Saturday, August 25, 2012

Strawberry Thyme Lemon Bars

Strawberry Lemon Bars

Just a quick, short post today. I've just been trying to get back in the swing of things with school. And to be honest, I have not been doing a very good job. At the end of every day, I sit and wonder where the day has gone. It's a vicious cycle.

It's sort of like baking with herbs, minus the viciousness. I bake one dessert with herbs and then, BAM, it seems like every dessert I make has herbs in it. Ugh, it's so hard to stop with so many flourishing fresh herbs at my disposal!

thyme lemon sugar

When I saw a version of these bars over on Smitten Kitchen, I immediately knew I needed them in my life. I mean, they're friggin pink y'all. And they sounded just like summer! Lucky for me, they taste just like summer too.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lavender Champagne Grape Pie Bites

Lavender Grape Pie Bites

I sort of disconnected myself from the internets the past week and half or so in an attempt to savor the remnants of summer. Especially since the weather has been perfect post-torrential-downpours. So I've been spending time with my kitten, rediscovering my exercise routine, clearing out my kitchen and closet, and getting my act together, so to speak. I like to start a new (and final!) school year with a clean house and clear mind.

Last weekend, my mom visited and brought with her the Texas sunshine, minus the Texas heat. We hit all the high points food-wise, including my favorite farmers market, and did a little shopping, a bit of Olympics watching, and lots of balcony wine drinking and gossiping. It was pretty much perfect, although far too short.

Ah, summer, how I wish I could dip my toes in thee forever.

Grape Pie Bites

After making scones with champagne grapes, I still had quite a few left and wanted so badly to bake with them again. I began making a lavender dough with the idea of a grape galette but then decided that the grapes might not fare well when it came to slicing the finished product. Thus, something mini seemed to be in order.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Champagne Grape and Sherry Cream Scones


I've realized over the past couple of years that I am sort of a girly girl. And because I thought it'd be fun, and because I for some reason felt I needed to prove it, I was going to tell you about some of the girly things that I like. Then I started to list some of those things, and I had some realizations.

1. I like a lot of the same things that children like. I have, more than once, said to a friend's child: "I have a dress just like that!" [Note to self: owning a dress that is virtually identical to a dress owned by a child is, in most cases, not a good thing.]

2. I am, in fact, not a child. Hey self, you're 25. A year away from being a full on lawyer. From having a real life job thing. From having to pay back those loans. #nonchildthings For real.

3. I probably need to grow up, just a touch. Maybe it's time for more high heels and fewer Keds, more serious outfits and fewer flowery dresses. To trade in the straight across bangs for "grown-up" hair. I'm working on it. I just, ya know, like my Keds and my flowery dresses and my bangs. And, I mean, I'm responsible. I take care of my child (i.e., kitten). I complete all my work, pay all my bills on time, etc. And I own two suits!! Plus, I enjoy bourbon and coffee, which obviously helps my case... right? Let's go with yes.

Anyway, back to girly things like fluffy scones on flowery plates.


I got some champagne grapes at the store a couple of days ago. They are lovely little things. Delightful bursts of flavor. I originally wanted to put them on top of a mound of pastry cream in the middle of a tartlet shell, but I thought I better chill out on the tartlet front.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

BLT Tartlets

BLT Tartlets

Did y'all do anything for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics last Friday? Any themed festivities? Or are y'all not as cheesy as I am?

Well, I had a few people over for some English themed noshing and beering. We had a ploughman's, complete with pickled onions, Stilton, Sweet Red Onion Chutney, and Colman's mustard. I got some English beers. One brewed in North Yorkshire where my mom is from. For dinner, my boyfriend fried up some fish and I baked up some potato wedges until crispy for fish and chips. And for dessert I made a traditional English trifle, using Harvey's Bristol Cream sherry pursuant to my mom's instructions. It was awesome and festive, and I loved it.

I've sort of come to terms with my cheese ball tendencies, especially when they result in epic themed meals and an excuse to drink leftover sweet sherry for dessert.


My boyfriend's mom was also in town. And she brought with her a bunch of peppers and potatoes and two huge bags of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes of all sizes from her garden in Virginia. Such a nice mom!

We used the potatoes for the chips in the fish and chips, and a bunch of her tomatoes were quickly gobbled up off the ploughman's.

Needless to say, I've been eating tons of tomatoes. Sprinkled with leftover Stilton. Some with a bit of balsamic. And some just popped in my mouth for a walking-through-the-kitchen snack. I also made gazpacho and pasta sauce and these tartlets! [As I said, I have a thing for themes...]

baby heirloom tomatoes