Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Easy Summer Lemon Ricotta Cookies


I have been wanting to make these cookies for years, seriously for 5 years.  The bakery I worked at the summer between my Sophmore and Junior year of college made these all the time.  Why because they are simple, easy and delicious.  You can make a lot at one time because they rise instead of spread out.  The are yummy little cakey, lemony cookies and are perfect for the summer time.

I figured I should make some cookies to bring a little sunshine to a rainy day here in Scotland.  Don't get me wrong, there has been sun, just not yesterday when I made these.  Plus I can send them off with Charles to work, so that I don't sit around and eat all of them...although I did only make a half batch.  

Well this past weekend we took a bus trip for the day around the Highlands.  We say the "Three Sisters" and a castle, took a quick boat cruise of Loch we didn't see Nessie, and strolled through a cute town.  Then Sunday we took the train out Edinburgh, which totally lived up to what everyone said about it being a beautiful city. (Pictures from Scotland so far)  Now we are back to the week, which I get to bake more hopefully yummy treats.  Confession though, I have been baking and cooking and even doing a bit of work, but I have been sleeping a lot.  You would think I hadn't slept in months...but then again I guess this is a vacation and I can do as a want with it.  Oh wells, but you really should totally try these cookies!  Enjoy!

Oh and I had my first fish and chips this week and it was delicious!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Scones 2 Ways: Savory (Cheddar Bacon) vs. Sweet (Cinnamon Raisin Pecan)

These scones were inspired by my mom's delicious cranberry orange scones...well that and I only have a cookie sheet currently for baking over here.  I just don't want to invest any too many baking tools over here, what can I say.  I did these scones two ways because Charles does not eat raisins.  Well and technically these aren't raisins their Sultanas, because they were cheaper than the they taste and look basically the same.  So the ones on the left are cheddar bacon scones and the ones on the right are cinnamon "raisin" pecan scones.  They are light, delicious and simple.  You could definitely throw these scones together for breakfast one morning.  These scones are going to be taken on an all day bus tour of the Highlands.  Pictures will come!  In the mean time these are a few more sights you can see while wondering around the streets of Glasgow.

A walk to the tearoom on a warm and sunny afternoon...totally worth the two miles there and back.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spinach Mushroom Onion Flatbread

Sometimes its really nice to be able to just relax.  To wander a new city, make up your own plans for the day, work when you feel like working and get to cook for someone other than yourself, in a new kitchen.  It can be a weird feeling when you truly get to decide what you want to do between 8am and 5:30pm during the week.  

Sometimes you just want to go for a run around new park, along a different river from normal.

Sometimes you wander around Glasgow and come upon a market...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Post # 9: Cranberry Orange Scones

So I went home a couple of weeks ago to hangout with mom and what is the first thing she did when I got home but start baking these scones.  FYI I told her this is all on her...I had done my baking for the week, BUT I would be more than happy yo take pictures.  I have been wanting her to so a guest post and this was the perfect opportunity.

Well my mom id kind of awesome.  We did the whole were aren't going to be close bit when I was in middle school and high school.  I mean she used to scare me because I never wanted to disappoint her or make her mad.  But when I moved away to college we got much closer.  Late in high school we started having "girls" weekends in New York every summer; shopping, seeing shoes and exploring different restaurants.  Then back in 2012 we took a cruise on the Mediterranean for two weeks and managed to not kill each other...this was definitely a social experiment to start with.  

Truthfully I have to seriously thank my mom for all of her support.  She has always encouraged me to follow my heart and go after my dreams, even when it involved following a boy to D.C.  She is the kind of lady that say when I can't make caramels because I don't have a candy thermometer, will just go out and buy one.  The kind of lady that gets my brother to go in with her to buy me a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas...even though it is sitting in a box in Greensboro.  If only I had a bigger kitchen to store...someday.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

What do you do with leftover trail mix from a plane ride...Trail Mix Cookies

Well as it turns out, I am a bad international flier.  I always think I might be able to sleep on the airplane, like maybe this time.  I even bought one of those funny neck pillows in the airport and Tylenol PM thinking surely this will knock me out and allow me to get more than two hours of sleep, but alas no.  

So, what do you do when you can't sleep...well I ate a little snack...aka the trail mix that is now going in these cookies.  It is the perfect trail mix for cookies...peanuts, chocolate pieces, peanut butter chips and dried cherries.  Way to go Trader Joe's...but I have to admit I took out the almonds and cashews for the cookies.  The cookies are a new chocolate chip cookie base that is soft and chewy.  They have a nice crunch from the peanuts, and the peanut chips are like hidden gems as they blend in with cookie dough.  The cherries are a bit sweet and tart, while adding a new texture and go great with the chocolate pieces.  Any who, Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strawberry Mint Shortcake with a Balsamic Reduction

Here's the of my very best college friends officially moved to DC this past weekend and I am so pumped to have her here!  I feel like I have been playing the waiting game for months and of course she moved the weekend before I head on vacation for three weeks.  

So what did I do?  I brought over a welcome lunch and a house warming gift of strawberry infused vodka for Courtney and Dusty.  So we...

...Chowed down on some beet pesto pasta with peas, broccoli and onions. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chocolate Chip Waffle Caramel Swirl Vanilla Ice Cream

Sometimes after a long week you just need to make ice cream.  Sometimes after running a 10K you really need to make ice cream.  Plus you might just have left over waffle pieces from say these chocolate-chocolate chip waffle ice cream sandwiches that you have been saving to put into ice cream.  

Ice cream is the one thing that I super crave sometimes.  I can literally sit down and eat an entire pint of the stuff for dinner and I must admit that occasionally I do.  What can I say...sometimes you have a bad day.  I know, I know you are supposed to eat for nourishment, NOT to make yourself feel better.   BUT you know what some days I just don't care.  Sometimes you have a week where you have to see people you don't want to see.  Sometimes you grit your teeth and just smile on the outside.  Then you go for a run to take your mind off of things...and well then make ice cream.  Sometimes this is exactly what you need to get out of the funk and on with a fantastic weekend.  

Can you tell last week was harder than normal?  Trust that it totes got better and ended with a great lunch and yummy dessert on Sunday.

Okay so this ice cream has chocolate waffle pieces covered in extra chocolate with caramel swirls and a vanilla base.  The waffle pieces with the chocolate crunch add soft and hard textures to this ice cream.  The caramel swirl adds a smooth deep almost earthy flavor and the vanilla just lightens the overall flavor.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Browned Butter Vanilla Bean Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

My Birmingham weekend continued...

Well the whole reason I went to Birmingham the weekend I did was because it was Meghan's birthday and basically I have not been in town the past 2 years for her birthday.  So back in April, I shot her text and said what are you doing for your birthday? Can I come down? And what kind of cake do you want this year?

The cake was ultimately the hardest decision.  We talked about putting a coconut pie in between layers of devils food cake.  Then there was discussion of a lavender cake with chocolate ganache frosting...she drove all over Birmingham looking for lavender one night and I got on the phone calling places in Alexandria.  With no luck finding the lavender, her next choice was a combination of browned butter and brown sugar.

This cake is the ultimate adult vanilla cake:

Browned Butter Vanilla Bean Cake + Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes...the perfect way to start a weekend in Birmingham

So last weekend was perfect...

Well minus the waiting on the run way for an hour and my flight being minutes away from being canceled.  But, I made it!

What do you to celebrate making it to Birmingham?  You go have dinner at a yummy french restaurant and of course cocktails!  Then you end up staying up and talking for hours, because that's what happens when you haven't seen one of your very best friends in a couple months.  Then, you wake up in the morning and make pancakes!  Oatmeal cookies pancakes.  

These pancakes are a fantastic way to start the day.  They wake you up, make you smile with their hint of cinnamony goodness and sweet maple flavor.  They have a delicious unexpected crunch and nuttiness from the oats, but still have a nice fluff.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

100th Recipe! Decadent Cinnamon Roll Cake

So this is 100! NO seriously, I can’t believe I finally reached the 100 mark.  When I started this, I never really thought I would get here.  BUT it has just been so much fun.  I need to send out a serious thank you to all of my friends and co-workers for being my guinea pigs, for allowing me to bake cakes and cookies, pies and tarts, brownies and and and. 

Seriously though, when I started this I wasn’t sure where it would go or if I would even like doing it.  And I kind of LOVE it.  It’s so much fun trying to decide what I want to bake next, what’s in season right now that could be baked into something delicious, moist, rich, flaky, sweet or salty.  Although, sometimes coming up with something fun to write about really is difficult, other times the food speaks for itself.  These totally speak for themselves…

Key Lime Pie Cake…yeah a pie in a cake totes speaks for itself.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Peach Shortcake with Mama Susan's Cornbread

Memorial Day weekend was a great start to summer.  I went home, hung out with my mom, did some shopping and went to the farmers market.  I have to admit something...I love the farmers market in Greensboro.  It is just different from those in DC...everything is truly local, everyone is so friendly and you can see the same people there every week.  It is definitely a Saturday morning activity that I miss.  Plus, you know that full on summer is just around the corner when you start to see peaches at the market.  I mean its just the best.  Also, last weekend there were so many stands that had fresh beets that I just had to buy some.  Turns out beet greens make delicious pesto!