Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cooking with Sara: Pumpkin Praline Cake

I mayyyyyy know full well what I'm doing when I post a photo like that one above.  A shiny, perfectly dripping drizzle of homemade caramel sauce?  I mean, c'mon, that's just not playing fair! And yet, I post it all extra-large size anyway.  Devious, that girl Sara.

Aside from the pretty caramel drip photos, I do want to show you my new cake stand!  It's vintage milk glass, and I paid way too much for it at an antique store.  I bought it and another gorgeous stand to go with my plain-Jane Martha Stewart cake stands for the wedding last weekend.  I'm head over heels in love with both stands, and I'm already scheming ways to get my other stand into a recipe post.  (And figure out why it's got a mysterious brandy cup?  That's another story for another day, and I definitely need your help with it.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Frog in the House

I was putting dishes away this morning (anyone else do the dishes unnecessarily before work?) and looked up to see this little guy in the window sill over our sink.  Yes, inside the house.  I think these little frogs are just about the most adorable ever.  No bigger than a cookie, and such a pretty green.  We've seen a few in our yard, and Bo has taught Rory to chase them.  (Which is a whole other flipping hilarious video-photo blog post I've yet to write.)

I have no idea when this little guy sneaked into the house (and obviously scooted across the floor mat from the looks of all the Rory hair stuck to him), but he was clinging to the window this morning to try and escape.

Bo released him in the backyard, with Rory's supervision.  I think I'll name him Cookie.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cooking with Sara: Chocolate Truffle Cakes

This yummy little recipe posted last week to the food blog, but I was so busy posting Savannah photos here that I didn't get a chance to share it with you.  It was part of that haul I made for a wedding last weekend, and I'm hoping to get the others recipes posted during the next few weeks or so.  Assuming that I can muster up the motivation to make them again.  I'm partly traumatized by the whole experience, so please don't hold your breath.

Anyway, back to this recipe! If you like brownies (and what sane person doesn't?), you really need to scoot your tush over there to check out the recipe.  With only one tablespoon of flour, it's almost entirely chocolate, with a little sugar and butter thrown in for good measure.  And to tell you the truth, I love it way better than the brownie recipe I've been swearing by for years.  It has the crackly, lightly crusted outside of a brownie, but with a gooey chocolatey center.  My oh my, it's just so, so, so good.  Trust me on this one.  

And scoot!:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Scrapbook 7

This is pretty much how I looked for three solid days.  Well, ok, that's a lie.  By the third day, my hair was definitely more frazzled, and I probably wasn't quite so smiley.  But in the kitchen, wearing an apron, utensils scattered, and recipes hanging from everywhere is pretty accurate.

And this is the end result!  Friday was my last Sarandipity hurrah, when I did the cake and dessert table for our friends' wedding.  I made four different mini-desserts: Cheesecakes with strawberry sauce, chocolate truffle cakes, red velvet cakes, and pecan lace cups with key lime filling.

The lovely bride!

And groom :)

After putting up with my stress and chaos for three days and jumping in to save the day no fewer than six times, Bo is still smiling.  He's such a keeper.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Savannah Photos: Part 4

This post contains all the photos I posted over on our food blog this week.  I thought about just giving you the link, but I wanted to keep all the Savannah posts together, as a collection.

Where I didn't go - Paula Deen's Lady & Sons restaurant.  Sorry!  But the wait was hours long, and we weren't even hungry when we still had a chance to get in line.  Later, when we went by, the line was for the bar only and didn't budge an inch in the 20 minutes we stood there.  I decided that I'd have to be content with photos of the outside, and we wandered off to do more sightseeing.

This is the line to get your name on the list for dinner five hours later.

The Pirates House is on the list for must-see in Savannah.  It's the oldest house in Georgia, and they built a restaurant around it.  Click-zoom to read the place mat photos below for all kinds of awesome history.

The place mats actually had a lot more history and stories than our guide mentioned:
(click to zoom and read)

It doesn't get much more Southern than sweet tea, fried pickles, and a biscuit with peach jelly.

  I ordered a crab cake sandwich that was messy and delicious.

Let me first remind everyone that I'm currently not eating sugar.  I decided that I would absolutely splurge on one sugar-laden treat for the weekend.  So, when I saw this sign, I immediately ducked into the shop before Bo even realized that I was gone.

This guy making pralines gave me a sample!

I bought one of these for Bo - who would be buried in caramel, chocolate, and pecans, if given the option - and I had to put up the biggest fuss before he agreed to let me try a tiny bite of it.

White and milk chocolate covered marshmallows, on a stick, with sprinkly toppings.  Why have I not made these yet??

One block down the waterfront was another candy shop:

With its own guy making pralines.

But!  The huge, big, major difference is that this shop smelled like heavennnnn.  Have you ever smelled warm caramel and roasted pecans and loads and loads of melted butter??  Add that to your bucket list, because holy goodness, it was to.die.for.  After getting mildly drunk off the scent, I rushed outside to shriek at Bo to get in there and smell it.

We considered all the popular, go-to places, and I read hundreds of reviews and lists recommending where to eat in Savannah.  But after all the fried fish and slaw and sandwiches, I was craving Italian food slathered in red sauce.  I picked a casual place called Leoci's, with a back patio strung in twinkly lights.  It was perfect.  We sat near a fan, under this twinkly tent, and instantly relaxed.  It was definitely our kind of place to eat (it's dog friendly, even!).

Bo ordered a delicious house wine, and as usual, I opted for a glass of something bubbly.

Leoci's makes their pasta fresh daily, and if you ever go, order the lasagna.  It was the most amazing lasagna I've ever tasted.  Ever ever ever in the whole wide world.

(Sorry for the blurry photo.  By this point, Bo was tired of my stealing his plate and mucking with my phone's camera settings to take eighteen hundred photos of his meal.)  Turns out that the lasagna is ten layers of their fresh pasta, with very little cheese between the layers.  But it is heavenly creamy in your mouth.  Something about their homemade pasta is incredibly creamy and almost puffy.  I must have it again.  Must.

As amazing as those candy shops smelled, I'm just not a huge fan of pralines or fudge (add that to the list of reasons I'm one day getting kicked out of the South).  You see, for me, the very best sugar indulgence involves cake and piles of fluffy buttercream frosting.  So, we visited a late night dessert shop called Lulu's.

A golden yellow cake with fresh strawberry buttercream.  It was four hundred percent worth the splurge and worth the wait for sugar.  And yes, I ate it while sitting in our hotel bed, under the covers.

p.s. A week later, and I'm still thinking about that lasagna.

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