Monday, January 28, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge #1 - Lemon Meringue Pie

This was my first Daring Bakers challenge. It was only a partial success for me because of the pie crust and the fact that my camera was not functioning on baking day. But, here's my recap, nonetheless. We were not allowed to deviate much from this recipe. This only really bothered me when it came to making the crust.

I love meringue pies, but I'm still not extremely adept at making pie crust. Cakes are typically more my thing. When I have made pie crust, I use a mixture of Crisco and butter to produce a nice, flaky crust. This crust contained only butter. I think it made the crust too soggy, and not stable whatsoever. During the baking process, one side of the crust ran into the bottom of the pan, and I had to perform an emergency rescue with it.

Aside from my pie crust problems, the rest of the pie came out perfectly. The lemon curd was a cinch to make on the stove top, and was robustly lemon flavored.

I don't know what makes everyone so scared of meringue. Mine whipped up in about 5 minutes with my trusty Kitchenaid mixer.

The recommendation to serve this pie immediately should be followed. After 24 hours, this pie was a watery mess (but still edible). It's like the pie "sweated" after sitting. Some have said this was due to the extra baking of the curd filling following completion on the stove top.

Next time I make this pie, I will use a butter/Crisco crust, and broil the meringue instead of baking it for 20 minutes. I have christened 2008 as the year I master pie baking. This was the first on a long road for me!

Check out next month for the surprise daring bakers challenge! I'll have my camera put together by then.

Friday, January 25, 2008

On The Needles

With the holidays long past, I have finally resumed working on my cabled sweater! I decided it was about time I finished knitting something for myself. So far, I have the back and left front finished of this sweater. I'm hoping I can complete it in a few weeks! I'm knitting it in a dark red.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Burgers I've Eaten - Part 8

Last night, I went to Duda's Tavern in Fells Point. I had been hearing alot about the burgers at this little bar and thought I'd check them out. I already knew this was a perfect bar for drinking beer outside in the summer.

What a wonderful burger! Their menu states that fresh ground beef is delivered to them daily. It was a nice, clean tasting burger with a perfect charbroiled exterior. Of course, I got the danish blue cheese topping, that was kind of a cross between plain cheese and a salad dressing. A perfect accompaniment to this burger. The bun looked kind of large at first, but was not overwhelming.

The staff at this place seem super fun. I will definitely be going back. Next time, I will get the Irish Dubliner Cheddar on the burger (my favorite cheese!).

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dashed Hopes

The Giants beat the Packers last night in overtime.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cupcake Love

I made a batch of cupcakes this morning and thought it would be the perfect time to take pictures of all the cute cupcake stuff for sale at Target right now. As you can see, I went a little overboard. (Not pictured is the cute cupcake mug that is on my desk at work)


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Wire

The final season of The Wire has begun. I am amazed that the entire country isn't talking about this show. We are a few months in to this writers strike, and I've heard more about American Gladiators than I have about the Wire.

It's one of the best shows I've ever seen. It's definitely the best cop show ever made. Please, if you have HBO, I encourage you to watch The Wire. You can view all of Season 5 ondemand a week early, each Monday.

Show some love to Baltimore, and a fantastically written drama.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Yearly Rant

Henceforth is my yearly rant about how much I dislike American Idol and wish it would go away.

Thank you FOX for airing another season of this incredibly boring, ridiculous show that perpetuates shitty pop music in America.

I really appreciate it.

One Step Closer

To my dream 2008 superbowl when

will beat the crap out of

I can't wait!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I heard on the radio this morning that they are making a Fight Club musical and Trent Reznor is doing the music.

This sounds like a very bad idea to me.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Because I think she's a climber, because I think people only voted for her yesterday because she cried, because I think she will push for war against Iran just as much as President Bush, because I don't believe she really wants to change America, because I think she fights dirtier than most, because I don't believe she is sincere in anything she says.

Hillary Scares Me

She really does.

Let's hope the people of America see the light.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mashed Potatoes

I have been reading alot of food blogs recently, and many of them have recipes for mashed potatoes. Many of them skip what I consider to be a crucial step in fluffy mashed potatoes (see #3 below). Here are my tips for the perfect mashed potatoes:

1. Use a ricer or a food mill to process the potatoes, instead of a masher. This gets out all of the lumps, and is super easy!
2. Add a little sour cream in addition to the milk to desired consistency.
3. After you incorporate the butter, milk, and sour cream, put the entire batch back into the original stock pot and place on medium heat, stirring constantly. This will make them super fluffy. I learned this tip from the Moosewood Cookbook years ago, and it works!

So, there you have it, my tips for perfect, yummy, mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Burgers I've Eaten - Part 7

It's been a while since I've tasted a new burger. This weekend, my husband and I ventured to Woodberry Kitchen in Clipper Mill on a friend's recommendation. It's a semi-upscale restaurant that specializes in locally bought foods and meats.

We started our order with a round of drinks and pickles from the kitchen. I discovered I liked Cognac when my Alexander arrived, made with Cognac, Godiva, cream, and nutmeg.

The pickles were less than stellar. Instead of traditional pickles, a variety of cauliflower, carrots, and onions arrived to our table in a little bell jar. Had we realized that these are what would be served as pickles, we would've skipped this course.

We both ordered the burgers and fries. The burger was perfectly prepared, slightly pink throughout the middle. The meat had a wonderful clean taste to it. Our only problem was that when the burger arrived, the bottom of the roll was soggy from the juice of the burger. My husband felt that this could have been avoided. The burger tasted so fresh and clean, with fresh blue cheese on top, that it didn't matter as much to me. I figured it was bound to get soggy as I was eating it.

For dessert, we had pear cranberry sorbet. There was a flourless chocolate cake on the menu, but I was too full to eat that. Someone tried to bring it to our table, and it looked amazing. I'm saving room for that one next time.

Woodberry Kitchen is located in the new Clipper Mill Development in Baltimore, MD. It was pretty crowded there, so I suggest reservations, if you are interested. Here's their website.