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Category Archives: Pie

Sundays with Joy/Coconut Banana Cream Pie

Coconut Banana Cream Pie

Whoa, I’ve been gone a month!   It won’t be that long before the next recipe either.  It has been photographed and completely eaten already but before I post it, I need to catch up a bit on my Sundays with Joy posts as well.  The thing is, I’d been keeping up with the baking aspects of Sundays with Joy, I just hadn’t blogged about it. Yet…

I remember this particular Sunday fondly.  We had some friends over.  I say “we” but three more kids, one for each of mine, is not really for me.  Except when you take into account that I don’t get many requests for attention on those days.  Requests for food yes (oh man, 6 kids/1 cantaloupe/5 minutes!) but attention no.  It is actually great for the days that I have a Sundays with Joy to make.  I get time in my kitchen to focus on a recipe (kids are EVERYWHERE else!), lots of little people to eat it, and happy worn out kids by the end of the day.  What’s not to love?

Coconut Banana Cream Pie

I added chocolate ganache to the bottom of the pie and a layer of bananas before I filled it but used bittersweet chocolate instead of semisweet and ultimately that was just too dark for some of the kids’ tastes.  I didn’t like that I smeared my chocolate after drizzling it over the whipped cream and I think my pie would have looked loads prettier if I hadn’t but no biggie.  I loved the coconut in it and both flavors went great together.  This was simply a lovely recipe that I was glad to not have many leftovers of because I, like my grandma before me, am a sucker for a banana cream pie.  If you’d like the recipe please buy Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

My GeekyLinks for this week reveal a bit about my childhood.  My mother used to work in a Hallmark store when I was very young and so ended up buying us and herself lots and lots and lots of ornaments over the course of her lifetime.  I buy some every year but not anything as close to what my mom used to buy.  Still, I will ALWAYS buy a few Hallmark ornaments especially as over the years they break out the cool stuff (yeah, I want Wicket so what?).  They’ve even revealed some cool stuff for 2014!

Coconut Banana Cream Pie1

Coconut Cream Pie with Chocolate for Pi Day

Posted on

Coconut Cream Pie with Chocolate-nerdybaker.wordpress.com

Grr…this pie.  I have been working on it all week.  I tried to make a pie crust with coconut oil but it didn’t quite work out for me and the first filling I tried didn’t work out either.  I don’t know why, but I was obsessed with using a pastry crust for this pie as opposed to a crumb one which lots of cream pies have.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  Well, I should have been because after my first attempt failed as did the filling I should have known it wasn’t going to work out easily for me.  I then made a double crust recipe so I’d have one to save in the freezer and ended up having to use both because I forgot to prick the bottom of the first and then I go and over bake the second.  So right off I am going to say, just use your favorite pie crust recipe or buy one.  Don’t stress, the best part is to come.

See? I told ya, burnt. Still yummy, though.

See? I told ya, burnt. Still yummy, though.

I figured out a nice way to sweeten unsweetened coconut so that was a nice bonus.  Also, this pastry cream I have used before but haven’t had the opportunity to share the recipe so that is a plus.  I do think a good chocolate cream would be nice in this pie too.  I made a variation of the coconut dip that I made for my son’s birthday party for the whipped cream topping.  Top with more chocolate and toasted coconut flakes and you have an amazing coconut cream pie with chocolate throughout (Did I forget to mention the ganache on the bottom?).  Burnt crust or not, this pie is the best thing I have made in AGES!

My GeekyLink for today is the tie in book from Fringe, September’s Notebook!  It comes out next week, I can’t wait!  Also, you may not hear from me till next Sundays With Joy because I have some TARDIS pillows to make (housewarming gifts, one for a couple already moved and one moving soon) and I have to sew new curtains for my daughter.  It turns out when I did it before (like 4 years ago) I did it upside down and there were peace signs in the fabric to prove it.  So I bought her what looks like a night sky so I can sew it upside down all I want.  I’ll show you when I’m done with both.

Coconut Cream Pie with Chocolate1

Recipe Follows

Sundays with Joy/Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart with Fresh Berries and Sweetened Cream

GanachTartOh my goodness…THIS TART!

As soon as I finished my first slice, I began my second but then had to wise up.  I gave my son his slice and I boxed up the rest to give away that day.  I was going out so I could make a few stops.  I COULD NOT keep this tart in my house or I would eat it all.

The journey to this wonderful tart was not easy.  As you folks can tell, I am usually one of the later posters in our group so if someone has an issue with a recipe, I can benefit from discussion on our group page.  I learned the tart shell needed more moisture.  How was I going to do that?  I didn’t want to use a whole egg because I learned that might change the structure of the shell.  I opted for less flour (1/4 cup less) and a tablespoon of cream (milk would have worked better but cream is ALL OVER this recipe so…).  I probably could have used a smidge more but I am very happy with the results.  Especially since this was my first ever tart!  I wasn’t even sure how to use the tart pan with the removable bottom but I guess I did it right.  That was partly why I didn’t go back and add more moisture after I started pressing the dough in because you have to grease and flour your pan and I didn’t want to have to do that all over again so I just made the best of it.  I could pick up a slice and eat it out of my hand so I would say the shell turned out nicely.  Some slices did crack but I could tell you exactly where in the tart pan those slices were.  I just couldn’t get them the moisture they needed.  Next time!

Silky  then silky spreadable.

Silky soupy then silky spreadable…

Another issue some Sundays with Joy-ers had was with the ganache.  They said it was too loose.  Joy says to make the ganache as soon as you put your tart shell into the freezer (for an hour before baking).  The thing is (and I do this all the time), lots of recipes say to do one thing right as you’ve finished another but most of us don’t, at least I know I don’t.  We get to the next step when we can.  But I noticed, in the recipe, that after you made the ganache you had to leave it at room temperature till the tart shell was done in the freezer, baked in the oven, and cooled.  I realized the time it took to accomplish that was about 2 hours.  I thought that was a long time and that there might be a reason. There was a GOOD reason!  The ganache went from a silky soupy consistency to a silky spreadable consistency that was just lovely.  At that point though, it was too late in the day to eat it or take pictures and Joy says the tart is best the day its made so I covered the ganache and waited till the next day to put everything together.  The ganache hardened up a bit more overnight but I warmed it in my oven that I preheated for a minute or two and let it get nice and lovely again.

GanachTart1

See that slipper in the corner? Someone could hardly wait for Momma to be done with her pictures…

I wasn’t sure how I’d like this tart.  I do like dark chocolate and I like it more as I’ve gotten older but I’m still a sucker for milk chocolate and am always worried that the dark chocolate will be too dark (I used 72%).  That was not the case with this tart.  It was like eating just the best thing ever!  I didn’t have to pause because it was too rich, thanks to the berries and cream.  It balanced it out perfectly.  Also, the shell has spices in it that make it smell like the best pie baking ever but the ONLY thing in your oven is this tart shell.  I am going to have to add these spices into some pie crusts soon.  It all worked so perfectly together I can’t take it!  It is most definitely my new favorite recipe from Joy’s cookbook.  I keep thinking My Top 5 recipes can’t change but they keep on rearranging.  It is kind of exciting!

I used blueberries and strawberries as opposed to blackberries and raspberries just because the other two were on sale.  Raspberries wold have been nice though.  I really like this dessert too because my entire family is a sucker for chocolate and a couple of them really like dark chocolate (some don’t like whipped cream but we won’t talk about that).  This would go over very well at one of our family gatherings! Don’t forget to check out Bakeaholic Mama’s site to check out other adaptations.

For GeekyLinks this week, I have a few things to share.  First off, the guys at Bald Move have a new TV Podcast which would be no biggie except they stopped recording their exclusive Justified podcast (which was like a dagger to my heart!).  But they still cover it in their new TV Podcast along with Downton Abbey (I LOVE listening to two guys talking about this stuff, even if they don’t get Bates and Anna) and Girls (another one where it is nice to get a male perspective).  It is important to me because Justified is one of those rare shows that Justin and I enjoy together.  Also, this is what I am doing now because of him.  And I am watching this because it was my favorite show when it was on and I had been eyeing it at Costco since before Christmas, it disappeared for awhile, then it came back (but who has money after Christmas?), but it was still there and I got it last Friday!  Only finished the pilot so far because who has time?!

GanacheTart2

Late to the New Year’s Party (Top 5 Recipes of 2012)

In between the Christmas aftermath and my son’s birthday four days later and New Year’s Eve two days after that, you can imagine the last week being VERY busy.  We were going to do a smallish Chuck E Cheese thing for my son with cake at the house after and then that turned into not doing anything and then that evolved to a big party at our home.  Whatever.  I have three kids worth of Christmas presents to put away and a house to finish organizing today.  Luckily I have stayed away from my computer and I do have most of the stuff done but today is the last day and I am organizing the garage and making the comprehensive grocery store list for food prep and cupcake making tomorrow.

While I may not have been writing anything I have certainly been reading a few blogs here and there.  I am late with my Sundays with Joy for last week.  I have baked Mommom’s Chocolate Bourbon Spiked Banana Bread and it is FANTASTIC!  I can’t get my son to stop eating it.  I just haven’t had the time to take pictures or the time I have is after the son has gone down.  This Sunday is our last week off for our holiday schedule and I shouldn’t have much of a problem getting it to you by then.  I also missed posting on New Year’s when everyone posts their tops for the year.  That was something I really wanted to do.

I do have a disclaimer though.  These are the top posts FROM 2012.  My top post for the year was actually from 2011, back when my pictures were yucky.  Let’s keep it interesting and go backwards shall we…?

5. Cream Cheese Wontons

Cream Cheese Wontons-NerdyBaker

Now I am not a fan of remaking things that I have made for my previous Oscar “parties” but this one was SUCH a hit with my friends, I may not have a choice.  Also, if you are a fan of Pick Up Stix Cream Cheese Wontons I have cracked the code people!  I have cracked the code!!!

4. Nutella Banana Cream Pie

Nutella Banana Cream Pie-NerdyBaker

Do I really have to go into it?

3. Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Wontons

Apple Cream Cheese Wontons-NerdyBaker

This was my attempt at making a sweet version of the Cream Cheese Wontons, and it worked so well it beat out the savory one in views.  Don’t forget the caramel dipping sauce!  Is it bad that next time I make them, I want to fry them?

2. Chocolate Cake with Strawberries and Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Chocolate Cake Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting-NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

This came with just wanting to make a cake one day.  The family called for a short notice get together so I changed the whipped cream to chocolate whipped cream and I couldn’t have been happier.  I would LOVE to make this again just to get prettier pictures of it…and then EAT ALL THE CAKE!

1. Tea, Earl Grey, Cupcakes with Lemon Scented Whipped Cream

Earl Grey Cupcakes-NerdyBaker.wordpress.com

Proving that the Wheatons win at everything, my #1 post for this year is something I made for Anne Wheaton and other humans that like to order their tea with the line “Tea, Earl Grey, hot” made famous by my FAVORITE (deal with it, Justin!) Captain Picard during the show run of Star Trek: TNG.  Along with the batter from Joy’s Avocado Pound Cake this batter (although I know I shouldn’t encourage it) wins the award for most likely to disappear before baking.

For my GeekyLinks today, we will keep with the Wheaton theme.  This was tweeted by Ryan Wheaton the other day and I thought it was pretty cool, a Back to the Future/Doctor Who mash-up.  The next is about how Wil Wheaton’s Web show brings people togetherTableTop, his You Tube show on the Geek and Sundry channel.  I rewatched the Ticket to Ride episode with my 9 year old the other day (yay for You Tube on the Wii!) and when THAT PART happens (if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean) the kid was in stitches!  Plus it was a game she loves on my iPod touch and that we play together when we can.  I still have yet to buy it in non digital form.

Thanksgiving and the Least Baking Fails Ever

The only picture of the apple pie.  Also, I can’t crimp so I don’t crimp.

This year I went a little overboard.  All in all I made eight things for Thanksgiving.  Yup, you read that right.  EIGHT.  And I would give myself a good 6 out of 8.  Not bad if I do say so myself.

Every year I make pre meal appetizers.  They are mostly sweet with a savory one slipped in for good measure.  Usually I don’t get to make the main desserts.  It is mostly because my family always has millions of people over and it is easier for the ones that don’t know what to bring to pick up a pie.  Last year I was responsible for rolls and they turned out quite wonderful.  I have made them again since but still never gotten around to blogging about them.

The bane of my existence on “baking day”.

Anyways, this year for some wonderful reason, I got to do the desserts!  I made apple pie, pumpkin pie, and cheesecake (for my Aunt’s birthday) for the big “end of the meal” desserts.  This was the first time using Joy the Baker’s recipe for apple pie and I liked it immensely.  If you make the crust the day before, it is really not that much work.  Also, macerating the apples allows you to put it aside and do other things.  It is a very friendly recipe for Thanksgiving day baking.  I usually make a Dutch apple with a pressed in crust.  I also used Joy’s crust for the pumpkin pie.  The recipe I use for the pumpkin pie I have used for a good 3 or 4 years now.  I fall in love with it more and more every year.  The same goes for the cheesecake.  This year was probably my best cheesecake in awhile.  I need to branch out more, though, with cheesecake flavors but my Aunt likes a big plain cheesecake.  She will go for the berry topping that goes with it, though.

The recipe I use makes about one and 2/3 of a pumpkin pie so I always have one for me! Also, the only semblance of a picture of the cheesecake is the pan on the upper left that at that point only has the crust in it.

With all that fruit and cheese, something was missing.  I could see my sister in the corner whining about not liking anything.  Chocolate was in order.  Now, while I would love to find the best chocolate cream pie recipe out there, time was of the essence as was ability.  I have tried it before and failed (multiple times) so I thought I would go simpler.  Nutella brownies and cheesecake brownie bites to the rescue!  The Nutella brownies were OK but I think I over baked them.  I made them mini sized and there was advice in the comments on the time to bake if making minis but I still think it was a bit too long.  They looked beautiful though, especially with the chopped hazelnuts on top.  The cheesecake brownie bites, however, came out better than anticipated and I made minis and about half a dozen cupcake sized brownies (which I put on the main dessert table) and all came out beautifully.

Just before going in the oven. Sadly no pictures of the finished ones and no pictures of the chocolate cheesecake brownies.

Onto the bread!  First off, two days before Thanksgiving I made my crusts and another batch of Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Bread.  That turned out to be a great decision because I now have a whole extra loaf in my freezer!  My aunt couldn’t believe it was vegan.  I also made a variation of my Ham and Cheese Pull Apart Party Bread.  I basically cut them like you would a cinnamon roll and baked it in two 8 inch cake pans.  Simple, easy, and yummy.  My biggest baking fail came from my sourdough.  First off, I just gotta say, this year’s starter is a VERY happy starter.  Happy starters make me happy, SERIOUSLY.  When I start mixing ingredients into the sponge and it is still bubbling at me saying hi with every turn of the spatula, I am one happy baker.  Anyways, it was late.  The sourdough was the last thing I made and it wasn’t going to be served on Thanksgiving but rather given to family that wanted some.  I may have shut off the alarm on my phone instead of snoozing it.  Also, the last thing my husband said to me was to make sure the oven was off (and it WAS, when he left and then I turned it back on).  So the sourdough was baked a good 30 minutes or so longer than it should have been.  There were no alarms or smoke, nothing happened (luckily) except I over baked it.  I still gave them away but I don’t know if anybody ate them.  I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t.  It still would’ve made great toast.

Pull Apart Party Bread

Today I don’t really have a GeekyLink just a little story.  Today I went to our local comic book store to look for something specific for a Christmas gift*.  I wrote down all the information I needed so I could get what I wanted or get it ordered if they didn’t have it.  My husband wanted to come with me.  He took our son so I could talk to the sales guy.  I asked the guy questions.  I answered some questions.  I didn’t get what I wanted because it turns out it is exclusive to Midtown Comics and I’d have to order it from them.  When we left, my husband asked me ” So you know all the lingo?”  but what I heard was, “How much of a nerd ARE you?”

*I can’t say what it is before Christmas, duh!

Sundays with Joy/Sweet Potato Pie with Easy No Roll Piecrust

Writing this on Thanksgiving morning after everything is baked, half of it is packed and I am still in my pajamas soon to get ready to go to my Uncle’s house in a few hours.  I actually made this pie last Saturday and am just getting to write about it now.  Even though I’m disappointed in myself for not getting to blog about this earlier I am pretty proud of myself for finishing up everything I wanted to make for Thanksgiving without any major baking fails.  There is a first time for everything.

Anyway, onto the pie.  The one thing I really really loved about this pie (except for the crust which is its own crowning glory) is the addition of coriander.  Yup coriander.  It really hangs onto the savory side of the sweet potato and helps to meld it to the sweet side of pie.  The filling is creamy and lovely and baked up amazingly well.  As with my favorite pumpkin pie recipe, it does have a little filling leftover to bake in a mini pie or ramekin all alone for you to stuff into your face privately.  That way when you can resist in front of family and friends, they think you have sweet superpowers.  The crust is just awesome!  Joy said to bake this pie in a 10 inch pie shell but I only had 9 inch and as such should have put some of the crust inside my ramekin to go with my extra filling but alas I didn’t and the crust was a little thick but plenty yummy.  I have made it once before, as it is on her blog and this time it came out much better.  I can tell I am getting the hang of this baking thing a little bit.  Most of this pie made it to my dad’s because I have been seriously negligent in bringing him the things I have been baking lately.  He did get half a sourdough on Saturday (the first one in my family to get any) and even though half is kind of lame it is all I could spare.  That is the one thing that bugs me about sourdough.  It takes time.  Unless I make a gallon of sponge, it is going to be awhile before everyone gets a loaf while I still make them for home to go with dinner or sandwiches.

My personal sweet potato pie ramekin.

Don’t forget to check out Bakeaholic Mama for the other variations and pictures.  And please don’t for get to buy Joy’s fantastic cookbook.

My GeekyLink this week, well, moves us onto Christmas.  My brother just sent me this fantastic link of 10 Gifts You Should Get Your Daughter This Christmas.  While I do like the idea of Science kits I don’t know if I could get my oldest into the idea of a perfumery one or a spa one.  The books are great but my favorite, their #1 Goldie Blox™ is the one I really want for my girls but it isn’t available till April (Christmas fail).  It teaches them about spacial reasoning with the hope of jump starting an interest in engineering.  My oldest has been flirting with that whole idea (thank you NASA!) and even though they look more appropriate for my five year old, it is one of those things that my oldest would think was babyish, she would see her younger sister playing with it, and would immediately take it over.  I guess it will have to wait for Easter.

Happy Thanksgiving, I gotta hop in the shower now.

Sundays with Joy/My Top 5 So Far

This week on Sundays with Joy was a catch up week.  We keep getting more and more people in our group and they need some time to catch up on a few recipes.  So I decided I would take the time and give you my top 5 recipes from the Joy the Baker Cookbook so far and why and with a few honorable mentions.

Number 5–Blueberry Orange and Almond Pancakes with Orange Maple Glaze

This recipe was one that I headed into with some trepidation.  It just seemed like so much for a little pancake to handle.  However, this recipe turned out to be a revelation.  All the flavors just went SO well together.  We had this for dinner initially and even my 9 year old was completely won over.

Number 4–Perfect Kettle Corn

I am wondering if this is low on my list because it is SO simple.  It made the list though, because it is simplicity at its finest: sweet and salty and quick and yummy.

Number 3–Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops 

I made these with banana chunks but I am sure they would have been just as great with raspberries.  I ate too many of these to mention and I LOVED every bite.  These are definitely going to be a summer staple treat for the kids.  Very simple, very yummy and the kind of treat that if the kids forget about them you may feel guilty for finishing them off but the moment passes quickly.

Number 2–Kale Spinach Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

I put this recipe high because no one believes me when I tell them that after a sip or two (to get used to the green in it), it turns into a FANTASTIC peanut butter banana smoothie.  The bonus is the charge of energy after you have finished it.  It tastes good, and is good for you.  It is a few more steps for me since I don’t like to use my blender but I have made this a couple of times since the first time and the extra steps are worth it!

Number 1–Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins

I actually made these muffins for the blog long before I joined this group.  This is one of the few recipes that Joy has on her blog and in her book.  These muffins are life changing and unbelievable!  The best blueberry muffin recipe hands down that the world has to offer.  For the top slot on this list, this was a NO BRAINER.

Honorable Mentions

Coffee Vanilla Ice Cream Pie–I love that this lasted so long in my freezer.  Even though, after the first time the crust was a little hard to get out of the pie pan (next time I won’t use glass, that should help) the crust was the best thing about this recipe.  I had never made a meringue crust before and the citrus in it played off the vanilla and coffee ice cream so well, I couldn’t even believe it.  Sometimes its the simplest things…

Chocolate Covered Coconut Macaroon Ice Cream–Even though it was a pain for me to make because I couldn’t get a hold of an ice cream maker, it was so worth it.  Up until this recipe, I tolerated coconut.  This recipe made me LIKE it.

I hope you like this list.  If you disagree or agree, let me know.  Do you have the cookbook yet?  What are your favorites?  Don’t forget this is just based on what we have made so far.  I have made one or two things that we haven’t blogged about and I may already have a contender for the next list.

My GeekyLink today has to do with food.  I must admit I throw whatever in my refrigerator drawers and don’t move the dial at all.  I wouldn’t know what I was doing.  Now I do.  From The Kitchn comes The Proper Way To Use Your Refrigerator Humidity Drawers.

Sundays with Joy/Apple Pie Crostata

This week’s Sundays with Joy had me a bit confounded.  I swear you have to be genius to crimp your crostata edges perfectly!  About half of mine came undone a little bit but hey it adds to the whole rustic appeal of this dessert.  The crust was flaky and yet still totally sturdy enough pick up with your hands.  And who doesn’t want to eat a pie with just their hands?

As for any changes I would have made?  Well, one of the people in our group suggested some cinnamon in the dough, so I did that. Well, that was the best smelling dough ever!  Also, I think this recipe would better make six crostatas as opposed to eight. They would have been a bit bigger and I would have only eaten one (maybe). I also think that with six I might have been able to use a bit more filling.  I had buttloads left over.

My topping didn’t come out quite as well the picture in the cookbook but I think that is because it sat in the fridge for too long. You see, I woke up early and made all the components for the crostata then took my kids to the movies.  We got home and I finished putting my crostatas together and the last one finished baking about five minutes before the season premiere of Doctor Who.  After watching Doctor Who twice, Serenity was on cable and I finished out the night watching River kill all the Reavers!  It was a good day.

As always, if you want the recipe, you need to buy the cookbook.  Don’t forget to check out Bakeaholic Mama to see what others in our group have done.  I know Carrie herself has a wild adaptation.  My GeekyLink for today is regarding Breaking Bad.  First off I just want to say that I am super proud of myself.  The Breaking Bad Podcast I listen to has had spoilers for two weeks and this girl is a spoiler lover but I watch this show with my husband (well, okay, not together it is on while he is at work but we do talk about it) and I knew if I had any extra information that I would be bursting at the seams.  So I decided to stay away from the spoilers and I am happy to say that I am spoiler free with only five or so hours to go!  Also, the Story Sync that AMC has going on during the show is pretty sweet.


A Baby Shower…

So I am finally giving you a glimpse into all the stuff I got into two weeks ago.  Back before most of my kids were born, I was way more into crafting than baking.  Mostly because it is way easier to craft at night.  If I cook or bake at night for the blog my pictures turn out terrible.  However, it still is a good time if I have baked goods to take somewhere.  I still craft from time to time but mostly it is the odd barrette for one of my girls.  I used to take plain boxes and use wallpaper borders to decorate them and make little toy boxes, cut out shapes and decorate all over.  It would have worked better if I had Mod Podged them all but…no one complained (they were just for close family) and they still held toys so…  Then I started  painting them which for overall effect, worked out way better.  I think it ends up being just a bit more time consuming though because you want to paint a few coats for bright colors but you need to wait for colors to dry in between coats.  I mostly like painting because it is fun.  I feel like a first grader painting a school project.  I do it with an adult eye but mostly it is just fun.  Then I stopped.  I didn’t make one for one of my baby cousins or my son.  Things just got too busy for a few years.

Sugar cookies on top, chocolate chip on the bottom.

So I was doing all the desserts for my cousin’s baby shower and I decided that I was going to make a toy box for her too…and a diaper cake…the week before the shower that I had to do all the desserts for.  Luckily for me the desserts were not too elaborate.  She wanted the pie that I had made for my Grandmother’s birthday in November.  She decided on Oreo cupcakes (sorry, no pictures) for everyone else and I decided I would make some cookies.  I used the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe which is my favorite for an event.  It requires that you make the dough ahead of time and so that helps if you have lots of things to do.  I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Angel Cookies too.  See, simple, a chocolate chip and a sugar cookie, some cupcakes and a pie.  Everything worked out really well and timed just right.  Except for one thing.  The caramel that went in the pie.  I tried that at least three times till I was almost out of sugar and for my last attempt typed “foolproof caramel” into my search bar then Alton Brown came to the rescue.  I don’t think I will ever use another caramel sauce recipe again.  Again as with my first attempt in November, the pie fell apart upon serving (this time I am SURE it was the heat) but was still AMAZING!  That pastry cream is just the best ever!  She took about a quarter of the pie home and so did I.  It didn’t make it another whole night in my house.

No pictures with the lovely pastry cream, sorry.

I love the way the toy box came out and so did my cousin and I could tell by her reaction when she opened it and that is always a good feeling.  The only thing I didn’t like was the lettering.  I wish I could have gotten wooden lettering and put those on but outlining the letters helped hide some of the flaws.  The painted animals I ordered from Hobby Lobby but they do have them at Michael’s (just not my Michael’s and they didn’t know when they would get more).  I had to pay extra for shipping but it is my own fault for starting a project last minute.  The lion on the diaper cake was from JoAnne’s Fabric. The diaper cake was way easy.  I used to roll them separately but found a way to make a spiral diaper cake on Pinterest.  It took NO time at all.  I would’ve decorated it more but by then I was out of money.  I still like how it turned out.

So not only do I bake but sometimes I get the urge to craft.  A great thing to do while crafting late at night is to catch up on some TV. My GeekyLink for this week is a Robot Chicken DC Comics Special coming up on September 9th.  Robot Chicken always cracks me up!  And of course let us not forget the premiere of Series 7 Doctor Who Asylem of the Daleks Saturday September 1st!  Also, don’t for get to check out the Nerdist Channel’s All Star Celebrity Bowling featuring the cast of Doctor Who, premiering on Friday August 31, and while you’re there check out all their other programming for Doctor Who premiere weekend.

Sundays with Joy/Espresso Granita with Sweet Lemon Cream

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Loved, loved, loved this recipe!  Mostly because it reminded me of the Coffee Vanilla Ice Cream Pie but was way easier.  Sure it would have been awesome if I had some of that crust to sprinkle on the top but that is just splitting hairs.  I used the option in the recipe to use strong coffee and still added some espresso powder to it.  I also used just a smidge more sugar than Joy did.  Hey, I know how I like my coffee.  Strong and sweet!

I whipped this up early this morning, using over half of the coffee than I would normally drink in the morning.  So it was nice, once it was finished, to be able to get my daily intake.

Lemon sugar

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that if you are busy (say editing photos for a blog post) and your granita begins to melt, you can drink up the icy goodness!  And since you made it as a granita and not coffee, you can forgive yourself for having an iced coffee with buttloads of heavy cream in it.  “No, I didn’t put a dollop or two of lemon cream in my coffee.  I put it on top of my granita.”

This recipe was lovely to bite into and even lovelier cause you get to drink up the melty bits.  I still wish I still had some crust to sprinkle on top though.  Also, I had made something similar to this lemon cream in an earlier post.  The biggest difference that this cream is whipped into soft peaks.  Something I don’t normally do since I usually end up frosting with it, but looks so pretty.  As usual, if you would like the recipe, please buy the cookbook.  Also, if you want to see the rest of our group’s interpretations and creations please check out Indigo Scones who is hosting the links for this week.

I don’t have any traditional GeekyLinks today.  I still have some previews from Comic Con and such but mostly I want to say that if you missed it, the best way to catch up with it goes beyond blogs, and links, and previews.  I had the best time this year keeping up with Comic Con just from pictures of regular people like me posting on Twitter and Instagram.  Just using a hashtag (either #SDCC or #SDCC2012 or those along with another hashtag with something you want to see, say your favorite show #fringe) I got to see so much of what I wanted.  Pictures of things that I would have taken pictures of if I had gone.  Pictures that weren’t fed to me but were real.  Did you know that there were religious protesters all over Comic Con?  I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the pictures that I searched for on my own.  Take a look.  It was fun and enlightening.

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