Relax. Sleep in. Spend an extra minute in the bath, have another cup of coffee, enjoy that book you’ve been wanting to sit down and read… Today is a good day to give yourself a little more time. It could even be the day you sit down and start that book you’ve been wanting to write!
So, we still have about two weeks until the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to the wonderful little town of Camden, Maine. Every year, the Banff Centre in Canada holds a film festival where hundreds of athletes professional and amateur, budding and professional film makers all compete for the chance to be shown in the World Tour. This year, like last year, I was eager to do a Cooking Adventure that was, in a sense, “adventure” themed.
Ooo-de-lally! We’re back for our final Literary Cooking Adventure of 2015. Embarking to the wilds of Sherwood Forest on this culinary tribute to Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, I decided to attempt a family recipe for a scrumptious cranberry coffee cake. It’s by far one of my favorite things to eat and by the end of the video, your mouth will be watering. You’ll want to try this one yourself!
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Cooking Adventure without some kind of catastrophe. Thankfully, there was nothing major. My only true aggravation came while trying to measure the baking soda. I lost my measuring spoon and resorted to using a regular spoon…which doesn’t fit into the baking soda box. Lots of cursing ensued and I ended up shaking the box like it was a maraca. As such, there might have been some extra baking soda and that might have made the cake a bit more solid than it was supposed to be. No matter.
It still tasted delicious!
Want to make this cranberry coffee cake for Christmas morning? Scroll down to see the magic!
This week we take on the dastardly Illuminati as we pay tribute to Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons. I attempt to create a baking decadence that (for all in intents and purposes) probably shouldn’t exist. It’s called the Heaven and Hell Cake. A mouthwatering combination of Angel Food cake layers with Devil Food Cake layers. Smothered in between is an unbelievably delicious peanut butter ganache and dripped over it is a smooth chocolate coating. It has you saying, “Oh my ganache.”
My take on this fine cake was ruined by the angel food cake. This is my second attempt trying to make it and I once again failed…miserably. But I had to complete it so I resorted to the wonderful Hannaford’s Supermarket to supply me with a cake that was actually edible.
Somehow, whenever I try to make angel food cake, I always have the same problem. I get to the point in the recipe where I’m supposed to beat egg whites and sugar together until they form “stiff peaks”. And so I beat, and beat, and beat. I beat the heaven out of those egg whites until they are no longer angelic in the least bit. No stiff peaks form. Ever. When I try to go ahead with the recipe, I end up with this strange marshmallowy concoction of God knows what that isn’t even…real. It’s just a brick of gross goo with a hard crust. Eww.
Basically, what I’m saying is that if you want to try this recipe for yourself, you’re going to want to hop over and check out Whisk Kid for this recipe so that you make it the right way. Because by the end of this video…my cake looks ridiculous, even though it tastes amazing.
Stay tuned for the next Literary Cooking Adventure!
Undertale was something that honestly passed me by at first. I missed the initial hype about this game. I am so, so glad that I didn’t let it slip by completely. Undertale tells the story of a human falling down a hole into another realm ruled by monsters. After a feud several years prior, monsters were banished underground by humans and have been searching for a way to pass through the barrier. The human naturally also wants to find a way through it to get back home and so embarks on a journey to get there, encountering oodles of odd characters along the way.
“I made coffee, watching it dribble from the filter down into the glass pot. I went weeks without it. I craved it. I cried and fought through headaches, wanting it, needing it. It reminded me of Brody, of our morning ritual; it was the intangible piece of him that I had, that I held dear. Something as stupid and as simple as savoring that cup of black coffee was the means to bring him to life again, if only for a half a second.” – “The Wild Dark”, my work-in-progress.
Shark Week is finally here! This is one of my all-time favorite weeks of the year where we get to celebrate anything and everything SHARK! For this week’s Literary Cooking Adventure, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show tribute to one of my favorite books/films, Jaws by Peter Benchley.
I decided to do a combination of ice cream float recipes for the summer heat, something sweet and lovely and rather simple. The first one is the classic Root beer Float (which I meant to add a shot of Kahlua to and forgot) and the second is Affogato, an Italian dessert of coffee poured over ice cream with salted caramel on top. Yum! Even I managed to mess up very little this time.
Of course that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t in danger. Mini Bruce, the Great White Stuffed Shark, was patrolling the neighborhood and came to visit the kitchen. This was much to the surprise of Chief Brody, Hooper, and Quint who had all come to help with the float making.
Below are the very simple directions for how to make these two floats. Enjoy!
It is no secret that I have a love for Shark Week and, well, sharks in general. I’ve always found them to be fascinating creatures. Despite several of them appearing frightening and the stories that you hear on the news, they are only acting as animals act. There is no brutality specifically directed toward humans, and nothing evil about them. To quote Richard Dreyfuss’s character in “Jaws”, all they do “is swim, and eat, and make little sharks.” But that’s really the nature of any creature: self-sustainability, preservation, and survival. Sharks have evolved from creatures that used to live in the upwards of 420 million years ago. There has to be some respect towards an animal that has managed to survive and adapt in its environment over such a long period of time.
As a kid, I was always reading about sharks, and crocodiles, and wolves… I had some strange fascination with these apex predators which may or may not have influenced my writing in the dark/horror genre years later. I grew up reading Crichton’s Jurassic Park and watching Speilberg’s adaption of Benchley’s “Jaws”. And for years, I’ve wanted to be able to write my own “creature feature” book. With time, I’ve come to realize that both of these books treated the animals with a level of reverence and didn’t make them out to be just monsters. It’s the mistakes of humans, whether it be tampering with genetic engineering or placing oneself in the feeding territory of the animal, that caused the events to perpetuate. And so, I have silently for about a year, been working on an idea to write my own shark novel.
Warning: This video does contain a plethora of adult language in the bloopers. This is probably the most aggravating Cooking Adventure I’ve ever attempted. And while it looks as though it came out all right at the end of the video, I can assure you that it did not…
Banana Cream Pie: it’s really not that easy to make at all. It’s been something I’ve always wanted to try and because I’d just bought a ton of bananas, I figured I’d give it a shot. I was feeling a bit sentimental about a book series I used to read as a kid called “Animorphs” by K.A. Applegate. The story revolved around a group of kids who were endowed with special animal morphing abilities and tasked with saving the planet from an alien race called the Yeerk. I decided the series would be the theme of this particular Cooking Adventure.