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Blog Love: November 2014

Hello all! Around here everything is starting to feel like Christmas. The store fronts are already decorated with christmas lights and snowflakes (even though it doesn’t snow around here… we love ‘em), but we all  know that until Thanksgiving passes, we can still get away with a few pumpkin-filled dishes. In fact, we will try making my own pumpkin puree again this week, as we got some gorgeous sugar pumpkins that are asking to be turned into something delicious (thanks Juancho!).

On this months’ Blog Love, we are sharing some Moist Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies by Foodness Gracious, Twix Cookies by Chef in Training… Twix Cookies! That is the perfect bite in every way. Then, Bourbon Brown Butter Apple Cake by Baking Bites, and Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter by Baked Bree, which we are tempted to make both on the same day… and because you can’t live from dessert alone, Butternut Squash French fries by Heather Christo, Chicken with Figs and Grapes by Dash and Bella, and Roast Chicken with Crispy Skin by No Recipes. We also have a great snack from Two Peas & Their Pod: Rosemary Toasted Almonds.

We hope you enjoyed our Blog Love for November, and remember, if you have a favorite blog you want us to feature and share with the rest of our readers, just let us know on the comments or through our Contact Page so we can share them with the world!

Helga & Kitty

Blog Love Nov 2014

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Bake a Difference: Cupcakes for Toys

The cat is out of the bag! We are co-hosting our first ever Bake Sale! A few months ago, we went to the launch of a new magazine called The Baking Room, put together by Mariade and Miryang. After getting together, that one coffee turned into a mini-planning meeting for this Bake Sale. We knew we couldn’t do it alone, so we called in Pili from Vitas Mercado Gourmet and Carmen from Cioccolato Arte en Chocolate. They all make amazing desserts: cakes, chocolates, cookies… ice cream macaroon sandwiches. All delicious and beautiful desserts.  After all of the meetings and name brainstorming, we realized we needed a great foundation to help out. Turns out that we were able to get in touch with DAR, a program by Fundacion Manuel y Concha Ralda.

Bake A Difference-01

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Bourbon Spice Cake with Bourbon Whipped Cream

We are so close to sharing the big surprise we have in store for you… In the meantime, here’s cake! This is the second time around I’ve baked this Bourbon Spice Cake. Last year I was planning on sharing it for the holidays, but I ended up baking it on Christmas, and I over baked it a little bit, and ended up a little bit too dry. Nothing that a little bourbon and whipped cream couldn’t handle. Second time around, was the charm. This year, I was able to take my time baking. Yesterday morning was perfect. Clear skies, the sun was shinning and the light in November is just unique. You don’t get this kind of light in March or April. The November light has always an orange hue that I absolutely love. I started preparing my mise en place, grabbed my camera… and the entire baking was smooth and easy.

The original recipe calls for shortening, but after testing it last year, butter was used instead. And I sifted the dry ingredients as well. You can easily double the recipe, and the cake comes out great. No issues there. Since I made it before, I can tell you, that because this cake uses molasses and brown sugar it is a sweet and sticky cake, so prepare your loaf pan with parchment and you will not be suffering when trying to unfold your masterpiece. To remove the parchment carefully, I didn’t take pictures of that part, but the easiest way is that after you remove the cake from the loaf pan with the parchment paper, let it sit for about 25 minutes, and turn the cake upside-down to a flat surface (or a second cooling rack) and peel the paper off. Then turn it back on its good side again and start brushing the bourbon like nothing happened.

Since I wanted a lighter topping on the cake, I prepared a sweet whipping cream and added some Jack Daniels as well. The liquor’s flavor is subtle, and compliments the cake very well. When tasting the cake, we also think this cake would do great with crystallized fruit!

Kitty

Bourbon Spice Cake

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Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Remember that we had some cute pumpkins for our October wallpaper collection? Well, I wanted to roast them and turn them into a Roasted Pumpkin Soup. But first, I wanted to find out what kind of pumpkins they were. Turns out that the orange smaller ones are called Munchkin Pumpkins, and the white striped one is called a Tiger Pumpkin. Both of them are often used in decoration. Neither of those pumpkins are the best for puree, the ideal one is a type called Sugar Pumpkin. As you can see in the video bellow from Everyday Food, those are the best to do so. Since I was making a soup with them, I decided to do just as Thomas Joseph suggested, but I skipped the straining through cheesecloth.

Now, the pumpkins I used were a bit stringy, so after the soup was done I did blend it. If you are using canned pumpkin puree there will be no need Other than that, it is a very quick soup to make. You can serve it with a dash of cream on top and a few crackers. This soup is perfect for the cooler weather we have around here, a bit cooler and very windy. These are the months I love… Soups all the time. What’s your favorite cold weather meal?

Kitty

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

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