Archive for January, 2010

Cocoa-Nana-Poo

I came back from walking Marshall to find this. *sigh*


HOLY COW! I’m on a roll, I baked with the TWD Bakers twice in a row this month!
This week Steph of Obsessed with Baking selected Cocoa-nana bread for the TWD Bakers to try out. Check out Steph’s blog and see all of the yummy goodies she has displayed. Her food photos are really nice – I have a lot of food photo envy with 99% of the group (guess who the 1% is? – HAH!). You can also find the recipe there too. But enough already, just BUY the BOOK!
There was some discussion regarding the combo of bananas and chocolate in the P&Qs, I’m totally on the pro chocolate and bananas combo (um, yes I realize that I have stated I don’t like fruit with my chocolate).
When I was done mixing the dough, I was a little perturbed. It looked like an awful lot of dough for the 9×5 loaf pan. It filled up to the top, see:
I was wondering if there would be overspill since there was baking powder and baking soda involved. After the 30 minute baking period, it came out looking like a Cocoa-nana Souffle, see:

Kind of dark photo - but can you see the souffle??


I was pretty psyched about that. I should have known better. I put the foil tent on top and 35 minutes later I checked on the Cocoa-nana bread and discovered that it had pooed, see:

I realize that 'poo' is not quite the right description, but it's cuter than the alternative...


Very depressing. It was taking a longer time to bake with the poo all over the place so the top ended up getting a bit hard. Not that that’s a bad thing, I like crunchy. I often like to burn a batch of cookies because I like it that way sometimes. It’s just that I was soo high about the souffle part and just like a souffle, I got very deflated when the bread pooed. And the bread is BROWN too! Yeah, I can see the crowd of people just dying to have a piece of Cocoa-nana Poo. But I have to admit – it was REALLY tasty! Who would have guessed?
Stay tuned for next week, will I still be on my roll? Stop by and find out!

Last Week: Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars
Next Week: Milk Chocolate Mini-Bundt Cakes

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Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars

All stacked up...


SURPRISE! I actually made the TWD pick of the week – Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars selected by Lillian of Confectiona’s Realm. Please visit Lillian at Confectiona’s Realm, she takes the most awesome food photos! I especially like her photo of Dorie’s Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tart. You can also find the recipe there too, but buy Dorie’s book already! Your tastebuds will be soo happy you did!
This was a pretty simple recipe. Although 2 sticks of butter with 2 packed cups of brown sugar is quite um, extreme. I tried to rationalize it by reminding myself of the 3 cups of oats… It was a nice try, HAH! A lot of the TWD Bakers mentioned it being too sweet in the P&Qs, but I didn’t find it too sweet. Could be because I skipped the raisins…
The bottom layer is the oatmeal mixture and it’s also topped with the oatmeal mixture. The topping is to be done haphazardly, which was hard for me to do because I like things nice and orderly. I’m anal like that. But I was pretty successful, even though it kind of creeped me out – looks kind of like cookie dumplings, don’t ask me why it creeps me out… What do you think:

Imperfect topping...


And here it is, the middle shot:

There's not enough chocolate!


Don’t forget to browse the TWD Bakers’ blogs to see all the variations done with this recipe!

Last Time: Lemon Sables
Next Time: Cocoa-Nana Bread

What’s for Dinner?

The Beau’s sister and her boyfriend gave me a Thailand cook book for Christmas among other things. A couple weekends ago, I wanted to give it a try. It took me FOREVER to make Green Bean Salad with Shallot Croutons and Chicken and Thai Basil. I had to make a chili paste for the green bean salad which took the most time. It’s a really beautiful cook book but unfortunately it didn’t have pictures to go with these two recipes. So I was a bit disappointed when it turned out like this:

Kind of a bland looking dinner - tasty though!


Turned out quite tasty – would I cook it again? Maybe, if I had all the ingredients on hand and the time to make the chili paste…
Yesterday I made a Spicy Red Pork and Bean Chili. We knew it was going to be a rainy week so we wanted some comfort food to last a few days. This turned out really well! The pork came out really soft. I never made a pork chili before and this recipe called for 4 lbs of it! Here’s the before and after shots:

Everything you need to make Spicy Red Pork and Bean Chili...


Nice chunks of pork!


Well, I’m exhausted and I want to create my TWD post before I pass out…

Sables and other Christmas Cookies

Hmmm, I needed to bake one more cookie to fill the plate! O, well!


In between adjusting to a new job and commuting, I found a little time to bake Lemon Sables. Thanks to Bungalow Barbara for selecting this cookie way back when… I didn’t find the time to actually post about it though. Here’s the one picture I took during the baking process:

I use a spoon instead of my fingers to create the lemon sugar...oops.


I had 3 days before Christmas to bake more cookies and so I did. I ended up baking Dorie’s Snickery Bars, Lemon Sables, Cafe Volcano Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and her Pecan Powder Puffs (the names might be changed – I don’t have my book with me…) I also baked Coconut Orange Snowballs. Here they all are:

I didn't get a chance to taste the Snickery bars...


Pecan Powder Puffs and Coconut Orange Snowballs


Love the Cafe Volcano cookies!


Lemon Sables


Chocolate Chip Cookies


I want to give a huge shout-out to my niece Chelsea! She took all of my Christmas cookie pictures with her new camera. Her pictures turned out beautifully and I wish I could have her around everytime I bake – it would make my posts much prettier! Thanks SOO much Chelsea! XOXO to you!
It’s another beautiful day, so I’m going out for a walk with Marshall!

Trying to Catch Up…

Well, let’s see, it’s been a very L – O – N – G time since my last post. I apologize, getting a new job kind of interfered with my daily activities. HAH! Seriously, commuting to Rancho Bernardo and working a 9/80 work schedule is kicking my butt. I’m still trying to adjust to it.
So here are a couple of pictures from my Thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s house. I made the pumpkin pie which was Dorie’s Caramel Pumpkin Pie. The crust turned out to be shy and bashful and retreated when I took it out of the oven. How silly! I also made the fresh Gingered Cranberry and Kumquat relish which was pretty tasty although not everyone agreed – some still prefer it straight out of the can! The relish is hiding behind the jar of rather large celery ‘slices’…

Mom basting the turkey...


Thanksgiving Dinner


In December, TWD does a ‘Secret Santa’ Christmas Card exchange. I drew The Cake Princess. Although I didn’t know that was her blog at the time, I was given her name. She lives in Canada so that was fun. On her Elfster profile she mentioned she likes hand made items. I was still swept up with the commuting to RB thing and really didn’t have a chance to make something unfortunately. I would have enjoyed that more. Hopefully this time next year I’ll be in a more even-keeled situation. HAH! I didn’t even send out Christmas cards this year…
The Food Librarian drew my name. There is no such thing as six degrees of separation between The Food Librarian and myself. She happens to know my cousin, JustJenn, and I happen to know her cousin, Linda. How amazing is that? Well, here is the surprise I received from her:

Elfster surprise from The Food Librarian!


JustJenn must have shared my being a Bruin and my love of cows with her. Hee hee! They are soo cute! I wish I had made my lemon sables after I received this gift, I would have used the Bruin sprinkles instead! Aren’t those mini-clips the cutest? I can hardly wait to try the chocolate pearls!