April 30, 2009

Julia Child - you know how to make my day

Even though she's been gone since 2004, Julia Child always finds a new way to pop up in my life and remind me how much I admire her. Today, I stumbled upon the PBS web site for Julia Child, which features full-length episodes of her legendary shows Cooking with Master Chefs, In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs, Baking with Julia, and Cooking in Concert. With over 65 master chefs featured alongside Julia, these online videos are a great reminder of how Julia Child revolutionized the cooking world and is still making an impact on today's kitchen enthusiasts.

Be sure to check out the site and watch all her wonderful episodes on how to make puff pastries, tart shells, chocolate dome cake, deep friend chocolate truffles, genoise cake, chocolate tulles, sweet potato pie, creme fraiche ice cream with almond roasted figs - the list goes on!

Also, after looking at that Time Magazine cover above, I never realized that Julia Child was the Serpent Fish Queen - what's with that scary fish drawing? And with all those boiling pots around her hovering head with a red background, apparently some editors thought she was the second coming of Satan. They probably had bad taste in food. Pft.

A special blog post for my mom: Today is National Caramel Corn Day!

When it comes to my mother, there is only one thing I have to compete with for her undying love and affection (and I'm not talking about my older sister). I'm speaking of caramel corn.

My mom can tell you if caramel corn is within a six mile radius from where she stands, and you better believe that we'll have to go purchase a bag of the stuff before we can go on with the rest of our day. And when I say "bag," I mean a 10 gallon trash bag. And she'll let you know if you are eating too much of it. Because it's hers. My mother isn't a territorial person, but when it comes to caramel corn, don't cross her (or get in the way of her hand as she reaches down to grab said caramel corn - she'll take off a few of your fingers if need be).

So guess what mom?! Today is National Caramel Corn Day! Enjoy!

April 29, 2009

Some blog-related news

I realize I've been posting a lot about cake desserts lately, but for those of you who want to see more variety, you're in luck. I've been asked to write a column for Cupcakes Take the Cake, so starting in May, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the Cupcake Thighs column, written by yours truly.

I'll still be posting on Puff and Choux, but since I'll be covering cupcakes on the other site, I'll be focusing more of my energies on other desserts here. I'm feeling really good about this new writing gig and can't wait to meet all of the Cupcakes Take the Cake readers!

Fashionable cupcakes never go out of style

The lovely ladies over at Cupcakes Take the Cake have a great post about fashion designer Rebecca Taylor's chic take on cupcakes. She's designing two flavors for Billy's Bakery, just in time for their Tribeca store opening AND Mother's Day.

According to the blog post:

"Just in time for Mother’s Day, designer Rebecca Taylor has created two cupcake designs inspired by her spring 2009 collection. Vanilla Twinkle consists of Billy’s yellow daisy cupcake topped with blue vanilla buttercream and a sprinkle of white crystal sugar and silver dots. Mocha Meow is created from Billy’s chocolate cupcake and special Mocha-flavored buttercream with dark and light chocolate sprinkles. The Rebecca Taylor Mother’s Day cupcakes will be available beginning May 1st."

It remains to be seen if Ms. Taylor's models have indulged in the sweet concoctions or if they have chosen to stick with their preferred powdered treat of choice...

Everyday Cake

Molly Wizenberg, the genius behind Orangette, posted a great story on "everyday cake," an idea she thought of after being inspired by Edna Lewis’s Busy-Day Cake.

The concept is simple, really. Basically, all of us need that "go to" cake. The cake we can rely on to be there on those stressful days when hanging out on your fire escape or lazily sitting on your kitchen counter are on the only things you fathom doing. The Everyday Cake is a basic recipe, and although easy to make, reminds you of the good things in life.

Hop on over to Orangette to read her full blog post and Everyday Cake Recipe. And for those of you wondering, my Everyday Cake is Sour Cream Coffee Cake. Talk about a great way to cap off a day that seems to never end...

Also, if you haven't already, but sure to purchase a copy of Molly's book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen.

31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin Robbins!

Be sure to get on down to your local Baskin Robbins tonight as it's 31 Cent Scoop Night!

31 Cent Scoop Night runs from 5-10pm tonight! You can get up to three (3) 2.5oz scoops for each time in line.

New York Times: Treats in the Doggie Bag, for the Dog, of Course

The New York Times is running a great piece online about the benefits of a doggie bag, and as a New Yorker who is originally from Oklahoma, a place where we were not taught the snobbish behavior of turning up our noses at taking left overs home, I couldn't be happier. As the writer of the piece, Alex Witchel says,"Portions are so ridiculously large these days; why not get the chance to eat all of what it is you like?"

In even better news, the article focuses on using the doggie bag for desserts, specifically chocolate biscotti. Honestly, I'm not a major fan of biscotti, but as you may know, I'm a huge proponent of eating dessert whenever you get the chance. So, if bagging up some biscotti is on your agenda, then I say check it off the list my friend! Check out the full New York Times piece here.

Great dessert quote...

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." ~ Mark Twain

April 22, 2009

Billy's Bakery opening in TriBeca next month

According to my sources at Billy's Bakery, they are opening a new store location in Tribeca next month. Located at 75 Franklin Street, all of you cupcake aficionados out there will now be able to get your fix downtown, which is something I'm looking forward. Additionally, more breakfast items will be on the menu, as well as an extended coffee menu

Dessert Quote of the Day

“A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece” ~ Ludwig Erhard

Starbucks to start selling gluten-free pastry starting in May

Starbucks will start selling Valencia Orange Cake, its first gluten-free pastry, in its US stores from May 5, 2009, according to The Associated Press.

The company claims that the new pastry will be made with seven ingredients which are all 100% gluten-free. More than three million Americans are reportedly suffering from a condition called celiac disease, which is associated with intolerance to gluten, a protein common in rye, wheat, barley and other grains.

Adrienne Knapp, a product manager in the food category at Starbucks, said: "I think one of the things we learned right from the get-go from our gluten-free customers is they can't eat away from home very easily. A cake is actually really hard to find for someone that's a gluten-free consumer."

April 18, 2009

Food for Thought Film Festival today in New York!

I'm volunteering at the Food for Thought Film Festival today in New York City, so in case any of you New Yorkers are looking for a fun Saturday activity, the details are below. None of the films address desserts, but I thought it would be a great way to become more involved in the NYC food community, so I'm out the door right now to head up to the festivities!

April 18, 2009
1pm- 8:30pm
Columbia University Medical Center Alumni Auditorium
650 West 168th St.
Between Broadway and Ft. Washington Ave


A, C, 1 to 168th St. Station

1:00pm - Welcome and opening address by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer

1:30pm - Screening: Farm to Cafeteria: A Red Hook Lunch followed by Asparagus: Stalking the American Life

2:45pm - Post screening discussion led by Directors Anne de Mare, Kirsten Kelly with Kimberly Vargas

3:45pm - Screening: New Amsterdam Market, Hotbread Kitchen & Eating Alaska

5:00pm - Post screening discussion with Karen Washington

6:00pm - Screening: Trailer for Fresh followed by FLOW

7:30pm - Post screening discussion with Tara Collins and Rachael Richardson

April 16, 2009

Dessert Quote of the Day

"You know an odd feeling? Sitting on the toilet eating a chocolate candy bar." ~ George Carlin

Baking Unplugged: Two amazing cookie recipes

When I was in Portland, Oregon, in March I had the privilege of meeting Nicole Rees, a wonderfully talented cookbook author and all around cool woman. She sent me a copy of her latest cookbook, Baking Unplugged, and over the last two nights I've tried out two of her oatmeal cookie recipes - Soft Oatmeal Cookies with Walnuts and Dried Cherries and Chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips.

Normally, this is the part of the blog entry where I would share the recipes, but because these cookies might be some of the most delicious I've ever tasted, I want you all to go out and buy Nicole's book, so I'm not sharing! I am a huge proponent of Baking Unplugged because all of the recipes are gadget-free, meaning you don't have to own a fancy schmancy mixer or high tech oven to get these amazing results.

You can purchase her book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other retail outlets. I highly suggest you check it out!

April 15, 2009

More dinner party pictures...

As mentioned on Monday, I held my very first dinner party on Easter Sunday. It was a complete success, so I wanted to share some more photos from the evening. I've also posted photos of the party favors I made. Basically, I used craft glue and added paper shred to muffin cups and then filled them with easter treats. I thought they looked like little bird nests. I then packaged them up in baggies, added some ribbon and made my own little note cards. Enjoy!

Getting the table ready:

Party favors (which I forgot to hand out when the first few guests departed!):

Table setting after dark:

Dessert Quote of the Day

"Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table.” ~ William Powell

The New York Times: No-Fear Phyllo Torte

The New York Times is featuring a great article on a phyllo torte, which is basically a feta cheese torte. The main ingredients are sheep’s milk feta, nutmeg and dill. You can see the whole article here, and although this torte is a Greek Orthodox Easter delicacy, I'm sure it would taste mighty fine any time of the year.

April 13, 2009

Recipe of the Day - Jelly Bean Fudge

Carl at the Candy Dish Blog, the official candy blog of the National Confectioners Association, wrote up a terrific blog post today about what to do with those left over Easter jelly beans.

So for those of you out there that are faced with a mountain of Easter treats without any idea on how to consolidate and get rid of some of the Easter cheer, try out this recipe from About.com author Elizabeth LaBau.

"The Easter Bunny Has Expired" Jelly Bean Fudge Recipe

8-inch square cake pan
Aluminum foil
Microwave-safe bowl
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons

2 cups (12 oz) white chocolate chips
2 cups jelly beans
1 (16 oz) can vanilla frosting
1 tsp rum extract
1 tsp coconut extract

Prepare an 8-inch square cake pan by lining it with aluminum foil.

Place the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 40-second increments until melted, stirring in between.

Stir in the extracts and the vanilla frosting, and mix until well-combined. Allow to sit and cool for several minutes.

Reserve 1/4 cup of jelly beans. Stir the rest into the fudge, and spread the fudge in the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

Sprinkle the reserved beans on top of the fudge, pressing them lightly into the top.

Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

My very first dinner party with Rote Grütze

I woke up this morning feeling hungry, which normally isn't unusual, but considering that I ate an Easter feast big enough to feed an entire village of carnivores just 10 hours earlier, I was a bit weirded out by my stomach pains.

I threw my first dinner party last night, and when I say dinner party, I mean dinner party - long table with white table cloth, decorative candles for ambient lighting, homemade napkin rings (and you better believe I mean cloth napkins), and a perfect mix of music that kept the conversation going for three hours. Nine friends attended and at the end of the night, everyone was stuffed off of honey-glazed ham, mixed vegetables, polenta, crescent rolls, and of course, dessert.

My friend Heidi made a delicious German dessert called Rote Grütze, which is a type of berry pudding. I had never tasted Rote Grütze before, but the best way to describe it would be this: If you could siphon the Summer season into a goblet and serve with whipped cream, it would be Rote Grütze.

I did a bit of research this morning into this German delicacy, and found some interesting information from a 1991 New York Times article. Rote Grütze ("red grits") originates from northern Germany where an array of berries make their delectable appearance in Summer. Basically, red currants, raspberries, cherries, as well as the occasional blackberry or black currant, are cooked with sugar and cornstarch (and in some recipes, German wine) and served with a simple topping.

According to the New York Times:

In the old days Rote Grütze was not a dessert at all but a light summer supper, served with cold milk or cream. Today it is most often served with vanilla sauce, and since the 1970's, when it was suddenly pronounced chic, Rote Grütze can be found at the toniest restaurants and cafes, as well as at Great Aunt Emma's place out in the country.

Depending on whose great-aunt's recipe is being followed, Rote Grutze may contain such optional additions as strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, a glass of red wine or even a jigger of brandy. What is required in one recipe is disregarded in another. Some profess that the only proper Rote Grutze contains two-thirds red currants; others insist that any amount of any red berries will do. Some swear that the addition of water is anathema, others that a small glass of water is absolutely essential. Purists generally agree, however, that the dessert is never overly sweet, and they draw the line at the addition of gelatin, warning the uninitiated that its addition will produce a stiff aspic.

I know Heidi is into ghosts and scary movies, but I'm beginning to think she might be a mind reader as well, because I can't think of a better accompaniment to my offering of the evening - a lemon tart. Served either on the side or on top, Rote Grütze was a fantastic addition to my basic lemon dessert.

Aside from the food, the event was a huge success in that everyone had a lovely time. It was great seeing some familiar faces (Heidi, John, Jessica, Erikka, Emily, Will), a face I don't get to see often enough because of geography (Mickey), and a new face (Scott). I don't think I could have asked for a better Easter dinner - great friends, great food and great conversation.

The pictures I've posted are of the table pre-food, and then of the ham (obviously). No one took photos of the desserts, which I apologize about - we were too busy stuffing our faces and about half-way into our collective food coma.

National Peach Cobbler Day!

Today is National Peach Cobbler Day! A peach pie,"Cobbled" together with a buttery crust & ice cream...why not?

Tip courtesy of Foodimentary.

April 11, 2009

Check out all the photos from CupcakeCamp NYC!

CupcakeCamp NYC = Complete Success!

Well cupcakers, with over 230 people in attendance and the bar making six times what they normally make on a Friday night between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., I think it's safe to say that New York City loves cupcakes (and drinkin').

To everyone who came out - thank you. Each and everyone one of you contributed to CupcakeCamp's success, and now you having bragging rights to say,"I was at the first NYC CupcakeCamp, you know..." Seriously, to everyone who brought cupcakes to the people who ate until their stomachs were going to explode, thank you for being an awesome crowd. I met so many fantastic people last night and am excited about all the new folks I can now call my friends.

Another big thank you to Buttercup Bake Shop, Magnolia Bakery and Baked by Melissa for donating cupcakes. And extra big thank you to Billy's Bakery, who not only donated cupcakes but had some live representation at the event who graciously handed out free cupcake coupons to the crowd (thanks Maggie!). Be sure to visit Billy's in Chelsea and their new second location in Tribeca (opening at the end of May!).

Another big thank you to the ladies at Cupcakes Take the Cake. Not only did they step up and help us with publicity efforts, they are just a super cool group of girls to work with. Talk about the best media sponsor you could ever possibly have!

And to Brian Witte, graphic designer extraordinaire - I keep the poster you designed open on my desktop because I STILL can't get over how great it turned out. For anyone interested in hiring this talented designe, get in touch. I'll connect you to him.

And let's not forget Happy Ending. Frank and Oliver - you guys rule. You guys treated us like royalty the whole night and were, hands down, the greatest venue folks I've ever worked with. Thank you thank you thank you thank you for letting us have CupcakeCamp at your fantastic bar.

Lastly, watching a large group of adults collectively go through a sugar rush then the subsequent crash on a Friday night in New York City was easily one of the highlights of my life thus far. I can't wait to see all of you out at future CupcakeCamps - they are going to be bigger and better than the first!

P.S. Be sure to check out the photo's at Cupcakes Take the Cake (here).

All photos courtesy of Stacie Joy from Cupcakes Take the Cake.

CupcakeCamp NYC poster courtesy of Brian Witte.

April 8, 2009

Apologies for the lack of updates this week...

...but CupcakeCamp NYC is taking place on Friday and I've been busy organizing last minute details! I promise that once the event is over, posting will resume on Puff and Choux and will be better than ever.

And for you New Yorkers, come out to CupcakeCamp on Friday!

April 3, 2009

Great dessert quote...

"Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold." ~ Judith Olney

Photo courtesy of Crayola Yellow.

Sunday is National Tangible Karma Day - spread the love with some baked goods.

I learned this evening that Sunday is National Tangible Karma Day. Honestly, I went seeking a food-related holiday and this is what I came up with instead. However, I think food can easily be put to good use for this particular event. Bake some muffins or cookies, whip up some macaroons or bake a cake - you get the idea, and surprise someone with your abilities by presenting them an unexpected culinary gift. I'm telling you, people love this kind of thing. Once, while leaving an ATM machine, a homeless man asked me for money. I told him I couldn't break a $20 but I could give him a brownie (I was on my way to a party and had a plate full of book club brownies with me at the time - I don't normally carry baked goods around with me on a casual basis). He said he would take the brownie, but I could tell my his tone he was disappointed I wasn't giving him cash, but after one bite, he smiled and said it was the best donation he'd received all night.

Now don't get me started why begging outside of an ATM when people will only have large bills is a mistake...

April 2, 2009

Is German Chocolate Cake Really German?

FoodProject.com has raised an interesting question: Is German Chocolate Cake really German?

According to the folks over at Food Project, a recipe for German Chocolate cake first appeared in 1957 via a Dallas, Texas, newspaper. Sent in from a Dallas homemaker, the trail to track down the origins of this cake goes dry. However, according to Patricia Riso from Kraft Foods, the recipe called for a brand of chocolate bar called "German's" which has been developed
in 1852, by an Englishman named Sam German, for Baker's Chocolate Company.

Food Project says:

"The cake had an immediate and enthusiastic response, and requests about where to find the German's chocolate bar were so numerous that General Foods (who owned Baker's Chocolate) decided to send pictures of the cake to newspapers all around the country.Everywhere the recipe had the same response and the sales for the chocolate exploded.

Now the cake is a regular item in bakeries across the country, and a mix is on the grocery shelves also.

The cake most likely didn't originate from this Dallas housewife. Buttermilk chocolate cakes have been popular in the south for
over 70 years, and Pecans are plentiful in the area also, to make the nice frosting. German's chocolate is similar to a milk chocolate and sweeter than regular baking chocolate."

So, is the cake an orphan of Deutschland? I guess we'll never know...

Thanks to Foodimentary for the tip.

Reminder - Food Bytes: What’s Cooking Online? - Free food blogging seminar in NYC tonight!

On Monday I posted about this fantastic free food blogging seminar hosted by the New York Institute of Technology that is taking place this week (details below). Renowned food bloggers and industry folks Lisa Fain, (Blogger at Homesick Texan), Michael Laiskonis (Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin & Food blogger), and Ed Levine (Founder of seriouseats.com and author of New York Eats) will be in attendance. This is a MUST for anyone (such as myself) who one day hopes to have a career in the food industry, in one form or another.

WHAT: Food Bytes: What’s Cooking Online?

WHEN: Apr 2, 2009, 6:30PM to 8:00PM

WHERE: New York Institute of Technology, 16 West 61st Street, 11th Floor (between Broadway and Columbus), New York, NY


DETAILS: Every day millions of avid food aficionados surf the Web in hopes of finding Food Nirvana. Learn from our panel of food bloggers how they are achieving cult status online, and find out why virtual cuisine is the big enchilada.

SPECIAL GUESTS: Lisa Fain, blogger (Homesick Texan), Michael Laiskonis (Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin & Food blogger), and Ed Levine (Founder of seriouseats.com and author of New York Eats)

RSVP: Visit www.cencom.org, email info@cencom.org or call 212-686-5005

Great dessert quote...

"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart." ~ Erma Bombeck

My foodie pledge.

When I started this blog, I remember thinking that it was going to be fun. I was going to post about desserts and pastries and the masses would read. I would never get tired of it - how could I? I love eating sweets.

But tonight was the first time I realized it goes deeper than that. I get tired of posting. Sometimes I just want to sleep instead of staying up until 2 a.m. thinking up fun topics to write about. But yet, I do it. I can't sleep unless I know that Puff and Choux will have new posts for my readers the next day.

I've come to realize that this blog is the representation of my passion. Saying this means a lot as I have never been passionate about anything, with the exception of traveling and writing, and luckily for me, this blog encompasses those interests as well. It's the adventure really - trying out new flavors, experimenting in the kitchen, trying out little patisseries in every new city I find myself in. I'm in love with what I'm doing, and it's a great feeling.

Quite a number of people have asked me what my goals are in regard to Puff and Choux. I always struggle to answer this question because, honestly, I don't know. I was a bit concerned about my inability to form a response until this evening when I read a passage in My Life in France by Julia Child. After receiving another negative response to her first cookbook, she said:

"I wasn't feeling sorry for myself. I had gotten the job done. I was proud of it, and now I had a whole batch of foolproof recipes to use. I had found myself through the arduous writing process. Even if we were never able to publish our book, I had discovered my raison d'etre in life..."

Even though there was a large chance that her book would never see the light of day, Julia didn't care. It was her love of French cuisine that fueled the book, and as long as she could continue to work in the field of French cooking, she was happy. In reading this, I realized that I have found myself through my love of pastries and desserts, and my goal is to spread the word on the artistry of this food medium. There is a high probability I will fail, that Puff and Choux will remain simply a serious, yet fun, hobby and I will never be able to make a living in the food industry. But even though I'm not sure of the journey I will chart, I'll tell you this - it's going to be a sweet one.

April 1, 2009

Fun fact about lemons

Ladies in the court of King Louis XIV used lemons to redden their lips.

I wonder if lemon-flavored desserts would work too?!

Recipe of the Day - Lemon Thyme Cream Puffs

I'm on a big lemon kick lately, which is slightly weird because generally, I'm not a huge fan of lemons. But the past few weeks, I can't seem to get enough of them, whether it comes in the form of a cocktail or dessert. Must be my Spring fever coming out.

So, I'm happy to share today's Recipe of the Day - Lemon Thyme Cream Puffs. You can't really go wrong when you eat something that contains the words "cream" and "puff," but now I believe I have to add "lemon" to that list.

"Mary Ann has lemon fever" Lemon Thyme Cream Puffs Recipe

Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
Cooling rack
Parchment paper
2 baking sheets
Mixing bowls
Rolling pin
Pastry bag w/ plain tip

1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sanding sugar *
1 cup heavy cream
3 large sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup prepared lemon curd
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it's easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease or line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Brush with the egg mixture. Cut the pastry into 36 (2-inch) squares. Sprinkle with the sugar. Place the pastry squares onto the baking sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the pastries are puffed and golden. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and cool on wire racks.

Heat 1/3 cup cream and thyme sprigs in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the cream mixture steep for 30 minutes or until it cools to room temperature. Pour the cream mixture through a sieve. Discard the thyme. Refrigerate the cream mixture for 1 hour or until it's well chilled.

Beat the remaining cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the chilled cream mixture and lemon curd. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spoon the cream mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.

Pipe about about1 tablespoon lemon thyme cream mixture into each pastry puff.

Place the chocolate into a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for about 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the pastry puffs. Let stand until the chocolate sets.

Serves 36.

Recipe from Puff Pastry.com.

CupcakeCamp NYC in the New York Times!

I want to give a big THANK YOU to Florence Fabricant for including CupcakeCamp in the New York Times' Dining Calendar today! My hope is this will encourage more people to donate cupcakes!

If you live in the New York area and want to join in the festivities, e-mail cupcakecampnyc@gmail.com for more information or visit CupcakeCamp NYC.

For those of you that need to get your chocolate fix through reading...

The New York Times included a write up today about a new book entitled "Chocolate: History, Culture and Heritage," and it seems like a must read for anyone interested in food history or just learning more about their favorite sweet treat.

The Times described the book as "a scholarly tome, full of articles on chocolate’s connection to anthropology, agriculture, religion, ethics, art, medicine and technology. But it offers plenty of surprises, too, like the explanation of how chocolate was a recommended treatment for smallpox in Boston in the 18th century. And how in the winter of 1762-63, soldiers near Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York often mixed their ration of chocolate with wine."

Sounds interesting. As soon as I finish up my collection of current foodie books currently nesting on my night stand, I'll pick up a copy.

Another interesting fact: This book is part of a research project at the University of California, Davis, that was paid for by Mars, the chocolate company.

Published by John Wiley & Sons, it is $99.95, $79.96 at amazon.com.

Slice me up some of that deer please...

I happened to stumble across this picture and had to share - this is a cake. A gigantic deer cake. I can't say I would ever want to eat this as I think it might be confusing for my taste buds (Taste buds: "Wait...this isn't meat? It's cake? Whaaaaaaaaat?"). But you have to give a round of applause for the skill it took to make this.

Great dessert quote...

"You can say this for ready-mixes - the next generation isn't going to have any trouble making pies exactly like mother used to make." ~ Earl Wilson

Some sweets to welcome Spring!

Perhaps it was the warm weather I grew accustomed to while living in Australia for six months last year, but this year's winter in New York seems to have taken it's toll. As a result, I'm craving Spring time - warmer weather, trench coats, and fun new desserts that seem out of place any other time of year!

I always try to have cookies or some sort of sweet on hand when I know people will be swinging by my apartment, so i can't wait to try out this recipe from MarthaStewart.com for Spring Shower Almond Petits Fours.

Not only are they beautiful to look at, my past experience with petit fours has always been a positive one!

Let me know if you try out this recipe - I'd love to post your photos and tips!

Check out the recipe here.
Related Posts with Thumbnails