It’s been a while…

… Now please tell me the song by Staind pops into your head too! No? Well then please enjoy the song that has been running through my head quite a bit in the past couple of days…

Now first, with the start of the new year (and because I should have started here…)

Happy New Year to You!!

…and all these resolutions flying around, I thought I would make one of my own. I will honestly try to work harder on this blog! There! I’ve said it! I’ve written it! Now, I’m committed!

I have so very many things to share with you: a cook book review, some cafe reviews, lots of baking adventures, the list goes on and on. But with all the job hunting, finally getting the new job (yay! and finally!) and then all the Christmas and holiday work, I have been sadly negligent! Hopefully coming soon we will have some ‘Throw-back Thursdays’ and lots of new content for the coming year!

Please stay tuned and thank you for all your patience and support in the past year and the year to come.

Stay Warm!

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Reddit: Kitchen Goods Exchange

I have to say, Reddit is my guilty pleasure.

I admit, there are areas that can get shady and scary and you wonder what deep parts of the internet you have wandered into. Overall though, Reddit is comprised of groups of people, wildly passionate about such a wide variety of topics – Think High school clubs where everyone gets in and you can be as involved as you want.

One of the best parts of Reddit, for me, are the Reddit Exchanges. Recently, due to high demand, there have been more and more of them. Essentially it is a Secret Santa type even where people all over the world can exchange snacks or presents (depending on the exchange) anonymously. It is all about making someone smile!

Yesterday I got an email informing me of such an exchange, a “Kitchen Goods” exchange. How much fun will that be?!

I have already signed up, Go Here and you can sign up too! Happy Sharing!

kitchen-goods

Home is….

Home is where the mixer stands and the wireless connects automatically! This New England girl has packed her bags and moved south, to the land of crab cakes and boiled peanuts. I am already looking forward to all the adventures, culinary and otherwise, that I may encounter.

When it comes to changes though, there are certain things that should stay the way they are. Even though my car was packed to the brim, I knew I had to find a spot for my clunky stand mixer. To me there is no comparison between a hand mixer and a stand mixer. Even after 10 years, my hand me down machine is still going strong. I have no scientific reason for this preference.

I would love to know what you think! What do you prefer? Which piece of machinery is your favorite? Which kitchen tool could you absolutely not live without?

I can’t wait to hear what you come up with! …and stay tuned for more book reviews coming shortly as a new town means a new library to explore!

Swiss Meringue and the MasterChef

Nothing makes me happier than seeing meringue brought out into the public eye, and very little makes me happier on a Wednesday morning than sitting back, flipping on BBC America and enjoying a cup of coffee.

I have recently gotten into a program called “MasterChef UK Professionals”. I couldn’t have been more excited to see the skills test involve topping a lemon tart with Swiss meringue. Chef Monica Galetti, who is quickly becoming my new role model, demonstrated the technique to the audience before testing the competing chefs. I scored YouTube and even with the power of the internet, I could not find her demonstration. It was astounding, and more than a little exciting to watch the chefs attempt different versions of meringue mixture.

If you get the opportunity, search out this episode: MasterChef UK Professionals, Season 4 Episode 15

You won’t be disappointed!

7 Minutes, 7 Books

My room mate and long time friend works at a library. Daily, she reprimands me about my neglect for the written word in print. Weekly, she regales me about the new arrivals, the featured books and library hosted learning events.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore reading and I adore books. But I also adore my Kindle! I also tend to be a self motivated learner. With all of the technology today, I didn’t ever think I would be able to get something from the library that I couldn’t find online, as an e-book, or if I was really pressed: the local bookstore.

Then a few days ago, during a discussion about what meringue flavors already exist, my friend retorts:

“Well, if you went to the library, you would know. They have cookbooks there!”

That was all I needed. Today I took my first trip to the library since that school project I helped my brother with in 5th grade! I spent less than ten minutes within the stacks of 641.86 and with the help of my personal librarian/ friend, came away with this bundle of gems!

macarons: Authentic French Cookie Recipes from the MacarOn Cafe by Cecile Cannone

The Ploughman’s Lunch and the Miser’s Feast by Brian Yarvin

Petite Sweets: Bite-Size Desserts to Satisfy Every Sweet Tooth by Beatrice Ojakangas

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day & Griffith Day

Retro Desserts by Wayne Harley Brachman

The Olives Dessert Table by Todd English, Paige Retus, and Sally Sampson

Gale Gand’s just a bite: 125 Luscious Little Desserts by Gale Gand and Julia Moskin

Library Gems

I couldn’t be more thrilled or excited to start turning the lovely glossy pages of these books!

Stay tuned for the details!

A Hello, An Introduction, and a Pavlova

I never grew up with meringue; it never topped a pie at the family Thanksgiving, or graced a tiny crystal dish on the coffee table when people came to visit. So what prompted an old time New England girl to pick up a whisk and a carton of eggs?

Why Meringues?

It was a November evening and while discussing plans for Christmas and the plans of Christmas past with my International Man of Mystery, he asked if I had ever had a Pavlova.

“A Pavlova?” – while I had never heard of the simple traditional desert the very name intrigued me. Fast forward to Christmas: The weather mild for Washington, DC in December. Picture a long table filled with the laughing and reminiscing of Kiwis far from home, an absolutely fabulous, unique,  group of individuals I was honored to get to know. The meal was fabulous, a classic Christmas dinner.  Then desert rolls around and all eye turn to me, the only American at the table, as it is made known this would be my first taste of “Pav”. All suspicions were confirmed: This was the desert to end all deserts. A slight crunch on the outside guarded the fluffy cloud inside, topped with fresh fruit and cream, I knew I had to take this back to New England to share with friends and family.

I took it on as a mission, turning to the classic Edmonds Cookery Book with a bit of advice from the Mystery Man himself and a dozen eggs I churned out my first Pavlova. The simplicity of the dish (mainly egg whites and sugar), the complexity of the techniques, and of course the light and airy sweetness set the road to my obsession. Just watching the mixture shift from a clear to sparkling white in the blender, the stiff peaks raised up a question that would spark an obsession:

What else can I do with this?

Why post?

This obsession with meringues has rapidly become a new found passion. First and foremost, I love finding new recipes, trying them out, sharing them with friends and family to see what they think. In short, sharing an experience in food that isn’t commonly found in my little corner of the world.

Of course, with every great passion comes a dream. Mine just happens to involve the idea of a little shop, the window filled with colorful meringue kisses, various airy confections crowding the counters and a back refrigerator stuffed with eggs.

But in the meantime, I think I will carry on baking, because I rather adore it!