Sunday, July 26, 2009

SMS: Strawberry Grapefruit Preserves

Well, this week's recipe for Sweet Melissa Sundays just made me so happy to have started this group. I must admit, sometimes life gets way to hectic and I do get a tad stressed about finding time to keep up with my baking blogging groups. But it is soooo worth it, and this week's recipe of Strawberry Grapefruit Preserves chosen by the marvelous Margot of Effort to Deliciousness is the perfect example. This is my first full-fledged preserve experience and it won't be my last. This was simple to make, made the house smell delicious and was out of this world. I swear, the best darn preserves I have tasted (I may be a tad biased, I'll admit). It is just the right amount of sweet and tart - and relies upon apples for the pectin so no artificial geletin (my Jewish grandparents - may they rest in peace - would be pleased). I HIGHLY recommend making this - and if you don't and you happen to see me around christmas time, well, then you may just be getting your own jar!

You can get the recipe HERE and check out how all the other talented SMS bakers fared and paired this weeks recipe.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Cake Slice: Marbled Blueberry Lemon Butter Cake

So ... I managed to make this month's tripple layer cake for the Cake Slice group on-time this month and will have also posted on time- whoo hooo! This month's selection was Marbled Blueberry Lemon Cake which called for homemake blueberry preserves. It was fun to make - and a real crowd pleaser. And boy did we have a crowd. We headed back to the Delta to Mr. and Mr. Anderson's house for some more water play and great food. They loved the Pina Colada cake so I wanted to bring them something they would equally enjoy. Luckily, OE (their son) told me Mr. A loves blueberries - so this cake worked out perfectly. I was a hit and as you can see I barely got a chance to take a photo of a slice before it was all gone.

So, if you want to make this delicious cake, you should buy the awesome Sky High book, or you can check out a Printable Recipe graciously posted by marvelous Monica of Lick the Bowl Good

I also did a little holiday baking for the weekend. Since I had missed out on making decorated sugar cookies for both Valentine's day and Easter, I was determined to make some for 4th of July. So determined, that I stayed up until 3:00 AM to make these cookies (there were more, but my fatigue prevented me from taking a lot of photos) and more!

I also made more babka after LOVING the ones I made with my dear friend Elyse of Elyse's Confectionary Creations who I am probably not the only one who misses her dearly. This photo is actually one of the ones we made together - no photos of the two loaves I made for the 4th (it was late) but these ones were equally as good - delicious. I highly recommend you checking our Elyse's (our - I never got around to posting, boo) post on this delicious dessert challah .

And, finally, I also brought some of the Baked Monster Cookies I had made before. Why so much you ask? Well, we were invading the Anderson's with quite a crew - 13 of us to be exact - so I wanted to come with plenty of sweets for this motley crew. And every last crumb was eaten! That's always a baker's true delight.

And.... it was a special occasion (in addition to the federal holiday). It was my dear hubby's 31st birthday. And a very special friend from work gave me this FANTASTIC, AMAZING, 3 liter bottle of Ravenswood Zinfandel (hubby's fav) to celebrate the occasion. Thanks SO VERY much Rollin.

As you can see, hubby was quite pleased with his gift - as were the rest of us who shared in the many glasses this beloved vessel bestowed upon us this happy 4th of July.

The next morning, we had a nice birthday brunch at the waterside Rusty Porthole, which is "known" in the hood for its biscuits and gravy (picture below). It was a great start to our next adventure - we drove up to Klammath CA later that day for a 2 day white water rafting trip. Thanks again Mr. and Mrs. A and OE for the FABULOUS time on the island.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

SMS: Whole Orange Poppyseed Cake

Man o man, it's been a long time since I have had the time to pay attention to this blog of mine. I am sorry that I have neglected my beloved blog, but mostly sorry that I have also neglected to visit and comment on my blogging friend's sites. I will be making the rounds this week to catch up and see what you baking geniuses have been up to. July started off with and AMAZING vacation and I returned last Monday night to a whole host of work stuff and other commitments, so just now getting back to my normal hectic life!

So, short and sweet. This weeks SMS recipe is whole orange poppyseed cake chosen by Melissa of Lulu the Baker. You can get the recipe HERE. I just made this cake (its 11:30PM on Sunday night) so its still sitting on the table and I don't have any tasting notes as a result. But...sounds like my fellow SMS bakers really liked this cake. What I can tell you is that it was SUPER easy to make - most of the time is baking/waiting time, and it smells fantastic. As the name explains, this cake uses an entire whole orange - peel and rind and all. Wish I could taste it but I will live vicariously through others for now. I would like to try this without the poppyseeds and with dark chocolate chunks - what do you think?

Thanks Melissa for picking and hosting this week and thanks Karen from Karen's Cookies Cakes and More for helping me with admin stuff while I was traveling and thanks to all you faithful SMS bakers for your patience while I was out. I am back for a long while now. See you next Sunday.