Category: Bars

Salted Caramel Shortbread

I’ve been on something of an extended “vacation” post-Guatemala. Seriously. Guatemala spoiled me – just a little bit. I’ve been m.i.a. from the kitchen and temporarily preoccupied with other interests and endeavors (like this). I can’t help it! I have a tendency of becoming completely and irrevocably consumed in spurts by the things I love.
But that isn’t to say I’ve forgotten about you, loyal and lovely readers, whoever you are. This is still my first baby, after all. Continue reading

Happy Halloween!

Sure, you may be sick of the sticky sugar-loaded treats that have been absolutely unavoidable over the past month, but in an attempt to bake or create something classically Halloween-worthy, I ended up making a dessert that isn’t limited to October 31st. It is a dessert to make for the rest of the festive season. Or in my case, all year long. Unfortunately for me, I already envision my desperate cravings for these on many more occasions. Geez, thanks a  lot, Paula.

Speaking of Paula Deen, our infamous Food Network Southern charm, I can’t help but to feel slightly conflicted. I realize there is a fair amount of controversy as to whether her recipes elicit unabashedly rich and delicious comfort foods or, well, heart attacks on a plate. Whenever we catch her on the television, Pat and I are unintentionally absorbed and captivated by her charisma, twang, and of course, food. We usually find ourselves at a loss for words. Do people really make things like that? It looks so good, but so bad. I want to eat it. NOW. Oh-em-gee, butter + mayo + sour cream + cheese and more butter?!  I can’t bare to watch. Do you think she’s healthy? How on earth is she still alive?! How on earth are the people who make her food still alive?! One of us breaks the silence with such remarks or questions. Most times, we’re just silently appalled – absolutely shocked. Is this heavenly food or utter blasphemy? I find it amusing that despite being deeply flabbergasted, we both find her extremely endearing.  Seriously. What can I say, she is the doting Southern grandma we never (but wish we always) had.

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Decadent Desserts, Sweeter Surprises.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m feeling down or distraught, two things always cheer me up. First is sugar. I should mention that it can’t just be any kind of sugar. No, sir, an apple isn’t going to cut it here. It has to be some sort of devilishly-dense baked compound comprised of chocolate, butter, sugar, and God knows what else. Even if I can only take such heavy treats in (semi) minimal amounts, my face simply glows at the sight or more importantly, smell of it.

Second is surprises. I love unexpected acts of kindness – from thoughtful text messages to hand-written letters to lavish gifts,every once in a great while. Girls, you feel me? So you can imagine my giddy glee  in the presence of two very different yet equally delicious brownies and at the sight of….  (here’s a hint):

It’s not necessarily about the subject of the photo (or maybe it is with a little, or a lot, more to it), but can you tell what it is? (*giggle giggle  snort snort*) Continue reading

Berry Blueberry.

So, if you haven’t noticed, I can’t seem to stop with the fruits – evidently berries in particular. Call me fruity. I don’t know what it is exactly, the true source of motivation eludes me. However, I can’t seem to adequately explain the sense of joy and happiness I feel when it comes to baking. I honestly believe it has much to do with my amazement at my own success in following instructions and measurements exactly and completely. I’m certainly not one to stay within the lines.

I guess that it’s just a combination of the availability of all these terrific and delectable fruits and the sense of self-discipline I seem to temporarily have over my naturally unruly self. Well, whatever it is, it’s making my kitchen and home smell amazing and I don’t want that to stop. Continue reading

Please, With a Cherry on Top.

Well, I guess not just on top, but rather all over and with every bite. I’m a little bit of a compulsive shopper and it is especially evident when it comes to grocery shopping. It’s horrible, I’m always tempted by seasonal sales and specials and I always find ways to justify my purchases. These cherries, for instance, I felt unusually adamant about buying. Why? Because I was absolutely sure I could find a way to incorporate them significantly into my daily life someway, somehow. “I promise! I’ll make something good,” I pleaded as the BF looked at me with a fleeting twinge of annoyance before he (as expected) gave in to my puppy dog eyes and my somewhat comical ardor for gastronomy.

Let’s just say, I think I kept my word. Continue reading