Monday, April 30, 2012

Inspiration comes at an unexpected hour...

I've decided that I'm going to do something a little different with this baking blog of mine. Fear not, I will still be baking, taking tempting photos of my dishes, and sharing recipes...with a twist. Each recipe will be inspired by a favorite television show, film, or book (hey I read stuff that's not on the internet). I figure it'll be fun to stretch my imagination. My project for this week: Breaking Bad-inspired Derby Pie Tartlets. What is Derby Pie? What are tartlets? How can those things have any connection to Walter White and Jesse Pinkman? Stay tuned and all will be revealed...

<3 Always,

P.S. Yeah, I was trying to sound all mysterious/cliffhanger-y with that last sentence. If only I had a recording of Gustavo Fring saying it!

Don Draper loves to bake! *Swoons*

Now, I can't say Don Draper is a perfect man, but what I can say is that Jon Hamm's portrayal of him is pretty much perfection. Some friends and I were talking about how despite all the super bad stuff Don does, (i.e. cheating on his wife, lying, losing that temper of his and shouting at his employees), we still care about him. Why is that? Numerous reasons:

(1) He's a complex character. He's not just some jerk that got everything handed to him on a silver platter. He came from very humble means, had a tragic past, and worked his way to the top. Yes, he stole someone else's identity, but seriously, can you tell me that Dick Whitman sounds as pleasing to the ear as Don Draper? Also, he has an impeccable sense of fashion (hollaback Janie Bryant)!

(2) There are excellent writers working on Mad Men. These people are amazing and thus make Don more than just a depressed womanizer. Also, they get cool points for the larger social commentary the show serves to make.

(3) He's on AMC, which is now synonymous with pretty gangsta programming (Breaking Bad, anyone)?

(4) A former executive producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer now produces the show that made Jon Hamm famous, (that's totally beside the point, but take that Buffy haters)!

My point is, Jon Hamm brings something to Don Draper that no one else could and it's that special un-nameable something that keeps people coming back. This brings me to my fifth and final reason why Don is the deal:

(5) Don loves to bake, (or at least his 30 Rock twin loves to). You don't believe me? Then take a look at this clip I got from Eat Me Daily. Oh, Liz Lemon, I want to go to there, too.

Speaking of which, I really *do* need to catch up on Sterling Cooper Draper Price. Yikes! Say that three times fast!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe

So, I'm on a bit of a baking high this week and decided: CARPE DIEM, I will bake *two* things in one week! I live on the edge, don't I? What did I decide would appease my baking addiction? Simple: chocolate chip cookies. When I first started baking about two years ago, I was scared of cookies. Seriously...scared. I mean, it's such a simple dish, but sometimes "simple" can be "easy to mess up."

For a while, I avoided the scary realm of baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch until I happened upon this amazing recipe from this equally amazing website: Smitten Kitchen. If you don't already know about the Smitten Kitchen, this will be a lovely introduction. The recipe is linked below, (I cannot take any credit for Deb's brilliance). I added a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the recipe when I mixed the dry ingredients. I find that it kicks up the chocolate flavor, but if you're anti-cinnamon, just follow this recipe and you'll be good!

Again, no copyright infringement intended. This is all Deb Perelman and I wouldn't have it any other way! YAWP! You get five cool points if you get that reference by the by. Also, this batch is in honor of my spectacularly gifted, intelligent, beautiful friend: Saskia Warren. She just got accepted to graduate school at the University of Michigan and will be (and already has been) a fantastic John Keating-esque teacher! Congrats, ladybug! I had no doubts!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby Don't You Cry, Gonna Bake a Pie, Gonna Bake a Pie with a Heart in the Middle...

                                                             Chocolate Mousse Pie

So, I came across this fabulous website that has all the recipes for the pies in the movie WAITRESS:

If you haven't seen this movie and need a Keri Russell themed pick-me-up, I highly recommend it, (plus you'll understand the song reference above)! For the record, Jenna has cute names for all her creations and refers to this particular pastry as "Falling in Love Pie." No, I'm not in love, (unless you count being in love with a city, well, then I'm getting there). Anyways, this pie is super easy to make. Ready? Here's the recipe:

1 baking pastry shell (size: 9 in)
1 package of instant chocolate pudding mix (should serve 4)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (size: 14 oz)
2/3 cup water
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 cups whipping cream


Mix sweetened condensed milk, water, and chocolate pudding mix in saucepan until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate over medium heat and stir. After the chocolate has melted (and is sufficiently blended in), remove from heat and let cool. Stick this chocolate mixture in the fridge for about an hour. Then, remove from fridge and stir again. Fold the whipping cream in gradually. Next, get that pastry shell ready, (note: I baked the pastry shell for 7 minutes on 375 F, but some shells come ready to serve).

Either way, pour the chocolate mixture into the baked/non-baked pastry shell and chill for 4 hours, (mine actually took longer to set but that's just me...whipping cream and I have a testy relationship)! Happy baking and a Happy Early Birthday to my sweet friend, Lila! This pie's for you!

<3 Always,

P.S. Major props to my awesome roommate, who let me borrow her fancy camera to take this pic! Thanks, Diva Megan!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yes, I will start posting recipes, too...

So, I realized it's highly unfair to post these yummy treats with no hints at how to make them. So yes, recipes are coming very very soon!

<3 Always,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

These are *ahem* Jezebel Brownies...

                                     Looks filthy, but they're decadent: cookies, brownies, and Oreos!

The recipe is courtesy of The Londoner, where another awesome baking diva shares her recipes. It's basically cookie mix+brownie mix with Oreos in between. As Elmo from Sesame Street would say,  "these are a sometime food."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Drizzle. Happy Friday!

                         Recipe courtesy of Emily Robertson, a sweet close friend and vegan baker!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Well I finally gave in...

I decided to stop clogging everyone's newsfeed with tempting dessert photos! I figure this could be a fun creative outlet as I pound that L.A. pavement, so come here if you want to see pretty pictures of decadent desserts or just need a sweet break in your day! Have a lovely one and smile smile smile!

<3 Always (and Happy Baking),

Random Sweet Treats from the Past 2 years of Baking. Enjoy!

                                         Blueberry Cake, (actually has a very interesting name)!

                                         Breaking Bad Brownies: Guess the secret ingredient
                                         Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (Thanks Jenny Hulse)

                                                              Said cake post-oven

 Special Brownies, (no silly, they're special because they have cream cheese)!

                           Peanut Butter Cake: Chocolate Cake PB Frosting/Choc Glaze

                                         Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

                                                               Nutella Brownies

                                                   Blueberry Crumble Cake Bars

                                                             Wedding Cake Balls

Black Bottom Cupcakes 

Strawberry Cake pre-oven

Said cake post-oven

Blueberry Pie a la Martha Pre-Oven

Pie Topped-Off and post-oven

Root Beer Float Cupcake

Pecan Pie, made this with my cousin Shefaali

Pink Lady/True Grit Cake. Shef and I made this together, too

More to come!