Happy New Year from The Gorge!

welcome back, blog

October 2, 2011

Sorry.  I have been missing in action for the past couple of months.  It simply became too hot in my studio kitchen to warrant any additional heat.  I had to move the chocolate from the cupboard into my fridge because everything was melting.

i'm melting

Including myself.  And so I went out, where I enjoyed things that I can finally share because I can now comfortably concentrate at a heat-emitting device in my own home.

mocha sundae

I ate a lot of ice cream this summer.  Like this amazing mocha sundae, cappuccino ice cream with chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate covered espresso beans.  It was a good way to keep my internal temperature down, or so I told myself.

bloody mary friend

I made sure to stay hydrated.  I met friends for drinks and made friends in drinks, like this friend I found at the bottom of my Bloody Mary.

mason jar mojito

And this mason jar Mojito at Moonshine.

gin and tonic

And this gin and tonic at Archies.

raspberry crown

After late nights out, there is nothing so wonderful as a big brunch by the light of day featuring seasonal fruit.  Peach and raspberry pancakes with almonds and house made amaretto churned butter at Nookies Too.

burger

There was plenty of room for backyard barbeques, including the amazing discovery that basil becomes a fantastic lettuce replacement on a burger when the herb is so rich and leafy in the summertime.

blueberries

I could not get enough blueberries this summer.

handy helpers

I even went on an adventure to Michigan and enlisted the help of my three-year-old twin niece and nephew to pick wild blueberries that are infinity times better than anything I’ve ever found in a grocery store.  While my nephew found the bucket an interfering step from branch to mouth, my niece successfully picked a half pound of the good “purple” blueberries and none of the yucky pink or green blueberries.

blueberry margarita

And that very evening, with a couple of fine ladies, we turned a couple pounds of those teeny blueberries into totally healthful margaritas.  Cheers!

Thanks for sticking around in my absence!  I am back from this break with my kitchen and excited to get to work baking, shooting and writing about the fun and delicious things I come across!

black russian

July 21, 2011

Black Russian.  Green Mill.  4208 N Broadway Ave.

french press coffee

March 19, 2011

In the rush and go of the workweek routines are set and it becomes difficult to try something new.  First alarm goes off, go back to sleep for another hour.  Second alarm goes off, fill the coffeemaker, push the button, into the bathroom, pour the coffee, make lunch while eating breakfast, get dressed, etc.  Deviating from this daily schedule can lead to catastrophe (like that time I turned the coffeemaker on without the pot underneath because I didn’t have my glasses on yet and had forgotten it was still on the drying rack from the night before – oops).

Weekends are for trying out different things (or even for just trying things differently).  I had purchased a french press years ago at a home goods store’s going-out-of-business sale, but since I’d never used one before, it had been resigned to becoming a display item in my kitchen.  This morning, the first attempt at brewing coffee in a different way came out to wonderful results.  At this point in my life, I’m generally seeking caffeine content over flavour in the mornings and therefore I get by with the lesser quality coffees that are friendlier on my wallet.   However, since the filtering process in a french press involves a fine mesh and all the technology of a plunger, the results taste less like the coffee has been strained through a paper bag and the actual flavours of coffee aren’t stuck back with the grounds.

Another delicious experiment is to switch up how you take your coffee.  Instead of a vanilla flavored coffee creamer, this morning I opted to use brown sugar and whipping cream (left over from the chocolate ganache portion of the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes) with delightful results.