Strawberry Cake

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 I went to a painting and drinking party at my friend’s church the other night. Below is my masterpiece. 

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I know what you’re thinking, “My goodness, she’s talented!”. Couple of things to notice before we get on with the baking. First of all, that sick looking seaweed in the bottom right corner is an olive branch. Yeah… poor thing. Secondly, the birds at the top are flying upside down. They’re supposed to look like M’s not W’s. Finally, that stick figure lady at the bottom is my self portrait. I call this piece “Giving Up”. Let’s make strawberry cake! Continue reading →

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Chocolate Fleur De Sel Caramel Tart

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Since I began this blog in April of 2014 I have learned so much about baking. I’ve also learned a lot about my taste preferences, and my taste buds scream for caramel, chocolate and salt. Gesine Bullock-Prado’s Chocolate fleur de sel caramel tart from Pie It Forward checks off all of my flavor cravings. The chocolate crust is crunchy in texture with a lovely mocha flavor. The filling has a salty and deep caramel taste which is softened by vanilla. The piece de resistance, however, are the chocolate truffles. They are soft in texture and big in chocolate flavor–a perfect last bite to a perfect tart. Well… almost perfect. I made this tart 3 times and each time it didn’t hold up well after being cut into. This yummy caramel filling oozed off of the crust and  onto my plate every dang time. Sure, I licked it clean and yes it was completely delicious, but it did not make for a pretty photo. Where did I go wrong? How can I make the filling more stable? Still, chocolate fleur de sel caramel tart is going in my favorites folder. And in my failures folder. Gotta keep it real. Continue reading →

Chocolate Truffles

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I’m a terrible mother. I’ve been neglecting my third child (Project Pastry Love). It was her 2nd birthday on the 12th of April and I didn’t even acknowledge it. No cringe-worthy singing of the Happy Birthday song. No gifts to open. No cake, for goodness sake! And I love cake–to bake and eat it too! In my defense, I’ve had a lot going on with my 2nd child, Wesley. He has been delayed in speaking for quite a while now, and we’ve been working with many doctors to figure out what might be going on. Some good news has come our way, however. We found out that Wesley has been accepted into a language-enriched preschool. Yippee! Hopefully, he’ll start speaking clearly, become very articulate, go to a pricey college on a full scholarship, study all languages, and become a world renowned professor of linguistics. Now, I just need to get Project Pastry Love to start talking to me again and then I’ll be good to go. Maybe these chocolate truffles (lemon white chocolate macadamia nut and bittersweet) will do the trick. Continue reading →

Milk Chocolate Strawberry Jams

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My husband gave me the greatest gift ever. He took our two boys to New York City for an overnight adventure. They left at 9:30 A.M. and did not return for another 24 hours. I think they planned to go to the Bronx Zoo, and out to eat, and… well, the point is I didn’t care what they were going to do. That morning I had the biggest smile on my face while I was getting them all ready. It wasn’t until Cameron started to cry when he said good-bye to me that I felt a pang of guilt. The smallest pang. I just couldn’t wait to be alone! I couldn’t wait to clean up my house, and bake without distraction, and drink an entire cup of coffee without ever having to reheat it, and take a glorious nap. It was a dream day that ended with a fabulous girls’ night at my friend Tallie’s place. By the time my boys came home I was ready to reclaim my family. I woke up missing them. I couldn’t wait to hear Cameron say, “Mom, do you know something…” and then tell me about something I probably knew already. And I couldn’t wait for Wesley to grab on to my leg tightly and kiss my knee. I couldn’t wait to be with them again. I happily took them to the park to play “lion catchers: we catch escape zoo lions”. After about 30 minutes of this I couldn’t wait to be alone again. Motherhood. It messes with you. Continue reading →