Tuesdays with Dorie: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins


They are muffins. Albeit muffins without lemon or poppyseeds. But, they are still indeed muffins.

When I went to make them, it hit me that I had no lemons. Nor did we have poppyseeds. So, they became blood orange muffins. We liked them all the same. Colby ate 2 before they were even done cooling. I’d say that means they were a success.

Check out the TWD LYL post for all the rest of what should be lemon poppyseed muffins.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Midnight Crackles


Happy Anniversary Tuesdays with Dorie! TWD turns 3 this week. When I posted about TWD for the first time, I never ever imaged we would still be at it 3 years later. It seriously changed my life. I am a totally different baker. I have made some of the best online friends a girl could have. My tweetie ladies are the best, the BEST! And it pushed me to start French Fridays with Dorie as well. I am ever so thankful to the members of TWD for continuing to bake along week after week without fail. You have pushed me to become a better baker. Thank you! Lastly, thank you to Dorie for her continued support of both me and the group. It means the world to me.

To celebrate our 3rd Anniversary, Julie, my TWD sidekick and I decided on Midnight Crackles. We both wanted something on the easy side for right after Christmas. I have been wanting to make these cookies for a long time, so I was uber stoked.

I baked them up just today. I followed the original recipe exactly. They were easy to whip up. The texture seemed really sandy to me, even after chilling. I rolled a few in powdered sugar before baking, just for fun.The finished product came out kind of like the World Peace Cookies, but softer. We all liked them, but I think I will up the cinnamon next time and maybe nix the clove. Overall, good cookie.

You can find the recipe for Midnight Crackles on the Tuesdays with Dorie blog.

Happy Anniversary Tuesdays with Dorie’ers! Here is to another three years! xoxo

Happy 2011!


Okay, first things first. Happy New Year! 2011. Wow! Where does the time go? Really, where does it go?

Last year, my blogging was somewhat.. lacking. Alright, it was awful. Down right, awful. In my defense, 2010 was the hardest year for me that I can remember. It was a mentally and emotionally exhausting. At some points, I did not know how I would get through the year. So, blogging took the back burner. So be it. My family comes first. The end. But, its 2011 now. And I am truly hoping to start blogging more again. I miss it. I really do. Hopefully, I still have a few readers out there. Hi there, nice to see you!

To kick things off, I decided to bake something yeasty today. I love the smell of a yeasty treat in the oven. One of Liam’s favorite breakfasts is cinnamon rolls. With that in mind, I decided to make monkey bread. If you don’t know what that is, you must have been living in a hole the past few years. Its been everywhere. Or maybe you are new to the interwebs. If so, hi there! Nice to see you!

I should have started this project earlier in the morning. It takes several hours to proof and put together. It worked out in the end, since we ended up having a monster brunch to start the New Year.

New Year, new stuff, yada yada. Liam rates all my baked goods. I am totally raising a pastry snob. He is harsh with his ratings. I figured it makes for good entertainment value. This is how he rated the monkey bread.

Liam’s Rating: Bread nice and soft, not too crunchy. Cinnamon really good, but I like a little more cinnamon, a tiny bit more, but otherwise, really good. Overall rating– A

I do not like publishing recipes on my blog. Maybe its my loyalty to Dorie that started it, but its expanded. If you want the recipe for Monkey Bubble Bread in BAKED Explorations, buy the book. Come on, do it. Its a great book with phenomenal photos, and you won’t regret it.

Happy 2011 to everyone! Hope it turns out to be a fabulous year! xoxo- Laurie

Total sidenote: The Pens play in the Winter Classic tonight. Go Pens!


Happy Birthday, Dorie!


In honor of Dorie’s birthday, Holly over at Phe.Mom.enon put together a fantastic virutal dinner party! There are a bunch of fantastic recipes from Around My French Table to check out. My favorite TWD ladies did a lovely job of making this dinner party special! You guys rock!

I made Quatre-Quarts from the dessert section of AMFT. (Secretly, I was running late, as usual, and the cake is in the oven as I type this. As soon as the sun comes up, I will snap a photo. Steathily.) This kind of cake is Jason’s favorite. Simple and plain but makes for a great breakfast with a cup of coffee, or an afternoon snack. I love cakes I can whip up in no time at all. (Like at 6:30 am when running late, and need to get something done quickly.)

The only changes I made were, I did not whip the egg whites as Dorie instructs. The kitchenaid bowl was in the dishwasher already. Also, I added vanilla extract that I made with gold rum. Yum. To top it off, I added a little vanilla rum glaze, because whats a birthday cake without a little frosting? We always have cake for breakfast on birthdays, this was no exception. Colby and I enjoyed cake as soon as it was cool. To quote Colby, “oOoo, cake!” Cake for breakfast really is the best. The best!

Happy Birthday, Dorie! I know you are in Texas right now. I hope someone has prepared a Texas sized celebration for you. Wishing you lots of love, laughs and sweets today! Much love from here in Pittsburgh. xo

Thanks to Holly for putting this shindig together! Love you! Go check out Holly’s blog for the round-up!

French Fridays with Dorie: Gougeres


Welcome to French Fridays with Dorie! Am I a little insane to run 2 baking/cooking groups simultaneously? Yes, indeed. But, anyone who knows me knows I am a few doughnuts short of a dozen. 😉

Dorie herself picked the first month of recipes for FFwD. The menu is fabulous and would make a memorable meal for sure. However, I am never on top of things like that. We do not have several course dinners in my household. Single course dinners get the job done here. So, the gougeres made a nice afternoon treat. A bunch of my fav TWD ladies and I did a tweet along as we cooked. It was really fun and pushed me into getting these babies made. I am a champion procrastinator. My TWD ladies keep me in line! I ❤ them.

The gougeres were wicked easy to throw together. I followed the recipe to the letter, only adding a dash of black pepper. They were done in a flash and ready to be devoured. My husband summed it up best, “They taste like puffy cheese-its!” Yes, yes they do. And they make me want to make cream puffs really soon too.

Next week, Gerard’s Mustard Tart! (It is totally going to take me out of my comfort zone. Im a little scared.) Special thanks to Dorie and my staff at FFwD. A lot of hard work and a zillion emails went into putting this cooking army together. If you want the recipe, BUY THE BOOK! 🙂

If you haven’t heard of French Fridays with Dorie, check out the blog and sign up!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tarte Fine


Tarte Fine. This was so easy to throw together! Why was I dragging my feet? I need a TWD member to get up in my grill and harass me about blogging. I make 85% of the recipes along with the group. But, I rarely blog them. What is my problem? For reals, if someone wants to harass me about blogging, please do. You have my email addy. Please. I beg you.

This tart kind of made my day.

I’m about to get serious here, so if you are having a really good day and want to move along and not hear some heavy stuff, move along now. Now. Okay, Ive been reading almost non-stop for days about biomedical treatments for autism and it is blowing my mind. I have been having a rough time sleeping because my head is so full from all this new alternative therapy junk I have filled it with. I do not like to get political, at least not in public, but I read 2 books this weekend and they were eye openers. The website generationrescue.com also blew my mind. And talkaboutcuringautism.org is another one. WOW! Waiting to talk to the Neuro about everything I have learned and possibly putting Colby on a new diet. We will see! It is hard being truly hopeful. But really, what other choice is there?

Next on my list today was my middle boy, Brody getting bullied on the bus. A kid is hitting the hell out of him. Last year, Liam has several altercations with this bullys older brother. What the hell? How do parents turn a blind eye to their children physically harming another child? I was furious. So, I called the kids parent. This is how it went..


“May I speak with your mother please?”


The daughter hung up on me. A call was placed to the principal instead.

Like I said, the Tarte Fine made my day.

Check out Leslie at Lethally Delicious for the recipe and the TWD blog for more day makers.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart


We are on vacation at Myo Beach again. I was lucky that I have made this tart several times and had a photo in the archives. Ive been keeping up with the TWD baking part just fine, but lousy with the blogging part. These are the times I love my photo archives.

This tart is so easy to throw together. If you have all the ingredients on hand, it comes together in minutes. I love the fresh summery peaches with the very simple homey custard. The almonds add a good crunch. 5 stars in our book.

Thanks to sweet tarte for picking this weeks selection, go to her blog for the recipe. Check out the TWD blogroll for the rest of the tarts. Next week, Cookies.