Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sourdough Croissants

Julie challenged her readers to make croissants. I have a sourdough starter so I decided to use her technique but replace the commercial yeast with sourdough yeast. As the croissants baked, I remember telling myself, I don't care how these taste because right now my house smells amazing and the smell alone is so worth it! I messed up the measurements so they came out really small but they were still amazing.

Here is one while it proofed.

I stuck a piece of chocolate in a few.
Here are the yummy mini croissants.
Be sure to check out Willow Bird's Croissant Photo Tutorial.

End of the Year..yaay

It's the end of the year and I think every blogger who is worth his/her salt is writing a recap post and/or a resolutions post. I am definitely not worth my salt but as I sit here waiting on a dish to finish cooking, I figured that I would try to write something.

It's been difficult to write here. As I mentioned in one of my first posts, I started here after Journal Space crashed. I loved JS; I loved the community at JS. I would write almost everyday. Most of it was just ramblings about my day; but at least I would write. Here, it is different. I just can't seem to get into it. It isn't even that I don't have anything to write about. Yes, my days are pretty much the same every day and for the most part, nothing "interesting" ever happens. However, that never stopped me in the past.

I'd love to write about how about how much Christmas sucked this year. Yes, I know I'm blessed but you know what? Sometimes, I just want to whine. And I would love to whine about Christmas. But each time I sit to write about it, I either find myself on the verge of tears again or I just don't feel like dealing with it. I think I am getting sidetracked here. What's the point of this post again? Recap and resolutions?

I just got interrupted by a phone call and lost the flow. There goes that. So....

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Michael Crichton's A Case of Need


I took some time off recently to catch up on some reading. I was surprised to discover that there were a few books on my bookshelf that I had not yet read. After reading perhaps the 12th novel last night, I thought I could start a new section on my blog - book reviews. I thought I would start with Michael Crichton's A Case of Need since it's still fresh in my mind.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I read a Michael Crichton. I couldn't even be actually sure that I had  read one. But that couldn't be possible. I had to have. In any event, I was looking forward to this one. After all, Stephen King had even given this one his stamp of approval. I opened the novel, got comfortable and settled in.

I started with a table of contents which indicated that the book spanned one week in October. Quick, I thought and then moved on. The first page showed what I later learned to be the chart for the main patient in the novel. I noted that the book spanned a week in October, yet her chart was dated November 15 (no year given). I assumed that this perhaps happened in November of another year. However, I quickly learned the patient's chart was indeed created the day before the novel started. This irritated me. That is a huge typo. How could anyone let this slide? I later learned that this may have been Michael Crichton's first novel (he used a pseudonym then). However, I am sure this novel was read by editors and when it was reprinted under Crichton's name, why wasn't this checked and changed? There were several other typos in the novel and I think they would have bugged me less were it not for that glaring error in the beginning.

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable novel. Of course there were a few plot holes but not enough to make the novel less interesting. It is a medical thriller and so there is a lot of medical jargon. There are helpful footnotes if you do not understand them. I appreciated this because I know that I would probably pause to Google some of it. In some cases I definitely did.

Book summary: It's the 1960's and abortions are illegal. After a botched abortion, a young lady hemorrhages and dies. A known abortionist is immediately arrested. His best friend and fellow doctor does not believe  he is guilty and sets out to find the truth.

My Rating: At some point in the future I will come up with a rating system for the books I read. Perhaps I will use glasses? In this case, I would give A Case of Need 3.5 glasses on a 5 glasses scale.

Disclaimer: All links are Amazon Affiliate links.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Red Velvet Cheesecake

I made the Red Velvet Cheesecake in stages over a few days. That made it lost easier. First I made the Red Velvet Cake.
Then I made the Oreo crust.
Next, I attempted the ganache. That did NOT work out well. Reading is fundamental!
Finally, I made the cheesecake. I don't know why I always thought of cheesecakes as complicated. I used a waterbath (Look Ma, no cracks!) but I did leave it in for a little too long.
Then it was assembly time! I am not very good at decorating so I deliberately took the blurriest picture of this ever.
It was great!! I felt so fancy! I loved it!
I highly recommend that you try this.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The first recipe that I made from Willow Bird Baking were her Cheddar Chive and Bacon Cupfakes. I didn't have many of the ingredients but I wanted them so badly so I simply made a few substitutions. It went very well. I love when recipes are easily customizable.
I didn't have avocados so I didn't make the frosting. I didn't have bacon so I sauteed some franks. I added some Philadelphia Cooking Cream and some jalapenos too. AMAZING. !!

My Obsession with Willow Bird Baking

In early October my friend T sent me a recipe for a Birthday Cake Cheesecake and asked me what I thought of it. I am not really a cheesecake person but for some reason this one intrigued me. I started reading through all the other recipes on the blog (Willow Bird Baking) and I was instantly hooked. I needed to make a cheesecake immediately. I saw the Red Velvet Cheesecake and decided it would be the one. I don’t even like red velvet cake that much either but I simply could not resist. Before I completed the cake, I also saw her cupfakes and made the Cheddar Chive Cupfakes substituting a few ingredients. It was delicious. In upcoming posts I will post pics and a few notes on the recipes from Willow Bird that I've made.