Thursday, May 31, 2012


although i know how
rarely make wedding cakes
here's the deal

wedding cakes 
take time to 
(yes, just like pedro says)
which means
by the time
cut into that cake

there are tricks
soak it in syrup
it will seem moist
(when really, it is just wet)
freeze it
suspending the stale
up the filling to cake ratio

all good ways to get the job done
not my thing
i'm a bit of a jerk about it

wedding cakes are expensive
and should be

which means
for me
baking and assembling
the bride is donning her veil

that being said
there are times
when you can't keep me from 
making a cake

last weekend 
was one of them

my younger brother got married
last of the lot
the bride requested


lemon meringue cake
(recipe and instructions)

fondant topper
the year of the dragon

matching the bride's bouquet

Thursday, May 24, 2012

strawberries {a roundup}

this might be a bit
my local csa
our own garden
we are swimming in strawberries

sometimes i forget
to refer back
recipes on this blog

here is
a little compendium
some of my favorites

i hope you agree

although a phrase normally reserved for cherries
this cake
the bomb
maybe you are a tart?
let me re-phrase
maybe you like tarts?
try this
perhaps you prefer
to drink your fruit

try these


have a berry good day
(okay, corny)
(mmm corn)
(i also like corn)

Monday, May 21, 2012


working in the garden
pulling weeds
picking fruit
can make a girl 
like to wet my whistle
a talk iced glass 
5 large lemons-sliced
1 1/2 cups strawberries-sliced in half
2 1/2 cups sugar
6-6 1/2 cups water
ice to serve
place lemons, strawberries and sugar in a crock or bowl. let sit for 30 minutes.  after the wait time, use a potato masher or muddle to crush the berries and the lemons to extract juice from the fruit and the oil from the lemons. really get in there and mash them up.  allow to sit for another 10 minutes and then give it another good mash.  leave all the bits in the crock (or bowl) and add water.  start with 6 cups and check for sweetness/flavor. add more water to your liking.  refrigerate until ready to drink.  serve over ice.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Guava Cheesecake {guest post}

hubster returned from a meeting
raving about the dessert
one of the attendees
made a guava cheesecake
blush pink
light as a mousse
he declared
it was 

several days later
a large piece of cheesecake
was hand delivered 
to my kitchen

it was every bit as good 
as hubster described

i asked my friend
odie tollefson
if she would share her story
and a recipe

lucky for us all
she agreed

Odie was born in Cuba and enjoyed the combination of cream cheese and guava as a child ...

One of my families’ favorite desserts when I was growing up was guava and cream
cheese…a true Cuban delight! My dad would buy the guava paste in bars, slice it in
about a ¼ inch thick slices and take a bar of cream cheese and slice it in about the
same size. Other times we’d sandwich the guava between two slices of the cream
cheese. Another Cuban favorite is a “refugiado” pastry (literal translation…refugee.)
Porto’s bakery in Glendale makes the best! It’s a light, flaky pastry filled with guava.
No Cuban get-together is complete without these! As the stories I’ve heard go, the
pastry got it’s name because it’s what the Cuban refugees back in the 60’s could
readily afford to make and eat.

So when I ran across this guava cheesecake recipe many years ago in a cookbook
entitled Miami Spice, I knew it would become a favorite in our household and it
certainly has brought smiles to both family and friends over the past decade and a

Guava Cheesecake
from Miami Spice
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup guava paste
2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, or to taste
4 extra large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Glaze: (optional)
¼ cup red currant jelly
About 1 tablespoon water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9” springform pan.
2. Prepare the crust. Mix together the cookie crumbs, melted butter and
sugar in a mixing bowl to form a crumbly dough. Press the dough over the
bottom and up the side of the springform pan. Bake the crust until almost
dry, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Melt guava paste in the lemon juice in a
nonreactive heavy saucepan, whisking steadily, over medium heat, 2 to 3
minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly.
4. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with a mixer. Add the sugar and
beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, adding one at a time, beating
until each incorporated before adding the next, and scraping down the
sides of the bowl frequently. Beat in the vanilla, lemon zest, and melted
guava. Pour the filling into the prepared pan.
5. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil.
6. Wrap a sheet of aluminum foil around the bottom and sides of the
springform pan to prevent water from seeping in. Place the pan in a large
roasting pan and pour 1 inch of water.
7. Bake the cheesecake until the top is firm and the filling no longer jiggles
when the pan is shaken, about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. If the top of the
cheesecake begins to brown before the filling sets, tent the cake with
aluminum foil. When the cake is done, turn off the heat, open the oven

door a few inches, and let the cheesecake cool for 20 minutes.
8. Transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover and
refrigerate for at lest 6 hours, preferably overnight.
9. Prepare the glaze: melt the red currant jelly in the water in a small
saucepan, over medium heat, until the mixture is the consistency of heavy
cream. Thin with additional water, if necessary.
10. Gently brush the top of the cheesecake with the glaze. Cover and chill for
at least 30 minutes.
11. To serve, run a slender knife around the sides of the srpingform pan.
Remove the sides and serve.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

raspberry-port chocolate spread

this morning
i raced to my favorite
ethnic grocery
for some reason
i had it in my head
one year ago
to. the. day
sour cherries had arrived

the problem is
produce goes quickly
at this particular store
 once it is gone
it. is. gone

i was wrong
3  months off
they did have
a dollar a punnet
i couldn't resist

why should i?
raspberry-port chocolate spread
6 cups raspberries
3/4 c. port
3 cups granulated sugar
pinch salt
18 oz 70% bittersweet chocolate (broken into pieces)
place berries, port and sugar in a heavy, large pot.  cook over low heat until the berries break down.     remove from heat and strain in a chinois or medium seive (you want the seeds removed, but you want as much pulp as possible in your final liquid.  return the liquid back to the pot and simmer until it reduces by half (3 cups).  meanwhile, place the chocolate in a glass bowl.  allow the raspberry syrup to cool only slightly, then pour over the chocolate.  using a whisk or a hand blender, blend until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth.  place in jars and keep in the refrigerator.

use on bread, sweet tea cakes, as a filling for cake, or just spoon it from jar to mouth


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