Saturday, September 29, 2012

Inspiration..... Silver Sea Tea Time

One of the great things when I was on the Silversea Cruise earlier this year was Tea Time.

Not only was there a spectacular view off the rear of the ship the pastries and sandwiches were excellent. The best part were the scones, clotted cream and jam. The scones, warm and tender, and the clotted cream thick and fresh just put the whole experience over the top.

Silver Spirit - Sandwiches...Pastries....and the View!
Silver Spirit - Plain and Raisin Scones, Jam, and Clotted Cream

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chocolate Cake Gone Bad But Really Yummy

As part of out summer entertaining we had another dinner party. Seven for Dinner. I decided to make a chocolate cake that incorporated the fresh local cherries that had just hit the stores.

I planned to make a chocolate cake I have made many times and fill it with 2 layers of whipped cream and cherries and one middle layer of chocolate frosting with chocolate frosting covering the whole cake.

I was going to use the chocolate cake recipe from "In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs". Chef Jim Dodge shares his recipe for Chocolate Buttermilk Fudge Cake. I was going to use the accompanying recipe for the frosting and wing it with the whipped cream and cherries.

Lets just say everything did not go to plan. The frosting both was not enough for the cake and it really did not work out for me*. I won't share the frosting part.
Chocolate Cake - Stabilized for Chilling.
For the cake I used:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Carrot Ginger Layer Cake - Only Smaller

Just after settling into the new apartment we were inundated with guests for the first part of the summer. Our great friends from Germany arrived and stayed with us. We also had a friend from Paris staying at our neighbours on his way to Hornby Island. We also had a new friend, from our recent Silver Sea cruise, come and visit us from the San Francisco area.

Given our new expansive deck we though we could handle the crowd easily. The only thing we did not count on was our wet spring continuing well into July.

Our dinners happened indoors which made for cozier company.

We had arranged to have 2 dinner parties close together so I need to make something for dessert for both events. A while back, I read a post over at Joy The Baker explaining that 4 - 6" cake pans could be used in place of 2 - 8" or 9" cake pans and recipes. Great tip here.... Thank you Joy!

I decided to make a couple of carrot cakes. I had seen this cake on the Martha Stewart's tv shoe several years ago when it was called John Barricelli's Carrot Cake. It has since been renamed just Carrot Ginger Layer Cake. I adapted the recipe a little. The original recipe included candied carrot for decoration. For these cakes I decided just the cake was enough. Thanks John! My hubby requests this cake frequently. I have to agree it is one of the best cake of any kind.

Carrot Ginger Layer Cake
For these 2 - 4 Layer cakes I used:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Undocumented Events - Mostly

With the move this summer, this year has been a complete blur.  Here a couple of items that I made that exist only in finished (or partially eaten) picture form. Enjoy.... We did!!
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake at the House Warming
Pecan Tart ( Pecan Pie baked in tart form)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Inspiration..... Victoria, BC - Smoken Bones

Recently I had the opportunity to go to Victoria BC. Living in Vancouver, Victoria is just a short ferry ride away.

During our stay we searched for a place for dinner one night. Not know the city, we drove around looking for a restaurant. We came across Smoken Bones. The restaurant passed our test of a restaurant actually having customers! At 5:30 PM the restaurant was hopping. We knew it was good.

We had a great meal.

Then it came time to decide on dessert. We were full but noticed Bacon Ice Cream in the menu. We hummed and hawed and decided that we were not going to have any dessert. When our server returned she asked us for our order. We explained that dessert was not in the cards for us that night but asked about the bacon ice cream.

Our server explained it was really great! We declined. Then our server said she would bring us a taste! WOW.

Smoken Bones
Smoken Bones - Bacon Ice Cream
The Ice Cream was really great. Vanilla Ice Cream coated with finely crumbled bacon and probably pork cracklings. WOW! A great blend of sweet & salty. Now to figure out when to have this at home.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Travel Plans.....

I am just making some final travel plans for a little jaunt around the Northern hemisphere. I am hoping to hear about your favorite places to check out in:

London, England
Munich, Germany
Bangkok, Thailand
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul - London - Munich - Bangkok
Seoul - London - Munich - Bangkok
Your recommendations are much appreciated!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Macarons Part 1 - Martha Stewart

A little while back I mentioned that I was going to try my hand at Macaron's, a known finicky confection to make. I love them but hate to shell out $2.50 for one at the pastry shop. Frozen ones just don't do it for me either.

So I set out to try my hand at them. How hard could it be? I normally have great success at almost everything I try to bake.

I chose three recipes and the first one is from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook page 137.

My success wasn't the best but here goes:

For this recipe I used:

1 1/4 Cups Icing Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Almond Flour
3 Large Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Macaron - The Book
More after the jump.....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Inspiration..... Silversea Silver Spirit Transatlantic Part 4

Another great stop we had was at Casablanca. We took a tour to Marrakesh. From Casablanca the bus trip was just over 3 hours on way.

Our tour included a lunch stop. Dessert was a 2 course event. Fruit then pastries.
Silver Spirit - Marrakesh
Silver Spirit - Marrakesh
Silver Spirit - Marrakesh
During the day tour we saw other sights that might be of interest:
Silver Spirit - Marrakesh - Marzipan
Silver Spirit - Marrakesh - Nut Pastes

Silver Spirit - Marrakesh - Nut Vendor

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Inspiration..... Silversea Silver Spirit Transatlantic Part 3

Another stop we made was on the Island of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. It was a great day. We had a very long walk - 15 miles. Sadly it was a Sunday and 95% of the island was closed up.

On the high street we did pass a great bakery - Mendoza - with interesting goodies:
Silver Spirit - Gran Canaria
Silver Spirit - Gran Canaria

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Inspiration..... Silversea Silver Spirit Transatlantic Part 2

One great stop we made on the cruise was the island of Santo Antao - Cape Verde. A very small, very poor island. The tour we were on stopped in a town called Ponto Dol Sol. A very small town on the opposite side of the island from where we docked.

We stopped in a small restaurant for a fish and chicken lunch.

Desert was one of the best we had on the trip. A caramel flan with local bananas and apples. Yum!
Simple yet awesome.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Inspiration..... Silversea Silver Spirit Transatlantic Part 1

I had the great fortune to travel again with Silversea cruises. We took a cruise from Barbados to Lisbon with stops in St. Lucia, Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, Morocco, and The Algarve and Lisbon in Portugal.

It was two weeks of great fun, interesting people, and great sights!

Below are some pictures from the Galley Lunch buffet that was on during one of the sea days.
Silver Spirit - There were two tables like this.
Silver Spirit - Chocolate Dragon
More after the jump.....
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