Monday, April 18, 2016

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

I've loved having this blog, but I've outgrown it. I thought it was the blogger platform, but even after I switched over to Wordpress (sorry, I know I didn't mention that) it just wasn't quite right. I'm trying my hand at photography and I'm interested in writing some political commentary. Plus I would like to share my quilting projects and other random thoughts. Pastry Place is just too narrowly drawn for that to work.


I'll keep this blog online, I might as well and I like having the record of my culinary escapades, but I'm done updating it.


Thank you to everyone who has visited and I do hope you'll swing by Wordpress and check out the extra few months of Pastry Place at I'll make sure to update that if/when I start a new blog.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Savory Inspired Plated Dessert

The basil and candied pine nut ice cream was very good, but as with any ice cream it is better as an accompaniment to dessert. In this case I used white cake I'd had in the freezer (I toasted it slightly to refresh it) and just a drizzle of really good extra virgin olive oil. If I'd been planning this I'd have made Thomas Keller's madeline cake (I really must post about that, it is delicious) and some sort of citrus olive sauce, probably thickened with xanthan gum. Still, it was a delicious dessert--and not just for something thrown together on a whim.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Basil and Candied Pine Nut Ice Cream

I got a new ice cream cookbook that uses a non-custard base. No custard means no pain in the derrière slow cooking and tempering eggs and curdled batches (yes, I've had scrambled egg custard more than once). Of course it also means a corn syrup and cream mixture that, while delicious, doesn't quite have the depth of a custard based ice cream. Still with fun flavors, like this one, it's a nice base and it is easier to make.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate chocolate chip cookies are always good, but add Reese's Pieces and Maldon sea salt and you've got something really quite special.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Homemade Tortilla Chips ~ With Recipe

Here's something that would go nicely with the spring pea guacamole (or salsa, or sour cream, or plain...): fresh tortilla chips. These are so simple to make and so worth it!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Spring Pea Guacamole

A few weeks ago, the Internet, to use a technical term, freaked out over a New York Times recipe for guacamole with green peas in it. Apparently President Obama doesn't like the prospect of peas in his guacamole--and things spiraled from there. If you'd like to hear the whole story, you can check it out here:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Savory Palmiers

I've made plenty of sweet palmiers before but savory ones may actually be more enjoyable. They are extraordinarily simple to make; especially if you use store bought puff pastry. If you have the option, make sure you get all butter puff. This, I find, is really only an issue in the UK, but I suppose you never know. Speaking of British puff pastry, I find the store brand all butter puff sold at either sainsbury or waitrose (sorry, I don't quite remember which, though in a pinch I'd say waitrose) is brilliant. It's what I used to make the batch pictured above. It just puffs better than either brand (dalfour and pepperidge farm) that I've tried in the states. Plus it comes as a block rather than a sheet so you can roll it out to the right shape and thickness and you don't have to worry about the cracks you get with the sheets of puff.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Chocolate Chocolate Breakfast Muffins

These simple buttermilk mini muffins are kicked up with some cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Simple and not overly sweet, these dense but tender muffins are perfect for breakfast with a strong cup of coffee and perhaps some berries. Or have one (or two) in the afternoon with a cup of tea. But they really aren't dessert-y enough to be a full on dessert!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Put the Lime in the Coconut

I made this cake for an aquantaince whose adult sons wanted to speak with my mom about financial consulting careers. We had them over right around her birthday so I figured, why not make a birthday cake?!

Coconut frosting going on the first layer

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sixtieth Birthday Party

My pops turned 60 earlier this month. We threw him a big surprise party. And even with all the cooking and preparation we did, he (shockingly) was surprised! We really went all out too; it's quite something that we still managed to surprise him.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Whoops, I forgot to post this after the other Passover cake, so I may not have entirely retained the details. But really, a nut free, gluten free, chocolate cake. Rich, dense, moist--almost brownie like. What more is there to say?

Topped with whipped cream, it is a decadent treat for Passover or any time of year.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Sugar

These are classic blueberry muffins with a slight twist, lemon zest in the batter and lemon sugar on top. The subtle tang of the lemon complements the sweet blueberries and the baking soda-y muffin nicely. Of course I don't like blueberries, so these weren't thrilling to me. That's okay though, I made these primarily to give away--so the fact that I didn't love them was quite helpful. And I got plenty of complements on them, so I assume that they were very nice if you like such things.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Birthday Treats

Not only did I get my chocolate peanut butter cake, I also got some goodies. My favorite frozen yogurt at a cute little place on the water (chocolate-hazelnut with chocolate jimmies.)

Peanut butter chocolate pudding pie at Dinosaur BBQ. Amazing pie! (And amazing dinner including poutine and catfish strips, not pictured here. If you ever go, I recommend their ultimate BLT, with house smoked bacon and fried green tomatoes.)

And visiting friends in NYC, I go treated to Magnolia Bakery's icebox cake (yum!)

And four fancy rugalah from a cute place on the Upper East Side (I don't remember the name, sorry.) From left to right: raspberry and farmer's cheese, apple pie, cinnimon, nutella. I think. In any case, a great way to prolong the birthday celebration!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Chocolate, chocolate chip, fudge muffins

These are very good. These are rich, moist, chocolate muffins with mini chocolate chips tossed in. These are topped with a fudgy chocolate glaze. That's it. Chocolate, chocolate chip, fudge muffins.

Need I say more?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Quickbread

Now that I'm not living in a city, I can't alway get some of the odder ingredients I want, but good produce is easy to come by. Case in point: my nextdoor neighbor grows rhubarb and she very kindly told me that I could pick it anytime I want as she never comes close to using it all. I admit I've never actually baked with rhubarb before. I'm not sure why--probably a combination of it being hard to come by in NYC and London and the fact that, while I like rhubarb, it's not my favorite.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kumquatini~with recipe!

This is a martini made with kumquat simple syrup (see? I told you that it'd be turning up everywhere), a dash of bitters, and a measure of grand marnier. I rimmed the glass with Demerara sugar and tossed in a candied kumquat for good measure. Delicious.

Just for fun, here's the recipe for two small(ish) kumquatinis:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Quinoa Flour Cake with Kumquats

I made this for Passover, but I will have to try it for my gluten free cousins, because it was really good! The quinoa flour made the cake much lighter with a smaller crumb than the average nut flour based Passover cake. Plus the it lent the cake a nice nutty flavor without being overpoweringly nutty.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Birthday Cake

My mom made me my birthday cake as she always does. This year it was chocolate cake--Thomas Keller's recipe. It was good. Very moist and chocolatey but not too heavy and dense. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cookies for Passover

The thing about baking for Passover is that it makes you think a bit more about what you are baking. But past thinking a bit harder when you choose your recipes, it doesn't really change things. Okay, yes, no flour unless it's matzo meal, but how hard is that? It's rather like keeping gluten-free (assuming you aren't using matzo meal). In fact the coconut macaroons and the chocolate walnut cookies are staples of my year round gluten-free repertoire. The third cookie, a nutty and floral macaron, will definitely be added to that repertoire--but more on it in a minute.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Candied Kumquats

I see more and more recipes pop up on places like pinterest that use kumquats. Kumquats, a diminutive citrus fruit with an edible peel, happened to appear at my grocery store recently. I had to get in on the kumquat craze, so I bought some. I didn't necessarily think through the fact that, with Passover starting, my recipe options would be somewhat limited. That's okay, I decided to candy them and figure things out later. After all I love candied citrus!