Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 26: Buttery Jam Cookies

This week's recipe was chosen by Heather of Randomosity and the Girl and is the Buttery Jam Cookie. Once again, another wonderful cookie recipe perfect for the holidays!
I used blueberry preserves in mine, and topped each cookie with a whole almond. The dough came together very nicely, and the cookies maintained there shape (there was no interesting "falling" with these little guys). All in all, a wonderful recipe.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 24: Linzer Sables and Post Number 100!!

Greetings all! Technically this is the recipe to be posted December 2, but with all the Thanksgiving stuff going on, I didn't get to it when I should have. So, here are the Linzer Sables, a recipe chosen by Dennis of Living the Life.
I ground almonds in my food processor, and I was a little worried that perhaps they were not fine enough. The end result held together fine, and tasted wonderful!In order to make them more festive, I used Christmas cookie cutters on some of the cookies. I'm hoping to fill them soon, but I think for now I'm going to store the cookies in the freezer for Holiday Happiness later in the month :)

On a side note, this is my 100th post for Butterbur's Bistro. Hooray!

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 25: Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies

This week's recipe was chosen by Ulrike of Küchenlatein, and is Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar cookies. I was very excited to see the recipe pick, as it goes along perfectly with holiday baking!
I made mine into slice and bake cookies, but to make them more festive I rolled some in sprinkles, and on others used pecan halves. Of course, I had Christmas music going full tilt while I was working on these delicious morsels! Happy baking!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 23: Thanksgiving Twofer Pie

Well, this post is late, but due to the Thanksgiving holiday, TWD posters had an extension on the posting date. Thank goodness! The Thanksgiving Twofer pie is this week's recipe, and it was chosen by Vibi of La casserole carrée. I traveled to my parents this Thanksgiving, so my mom and I made the pie for Thanksgiving dinner (which is why this post is just a bit on the late side).

I managed to locate my missing battery charger, so the pie photos are not the blurry variety from my cell phone. Hoorray!
This pie came together nicely and we had little difficulty preparing it. However, I did learn a lesson. When the recipe tells you to weight the crust when prebaking, do not "shortcut" it and hope that pricking the pie crust all over will be an acceptable substitute. Thankfully, my mom and I were concerned about the 25 minute baking time and pulled the crust out after 10 minutes to check it. The pie crust edges had slid down to the bottom of the pie plate, and the center part of the crust had tripled in volume. It was late Wednesday night and we were not about to remake the pastry, so I pulled another heavy pie plate out and squished the crust as much as I could. The sides did come up a bit and we finished prebaking. The finished product came out much better then expected because the pecan topping covered all the sad spots of crust.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 22: Arborio Rice Pudding, White, Black (Or Both)

Well, this week's recipe was very interesting on many levels. I apologize for the picture, but I can't find my battery charger for my camera....so I am stuck with the cell phone pics. **sigh**

This week's recipe was Arborio Rice Pudding, White, Black (Or Both) chosen by Isabelle of Les gourmandises d’Isa. I followed the recipe, and was a little worried when by the end of the cooking time I had milky "rice soup". I put it in the fridge and hoped that it would thicken up over night, but when I checked it the next morning...there was no improvement.

I ended up cheating....I reheated the pudding and stirred in 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and 1 beaten egg. This had the effect of thickening the pudding, but after I let it chill for awhile....the texture was less then desirable. After reading the comments on the TWD page, it seems that there was a typo in the book. The pudding should have cooked for 55 minutes and not the 30 that I gave it (I actually let it cook a little past 30 minutes). I will try this pudding again sometime in the future as the flavor was good, but as noted before....the texture with cornstarch and egg...not so much. This is the first recipe out of all the recipes I have tried with TWD that did not come out. Hopefully next week's pie will go smoothly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 21: Kugelhopf

What a busy last couple of weeks it has been! I greatly appreciate all of you who have left comments, and I'm hoping to get back to checking blogs soon. Hopefully things will settle down a bit.


This weeks recipe was Kugelhopf as chosen by Yolanda of The All-purpose Girl.
When I first saw the recipe I had my doubts. However, the recipe came together fairly easily and smelled wonderful as it baked. It wasn't as sweet as I thought it would be.
Mine didn't raise very high, and stuck to the bottom of the pan. It tasted fab though, and I've eaten far too much of it this evening!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Post Number 20: Rugelach

This week's recipe was chosen by Piggy of Piggy's Cooking Journal. It is a wonderful choice, and I was very excited about. However, have been baking and cooking like crazy lately, and haven't had time to post anything or write about it. The Rugelach came together as I was busy preparing several brisket dinners, and unfortunately they look it:
I failed to realize that the chocolate chips that I used were somewhat less then "mini", so I think the next time I try this recipe I will pulverize them before adding them to the filling.
The rugelach tasted wonderful, and I will definitely try this recipe again. However, next time I will devote more attention to the cookie.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Post Number 19: Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes

Eat more chocolate! Save a pumpkin! Thankfully, this week's recipe Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes was chosen by Clara of IHeartFood4Thought and is a recipe that has no pumpkin! Imagine the horror that we pumpkins feel each year as millions of us are consumed in pies, cakes, bread and other seasonal travesties.

What a wonderful fall treat. Seasonal cupcake paper, festive orange sprinkles....please...enjoy a chocolate cupcake this fall. Pumpkins everywhere thank you for your understanding during this difficult time of the year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 18: Pumpkin Muffins

This week's baking adventure brought to you by Tuesdays with Dorie is Pumpkin Muffins. The recipe was chosen by Kelly at Sounding My Barbaric Gulp, and if you would like the recipe, it will be posted there.

Frodo was supposed to be here to share some insights on pumpkin muffins, but he ran into some trouble with chocolate a few posts back, and couldn't be here to share.
Shelob is here in his stead.
She loves the pumpkin muffins, and I wouldn't argue with her!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Homemade Oreos

Oh my goodness! This was not the recipe for me to find! The cookie is crunchy and chocolate-ey, the frosting is sweet and vanilla-ey! Dip them in milk and pure heaven!

The recipe comes from Smitten Kingdom and is wonderful! I cut the recipe in half, subbing egg white for the full egg in the cookie dough. Butterbur and Juniper were very interested in the cookie process, especially the icing. I'm not sharing these either!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cakespy Cat

Well, do you see the resemblance? Butterbur is posing with my latest acquisition: a beautiful watercolor courtesy of Cakespy's talented artist: Jessie Oleson. If you are interested in checking out all of the fun cupcake themed art, check out Cakespy or the Etsy Store.

Juniper is a little jealous, so I may need to order one for her to pose with.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Post Number 17: Lenox Almond Biscotti

Greetings all, Juniper here. This week's Tuesday with Dorie will not feature a lovable plastic character, but instead will be narrated by none other then the sweetest small white cat ever. I have been falsely portrayed on other occasions, but I'm here to tell you that I am not a hindrance to Rigby's activities. This week I stayed under the kitchen table in order to observe the process that went into making Lenox Almond Biscotti, a recipe chosen by Gretchen of Canela and Comino.
C3PO tried to take notes on the biscotti making, but I eat guys like him for lunch.
Anyway, the view from under the table was interesting. First, Rigby measured out all of her ingredients. I kept hoping that she would spill something so I could help clean it up, but nothing ended up where it didn't belong. The mixer was put to work, and I could hear the sounds of cookie dough coming together. Rigby then plopped dough onto baking sheets. She pulled out a ruler and kept measuring something. Evidently this didn't work out the way she thought because when she pulled the baking sheet out of the oven later, she looked a little surprised by what she saw. I kept hoping she might let me see....but, no.
I fell asleep for awhile, so I missed what was going on in the kitchen, but when I opened my eyes Rigby was putting slices of Biscotti on the cooling rack. She put on a pot of coffee and sampled the cookies. I came out from under the table hoping to get a taste, but I was steered back to the cat food. Next week Rigby is going to make Pumpkin Muffins and I am determined to taste them!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Sweet 100

This is one of those lists that you don't want to admit to having too high of a score...however after tabulating my results, I don't think that will be a problem!

Sweet 100:
1) Copy this list into your site, including the instructions!
2) Bold all of the sweets you’ve eaten!
3) Cross out any of them that you’d never ever eat.
4) Consider anything that is not bold or crossed out your “To Do” List.
5) Italic the ones you have made

I'm adding a sixth step:
For any items experienced on the "To Do" list after posting the list, change the font to red. Hopefully I'll keep coming back to this and adding to it.

1. Red Velvet Cake
2. Princess Torte
3. Whoopie Pie
4. Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar
5. Beignet
6. Baklava
7. Black and white cookie
8. Seven Layer Bar (also known as the Magic Bar or Hello Dolly bars) and a non dairy version
9. Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies)
10. Kringle
11. Just-fried (still hot) doughnut
12. Scone with clotted cream
13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy
14. Halvah
15. Macarons
16. Banana pudding with nilla wafers
17. Bubble tea (with tapioca “pearls”)
18. Dixie Cup
19. Rice Krispie treats
20. Alfajores
21. Blondies
22. Croquembouche
23. Girl Scout cookies
24. Moon cake
25. Candy Apple
26. Baked Alaska
27. Brooklyn Egg Cream
28. Nanaimo bar
29. Baba au rhum
30. King Cake
31. Sachertorte
32. Pavlova
33. Tres Leches Cake
34. Trifle
35. Shoofly Pie
36. Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)
37. Panna Cotta
38. New York Cheesecake
39. Napoleon / mille-fueille
40. Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake
41. Anzac biscuits
42. Pizzelle
43. Kolache
44. Buckeyes
45. Malasadas
46. Moon Pie
47. Dutch baby
48. Boston Cream Pie
49. Homemade chocolate chip cookies
50. Pralines
51. Gooey butter cake
52. Rusks
53. Daifuku
54. Green tea cake or cookies
55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop
56. Crème brûlée
57. Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake)
58. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
59. Jelly Roll
60. Pop Tarts
61. Charlotte Russe
62. An “upside down” dessert (Pineapple upside down cake or Tarte Tatin)
63. Hummingbird Cake
64. Jell-O from a mold
65. Black forest cake
66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)
67. Kulfi
68. Linzer torte
69. Churro
70. Stollen
71. Angel Food Cake
72. Mincemeat pie
73. Concha
74. Opera Cake
75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail
76. Pain au chocolat
77. A piece of Gingerbread House
78. Cassata
79. Cannoli
80. Rainbow cookies
81. Religieuse
82. Petits fours
83. Chocolate Souffle
84. Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
85. Rugelach
86. Hamenstashen
87. Homemade marshmallows
88. Rigo Janci
89. Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)
90. Divinity
91. Coke or Cola cake
92. Gateau Basque
93. S’mores
94. Figgy Pudding
95. Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
96. Joe Froggers
97. Sables
98. Millionaire’s Shortbread
99. Animal crackers
100. Basbousa

Hmmm....33%....I have some eating to do :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Post Number 16: Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Greetings, I am C-3PO, human cyborg relations. I am afraid I am not much of a story teller, but I have been summoned from the far corners of the galaxy to share with you the tale of a Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake and how it came to be.
The cake was born of chocolate and butter and flour, and its creator referred to the great book of culinary reference: Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Truly, Dorie Greenspan is a Master Jedi of baking. The recipe was chosen by Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy, and has been created by the many Jedi apprentice bakers of the Tuesdays with Dorie clan.

Creating a chocolate cake worthy of space travel is no easy task. In order to achieve light speed, a cake must be small and aerodynamic, and so the cakes were made miniature by way of muffin pans. Nurtured by the warmth of the oven, the cakes grew to gargantuan size, and when they came from the oven, they had baked onto the top of the pan. And so the chocolate cakes separated, the saucer sections destined for space travel without the burden of the bulky cargo bottoms.

Those who enjoy chocolate must have room for cargo, so the separation was not destined to last.
And so the delightful but ominous caramel sauce was harvested. Caramel sauce hails from the seventh moon of Napecuas, and must be collected when it is deep and amber in color. The trip to Napecuas is treacherous as the Empire is ever watchful of caramel traders. The caramel was not quite ready to be collected, and turned to a thick crusty glaze. It did its job well though, as it served as an adhesive between the saucer and cargo sections of the chocolate cake space ships.
Crusted with peanuts and blazoned with the thick layer of Napecuas caramel, the chocolate cake craft will provide many in the Rebellion a reliable way to travel the galaxy. And that is the tale of the Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake. If you will excuse me now, I believe that I hear the faint call of Ewoks and they can be ever so demanding.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 15: Almost-Fudge Gateau

Poor Frodo, he has become bewitched by the power of the precious......yet again.....

This is not common knowledge, but Frodo has a serious chocolate addiction problem.

He can't seem to get enough of the stuff, and the Almost-Fudge Gateau sent him over the edge!
Technically, this week's recipe for Tuesday's with Dorie is Creme Brulee. The recipe calls for the use of a butane torch, and I do not own one. The option was given to make a previously done recipe, and so we rewind to the Almost-Fudge Gateau recipe featured on pages 218 and 219 of the baking mega-book, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe was originally chosen February 19, 2008, a bit before my time :)

This cake is scary good, and those who cannot handle serious chocolate desserts should only consume this confection with extreme caution.

Frodo was not careful, and in his chocolate induced haze failed to notice something sinister. Who will carry his burden? Who will ensure that the ring is destroyed? Methinks Sauron is behind the chocolate!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge Number 3: Lavash Crackers and Toppings

"We know of an ancient radiation
that haunts dismembered constellations;
a faintly glimmering radio station."
-Frank Sinatra, as sung by CAKE

I don't know if we are talking as ancient as the dinosaurs here, but lately things here have become like the land before time. I don't seem to be able to finish anything within the confines of a deadline anymore. Wasn't it Douglas Adams that said: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by" ?

Well, ahem. Now that we have established that I am late with this entry, I had better move on. I had tried to enlist the help of my assistant from the Dimply Plum Cake fiasco, but due to the dinosaurs reference above, he was somewhat overcome by Frank and Ethel and their powers of persuasion.

This month's culinary adventure brought to you by the Daring Bakers is Lavash Crackers and Toppings. I have had very few experiences with making crackers, so this recipe intrigued me. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I had imagined it to be, and it is a recipe that I may try again in the future.

Frank and Ethel were very useful when it came to rolling out the dough. I used diamond shaped cookie cutters to make the crackers into pieces, but I think if I try this again, I may move the sheet of dough over to the pan, and then cut it there. Once I had my diamonds cut out, I ended up having to move them individually as they kept separating from the pack.

Here is the finished product. I topped mine with pizza seasoning, salt and pepper. They smelled wonderful while they were baking!

Frank and Ethel agree that it's all good! They couldn't keep out of the dip!

The Recipes:

Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers*

1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour or gluten free flour blend (If you use a blend without xanthan gum, add 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum to the recipe)*

1/2 tsp (.13 oz) salt*

1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast*

1 Tb (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar*

1 Tb (.5 oz) vegetable oil*

1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb (3 to 4 oz) water, at room temperature*

Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, agave, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full 1/2 cup + 2 Tb of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.

2. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should pass the windowpane test (see http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-if-Bre … ong-Enough for a description of this) and register 77 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.or

2. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), and slightly tacky. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).

4. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Mist the counter lightly with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Press the dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. You may have to stop from time to time so that the gluten can relax. At these times, lift the dough from the counter and wave it a little, and then lay it back down. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap while it relaxes. When it is the desired thinness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheet of dough and lay it on the parchment. If it overlaps the edge of the pan, snip off the excess with scissors. or

4. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Lay out two sheets of parchment paper. Divide the cracker dough in half and then sandwich the dough between the two sheets of parchment. Roll out the dough until it is a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. Slowly peel away the top layer of parchment paper. Then set the bottom layer of parchment paper with the cracker dough on it onto a baking sheet.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle a covering of seeds or spices on the dough (such as alternating rows of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, kosher or pretzel salt, etc.) Be careful with spices and salt - a little goes a long way. If you want to precut the cracker, use a pizza cutter (rolling blade) and cut diamonds or rectangles in the dough. You do not need to separate the pieces, as they will snap apart after baking. If you want to make shards, bake the sheet of dough without cutting it first.

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly across the top (the time will depend on how thinly and evenly you rolled the dough).

6. When the crackers are baked, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. You can then snap them apart or snap off shards and serve.

Chunky Veggie Dip

Dice one tomato, 1/2 yellow pepper, 1/2 onion, 3 cloves of garlic and add to bowl. Stir in 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon pizza seasoning, dash of salt and pepper. Mix well. Allow to sit in refrigerator for a couple of hours for flavors to blend.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 14: Dimply Plum Cake

Cue Sappy Music.....Now....

* * * *
Ah, ladies and gentleman, please join me for another riveting session of "Can this Cake be Saved?" Today's session is brought to you by Butterbur's Butter, found in all major supermarkets across the country. Better Baking Begs for Butterbur Butter.
Today we visit with Rigby of "Butterbur's Bistro" and the "Dimply Plum Cake". The setting of the scenario is simple: a small kitchen, an iPOD playing the musical stylings of CAKE, and the massive book "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan. It should have been an ideal afternoon.

Rigby: The recipe looked so ideal, so perfect. Mix a few ingredients here, add a few ingredients there. Perfect.
Dimply Plum Cake: Yes, but you were distracted. You never listen.
R: I do enjoy CAKE...
DPC: At my expense.
R: Honestly, I was sure that everything was included in the batter. I did wonder why the batter was so thick when I poured it into the pan though...
DPC: [sniffles]
R: At least I realized my mistake before you had been in the oven too long...I tried to make it right.
DPC: Imagine being all warm and cozy, tucked into your 350 degree paradise, when you are wrenched back into the loud frenzy of the kitchen and ripped apart.
R: You needed oil.
DPC: humph!

What do you think gentle readers? Can this cake be saved? Tune in next week for the conclusion of this session.

* * * *

This week's recipe was the Dimply Plum Cake, and was chosen by Michelle of Bake-En. As I am sure you have gathered by now, what should have been a fairly simple cake to throw together ended up being a panic moment (please refer to my stressed assistant above). I had the full cake assembled and in the toaster oven when I happened to glance over the recipe and realized that I had not added any oil. I had a moment of furious internal debate: should I leave the poor thing alone and hope for the best or try to correct the mistake? I opted for the latter choice, and had a mess on my hands as I removed plum halves from fudge-like cake batter. The oil didn't mix in as well as I hoped, but at least it was there. Back into the oven...fingers crossed, breath baited. The only excuse that I can offer is that my brain was so frazzled from running/walking a 10K race today, that there wasn't anything left for cognitive clarity.

"And there was much rejoicing."

The timer went off, and cautious jubilation! It appeared that I had a cake! Of course, there was a taste test involved, and the cake did indeed pass inspection. There was much rejoicing. Perhaps the next time I make this cake, I will follow the directions a little more closely.

* * * *

Here is the cake the next day as part of my breakfast with a good strong cup of coffee. I think the cake was even better for sitting overnight, and it was perfectly complimented by my coffee.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Number 13: Chocolate Chunkers

Ah, I have found my precious!

I sense danger....it is all around...must protect....my preciousssss.....

Well, Frodo gives these cookies 2 thumbs up, and considering he is very limited in both movement and facial expression, that's saying something.

This week's recipe was chose by Claudia of Fool for Food and is the absolutely decadent cookie Chocolate Chunkers. What can one say about a cookie recipe that used 2 giant Hershey bars, 1-1/2 cups of peanuts and 1 cup of cranberries? The cookies are like candy loosely held together by cookie dough, and they make me very, very happy. It's the kind of happiness that makes me glad that I still have my membership at the YMCA, because I keep eating cookies.... If Frodo had packed chocolate chunkers along with his lembas bread for his epic journey across Mordor, he would have had little difficulty with his passage. How could anybody be cross with hobbit carrying pure gold in cookie form? Really, I want to know.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Need to go to the Library More

1) Bold those you have read.

2) Put an asterisk next to those you started but didn't finish.

3) Italicize those you intend to read (or have started and intend to finish).

4) Red the books you LOVE

5) Reprint this list in your own blog.

* * * * *

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible *

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger *

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald *

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky *

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marque

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte's Web - EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Blogs I Love

I was so excited when I received an award earlier this week, and now I would like to pass it on to a couple of the blogs that I like to check in with:

Jon and MacDuff in Boston -- this blog is always an interesting read. I love both Jon and MacDuff's sense of humor and perspective on what they write about.

She's Becoming DoughMessTic--a good sense of humor, wonderful recipes and pictures that make me want to cook everything on the blog!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soup Challenge Number One: Red Lentil Soup

I have been eating a lot of canned soups lately because they are low in calories and very filling, but I've been thinking-I really need to make some homemade soups and freeze them for quick use later. And so it begins: my personal soup challenge. I will make my own homemade soups, portion them and freeze them for future consumption. How can I go wrong? A little work here and there, a quick trip to the freezer, and presto: instant good for me food when I need it.

I don't know if this is anything anyone would be interested in doing....if so, let me know and I will structure it as a monthly or bi-monthly blogging challenge. I hope to make soups and continue to blog about my adventures.
Red Lentil Soup
Adapted from Today's Diet and Nutrition September/October 2008
Serves 4

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 Tablespoon cumin, ground
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup red lentils
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2 red onion, finely sliced

Put 1 Tablespoon of olive oil into a large saucepan and add the onion, ginger, and cumin. Cook over a medium heat until the onion is soft and transparent. Add the carrot, lentils and stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils have completely disintegrated.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the red onions. Cook until the onions are caramelized. Cool, cover or refrigerate to reheat and serve later. Top with a spoonful of caramelized onions.

Note: Any lentils can be substituted for red lentils.

Calories: 312

Friday, September 12, 2008

Spicy Malted Hot Cocoa Mix

The Tuesdays with Dorie Recipe for this last Tuesday, Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops, called for Malted Milk Powder. I bought a jar especially for the recipe, but found myself looking at the remaining portion and wondering what on earth I was going to do with it. In the past, I've mixed it with ice cream to make an old-fashioned malt, but I'm trying to get away from eating a lot of treats like ice cream (especially with the weekly dessert delights of Tuesday with Dorie). Alas, what to do.....

I was saved by a recipe I found on mix, mix...stir, stir. The author of this blog found herself in the same quandry...and solved the problem by creating a hot chocolate delight.
Here is her recipe:

Spicy Malted Hot Cocoa Mix

1/2 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1-1/2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients together and mix well. Store in an airtight container. To make a spicy hot beverage, heat one cup of milk and whisk in 3 Tablespoons of Spicy Malted Hot Cocoa Mix. Relax and enjoy.

I did not add the ancho chile powder and cayenne pepper. Instead I added 1/2 teaspoon of regular chile pepper. I found that it added a nice heat to the hot chocolate. I also found when I made this that it was a little rich with just the 1 cup of milk, so I think the next time I make it I will try doubling the milk portion, or back off a little on the mix. It was delicious though.

I have lots of mix to play with :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An Award!!!!

I am so excited! Someone has given me an award! Sherry Trifle was kind enough to include me in her list of blogs to receive an award. Thank you!

I am looking forward to passing this along to some of my favorite blogs...hopefully when I get back from work today :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Post Number 12: Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

Well, I almost missed the Tuesday posting, but here I am at the very last minute getting my two cents in on this week's recipe. It was chosen by Rachel of Confessions of a Tangerine Tart, and the recipe is posted at her blog if you would like to see what goes into these wonderful cookies!
Let me break the cookie experience down into simple terms: chocolate, whoppers, chocolate, simple, delicious, wonderful. These cookies were wonderful warm out of the oven, and wonderful cooled. The dough was cake like and puffy, and the whoppers made for a nice chewiness. There is not a bad cookie recipe in the book! I am looking forward to eating what few cookies that remain with a nice hot cup of coffee and a good book. Hurray for chocolate! Hurray for whoppers! Hurray for cookies!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mug 'O Pumpkin Creme

I no longer need to go to the coffee house to enjoy a creamy, rich, delicious beverage... and this one is low in calories too! How terrific is that! The recipe comes from "Hungry Girl", and I only made one change-- instead of using a no-calorie sweetener, I used a teaspoon of sugar. Enjoy!

8 ounces light vanilla soymilk
2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine all ingredients in a pot. Stir well with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture begins to froth, continue to boil for a minute. Remove from heat and pour into a mug. Allow to cool slightly, and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Post Number 11: Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Talk about your last minute posts....I was beginning to think this one wouldn't make it in time! I am a huge fan of peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate, so there was no way I was going to miss out on making "Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipster Cookies", a recipe chosen by Stefany of Proceed with Caution.
Why so last minute? Well, school has started, cold season is alive and well, and I tried my hand at water skiing over the holiday weekend. Unfortunately I didn't find the time to actually stop and make cookies. I had my mind set on completing the recipe this evening, and had just finished mixing the dough when I was invited to have dinner with friends. Fortunately the dough chills well, and now I am enjoying a warm, melty dessert. :) I think that cookies help cure muscle soreness and sunburn.

Be sure to check out all the other fab cookies at Tuesdays with Dorie!