Archive by Author

Summer is officially happening in Brooklyn!

29 May

And that means it’s fruit pie season. Here’s a fresh strawberry rhubarb, before and after baking.2016-05-20 21.47.20.jpg2016-05-21 00.04.20.jpg

5th Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Brooklyn

16 Dec

presentNora and I were remarking that we can’t believe it’s been FIVE years since our first cookie swap organized by Julie and Lindsay. Nora put together a fun rundown of previous years’ posts, if you want to click around and look at them. Thanks, Nora!

This year, I made these beautiful tahini cookies. They are basically peanut butter cookies, but with tahini (which is basically toasted sesame seed butter). I loved this recipe, which was easy and produced crumbly, crispy, nutty cookies that were sweet with just a perfect hint of bitter earthyness.

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pre-oven, gooey dough with sesames on top!

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I had a bit of a mishap at the post office trying to mail these out to Valerie, Chanel, and Emily. The post office didn’t have any packing supplies, and I was cutting it close to the deadline, so they were NOT packed securely–which, I swear, this is my first year not wrapping them up like eggs in that high school physics experiment. So, I really do hope they arrived to you all in at least semi-decent shape. If they didn’t, I am so sorry.

I received beautiful and delicious cookies this year. Nora’s were truly outstanding, chewy, perfect chocolate-espresso crinkles, which you can read about in her post. Shelby (Grumpy’s Honey Bunch) sent me Santa’s Whiskers, which were like shortbread filled with candied cherries and pecans. Melanie (Gather for Bread) sent gorgeous chocolate-dipped shortbread that I seriously devoured. Lauren (Bite of Health Nutrition) sent moist, cakey mocha-chip ricotta cookies, which were especially amazing dunked into my coffee in the morning. Thank you so much!

recieved

Happy Holidays!

Pie: Brooklyn

6 Dec

This year was my first ever year not spending Thanksgiving with my family in Denver. So, instead, we hosted Friendsgiving for other “holiday orphans”! I made two pies: pecan, and pumpkin. The meal itself was amazing, and I only gave myself one deep cut with a chef’s knife while cutting into the pie. (Oops.)

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Pie shells, ready to pre-bake

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Pecan pie

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Pumpkin pie

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Bonus: Yeti is the hostess with the mostest

Catching you up to speed: Denver (And then…Brooklyn.)

6 Oct

As Nora mentioned in her post, we’ve had crazy years (the lamest excuse) and have both confronted the idea that we need to play with the format of this four year old (!) blog. We’re going to be doing baking challenges less frequently (target is once a month) and more frequent baking/cooking roundup posts. In the meantime, here are a very select few things I baked (or cooked) since we fell off the wagon:

This winter was nuts for me, as I studied for and took the MCAT in January. In February, I made one of my favorite recipes in the world, Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Espresso Tart. This is out of my Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts book, which is (a) probably my most-used cookbook and (b) was a gift from Nora back in the day. Actually, Nora and I first used this recipe together when she visited my first Denver apartment in 2012! (we drank champagne and wore The Cat Hat and I had a broken arm.)

02 feb tart

Spring rolled around and I did a lot of great baking, and also made these beautiful panna cottas from a great Kitchn recipe to serve my mom for Mother’s Day. Nora visited, and we spent several hours being rained out at a Rockies game.

05 mother's day panna

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I spent my free time in the summer relaxing, camping, hiking, and enjoying the company of my friends! My friend made these amazing eggs shakshuka while camping in August, and they are too pretty not to share.

08 aug camp eggs

Then, in late August, I moved to…New York City! I effectively doubled the distance between the Cats and Commas duo (oops).

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I live in Park Slope, which is the best. My kitchen is…small. Since arriving, I have gotten super into making jams and preserves (not new to me) and have branched out into pickles (definitely new to me!). Here’s some of the plum preserves I made with beautiful Upstate Elephant Heart plums, as well as dilled pickled beans and cardamom-pickled carrots.

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Bonus: here’s what cooking in my Denver house looked like all year:

Peach Pie Escapades, August 2015

5 Oct

Excuse my vertical video (I always forget to make them horizontal):

Look at that puppy bubble. My first pie from Brooklyn!

My loosely-followed recipe.

Food Blogger Cookie Swap IV: Denver

14 Dec

2014-11-30 13.22.52This was our fourth year participating in the food blogger cookie swap (you can check my posts from 2011, 2012, and 2013). Nora and I are both proud to have been with The Swap since the beginning and look forward to it every year! Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil organize it, and they deserve some major acknowledgement for their work. Thank you, ladies!

For my 2014 submission, I decided to make green tea biscotti. I made biscotti during my first year; I loved how they turned out and they were hardy enough to ship without worrying much about crumbling, etc. I got really into baking with machta powder a few years ago when a coworker requested Green Tea Cupcakes for his birthday treat. I decided to give biscotti a similar twist and see what happened.

Turns out there are tons of recipes out there for machta biscotti. The ones I made were most closely based on this delightful recipe from A Cozy Kitchen. I did decide I wanted to top mine with crystallized ginger, not turbinado sugar – but not so much ginger that you couldn’t taste the sweetly bitter, earthy flavor of the tea. I think I got a good ratio. I also used more almonds (about 1/2 C), and more tea powder (~3 tsp) than called for in A Cozy Kitchen’s recipe.

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Oh, and I also made five batches at once. Ha.

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I loved the texture on these, because they were hard enough to soften deliciously dunked in a cup of tea, but weren’t absolutely rock hard. Plus, from what I’ve seen, it appears that they arrived safely where I sent them! They were  mailed to Nora (naturally), as well as: Deb from Cooking on the Front Burner, Becky from The Cookie Rookie, and Tammy from Yours And Mine Are Ours.

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I received four absolutely beautiful packages of cookies this year. Nora and I always send each other a batch of our FBCS cookies along with the rest of our Christmas gifts. Nora’s cookies are always adorably packaged, and came in a little cardboard box with candy-striped twine this year. What a treat! You can read all about Nora’s delish pistachio/cranberry cookies on her related Portland 2014 Cookie Swap post.

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Katie of Butterlust sent me her mom’s Coconut Gingeroons. These puppies were so good! I love coconut anything, and the texture of these were lovely. Katie’s blog is a delight to peruse, if you have some free time. Katie, thank you so much!

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Laurie of Baking Adventures in a Messy Kitchen sent me these amazing coconut, cinnamon, and orchidea chip cookies! I learned that orchidea chips are sichuan pepper, lime, and orchid root. These cookies had a spicy, sweet, and perfectly salty flavor. Plus, my roommates were way wowed by the exotic theme! Thanks, Laurie.

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Trudy of Chocolate Castles sent me delicious shortbread cookies dipped in white chocolate! She even included a little thumbprint tool for thumbprint cookies – she says you can buy them on Etsy if you want one for yourself! Trudy, thank you.

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All in all, I lucked out this year, I think. Can’t wait for 2015!

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Happy Thanksgiving from Denver!

28 Nov

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