save the date

we’ll be saying our “i do’s” on 9/15/2012. i wish it was happening tomorrow – the venue looked amazing 3 weeks ago at the height of the fall colors.

Como Park Pavillion

one intense cake

my friend zac’s lovely wife, kelly asked me to make a cake for her friend’s birthday that was inspired by a peanut butter cup. the peanut butter cup is one of the greatest things created by man so i was happy to oblige. there’s chocolate cake. with peanut butter frosting in the middle and on the outside. that chocolate fudgy topping over the top. and of course, chopped up peanut butter cups. the mister wanted to eat the frosting with a spoon. i was told the cake was a big hit and beat out the muddy paws cheesecake that was also a dessert option. go me!!!

fall time is apple crisp time

sometimes you want a warm apple dessert. and sometimes you’re too lazy to make a pie crust. and you don’t want flour all over your kitchen counters. those times are the times when you call on apple crisp. i made this during a cold spell we had in early september and the mister and i were practically crouched in front of the oven, drooling and waiting for the timer to go off.

(delectable and divine) APPLE CRISP (adapted from joy the baker):
4 large gala or haralson apples, cored with skin left on and sliced thinly
3 tablespoons sugar
1.5 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/ cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup oats

preheat oven to 350 and grease up an 8×8 baking dish

in a small ramekin, mix together sugar and cinnamon.

throw apple slices into the baking dish, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and stir/toss with a spatula until apple slices are evenly coated with the sugar mixture.

in a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients for the topping. break apart butter with your fingers and drop into the mixture. still using your hands, roll the butter and flour mixture in your fingertips until the butter is completely incorporated. stir a handful of the topping into the apple slices. spread the rest evenly across the top of the filling mixture.

bake for approximately an hour. you’ll know it’s done when the topping is a beautiful golden color and you hear the apples bubbling away.

we devoured it with whipped cream. mmm. mmm. mmm.

dreamy carrot cake

it’s impossible these days to find a carrot cake this is not full of raisins, pineapple, nuts or a myriad of other ingredients that are just fine, but DO NOT belong in a carrot cake. after scouring the internet for just the right recipe, i remembered my trusty baking illustrated book hanging out on the kitchen shelf. ding ding ding! we have a winner. a fragrant spiced carrot cake without any of that unnecessary extra stuff. brightened up with a lime mascarpone icing – it was the hit of the birthday party it was brought to. in fear of being sued, i won’t be recreating the carrot cake recipe from the book, but see below for the icing. you might have to make two batches because you’ll want to eat the first go ’round with a spoon.

LIME MASCARPONE CREAM CHEESE ICING (adapted from jamie oliver)
4 oz macarpone
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
juice from 1 lime
zest from 2 limes

put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat on low until totally combine and creamy. it will go through a phase where it’s all lumpy and cottage cheese looking, but power through, it will all work out in the end.