{sms} speakeasy, another boozy cake

Brandy. The one type of alcohol I do not have in my pantry and the type needed for this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe: Speakeasy, aka a boozy cake with chocolate. I have scotch, armagnac, cognac, rum (3 types), tequila, vodka (um, 8 types), Bailys, Kahlua, Frangelico, Applejack, Amaretto, triple sec, midori, gin, Calvados, Kirsch, Grand Marnier, and bourbon (2 types).

Without a pressing need to another bottle of liquor to my collection, I subbed in bourbon. The cake batter was easy to throw together especially with Diego assisting. Instead of making a full recipe, I halved it and baked two mini cakes.

Thanks to Jeannette of The Whimsical Cupcake for hosting this week. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

Advertisements

{sms} Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Muffins

Yes, this is an actual post. You are not hallucinating. I’ve been busy living life and  having an awesome summer.  It’s a weak excuse for not posting. I’ve been baking along with the the various weekly baking groups. I have internet and a new computer at home. I’ve been lazy with taking pictures and writing posts.

I’m recommitting to Pink Stripes. I feeling disconnected to the the food blogging world and I miss my blogging friends.

With that note, I’ll move along and tell you about this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe: Bosc Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Muffins. Rather than sweet, these are savory muffins. I adore the combination of pears and blue cheese. I also like walnuts. Trader Joes did not have bosc pears so I subbed bartlett pears. I liked the muffins. I think they would be great with manchego instead of blue cheese because manchego also pears (hee! Okay, pairs) well with pears.

I probably won’t make them again because I would rather eat blue cheese and pears on their own with out all the mumbo jumbo of the other muffin ingredients.

Thanks to Andrea of Nummy Kitchen for hosting this week’s selection. For the recipe visit her blog or buy the book.

{sms} cherry almond granola

Good stuff. I make granola all the time. In fact, I’ve made Sweet Melissa’s Cherry Almond Granola once before. It was used in the 4th recipe baked for Sweet Melissa’s SundaysGranola Breakfast Cookies–way back in April 2009. It’s kinda weird because you can see I’m wearing my wedding rings. Weird. It was a previous life.

Another difference between then and now is that this week I’m hosting the recipe. Oh, and this time I didn’t drop my granola container and waste most of the batch. 😉

Granola is great because you do anything with it. You can use it in cookies and bread. You can eat as cereal. You can eat it with yogurt and fruit. And, of course, it’s great on double-bean vanilla ice cream.

Cherry Almond Granola

From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

Makes 4 quarts granola

    • 5 cups rolled oats
    • 3 cups rye flakes (see note)
    • 1 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
    • 1 cup roasted shelled pumpkin seeds
    • 1 cup whole natural almonds
    • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
    • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
    • 3/4 cup clover honey
    • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 cup dried currants
    • 1 cup dried cherries
    • 1 cup golden raisins

    Before You Start

    Position a rack in the bottom and top thirds of your oven. Preheat the oven to 250° F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

    1. In a very large bowl, combine the oats, rye flakes, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds, and dry milk powder.
    2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the oil, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger and bring to a simmer, 3 to 4 minutes.
    3. Pour hot mixture over the oat mixture, and mix well to combine.
    4. Divide the granola equally between the prepared cookie sheets, spreading it evenly into a single layer. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
    5. Break up the granola into a bowl. Add the currants, cherries, and raisins and mix thoroughly.

    The granola keeps in an airtight container at room temperature and in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

    Note: Rye flakes are similar to rolled oats and can be used in much the same way. You can find them at natural foods stores.

    {sms} chocolate raspberry truffle torte

    Stop everything! Get this: I have a computer again. I don’t have to use my iphone. I still don’t have internet at home, that will come next week.  I’m at the Coffee Bean using their free wifi and drinking coffee while I write this. The battery in my camera was completely dead, so the picture is still an iphone pic. I’m *almost* back in the swing of things.

    This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays selection is the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Torte, a flour-less chocolate cake. It’s very rich and very decadent. That’s why I only made a 1/3 of the recipe.

    Thanks to Jennifer of The Rookie Baker for hosting this week. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.