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Ta-DDDDAAAAAA!!!

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I’m ba-ack! And you thought you could get rid of me that easily. Not a chance, my people. Not a chance.

WELL, what have I been doing these past few weeks – er, months, but who’s counting? – that I haven’t written to you lovely readers? What haven’t I been doing is the real question (and don’t say “posting on your blog”. Not allowed.). In any case, here is a limited list:

1. My new job! I currently work as a part-time editorial assistant for the editor-in-chief of an academic journal. It’s a job, and it’s something I can do from home for a bit o’ extra money. It’s obviously not my ideal job, nor does it use too many of my hard-earned collegiate skills, but I do get to communicate with people from all over the world and learn some new stuff. It’ll do until…

2. …I finish my first app! As some of you may or may not know, I’ve dabbled in iOS (that’s iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) development in the past, and I’m turning much more attention to it now. Currently I’m catching up to speed on all the new development features that I’ve missed because of *SOMEONE* I’ve had to take care of for the past over 10 months. Psshh. I’ve got a couple of project ideas lined up already, and I’m hoping I can get them pushed out and ready to go in the next few months.

3. That *SOMEONE* that I may or may not have ever mentioned on this blog before. Yeah, him. He, uh, also occasionally takes up some of my time.

BABY PICTURES ATTACK!!!!!!!!

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There’s more where that came from, too, my friends. ‘Tis but a small selection. You’ll have to stay tuned for more!

4. Finally, baking. Yes, I may not have been keeping you updated about my baking, but I sure as cake was still continuing to bake (I honestly did not mean for that to rhyme). Because of the backlog, however, you’re just going to have to enjoy the pictures of my creations without too much background explanation. Me tired. I’ll start afresh with this weekend’s assignment.

Here it goes:

Orange-chocolate-pecan coffee cake:
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Somehow in all my adventures I’d never managed to produce a coffee cake before, but this one was definitely delish!

Tres leches cake! With real leches!

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Chocolate cappuccino cake, which was actually very cinnamon-y:

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This occasionally happens to me with baking; I, actually, was not the biggest fan of the above cake. I mean, it was ok, but it was not necessarily what I look for in a chocolate-coffee cake. For one, I thought it was kind of dry. HOWEVER, the things that I am usually meh about turn out to be some of the biggest hits with everyone else. This cake was exactly an example of that. People kept telling me how moist and delicious it was. Go figure. Whatever makes ’em (and “’em” being the people so gracious as to partake in my culinary exploits) happy, I guess!

So then I got on an insane scone kick. To the point where I wasn’t able to even take pictures of some of the ones I made because they disappeared so fast. But here were my favey-faves, maple oat scones:

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And James’s favorites, mini vanilla bean scones:

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Finally, there was the rediscovery of my amazing breadmaker, which produced this lovely lemon poppyseed cake:

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Alas, not pictured (because I somehow didn’t manage to snag these on camera!) are a classic pound cake, my father-in-law’s traditional birthday chiffon cake (which I even made twice, and still didn’t manage to catch on “film”!), lemon-blueberry scones, and orange-cranberry scones.

So you see, I have been a busy beaver. Those baked goods couldn’t just bake and eat themselves. And all the other stuff? Well, come on, let’s get our priorities straight. 🙂

Welcome back!

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Double the Desserts

Sorry again for the delay. My previously-mentioned project that I’m working on plus other responsibilities have me weighed down at the moment. I’m gloriously close to getting fairly back to normal… but not quite there yet. So, as a peace offering, enjoy the last two desserts made here in Mama Goertz’s kitchen.

From a week and a half ago: coffee brandy crème brûlée.

This recipe comes, of course, from my huge desserts cookbook, and I’ve been wanting to try it pretty much since I bought the book. It must be a recipe that likes to make me wait because I definitely had aimed at making it for Tuesday two weeks ago… And didn’t end up finishing it until the following Monday. Whoops.

It was a cool recipe since it’s just your basic crème brûlée with some instant coffee granules (the ONLY use I have for instant coffee, I’m snobbishly sad to say) and brandy mixed in. The biggest difference for me was the top crust – it’s made from brown sugar, not regular ol’ granulated! That definitely made a differently-flavored, more mellow-tasting crust. As with many crème brûlées, make sure to start this one a day early, as it needs to chill overnight to set up completely.

Dessert número dos: cranberry orange scones!

I’d never made scones before and was pleasantly surprised to see how easy they are to make. The recipe I used has you put the dough together by hand, although several reviewers recommend you just use a food processor, but I still found it quick and easy the old-fashioned way. I’m really on a mission to find a recipe I like as much as the one Starbucks uses for their scones, so I don’t have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on silly scones. While this one doesn’t taste like theirs, it sure is delicious anyway, so who cares?

This weekend should be interesting as I’m at a complete loss as to what to make. Chocolate-y? Fruity? Nutty? All three? None of the above? I just can’t decide. I guess time will tell. And we’ll both just have to wait and see what happens. 🙂

Takin’ a breather

As you may or may not know, there’s a big holiday coming up this week. One of my favorite ones, actually. The food, the family, the conversations, the DESSERTS (oh come on, like you’re surprised), with no pressure. By no pressure I mean, Thanksgiving is one of those rare holidays where you don’t have to decorate, don’t have to dress up, don’t have to send cards, don’t have to go somewhere to see fireworks, it’s just a fabulous excuse to spend time with family and eat a bunch of good food. I have such good memories of Thanksgiving so I’m really looking forward to this week.

HOWEVER, due to the aforementioned desserts, I will be very busy this coming week. Between all the family get-togethers, I’m looking at baking approximately FIVE desserts this week. Yikes! So partly due to that and partly due to the fact that I just needed to take a breather from all these intense cakes I’ve been making, I decided to take it easy this weekend.

And still ended up making two desserts from my favorite cookbook.

Sigh. ‘Tis the life of a serial baker, I guess.

To be honest, it all sort of happened by accident. James and I were sitting around, enjoying our lazy Friday evening, when all of a sudden, I wanted to make a dessert. I just ached to create something. It was that moment that reassured me that I’m not crazy for wanting to make all these desserts and write about them on a blog and everything. The moment I relaxed, the first thing I turned to was dessert-making! It’s just a comfort to me.

So here’s my impromptu, what-can-I-make-with-what’s-already-in-my-pantry dessert:

Loving' me some coffee.

Chocolate Espresso Pudding with Espresso Whipped Cream. I had never made pudding in any way than from a box or package before, and I was so surprised to find how easy it was to make it from scratch. You honestly just need basic pantry ingredients for a basic pudding, and you can just dress it up from there.

The next thing that surprised me was how delicious it was. There are times that you just can’t beat the combo of coffee and chocolate, and I am not exaggerating when I say this five-minute dessert was better than some of the cakes I’ve labored over for hours. Fantastic. Try it here, and don’t skimp out on the instant espresso. I think it probably gives a much more interesting flavor to the pudding than regular ol’ instant coffee would.

The second “dessert” I baked this weekend wasn’t a dessert at all. It was actually breakfast. A Dutch Baby is a kind of baked pancake, and I felt like I’d kept seeing or hearing about it everywhere recently, so I just decided to try it. This, again, was one of those things you can make out of typical ingredients you already have. Unfortunately, we dove into this thing too quickly to take any pictures, but essentially it looked like this:

Plain and simple.

Simple. Low-key. Fast. I think I liked it better than a regular pancake. Try it out next time you want to try something new.

So that’s it for this weekend. Baking and dessert-making continue to be my hobby of relaxation, and I’m hoping I can channel that relaxation to this weekend’s dessert marathon. Eep! Keep your fingers crossed, or, as we say in Polish, hold your thumbs!

Java Jello

So, my friends, it is time for another dessert post! As some of you may know, a certain *someone* has kept me slightly busy and tired this week, so I wanted to take a low-key approach to this weekend’s dessert. And this dessert is about as low-key – and yet delicious – as they get. I give you (drumroll, please)…

COFFEE JELLO.

Yum.

So, this dessert may sound kind of weird, but it is simply delicious. It requires only four ingredients and about, oh, 6.7 minutes of time to prepare. So fantastic for a tired Mama.

I have actually prepared this dessert before, so this wasn’t a new one for me. I was first attracted to it because of the simple fact that it was made of coffee. Anyone who knows me knows that right up there with desserts and Maciek on my love-list is coffee (ok, I suppose Maciek wins out. Aaaand I guess James is up there, too.). Sometimes a great cup of coffee can even – gasp – outweigh dessert in my estimation (that’s when you know it’s serious). So a dessert that completely showcases my favorite bean had to be tried. It was attractive again this weekend because of its simplicity. Being absolutely yummy doesn’t hurt, either.

So without further ado, here it is!

Double Jello Shot.

The only coffee you can have right-side up:

Coffee jello is a-ok.

Or upside-down!

Upside-down coffee is great, too!

Goooood stuff.

Even better up close.

And for those of you that want to try it yourself, check it out here. Happy jello-ing!