Archive for July, 2013

Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge, Portland

kendal looking

First of all, may I present my friend, K, who is ultra-beautiful, effortlessly stylish and unparalleledly creative. Thank you, thank you. I know. I’m privileged.

I had to get that off my chest to start because this photo makes me want to burst with it. I even had to make up words for it. Ok.

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She and Heath showed me around green, green Portland for a day, mainly to “hike” Multnomah Falls, eat tacos/waffles and pop tags at House of Vintage. In other words, the actual best day ever. It was even sunny.

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There was even a stone bridge.

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There was even BRIGHT.

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K even told me about huckleberries.

me multnomah

I even wore an OUTFIT.

h and k

Like I said, best day ever.

L

Pipe Dream #207: To Not OD – Crystal Cake Batter Cookies

cake cookies 1

Guys, these cookies are vice in ultra overload. They are sugarcakebattercrystalmeth-type cookies (not that I would know about such things, but don’t you imagine crystal meth to look kind of like a unicorn/sprinkles?). The kind that will send you for a ride. And they could be better.

Mostly, it’s my fault. I fancied them up with a big, fat, unnecessary swirl of icing. They probably just needed a lick of icing, but as per my usual form (best phrase mix eva), I went a little overboard. I mean, when a girl has a grad party, you gotta go big. Especially when she looks like this. Can you blame me?

cake cookies 3

But actually, I think the cookie recipe is a bit off. The dough part. The cookies feel too sugary, and they flattened out a bit too much for my liking, even after freezing them and making little stack of dough so they would be thick cookies! And take note, I nearly never chill dough for long enough. Impatience is my virtue.

cake cookies 4

They are a fun idea, and they are not a bad use of that leftover cake mix you have in the pantry, but just prepare yourself for something like two weeks worth of sugar in one go. And this is coming from me, so you know it’s real.

cake cookies 2

Inappropriately,

L

Frosted Cake Batter Cookies

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

For the cake batter cookies cookies:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup yellow or white boxed cake mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Mix in the egg and vanilla and beat until creamy. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. This will prevent the dough from spreading too much.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use a small cookie scoop to portion out the cold dough on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 5-7 minutes until edges are slightly browned. The centers will look soft, but they will set up as the cool. Remove to a cookie sheet and let cool completely.

For the cake batter frosting:

A Sasquatch Noise Experiment

sas group 2

There is a very delicate intersection of well-developed musical taste and youthful indulgence. I figure I’m hitting that window, so I decided to make a go of the Sasquatch Music Festival for my vacation this year. Held at the Columbia River Gorge in Washington, the festival spans four long days and nights of the best acts anyone’s ever heard of, plus a few bogus ones. I think I saw over 35 shows, which is good, because I don’t want to blink and miss my youth, yeah?

I just figured there are only so many years one can attend a music festival before it becomes inappropriate and inconvenient. I mean, you just don’t see many adults with fabulous music taste walking around in 90s-era crop tops, taking off a whole week from work to wreck themselves sleeping on the ground, surviving on beef jerky and peanut butter cups and scrubbing last night’s mascara out of their armpits in a janky car door reflection.

I did see some kids there, and a few old people. I don’t know man, I don’t know. Anyway, enjoy these shots of Sasquatch. It was quite a ride. Mostly the only quality pics are from our campsite, as I wasn’t about to take my DSLR into the venue, lest it be burned, stolen or otherwise wrecked, which is why there are less music shots/more vanity shots.

So basically, I discovered gradient layers in CS4, and now I can’t stop. It’s actually embarrassing how many pictures I had to cut from this post because I edited so many with an added noise filter. There are just endless options.

Incidentally, this type of editing is just perfect for my trip out to Washington, as  it was full of sun, cows and people who may or may not have been sober.

Ever your,

L

sas me 3 alt

sardines

campground

heather model 1

me eyes 3 alt

heath me 2 alt

heather model 3

heath me diptych 2

Pipe Dream #207: To Be Oh Fer Cute – Raspberry Heart Scones

rasp scones 3

“Oh for cute.” Typical Minnesotan expression of something endearing or attractive.

“Oh fer cute.” My own mild mockery of this phrase.

But these scones are no joke. They are both cute and yummy and potentially yummier because of their cuteness. Is this possible, you ask? Can something be made more palatable because of its attractiveness?

The answer, according to me and also according some relational societal trends, is a resounding yes.

rasp scones 6 rasp scones 1

The dough was a bit of a mess. I had to add a buncha extra flour once I got it  on the cutting board. Do ya best.

rasp scones 2 rasp scones 4

Once cut, they held their shape fairly well, likely due to freezing the scones before baking them. Rustic-y, they are.

rasp scones 5

Served with a dollop of cream and a spoon of lemon curd, these babies lack nothing. Not brains, not brawn. Prepare for a second date.

Primping, probably,

L

Raspberry Scones

Inspired by smittenkitchen

2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 (6 ounces) cups fresh raspberries
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400°F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingers, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Try to work quickly and not handle the dough too much so the butter doesn’t melt.

In a small bowl toss together fresh raspberries and 1 tablespoon sugar and stir into flour mixture.

In another small bowl lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Turn out the dough onto a seriously well-floured surface pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round (about 8 inches in diameter) and with a 2-inch round cutter (or the rim of a glass dipped in flour) cut out as many rounds as possible, rerolling the scraps as necessary. Arrange rounds about 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops just start to brown.

Note: If you use a mini cutter like I did, the recipe will make a lot more scones, and you will have to bake them for a shorter time. I did mine for about 12 minutes from a frozen state.

Other Note: You can freeze these after you cut them out so that you can prepare these beforehand. Just freeze them on the baking tray for a half hour, then transfer to a plastic bag. When you bake them, just add a few minutes onto the baking time.

Serve scones warm with whipped cream and lemon curd.

Pipe Dream #206: To Be a Mere Vessel – Puppy Chow Bars

puppy chow bars 2

I’ve never posted about classic puppy chow before. I mean, sure, ages ago I tried out a lemon version, but I’ve since given up trying to make a dent in the 10,000 possible flavors you can lacquer onto rice. Rice is like dry tofu, flavorless and kinda gross on its own, which makes it indubitably versatile. In the case of puppy chow, rice cereal functions as a vehicle to transport peanut butter and chocolate from a bowl to my mouth without too much shame. (I feel like there is a “treasures in jars of clay” reference here in which I am the rice cereal and the Gospel is chocolate and peanut butter, but I can’t quite flesh it out, ah well).

puppy chow bars 1

And now, with the introduction of puppy chow in bar form, I have provided you with an even simpler way to do so. Aren’t you glad?

Amp up the powdered sugar for a more traditional level of p chow sweetness. I wish I had marshmallows on hand to make this a sort of Rice Krispy treat/puppy chow hybrid, but I didn’t. I think it might make the bars hold together a little better. I stuck these in the fridge for a bit before slicing to make things as clean as possible, but they still looked average. Story of my life.

puppy chow bars 3

Simply,

L

Puppy Chow Bars

Adapted from Dinners, Dishes & Dessert

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Corn Chex, Rice Chex or Rice Krispies cereal
powdered sugar

Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil. Place the cereal in a large bowl. Microwave the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a medium bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir to combine. Dump the mix into the prepared pan and press down with a spatula to form into bars. Let cool completely. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Slice into bars. You may want to stick the whole pan in the fridge before slicing to get the cleanest cuts.

Favorite Shots: Just A Few Essentials

cookbooks

A few essentials for the modern-day chef. Maybe someday I’ll get my act together and purchase a few of these hallowed tomes. Minus Martha. She never uses enough salt, and her recipes are so hit or miss.

L

Pipe Dream #178: To Be Sophisticated Fresh, Revisited: Double Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

twist cookies 3

If you need for a quick afternoon snack, or a brunch menu bulk-up, look no further than your basic slice-and-bake cookie. This store-bought convenience cookie is a long-time American favorite. It even comes prepped for your holiday gatherings. Slice up a log of dough to reveal Jack-O-Lanterns, Christmas trees, clover leaves and all other manner of stylized holiday symbols.

If you’re looking for something just as easy, but slightly more sophisticated, however, let me introduce to you these swirly slice-and-bakes I came up with the other day.

twist cookies 2

I took what would be an average shortbread recipe, and added white chocolate and cocoa powder to the dough.

twist cookies 1

Then I twisted the two dough logs together to create a swirl pattern. After a quick chill, you just slice it up, sprinkle with a little sugar (sanding sugar would be even better) and voila! A teeny, cultured little cookie that functions perfectly well as an afternoon tea snack or a cookie plate filler.

feta biscuits 5

Afternoon tea cookies, elsewhere:

Peppermint Meringues

Wickle Bunny Buns

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Orange, Pine Nut & Dark Chocolate Biscotti

Brown Sugar Hazelnut Rounds

Orange Almond Macaroons

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Kettling,

L

Double Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

An LH Original

2 cups flour, divided

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, cold and cubed, divided

1/2 cup sugar, divided

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

4 ounces high-quality white chocolate

To make the dark chocolate shortbread, stir together 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa powder and 1 cup MINUS  2 tablespoons flour. Cut in one stick of butter until the dough resembles fine crumbs, then knead until smooth. Form into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

To make the white chocolate shortbread, stir together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup of flour. Melt the white chocolate in a bain marie or in the microwave, being careful not to scorch it. Set aside to cool a bit. Cut in one stick of butter to the flour mixture until the dough resembles fine crumbs, then knead until smooth. Add the white chocolate and stir/knead to incorporate. Form into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

After about 30 minutes in the fridge, remove the logs and press them together, forming one large log. Twist and press the two doughs as desired to create a marbled effect. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes or longer.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Slice the log into rounds, sprinkle with a bit of sugar and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until just set and starting to get golden. Let cool on that baking sheet for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


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