I just read this great article in the Seattle Times that referred me to the http://17andbaking.com/ blog. I have only poked through a few entries so far, but I'm looking forward to spending more time on it. I sort of wish that was me. I mean, I was known as the "family baker" when I was 17. I was the one who was SO excited to move into a house my junior year in college so I could start baking again, and asked for a mixer for my birthday and called my grandmother to read me my favorite recipes over the phone. Too bad there was no such thing as a blog when I was in college. But I'm especially interested to try her "favorite Swiss buttercream" which she attributes to Martha Stewart. I haven't had much luck with Martha's recipes, and I've had even worse luck with buttercreams. But she has managed to take some exquisite photos of piping she did with it, so it obviously works well... I will be putting it through a rigorous taste test though, and will let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, after years of complaining, discussing, and testing, a former professional cake and wedding baker friend of mine shared with me her simple and results-perfect buttercream which I will be posting about in a frosting-exclusive post sometime soon.
But since this post is about other blogs, here's another food blog that I like: http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/, which I came across in a search for Torta Milanese. On vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, we stopped for an afternoon snack at a bakery cafe. We were exhausted from a morning of art galleries, but not especially hungry for lunch and it was far too early for dinner, so we ordered cappucinos and gazed at the bakery case. This elaborate torte caught our eye, so we ordered a slice and it was like nothing we'd ever tried. It was a rich, flakey pastry crust with layer upon layer upon layer of flavorful exotic layer: tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, roasted red pepper, basil and herbs, parmesan, eggplant, mushrooms, and I can't even remember what else. I wanted to find a similar recipe and an exhaustive search left me virtually empty-handed except for the wisdom and insight of food blogga Susan. Her recipe for pizza chena which I found first on my favorite website npr.org is basically what I was looking for. She is a freelancer for NPR, which led me to her blog.
In any case, what both these blogs illustrate very clearly is the importance of good photos, which I do not have. I do not plan to invest in any camera which will provide the type of images that these really popular blogs produce, but I hope you will still be able to get good ideas and helpful tips from what I have.
Here's today's offering:
This is last night's dinner, the driving factor of which was I wanted to try roasting butternut squash and apples together. I have an idea for an appetizer for an upcoming party and this was a preliminary step in my planning. It was delicious (cube pieces the same size, toss with olive oil and pepper, then roast at 425 for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Season with salt afterwards. There was also a tomato in there.) but hardly dinner. So I chose my other simple dishes based on what else was most colorful in the fridge. With the oven already on, I just added the corn in their husks to the oven (takes 15-20 minutes) and asparagus (also tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper) for about 12 minutes. A little barley cooked in broth with diced onion and bacon bits gave a toothsome counterpart to the tender and flavorful vegetables.
One other blog I enjoy is the NPR Kitchen Window.