OSI: Sihan of Befuddlement

berry-surprise-cake1

Time to take a peek into Sihan’s world this week! Sihan’s blog, Befuddlement is an awesome spot to go and catch some great ideas about baking, laughing and living. She says she’s only been baking for 3 years. Come on now Sihan! Your baked goods look like you’ve been doing this for years, and your photos make us drool. You’re good, real good!

For her recipe this week at TWD, Sihan chose Dorie’s Blueberry Crumb Cake. Everyone seems to love her choice. She wasn’t too crazy about the results, but it looks great to all of us here on the other side of the screen licking your photos! So, let’s all give Sihan some TWD love and check out her blog, Befuddlement!

blueberry-sourcream-icecream

1. When did you start baking?
If my memory serves me correctly, I probably started baking about 3 years ago, in my first year of college. Just some simple recipes here and there, cookies, mix and bake cakes and such. My brother had to beg my mum to get an oven for me cause I didn’t dare to make the request to her personally. Till this day, I am thankful to my bro for being part of my journey with baking.

2. What is your favorite kitchen tool?
my favourite kitchen tool.. hmph.. that’s a toughy. Probably my silicon spatula, I’m constanly yelling for it whenever its disappeared or gone into hiding in my bottomless drawer. haha.

chocolate-chocolate-cupcakes

3. Which TWD blog is your favorite?
now, I don’t mean to show any favourtism or anything, but my favourite TWD blog of all time goes out to Michelle’s Flourchild! She’s such a generous soul and that shows thru her honest and down-to-earth entries.

4. What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?
definitely Bill’s big carrot cake.. hmph.. oatmeal chocolate chip chunksters ( i was popping these till I had a major sore throat!) and the marshmallows.. wait.. did u say one?

chunky-peanut-butter-and-oatmeal-chocolate-chipster

5. What TWD recipe has been a dud for you?
*scratches head*. what’s a dud exactly?

6. Which recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?
dying? that would be an exaggeration. But if I had to pick one, it would be espresso cheesecake brownies. Has anyone chosen that yet? please do…

crust

7. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
Could I travel around the world instead? I mean if I had limitless funds then that wouldn’t be a problem. I’ve always had a dream of living life like a nomad.

8. If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what would you attempt?
I would try to conquer the world.. haha..joking. probably make a fortune and retire in a castle with my beloved boyfriend or perhaps set up my own bakery!

grandmas-all-occasion-sugar-cookie

9. If you could have a superpower, which one would it be, and why?
time control! i think its definitely a cool power to have to be able to stop time and whoop your enemie’s ass or even to make things happen the way you want them too. Though it can be catastrophic in certain aspects. haha.

10. If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?
I think it would be better if you said a day to myself and sans all the worries of the next day’s workload. If that is so, I would probably just go for a long run then visit a nice cafe to chill out with a cuppa cappuccino the rest of the afternoon while reading a fantastic novel. I’ve just finished Ruth Reichl’s ‘Garlic and Sapphires’; wonderful novel and definitely a recommended read for the rest of you TWD folks!

linzer-sables2
11. What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
This cold crab appetiser in China that had a sort of glassy transparent flesh. It was revolting… kind of tasted like a fishy jello though.

12. What kitchen tool would you purchase for yourself if money were no object?
defintely a cuisineart supreme ice cream maker and an espresso machine with coffee maker. I’ve always wanted both! *rawr*

macha-creme-brulee

13. Give us three adjectives to describe yourself.
Emotional, Crazy and Highly imaginative. My boy-friend can testify for these.

14. What spice do you use over and over again?
cinammon. Don’t think anyone else wants to hear me talk about its benefits again.

15. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a geologist. that’s obviously a no go in a country like mine, with everything man-made and hardly any natural rock structures worth studying. What a drag.

mango-marshmallows

Advertisements

OSI: Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction

french-yogurt-cake1

Let’s celebrate this Irish Tuesday by doing an up-close-and-personal interview with Liliana of  My Cookbook Addiction! Liliana lives in Quebec which is predominately French. However, it’s no secret that Liliana is all Italian living in a very French world! Combine the two, and you can only imagine the food that goes from the kitchen to the table in that house! You’ll see a lot of her heritage in her blog, which by the way not only focuses on amazing food, but beautiful photography as well!

Liliana chose the French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze for this weeks recipe. It looks so easy and delicious, you could almost lick the screen! And, what about the cookbook addiction Liliana? I think you need some serious therapy for that! Maybe another cookbook? So, let’s go give Liliana a shout out and help support her habit on My Cookbook Addiction!

strawberry-tart

1.  When did you start baking?
I wish I could say that I learned how to bake at my mother’s side but as much as my mother loves desserts, she is not a baker. I remember  baking my first cake using a cake mix when I was about 10 years old.

2.  What is your favorite kitchen tool?
My new red Kitchen Aid.

chocolate-chocolate-cupcake

3.  Which TWD blog is your favorite?
That’s a tough question to answer as there are so many wonderful and interesting TWD blogs.

4.  What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?
I loved the Madeleines.

madeines

5.  What TWD recipe has been a dud for you?
Chocolate eclairs.


6.  Which recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?
A Fig Cake for Fall

jam-cookies

7.  If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
Italy, of course.


8. If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what would you attempt?
I would open a cooking school offering cooking tours to Italy.

kugelhauf
9.  If you could have a superpower, which one would it be, and why?
I would like to have the power to heal. It breaks my heart to see people suffering.

10.  If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?
Watch the Foodnetwork all day. I would probably be knitting at the same time.

linzer-sables

11.  What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
Brains (yuk) – my mom prepared them like a frittata and tricked me into eating them.

12.  What kitchen tool would you purchase for yourself if money were no object?
A Wolf cook top and built in oven.

sugar-cookies

13.  Give us three adjectives to describe yourself.
loyal, talkative (or as some people would say – rambling) and sincere

14.  What spice do you use over and over again?
Cinnamon


15.  When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
It’s written in my high school year book that I probably would end up cooking pasta for a family of nine! What was I thinking? I am now cooking pasta for a family of four and am happy with that.  Secretly, I wanted to be a writer.

floating-islands

OSI: Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles

lemon-cup-custard

This Tuesday it’s time to focus on Bridget, author of the blog, The Way the Cookie Crumbles. If you haven’t had a chance to “check her out” yet, you need to do so, and soon! She’s been with TWD just about a year now, and has really made quite an impression on the Food Blogging world with her unbelievably crisp and detailed photos. In fact, she even has a whole post devoted to Food Photography Basics. She explains in detail, and shows in photos, exactly how to take perfect pictures. I couldn’t stop reading it. I love her photo shoot set-up and bookmarked her blog for later!

About this weeks Dorie selection…Bridget chose the Lemon Cup Custard on page 387. It looks lovely and silky smooth. Bridget says it was super easy, and no butter this time! Can’t wait to have a taste! So, go take a peek at Bridget’s blog and see if you don’t agree. Her food literally jumps out at you saying, “Eat Me!”

white-out-cake

1.  When did you start baking?
I started cooking (badly) when I was eight years old.  I don’t know when I started baking, but I remember ruining a batch of Peanut Butter Blossoms when I was in high school.

2.  What is your favorite kitchen tool?
I get excited every time I get to use my stand mixer.

cookies21

3.  Which TWD blog is your favorite?
I feel guilty about this, but I actually don’t read very many blogs.  I just don’t have time!  But I always enjoy Erin’s Dinner and Dessert, because we seem to have very similar taste in recipes.  Ezra Pound Cake is very clever, and Whisk: a food blog is full of creativity.


4.  What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?

Of course I can’t choose just one.  Some of my favorites include the Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake, Rugelach, French Chocolate Brownies (although I made these again recently and overcooked them), Sticky Buns, the Snickery Squares, and last week’s Chocolate Whiskey Cake.

rugelach

5.  What TWD recipe has been a dud for you?
The nature of TWD is that you aren’t always baking recipes that you would choose for yourself, which means that some may not be quite to your taste.  However, whether the outcome has wowed me or not, I’ve learned something from every single recipe I’ve made with this group.  (Yes, I copped out from answering the question negatively.)

6.  Which recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?

I gave the cookbook a good looking through when I was choosing my recipe, and there are so many recipes that look great!  I’m eager to try any of the brownies, the chocolate pots de creme, the split-level pudding, the cardamon spice cake, or any of the scones.

cream-brulee

7.  If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
It’s hard for me to choose just one.  There are a lot of places I’d like to live, especially if it’s only for a year.  Any country in western Europe would be fun.


8. If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what would you attempt?
All I really want is the career I’ve spent the last eight years working towards.  The closer I get to it, the more I realize how right it is for me.  I’m just waiting for the right opportunity now.

pie

9.  If you could have a superpower, which one would it be, and why?
Not sleeping, I think.  I never seem to have enough time in a day, and I hate being so tired toward the end of the evening.

10.  If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?
I’d eat all of my favorite foods, but not enough of any of them to make me feel too full.  I’d drink cappuccinos in the morning and wine in the evening.  I’d go for a walk, read some cookbooks and maybe some of a novel, and I’d bake, probably a cake.

the-way-the-cookie-crumbles

11.  What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
I try not to be picky, but I really haven’t eaten many strange foods.  Frog’s legs, raw oysters, and rabbit are some foods I’ve eaten that are a little off the beaten path.


12.  What kitchen tool would you purchase for yourself if money were no object?
I’d love a Kitchenaid Pro-600.  I love my Artisan, but sometimes I feel like it struggles too much with bread dough.  More practically, I really need a 3-4 quart saucepan, and I’ve had my eye on All-Clad’s for a few years.

sticky-buns

13.  Give us three adjectives to describe yourself.
Smart, perfectionist, engaged (not as in getting married, but more like interested in stuff)

14.  What spice do you use over and over again?
One of my favorite spices is nutmeg.  I love how it enhances both sweet and savory foods.

15.  When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
In high school, I remember telling my dad that I wanted to be a psychologist, but I didn’t want to be in college so long.  And then I went on to spend  ten years in college, eventually getting a PhD in geology.

cookies

OSI: Lyb of And then I do the dishes

lemon-cream1

I Love LyB’s bio! She starts out with the question, “Who does the dishes?” This is what she has to say for herself, “LyB from Lévis, Québec, Canada. I’m a full-time mom of three, with one too many hobbies and a very short attention span. Cooking and baking are my main things, but photography, knitting and drinking wine don’t come far behind!” My kinda gal!

LyB chose Chocolate Armagnac Cake – The Cake That Got Me Fired from Dorie’s collection. Good choice too, as I’ve seen plenty of happy bakers out there! So, go take a look at LyB’s blog, And then I do the dishes. See for yourself why she’s so popular. Her photography is absolutely gorgeous, and her style of writing pulls you right into her kitchen! Great job LyB! I want one of those Lemon Cream Tarts…now!

armagnaccake31

1.  When did you start baking?
The first time I remember baking something and being really proud of it was at University. I had some friends over for dinner and movies and I made Chocolate Turtle Cookie Squares (a recipe I got from TV Guide!) and they were a hit. I should post the recipe sometime…

2.  What is your favorite kitchen tool?
My KA stand mixer!

brownie-cake

3.  Which TWD blog is your favorite?
Boy, there are so many great bloggers in this group, it’s tough to pick a favorite. I really like Spork or Foon, Teanna is hilarious! I also like The Tortefeasor, and Brown Interior too. Oh, and I have to mention my three favorite French speaking bloggers, Isa of Les gourmandises d’Isa, Vibi of La casserole carrée and Julie of Mafouga.


4.  What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?

The Gooey Chocolate Cakes

cake-bites

5.  What TWD recipe has been a dud for you?
That has to be a tie between the Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler and the Caramel Crunch Bars.

6.  Which recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?
None! I love it when someone picks something that I wouldn’t necessarily have been drawn to myself. That’s what makes this group fun!

blueberry-ice-cream

7.  If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
That’s a tough one as I haven’t traveled much. I would love to visit my best friend for a while. She’s in the UK at the moment.

8. If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what would you attempt?
That’s another tough one, there are so many things I would love to try! Definitely something to do with photography.

butterscotch-pudding1
9.  If you could have a superpower, which one would it be, and why?
I wish I could freeze time or move really, really fast (anyone ever see the movie Clockstoppers? My kids love it!). Then I could do all the house work and still have time for some fun stuff!

10.  If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?
These days, it would probably be knitting.

world-peace-cookies

11.  What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
Honestly, I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food.


12.  What kitchen tool would you purchase for yourself if money were no object?
Can a dSLR be considered a kitchen tool? ;) Seriously though, I would get a set of MAC Knives.

creme-brulee
13.  Give us three adjectives to describe yourself.
Creative, indecisive, stubborn.

14.  What spice do you use over and over again?
Vanilla in sweets, smoked paprika in savory.

15.  When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An architect.

pb-chocolate-chip-cookies1

OSI: Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater

Today’s OSI is all about Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater.

Stephanie chose the Devil’s Food Whiteout Cake, much to the joy of us all.

Let’s find all about Stephanie.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


1.  When did you start baking?

I started baking out of a box when I was in high school. I didn’t really get into baking until I joined TWD and realized how much better homemade desserts were.

2.  What is your favorite kitchen tool?

My favorite kitchen tool is my hand mixer. I love that thing! It makes everything about baking quicker, easier, and more fun.

3.  Which TWD blog is your favorite?

There are too many great blogs to pick just one. Some of my favorites include Peabody’s, The Way The Cookie Crumbles, and A Whisk and a Spoon.

4.  What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?

The pecan sticky buns. They require a little bit of work and time but they are so worth it and so addictive.

5.  What TWD recipe has been a dud for you?

The cherry cobbler. It just didn’t do it for me. I liked the way everything tasted individually, but I didn’t like how it all tasted together.

6.  Which recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?

The Devil’s Food White Out Cake…but that’s my pick, so no more waiting!

7.  If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?

Italy. Italy is one of those places I have to visit before I die. Everything about the country fascinates and amazes me and I can imagine that living there for a year would be an incredible experience.

8. If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what would you attempt?

Parenthood. I want kids some day but I am terrified of all the responsibility associated with creating and raising another human being.

9.  If you could have a superpower, which one would it be, and why?

I would love to be able to tell the future. There is so much uncertainty in my life right now that I think I would give up baking for a year to know what the next 5 years of my life are going to look like. Ok I lie. I’d give up baking for a month.

10.  If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?

I would spend the day lying in bed with my dog watching Bond movies.

11.  What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?

Cow tripe (stomach parts). My mom used to make a soup called Mondongo and I never knew what the meat in it was. After I found out what it was, I couldn’t eat the soup anymore.

12.  What kitchen tool would you purchase for yourself if money were no object?

A pasta attachment. I would love a pasta maker attachment for my stand mixer.

13.  Give us three adjectives to describe yourself.

Passionate, stubborn, and impatient.

14.  What spice do you use over and over again?

Salt. I use it in everything I make.

15. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A whale trainer. I saw Free Willy as a little kid and thought it was the coolest job on the planet.

OSI: Whitney of What’s left on the Table

Today’s OSI is all about Whitney of What’s left on the table.

Whitney chose today’s Caramel Crunch Bars.

Perfect choice.   I had to hide them so I wouldn’t eat them all in one sitting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


1.  When did you start baking?

I remember getting a mini-baking set for Christmas one year.  It had mixes similar to easy-bake, although I used the real oven.

2.  What is your favorite kitchen tool?

I have a great deal of respect for all the TWD bakers who can do this without a stand mixer!

3.  Which TWD blog is your favorite?

Ezra Pound Cake is fabulously funny.  I’m in awe of many members’ photography skills — I am way more concerned with eating my finished product than taking pictures of it.  Finally, Madam Chow made my week once, by commenting that she thought my posts were funny.

4.  What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?

World Peace Cookies.  Chocolate and salt.  YUM!

5.  What TWD recipe has been a dud for you?

Cheddar Apple Scones.  I have one of those secret family recipes for scones, and this one couldn’t top it.

6.  Which recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?

I know we’ll get to them all, so I haven’t spent much time dwelling on this.  In fact, my recipe was picked by my kids.

7.  If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?

I’d be thrilled to spend a year in Japan.  It’s completely different in every way from my American life.

8. If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what would you attempt?

I’ve always dreamed of making an olympic team — maybe in the luge?

9.  If you could have a superpower, which one would it be, and why?



10.  If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?

I’d enjoy the silence.

11.  What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?

I ate whale in Japan last year, and I didn’t enjoy it.  I’ve also eaten Haggis and alligator chili.

12.  What kitchen tool would you purchase for yourself if money were no object?

Can I have a whole new kitchen?

13.  Give us three adjectives to describe yourself.
(chosen by my sister.)  surprising, competitive, adventuresome.
14.  What spice do you use over and over again?
Cinnamon.  By choice, I add it to many recipes.   My daughter has developed a habit of shaking some into any unattended dish on the counter.

15.  When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A lawyer or a journalist– I like to talk, a lot.

OSI: Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen

Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen is our OSI (Our Secret Ingredients) baker of the week. Mary Ann’s recipe of choice was the Berry Surprise Cake. Her Berry Surprise Cakes were colorful and utterly sumptuous looking. In addition to TWD, she’s also involved in Barefoot Bloggers, Craving Ellie in my Belly, Daring Bakers and she loves Cooking Light recipes! Anyone would be lucky to be an invited guest in her home!

Mary Ann has her share of awards and badges, proving just how popular she is with all her fellow bloggers. Speaking of which…take a look at the size of her blogroll! Very impressive! Strolling through Meet Me in the Kitchen’s gorgeous photos, you’ll most likely notice a cute little helper here and there. It makes you wonder who REALLY does all the cooking and baking in Mare’s kitchen!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

fresh-berry-tart

1.When did you start baking?
I was in the kitchen as a child mixing up concoctions and starting baking around 7 or 8

2. Do you have a favorite baking memory?
I remember making sugar cookies as a kid and trying to triple the recipe and having way too much for the mixer to handle. I also remember making cakes for my family member’s birthdays

3. Who is your TWD blog idol?
I have so many that I love to check. I just feel bad that I don’t get to all of them every week!

french-tart

4. What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?
French Pear Tart and Florida Pie

5. What recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?
Coconut Roasted-Pinapple Daquoise

6. What 2 questions would you ask Dorie if you ever met her?
What is your most memorable experience in the kitchen? and How do you do all that you do?

blueberry-pie

7. Share one food item that best describes the last year of your life. (example: “frozen pizza” because I did a 180-degree turn this year, or “cinnamon roll” because it had lots of twists and turns but overall was pretty sweet)
A multi-layer cake with lots of filling and frosting. Well- I love cake but I feel like the past year I have been able to enhance my life with different things and well- this really isn’t making sense. but maybe you can feel what I am saying?

8. What one item in the kitchen best describes you and your personality?
a timer- I am quick and organized. I know what I have to get done and I will get it done before the beep.

chocolate-pudding

9. What’s your favorite band or CD of all time?
Hmmm…… this one is tough. I saw Coldplay live a couple of months ago and that was phenomenal. Dave Matthews Band and Sarah McLachlan. I appreciate musicians that can actually sing and play instruments. Oh, and I recently fell in love with Griffin House. Check him out. He is amazing live.

10. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
Tartu, Estonia

brioche-raisin-snails

11. Complete the statement “I recommend…” (it can be a show, movie, book, restaurant, website, activity, etc.)
Movie- Bella, Waitress, Hotel Rwanda, Ben Hur, Beaches, About A Boy, Philadelphia, Books- The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, In the Defense of Food, The Omnivores Dilemma, Fast Food Nation, Peace Like a River, A Mighty Heart, The Audacity of Hope, Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West, Restaurants- Maggianos, Big City Bread in Athens, Georgia Scrubs Reruns— I could go on all day

12.If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what dream would you attempt?
Open a Bakery/Cafe

13. What super-power would you most like to have, and why?
Time Travel- There are so many places I want to go and things to see in the past,and future

fruit-galette

14. If you had 1 hour of free time, no distractions, what would you do?
Read, Bake or Run

15. What is the meal and dessert you would choose as your very last?
Red Lentils in some form, Kale Chips, Tofu, Quinoa, Can I just have a little of everything? this is too tough- oh and definitely watermelon

16. What is the “strangest” food you ever ate?
Blood sausage

hazelnut-cups1

17. What are three adjectives that describe you?
Organized, Determined, and Full of Love

18. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
The fact that when I set my mind to something I get it done

19. Have you ever met a famous person?
who? Griffin House- that was last weekend- you should check him out

lemon-tart

20. What’s your favorite spice?
CARDAMOM

21. Do you speak another language? (If yes, say something and translate)
Estonian, a little Spanish and even a littler Russian- Tere. Kudias Laheb?

22. Do you have any pets? (List what kind of pet, names etc)
not at the moment

peach-cake
23. Are you a ‘morning’ or ‘night’ person?
morning

24. What was the last book you read?
Tess of the Dubervilles

25. “2 Truths And a Lie” – Share 3 unique things about yourself and your life, 2 of them true, 1 false, and let the group guess which one isn’t true.
1. I am married to my older sister’s husband’s younger brother.
2. I don’t think College Football should use a playoff system
3. I wanted to be an author when I was a little girl

rugelach

OSI: Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake

Let’s meet Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake this week. Rebecca started blogging almost a year ago in March, 2008. Since then, Ezra Pound Cake has taken the Food Porn world by storm! Rebecca says, “I was head pastry chef at a German bakery in my hometown. Before that, I spent 10 years as a professional writer. Now, I use my master’s in English strictly to come up with badass blog names. I write Ezra Pound Cake to chronicle my life, share recipes and encourage people to cook real food.”

Rebecca also has a way with the camera. Her photos are amazingly detailed and deliciously beautiful. They’re so sharp and professionally styled, you could almost lick them off the screen! Rebecca chose the Savory Corn & Pepper Muffins for the January 13th recipe. These were awesome muffins full of flavor and color. Thanks so much for picking a great recipe! Let’s all show Rebecca some ooey, gooey TWD love by taking the time to get to know her blog, Ezra Pound Cake, a little better!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

1.When did you start baking?
I didn’t get serious about baking until I was an adult. The office where I worked had a monthly potluck, and one time I brought an Oreo cheesecake, and people went nuts. So, I kept baking and fell in love with it.

savory-corn-and-pepper-muffins

2. Do you have a favorite baking memory?
It’s so hard to choose! High-fiving Jeff in the elevator after we assembled my first wedding cake. Making the animals for the barnyard birthday cake. Once when I worked at a German bakery, an older man stopped at the kitchen door to watch me make apple strudel and talk about how he remembered his grandmother making it the same way. That was a great moment.

3. Who is your TWD blog idol?
That’s private, but I keep a picture of them in a frame on my nightstand.

4. What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?
The Pecan Honey Sticky Buns. No question.

pecan-honey-sticky-buns

5. What recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?
The Translucent Maple Tuiles. Mmmmmmm.

6. What 2 questions would you ask Dorie if you ever met her?
I would ask Dorie: 1.) What chef(s) would you most like to work with that you haven’t worked with yet, and 2.) What recipe or technique were you most proud of creating and/or mastering?

7. Share one food item that best describes the last year of your life. (example: “frozen pizza” because I did a 180-degree turn this year, or “cinnamon roll” because it had lots of twists and turns but overall was pretty sweet)
Last year was like Dorie’s Pecan Honey Sticky Buns–magically wonderful beyond all expectations.

almost-fudge-gateau

8. What one item in the kitchen best describes you and your personality?
My Carmen Miranda cookie jar. Cookie jars are so optimistic. Always ready for good things.

9. What’s your favorite band or CD of all time?
I love The White Stripes, Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings and Jamie Lidell, but the CD I’ve listened to most is Justin Timberlake’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds.” Just keepin’ it real.

10. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
I’d spend a year in Kauai and figure out how to make the Piña Kolaka muffins at Java Kai coffeehouse.

mixed-berry-cobbler

11. Complete the statement “I recommend…” (it can be a show, movie, book, restaurant, website, activity, etc.)
I recommend “Mad Men” and “Lost,” Hitchcock movies, Charley Harper illustrations, piñatas, fresh flowers, fireworks and making your mistakes faster. They’ll give you something to talk about.

12.If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what dream would you attempt?
I would force every newspaper that still carries “Peanuts” to run one last strip showing Charlie Brown finally kicking that football.

13. What super-power would you most like to have, and why?
Telepathy! When you’re designing a cake, sometimes people have a hard time communicating exactly what they want. It’d be nice to be able to tap into that. Or teleportation, because I can’t find my way out of a paper bag with a compass and a canteen. I’d take either.

chocolate-banded-ice-cream-torte

14. If you had 1 hour of free time, no distractions, what would you do?
Read my stack of magazines, cover to cover.

15. What is the meal and dessert you would choose as your very last?
I’d want one final, perfect dinner at Watermark and a wedge of chocolate cake in chocolate Sambuca sauce. A wedge the size of my head. That’s big.

16. What is the “strangest” food you ever ate?
Antelope. I was trying to impress Jeff, and it worked!

la-palette_s-strawberry-tart1

17. What are three adjectives that describe you?
1. Curious, 2. Optimistic, 3. Bootylicious

18. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
I have confidence that is disproportionate to my looks and my abilities. (Thank you, Tina Fey.)

19. Have you ever met a famous person? who?
Yes. I’ve met Oliver Stone, Jimmy Carter, George Bush, Shania Twain, Chris Isaak, and Nikki Giovanni.

extraordinary-french-lemon-cream-tart

20. What’s your favorite spice?
Old Spice.

21. Do you speak another language? (If yes, say something and translate)
Non (no).

22. Do you have any pets? (List what kind of pet, names etc)
When Jeff and I got married, he had a black cat named Henry and I had a French bulldog named Henry, so now we have two pets with the same name. They are the banes of each other’s existences.

marshmallows

23. Are you a ‘morning’ or ‘night’ person?
I’m a morning person.

24. What was the last book you read?
“The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook”

25. “2 Truths And a Lie” – Share 3 unique things about yourself and your life, 2 of them true, 1 false, and let the group guess which one isn’t true.
1. I’ve been banned for life from the Waffle House.
2. I was an “Extreme Home Makeover” volunteer.
3. I named a sandwich at the deli in my hometown.

caramel-peanut-topped-brownie-cake1

OSI: Anne of Anne Strawberry

This week we’re getting to meet Anne of Anne Strawberry. Anne’s blog is beautiful, and her photos are absolutely delicious. She’s a devoted and loyal Dorie-ite, participating in almost every weekly challenge. Anne has been with Tuesdays With Dorie since March.

She has numerous award badges adorning her sidebar. But, there’s one thing that Anne is known for. All you have to do is open her blog, and the juiciest and ripest red strawberries jump out at you on her home page! Anne loves strawberries so much, that she named her blog, Anne Strawberry!

Anne’s recipe of choice was the amazing  Tall & Creamy Cheesecake, and it came just in time for the holidays! Everyone agreed that it was a big hit. Thanks Anne! Let’s all take some time this week to peek at Anne Strawberry’s blog and see if you don’t drool too! Oh, and Anne? Never “Forget Paris”! What a cute couple!

ben-anne-in-paris

1.When did you start baking?
I remember baking cookies with my mom when I was probably seven or eight. She always tried to include us in meal prep to help teach my brother and I “important life skills”. I still love to cook with her.

2. Do you have a favorite baking memory?
My best friend lived with me one year in high school and we made a lot of late night batches of cookies (emotional baking starts young, I guess?!) I love cooking with friends.

3. Who is your TWD blog idol?
Peabody! :) Her choice was the first I made when I joined TWD and I stop by all the time now.

strawberry-tarts

4. What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?
Brioche Raisin Snails, Dimply Plum Cake, French Almond Tart, and the Strawberry Tart of course!

5. What recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?
The cover cake- I’m glad it was chosen finally!

6. What 2 questions would you ask Dorie if you ever met her?
What is your favorite kind of cookie? What’s your very favorite thing to bake?

black-white-banana-loaf

7. Share one food item that best describes the last year of your life. (example: “frozen pizza” because I did a 180-degree turn this year, or “cinnamon roll” because it had lots of twists and turns but overall was pretty sweet)
Maybe a complicated layer cake- lots of prep, steps, and time, and a great result. (My husband took and passed the bar, we looked for houses, bought one, remodeled it, and are finally in it and living the life!)

8. What one item in the kitchen best describes you and your personality?
My French Chef Knife- It’s sharp, multitasking, and efficient.

brioche-toffee-snails

9. What’s your favorite band or CD of all time?
U2, the Joshua Tree. I also love anything by Coldplay.

10. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
Paris! I studied abroad there one summer in college and went back briefly last fall on a layover. I’d love to experience all the seasons and really feel like a resident of that beautiful city again.

11. Complete the statement “I recommend…” (it can be a show, movie, book, restaurant, website, activity, etc.)
Weekly date night.

dimply-peach-cake

12.If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what dream would you attempt?
I’d love to be a pediatric nurse practitioner. I love staying home with my little guy, and hope to go back to school again after he’s a older.

13. What super-power would you most like to have, and why?
I’ve always wanted to fly. I dream about that often and think most people do!

14. If you had 1 hour of free time, no distractions, what would you do?
Go shopping without a stroller!

french-almond-tart

15. What is the meal and dessert you would choose as your very last?
Lasagna has been my favorite food since I was little- I used to have that for my birthday every year and we would put matches in it for the candles since I’ve never loved cake. I’d need some strawberries on the side, as well!

16. What is the “strangest” food you ever ate?
Escargot.

17. What are three adjectives that describe you?
My husband reports, “Mischievous, talented, generous.” He’s the same.

brownie-buttons

18. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
I’m good with kids.

19. Have you ever met a famous person? who?
Before the new security regulations, when I was about 15, I was having a hard time loading an enormous bag in an overhead compartment on a plane and a nice guy came and put his arms around me and hefted it up. It was Steve Young! Ironically enough, my mom has met him too at Sports Authority. My Dad has met tons of famous people, though- Muhammad Ali, Hugh Downs, Raja Bell, Amare Stoudemire, Michelle Pfieffer, and more (even Mr. Porsche- yep, from the car company!).

20. What’s your favorite spice?
Cinnamon. I love black pepper, too.

pecan-honey-sticky-buns1

21. Do you speak another language? (If yes, say something and translate)
I took a few years of French, but I only remember a little now! The most French I use now is to tell my husband “Je t’aime!”

22. Do you have any pets? (List what kind of pet, names etc)
I have one dog named Sam. He’s a schoodle- schnauzer poodle and the best floor sweeper while I’m cooking!

sam-waits-by-the-chocolate1

23. Are you a ‘morning’ or ‘night’ person?
Either, as long as I get into a routine and grab enough sleep (but with a little guy, I’m a morning person now!)

24. What was the last book you read?
Pride and Prejudice. For some reason I’d never read it- I thought it was so long and never got to it. It was wonderful and I can’t wait to read Emma now!

strawberry-tart

25. “2 Truths And a Lie” – Share 3 unique things about yourself and your
life, 2 of them true, 1 false, and let the group guess which one isn’t true.
1. I won a “Tall” scholarship in high school.
2. I love Chinese food.
3. I love cars and have driven almost every kind- Porsche, BMW, Bentley, Audi, Ferrari, Jaguar, you name it.

OSI: Donna of Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases

For those of you that are new to TWD, OSI means “Our Secret Ingredients”. In the beginning, TWD members voted on their favorite bakers of the week. Some weeks, it was way too hard to choose the blog with the most unique, the best, favorite, or worst blunders that TWD bakers could produce. After many weeks, it was decided that it would make more sense to shine the biggest spotlight on the baker that hosted that weeks recipe. And viola, OSI was conceived! Now, all TWD members will eventually get their 15 minutes of fame in the spotlight!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Who would have thought that I (Donna) would be hosting my own dessert of the week? Confused? It was my turn to pick the recipe in December, but we got behind with the holidays that month. Tanya and I took over the OSI duties last week, and then I realized it was my turn to do the famous TWD meme.  So, here I am posting my own post! Tacky? You betcha! Just make believe it’s not me hosting myself!

Donna from Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases chose Real Butterscotch Pudding for December 23rd. She decided to make it extra special for the holidays with a Butterscotch Cream Pie instead of an ordinary bowl of pudding! Enjoy! She sure did!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

real-butterscotch-pudding

1.When did you start baking?
I started baking when I was around 6 with my Grandma. She loved to cook and bake and always had a house full of people to feed. I still have her battered and splattered recipe journal.

2. Do you have a favorite baking memory?
Three day baking marathons when we owned a bakery. No sleep, too much sugar and very slap-happy. We’d laugh until we, well, you know!

3. Who is your TWD blog idol?
Has to be CB. She never fails to make me laugh!
Another good friend I’ve made through TWD is Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction. We finally met a few weeks ago after writing to each other for many months. Seems like we’ve known each other forever!

key-lime-pie

4. What has been your favorite TWD recipe so far?
That’s a tough choice! If I had to pick one, it has to be the Florida Pie. That was the most delicious Key Lime Pie I’ve ever had! The Peanut Butter Torte would be my next all-time favorite!

5. What recipe are you dying to make that no one has picked yet?
Actually, it was quite a challenge to decide between this weeks Real Butterscotch Pudding and Dorie’s Bourbon Bread Pudding. I sent Laurie the Bread Pudding choice first and the next day I changed my mind. So, yeah, definitely the Bourbon Bread Pudding.

6. What 2 questions would you ask Dorie if you ever met her?
How do you stay so slim after taste-testing all your recipes.
Do the food stylists, bakers, photographers follow the same recipe that we do, or is it a double recipe for the photo shoot, because there never seems to be enough frosting?

peanut-butter torte

7. Share one food item that best describes the last year of your life. (example: “frozen pizza” because I did a 180-degree turn this year, or “cinnamon roll” because it had lots of twists and turns but overall was pretty sweet)
Penuche Fudge with Toasted Pecans…Sweet, but a bit nutty and a LOT toasted!

8. What one item in the kitchen best describes you and your personality?
My 9 speed Cuisinart hand-held mixer. Shiny Chrome finish with a powerful motor that gets things done.

9. What’s your favorite band or CD of all time?
Can I pick three? Eric Clapton, Chris Isaak and Don Henley.

mixed berry-cobbler

10. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
On my sailboat, swaying on an anchor down in the Caribbean Islands somewhere. Oh, and I have to have someone serve me cute little drinks with umbrellas in them anytime I want. If I can’t have the umbrellas, the deal’s off. Now that I think of it, anywhere warm would be nice!

11. Complete the statement “I recommend…” (it can be a show, movie, book, restaurant, website, activity, etc.)
Snorkeling in Maui

12.If you knew could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what dream would you attempt?
Well, we already tried the sailing-into-the-sunset thing and ended up in tropical Rhode Island. So, if money were no object, I’d want my own award winning vineyard in California with an endless supply of dark, red and spicy Zinfandel.

quintuple-chocolate-brownies

13. What super-power would you most like to have, and why?
To go back in time and change my future. If I knew then, what I know now…..

14. If you had 1 hour of free time, no distractions, what would you do?
Take a nap, write an article or sit in the cockpit with a glass of wine in my hand. Oh, wait! I do that now!

15. What is the meal and dessert you would choose as your very last?
The largest Sushi platter there is, and a NY Style Strawberry Cheesecake with a Graham Cracker Crust – the whole thing. Hey, it’s my last meal. Who’s gonna deny me a whole cheesecake?

fresh-fruit-galette

16. What is the “strangest” food you ever ate?
Eel

17. What are three adjectives that describe you?
Driven, Opportunist, Obsessive

18. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
I never follow the rules! See questions 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 14, 20.

chocolate-cream-pie

19. Have you ever met a famous person? who?
Chris Isaak

20. What’s your favorite spice?
#1 Cilantro #2 Cumin

21. Do you speak another language? (If yes, say something and translate)
Get your feet off the furniture! (Get your feet off the furniture!)

aborio-rice-pudding

22. Do you have any pets? (List what kind of pet, names etc)
I have a 14 year old German Shepherd that we left with our son when we sailed away. She doesn’t like water, and she was too big for the boat. But, she’s still my puppy.

23. Are you a ‘morning’ or ‘night’ person?
I’ve never been a morning person, even when I had to get up early. Now, I’m lucky to get to bed by 3:00am! Would that make me a morning person?

24. What was the last book you read?
Dove by Robin Lee Graham. A book about sailing around the world.

brown-sugar-shortbread-cookies
25. “2 Truths And a Lie” – Share 3 unique things about yourself and your life, 2 of them true, 1 false, and let the group guess which one isn’t true.
I had two motorcycles and a truck when I was 17.
I started dating my husband when I was 14.
I played the flute in school.