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Showing posts from May, 2008

Petit Fours - Finalement

And to continue my photo blogging in the midst of actual other activities this evening (like winning a volleyball game - Go Foxchase!) I present the end result of the multi-step petit fours process from a couple weeks ago and a team photo from our pizza outing.

As usual ...

... I owe you some serious details. Not blogging for a month at a time is detrimental to my mental health (no venting) and I feel like I lose touch with everyone (as not blogging typically corresponds with not having time to read many blogs). So, as a quick catch up, I'm going to do a series of photo blogs over the next couple of days that should vaguely get you up to speed on my life.

Minor surgery that resulted in a MRSA infection for three weeks of fun stuffing a ping-pong ball sized hole with cotton.

New Orleans

A corn stalk fence in the Garden District, the Mississippi River (there was calliope music from a riverboat playing in the background), and an amazing cathedral.

Billy Joel - my prime motivation for Jazz Fest, and we had to leave early (couldn't risk making my infection worse) because we were standing in 2 inches of water. Nothing about us was dry by the time we got back to the hotel.

Seven bags of donations later ... I finally got rid of a sweater I have been weari…

Petit Fours - Essaye 2

Today I tried again with the petit fours. All in all, even my mistakes worked out well.

First, I made a yellow cake. I'm not sure why, but the cake I make from a box tastes better than both of this weekends homemade cakes. This is my first time going from scratch on cake batter like this though, so I just need to figure out how to get a bit more moisture in them. All in all, they are pretty good - just not heavenly.

My fist attempt at the ganache today didn't go well. Either I was distracted by having to talk HOBY during baking, or I am generally not all there, but I used 100% cocoa bars. This is bad because it means there is no sweetness whatsoever. So I added 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of butter (boiled). The result was not ganache. But, it was truffle batter.

My first major mistake of the day turned into a tray of over fifty truffles that I am going to dip in the leftover white chocolate ganache and tomorrow's milk chocolate. Yeah for tr…

Petit Fours - Essaye 1

My first try at making petit fours tonight was mostly successful.

First - a petit fours (French for "little ovens") are small, individual cakes. Think fancy-shmancy bakery style individual cakes that have fondant (icing that is sculpted or laid on as opposed to spread on with a knife).

The chocolate cake, made from scratch, rose and came out of the pan without breaking. It is moderately moist (oven temperature was too low, so it took a long time to cook) and not at all burnt. Unfortunately, it is only a 50% success because the cake is too big. Tomorrow I need to make them in the same size pan, but use two pans for the same amount of cake so they are thinner and therefore bite size.

As a note, I cannot just cut the big cake into smaller pieces, because then there are lots of crumbs, which mess up the icing.

The other major part of the petit fours is the icing. I decided to go with a ganache (a pourable icing that is basically melted chocolate and enough cream to make it liqu…

Congratulations are in Order

Congratulations are in order to quite a few people:

First, to my dearest goddaughter who has accepted a slot at William & Mary, where she'll begin her freshman year in August. I am so proud of her for making this big decision. Not only will she be going out of state to school, but chose this over a better financial aid package elsewhere because it was the right academic program and atmosphere for her. All that, and she'll only be a couple hours away now, so I'll get to see her more (fingers crossed). Couldn't be more proud.

Next, to Anthony, our accompanist at church, who performed an amazing organ recital two weekends ago. I'd never heard modern-ish organ music before and it was a real treat. Plus, I got to visit the Catholic University campus for the first time.

To Dana, who is still debating, but has made some really difficult choices and followed her instincts in choosing an amazing school to get her PhD at. I'm sad to have her leave, but now have a…

Rumors: All about the Dancing

Last night I went out with Dana, Kate, and Rachel to Rumors near Dupont Circle. The celebration began at home with pizza, raspberry cosmos (delicious!), and other raspberry-inspired treats. We metro-ed up and got there just as the place was starting to get full for the evening. We meandered from inside to outside dancing like no one was watching and having a fabulous time.

I have not had a girls' night in ages, so it was such a blast to be surrounded by friends who I adore. Dana had me toast my upcoming birthday with my first shot ever, a Dirty Girl Scout. And although I did not accept, I was offered a drink by one of my dancing companions (another first for me).

I unfortunately forgot to take pictures of all of us looking like - well let's just say fabulous is an understatement. And, as smart girls will, we all wore flats so we could dance all night (though I was superiorly tempted to wear my fun shoes!). Two of us had close encounters (the fun kind) and all four of us ha…

Sojourn (for now)

I have fun things to tell you about - like Passover with Rachel and her family, the work trip to New Orleans (with Theresa), two consecutive nights of Grey's with friends, Anthony's organ recital, Jazz Fest, my crazy surgery (and subsequent side effects), the upcoming housewarming party, my goddaughter choosing to go to William & Mary, and all the other sundry things that have popped up since my last solid post.

But tonight, I am having a girls' night with Dana, Rachel, Kate, Malise, and potentially Irene and co. I am wearing my fun new going out clothes (bought weeks ago in prep for a milestone in my weight loss program) to celebrate life in general and being all finished with my antibiotics. This outfit includes shoes that are going to make somebody .... let's just say they are my "goddess" shoes. So, in lieu of writing, I'm running home to get a shower and otherwise make myself appropriate for the festivities.

I have no words for how pumped I am.…