Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TWD/BWJ: Mocha Brownie Cake

I baked a day EARLY!
It was St Patrick's Day.
So there was no mocha in this cake.
That bottle of Bailey's begged to be used.

You know, while we're at it, I seem to remember that last year we baked a decadent chocolate thing during Lent. And I was low-carbing it then too. But I had a piece anyway. Just to taste. Figured I'd already set the precedent and had a little sliver of this one. It's a good thing my son was here. Sent most of it home with him. It could've gotten ugly for my sweet little fatty liver...

Here we go. Notes to self:
1) Read the directions. There's chilling time to consider. 
2) Be sure you have ALL the ingredients and don't have to run out for cream at the last minute.
3) A little less than 1/4 cup on the liqueur is sufficient. If using coffee, make it strong.
4) Ganache = Heaven. Would this work for dipping bourbon balls? Look into it.
5) Try making little mini-cakes. Cupcake-sized. Or even smaller for a crowd. 
6) Going to need whipped cream, ice cream, or at least a good glass of milk.

This recipe can be found in the Baking With Julia cookbook. The other Tuesday With Dorie bakers are here.

Sorry, I don't have a green shoe for St Patrick's Day. But I did see a boot out in the middle of nowhere while doing the Quilt Shop Hop this weekend. Nowhere is officially Loganville, Georgia. They even have a slogan: "Where the heck is Loganville?" Think it was my first time driving through there and it offered up a shoe in the road. I like the place already.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

TWD/BWJ: Buttermilk Scones

Happy Mardi Gras!

Earlier in the day, I thought about hiding a plastic baby in the scones, but when it came time to make them I forgot. Such is life. They were great with whipped cream and the first organic strawberries of the year. Thought I might as well live it up since I've sworn off carbs for Lent.

When we were first married, we lived in St. Tammany Parish, Lousiana. It's across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. Good times. Good friends. Good food. No kidding. 

There are three Mardi Gras (how do you make that plural?) that I have specific memories of. Don't know what happened to the other two. Lost in the fog of years, I guess. 

We only went to the big city once for Mardi Gras, and the most I can say for it is that I was glad to get out of there in one piece. The crush of the crowds was scary and one of the girls with us had her purse stolen right in the middle of it. Trust me, I LOVE New Orleans, but I have no desire to go back to the French Quarter for Mardi Gras. Once was enough.

Another time, we rode in a Mardi Gras boat parade. The parade was in Madisonville, but we rode over in a sailboat from Mandeville. Have I mentioned my tendency to suffer motion sickness? Throw in a little alcohol and you've got trouble. All I remember is wanting OFF that boat in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain. But then we got to Madisonville, and all was well. Best gumbo in the world came from a restaurant there. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

My favorite Mardi Gras memory is the small town celebration. One year we hit the parades in both Covington and Folsom (we lived between them). Or maybe it was different years. That would fill in one of the missing years. Anyway, in Covington everyone would cheer and yell for beads, then run around the corner and do it again and again as the parade snaked through town. 

Folsom only had one major road, which was the highway, and they just shut it down for a few hours. The parade wasn't terribly impressive but, heck, it was a great excuse to hang around in lawn chairs drinking beer and eating BBQ shrimp. Low key and stress-free. And we were young. This year we spent Mardi Gras at the chemo center. All those years ago, we never would've dreamed such a thing. But hey, it could be worse. They even had decorations. Let the good times roll!

The other Tuesday With Dorie bakers are here. And if you'd like to see a video of the original Baking With Julia show, you can find it here.

Here's a shoe: