Sunday, September 23, 2012

Autumn Baking (or Mmm that Smells Good!)

I rarely mention my personal life while blogging -- the focus here is in the kitchen, after all -- but I owe my readers an apology for the steep drop-off in posting regularity. The beautiful fall season has brought with it the usual round of apple picking, candle-purchasing, and early leaf-peeping, but also an uptick on the Busy Scale. I've been working to open a brand new outlet store of a well-known outdoor retailer in a very short amount of time, and now that we've survived a successful Grand Opening, I hope to be back at the stove a bit more. The cooler weather heralds my personal favorite time of year for food: all things rich, comforting, good-smelling, and stick-to-your-ribs filling (not to mention delicious).

With a whole new batch of lovely co-workers, I've gained a range of guinea pigs to try out some recipes I've been meaning to make. I managed to find the time to bake up a German Apple Cake with caramel glaze last week, and brought it to my taste testers.

Dice up those fresh-picked Cortlands...

... mix up a bit of batter...

... and hey presto, a cake is born!

I didn't take my usual range of start-to-finish photos, mainly because I was too busy nursing a very burned finger I received from an accidental brush with the hot caramel. Happily there will be no long-term issues, and the glaze turned out pretty heavenly. 

Here's a look at the finished product, waiting patiently for the forks of my tasters. They deemed it a solidly tasty cake, very rich and sweet, but not overly so. A fellow baker claimed that the caramel topping was the "best part," so I guess that minor injury was worth it!

In the coming weeks, I intend to expand both my autumnal baking and cooking posts to include some old standby favorites and more new dishes I've been waiting to make. As much as I only want to curl up on the couch with a soft blanket, good book, and mug of hot cider, the work must go on. In between the madness I'll take refuge in my favorite room of the house, and fill the air with the wonderful smells of cool-weather cooking. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kitchen "Busy"ness

Remember when I said I was back in action? Well, I've been trying to make up for lost time in the kitchen, and last week served to help me along. J and I finally got some time for just us, and it gave me the motivation to cook and bake some treats for us to enjoy as the summer winds its way down.

First task: a trip to the farmer's market.

It's tough to walk through such abundance and not pick up one of everything, but we limited ourselves to some sweet corn, fingerling potatoes, and garden carrots -- the basics, I suppose.