Friday, January 25, 2013

Winter Wonderland

The experience of watching snow fall is mesmerizing. Delicate flake after flake dances gracefully down. As everything becomes blanketed by the pure snow, you attempt to capture the mental image of an immaculate world. Snow crunches under your feet. A wisp of hair blows astray. Inhale the crisp air. If only for a moment, everything is unblemished. Take it all in. After all, the sun won't wait. 
This past week it has snowed a couple of times! We received quite a few inches in fact. For Virginia, this is not an every day occurrence. Needless to say, I had to take the opportunity to capture the gorgeous snow. I can't guarantee that my shoddy photography skills do the snow any justice though.
the first snow fall

greeted by the radiant morning
my facial expression is priceless!

How is the weather where you live? 
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Thomas Keller Oreos

In the month to diet, I choose to make oreos; not just any, but the incredibly rich, chocolatey TKOs. Rebel! C'mon now, no one is perfect. We all need a splurge sometimes. Why not on oreos? 

Thomas Keller's version from his bakery, Bouchon Bakery, features the rich chocolate flavor. Salty cookies are bound together by a delicious whipped ganache. It doesn't sound too appealing; however, the elements combine to create my dream oreo. The sweetness is toned down while the chocolate is intensified. Indeed, it is just a grown up version of the original treat. 

Homemade TKOs
adapted from Tiny Urban Kitchen

3/4 cup sugar
15 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt

White Chocolate Ganache Filling
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped

For the White Chocolate Ganache Filling
Place the chopped chocolate into a bowl with the butter. Bring the cream to a boil in a pot. Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Let it stand for a minute. Then, whisk the mixture until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and thicken. It should take six hours. Refrigerate if you need to speed up the cooling process. Afterwards, whip the mixture until it is aerated and holds it shape. Refrigerate until needed.

For the Cookie
Preheat the oven to 350F. Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy with a paddle attachment. The rest of the dry ingredients need to be sifted together in another bowl to remove any clumps. Add this to the creamed butter and sugar. Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap the dough up in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough to 1/8" inch thick between two large pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Cut the cookies and place them 1/2" inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes and allow to cool. 

To Assemble
Pipe the filling onto one cookie and top with another cookie. Otherwise, spread the filling onto one cookie with a knife and top with another cookie if you do not have a pastry bag. If the filling has become runny, refrigerate the finished cookies for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I apologize for having been MIA of late. Things having just erupted recently! Hopefully, you all had wonderful holidays filled with joy. 
This year I have just one goal for myself. It is summed up in the quote below.

No matter what happens this year I would like to remind myself the importance of remaining positive.  Begin looking for the lights in every situation! 
Although this is pretty late, what are some of you're resolutions?
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