Posts tagged desserts
our springtime

We've been busy doing things like sneaking over to the neighbors to cut lilacs.

There have been treats for parties.

We've been walking under the blooms.

I found the most amazing button card.

Someone got to make a wish.

I lost my will power in the Easter clearance aisle.

Today I'm working on basting  a lap quilt that I'm hoping to have done by the end of the week.

ages 10 and up

last week was birthdays week at the cottage this guy


now looks more like this

He still asks for the same chocolate cake that he had on his very first birthday, but this year it was an R2D2 version.

Besides droids, he also loves owls.  I made this little one for him, which he named Eglantine after the little owl in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole.

I celebrated my birthday with some antique time.

Here's my cake

It was a cream cheese frosting over a vanilla cake that I dyed purple.

We ended the week with some bowling.

lulu and I took a moment to admire our cool shoes.


making friends with butternut

I'm not a fan of butternut squash. This means I'm never really sure what to do with them when they turn up on the CSA wagons.  I've tried roasting them, mashing them, turning them to soup, all which the spouse enjoyed, but not me.  I was doubtful when I saw Jamie Oliver turn them into cupcakes on Jamie at Home, but I brought the squash home, so I had to do something with it.

Besides ignoring it.

They have great texture and flavor, but I couldn't resist going over the top with the frosting to make it more of a cupcake and less of a muffin.  And let's be honest, who doesn't love toffee bits?

butternut cupcakes

adapted from Jamie Oliver

1 medium-sized butternut squash - skin on, deseeded, and roughly chopped

2 1/4 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

pinch salt

2 1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a food processor, blitz squash until finely chopped.  Add sugar and eggs.  Blitz to combine.  Add salt, flour, baking powder, spices, olive oil.  Blitz until well mixed.

Fill muffin cup no more than 3/4 full. Bake 20 - 25 minutes.

butternut cupcake frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

4 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, blend cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add flavorings and nutmeg.  With mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar until of a spreadable consistency.

After frosting the cupcakes, sprinkle the tops with toffee bits.


girls night out

We met up at the wine bar, sharing fancy meat & cheese trays and our fave fries along with lots of laughs and a love of hats. I made some sweets.

There were meringues

and truffles

and little cakes

iced almond cakes

for the cake

1 1/2 sticks butter (at room temperature)

2 1/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup almond paste

6 eggs (separated)

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep rimmed 17" x 12" pan by buttering, lining bottom with parchment and then buttering and dusting parchment with flour.

In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside

Using an electric mixer, meat almond paste and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar until well blended.  Add butter and beat until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add flour mixture in three parts alternating with milk.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until frothy.  While mixer is running, add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until soft peaks form.  Add 1/3 of the egg white mixture to the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently.  Fold in remaining whites gently.

Spread batter evenly onto baking sheet.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, turning pan half way through cooking time.  Transfer pan to rack to cool completely.  When cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour or overnight.

for the glaze

1 cup apricot jam

In a small saucepan, heat apricot jam to thin it and then push through sieve.  Brush a thin layer of the jam over the top of the chilled cake.  Return cake to refrigerator and chill until set.

for the icing

8 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

gel food coloring of choice

Turn out cake and cut into 1 1/4" squares.  Place cakes on rack resting in baking sheet to catch icing drips.

Mix all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth.   Pour icing over cakes and decorate as desired. Allow icing to set a bit before placing in paper cups for serving.

happy fourth

Tis the season for barbecuing with friends.  It's becoming a bit of a tradition to head over to our friends' place for the fourth.

In keeping with the theme, I like to do a red, white, and blue dessert for the evening.  Last year we had massacre in a snowstorm, which looks more festive than it sounds (the name came from a similar dessert by Nigella Lawson).  This year we will be trying raspberry sorbet and blueberry sorbet that will be served with whipped cream.

happy weekend!

raspberry sorbet

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 pints fresh raspberries

juice of one lemon

In small saucepan, bring water and sugar to boil.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Transfer syrup to bowl and stir in vanilla.  Chill syrup for 15 minutes.

Puree raspberries, syrup, and lemon juice in blender.  Strain mixture through sieve, discarding seeds.  Chill sorbet base overnight.  Freeze according to ice cream maker's directions until slushy.  Transfer sorbet to container and freeze completely.

blueberry sorbet

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

3 pints fresh blueberries

juice of one lemon

Follow directions as seen in above recipe.

meet me by the old oak at noon

...and we will have a little picnic. I fell in love with the dessert fabric ("Kids at Play II" for Hancock Fabrics) the moment I saw it, but I had a difficult time choosing the right project for it.

I used a quilt as go technique to make it.  I hadn't heard of quilt as you go until a couple of months ago, when I stumbled upon Penny's blog Sewtakeahike, (Although I think I found a link to her on tumblr, so technically I tumbled upon her site.)  She was hosting a quilt as you go quilt along where she made the coolest quilt.  A couple of weeks after that, I caught and episode of Fons & Porter where they doing a slightly different quilt as you go method.  I cheated and mish mashed all the information together to make my verison.

First I pieced the blocks and then sandwiched each block with batting and a slightly larger square of backing fabric.

I quilted each square with lines at random angles using a variegated thread with shades of blue, yellow, and ivory.

After quilting, I trimmed and squared the blocks (and put them in a pretty stack)

Then I stitched the blocks into rows and the rows into a quilt, stitching the wrong sides together so the exposed seams are on the front.  This way you can cover them and all the extra stitching to attach them will be on the back.

I did a lot of back and forth over whether I should cover the seams with ribbon or fabric, but finally decided that matching the fabric to the binding was going to look the best.

Here's a shot of the back. (Make Life... by Sweetwater for Moda)

This is only my second quilt, but I have to say, I'm really liking this quilting thing.  I can also already see the downside.  So many amazing fabrics, so many cool ways to make quilts - if you aren't paying attention, you could turn around one day and buried under a tower of quilts.  For that reason, I'm thinking about putting this one up for sale in my etsy shop.  As of now, I'm undecided.

I'm also excited because I was able to finish it in time for The Bloggers' Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side.  What an amazing group of quilts and quilters - you should check it out.

ps.  I know the quilt is covered in strings, but I'm desperate to make several deadlines today so strings happened.

A gratuitous peony shot just because they are so lovely-