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Easy Night In

Sometimes I get tired. Ok, so I work from home and I have nothing to complain about. But sometimes I get tired of the constant grind of working, cooking, cleaning, repeat. So when my husband, yes my husband, taught me this easy dish, it became a key tool in the tool kit.

So tonight we are using some amazing ingredients from Trader Joe’s to make an exceptional 20 minute puff pastry pizza.

Thanks to their monthly Fearless Flyer issue, I found this AMAZING fresh Burrata at Trader Joe’s. It’s a type of fresh mozzarella that has a surprise! creamy filling. It’s delicious. If only I had some fresh truffle to shave on top of it with a bit of olive oil and I would eat it by itself.

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Afternoon Tea and Scones

After living in London for six months, I finally appreciate scones. Not the dry crumbly triangles that americans pass for scones. But real scones. Which are actually more like biscuits. Not the english kind. The american kind. Let me start over.

The staple of a proper afternoon tea is a good scone with fresh clotted cream and jam. It’s always the simple things that get overlooked and underrated. But when I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade clotted cream, the craving came to me. And when I gave my Irish husband the pick of my next culinary experiment, he was instantly drawn to the scones. A match made in heaven.

All credit goes to the view from the great island and fifteen spatulas for the recipes but here are anecdotes from my experience.

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Thousand Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie? The problem is there’s not just one kind of chocolate chip cookies. There aren’t even three kinds of chocolate chip cookies. There are probably thousands of different kinds that can range from chewy to crispy to salty to sweet. Some are nutty, some gooey, some cakey, some doughy, and the list goes on. The trouble is finding the right one.

I have tried several chocolate chip cookie recipes. One of the favorites I constantly go back to is David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Another one that I have had some success with is this Smitten Kitchen recipe. The point is that there are many and today I chose to attempt an extremely involved recipe. This particular recipe was from Butter and Brioche, a blog that I admire greatly both for the recipes and the beautiful styling of the photos.

The result was a crispy, thin, chocolately, and salty cookie. This cookie was on the rich side due to the heavy serving of both bittersweet and milk chocolate chunks. But as long as you have a big, cold, glass of milk, it hits the spot. I can also say that I have never before put an egg wash on a chocolate chip cookie, but it totally works in creating a crispy glaze over the top of the cookie. You can find this recipe here, but see below for my results.

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Hostess in training Valentine’s Day Edition

With the house coming around the corner, it’s really time to brush up on those hostess skills. And what better challenge than an adorable Valentine’s dessert? And what better adorable Valentine’s dessert than a red velvet cupcake?

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Red velvet is a craze. It’s a trend. It’s hip. But most of us don’t care about that. Most of us just care that it tastes delicious. Or many of us just consider it a cream cheese frosting delivery system. But these scrumptious cream cheese frosting shovels are not so easy. It’s a science really. It’s literally exactly like a volcano science experiment where you mix in some baking soda with vinegar. Supposedly to make the batter airier and fluffier. If you believe in things like that. science.

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Hostess in Training 1.6.2016

This week I made one of my husband’s favorite desserts, miniature clementine cakes. I got the whole idea of baking these the first time from the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. From Kristin Wiig singing “Space Oddity” to Ben Stiller outrunning a volcano, the movie is so surreal and yet so believable at the same time that it really makes you think about how amazing life is. I would like to think we live in a world where those things could happen, a world where clementine cake could win the good graces of an Afghan Warlord.

Which is why I bake this cake. I took the recipe straight from the blog The Woks of Life except I substitute Pamela’s gluten free pancake mix for the flour. The only reason I started doing this was because at the time, my husband was trying to isolate an allergy and we started cutting out gluten. They were so delicious that I just always make them this way. And I tend to keep Pamela’s pancake mix in the pantry because it is just really good.

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The second element of today’s training was to try out a new technique of food photography that was inspired by A Brown Table. It was just so unique and such a huge departure from the normal bright, nearly over-exposed photos that are normally associated with baking. What do you think?

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