Daring Bakers August

Daring Bakers August, originally uploaded by lclea.

Well, I got it done at least. While they were tasty, they weren’t exactly the prettiest eclairs ever made (sorry, Pierre Herme). I was so excited to get the Daring Baker’s Challenge this month, but then it was also the same month I was moving and starting my PhD program, finishing teaching my last class, etc. Bad timing and as a result my cusardy filling was a little, oh, loose. I’d love to try it again with another filling and maybe just a ganache as a topping.

If you want to see the real deal, go to http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com

Oh, and I’m back!

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I bought a house!



Copy of IMG_1881, originally uploaded by lclea.

After 7 trips down to my new school, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a new house. It’s little, but then again it’s just me and the little dog, so it works. It’s also new, so since I’m a new home owner it’s a bit safer. We are loading me up, lock stock and barrel tomorrow and heading down. It’s going to be a whole new world for me.

Whee, moving



100_0266, originally uploaded by lclea.

Sorry I’ve been absent for a few days, but I’m hip deep in moving. I’ll be moving over the next two days and hopefully will have some really exciting news maybe even as early as tomorrow. Keep positive thougths heading this way!
As you can see, Gus is ready!

Jury Duty



IMG_0109, originally uploaded by lclea.

I had jury duty this week. I stressed about it because timing-wise it was bad. I’m moving in a week and a half and start classes in just under three weeks, so the last thing I needed was to get picked. Our guy pled out, so no worries.

This pic reminds me of the dispproving bunnies pics from Cute Overload.com. This is a disapproving Boston Terrier.

Operation Baking GALS

I’m sort of known for my chocolate chip cookies. I’ve made them for friends, family, even made them and sold them for a fund raiser. They are tasty and soft and they don’t spread as thin as the traditional Toll House cookies do (at least for me). When I’m asked for my recipe, I usually change the subject. I could say, “it’s a family secret recipe”, and in a way that would be correct. When I was little these cookies were known as Grandma Cleeland Cookies. I mentioned in a previous post that my grandma loved to cook. It runs back on both sides of my dad’s family and I remember loving her cookies. She’s make large batches for us to take home after a visit. I remember the day she showed me how to make them, her way. She was older and couldn’t hand mix them anymore, so she used her hands, sans spoon ( no lovely Kitchen Aid). I helped, I was strong, but to her credit the dough was stiff. This was because to make her cookies have a bit more chew and thickness, she added more flour than the Toll House recipe called for. And that is my secret. Now I don’t use as much, but these are more in line with my tastes these days. There are days when the flour gets away from me and they do harken back to those cookies. After portioning the dough onto sheets, I usually throw a little salt on top a secret I learned from Odessa Piper, L’Etoile’s creator. Shese also taught to toast the pecans before cooking and I usually do that too.

These cookies are heading off to our troops. I’ve joined the Operation Baking GALS (give a little support), and using my mad kitchen skills to send some tasty cookies overseas. I’ve made care packages before, but this is more personal and I hope they enjoy them.

Coming up, a cookie smack down with the New York Times Chocolate Chip cookies recipes that’s setting the blog-o-sphere on fire.