Main

August 15, 2006

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Outrageous Brownies

A completely over-the-top brownie recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. They take a bit more work than regular brownies, but the results are excellent. One big problem, however: the batter burned around the edges of the pan.

Continue reading "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Outrageous Brownies" »

 

August 14, 2006

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Homemade Granola

A pretty simple, very good-tasting recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I have a couple of quibbles: the cooking time was too long, and I don't like what happens to the granola's texture when it's stored.

Continue reading "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Homemade Granola" »

August 07, 2006

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Pecan Shortbread

Here's a very good shortbread recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I thought the instructions sounded strange, but my initial impression was wrong: the recipe works, and the cookies are delicious. The yield, however, is way off.

Continue reading "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Pecan Shortbread" »

August 03, 2006

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Peach and Raspberry Crisp

A perfect recipe for this time of year, when the peaches are ripe and juicy. Get the sweetest peaches you can find, from the farmer's market if possible.

Continue reading "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Peach and Raspberry Crisp" »

July 27, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart

My last test from the Wolfgang Puck chapter! I'll be testing 3 or 4 more recipes from the Food Network Kitchens chapter in Food Network Favorites, and then at long last I'll be moving onto a new book.

This tart is quite good, if a bit, well, tart. If you like lemon curd, this dessert will probably appeal to you.

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: Caramelized Lemon-Lime Tart" »

June 20, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Is It Really Better Than Sex? Cake

Paula Deen does have a colorful way with titles. As for the answer to the question, I'll leave it to you to determine for yourself. This is a very rich, decadent cake with pineapple, coconut, and vanilla pudding. It's extremely simple to put together. I had one little quibble with the ingredients, but the final result is a very good dessert.

I've also given a recipe for the more common chocolate version of Better Than Sex Cake, so if the tropical variety doesn't do it for you, the chocolate and toffee one probably will.

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: Is It Really Better Than Sex? Cake" »

June 16, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Creamy Ricotta Tart with Pine Nuts

Another dessert from the Giada De Laurentiis chapter in Food Network Favorites. It's a very good tart; it's just not my favorite kind of dessert. The pine nut crust is topped with a lightly sweet custard, and more pine nuts are strewn across the top. You need to really like pine nuts for this one to appeal to you, because their flavor is very, very strong.

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: Creamy Ricotta Tart with Pine Nuts" »

June 14, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Nonna's Lemon Ricotta Biscuits

Another very good recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. My only quibble, and it's really more of a question, is to wonder why she specifies using paper muffin liners? Plus, these aren't biscuits. They're muffins -- very tasty ones.

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: Nonna's Lemon Ricotta Biscuits" »

June 13, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Chocolate Amaretti Cake

And on to the Giada De Laurentiis chapter in Food Network Favorites. I've already reviewed her book Everyday Italian and found it to be pretty good, although it could have used a tad more editing. Is there any reason to check out her recipes in this new book?

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: Chocolate Amaretti Cake" »

June 07, 2006

Food Network Favorites: The Ultimate Cheesecake

Cheesecake fans tend to fall into two different camps: those who love a dense, firm cake (the traditional New York-style cheesecake), and those who prefer a lighter, fluffier-textured cake. This recipe falls into the latter category.

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: The Ultimate Cheesecake" »

June 01, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Chocolate Date Pudding Cake

Next up in Food Network Favorites: Tyler Florence, host of Food 911. This chocolate cake is a version of the popular molten chocolate cake. The end result is very good, but I have to say that for the host of show that addresses cooking problems, Florence's instructions are oddly bare-bones.

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: Chocolate Date Pudding Cake" »

May 24, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Quick Peaches & Golden Raisins Cobbler

Another very good recipe from the Rachael Ray chapter in Food Network Favorites. The cobbler is pleasantly spicy and easy to put together. I have just a couple of quibbles about ingredients.

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: Quick Peaches & Golden Raisins Cobbler" »

May 22, 2006

Food Network Favorites: English Muffins

An Alton Brown recipe from Food Network Favorites. The "Note from the Kitchens" blurb next to this recipe says, "They were just delicious. They even looked like English Muffins!" Well, yeah. That's what they are. Says it right there in the title: English Muffins.

Aside from the editor's bizarre jubilation that these muffins actually look like they're supposed to, this is a very good recipe. The muffins are tasty and they do, indeed, look just like English muffins you'd buy at the store. (Amazing!)

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: English Muffins" »

April 10, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie

From the Food Network's own kitchens, this recipe from Food Network Favorites is decadent and delicious. The instructions, however, contain one very large oversight.

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie" »

February 24, 2006

Food Network Favorites: Blueberry-Pecan Crumble

From Dave Lieberman, the Food Network's newest boy wonder chef, comes this simple version of fruit crumble. It's a good one.

Continue reading "Food Network Favorites: Blueberry-Pecan Crumble" »

February 07, 2006

Off the Shelf: Easy Chocolate Cake

Errors and oversights in technique are becoming the bane of my existence with Off the Shelf. The ideas in this book are excellent, and if you're careful to fill in the blanks when it comes to the instructions, no problem. But oftentimes, Donna Hay leaves the fine details out of her recipes, and that is a problem.

Continue reading "Off the Shelf: Easy Chocolate Cake" »

February 06, 2006

Off the Shelf: Caramel-Filled Biscuits

Another dessert idea from Off the Shelf. In this one, buttery cookies are layered with sticky caramel to make sandwiches. The flavors are very good, but I had some trouble with the technique.

Continue reading "Off the Shelf: Caramel-Filled Biscuits" »

February 02, 2006

Off the Shelf: Food-Processor Cookies

This is a serviceable cookie dough that takes well to adaptation. I'm not sold on the food processor method, however. Is it so much easier to drag out the food processor and then fuss around with scraping out the heavy, sticky cookie dough? Not to my mind, it isn't.

Continue reading "Off the Shelf: Food-Processor Cookies" »

January 20, 2006

Sara's Secrets: Pecan Pie Squares

Wow, where to begin? This one's a disaster from start to finish. The concept is intriguing: take pecan pie components and turn them into bar cookies, using graham crackers as an ersatz crust. But the execution fails utterly. What I ended up with was a pan of sticky pecan pie filling, pecan halves that were too big to cut through neatly, and a crust layer that was so thin, it melted into nothingness. Not a successful recipe.

Continue reading "Sara's Secrets: Pecan Pie Squares" »

January 19, 2006

Sara's Secrets: Basic Yellow Cake

Sara Moulton says of this cake, "What an exciting idea to be able to whip up a cake from scratch on a weeknight in only ten minutes." I guess so...I'm not really a "cake for cake's sake" person. I don't get the point of whipping up a plain cake for dessert. That's not terribly exciting to me.

If, however, you really like cake and want a quick recipe, this one's fairly good. The texture is rather coarse and the flavor is blandly vanilla, but if you follow Moulton's recommendations for toppings (berries and/or chocolate) this is a serviceable dessert.

Continue reading "Sara's Secrets: Basic Yellow Cake" »

January 06, 2006

Sara's Secrets: Quick Grape Crumble

I can never resist a fruit crisp or crumble recipe. This one, however, suffers from a case of "How many grapes?" The proportions are way off — so much so that I find it hard to believe that anyone actually prepared this recipe before it found its way into the finished book.

Continue reading "Sara's Secrets: Quick Grape Crumble" »

December 05, 2005

Chez Panisse Desserts: Ossi Dei Morti

A cookie recipe from Chez Panisse Desserts. Italian for "bones of the dead," ossi dei morti cookies are traditionally served on All Soul's Day, at the beginning of November. The cookies taste very good, but they don't look especially attractive, although they do indeed look somewhat bonelike. These are very crisp cookies, not quite as hard as biscotti, but definitely designed to be dipped into coffee or wine before being eaten.

Continue reading "Chez Panisse Desserts: Ossi Dei Morti" »

November 22, 2005

Everyday Italian: Almond Cake

A somewhat dense, coarse-textured, intensely almond-flavored cake. It's tasty just as it is, and would also pair well with fresh berries.

Continue reading "Everyday Italian: Almond Cake" »

November 11, 2005

Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine: Eggnog Quick Bread

A very tasty offering from the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine. It tastes a bit like eggnog, but mostly like nutmeg and almonds. Either way, it's yummy and looks pretty as a hostess gift or buffet table dessert.

Continue reading "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine: Eggnog Quick Bread" »

Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine: Chocolate-Cashew Bread

Another quick bread from the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine. This one is drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with chopped cashews; it looks lovely and tastes delicious.

Continue reading "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine: Chocolate-Cashew Bread" »

November 09, 2005

From My Kitchen: Cherry-Cardamom Crisp

Taking inspiration from Jacques Pépin, I developed this tasty combination of Morello cherries, orange zest, and a crunchy cookie topping.

I'm a big fan of fruit crumbles and crisps. They're easy to put together and taste fantastic. Try this one in the fall, when fresh cherries are a distant memory.

Continue reading "From My Kitchen: Cherry-Cardamom Crisp" »

Fast Food My Way: Pear-Ginger Crisp

A variation of the Pear Brown Betty. I prefer the crunchy cookie topping over the softer, pudding-style Betty.

Continue reading "Fast Food My Way: Pear-Ginger Crisp" »

Fast Food My Way: Pear Brown Betty

From Jacques Pépin's Fast Food My Way, a clever idea for using up slightly stale baked goods: mix them with canned pears and turn them into dessert!

If you like bread puddings, you'll probably like this, even though it doesn't have a dairy component. You can make it with nearly any type of bread, cake, croissants, Danish, muffins, or scones. All you need to have on hand is a big can of pears.

Continue reading "Fast Food My Way: Pear Brown Betty" »

November 08, 2005

Fast Food My Way: Caramelized Apple-Granola Timbales

It sounds fancy, but it's actually a rather simple dessert or breakfast: individual custard cups are filled with a combination of apples and granola, then topped with a round of buttered-and-sugared bread. After they're cooked, the cups are unmolded, giving you a pretty molded dessert reminiscent of apple charlotte.

That's the theory, anyway. I had a bit of trouble in the execution.

Continue reading "Fast Food My Way: Caramelized Apple-Granola Timbales" »

November 04, 2005

Fast Food My Way: Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Cake

This is an intensely rich flourless chocolate cake. It's easy to put together, and tastes like the chewiest, densest brownies ever. I made a couple of adjustments to the technique, but the cake itself is a winner, one that I'll definitely come back to again.

Continue reading "Fast Food My Way: Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Cake" »

November 02, 2005

Fast Food My Way: Shortbread-Raspberry Gratins

A variation of the Chocolate-Raspberry Gratins, using shortbread cookies for the crumble topping. I actually preferred this one to the chocolate version.

Continue reading "Fast Food My Way: Shortbread-Raspberry Gratins" »

Fast Food My Way: Chocolate-Raspberry Gratins

Jacques Pépin has some fantastic ideas for quick, delicious desserts in Fast Food My Way. He doesn't shy away from using store-bought ingredients; in this case, cookies, which form the crumble topping for a speedy fruit dessert that tastes fantastic.

Continue reading "Fast Food My Way: Chocolate-Raspberry Gratins" »

October 13, 2005

Live, Love, Eat!: Baked Apple Pouches with Cinnamon and Raisins

A tasty apple dessert with a pretty presentation. If you like apple dumplings or turnovers, you'll like this one.

Continue reading "Live, Love, Eat!: Baked Apple Pouches with Cinnamon and Raisins" »

From My Kitchen: Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup

More pumpkin! These pancakes have a delicate pumpkin flavor and a soufflé-like texture.

Continue reading "From My Kitchen: Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup" »

October 12, 2005

Better Than Pie: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Even though I love pumpkin in nearly every incarnation, I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. I'd rather have pretty much any other pumpkin dessert. This cheesecake has graced my Thanksgiving table for the last couple of years. It's delicious, and so much more satisfying than plain ol' pie.

Continue reading "Better Than Pie: Pumpkin Cheesecake" »

October 09, 2005

Pumpkin Muffins

When you don't want your pumpkin in loaf form, try it as muffins.

Continue reading "Pumpkin Muffins" »

Yay for Fall: Pumpkin Spice Bread

I'm not much of a baker during the summertime. For some reason, peach cobbler and blueberry pie don't really appeal to me. But when the weather changes and there's a chill in the air, I start to get the urge to make pumpkin quick bread, pumpkin crème brûlée, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pancakes...and the occasional cranberry tart.

Continue reading "Yay for Fall: Pumpkin Spice Bread" »

 

 

 

©2005 Colleen Flippo. All rights reserved. Contact the author.