Sushi on a budget!

One of my favorite ways to eat tofu is fried,tofu agedashi. It's crispy on the outside and soft in the inside. On Thursday we both really really wanted to go out for sushi but decided it was a bad idea. Instead I used the tofu and all the veggies in the fridge to make a little stir fry. I also thought it would be much more economical to buy sushi at the market. We easily saved ourselves $75! I am so proud of us, for not eating out!

Baby Shower

One of my very very good friends is having a baby boy in about 3 weeks! About two weeks ago her mom threw a baby shower for her. It was so much fun. I was asked to make all the desserts and was so honored that her mother would trust me with this task! Mary, the mother to be's mom wanted to do a french theme. I made Gâteau aux carrottes (french style carrot cake), rose water Madeleines, Korova Cookies, and mini lemon tarts! I think everything turned out so yummy!
The shower was on Saturday afternoon so I knew I had to get busy prepping on Friday. Actually, I ended up making the dough for the Korova cookies on Thursday night and then baking Friday night. Friday night was a busy one! I started at 5pm and finally went to bed at 12:30, and I was still not done. I woke up Saturday morning at 6 and made the mini tarts and carrot cake and I had 45 minutes to spare to wash all the flour and sugar out of my hair! I got so many compliments on how good everything tasted, the one thing I forgot to do is bring business cards to promote my business!
My friend, Lauren really enjoyed herself and is totally glowing and looks fantastic, I am so excited to meet her little boy. He is going to have so many people to love him.
I went to David Lebowitz's website and used a recipe for his carrot cake. Which he found in Lulu’s Provençal Table* by Richard Olney, foreword by Alice Waters.) I changed a few things to the original.

For the madeleines I used a recipe from Martha Stewart in her wedding section of her website. I ended up just added some rose water on top of the madeleines so it was not too sweet. The Kovora cookies were from Smitten Kitchen
And finally the mini lemon tarts with lemon curd were from many sources! The dough is a combination of several recipes that makes my own and the lemon curd is from my mom. I have no idea where she got the recipe!

Here is the recipe for the Carrot Cake:

8 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
pinch of salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups toasted walnuts
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup, packed,finely grated carrot

1. Preheat the oven to 325F . Butter a 8x8 baking pan and line with a square of parchment paper.

2. Beat the butter, sugar and salt until smooth.

3. Meanwhile, pulverize the nuts and flour in a food processor or blender until relatively fine, but not powdery. If you don’t have a machine, simply chop the nuts by hand and toss them with the flour.

3. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Afterwards, stir in the ground nut mixture and the carrots, mixing just until smooth.

4. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool, and cut in pieces to eat!

This recipe was so easy and turned out moist and perfect. Just sprinkle a little powered sugar on for presentation.

Really Good Blueberry Muffins!

On Wednesday, my work, American Land Conservancy had a staff meeting. Instead of buying store bought muffins I wanted to bring some freshly baked ones in. I pretty much use Smitten Kitchen as a place to find really yummy recipes. The recipe I found on her website looked and sounded pretty easy. So, I decided to use this one. I remember using creme friesh in a lemon cake instead of using sour cream and it tasted so good. The blueberry muffin recipe called for plain yogurt. Since I doubled this recipe I used half plain yogurt and half creme fraiche. I also lowered the sugar to 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup. I love a little crunch to my muffins so I added a topping of brown sugar and walnuts mixed with the juice of the blueberries. I think I made a winner!
I also made the batter the night before and in the morning added the blueberries so they would be extra fresh and warm when we ate them!

Perfect Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated(Find the original recipe at Smitten Kitchen)

Makes 16 to 18 standard muffins

10 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
3/4 cup of creme freshie
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Gently fold in your blueberries. The dough will be quite thick (and even thicker, if you used a full-fat Greek-style yogurt), closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more, so you might only need 9 instead of 10 cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (you know, except for blueberry goo). Let cool on rack (ha), or you know, serve with a generous pat of butter.