groomers that day, so it was up to me and Clyde to entertain Georgia.

I wasn't sure how to go about letting Clyde and Georgia play, so I decided to separate them at first.  I leaned a gate against a doorway, with an opening at one end that was only big enough for Georgia to fit through.  I figured it would be her call whether she wanted to play with the big old behemoth staring at her from the other side of the gate.

Ladies and Gentleman!  On the far side of the gate, at a robust weight of 68 pounds--CLYYYYDE!!!


 And on this side, tipping the scales at THREE WHOLE POUNDS, Georgia!!

And that is how they stayed for a few minutes, Clyde on his side of the gate, watching Georgia as she ran back and forth on her side of the gate, barking up a storm.

Due to laziness, or perhaps because of a desire to make himself smaller and thus less of an imposing figure, Clyde decided to drop his bones to the floor.

I vote that he was just being lazy.

At that point, Georgia quite boldly walked through the gate.


And proceeded to explore the fluffy giant, Clyde.

This is my favorite picture.  Not long after I took this picture, Georgia got a little too friendly and Clyde got spooked and ran away.  I was laughing so hard at my 'fraidy-dog I forgot to take pictures.


But he quickly came back and settled himself down so that their game could continue, with Georgia pouncing and exploring and Clyde barely moving a muscle.  Except for his furiously wagging tail, that is.

Georgia finished off the play date by attacking her squeaky hedgehog toy.


Enough, already!  Here she is, begging me to stop taking pictures.