Some days you just need cookies, not want,… but need, cookies. Each one so toasty, so affectionate, so courteous as they travel to your tummy and send happy trails of crumbs from your fingertips and throughout every inch of your dancing limbs as they leap […]
Month: May 2009
One thing I’ve never been too keen on: stretching. Stretching in my opinion, is like pre-soaking laundry. When you pre-soak laundry, you are putting clothes in water with soap, just before you put them in water with soap. I’ve just always felt like running was stretching, in that when running one conquers long strides and achieves warm muscles; isn’t that the same product of stretching?
Combine repetitive running uphill on concrete, favoring one leg to alleviate pain from the opposite ankle, plus no stretching = stress fracture. Hip stress fracture. Hip stress fracture = nothing but lying in bed.
I mentioned when we went to San Francisco, I can’t go without baking for too long before I start to get the itch. It’s the the same feeling my husband gets when he hasn’t drawn for days, or I presume my sister gets about sewing, or my mother about collecting cardboard boxes (I tease). Needless to say, lying in bed has made me itchy. But… what can someone with a stress fracture make while supported with crutches?
Ice Cream: Iced Lemon
My favorite ice cream hands down is Tillamook French Vanilla Ice Cream. Tillamook products are not available nationwide, and Tillamook Ice Cream is only available in Oregon, Washington and Northern California. Lucky for us, Tillamook is just about an hour away from us here in Portland and it is always a treat to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory sampling every kind of cheese imaginable, taking home a bag of squeaky cheese, and delighting in freshly churned Tillamook Ice Cream.
A few years ago (and many times since then) acting on an illicit craving for lemons, I squeezed a few fresh lemons whipped up with Tillamook French Vanilla Ice Cream. Today for Sugar High Fridays I decided to make the real thing; fully cognizant of the fact that no ice cream I make will ever truly compete with Tillamook.
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
Begin to warm over med heat
Add zest and juice of two large lemons
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
Whisk 2 eggs, temper with cream mixture, return to pan
Continue to cook just until mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly
Turn heat off, continue stirring until mixture has cooled slightly
Pour into medium sized bowl, chill
Just prior to churning, add zest and juice of one additional lemon
Make ice cream according to manufacturers instructions
It is smooth, perky, and creamy and definitely cools a bad temper from lying in bed for 8 days missing the first and probably only 80° weather of the season, all the new blooms, particularly the new roses, not getting to enjoy the park with the furries, and knowing I have another 21 days of bed ridden fun!
One family tradition I remember vividly, is eating Apple Pancakes at The Original Pancake House on our annual trip to Eugene, Oregon to support and watch my sister Pamela run (and win!) at the State Track and Field Championships. I suppose there were other things […]
Alex is a comrade of Gabriel’s from the Art Institute and a few days ago his girlfriend contacted us about helping throw him a surprise birthday party! Though I do have some experience throwing Gabriel a whopping cool 30th surprise birthday party last year, I was far more concerned with who was making the cake!
She was going to purchase one from Costco… of course I intervened.
Cake: Comatose (Deep Chocolate Chocolate Chip)
Filling: Chocolate Sweet Sauce
Frosting: Chocolate Buttercream
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
½ cup oil
Mix until elements are of the same consistency
Add 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition and 1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt 4oz. semi sweet chocolate in 1 cup water, mix to smooth
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Stir dry ingredients into batter
Add 1 cup buttermilk, whisk to smooth
Stir in remaining 1 cup flour with 1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
Whisk 4 egg whites to firm peaks and fold into batter
Pour batter evenly into two greased and lined 9″ round cake pans
Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch
Run knife along edge of pan, and cool on wire rack
Slice each cake round in half
Spread an even layer of Fahrenheit 350° Chocolate Sweet Sauce between each layer, and between two cake rounds
Reserve a little sauce to line perimeter of cake prior to frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
3 cups cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons Crisco
2 teaspoons vanilla
+/- ¼ cup milk for consistency
Layer outside and top of cake with frosting and decorate as desired
A few years ago on Mother’s Day, Gabriel passed me this note in Sacrament meeting:
Many years later this Mother’s Day, the eggs are still quite content unfertilized which keeps the furries quite happy having me all to themselves… going to the park… running… weekend road trips on a whim… endless days swimming at the beach… treats instead of dinner… snuggling in bed together after Gabriel goes to work…
This year my brainy beau treated me to a tasty, heart shaped breakfast in bed –
Gabriel had also expressed a desire to make me a Mother’s Day dessert, but he has been hard at work (very nearly killing himself) to finish a project for a very exciting potential job, so I willingly stepped in. Sometimes Gabriel thinks he is a machine, and sometimes I’m convinced that he’s right.
He and I both enjoy a delicious dessert from Dorie Greenspan: The Most Extraordinary Lemon Tart, so when thumbing through my favorite cookbook and seeing a recipe for a Chocolate Lemon Tart with lemon glaze and filling I was already addicted without having even made it yet.
Tart: Chocolate Lemon
Filling: Chocolate Ganache, Lemon Curd
Glaze: Lemon Custard
Yields: 8-12 Tartlets
This recipe comes once again courtesy of “The Cooks Encyclopedia of Chocolate” pg. 210.
Making this dessert requires both time and patience, as you can likely surmise from the title and counterparts alone. This dessert is both lovely and delicious, but it doesn’t come close to replacing the very aptly named Extraordinary Lemon Tart – nonetheless it proved a delightful addition to a beautiful Mother’s Day in the Olson home.
Melt ½ cup butter and 2 tablespoons cold water
1 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Stir to smooth, chill
Roll out to ¼” thickness and line tart dishes
Prick with a fork and blind bake at 375° for 7-10 minutes
Lemon Custard Glaze:
Heat to boil zest of one lemon and 1 ½ cups milk
Drain and return milk to stove on low
Lightly whisk 6 eggs and ½ cup of sugar
Temper the milk with the egg mixture, and return to heat
Cook until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon
Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup butter
2 cups of sugar
In a double boiler, stir over low heat
Add 3 eggs and cook, stirring constantly for 15 minutes, until mixture is clear and glossy and coats the back of a spoon
Strain and chill
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
Bring ¾ cup cream to a boil, remove from heat and stir in 6oz. of chocolate
When chocolate is fully melted, stir in 2 tablespoons of butter
Pour chocolate filling into baked tart shells to fill halfway
Chill for 10 minutes
Spoon lemon curd over chocolate to fill shell
Ladle custard glaze over tart and decorate with melted chocolate and lemon curls