Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rainy Days, Blankets, and Couches

4051126955_8b79b43647_b The weather here in the Midwest has been something else lately. Warm then cold, beautiful sunshine then gloomy rain that seems like it is going to go on forever. I’m not kidding after 3 days of nothing but gray skies and cold rainy weather you start to not even want to get up in the morning. So what do you do to make yourself feel better after a long day at work and then no sunshine in days. You put on your PJ’s, grab a blanket and a couch and curl up. And if you are lucky maybe some one will make you some Chocolate Raspberry Bread Pudding. Because lets face it Chocolate makes any day better at least around my house.

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Chocolate Raspberry Bread Pudding

1 cup of heavy cream

1 cup of half and half

1/2 of a 1lb loaf of dense white bread

12 oz of milk chocolate chips

6 egg yolks

1/2 cup of sugar

2 teaspoons of kosher salt

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 3 1/2 quart baking dish with non stick spray Heat cream, half and half, vanilla until it comes to a boil then turn it down to a simmer, mix in the milk chocolate and stir until combined and completely melted. Then set aside to cool. Chop the bread into 1 inch cubes and set aside in a large bowl. In a bowl mix the egg yolks, sugar, and salt together, add in the warm cream mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the custard mixture over the bread and stir to coat every piece and let it sit for 10 minutes. Gently stir in the raspberries, then pour into the baking dish. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top is browned and the custard is pretty much set.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Peek Inside

Fridge

So I said I was going to start doing Wordless Wednesdays. Slight problem I don’t have anything to take a picture of. I’ll give you a run down of my week. Monday through Friday involves getting up, going to work, coming home, attempting to work out, making dinner with a few baking adventures thrown into the mix, and trying to get some sleep. Saturday and Sunday include trying to catch up on sleep that I missed out on during the week, attempting to work out, baking, cooking, grocery store trips (Yep, I go to 4 stores a weekend),cleaning my house, and various other errands. So unless you want a picture of my dogs every week or of the highway or grocery store or of me in a swim suit (Trust me you don’t want the last one at all), there would be no Wordless Wednesday Picture.

So where does that leave us? You will be getting a picture of the inside of my fridge every week, ok most weeks because lets face it life gets in the way sometimes. So enjoy you little voyeurs, take a good long look!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Possibly Losing My Mind

Goat Cheese The Past few weeks I feel like I have been slowly losing my mind. I just generally feel out of it. I think its the stress of my work and the upcoming holidays which I am wholly unprepared for. And because of that I have been really slacking around here. I am still cooking and baking, but I don’t have the mental ability to formulate cohesive sentences after working all day and still trying to lead a normal life. So my Blog Posts would have been something like this.

“ I made this Tart and it was good, it has pears in it. You should make it because it tastes good”

“I like pears, goat cheese and puff pastry, they taste good, and this is easy.”

I’m not kidding here people. That is what you would have gotten from me. So instead of making you want to reach through your computer screen and strangle me for my horrible sentence structure and grammar. I figured I should wait this out and wait until I could formulate a half way intelligent for you all. So I’m hopefully on the up and up, and should be posting more than one Blog post this week. So with out Further Ado, the Post I promised weeks ago.

Balsamic Syrup

Balsamic Goat Cheese and Pear Tart

1 Sheet of thawed puff pastry

1 1/2 cups of Left over Pears from THIS

5 oz of Goat Cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons of Dried Thyme

1/3 cup of Balsamic Syrup – Recipe below

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl combine the pears and thyme and set aside. Crumble the goat cheese over the puff pastry in a nice even layer and then top with the pears. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the puff pastry is a nice golden brown. Drizzle liberally with the balsamic syrup all over the tart.

Balsamic Syrup

1 1/2 cups of Balsamic Vinegar

2 tablespoons of sugar

Cook Vinegar and Sugar over medium high heat until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy. About 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pear Tart

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Day Late ok quite a few

These past few weeks have been quite a doozy for me. I promise to get up some new posts next week. I have some great ideas for what to make this weekend. So everyone cross your fingers!

And with out Further Ado. The winners Thanks to Random.org are

Anonymous Lindsey said...

I stopped drinking soda all together. :)

Mini Baker said...

I started doing 5-6 miles a day on the treadmill! It's keeping my tummy nice and trim, and still lets me eat all the pie I want :)
Oh, and I started doing a good deed every day! It's so gratifying!
-Mini Baker


The first one to respond gets first pick on the prizes.

Have a Great Weekend everyone. Hopefully mine is a productive one!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This too Could be Yours

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I received an offer from BlogSpark to try out Nature Valley Nut Clusters. I knew I had to try them out for several reasons, P’s favorite part of granola is the clusters that get stuck together, and I know that they use limited High Fructose Corn Syrup. Which I have been trying to eliminate from my diet. But I was shocked when I received all of this. So while munching away on all of the flavors we received I thought what am I going to do with everything I got. Then it dawned on me, most of this stuff was for kids which I don’t have so I donated it to an At Risk school. I’m sure the kids will love playing with the binoculars and wind up flashlight.

And I loved the Nut Lover’s Variety but they were all really good!

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So Almost Immediately after that Blogspark. I received the offer to do this one for Yo Plus. I don’t have a a picture of everything you will receive, but there was a duffel bag, 2 coupons for free yogurt, headphones, and a work out towel. So you can be surprised if you win. And I would suggest the Light Honey Vanilla. It had the perfect amount of sweetness and its good for you too!

Yes I said WIN. Some lucky reader will win the Nature’s Valley Pack and Another will win the Yo Plus Prize Pack. I decided to combo them up. One I did something good for my community and the other I did something good for me.

This will end Today October 13th at 5pm CST and is only open to US residents.

So tell me what is something good you have done lately?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Once a Cheater….

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I have a confession to make. I cheat, and I’m not afraid to say it. I buy my Puff Pastry. It is just to much of a pain to make, when you can painlessly just go to the store and pick up a package. So guess what….That is what I do. Don’t get me wrong I have made it before, so I know the whole deal about how it tastes so much better blah blah blah. Seriously people this stuff takes days to make and I just don’t have the patience for that. So I do what I have to and that means buying my puff pastry. I think as long as you can find good quality puff pastry you should feel no shame about using it. Go ahead buy your puff pastry and don’t feel guilty about it! Because honestly no one will ever know if you made it or if you bought it. All you have to do is fill it or top it with something amazing and no one will even ask if you made it!

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Vanilla Cardamom Pear Turnovers

1 package of puff pastry, thawed

Pear Filling

1 lb of Pears, peeled, cored and cubed – I used Bartlett

1/4 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste

1 teaspoon of Cardamom

Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the pears soften about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unwrap the puff pastry and carefully unfold both sheets. Cut each sheet into thirds and then into thirds again. So you will have 18 squares, place about 1 teaspoon of filling on one half of the square then seal the edges so that you get all of the air out. Once you have filled all 18 turnovers, crimp all of the edges with a fork and make a small slash through the top to allow steam to escape. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet in 2 batches for 12-15 minute or until they start to turn golden brown. Allow them to cool slightly and serve warm.

There will be extra filling left over, you can enjoy it over ice cream or yogurt or save it for what I have in store for mine later this week.

And Please vote for my Cheese Plate, no email sign up or anything. Just hover over the stars! It ends tomorrow Oct 6th.