Monday, March 08, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie - Thumbprints for Us Big Guys

I know, they look like little fried eggs, no? They're actually delicious, melt-in-your-mouth hazelnut cookies with lemon curd filling without one bit of egginess - they don't even have egg in the dough! These were the TWD pick for this week from Mike of Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude, and they came in very handy because I volunteered to provide baked goods for someone on Monday morning and then promptly forgot and went out of town instead. Sunday afternoon found me watching the Oscars and scraping the skins off hazelnuts whilst discovering I was out of raspberry jam.

It was lucky that I almost always have raw hazelnuts in the pantry for just such emergencies and I always have lots of lemons, so at least I could bake something - and with all those lemons, lemon curd it was. The recipe made about five dozen cookies and I sent four dozen off to make other people happy. The remaining two dozen stayed behind to make my husband happy, which I think he deserves at least once a week so it's a good thing there's TWD.

Back to the Oscars. By the time all was said and done, I'd managed to watch just a couple more of the nominees, but even so, it was so much more interesting because I knew what the hoopla was about. I now have a Netflix queue full of even more movies and last night I watched the nominated animated shorts, because they always look so interesting to me. I loved La Dama y La Muerte and Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty. And if you're interested, there was a link online to Logorama, the winner, here. Logorama turned out to be not at all what I was expecting.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie - Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart

Sometimes a hectic schedule pays off. Between fighting a cold all week and dealing with everyday life, by yesterday evening it was looking like I wasn't going to have time to make a tart this week. My solution was to make only half of the TWD recipe for Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart - the custard half. I was going to just make coconut custard and be done with it, but in reading over the recipe I had a brilliant idea: Didn't this recipe look a lot like an ice cream base? Leaving out the corn starch, I let the custard cool overnight in the fridge and then popped it into my ice cream maker this afternoon, making THE best coconut ice cream, which I strongly considered not telling my family about so I could eat it all myself. They don't always get around to reading the blog for days, so hey, that's what they get.

So while my ice cream was getting a little harder in the freezer, I set off to run errands this afternoon before picking Anna up and heading over to Whole Foods for our dinner ingredients. I think I've probably mentioned that I spend half my life driving and the other half waiting for someone, right? And that I hate driving, and that I get bored easily? Because of this, I always keep a good selection of audiobooks on hand at all times along with a bit of portable knitting. There I sat, waiting for Anna, knitting and listening to Outlander via the car stereo, when she finally arrived and I turned the key in the ignition. Click. You know that sound? The sound of no battery? It sucks. Thank goodness I have Triple A and the guy was there within 15 minutes to give me a jump, but it was just enough aggravation to make me order pizza for dinner.

And here's the upside to that little aggravation: Because I wasn't making dinner, I had time to bake shortbread instead. I made a very basic recipe and added a little coconut extract and let it bake while I waited for Mr. Pizza Guy to get to my house, and then I served my family a very nice little dessert. We all loved it, but two of us liked the shortbread best and two of us liked the ice cream best. The ice cream was really good - the rum and the cardamom gave it a wonderful perfume and the toasted coconut rounded out the flavor of what was basically a rich vanilla custard - fantastic.

I like coconut a lot; in fact, I order cases of coconut water from Amazon (didja know you could do that?) and drink it after I work out instead of one of the many sports drinks that line the grocery aisles. It's very refreshing. I make a pretty darn good coconut cake, too, universally loved by all who taste it, even the coco-haters. There was no way I was going to miss this week's TWD entirely, that's for sure, and I'm glad I gave it a whirl. Thank you Beryl of Cinemon Girl for this week's pick. One day I may even try it as a tart!