Liebster Blogging Award

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Thanks Fashion Huntress for nominating me for the Leibster Award!  Leibster is a german word which means: sweetheart, beloved person, darling dear, darling; beloved, liked very much; affectionate, loving favorite, preferred above others; liked or loved above others.  The purpose of this award is to recognize up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers.   Everyone who is nominated is a winner with this award! (aka no final vote etc.)

To accept the Liebster Award, the rules are as follows:

1. You must link back the person who nominated you (see above!)

2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you. (below)

3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers (below- didn’t quite make it to 10 because a lot of great blogs I follow have more than 200 readers! )

4. You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer. (below)

5. You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees. (in process!)

My Nominees:

  1. Stellina Sweets
  2. 365 scoops
  3. I am a food blog
  4. Sundays with Jennie
  5. Runner on the Right
  6. Dietician Drive

Questions I was asked to answer:

1. What is your favorite time of day and day of the week?  Hmmm, I wouldn’t say I’m a morning person but once I’m awake, I kinda love those few minutes you have to yourself with a cup of coffee before the day starts and gets crazy.  Favorite day depends on the day I get off which changes every week!

2. Why did you start blogging? I started blogging for several reasons: 1) To have a place besides facebook to post all my food porn! 2) To push myself to test and create new dishes- or else I would find myself baking the same things over and over.

3. What’s your favorite article of clothing that you own?  I just recently purchased an adorable dress from Madewell with a fruit pattern on an off white background with side cutouts and pockets.  Love dresses with pockets!

4. If you were given a free shopping spree at any store of your choice, where would you pick?  Saks 5ht Avenue

5.Who is your favorite designer?  I love bags/purses by Marc by Marc Jacobs.  Dresses by Oscar de La Renta.  In my price range, my favorite store currently is Madewell.

6. What is your favorite quote to live by? “Everything in moderation, including moderation” ~Julia Childs

7. What is your shameless guilty pleasure? US weekly

8. Whose style do you most admire throughout history? Love  Miranda Kerr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman- always classy but stylish

9. What is one item on your current wishlist? A new pair of Tory Burch black patent leather flats.

10. What is your favorite holiday?  Passover!  I love cooking a huge seder dinner and inviting all my friends over.  The foods have such strong childhood memories for me!

Questions for my nominees:

1. What is the one ingredient you cannot live without?

2. What is your favorite cooking appliance?

3.  If you had unlimited money to travel to another country for 2 weeks, where would you go?

4.  Favorite guilty pleasure food?

5. What is your favorite season of the year?

6.  Why did you start blogging?

7.  If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

8. What would your last meal be?

9.  What is your favorite way to de-stress?

10. If you won the lottery, would you quit your current job?

Mascarpone Cheese and Blackberry Ice Cream

As promised, here is the follow up to last week’s post detailing my North Shore berry picking adventure at Russell Orchards.  After making a tart with my freshly picked blueberries, I decided to go a different route with the blackberries: ice cream!  

Earlier this summer I dedicated a post to sweet corn ice cream by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.   The ice cream was such a success that I bought her cookbook and decided that this was the perfect time to explore it!  One recipe that caught my eye was a goat cheese and roasted cherry ice cream.  Per usual, I decided to modify it a bit by substituting mascarpone cheese (one of my favorite sweet and savory ingredients) for the cream cheese and goat cheese.  Instead of the roasted cherries, I used my hand picked blackberries and made her blackberry sauce.   The result is a sweet, smooth and creamy ice cream layered with a tart blackberry sauce making for a perfect contrast of flavors.

Click here for the recipe. Continue reading

Blueberry Buttermilk Tart

Although I did not win at Powerball this past week, I did come into a bit of luck this weekend when one of my rare days off fell on one of the most gorgeous weekends of summer.  My friend and I decided to take full advantage of the sun and the fact that I have a car for the month (thanks mom!) and headed to Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA.  After 4 hours of sun, we decided to head back to Boston but made a detour on the way stopping at Russell Orchards for wine tasting (fruit wines), berry picking and cider donuts!  I was a little disappointed that raspberry picking was over, but they had ample blueberries and blackberries for picking (and tasting along the way).

With a pint of freshly picked blueberries in hand, I scoured for summer blueberry recipes and came across this Blueberry Buttermilk Tart.  Although it was published in 1990, it had some recent rave reviews from home bakers that have continued to make this throughout the years.  It starts with a butter tart shell that is blind baked and is then filled with fresh blueberries and a buttermilk lemon custard-like filling.  I will admit that the recipe was not perfect for me.  I had a little difficulty with the tart dough and ended up having to patch several areas that cracked and ripped as I transferred it to the tart pan after rolling.  In addition, the filling took a little longer than the stated time to set and although the outcome was delicious, I would have left mine in an extra 5 minutes in hindsight.  Even with these slight flaws, it is a scrumptious summer dessert and great for berry picking experiments!

Stay tuned for how I used my blackberries in my next post!

Click here for the recipe. Continue reading

Carrot Cake (and cupcakes)

Last month I had a super crazy schedule: 24 hours on, 24 hours off, alternating for 5 weeks in the busy emergency room.  At some point during the night (and sometimes during the day)  you become slightly (or completely) delirious with exhaustion, dehydration, knowledge overload and hunger (also known as being hangry!).  When this happens, it is doctor recommended that you seek out a caffeinated beverage and something sweet STAT.  One night, this something sweet happened to be carrot cake cupcakes, in honor of my co-resident’s birthday- she was extremely lucky to spend part of it with me in the emergency room (note sarcasm)!

This recipe is one of my most requested desserts and can be made as one large cake or as a dozen cupcakes.  From the original Flour cookbook, this carrot cake is a mixture of rich moist cake, studded with raisins and toasted walnuts, and topped with a fluffy, but not too sweet, cream cheese frosting.  It’s the perfect balance of flavors- especially at 4AM!  I usually despise raisins in all baked goods but I strongly encourage you to use them in this recipe even if you are a fellow raisin hater.  It only uses 1/2 cup of raisins, just enough to add a tart flavor contrast but not overwhelmingly so.

Click here for the recipe. Continue reading