Category Archives: Techniques

Salted Caramel Banana Pudding & The Resolution Revolution

Salted Caramel Banana Pudding & The Resolution Revolution

Happy New Year my friends, it feels way too long since we have chatted! While I am always baking, creating recipes and sharing pictures and posts of my adventures in the million and one social media sites out there, (okay, so only on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook…sorry Snapchat, I’m still trying to find time for you!), it has been a bit since I have shared a blog post with you here.

In light of this latency period, I knew that what I posted next had to be good. Like really really good. As in, this Salted Caramel Banana Pudding Good! First take a moment to imagine the best banana pudding you’ve ever had. It’s okay, take your time, I’ll wait…Now imagine how infinitely better it would be made with homemade vanilla pudding, luscious swoon-worthy salted caramel, and fresh-whipped pillowy whipped cream. Yes, it’s that good.

Citrus Berry Naked Cake

Citrus Berry Naked Cake

I am not from the South, so I never knew there were varying degrees of nakeness! A few years after moving to my adopted home state of Tennessee, a kind and sweet as back porch iced tea, Southern, young-at-heart friend explained that there most certainly are.  

“Now dear, there’s “naked” and then there’s “nekked,” she explained with an oh so lovely drawl that toggled on that line between sincerity and syrupy sweet Southern sarcasm. There was no mistaking here, she was down right serious. She continued, “naked is when you don’t have clothes on, and nekked, well…nekked, is when you don’t have clothes on and you’re doin’ something you’re not supposed to be doin’!” I am not exactly sure when the snorting laughter ensued, but at one point I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard and distinctly remember thinking that her explanation made perfect sense.  That is the moment my friends, I knew I was a Southerner at heart.Citrus Barry Naked Cake (4)

The moment I began thinking of making this recipe for you all, I thought of this story and knew this cake had to be the perfect combination of “naked” and “nekked.” Classic enough to be presentable, but with just a bit of sass to make you wonder! A cake where you can see all of the beautiful baked cake layers, stacked high with perfect pillowing frosting peeking through and crowned with an indecent amount of seasonal fruit.

Roasted Milk Ice Cream

Roasted Milk Ice Cream

Sometimes I feel like the boy who cried wolf. At the time I create and blog about a recipe, I am beyond excited and want to share it with the world.  I promise, that fervent energy is genuine and in that moment, I feel like it’s the most remarkable pastry.  So, when I create a recipe that I categorically, emphatically and truly believe is just the best ever, I can imagine you all silently rolling your eyes and thinking, “I’ve heard this before.” But this recipe, really is special. This is also one of those moments in recipe development where I think to myself, holy moly, me oh my, Roasted Milk Ice Cream! What?

Milk, Tea & Honey Crème Caramel

Milk, Tea & Honey Crème Caramel

Perhaps I was still in that hazy, sleep deprived, beyond exhausted, new mom phase when I thought it was a good idea to board an airplane with a weary three month old clinging to my chest, a doe-eyed toddler nervously gripping my leg, and the cumulative weight of the reality of heading to a city I had never stepped in, to walk into a house that I hastily agreed to buy sight unseen, resting uneasily on my shoulders. What had I done? Eight years later, the answer is as clear as the sunlight streaming through the honey jars lining a bee farm wall.

Sweet Love Strawberry Marshmallows

Sweet Love Strawberry Marshmallows

I cannot imagine a more appropriate occasion to make these Sweet Love Strawberry Marshmallow confections than Valentine’s Day! I am not ashamed to confess that I’m wholly and unabashedly in love with Valentine’s Day, and not necessarily the couple’s kind, though that is all kinds of lovely as well.  I simply adore the idea of celebrating love.  Love of all that bring such joy and beauty to our lives…family, friends, children and significant others, is what we celebrate on this day. 

Flourless Chocolate Cake (A Gluten-Free Decadence)

Flourless Chocolate Cake (A Gluten-Free Decadence)

I am not a gluten-free baker. Then what the heck am I doing posting this gluten-free recipe, right? The answer is quite simple actually, this a decadent, rich and elegant dessert that happens to also be gluten-free.  I am often asked about making gluten free cakes, cookies, etc., and my response is that while I don’t recreate bakes that traditionally have gluten, what I do love to do is create recipes for bakes that naturally do not contain gluten, like this luscious chocolate cake, French macarons, caramels, pate de fruits, etc. Fair warning, this is a dense and rich dessert that’s perfect for sharing. So bake it with love and send out the evites!

Anniversary Rose Macarons (A Simplified Macaron Tutorial)

Anniversary Rose Macarons (A Simplified Macaron Tutorial)

A year ago I launched this blog as a birthday gift to myself. It was something that I had thought of for a long time that had finally come to fruition. I could not predict just what a fulfilling and joyous journey it would turn out to be and how truly grateful I am for each and every reader. It is a privilege to share this passion and my heart with you all. So in the spirit of celebration, I cannot think of a better way to mark this milestone of a blog meant to teach and inspire you to bake than to tackle perhaps the most feared and intimidating bake of all, the French macaron. This recipe is for my intoxicating rose scented macaron with a silky dark chocolate ganache filling.
Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

I have been in desperate need of some sunshine. It’s the end of March. Spring time. And yet the temperature continues to hover in the “Baby, it’s cold outside” range. So I decided, if the weather doesn’t provide the sunshine, then it’s time to create my own in the kitchen with this bright and beautiful Meyer Lemon Ice Cream.

Sweetie Pies

Sweetie Pies

Okay, remember that one time at 1 am when you were scouring Pinterest to find the perfect Valentine treat for your sweet and thought to yourself, that would be adorable! Well, not so adorable in the light of day after wasting a perfectly good pie crust and praying to the kitchen Gods that mason jars are indeed oven safe despite of any actual written confirmation of that on the packaging. While thankfully the jars didn’t explode into a million shards of glass under the scrutiny of a 400°F oven, the pie in a mason jar idea did not fair so well in the taste and execution department. Adorable? Yes. Tasty? Not so much.

I have been baking all of my life and rarely find myself in the midst of epic failures and this was certainly one of them, and I am so grateful for it. Quite often our inspirations germinate from mishaps. They are opportunities to learn and recreate. This Pinterest fail, along with a mild obsession of all things mason jars, bring us here today, to these adorable Sweetie Pies layered with perfect pie crust and a beautifully balanced sweet-tart berry filling! I made them for all of my loves at home and I hope you will make them for yours.

My Perfect Pie Crust

My Perfect Pie Crust

Flour. Butter. Sugar. Salt. Water. These are the basic ingredients that you need to make a perfect pie crust. While the ingredients may appear simple in nature, the magic happens in the ratio of the ingredients and the techniques used.

Pie was never my thing. I have been more a tart fiend, than a pie fanatic. But that has changed in recent years, especially since our family moved to Nashville, ya’ll! I have loved discovering just how pie is interwoven into the southern culture, much like those lovely lattice topped pies you see adorning a southern table. Never one to shy away from a baking adventure, I grabbed my apron and pastry cutter and set out to create my perfect crust. I think I have it here friends, and it works out beautifully in these Sweetie Jar Pies.