Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tart Smarts

It's plainly obvious that I adore Christopher Kimball and everything and anything that has to do with America's Test Kitchen.

So, when I found myself in the dessert-y mood, I went straight to the Best of America's Test Kitchen 2008.

And there they were...calling my name. Rustic Free-Form Apple Tartlets.

So, I hopped-to and whipped up a new kind of pastry dough (one that requires no shortening, but uses cream cheese). Let it chill and rolled out my tiny tarts.

The apple filling was simple, leaving the fruit to speak for itself, which is always more satisfying then adding ooodles and ooodles of sugar and other crap.

It really couldn't have been easier.

Just make the dough, wrap it around some fruit, bake, and you're done.

The result?

The closest thing to buying awesomely awesome tarts from a swanky bakery.

These were phenomenal. And so frikkin' easy.

So, I was able to escape my pie obsession for a few days, only to become obsessed with Rustic Free-Form Tartlets. I am definitely going to make these again and experiment with other fruits.

OMG like Strawberry....

Chris Kimball...yet again you have proven that you are a God among us mere mortals.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake(s): Valentine's Aftermath

Last night I decided to continue my tradition of making cupcakes for Valentine's Day.

I was stoked on the L train just thinking about the little suckers.
I'm not really much of a cake person, but, there is something just wonderful about little, self-contained cakes.
A single serving, a dainty treat, so darling.
Such a cute little snack was meant to be baked on the most lovey-dovey day of the year.

But, after much anticipation, I realized I forgot the frosting when I finally got to the apartment. I had too many things to get together, so, out of frustration, I almost scratched the idea all together.

Then, I saw the food coloring in the cupboard.

If they can't be frosted, then damn it, they will be pink. So, off I went.

First: Pink batter.

Next: Into the oven, just like Hansel and Gretel. Only, if these cakes had been those children, they totally would have died.

Finishing Touches: Making these cupcakes as cheesy as possible for addROC, because, what would Valentine's Day be without a sickeningly sweet message to send him into the throes of passion?

Yes. I made a heart out of baby-cakes that reads: "I <3 U BABY CAKES."

Does that make me a loser?

But, in the end, loser or not, I made some cute-ass cupcakes. Delectable for zee munchin'!

Enjoy your weekend Nesters!
Happy President's Day!

And, Happy 100th Post to us here at The Brooklyn Nester!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm sending some love out to you all, faithful Nesters!

Make something tasty for the one(s) you love!

And, if you don't have the time, or the patience, to make cupcakes...then promise me you'll eat an inordinate amount of chocolate.

See you soon! I'm off to spread the love!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Let's Get Crafty: DIY Crochet Hearts

Tomorrow is the most loved and loathed holiday of the year: Valentine's Day.

Whether you're a lover or a's coming.
So, why not have a little fun?
Even if you're single...impress your crush with the latest in my adventures in craftdom: Crochet hearts!
And, if you're not single, annoy your loved ones by having tiny crochet hearts ALL OVER your apartment.

While searching zee internets for random Valentine's Day crafts I came across this video:

And, not a second later, I was off to B.E. Yarn (784 Manhattan Ave near Calyer St.) in Greenpoint.

I got me some purdy new yarn, and hunkered down on the couch.
It was actually pretty easy. So, now, I'm all about the crochet tutorials. And, I have a shitload of pink, crocheted hearts laying all over my living room.

Seriously though, how precious are these?!

Even though they serve no purpose whatsoever, save for putting me in the Valentine's spirit, they're mad cute.

I'm think I'm going to use them as little doilies for chocolate.
Is that weird?

So, go forth, crochet hearts.
They're festive in that lovey-dovey way and oh-so-granny-ish.

And if you're going to be all:
"I hate Valentine's day. Psshah."

Then, get black yarn...and shut up.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Irish Lace Cookies: The Not-So-Pretty Irish Lasses

Ah, the I love them.

In fact, I'm obsessed.
As it turns out, I love Irish people, literature, culture, music, and beverages so much, I actually majored in Irish Studies when I attended college.

One of the overriding themes in Irish history is that the people of Ireland, when pressed, can make a little go a long way. Back in the day, peasants on the Emerald Isle didn't get to indulge in many pleasures, especially culinary delights.

The people made the most out of what they had sitting in their near bare cupboards. So, out of strife and innovation, the Irish Lace Cookie was born.

It's a cookie with practically nothing in it, yet, it tastes like a little bite of heaven.

So, I hearkened back to the days when my ancestors were still starving somewhere in County Clare, and baked a batch:

And hot-damn, were they the ugliest little cookies I ever did see.

Ugly, but delicious.

All I need now is a shot of Jameson...and it's a winter warm-up snack that can't be beat!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I'm so Crap-tastic.

Sorry y'all.

Work and family related hullabaloo has kept this Nester a little too busy as of late.

Sincere apologies on the lack of posting. But, I promise, in the next few days we should be back up and running.

I am dying to do some, I hope that you'll come and check out my soon-to-be-posted snacks!

I hope that you all had a wonderful National Pie Day.

I'd like to personally thank all the bloggers who submitted their pie photos! Delicious and Wonderful!

Have a great day! See you soon!