Monday, February 15, 2010

I've Been Baking

A couple weeks ago, I made these delicious oreo truffles, courtesy of Bakerella. Can you guess the occasion? Yes, they were a hit at the Super Bowl party I attended with friends. (See recipe here.)

Then I made this. It's a chocolate cake from a box (which I usually oppose), and frosting made from shortening (yuck), but I made it for a cake decorating class I'm taking with my friend Shanel. When I first showed up with my unfrosted cake, my fellow students remarked what a cute guitar I had.

After completing the decoration, I think it's a recognizable, although not symmetrical, violin.

Yesterday, my fabulous mother in law made Julia Child's boeuf borguignon for our family Valentine's Day dinner. Wow! I'm still dreaming about it; it was so tasty. This difficult dish filled the house with the aroma of wine and sauteed mushrooms. We ate it over mashed potatoes, paired with a sweet salad with candied pecans and feta, and rolls with homemade raspberry jam. And then... this.

She made this four layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate ganache, which she let me drizzle over the top and sides. I may or may not have eaten a couple spoonfuls when no one was looking.

Peace, Love & Chocolate

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Breakfast + Lunch= Best Dinner Idea

Who doesn't love brunch?

At least, that's what was on the mind of our hostess, Brooke, last month as she enlisted our help in creating a yummy brunch-for-dinner menu; and I couldn't agree more. I'm a sucker for all kinds of breakfast foods. I (Brit) am posting about our latest get-together because just one week ago Brooke gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. So we're going to give our most recent hostess a break from blogging to let her enjoy these precious days with her new arrival.

Last month's brunch was full of delicious treats.

Meili brought some food pairings that I never would have thought to try together. Brie and pears teamed up nicely, and the prosciutto and cantaloupe were surprisingly complementary.

I loved the Apleskivers that Tess brought (mostly I loved the pan that she cooked them in).

The piece de resistance, for me at least, was Brooke's quiche. Full of bacon AND ham, it delighted every carnivore there. (I love bacon. I mean, love it. It's kind of an obsession...)

We washed everything down with some of Nikki's Orange Julius.

And ended the evening with my brownies in a crock pot; it's true! It really worked. (ok, the edges were burnt, but the scoops of the chocolatey goodness from the middle of the crock were amazing!)

It was a weird night, though, because Meili left early with the flu (thankfully not passing it on to any of us!) and Smash couldn't make it (hey, the girl's planning a wedding in 17 days!). We missed them! True we had a good time and had plenty of conversation, laughs and good food (well, more of it for those of us there, now that I think about it) but what I found that night is that nothing can replace a good friend's presence. Yes Meili sent her awesome food, but eating it without her just made us miss her more! We wanted to hear about where she'd come up with these ideas, and whether or not she liked the food pairings. And of course Smash's priority was to get things put together for the wedding, but no evening with Babes a la Mode is complete without her wry, blunt sense of humor.

Just as a great dish has many ingredients that may or may not have anything in common, but still come together to complement each other to make it delicious, so it is with friendships. The individual ingredients may be tasty on their own, but it's when they spend time together, blending those things which make them unique with the others around them, that the most delicious of dishes can be created. I'm looking forward to our next casserole.

Bon Appetit