Sunday, February 28, 2010

snapshot sunday : one of these things is not like the other

snapshot sunday, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

snapshot sunday, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

snapshot sunday, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

snapshot sunday, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

snapshot sunday, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

I know I've been pretty absent, particularly over the last two weeks. I spent a good amount of time out of town towards the end of February and all that traveling around seemed to kick my immune systems butt. For the last seven days I've fallen victim to one very serious cold flu. The combination hasn't made blogging a breeze. I'll be back in full force in March. The weather has begun to change, spring has sprung early, the air is sweet & warm and that always inspires me. The sun streaming through the kitchen windows keeps me planted in front of the oven! See you soon!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spread a Little Love.

This post is aimed more at sending a little Valentines love your way than sharing a recipe. Truth be told, this silly little dessert was quite the disaster. . . . .

You see, it all started out very promising. . . .

Cute even, no?

Maybe even a tad inspired?

Oh yes, it was all fine up until the Jello. I don't eat Jello. I don't make Jello. In fact, the last time I likely sat down with a bowl full of Jello in front of me was probably sometime in the early 90's. My grandmother, on incredibly rare occasion, perhaps when the hot summer heat got to her most, would stir up a batch of raspberry Jello to keep as a cold treat in the refrigerator. I don't really have anything against Jello, or at least I didn't, it's just not something that inspires me much. Yet for some quirky reason I decided I wanted to make a retro inspired dessert for a Valentines post here on the blog. Perhaps it was a little Grandma influence. The morning I made these I also cut pink blossom branches out of the yard, placed them in a giant vase, and hung tiny red paper hearts about it's boughs on my kitchen table. Something my grandmother did every valentines day.

I was actually loving (unsure of how these might taste, but excited by how they looked) whipping these bites up. The little strawberry hearts? Swoon. Cream cheese filling. . . well, it doesn't get much better than that in my book. Oh, unless of course you're piping it on top of chocolate crumb crust. I was even basking in the smell, somewhat floral, of the raspberry jello as I stirred into a frenzy with my large wooden spoon. I was so pleased with myself as I began pouring the jello over the prepared, piped bites in my mini cheesecake pan. I should have known. Don't get excited until you are through with your project, because until you've completely finished, there is still room for error. Before I even realized what was happening my toes felt a bit wet. Oh yes. Out from beneath the drop bottom of the mini cheesecake pan the Jello began seeping, at lightening speed, like some sort of red sea. Red dye all over (and when I say all over, I mean it, all over) the counter, the floor, and my feet. Because I'd used a giant star tip which had not created enough of a filling barrier, and for whatever reason the crust didn't act enough like a barrier, there I was, in a great big giant red watery mess, shocked, sad, and a little peeved. My dessert, which had minutes before rendered me giddy like a child was now my worst nightmare. And incredibly sticky. Somehow I managed with the blade of a butter knife to fix enough of the edges, and re-pour the leftover Jello back into the moulds that half of the pan came out looking okay. But, only okay. They aren't the magnificently adorable treats i was hoping for. Low and behold, Jello is also a trickster to photograph. It's quite reflective you know. Making it an utterly horrid shiny surface for my little lens to capture. All in all it was an adventure. If I want to be cheesey here, I could say that love is also a bit of an adventure. Sometimes it makes you giddy, sometimes it makes you sad, and sometimes is can be messy.

Valentines Cheesecake Jello Bites, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

All in all it was an adventure. If I may be cheesey here for a moment I could say that love is also a bit of an adventure. Sometimes it makes you giddy, sometimes it makes you sad, and sometimes is can be messy, but, in the end, it's always worth it. A lot like these silly little Jello bites.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Big Love : Dried Cranberry Lemon Muffins

A lovely little (or in my case, gi-nor-mous) treat to bake up Valentines morning. They weren't the perfect muffin, but they're easy and well worth the short amount of time it takes to whip them up. The good: moist, a bit dense (see the bad too), flavorful, pretty darn delicious when piping hot and schmeared with brown sugar butter. The bad: way too dense the next morning (only really good the day they're made), tastes too strongly of baking powder to my tastebuds, isn't a cupcake (yes, that's a bad, I see muffin and my mind wants sweet fluffy cake). Although, I imagine your lov-ah and your stomach would be thankful for such a lovely morning treat.

Big Love : Dried Cranberry Lemon Muffins, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

Dried Cranberry Lemon Muffins


1/3 cup lemon juice (should be about the juice from one large lemon)
zest from the lemon (before you juice it, set aside in medium sized mixing bowl)
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
splash of vanilla extract (you can omit if you like, I just love the hint of vanilla)
1 3/4 cup ap flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of sea salt or other coarse salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F

1. Place all wet ingredients (lemon juice through egg/vanilla) in a large mixing bowl and whisk until incorporated.
2. Sift flour and baking powder over bowl with lemon zest. Add salt and fluff with a fork so that zest is well coated in flour mixture.
3. Pour wet into dry and mix just until ingredients come together. Be sure not to overmix. Throw in cranberries and mix until they evenly littered throughout the dough.
4. Using an ice cream scoop fill normal, small, or giant sized cupcake/muffin tin 2/3 full.
5. Bake 12-15 minutes for minis 18-22 for normal and 25-28 for ginormous sized muffins.
6. Eat, eat, eat and enjoy!!

Be sure to eat them hot out of the oven, that's truly when they're at the peak of perfection.