I am moving…

So I started this blog in May with the dream of making it the best little blog it could be.  I knew nothing at first (and when I say nothing I mean not a dang thing).  Thankfully I am a fast learner…I became a sponge for all things blogging.

I have learned that my vision goes beyond where I started and thus have decided to find a new home for my baby blog!  I hope you will follow me over to this new home, it will have more of all the good things….cooking, baking, crazy stories, and even thinking of a starting a contest and link-up too!

My new address is  bloomingspoon.blogspot.com

Mmm…cheese

So there is little in this world that is more perfect than cheese. It can accompany wine to a black tie event, yet can relax at home with simple crackers…it would have been voted most popular in high school (and most likely to succeed!!!)

Is it obvious that I put cheese on a petal stool?  It can do no wrong!  So when I came across this recipe it was a no-brainer…it was going on the menu.  These fritters are delicious and easy.  Plus it lends itself to anything your creative imagination can come up with.   Substitute the cheeses with your favorites, add some spices…get crazy and have fun with it!!

If you need a push to get those juices flowing…

Cheeses: Gouda, chedder, mozzarella, Italian blend (mozzarella, romano, parmigiana)

Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, basil, oregano

Ok…now there is no excuse…get to it, the cheese is waiting!

Fritters:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh whole milk ricotta
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded smoked mozzarella
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 large eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Fritters: In a small bowl combine the ricotta, smoked mozzarella, salt, and pepper.  On bowl #1 put the flour about a cup or so.  In bowl #2 beat the two eggs, and in bowl #3 pour in the panko.  Line a tray or large plate with parchment paper.

Scoop a 1 1/2 tablespoon ball of the cheese mixture into the flour and roll to coat. Transfer the ball to the eggs and roll to coat. Transfer the cheese ball to the panko and again roll to coat. Transfer the ball to the parchment-lined tray. Continue with the remaining cheese mixture.

Meanwhile heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees F. Fry fritters in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel to drain.  Serve warm with Balsamic Dipping Sauce.

Balsamic Dipping Sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and honey in a blender. Blend until combined. Add the oil in a steady stream while the machine is running. Season with the salt and pepper. Serve in a small bowl alongside the fritters.

Play time!!!

What have I been up to lately?  Besides obsessing over meandering in my garden, making a mess in the kitchen or obsessively watching BRAVO?

Glad you asked…I have been getting a bit creative lately.  The usual decorating victims are cakes and cupcakes.  There is just so much you can do and when I get an excuse to do it, I go nuts! So much fun!!!

These are two of my current favorites.

What do ya think?  Fun huh??

The Persuasion of Limes

I am a sucker, yes I said it!

When it comes to food gadgets or plants/seeds…I can’t say no…it is impossible.

Case in point:  Last week I went to Ace Hardware with the strict plans to leave with just stakes and ties for my tomato plants.  I had all intentions of being strong, nothing else was coming home with me…I swear!…..

Until I saw it…a simple, non-threatening, white sign and written on it the dangerous words…50% off plants.  That was it, there was no chance for me…I was doomed.

What did I buy?  I got the cutest, most outstanding lime tree…well actually it looks more like a bush.  A very thorny bush at that, didn’t know limes had thorns and boy do they hurt!  But….anyhoo…Right now it is a container lime tree and probably will stay that way so it will stay nice and small.  There are already a couple dozen mini limes (so cute and small)…and just as many blooms, all with baby limes budding out of of the center (like the one above).

I am super excited and cannot wait until they mature.  When they do, I will need all the lime filled recipes imaginable!  Any suggestions???

New York City and cookies

New York City.  My first visit was over a year ago.  I left with hundreds (yes hundreds) of pictures, great memories and tired legs (another reminder I need to exercise more!)

But that isn’t the point….

When I started unpacking, which I hate to do by the way, I found the best surprise.  Tucked away in the deep dark crevasses of my purse was my new love.  I squealed with delight, I thought we were separated forever!

The Black and White cookie. What can be said of this little wonder.  It is a cake in a cookie’s body.  It is vanilla and chocolate.  It is dessert and breakfast (well at least for me it is).  It is the perfect answer for those of us that can’t make up our mind.  In short, this cookie has it all!

I have been craving black and white cookies ever since.  Fantasizing flying up to NYC so I could indulge in them once again.  I no longer have to fantasize. Why you ask?  Because now I just follow a simple recipe and in a few hours I am back in New York with my love, once again!  Thank you Joy the Baker !!!

Black and White Cookies

Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup or small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Spoon a 1/4 cup of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool.  This should take around 15 minutes or so.

Vanilla Glaze*

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*I had to add milk to this recipe in order to get it to the proper consistency to spread.  Just pour a little splash at a time.  When you can pour it off of a spoon then it is perfect!  Do this before adding the vanilla or you will end up with little clumps of vanilla and powder sugar.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used mini chocolate chips, they melt faster and easier)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup and 2 tablespoons hot water, until smooth.

In a separate bowl, melt the butter and the chocolate in a microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring inbetween.  Add the corn syrup and stir until smooth.

Once the cookies are cooled, face them all bottom-side-up on a clean surface. Spread half of the cookie with vanilla glaze and the other half with chocolate glaze.

Simplicity

That is what I like about tulips, their simplicity.  Not over the top, they will not scream for attention but will softly whisper for it. 

When picking a flower out for the “blooming” part of The Blooming Spoon I was first attracted to the hydrangeas, my favorite flower.  But as I searched through the flowers at my local floral department I changed my mind. Taking center stage were the hydrangeas along with the lilies, roses, and the over-the-top mixed bouquets. These were the stars, the attention grabbers, the flowers meant to lure the passer by.  I didn’t want that, I wanted something different, something unexpected. As I got beyond the facade, towards the very back corner, where most don’t even venture, I saw the tulips.   Simple, elegant and classic that is what I was looking for. The unexpected was found in the flower’s simplicity. I had found the perfect bloom for my spoon!!

The tulip helps me to remember to enjoy the simple things, for that is where beauty, happiness, and wonder lie!

What simple things do you enjoy?

Part of:

Sweet Shot Day

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Blueberry Cupcakes

Blueberries + Cupcakes –> Scrumptious

This recipe was a kitchen experiment born in my crazy imagination.  I wanted a way to combine blueberries and cupcakes but was slightly scared.  For bakers, to deviate from a recipe could spell disaster.   But come on….cupcakes with plump juicy blueberries and purpley blue buttercream…how can I not take my chances?  This time disaster was diverted and declared a victory for Team Baker, the experiment worked.  I must share with you because it is way too good not to!
Blueberry on Foodista

Blueberry cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk plus 4 tablespoons (this is an approximate just to loosen the batter a bit to compensate for the blueberries)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl stir together the milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add in the sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until fully incorporated. Beat in the flour and milk mixtures, alternating one-third of each at a time, until each mixture is fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.  Add blueberries and gently fold into batter

Fill each muffin cup three-fourths full of batter. Bake the cupcakes until puffed, set and lightly golden, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 18 to 25 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes before frosting.

Blueberry buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups powder sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls blueberries, pureed

In a bowl of a mixer cream butter until it’s light and fluffy.  While mixer is set at a low speed  add remaining ingredients.  When all ingredients are fully incorporated, increase the speed until frosting is fluffy.

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