Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Donut Literary Cooking Adventure

Okay, in all fairness…I didn’t actually make donuts! They were supposed to be donuts but I don’t own a donut baking pan nor can I find one anywhere. So, I used donut batter in a muffin pan and made apple cider …mo-nut/duffin things. But…they’re still really yummy!

This week, we’re celebrating J.K. Rowling’s celebrated Harry Potter series. In this episode, Harry manages to piss off Hedwig who is clearly trying to tell Harry he’s making mistakes while baking. This, in turn, upsets most of the other owls at Hogwarts. Lots of owls in this one. Lots.

I made a couple of substitutions in the video because there were ingredients I didn’t have. The first was substituting pumpkin butter for apple butter. In hindsight, I think apple sauce would have been a better choice, but the pumpkin flavoring gave the muffin an almost gingerbread-y kind of taste and was still delicious. The next substitute was for the sour cream. I used milk which made the batter that much more liquidy. Always stick to sour cream if you can. It keeps them moist. Mine are, unfortunately, beginning to dry out.

Interested to find out how to make these magical duffins? You can find the original recipe over at The Kitchn. Enjoy!

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The Croissanting of Hill House Cooking Adventure

Fall is here! Fall is here! FALL IS HERE!

*clears throat* As you can tell, I’m really happy it’s finally autumn. This is my favorite time of the year to bake, do crafty things, and of course write. I decided to kick off the season by trying a different kind of croissant recipe with a square folded style vs. the traditional rolled style.

In this week’s tribute to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (which I mistakenly call “The House on Haunted Hill”) I made some Blueberry and Honey Cream croissants. They are extremely easy to make and can be varied to include different fruits (and probably chocolate, too). I’m probably going to end up making a number of them over the next few weeks because they were so delicious!

Check out the recipe below the cut if you want to try it for yourself!

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The Old Pecan and the Sea Literary Cooking Adventure

Once again, we return to the kitchen in a brilliant effort to create another pie. This time, I attempted to tackle the very precarious Butterscotch Pecan Pie. I had some trouble the last time I attempted one several years ago and it almost turned to goo before I froze it, capturing its saccharine essence in solid form. I was hoping that this pecan pie would be a bit easier provided my extensive and disastrous history. I was proven wrong.

As with the banana cream pie, the pie crust decided to be the most obnoxious part of this Cooking Adventure. I had to roll out, shape, pin-prick, and bake 2 in order for it to work. There are apparently very detailed steps one must follow in order to get the perfect pie crust including thawing, unrolling, pressing, pricking, chilling, weighting, and baking…and I didn’t follow them for shit. Sorry, but all of that kagatha just to pre-bake a pie crust seems ridiculous. I should have just done it. Maybe then I wouldn’t have ended up with something that looks like it was made out of sand.

The other thing that really set me off was my inability to open the bag of pecans. I wish I was joking. There’s a segment in the bloopers where I struggle with the bag of pecans for almost a full two minutes before succumbing to rage and hacking it open with a pair of scissors. Then, I couldn’t open the bag of butterscotch chips. It wasn’t my day.

As a tribute to Hemingway’s classic novel, I decided to take a break and cast a line, hoping to hook something good. Instead, I managed to capture the rare but ferocious Lemon Jelly, a cat with an insatiable appetite and primal rage.

Interested in the recipe for this disastrous pie leviathan? Scroll down and behold!

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Cooking Adventures: A Sign of Petit Four

LITERARY COOKING ADVENTURES

A SIGN OF PETIT FOUR

It’s elementary! I ran across a delicious-looking recipe a few weeks ago for Bourbon Brownie Petits Fours which I couldn’t pass up. I ended up tweaking the recipe a tad by using Kahlua instead of Bourbon and substituted some actual coffee for some of those coffee crystals. I ended up sharing several with people at work who told me “they’re the best brownies I’ve EVER had”. Sounds like it was worth all the work to me!

While the end result on these petits fours was grand, the process to create them ended up taking most of the afternoon (filming certainly added to the time). When I was finished, the entire kitchen was coated in chocolate (as was I), and the sink was piled high with dishes. And then, I discovered I was pronouncing the name of the dish wrong. As I said in the video, “I’m a writer. I took French in school. Pathetic.”

Follow the link for the recipe: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/brownies/bourbon-brownie-petit-fours/

Enjoy and stay tuned for the next Cooking Adventure!

~KSilva

Cooking Adventure: A Game of Scones!

COOKING ADVENTURE VIDEO

A GAME OF SCONES

I live in Maine where we’ve been getting an abundance of snow… Basically, a snowstorm every couple of days. In between all of this insane shoveling and toning of my shoulders and arms, I’ve been inspired to do more baking, especially literary themed baking. And, yes, I have been itching to do this particular idea for a few weeks now.

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MEMENTO MORI Cooking Adventure Video

VIDEO COOKING ADVENTURE

CHOCOLATE BLACKBERRY CREAM ROULADE CAKE

*Disclaimer* My camera’s audio isn’t that great, so you may need to turn up your volume for this video. Enjoy!

J-E-L-L-No…

COOKING ADVENTURE # 63: Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie

(Thanks to Celena for the title suggestion!)

No, no. Wait. Don’t tell me. Let me guess… You are wondering why the picture above is not of a strawberry pie! Good question. It’s because this Cooking Adventure turned into a disaster; kind of. Had the end result not come out to be something super sweet and incredibly delicious, I would have written the thing off entirely. It is true that the creations above appear to be some sort of strange cr-wierd-ssants… made with pie crust. Had the directions for this recipe been just a tad clearer, it might have come out okay. But they were not and I was left to fill in some blanks myself… which is most of the time just a bad, bad idea. Also, this recipe involved jello which, along with onions and flour, is a particularly nasty foe of mine in the culinary world. Why do you ask? Because I’ve had trouble making it before. Yes. Jello. It’s okay. I can hear you laughing from where I’m sitting. It’s okay, because you’re not technically laughing at me, you are laughing with me. I realize how pathetic it is not to be able to make jello. But I think I’ve learned my lesson this time, the key word of that sentence being “think.”

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Orange You Glad Matilda’s Back?

COOKING ADVENTURE #57: Orange Pecan French Toast Casserole

Orange Pecan French Toast Casserole

Nothing irritates me more than using a lame orange joke to open up a Cooking Adventure. But honestly, this is one of those few miracle times where nothing terrible happened during the adventure. It was a rare moment of complete euphoria, the delightful mixing and pouring, slicing, and baking that makes up this gorgeous French Toast recipe. Even when Matilda stepped up to bat to take on grating an orange, there was not one speck of treachery nestled behind her beady black eyes. I’m pleasantly surprised. And since this recipe made so much, it would be a fabulous gift to a loved one on Valentine’s Day! Mmm, yummy orange-flavored love. You know you’re excited.

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The Lemon Murders of ’13

COOKING ADVENTURE #54: Lemon Bars

 Lemon Bars

Last Friday, you were expecting a Cooking Adventure right out of some French cafe. A decadent lemon sorbet recipe with some fresh choux pastries to accompany. Sorry folks. I once again made things way too difficult for myself last week. I had two readings to set up for and that left little to no time to make cream puff pastries. In fact, I think it would have made me extremely frustrated. However, I’d already bought six lemons in preparation for that. So… what is a girl to do? I had the sudden realization that there weren’t going to be any dessert items at my Thursday book-signing so I resolved to do lemon bars. These are something my grandma used to make when I was a kid and they were always amazing. I have fond memories attached to this dessert. I thought, “This will be easier, less stressful, and something that everyone will enjoy at the reading. Easy? *blows raspberry* Why on Earth did I think it would be easy?

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The Elusive Sparkling Cider

COOKING ADVENTURE #46: Green Bean Casserole and Sparkling Cider Pound Cake

Turkey day. I know some of you were dying to see me attempt to cook the giant bird. I know my limits, folks. And cooking a massive 10 lbs. turkey isn’t one of the things I see myself being able to do. I mean, do you remember what happened with the chicken? Case and point, I shouldn’t be touching any turkeys. But, I did however want to make a side and a desert for the occasion. It is tradition that I make the green bean casserole every year. In addition, I also found this delicious recipe for a sparkling cider pound cake but  just seemed too amazing to pass up. It came from www.chef-in-training.com, where you can find many other wonderful recipes. In fact, I’ve held onto that recipe for a few months, waiting for just the right week to make it. This my friends, was definitely the week.

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