fat bottom

fat bottom

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

hey everyone :)

hey everybody... i just wanted to let you all know tht i am also now the proud owner of a food blog called "before dessert"... a place where i will share my love of cooking... i hope it is something you enjoy as much as i do...

so come on over and check it out...

Monday, October 17, 2011

monday morning cupcake pick me up :)

happy monday morning everybody... i hope this week has lots of great and wonderful things in store for you and yours :)

i figured i would post a quick little tasty tidbit for your enjoyment... a caffeinated chocolaty caramel concoction to get your monday started... if you read my blog on the regular you know by now that i'm a sucker for these flavors...

now i try my hardest not to indulge in cupcakes for breakfast, and for the most part i am triumphant... but, sometimes on the rarest of occasions all my willpower goes out the window... and i end up devouring the cupcake hunched over the sink so that my boys don't catch me being naughty...

these little beauties are a moist chocolate cake with hints of coffee, topped with a cappuccino buttercream, salt caramel and dark chocolate shavings... sticky, gooey and god damn worth every sweet sinful calorie :)

happy monday everyone... and as always... happy baking :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

french toast for dinner :)

whenever the hubby and i tell the boys that we are having breakfast for dinner, it's immediate fist pumps and "whoo-hoo's"... the boys do a pretty good job waiting patiently until we're done celebrating... haha...

but seriously, who doesn't love breakfast for dinner...

now what do you do with a fantastic loaf of bread that has gone stale...

i'll tell you what you do...

you slice it up, let it soak up a eggy cinnamon batter, then fry it in some (lots of) butter... and if you're feeling sassy, smother it in some caramelized bananas... maybe a pad of butter more, and of course... some maple syrup...

so with just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of prep, you can enjoy some delish golden brown and buttery french toast just like this... if that sorta thing appeals to you :)

i could just spoon some of this banana goodness onto about anything... vanilla ice cream... toast... a piece of cardboard... you name it...

happy baking everyone :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

pumpkin ale beer bread

there's nothing better then making something that's so tasty out of a few simple ingredients... and beer bread is just one of those very things... for most people beer bread is an easy way to bake a loaf of bread without having to deal with a traditional, time consuming yeast dough...

the beer takes away the rising and punching and waiting phases of bread making... which, let's just be honest... is annoying at times... but with just 5 simple ingredients, and about maybe 5 minutes of prep, you'll be on your way to enjoying a nice crusty hunk of bread...

i decided to use some "maine made" pumpkin ale... i first enjoyed this lip smacking beer in a tall chilled glass rimmed with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar... ummm... it was ah-may-zing... sweet and subtly spicy... the perfect fall cocktail... so i figured this would be the perfect brew for some yummy beer bread... and man was i right... pumpkin ale beer bread
3 cups self-rising flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces beer... i used pumpkin ale, but you can use any beer you'd like :)
2 tablespoons melted butter
*a sprinkling of cinnamon

1. preheat the oven to 375
2. butter an 8×4 inch loaf pan and set aside... in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and beer; mix well... the mixture will be tacky, but that's how it should be...pour into the loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes
3. at the last three minutes of baking, remove from oven, brush the top of the loaf with the melted butter and return to oven for the final three minutes of baking
4. remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack... slice and enjoy :)

i hope you're enjoying this beautiful fall... and as always... happy baking everyone :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

chocolate chip cookies on a rainy day

so... good afternoon my friends... it's a gloomy and rainy day here in Maine... pretty much the same along the whole eastern seaboard... which makes for really good napping, reading and baking weather... unfortunately, my little man didn't want to nap with me... and i currently have no new books in house, and one can only re-read books so many times... so... into the kitchen i went...

i was in the mood to make a triple layer chocolate cake with mocha buttercream... but i figured i'd save that for this weekend for when my sister comes up to visit :)

so... after about 15 minutes of staring into my pantry, i took hold of a bag of jacques torres dark chocolate chips... and contemplated about tempering them down and making some chocolate caramel filled mustache pops... but once again, i'm saving those for this weekend...

now, i don't know if you all are obsessed with pinterest... but i admit it... i am hooked... and recently people have been pinning and repinning the chocolate chip cookie heard round the world... the famous NY times chocolate chip cookie... the only problem... i was in NO mood to wait 24-72 hours... so... i waited 3 instead... criminal behavior, i know... tampering with this most holy of cookie recipes... but... sometimes you just have to do what you have to do...

i will say, i've made this recipe before (and i was a big girl and waited a complete 36 hours)... and they are truly, truly incredible... please, for the love of all things cookie... make these once in your life... you will not regret it :)

the NY times chocolate chip cookie
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks
*sea salt

1. sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl, set aside
2. using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes
3. add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the vanilla
4. reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds, drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them, then press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours
5. the dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours
6. when ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat, set aside
7. scoop golf ball sized dough balls onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up (which makes for a more attractive cookie)and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes
8.transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more... repeat with remaining dough
9. control yourself... they are amazing

enjoy this comfy rainy day... and as always... happy baking :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

fresh peach cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting and carmelized almond crunch... yummm

hello my wonderful readers... i trust you are all enjoying this gorgeous sunday... my three men and i just got back from a fun little hike at a nearby nature park... it was a fun start to our sunday funday... now the hubs is busy doing some carpentry projects, and the boys are building with legos... so while they are all occupied, and no one is in need of mommy assistance i am going to share a delicious little bite with you guys...

fresh peach cupcakes...

every friday my little town hosts a wonderful farmers market with locally grown veggies, fruits, homemade jams, artisan breads, cupcakes and delicious fresh goat cheese... on our last trip i scooped up some fresh peaches, some perfectly ripe tomatoes, some amazing garlic and herb goat cheese from the
flying goat farm, some strawberry rhubarb jam, some cupcakes from a lovely lady named rosie, and these delicious peanut butter chocolate cookies from a place called buddahs burning buns... all and all a pretty good haul...

those fresh peaches inspired me... i was going to bake them into something... but what... i've made plenty of peach galettes, and cream pies with fresh fruit... and to be honest i was hankering for some cupcakes... so after a bit of browsing i came across a yummy recipe from the fabulously amazing
smitten kitchen for peach cupcakes with brown sugar frosting... yea, needless to say i didn't need much convincing, i was making them...

peach cupcakes from smitten kitchen:
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk, sour cream or full-fat yogurt
3 large peaches, peeled, cored, and chopped small, bite sized

1. preheat the oven to 350 and line 28 cupcake tins cups with liners
2. sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and set aside
3. cream the butter and sugars together, beating until fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition, and then the vanilla
4. gently mix in the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt, stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the peach chunks
5. divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean, cool the cupcakes for five minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely

brown sugar cream cheese frosting:
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. in a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar
2. in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy
3. add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla, beat until frosting is smooth and light
4. chill the bowl in the refrigerator until it thickens back up a bit, about 30 minutes, then decorate as you wish

these cupcakes were super super moist... with sweet and tart juicy bites of peach... and the brown sugar frosting... sweet and tangy... it was a real treat for the taste buds...

and as for the caramel almond crunch... it was just something i whipped up... i made a quick caramel in a saute pan, by caramelizing some sugar till a deep brown, then i added some heavy cream (carefully) then butter and sea salt... then i coated some almonds with it and let it cool on a greases sheet pan... when cooled i pulsed it in the food processor and sprinkled it on top... the combination of flavors and textures was amazing...

happy baking everyone :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

pumpkin spice latte bars

hello readers... i know i haven't been around lately and i apologize for my absence... and i must say it feels so good to be striking at my keys and uploading some yummy pictures... i've missed you blog world...

well... i guess i could just dive into things here and just get down to the goods... everybody ready for autumn... i love this time of year... it's in a word... wonderFALL :)

i love everything about fall... the fun and festive decorations, the food, the boots and sweaters, the football, the family gatherings...ahh, the warm and coziness of it all... and i know you're all feeling me...

i know alot of people also look forward to the seasonal arrival of a very popular little caffieine fueled spicey beverage... the coveted starbucks pumpkin spice latte... am i right? am i right?

it is pure warm heaven in a white and green cup...

now... what about those flavors in a moist and sweet little cake... bing! i'm on it!

how about we start with a moist, semi dense, spicy pumpkin cake... top it with a deep espresso flavored cream cheese frosting, and just drizzle it with a hint of buttery salt caramel... all that was missing was the whipped cream... we are watching our figures over here :)

pumpkin spice bars:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1. preheat the oven to 350
2. in a bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until blended
3. combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves; add to pumpkin mixture just until combined
4. pour into a greased 15x10x11 baking pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, cool completely on a wire rack
5. slather with epsresso creamcheese frostingand drizzle with salt caramel... cute into bars and enjoy :)

look how warm and inviting this cake looks... nom nommm nommmm...

welcome fall and happy baking everyone :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

a goodbye to cape may

hello my wonderful readers...

well... just to let you know, this post has nothing to do with baking... it's a goodbye to what was our home for 4 years, the lovely little coastal resort town of cape may, new jersey...

to the people who have come into our lives these past 4 years, and to the wonderful town of cape may... we are truly going to miss you...

this place has become more then just a 4 year tour living in military housing, its become our home, a place where our family has become the family it is... i will truly miss everything about this place... thanks for all the sweet memories, the laughter and fun, and of course the unforgettable friendships we all have made...

here are a few pictures from our four year adventure... if i shared them all you'd be looking at my blog for days... i hope you enjoy them :)

our coast guard base

jack jack a few days after we moved in

jack jack growing up so quick...

jack saying goodbye to the hubs as he leaves to get underway...
welconing our newest member... benjamin scout

our blue eyed baby boy out and about in town :)

my little loves

summer time cuties!!

benjamin scout... or is that donald sutherland?? haha...

my goofy boys :)

my sister meggie, my cousin jamie and me :)

the hubs and jack jack in our front yard

benny boo

our private coast guard beach

the best view from a kitchen window :)

jack jack

the moving truck... it's hard to believe our whole life will fit in there...

i'll cherish the four years of amazing memories... thank you cape may... i'll miss you :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

where, oh where is fat bottom???

hey readers...

if any of you have been wondering where i've been these past few weeks, well... it's been a very busy end of summer for me and my family... there has been so much going on, all mainly relating to our move from cape may, new jersey to...


i now live in maine... never thought i'd ever utter those words... but there you go...

stay tuned for more of an update... i have lots to share...

let the journey begin....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

cookie cakes :)

hey everyone... just got back from a wonderful vacation... did you miss me?? i missed my kitchen... and my bed... but honestly other than that, i wish i could be back in our beachfront cottage right now... it truly was a great time, full of family, drinks, laughs, sun and surf...

well, yesterday i jumped right back into baking, with two orders... 2 cookie cakes.. 1 single layer and 1 triple layer sandwiched cookie cake... mmmm....

i used my goto chocolate chip recipe by the fabulous dorie greenspan, and the only thing i did differently is i lowered the oven temp by 25 degrees... oh, and i baked the layers in a spring form pan... the layers baked up perfect... crispy on the outside and still soft and chewy on the inside... plus that added goodness of vanilla butter cream...

this cake was for one of my neighbors, and a heck of a football stud, josh :)

i was happy to bake this monster for him for his birthday... i'm sure going to miss him, his wifey morgan (i'm really going to miss her), and their two adorable boys when we move in a few weeks... whaaaaaa... i don't wanna move...

thanks for being wonderful neighbors and friends to me, the hubs and my boys... <3

and here is the other one... a lovely one layer cookie cake... hope it was a sweet surprise for shannon... happy birthday :)

happy birthday josh and shannon... and as always... happy baking everyone :)