Carpe Saccharum

COOKING ADVENTURE #91: Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

And you were expecting Honey Cake. Hate to disappoint… Yep. The edges are a tad blackened but honestly, how does one not immediately start salivating like a hungry hyena upon looking at that decadence? Simply one of the funnest and tastiest desserts I’ve had the pleasure of pulling off for Cooking Adventures. And while it took me close to two hours to prepare the entire thing and bake it, I’d happily do it again. I have a weakness for pie. While I’ve made many, many cakes here on Cooking Adventures, pie really is one of my favorite things, no matter what kind. So, I kind of wanted to step up the idea of just a basic apple pie and do something a bit more creative. Even if being “creative” means slaving over a hot stove for a half an hour waiting for sugar to melt. But it wasn’t just the caramel that made this pie “adventure” worthy. It was the crust. The damn basket-weave crust. I’m not a weaver of anything much less pie dough. So that…that made things interesting.

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A Sea of Quinoa

COOKING ADVENTURE # 73: Blackened Chicken with Lime Cilantro Quinoa and Choco. Chip Cookie (Take #2)

Blackened Chicken with Lime Cilantro Quinoa

Jeepers. I tried SO hard to pay attention to the instructions on this recipe. I usually have a hard time with finding the ingredients for these adventures. This time, it was just following the simple directions. I assumed that creating this dish was somehow more involved than it actually was. While gleaning snippets of important sentences and stitching them back together all wrong in my head, I managed to turn my kitchen into a minefield of quinoa. Yes. Almost every surface had quinoa on it by the end of this adventure because I over-complicated everything. At least the food tasted amazing in the end. If it had all been for nothing, you’d see a much more self-deprecating post than this. Of course, all was well and good until I attempted to make that personal chocolate chip cookie again that I failed to do a couple Cooking Adventures ago. Why is it SO hard to make this thing?! It’s almost like I need to hire a professional chef in order to make me a cookie. Pathetic.

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Orange You Glad Matilda’s Back?

COOKING ADVENTURE #57: Orange Pecan French Toast Casserole

Orange Pecan French Toast Casserole

Nothing irritates me more than using a lame orange joke to open up a Cooking Adventure. But honestly, this is one of those few miracle times where nothing terrible happened during the adventure. It was a rare moment of complete euphoria, the delightful mixing and pouring, slicing, and baking that makes up this gorgeous French Toast recipe. Even when Matilda stepped up to bat to take on grating an orange, there was not one speck of treachery nestled behind her beady black eyes. I’m pleasantly surprised. And since this recipe made so much, it would be a fabulous gift to a loved one on Valentine’s Day! Mmm, yummy orange-flavored love. You know you’re excited.

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Naked Lemons and Geometry

COOKING ADVENTURE #18: Flourless Lemon Almond Cake

I’m beginning to think that certain creators of recipes are duping me into thinking that they are easy. For one, they say right under the title of the recipe that they are “simple” and “easy to make”. Such could be said about this recipe for Flourless Lemon Almond Cake. It’s a Spanish/Mediterranean dish that is also gluten-free because it doesn’t use any flour. Of course, I probably should have been tipped off right away that there would be some rather demanding instructions for this cake. The first line of the flourless cake recipe is “Butter and flour a 9 inch baking pan.”

…Really? I suppose they couldn’t call it “Mostly Flourless Lemon Almond Cake” either. Sounds less decadent, I suppose.

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Release the Pillsbury Dough Cans!

COOKING ADVENTURE #14: Apple Cinnamon Empanadas

Why is it that every time I attempt a recipe with fruit, the selected fruit always manages to turn me into a fool? Oranges, apples, and pineapples have been banes of my existence on a couple of different recipes so far. It was only time before two would double up against me; it had to be apples and one dastardly little lemon. From what I’ve gathered from making these, the empanada is essentially a glorified turnover. So why am I not calling these things turnovers? Well, empanada is so much more fun to say! If only it had been more fun to cook…

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“Heads Will Roll” Cake and My Arch Kitchen Utensil Nemesis

COOKING ADVENTURES #12: Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake with Coffee Caribe

When I’ve chosen recipes for my past cooking adventures, I’ve mostly chosen them from community websites with less than reliable cooks behind them. That’s understandable. There’s no telling if something’s going to come out good or not. But when you put your trust in a recipe from a well-recognized magazine, you expect it to come out good, especially if you’ve followed all of the directions! So, when my cake came out of the oven looking like a bloodied battlefield with raspberries that looked like decapitated heads littering its surface… I looked at my Taste of Home magazine, growled, and uttered, “Heads will roll for this.” I’ve also met my arch-nemesis in a kitchen utensil that must be wielded with extreme care. Even looking at it the wrong way might cause it to attack. The name of this arch-nemesis is Matilda.

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