Loving the Dresden

I was very intrigued when I came across the Dresden Quilting Challenge, sponsored by the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild. I am a fairly new quilter and I quilt weekly with a group, our instructor chooses our projects so that we can learn different aspects of quilting. I thought, “I can do this challenge, no problem, how hard can it be…..”

Well, designing a quilt on your own is quite a learning experience, and I am so glad I took on this project. It was hard, but I loved working with the pattern and my fabric. I hand quilted each blade and then hand quilted around the outside edge. I learned a lot participating in this challenge. I will be very glad to rejoin my quilting group when we start up this fall, but I will continue to look for challenges such as this one to expand my skills.

My quilt is 19 inches square.

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Strawberry Shortcake, for short….from Baking with Julia

I really did make this lovely cake from scratch, I just did not have my camera handy when I was baking. I used my King Arthur cake flour that we used for a prior recipe and followed the recipe exactly, except I am not a sifter. I don’t have one and find it hard to do this extra step. Does anyone know if it really makes a difference?

When I went to bake the cake, I found I did not have an 8 inch cake pan, and since I had already made one trip to my local cooking supplies store (King Arthur Flour), I made do with a 9 inch pan. I actually coated it with butter, floured the pan, and cut out parchment paper, as listed in the recipe. The cake turned out without a problem, YAY!

Since I used a 9 inch pan, I did not have the thickness to do a 3 layer cake. The strawberries and whipped cream in the middle were wonderful and the cake has been much appreciated by my family, as can be seen below. I think the three layers would have been nicer to have, so will need to purchase an 8 inch pan to use next time I make this recipe.

This was a wonderful cake, not very hard to make and very very good.

Looking forward to baking good things in July! This is a view from Cardigan Mountain in New Hampshire taken during a full moon hike in May.

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Hungarian Shortbread….from Baking with Julia…..Tuesdays with Dorie!

Ok, so I have a confession to make about this week’s recipe. I planned on taking it directly to work, I did not plan on liking it at all. Any recipe with 4 sticks of butter, 4 eggs and 2 cups of sugar was just over the top for me. As I cooked onward, I realized just how good lots of butter and sugar, with a few eggs, can be….

Here is documentation of where I started, I would normally pass over recipes similar to this one. I did not have any local rhubarb (not in yet) so used a jar of homemade Elderberry Jam that a patient gave me (I also have a jar of homemade hot sauce if anyone has any suggestions how to use).

I was not sure how long to beat, could not really tell pale and fluffy…

Ready to go into the freezer, I like the recipe so far…easy…

I used a smaller pan and grated away for the bottom layer, spread the elderberry jam, and then did the same for the top. I found I just could not bring myself to use all the dough, so I used about a half of the second frozen dough ball, and then put it back in the freezer (good thing too, because I almost threw it out thinking it was just too rich…)

I just had to cook about 50 minutes before I started to get that golden brown color over the top. I just realized I forgot to dust the top with confectionery sugar, oh well, will have to remember next time I make it.

Oh my, this was absolutely delicious, the type of pastry that one would purchase in a bakery!!! I am soooo glad that I have a frozen piece of dough so I can make a little mini shortbread at some point.


This is not going to last long in my household and will not make it to my office! I froze a few pieces for my sister to try, and a few for myself. Was very surprised in the end at how impressed I was with this recipe. I would make it again.

This recipe was taken from the Baking with Julia cookbook.

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Lemon Loaf Cake….from Baking with Julia…..Tuesdays with Dorie

Here are some of my starting ingredients: eggs, cream, lemons, and four. This is an outright advertisement for King Arthur Cake Flour. King Arthur is my favorite store located right down the road from me. I love their recipes and their products and they have a very good website. Of course, I have to find another recipe to use up this cake flour, an ingredient I do not use very much.

I do not really enjoy grating lemons, but here they are, and the job was not too messy with lemon peel all over the place….

Ready to go into the oven after folding in the butter…

and the finished product, looking good.

This cake was a little bitter for me, too much lemon peel, and no one at home ate it, so I brought it into work and they all loved it! They think I am a great cook. It was an easy recipe to make, high in calories (I think all of her recipes are), and rather dense so a thin piece goes a long way. I think it would be interesting to serve with a fruit sauce, such as a blueberry sauce.

Here is a member of my fan club, she was not at all interested in lemon cake, was happy to sleep on my bed instead! Looking forward to the next cooking experience.

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Pizza Rustica….from Baking with Julia….Tuesdays with Dorie

Here is my second blog entry, still rather simple. I look at other blogs and cannot figure out how they look so savvy….maybe some day when I have more time to figure it out….

This week’s cooking venture is a delicious quiche type dish called Pizza Rustica. The cookbook describes this dish as ‘casual finger food in Italy, where it is traditionally served as a starter’ but I can say it would make a wonderful brunch dish or Sunday evening meal.

Easy to make using my mixer, I did not have a food processor, so just used my dough hook to make this easy, lovely dough (see my brand new mixer! I love it; someone suggested I buy a cover for it, but I don’t want to cover it up!)

Here is the dough ready to sit for a few minutes while I mix the filling. It is a sweet dough, with sugar and a stick of unsalted butter.

Ready to roll out the dough…

Getting ready to make a lattice top top, luckily I have done this before because I thought the instructions were a bit lacking…

Finished product, and it is delicious. I would make again, I am sorry I do not have a picture of my son enjoying a piece. This recipe was very easy to make, did not take long, and had a very interesting flavor. The sweet crust, with the filling made of ricotta, eggs, prosciutto, Pecorino Romano and Mozzarella cheeses, make a very interesting dish. I have no idea what the calorie count is for one piece but everything is enjoyable in moderation!

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Rugelach….from Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking With Julia

This is the first time I have ever blogged, so am hoping this all goes through alright. Hopefully my blog eventually will be fancier, but am just trying to get the post and the pics right tonight.

Such great items for cooking, all that butter and cream cheese!! I could not find lekvar, so used apricot fruit spread, which I thought would be closest to apple butter. Would have been great to have made the lekvar, but did not have time

Here is my dough separated into two rectangles, very firm dough, ready to go into the fridge for chilling.

After chilling the dough, ready to roll out, what a challenge, but actually was not as hard as I anticipated. Floured surface and rolling pin helped a lot.

All rolled out and trimmed, looking good so far!

All ready to roll up, tucking the fruit pieces in really made sense as it says in the recipe.

Into the fridge for the night to chill…

Out of the oven, I sampled a very small piece that was in the middle…..pretty good!

One of my biggest fans supervising the baking…unfortunately she would not be interested in a bite.

Great recipe, interesting to bake, I liked that it was a little messy and that seemed ok in the finished product. These rugelach do not look anything like what I have had in the past, will have to see how well they are appreciated in my household to see if I will repeat.

This was fun. I look forward to the next baking project.

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