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29 June 2012

Visiting Sous Chef

My nephew joined me in the kitchen for a bit a few days ago.  I did my best to start teaching him the ropes, but he wasn't all that interested; the toy car he discovered was much more entertaining.  He did do a fine job of adding the lemonade mix to the pitcher; only had to clean up a small spill, so there is definitely potential!  Though maybe I should give it a few more years, give him time to grow a little so he can reach the counter top.

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Why was my nephew invading, I mean, hanging out at my house?  He and my sister came home for a visit and to help with the weaning of our latest group of goat kids, and, of course, since we were going to have a few extra people around to help us out, I went into full-on cook mode.  I made some good stuff too.  Wanna see?

(This is by no means everything I made, it's mostly just the sweet offerings, the savory options didn't have a chance to get their close-up since I was running behind schedule when it came time to serve.)

Candy Bar Cake
This was a cake I had originally seen in Food Network Magazine and wanted to try out.  It uses all store-bought ingredients, so it's quick and fairly easy to put together.  But...I had forgotten how awful store-bought pound cake tastes, and if I were to ever make this cake again, I'd make some changes to the recipe...for instance, make my own pound cake.  If you want to make one for yourself, you can find the recipe and how-to here.
  
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Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treats
"Ooo...yum!" That was my immediate thought when I came across these on Pinterest the other day.  My second thought?  "Must make soon!"  My verdict?  I'll stick to regular rice krispies.  (I think my focus group that day felt the same way, there were very few gone from the pan when it was all over.)

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Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
First time I've ever made lemon poppy seed cookies.  Shocked?  You probably shouldn't be if you've read the blog for any period of time; my tendencies lean towards the chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate variety.  Can you blame me?  These were a nice change from chocolate though, really light and summery and crispy.  But, I didn't care for the texture of the dough when I was rolling the cookies out.  Are most lemon poppy seed cookie doughs fairly dry?  I may have to make another batch using a different recipe...

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Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies
I love a good chocolate chip cookie, and these were pretty tasty, especially warm right out of the oven.  Will I make them again?  That's up in the air.  Like I said, they were tasty (lots and lots of chocolate), but required ingredients I don't typically keep on hand (ahem...bread and cake flour), they burned easily, and I had to wait 24 to 72 hours before baking them.  Sorry, folks, but when I want a chocolate chip cookie, I want it that day; not 1 or several days from then.  I think I'll stick with my regular recipe, and maybe just save this one for a special occasion when I need a little extra chocolate "oomph" in a chocolate chip cookie.

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Four recipe try-outs in and I'm sure that by now, you are probably thinking that I didn't make any dishes that I was happy with, but you would be jumping ahead yourself, because I did make two things that I loved.  Loved, I say!

The first...
Strawberry Super Pie
This recipe uses 3 pounds of strawberries.  Yes, you read that correctly.  3 pounds of strawberries...and for that very reason, it is a pie that will be relegated to the summer season.  Why?  You have to use fresh berries, frozen just won't cut it here, and strawberries are typically at their best June through August.  

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And, the second...
P.A.C. Granola
(The P.A.C. stands for pecans, almonds, and cherries.)
Saying I love this is a pretty big deal because I am not a granola fan.  Or, at least, I wasn't before this.  Of course, I had never made my own granola; had only tried pre-packaged versions and had not been impressed.  But this...this was delicious!

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Are you hungry now?

If it helps any, as soon as I find my recipe notes for the granola and super pie I plan to share them with you.  The problem is I can't seem to remember where I put them; good thing I'm planning to clean the house this weekend!

Talk to you soon!

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