Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eating in Nola

I took my first trip to New Orleans ever this week (a few weeks ago... life has been busy - this was at the end of Feb). We went down for a conference and it was so much fun (the city, not the conference so much). Our hotel was pretty close to the French Quarter and we did A LOT of walking around that area, in flip flops! The weather was spectacular too, a nice change from the pretty gross wintry mixes we had last week.

So Saturday night we get to the city after a long layover plus delay in Atlanta, check into the hotel, and head out for some dinner etc. Walk around Bourbon Street, take photos, be tourists, the whole bit. Haven't done the tourist thing in a while.

Sunday morning setting up for the conference we just chilled at Starbucks & saw the *cutest puppy ever*! Got a great tip from one of the conference organizers and checked out Cafe Du Monde for beignets & hot chocolate & more powdered sugar than you could comprehend.

On Monday (on Sean's suggestion - and he loves my baking, so could he go wrong?) we went to Nola - Emeril's restaurant. Food was yummy and then we got dessert. Oh, that was a good idea!
This photo is us with our desserts (Emeril's the guy in the photo with crawfish).

And there was this really yummy deli (Welty's) right next to our hotel that was lunch on Monday & Tuesday, if you're ever over there....

Plus, we wandered into this really neat store ( Photos = awesome!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Go Oft Astray!

I was really excited to make this cherry pie with heart cut-outs in the crust for Valentine's Day. I mean, perfect combination of bright red fruit & hearts, too bad I find out that SB claims he doesn't like fruit pies! (Back to the drawing board - or is that the ice cream cake?)

But first, I absolutely failed to find tart cherries.
Giant had - cherry pie filling, light cherry pie filling, and sweet dark frozen cherries. Guess what I chose? (And defrosted?)

And of course, sweet dark frozen cherries never ever had a bright red color. Luckily I dug up a sweet cherries pie recipe, cut down on the sugar, and added lemon juice (along with almond extract and cornstarch*).

Oh yeah, and about the trip to Target the night before Valentine's Day in search of a heart-shaped cookie cutter? I don't recommend.

But, the crust of this pie actually turned out pretty fabulous. Plus I managed to cut out some hearts, roll the top crust around my rolling pin to lay out on the pie, crimp the edges with a fork, AND brush with an egg wash.

End result:

Isn't it pretty? Now, if only someone liked fruit pies.
Instead he suggests that I make them and sell them.
This is not a bad idea - but... It's not like I live in a fabulous kitchen with a fabulous one of these to cook with. Anyway, if someone can suggest a coffee shop/failing bakery in need of goodies... I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve.

*Cornstarch - main ingredient in oobleck. Which I once made with my 2 year old brother & thought it would be an awesome idea to make green oobleck. With green food coloring. Yeah, that turned into bath time quite quickly. (Mom, did you already know about that?)

Of Mice and Men...

Things that have been cooked up recently by me:

White Cornbread (quick, easy, awesome)

This was pretty fun to realize it's so easy to make. I overcooked the bottom a little while attempting to get the top to turn golden brown. But, duh, it's WHITE cornmeal and that wasn't going to happen...

Apple pie numero dos

And not by me:

But it's a heart shaped chocolate cake! With sprinkles.
Excellent for Valentine's Day at work.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The best laid plans...

Oh! This girl just had a perfect idea, courtesy of the pie at Baked & Wired yesterday.
While it looks like this can't be found on short notice:
Then these certainly can:
Will definitely be night kitchening tonight, pre PR.