Over Here…

28 Feb


Who knows maybe this time something will stick…


22 Jun

Here I am.

Okay, still not really here. But I am peeking my head out of the woodwork to share some news.

On top of my full-time job here and my part-time job at the office that remains nameless and faceless, I have started a third endeavor here.

I am so excited about the possibility of launching my own little business. I know the competition is fierce (anyone seen how many bags there are for sale on etsy??!) but I hope I can carve out my own little niche. Check out Flickr to see what I have been up to lately as well.

So, will I ever post regularly again?  I hope so because I want to document this journey and continue to read up with and share in what all you all have been up too.

If you are still out there, thanks for sticking with me. It will be worth the wait.


Where I have been

20 Apr


Originally uploaded by ask.ente

As usual, I failed to post more. Life is simply too crazed right now to realistically put time into this blog. However, with a few new projects in the pipeline, this blog may see a resurgence yet.

For an idea of what I have been up to, check out my flickr cake page and look at the fun I’ve been having at my day job.

And in the next few weeks get ready for a sewing post that will hopefully launch a whole new world for me.


P.S. I was surprised and super excited to see I won the April giveaway at “My Persian Kitchen”. If you haven’t yet, you should go check out this blog, it rocks! Of course you all know my super sweet spot for all things Persian. This blog has finally given me the confidence to tackle Persian food, something I would have previously left only to the professionals (like my stepmother Farah).

I owe you

3 Feb

I owe my one faithful reader (you) a post of apology with a large dose of contrition.  I have been a bad bad blogger. Not writing, not reading, not participating.

I have only two excuses (weak ones at that)

1. I have an internet net connection about two days a week – at my “old” job and they keep me so busy I have no time to read….I could write if I got my act together and crafted posts out side of work and hit the dang post button here, but, obviously, that is beyond me probably because of reason 2.

2. I am working 7 days a week right now and have been since last September. While the holiday rush is over at the bakery, the wedding preparation season is in full swing. Given the fact my boss will be on maternity leave during the height of summer, I need to step up my game and prepare, prepare, prepare. So this leaves little time for writing or experimenting on the baking front.

All the excuses aside, I miss blogging. I miss reading and being engaged. So I am going to try to carve out some time to craft and write (maybe by reducing my time playing Marion Galaxy on our new Wii).

I have decided to take a hiatus from daring bakers (hopefully they’ll let me back in) and spend some time with daring cooks.  While I don’t have the time or drive to play with sweets…a girl’s got to eat dinner now and again.

So, look out here I come (again)….at some point….soon….I hope…..

Hamburger Braune Kuchen

17 Dec

Welcome to Door #17. I am so glad you could drop by.

Ich war begeistert diesen Kulinarischen Adventskalender 2009 zu finden und bin so froh, dass ich dieses Jahr mitmachen kann. Wenn Du mehr über das Projekt und die Preise lernen möchtest, dann melde Dich bei 1 X umrühren bitte.

Mein blog ist noch sehr jung und ich muss ehrlich sein und sagen, dies ist meine erste post auf Deutsch (so bear with me).  Ich blogge von Portland, Maine in den USA. Du kannst mehr über mein Blog hier lernen (aber leider nur auf English).

Weihnachtszeit ist heilig für unsere Familie. Nicht besonders aus religiösem Anlass, mehr als deutsches Familienfest. Die Weihnachtszeit ist die Zeit, wo ich am meisten Deutschland vermisse. Mein ganzes Leben wohnte ich mehr als 3.000 Meilen von meiner Familie und meiner Heimat entfernt. Sehr selten habe ich in Deutschland Weihnachten gefeiert, aber ich kann jeden Dezember vor meinem inneren Auge den Weihnachtsmarkt in Bremen sehen, den Glühwein an der Alster in Hamburg schmecken, und die Lieder zu Heiligabend in Hannover hören.

Obwohl wir nicht oft `Zuhause` Weihnachten feiern, das Wunder der Deutschen Weihnachtszeit war immer bei uns hier in Amerika in der Form von Weihnachtskuchen. Meine Mutter (und ich auch manchmal) hat jedes Jahr die Familien-Weihnachtskekse gebacken.  Am wichtigsten sind Braune Kuchen.  Diese leichten, knusprigen Kekse sind so intensiv, aber delikat – es ist der Geruch und Geschmack von Weihnachten.  Am besten schmecken sie auf einem Stück Stollen mit einer hauchdünnen Schicht Butter. TRAUMHAFT!!  Das Rezept selber ist ganz einfach und muss bloß eine Weile stehen (je länger desto besser), sodass die Gewürze richtig Zeit zum Ziehen haben.

Umso besser hat meine Großmutter das Rezept für Bratwurst mit Biersoße entworfen, ein Rezept that highlights the best of Braune Kuchen and brings the smell of Gingerbread to the dinner table.  Süss und sauer kommen zusammen in einer delikaten Soße made up almost entirely of braune kuchen.  Die Kekse machen die Soße dick, das Malzbier macht es heftig und süß und der Essig (mehr als man denkt) hält das ganze Gericht zusammen.  Wir haben noch nie dieses Gericht aufgeschrieben, also sind die Maße mehr ein Maßstab als ein science.  I urge you to try it and make it your own.  On a cold winter night it will make your whole house smell like Christmas and warm you from the inside out.

Hamburger Braune Kuchen

(Original Recept – Menü Kochlexikon Band 1)

250g brauner Sirup oder Honig

140g Butter

125g brauner Zucker

125g Zucker

500g Mehl

1 Teelöffel Zimt

1 Teelöffel gemahlene Nelken

1 Teelöffel Kardamom

1 Teelöffel abgeriebene Zitronenschale

6g Hirschhornsalz

6g Pottasche, in etwas Wasser aufgelöst

Butter zum Einfetten

Ofentemperatur – 180° Celsius (Elektrik), Stufe 4 (Gas)

1. Sirup, Butter, brauner Zucker, und Zucker in einem Topf unter Rühren aufkochen. Vom Feuer nehmen.

2. Mehl, Gewürze, und Hirschhornsalz in eine Schüssel geben und mischen.

3. Dann die aufgelöste Pottasche und warme Sirupmasse zufügen.

4. Teig gut kneten.

5. 30 Minuten im Kühlschrank ruhen lassen oder 3 bis 4 Tage bei Zimmertemperatur.

6. Backbrett mit Mehl bestäuben. Teig portionsweise dünn (0,25 cm) darauf ausrollen. Teig mit Weihnachts Cookie cutter ausschneiden. Auf gefettetes Backblech setzen.

7. 6 Minuten Backen

These cookies get better with age. They keep well in a cookie tin and the best ones are the ones you find in the Christmas tin a year later.

Bratwurst mit Biersoße

(Original Familienrezept von Omi Seidel)

4 Portionen (4 Portion)

Bratwurst ( 1 für jede Person ++)

3-4 Flaschen Malzbier

Mindestens 15- 20 Braune Kuchen

Salz und Essig, je nach Geschmack

Lebkuchengewürz (oder dieselben Gewürze wie für die Kekse)

1-2 Esslöffel Maizena, in kaltem Wasser aufgelöst

1. Bratwurst mit einer Gabel anstechen und dann auf kleiner Flamme langsam braten. Ständig wenden, bis sie rundherum braun sind.

2. Bratwurst mit Malzbier ablöschen und mindestens 15-20 Kekse in die Soße bröckeln. Die Soße leise köcheln lassen, sodass sie etwas andickt (20 – 25 Minuten).

3. Nun kommt der Trick! Die Soße mit Salz und Essig abschmecken, sodass sie süß-sauer ist – aber mehr süß-Lebkuchengeschmack als sauer.  Die Soße kann jeder Zeit mit mehr Keksen abgeschmeckt werden und mit Maizena angedickt werden. Um den Lebkuchengeschmack zu unterstreichen, kann man auch weitere Lebkuchengewürze zur Soße geben, aber am besten ist immer mehr Kekse.

In unserer Familie wird dieses Gericht meistens mit Salzkartoffeln und süßsaurem Rotkohl (mit Äpfel, Nelken, und Essig gekocht) serviert.


Ran away without a Cannoli

9 Dec

I made it.  A week late, a lot out of breath, and covered in royal icing from head to toe.  This month’s DB challenge came just as I was putting the final touches on our extravagant Gingerbread House at work and as such…I lost the cannoli in the mix.

I’ll post photos of the Gingerbread house and tell the harrowing story of its construction in a later post, but first let me tell you about the cannoli.

This month’s (or better said last month’s) DB Challenge was hosted by the astounding Lisa-Michele at Parsley, Sage, Desserts, and Line Drives – an amazing cook and sweet supporter of this blog.  She chose the cannoli and her long, in-depth description of how to make and enjoy them can best be done justice by reading her own words.

I for one am terrified of cannoli. Well, that is not true. I am terrified of fried foods. Somehow I always get burned, or the food does.  But, I took the plunge into the heat and have come back unscathed. HURRAY!!!

So here it is my take on the cannoli with a dash a spamouni (sp?)- a little maraschino cherry, pistachio, and chocolate in a light ricotta filling…. DIVINE!

Though I can’t say I’ll make cannoli again anytime soon (that dough and I just don’t get along), I had a fun time making these and my taste tester did an awesome job mixing the filling.  It was a lovely way to spend the first day I have had off in a month.

Now on the next challenge… a post in German for a very special Christmas treat….get out your babble fish translators and stay tuned.

Falling in Love

28 Oct

I love Fall. I love apples and the brightly colored trees and the chill in the air and this year I am adding a love for Mulled Spice French Macaroons.


Light and crisp (just like the air outside) with a hint of warmth and softness in the middle (like  a warm sweater on the night of the first frost)….french macaroons are amazing.

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macaroons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

I wish I had time to write more about my experience with these macaroons but time is a luxury these days. I will say that while I tried the Fleming recipe it did not work for me and I switched to the one on cannelle et vanille’s site, which worked like a dream.  I spiked the meringue with mulling spices and made an apple compote/curd with the left over egg yolks for the middle. Divine!

Poofless Puff

7 Oct

I am a few days late on my DB challenge and a little underwhelmed.

It did not go well. I made the dough on Saturday night but put off the laminating until Sunday…

Maybe the dough was to warm, or I missed a turn, but my puff seriously lacked poof.

It was an interesting experience though, and I had fun with it in my own way. I took my poofless puff and  tried out three recipes: cheddar squirrels, banana/dulce de leche puffs, and palmiers.  The palmiers were awesome as were the cheddar squirrels…the banana puffs in the DB challenge vols-au-vents left something to be desired. They tasted awesome but vols did not vent so they were short but flaky.

So here is what I did ….

Cheddar squirrels.

P1010236If you have the Martha Halloween special magazine, I used the recipe for flaky pumpkins – spreading mustard and cheese on the one layer of puff covered it with a second layer and brushed it with paprika butter. Cute and tasty – grilled cheese for grown-ups.

Banana Dulce de Leche puffs.


I blind baked the vols-au-vents  for 10 minutes and then added a dollop of dulce de leche and a slice of banana rolled in vanilla/cinnamon  turbanado sugar and continued to bake them for another 10 minutes. The puff never materialized but the caramel banana was awesome especially with a “hat” of whip cream.

Dulce de Leche Recipe ( Martha Stewart, Halloween Magazine 2009)

14 0z can of sweetened condensed milk

place sweetened condensed milk in a heat resistant bowl over a pan of simmering water (a double boiler) and simmer, stirring every 15 minutes or so for 2 -3 hours until the milk turns to caramel.

Dulce de Leche Palmiers


I had some dough scraps and left over dulce de leche so I made my favorite puff pastry treat….palmiers.  Maybe it was the extra day of rest but the palmiers puffed up lovely and they were golden, crisp, and flaky.  This was the best of the three.

I still have half of the puff dough in the freezer, so I think I will try some other puffy treats and may even try the vols-au-vents again just to see if a few days rest will make a difference.

The September 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan. Her site will give you all you need to know on making puff pastry that I have neither the patience nor the inclination to do on this site.

Thanks to Steph for the challenge, to Lisa for posting the comment that encouraged my to complete this challenge,  and to DB for pushing the limits of my baking skills.

Wait for it….

30 Sep

I have been so busy these last few months…

It is not an excuse, just a reality.

Baking 4 days a week (well actually cake decorating) while working my corporate job 2-3 days a week has kicked my a**. I LOVE the (baking) work, but it is a whole new ball game for me with a bit more of a learning curve than I was expecting. Ah well the rewards are worth it (  I hope).

On to the DB challenge. I have all necessary ingredients in the fridge…ready to go… just waiting for me to put them together, bake them off, photograph them and post them here.

I have set a goal for this Sunday. I want to do this, I have to do this. The DB challenge is what keeps my creative juices flowing. It makes me happy and forces me to engage with the world.

I will post, I will, I will, I will!!!

Challenge coming…

25 Aug

It is two days before a DB challenge release and my *sigh* monthly blog post. I so wish I had more time for this stuff…

However, this month I may not even make it to finishing the challenge. My first real opportunity would be Saturday, so maybe there will be a surprise late post.

Why am I so busy I can’t even bake you ask?!?!

Because I am in the process of leaving the corporate world behind. For the last month I have been moonlighting as, well, a baker!!! Yes, that’s right people I am headed back to the kitchen, and I am so excited!!!! The transition (and loss of corporate stability and benefits) is daunting but the rewards…oh the rewards. I LOVE the change, I am excited for the challenge, I am ready to move on.

So for now I guess I’ll be baking every, single, day. But I promise the DB challenge will not lose out in this. I hope to rededicate my efforts to this blog and revamp, expand, and refocus to create a platform for my baking excursions and start the honest road to my final destination…. MY OWN BAKERY!

Hang on people this is going to be one hell of an awesome ride!!!!!!!!!