Category Archives: TWD

Fresh Rhubarb Upside-down Cake [TWD]


My first attempt baking with rhubarb was successful.

I did improvise a little.

I used a large cake pan instead of baby cake pans.

I halved the cake portion but kept the butter, brown sugar and pecan ratio the same.


This was a relatively easy recipe compared to some of the other Baking with Julia recipes.


You can’t go wrong with butter and brown sugar. Add pecans and it’s just so right.


Top that with freshly cut rhubarb.


And you’ve got yourself a delicious accompaniment to morning coffee.

To get the recipe for this delicious cake, check out this week’s host blogger: Erin of When in Doubt…Leave it at 350.

You can also see what the other bakers thought about the recipe, here.


{TWD} Madeleine batter = Tiramisu


During a short visit to NH last weekend, Ethan was excited to bring his very own Bible to church with him. On Good Friday, we took him to the local Christian book store and let him pick it out. He chose a black KJV with gold pages, giant text and those tabs that help you to navigate through each book.

It turned out to be a very special day for us. We stayed afterward for lunch and enjoyed quite an array of goodies. One such delight was tiramisu. I have always loved the idea of coffee in dessert, but never liked the cheese aspect of it.

After some research I decided to use vanilla pudding in place of the mascarpone cheese. I also wanted to make the ladyfingers from scratch. And it just so happened to be the recipe that the bakers from TWD were doing this week. Bonus!


The recipe can be found on page 41 of the Baking with Julia cookbook. The group is making Madeleine’s with the genoise batter. I can’t wait to see how they all come out. Check them out here.

My attempt using this batter was not all together successful. They didn’t rise as they should have, but hey, they still absorbed the coffee!

My guess is that I didn’t beat the egg mixture enough or maybe I over folded the batter. To get the recipe for Madeleines, check out Katie and Amy Thisdell of Counter Dog .

Once the ladyfingers were out of the oven and cooling on a wire rack, I started on the other elements of the tiramisu.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

  • 1 package of vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 Tbs. confectioners sugar
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  • coffee

The pudding is whisked with the milk and set aside. Using a handmixer whip the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into the pudding.

cocoa powder

Using an 8×8 square dish, lay five ladyfingers on bottom (however they will fit). Drizzle coffee over top. Layer 1/3 pudding mixture on top. Place five more ladyfingers, drizzle with coffee and repeat until there are three layers. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and chill overnight.

It was delicious. Ethan loved it. Thomas loved it. I’m sure Marcy would have. I know I did.

{TWD} Boca Negra

To date, this is my favorite Baking with Julia recipe. Not because it tasted the best (it was delicious) or because it came out exactly as I’d hoped (it didn’t) but because we all made it. Thomas was in charge of the chopping of the chocolate and the incorporation of the butter. Ethan cracked each of the five eggs and whisked them to perfection. I combined the rich chocolate mixture with the thickened eggs and the measly 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour to make up the batter for this cake.

I had put off making this until I knew for sure that we had weathered the storm and would indeed have power to a.) chill the white chocolate cream and b.) bake the cake in the oven.

The white chocolate cream is made the day before. It starts with 12 oz. of good quality white chocolate.

White chocolate

Heavy cream is added along with liquor. I used Frangelico instead of bourbon as the recipe in the book calls for. It’s combined and put into the refrigerator to chill overnight.


Next is the bittersweet chocolate. Another 12 oz. of good quality chocolate is chopped and put into a bowl. We made our sugar syrup with Frangelico and added it to the chopped chocolate. Then comes the hard part, adding two sticks of unsalted butter. We ended up using a double boiler in order to incorporate it properly. Thomas was perfect for this job.

Cracking eggs

Then came the cracking of eggs. Ethan made sure he didn’t add any unwanted shell. This is then whisked with more sugar.


Then comes the combination of chocolate mixture, egg mixture and the very little flour that is required.

This is how it looked before I poured it into the prepared pan.

ready for the oven

Now the recipe says to bake it for precisely 30 minutes at 350F. I took it out after 30 minutes and it was very wet. I baked it for another 15 minutes. It came out less mushy but still a pudding like consistency.

I removed the white chocolate cream from the refrigerator and using my hand-held mixer, whipped it up. Mmm…

This was the final result:

boca negra

It was slightly brownie-like when warm and a bit like pudding pie when chilled and very rich. Maybe too rich.

If you’d like to try making this gem, check out this week’s TWD host, Cathy of A Frederick Food Garden. She has the recipe on her blog.  Also, see how everyone else did with this decadent cake by clicking here.

{TWD} French Apple Tart

tartTaking the month of December off from Tuesday’s with Dorie was a necessity. Now I’m back in the swing of things with this beautiful French Apple Tart. For the recipe, check out this week’s host, Gaye of Laws of the Kitchen.

Start with the dough for the tart shell. I went with a combination of the dough on page 31 of Baking with Julia and my own recipe.


The key to any dough is to chill it. That lets it rest a bit because you know, being mixed and formed is stressful for dough.

This was my first tart. I don’t have a tart pan. I used my trusty old pyrex pie plate. You’ve got to blind bake it first. I used rice for the weight on top of parchment paper.


Bake the filling or the compote as the french say:  apples, sugar, flour and a dash of cinnamon on a jelly-roll pan until tender or “mashable” according to Leslie Mackie in this video of the tart being assembled. Fluffy bread crumbs are added to soak up any excess moisture from the apples.


This is mashed and added to the cooled tart shell. It’s ok if it’s a bit chunky. That adds “interest”.


The beauty of this tart is the mosaic of apples added on top of the filling.


Look at the glistening sugar! Oh yeah.

It’s baked and then taste tested.


This was fun to make, although I prefer a plain old apple pie for my apple cravings.

{TWD} Buttermilk Crumb Muffins

This week’s Buttermilk Crumb Muffins were pretty delicious fresh from the oven but seemed to lose their flavor and texture once cooled.

We started with some dry ingredients…and quite a bit of shortening…

and some wet ingredients.

Once the batter was tucked into the greased muffin cups, it was covered with a heaping teaspoon of crumb topping.

They were then baked for a bit and when they came out, the party began…

They were a very dense muffin with subtle cinnamon flavor.

Thank you Lisa of Easier Than Pie for hosting this weeks TWD recipe. If you’d like to try making these, visit her blog for the recipe. Check out how the other bakers of TWD fared here.

Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaves {TWD}

When I first read the directions for these loaves, I was surprised by the amount of wait time involved. The weekend that I chose to make these was perfect because we didn’t have anything planned.

Saturday, I spent the entire day in the kitchen. A whole seasoned chicken went into the oven in the morning, which became chicken sandwiches for lunch. Then I made a chicken pot pie for dinner and there’s still enough for chicken and broccoli pizza and chicken soup with rice. One chicken became four meals with plenty of leftovers for three people.

While I was constructing these meals for my family, I was prepping the dough for these loaves. It came together quite easily even without a mixer.

I decided to use half pureed butternut squash and half canned pumpkin.

I used dried cranberries and walnuts, omitting the golden raisins. I fell in love with the color of the dough, just like the book says, “the color of fall’s golden leaves.”

When the dough had risen and rested in the fridge over night, it was split into three loaves, covered and left to rest again.

The recipe can be found on Rebecca’s blog at This Bountiful Backyard. You can also see how the other TWD bloggers did.

It looks beautiful but I wasn’t a fan of this bread. I think it was too savory for me. Maybe the dried cranberries were too sweet in contrast to the yeast in the bread. I’m not sure why but it wasn’t a winner in this house.

Popovers! (TWD)

I hate to admit it, but I was a bit apprehensive about making popovers for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie. Now that I have baked them it seems ridiculous to have been worried at all. It was the easiest recipe I’ve done from the book, Baking with Julia, to date.

Page 213 tells of just five ingredients. All that was needed were measuring cups and spoons, a blender and a muffin pan.

Here is my very first batch of popovers:

I decided to put the oven down a bit for the next batch, for both of the temps.

I lathered mine with maple syrup. It tasted similar to a waffle.

Thomas had his with eggs :)

I will definitely be making these again very soon.

Head over to  Paula’s and Amy’s blogs for the actual recipe. Also check out what the rest of the group thought of these little babies, here.

Galettes (TWD)

Last night I was able to watch a couple of Baking with Julia shows on PBS that I had on my DVR. I love that there is a book to go along with the show. So, if you are looking for a great cookbook then you should buy it, Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

This week the TWD group was tasked with baking a Berry Galette (pg. 377). I chose to use apples instead of berries this time around and it turned out better than I could have imagined. I added cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. The galette was gone in a matter of minutes.

Since the dough for the galette (pg. 371) was for two 8 inch galettes, I went ahead and tried the Cheese and Tomato Galette (pg. 429). That also turned out good but unfortunately, it wasn’t as enjoyable after it had cooled.

Lisa of Tomato Thymes in the Kitchen and Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness have the recipes on their blogs. You can also check out all the other TWD bakers here.

The galette dough incorporated cornmeal which I thought added a lot great texture. The recipe called for sour cream, which I am not a fan of. I opted for buttermilk instead.

So, with the Cheese and Tomato Galette, I didn’t have any cheese on hand besides Ethan’s cheese sticks…I didn’t want to go to the store again! I feel like I am there everyday…Does anyone else feel this way?! It worked out just fine though.

I would definately make the apple galette again using the galette dough. A keeper!

Blueberry-Nectarine Pie (TWD)

The recipe for Blueberry-Nectarine Pie is on page 384 of this book, or you can view the blogs of the hosts for this week’s recipe, Hilary of Manchego’s Kitchen and Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

I have a really great pie crust recipe that I use for sweet and savory pies. It’s from my high school culinary teacher, Mrs. Carlisle. It’s a shortening crust. It is mentioned in the book on page 31, that an all shortening crust has little flavor, but I disagree. I went ahead and made the dough on page 31 calling for both butter and shortening. It seemed a bit too tough for my taste, since I am so used to the flakiness of an all shortening crust.

The filling was very good. I used the rest of the frozen blueberries from our pyo blueberry trip about a month back, when I made this little gem. I had never baked with nectarines prior to this. They were a very pleasant addition to the blueberries. The lemon zest adds so much freshness to the filling. I love lemon. I actually dabbed a bit of the juice onto my wrists and neck…Yeah, I love it that much :)

I put the pie in the fridge because I like blueberry pie filling best when it’s chilled.

I’m actually thinking of having a slice for breakfast…that’d be ok, right? There is fruit involved.  :0)

Not so Semolina Bread

This weeks recipe for Tuesdays With Dorie is Semolina Bread. It can be found in the book, Baking with Julia on page 102. If you don’t have the book, you can also find the recipe on the blogs of the hosts for this week, Renee of The Way to my Family’s Heart and Anna of Keep it Luce.

It was last minute that I decided to bake along with the group this week, and needless to say semolina flour isn’t a main staple in this household or the neighborhood grocery store for that matter. I decided to substitute whole wheat flour for the semolina flour. I know it’s a completely different flavor but it’s still a deliciously warm and flavorful loaf.

I don’t own a mixer so this was done by hand. I have been told that it is the better way to knead dough anyway, so that you can feel when the dough is ready.

I have always been a bit leary about recipes using yeast. When I first starting baking, I would scan through recipes that I thought I’d like to try and if I saw that it required yeast, it would immediately be discounted. Since that time I have made a few things requiring yeast, like babka (I will have to share that recipe one day) and of course pizza dough. I made Martha Stewart’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread once, but everyone thought it tasted too “yeasty”.

This time around, I wanted to make a loaf that we could all enjoy a nice turkey and cheese or tuna salad on. Ooh, maybe turn it into garlic bread for the leftover lasagna from last night. Maybe even french toast for breakfast tomorrow morning. I could go on forever but instead I will let you feast your eyes upon the bread making process through pictures.