For the first 7 or so years that Lia and I had been together, we had been using kitchen knives handed down to do me by my mother. Maternal love notwithstanding, these knives were anything but great. They did the job for the most part, but I’d used a really nice set of chef’s knives for a couple years before I suddenly no longer had access to them. For a long time I wished I had them again but could never afford new ones. Then, one day Lia and I just got fed up with the inability of our knives to cut worth a damn and I sat down to do some quality research. It was getting close to Christmas and I felt it was time to gift ourselves.
Now, buying a chef’s knife or set of knives is a major purchase that affects your life, like a good quality office chair or a set of audiophile quality headphones so you shouldn’t take it lightly. Being one of those people who does endless research before I make a decision on a major purchase like that, I was delighted when my research paid off and saved me a lot of money on a high quality chef’s knife. Enter the Victorinox Fibrox Chef’s Knife.
There’s something magical about Sundays. I don’t know if it’s sleeping in as late as I want, waking up to a cool and dimly lit apartment on my own terms (no stifling heat or alarm clock). Or maybe it’s because I’m drinking white wine and eating a chocolate bar that was left over from our dinner party with a fun couple of friends from the previous night? It was a good night full of great food, laughter and the Star Wars Holiday Special!
Whatever the case, it’s Sunday and that means it’s time for another Snapshot of stuff I’ve bookmarked to try out in the (near) future as well as the some of the Pinterest users that we’ve followed this week.
If your remember in our last post we mentioned we went to a housewarming party? Well, we didn’t just make one cake. We made two! And here is the other, in full-color limey goodness. When I first watched Lorraine Pascale make her mojito Genoise cake recipe in a MasterChef Australia masterclass I had a hunch it would be perfect for the party that was coming up. I had a hunch it would be a perfect companion to Lia’s chocolate cake and the first bite of my test cake I knew I’d struck gold. Actually, I was sold just by tasting the frosting ;)
I’ve actually made this cake three times in about five weeks. The first time was a little six-inch cake to try out the recipe and adjust it where I thought it needed it. The second time was the full-size eight-inch cake for the party. The third time was another six-incher for pictures. Can you believe I’m still not tired of it? I’m actually wishing I had some more to eat and it’s only been a couple weeks since Lia and I ate the last of it.
This cake is based around an Italian Genoise sponge. If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s a very light sponge made without a raising agent so you’re whipping the hell out of eggs and sugar over a double boiler to get a ton of air into the mixture, and at the end folding in butter and flour. The end result is a light and sweet sponge that is a perfect base to do almost anything with.
This summer has been beyond hot. I moved to Minnesota because of the famously cold winters (no lie!). I love the cold, the snow and cuddling up with a warm cup of tea or coffee. This summer though is getting to be way too much for me and my desire to have the oven on and bake is driving me crazy. My poor oven is getting seriously neglected in this heat! So after we got invited to a housewarming party for some dear friends I cranked up the AC on high and jumped on the opportunity to make a cake that would make everyone go “wow”.
For the cake base I used a modified buttermilk cake recipe that is super moist. I normally do a half recipe for this cake which makes a perfect double layer 6-inch cake. For the party I doubled it and made an 8-inch cake. What makes this cake a winner the moist and delicate crumb, and the rich chocolate flavor. Then what else could I tie the two beautiful layers of cake together than with some fresh raspberries to give it that big bang of flavor it needed.
You can never go wrong mid-summer with anything that has fresh raspberries in it. Add chocolate to it and you have an instant winner. I wanted to make a truffle type chocolate frosting so I came up with a great way to do that by adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the melted chocolate. That made it rich and bitter like a truffle you would get from a shop. Then I layered fresh raspberries between the cake halves, covered it all with that creamy frosting and piled it high with chocolate curls on top. Easy!
We’re back! I hope everyone’s had a good weekend! It’s time for our Sunday roundup of Pinterest users and recipes that we’re excited to try this week. We hope you enjoy what we have in store for you this time around. I know we’re especially excited for the recipes ;)
6 Pinteresting People We Followed This Week
1. Cora Müller – Looooots of food (especially if you like sweets) and lots of pretty home interior stuff here.
2. Edwina Richardson – From her own description: “A lover of makeup artistry, vintage photography, ecclectic interior design, typography and rejuvenating old treasures; all things beautiful and inspiring…to name but a few!” Also some food, some clothing style and hair, and other pretty things. Check her out if you like the sound of that.
3. Jane Kim – Lightly put, Jane has a lot of pins. Food, clothing, home stuff, art, animals, DIY, gardening, more food, cats, more fashion… some nice multi-user boards to check out full of pins. You’ll probably be here a while.
4. Emma Fexeus – Author of her own home design blog, you’ll find a lot of home design stuff here in addition to women’s and kids style with a little bit of food.
5. Handmade Charlotte – For the DIYer looking for cool things to make and great interior design for the home (especially kids), you’re going to find a lot of cool things here. There’s also a great board for food and party ideas that you shouldn’t miss.
6. Ez Pudewa – And in saving the best for last, we have Ez Pudewa. The blogger behind Creature Comforts Blog, Ez has a lot of fantastic pins and boards worth following. She pins often, has a good amount of food, DIY stuff, gifts and artsy things… I think you’ll like this one.
As always, if you haven’t already then feel free to follow us as well!
This Portuguese chicken and rice recipe was one of the first posts on the old blog. Not only did it need an update but it needed to be shared with new friends. So here it is! Again!
I know it’s summer here in the USA and we’re melting under this oppressive heat and humidity, but sometimes you still need a warm hug. This dish is my warm, comforting hug. It really makes me feel good to eat a bowl of this stuff. Whether the season is Winter or Summer, this dish is one pot wonderful, especially if you don’t want to turn on the oven. This has the home-cooked feel that I grew up with but it has enough complexity in flavors and textures to be just a little bit more. And while it’s not really an ‘authentic’ Portuguese recipe and it’s almost a quick and dirty paella minus the saffron and shrimp, I’m calling it my Portuguese Chicken and Rice because the flavors and main ingredients are there and it sounds better than “Pretty good spicy chicken and rice”.
I love this recipe so much that in 25 years or so I can imagine this being my ‘Grandma’ dish that I make every other week for the family. It just makes you feel loved and warm and you always want more. I also love it because the leftovers are packed with so much flavor the next day!
The great thing about this dish is that it consists of ingredients that I usually have in my pantry. Making it with or without the chorizo is up to you and what you have on-hand but if you feel like getting the chorizo, go for it (because it IS delicious).
This chicken and rice dish does takes some time to prep. When making this recipe, make sure to have everything chopped up and ready to go when the recipe calls for it so it takes no time to toss together.
It’s been a slow week around here due to the mid-week holiday and working every day that isn’t one therefore not much in the way of food happening around here. So you get two Snapshots in a row! Lots of beer brats were consumed though, and whatever else we had in the fridge that would put together a suitable meal.
No recipe links this week, as we’ve been too busy auditioning different coffee roasts for ice coffee to make note of anything and haven’t been on the computer much. But we have extra Pinterest users for you to follow :) Enjoy!
Yes, that’s our ultra-fluffy cat up there.
9 Pinteresting People We Followed This Week
1. Nicole Franzen – I’ve been a fan of Nicole’s photography at nicolefranzen.com and La Buena Vida for a while now, but for some reason I didn’t think to look for her Pinterest profile and sure enough when I did, I was rewarded. Nicole has an eye for beautiful food and interior design and just life in general. I’m sure you’ll like her as much as I do.
2. A n y a – Lots of pins, lots of beauty, lots of things you’ve not seen recently or before if you are an active pinner. A whole lot more that just food here too, so go feast your eyes.
3. Angela Marie – This weekend’s “Crazy amount of food” award goes to Angela. A serious recipe goldmine here plus a lot of great party and craft stuff too. Serious time wasting possibilities.
5. Deeba Rajpal – Looking for Indian food? Here you go. Lots of delicious sounding food that you don’t see around the usual channels on Pinterest. Definitely worth checking out if you want something different in your Pinterest stream.
6. Aimee | Simple Bites – With over 50 boards entirely devoted to food, how could you not follow this user? And I have to say, I love it when boards are well organized.
8. Caitlin | Roost – Who doesn’t love reading and repinning from Roost? You might as well follow all of the beautiful boards from Caitlin.
9. Heather Orton – I’m going to round off this Pinterest roundup with some impeccable style from Heather Orton. Absolutely beautiful pins all around from food to clothing to kittens to hair. Heather is probably one of my favorites of the week.
As always, feel free to follow us as well! Have a nice week everyone!
This recipe has been printed from Sugar & Snapshots http://sugarandsnapshots.com/sunday-snapshot-07-08-2012/
It’s July 1st and we’re all wondering where June went so fast. The heat of summer is bearing down on us with full force and July 4th is stuck in the middle of the week! Who let this happen? I didn’t approve of this! Frankly, we’re both getting a little sad-faced. Thankfully, we’ve found we can make ourselves feel better with some food and drink and long sessions on Pinterest.