My Cake Decorating Gallery

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Martha's Key Lime Bars

I made these for a fun dinner night with some of The Husband's coworkers where we were also doing flank steak fajitas and mojitos so I thought they would go along with the somewhat island/cuban theme. This is another recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies book and I've been wanting to try this recipe for a long time. It took a few packages of key limes and a ton of time with the juicer to get all of the juice out, but real key lime pie is one of our favorite desserts so I knew it would be all worth it.

Well... these were extremely tart. I followed the recipe to a T and you really need some kind of sweetened whipped cream or a meringue would be good on top but really, the lime part is soo pungent that it will turn some people off.. it needs more sugar to balance out all that tart lime juice. They also didn't set up very great for me but I don't think I gave them enough time. I probably wouldn't make this recipe again and just wanted to post my experience in case some one is wondering if this is a great recipe or not. I believe there were other reviews on her website saying it was too tart also so that's just something to keep in mind. I think I would just adapt my Blue Heaven original key lime pie recipe that I love so much, if I ever wanted to make key lime bars again.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ina's Panzanella

It was in the thick of tomato season here in Michigan that I got an opportunity to try out Ina Garten's recipe for Panzanella. I had seen a few of her shows where she has made it and I had always wanted to try it - a salad without lettuce and giant croutons! It was pretty tasty and a nice little fresh salad that you might want to try if you're looking for something different. I have seen some other recipes with feta cheese which I know I would really like but I left it out due to The Husband partaking in this salad.

As seen on and Ina Garten's show 'Barefoot Contessa' 
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Surprise Cookies

 This is another recipe from one of my favorite cookie books, Martha Stewart Cookies. I made it a few times in a short period of time this summer because they were a big hit!

The main idea is to make a chocolate cookie which is soft and cakey but not too crumbly. Then close toward the end of baking you put a half of a large marshmallow (or I also did this with several mini marshmallows) and pop the cookies back in the oven for a few minutes to melt the marshmallows and finish baking the cookies.

Last but not least, after the cookies have cooled a little, you make a quick chocolate buttercream frosting that is rich and delicious - and spread that on top of the marshmallow area so that you can't see it. I love marshmallows so that's just the kind of surprise I like in a cookie. This is an another great recipe from this book so if you love chocolate and marshmallow, definitely give it a try!

Surprise Cookies
Recipe seen here on

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Taste of Buffalo, New York

The Husband decided to run the Buffalo Marathon over Memorial Day weekend this year and his parents and I made a weekend trip of the race and got to see a little bit of Buffalo. I had only driven through the city but it was interesting to see a closer look. We stayed at the Hyatt which was fine, I'm a fan of any place that gives me cookies upon arrival. We hit up the Pearl Street Brewery for dinner the night before the race, which was pretty tasty. Having just cleared the 1st Trimester, I wasn't sampling the beer but I think everyone else enjoyed theirs pretty well.

Race morning, The Husband was off running and he and his parents and I had some time to walk around the city and take a few pictures. After the race, we made sure to go to the Anchor Bar for the original buffalo style chicken wings. We had been wondering if we should try to go to both the Anchor Bar and Duff's, both of which have been featured on The Food Network and Travel Channel for having the best wings in town and quite a rivalry. We were feeling sorta behind schedule and The Husband was (obviously) tired so I remember telling him "we can just go to this one place, I don't feel like eating too many wings anyway" .. I ate more wings than anyone else at the table, hahaha. They were so good! We got an order of 20 originals and yes I've had Buffalo Wild Wings before but there was something about these that really set them apart. They were crispy, the sauce was classic buffalo sauce, and it was just delicious. The Anchor Bar was pretty neat on the inside and it is definitely worth a stop if you are in Buffalo. I remember reading reviews saying the wings weren't so good and they might be soggy and service was bad and none of that seemed true from our point of view, so definitely give it a try!

We also tried the famous sandwich known around this area as Beef on Weck, where you have sliced mid rare roast beef piled onto a "kummelweck" roll (bun with caraway seeds), dipped in au jus, and served with fresh horseradish. It was decent, nothing too exceptional and tasted exactly as we expected, so it was interesting to try that too. It's a Western New York specialty apparently.

Anchor Bar
Home of the Original Buffalo Chicken Wings