Tuesday, August 19, 2008
There is a benefit to working from home. When your day isn't working exactly the way you planned it would, you hit the kitchen for a little therapy - baking therapy that is. Thank goodness Martha is in the house and her cookie book never out of reach. I didn't even know what I felt like baking, my main goal was avoiding going back to my office for a while.
While putting the ingredients together I had this thought of "maybe I should have picked a more complex recipe". The good news is that it's a breeze to put together and supplies instant gratification on the other end. The heavenly smell and delicious finished product gave me just enough motivation to resume the "fight"
2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 2 1/2 oz)
2/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp coarse salt
9 Tbsp (1 stick plus 1 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Stir together coconut, chocolate, walnuts and cherries in a bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture and mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined. Mix in 1 cup coconut mixture.
3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Sprinkle remaining coconut mixture over tops. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet - about 25 minutes (at 22 minutes mine were getting overdone). Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.
I'm sending this sweet bit of goodness over to
Ben at What's Cooking Ben has put alot of working into creating this venue twice a month to showcase both sweet and savoury creations. After the entries are in there's a voting forum - no pressure - remembah who your friends are :).
We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Ivy at Kopiaste...to Greek Hospitality for extending the Magic Lamp of Luck Award. We'll be seriously rubbing that lamp to help us through the next couple of fun and insane weeks of moving and catering.
Our picks for the Magic Lamp of Luck award are:
1. Rosie at Rosie Bakes a Peace of Cake Rosie is working very hard to make sure that we enjoy and benefit from Sweet and Simple Bakes , a monthly preset baking experience that allows for both beginners and veterans to enjoy baking something that will encourage us to keep trying and expanding both our knowledge base and capabilities.
2. Parker, fellow Canadian from Vanilla Bean Cafe . We want to send good vibes and good luck as she moves from her "hot apartment" to a nicer environment. Good luck with the move. I so feel your pain.
3. Jill from Simple Daily Recipes not only cranks out beautiful recipes on a regular basis, she is also the powerhouse behind The Great Cooks Community . Honestly, I don't know how she does it but I'm sure a genie or two wouldn't hurt to maintain all that incredible energy she puts into what she does. You're amazing Jill - I get tired just watching everything you do.
4. Nick of The Peanut Butter Boy has carved a niche for himself featuring all things peanut butter. Of late, Nick's been getting some interesting recognition for his peanut butter passion and we're sending him good luck. Remember your buds in the blog world when your face is featured in Times Square as the Unique Find of the Century.
5. Adam, our budding chiropractor from Baking with Dynamite has expended an incredible amount of time and energy into making sure we understand the importance of good health but also how all the pieces fit together. His ability to bring information down to a lay level that even I can understand (imagine that) tells me that this guy is going places. Besides being a great teacher, the man can dance his way around a kitchen. He's perfect. Good luck Adam in everything you do.
A big thank you to Lina of My Life is Yummy for awarding us the Best Blog Darts Thinkers & Beautiful Site Award.
This award is a really tough one to share. I know, I know, we all say that - we all mean it too. When you meet so many incredibly talented people it's just not possible to say here's a handful of exceptional blogs that meet our subjective criteria. Without great detail, here are our picks. None of these blogs need formal introduction. If you haven't visited some of them, please do - you will not be disappointed.
1. Ann from Redacted Recipes
2. Helen from Tartelette
3. Joelen of Joelen's Culinary Adventure
4. Deeba of Passionate about Baking
5. Melissa at Alosha's Kitchen
Although we acknowledged receipt of the Brilliante Blog Award a few days ago from the lovely and talented Ohio Mom of Cooking in Cleveland we promised to share with some of our favourite "haunts" in the blog world. Trust me, this is not an exclusive list but some blogs worthy of note.
So here's what else I'm suppose to do.
1. Put the logo on my blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to me.
3. Nominate other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs.
5. Leave a message on your nominees’ blogs.
Please take the time to visit the following blogs. Each and every one of them is both unique and very special. I'm not sure I can even do any one of these blogs the justice each deserves - you just need to go and see for yourself.
1. Proud Italian Cook
2. Use Real Butter
3. Chefs Gone Wild
4. White on Rice Couple
5. Dine and Dish