Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tea for Two

Nikolai and I are on a baking spree inspired by Jennifer Appel's Buttercup Bakes at Home. It includes over 75 recipes from Buttercup Bake Shop in Manhattan. I popped by the library the day after receiving some heavenly cookies from Levain and had to grab this book off the shelf. Below are pictured the Banana Blueberry Muffins...blueberries fresh from my parent's garden...featuring the subtle zing of lemon zest. Mmm. These are absolutely delectable served warm. (As a side note, I'm beginning to wonder if Nikolai things it is completely normal to take a picture of your food before you eat it. The little guy is always nipping at my heels waiting for a taste of something we have cooked up and I'm futzing with lighting, props, etc. I can just picture him at pre-school in the Fall waiting for his teacher to take a picture of his snack before he eats it... Oh, golly.)

We have also tried the Caramel-Topped Toffee Pecan Blondies...heavenly. With the smell emanating from the oven, these guys just didn't stand a chance of getting photographed. I'm thinking the almond extract stole the show with these.

Nikolai and I have also been working our way through Susan Spungen's Recipes, a collection for the modern cook. Tonight's dinner will be the Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri and Potato Tostones. I prepared the chimichurri last night so that some could be used as a marinade. However, when I took out the steak that I purchased on Sunday it had spoiled. So, I substituted it with some chicken breasts I had on hand. I think the flavors will still work with the chicken. Earlier this week, we made the Little Black Dress Cake shown in the second photograph. This cake features ground hazelnuts and a Sour Cream Ganache as well as a combined total of 18 oz. of bittersweet chocolate. It is decadent to say the least and worth the various steps to make.

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