I tried a lot of new recipes and yet I don't have even one picture to show for it, but I can still report on my progress ;o).
Yesterday we had invited friends over for dinner, and I found this recipe for the cutest little appetizer quiches in Fine Cooking magazine (it's in number 82 and I promiss you this issue of one of the best ever published). You basically make a traditional filling of bacon, leeks, eggs and cream, and use puff pastry for the crust. The puff pastry is rolled out, cut into small circles that fit the wells of mini-muffin tins, filled with a tablespoon of filling and then frozen. You bake them frozen, and in 25 minutes you have a very festive looking appetizer, best of all, it was really delicious. We were so enthusiastic about it we're going to try it with different fillings (we love salmon-broccoli) and make sure we have a stash in the freezer with the holidays approaching and all.
For dessert, I made a classic crumb cake, also from a Fine Cooking magazine. I always find crumb cakes a little on the dry side, and wanted to put a layer of pureed apricot in between the cake and crumb part. I think apricot is the perfect tangy counterpart for cakes like this, but, I ran out! There wasn't an apricot left in the house (not even a can! the horror!), so I had to improvise and filled half with a seedless forest fruit jelly, and the other half with an apricot jam that didn't have any sugar added. The result was decent, but I know I would have *loved* it with apricots. Will make it again the *right* way (grin).
Then, I have this bake-a-thon coming up because two of my collegues and I are switching departments at work and there's a little 'goodbye' thing going on wednesday in our current department. So I've decided to bake heartshaped cookies, bag them in pretty cellophane bags and add a tag that says 'a heartfelt thank you'. I'm making chocolate dipped sugar cookies, heart shaped brownies (both are ready in the freezer), and heart shaped filled speculaas and almond filled cookies (see earlier post). I'm definately taking pictures of the whole project, so that report will follow sometime this week.
Then it will be time to think about the holidays, and my nephew's 10th birthday. It is my honor to make him treats to hand out at school every year, and it gets harder and harder to come up with something original. It must be some kind of cupcake with a nice decoration, but after the ones I've done I'm running out of ideas. If you have any, please don't be shy! For good measure, I'm adding a few of the treats I baked for earlier birthdays, so this entry won't go picture-less after all. First are jungle cupcakes:
Next up: snowmen cupcakes (sorry for the bad picture):
And reindeer cupcakes:
Last, a couple of birthday cakes for him:
And dragon cake: