A few weeks ago, as I was standing in the checkout line with my groceries, I spotted a special issue of Cook’s Illustrated in the magazine stands: Cook’s Illustrated Make-Ahead Desserts. I put it in my basket immediately, further thought not required. I eagerly poured through each page when I got back home, delighted by everything I saw, but there was one recipe in particular that captured my attention.
At the very end of last year, I decided to try being a vegetarian. I love going to restaurants, so one of the the things I was nervous about when I began this experiment was how I would be able to make that work after cutting out meat.
It’s been almost a year now, and I’ve learned a lot! Here are a few tips based on my experiences with this (as well as a few links to the Atlanta restaurants where I’ve tried out these techniques).
Despite the delay in posting this, I have not, in fact, forgotten about the cake project. I baked a second cake a couple of weeks ago, and cake #3 is just out of the oven.
My first practice cake of the “Conquering Cake” project was baked on Friday, and eaten over the course of the weekend.
While it went well over all, there were definitely some points that could be improved:
I have a confession to make: I’m not a very good baker. I just like baking.
I’m obsessed with the idea of making perfect macarons, but at this point, they’re still always a gamble for me. For example, I spent much of today making macarons for a party.
Macarons really should not take that long to make , but I’m still getting the hang of it. It was a new recipe for me, using an Italian meringue instead of French. The Italian meringue requires boiling sugar and water together and then adding that to the egg whites, and I had to throw away my first attempt entirely when the sugar turned into caramel. I think I will stick to French meringue in the future.
If you’ve never tried to make homemade truffles, it’s easy. It goes something like this:
You’ll need a 2:1 ratio of chocolate (preferably baking bars, not chips) and cream, as well as some cocoa powder, nuts, sprinkles, etc. to roll the truffles in.
During the spring and summer, my favorite breakfast is vanilla Greek yogurt with granola and fresh berries. However, as the weather cools, I start to switch to warmer breakfast foods like oatmeal. Fall has so many wonderful flavors: pumpkin and all sorts of squash, sweet potatoes, and, of course, apples.
As I may have mentioned before, I cohost a brunch devotional every other week with some friends. Among other things, it provides a great opportunity for trying new recipes.
I almost always try to bake something gluten free for these gatherings, since so many of my friends have gluten sensitivities, and this week, with some local apples on hand, I knew I wanted to make apple muffins.