Thursday, March 15, 2012

my blog has a new address

I'm moving bakingpictures to wordpress.  I appreciate each one of you who stops by to view my blog.  I hope you will follow me as I move to wordpress.

Here's the link to my new website / baking blog:

I hope to see you there!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

cheese tray

Family - Fun - Food - Fellowship...
and a cheese tray

Going home....
We went home last weekend to celebrate the February 7th birth of Hudson Blake.

As you can see, the cheese selections were extensively nibbled by the family. All selections were delicious!

11:00 position: Barber's 1883 English Vintage Cheddar ($11.99/lb at Whole Foods)-aged for 20 monthl-slightly brittle almost crunchy texture-pasteurized cow's milk, starter cultures, salt, rennet {England}.

 "Barber’s 1883 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, a mature farmhouse cheese from Britian’s longest operating cheddar family. For six generations, since 1833, the Barbers have made this cheddar on their Maryland farm in Ditcheat, Somerset. Barber’s cheddar is made from fresh milk from the family’s herd of grass-fed cows. Traditionally the cheese is made by “cheddaring”, hand-turning the curds to give the cheese exceptional body and character. According to their website, the Barber family and a cheese grading team taste the cheddars throughout the aging process to ensure that “only the very best leaves with the 1833 stamp.”Aged at least 24 months, this cheddar has refined notes of sweetness to balance out its tangy sharpness. Barber is perfect for enjoying with apples on cheese platters, sandwiches (especially grilled cheese ones) and adding to your favorite potato or noodle dishes."

Spicy Plum Chutney (purchased at Whole Foods) was the prefect blend of sweet and spicey to compliment the cheese selections, especially the  Sartori Balsamic Bellavitano and the English Vintage Cheddar.

4:00 position: soft, creamy; Saint Andre ($12.99/lb at Whole Foods)-Pasteurized cow's milk, salt, enzymes, bacterial cultures {France}

"Saint-andré is a high (~75%) milk-fat, triple crème cow's milk French cheese in a powdery white, bloomy skin of mold. Traditionally crafted in Coutances, in the Normandy region of northwestern France, the cheese is also made internationally from both raw and pasteurized milk. It has a soft buttery texture, tangy edible rind, and tastes like an intense version of Brie. Extra heavy cream is added to the cheese during manufacture, and the curing process last approximately 30 days. A wheel of Saint-André is smaller and shaped higher than the familiar flat wheel of Brie. It is sold all around the world.
The cheese is highly perishable and should be consumed within a week of its purchase. The fat content of Saint-andré is so exceptionally high it can make awhite wine taste sour and metallic: a crust of baguette and a light beer or simply a slice of pear are often suggested as better complements"

Sartori Balsamic Bellavitano ($14.99/lb at Whole Foods)-pasturized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, balsamic vinegar {Wisconsin, USA}
"From Sartori Cheese in Wisconsin comes the award-winning Balsamic Bellavitano. Inspired by the flavors of classic hard European cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Aged Gouda, the Bellavitano is a wonderfully sweet and buttery cheese accentuated by its balsamic-rubbed rind. Hard enough to grate in place of Parm or Romano, and complex enough to enjoy all on its own, Balsamic Bellavitano is another example of great cheese made right here in America! Enjoy with a pinot noir or a bright chardonnay, on its own or wrapped in prosciutto!"

Humboldt Fog ($26.99/lb at Whole Foods)- pasturized goats milk, rennet, vegetable ash, salt {California, USA}

"Humboldt Fog is a goat milk cheese made by Cypress Grove Chevre, of Arcata, California, in Humboldt County. It is named for the local ocean fog which rolls in from Humboldt Bay.
Humboldt Fog is a mold-ripened cheese with a central line of edible ash much like Morbier. The cheese ripens starting with the bloomy mold exterior, resulting in a core of fresh goat cheese surrounded by a runny shell. As the cheese matures, more of the originally crumbly core is converted to asoft-ripened texture. The bloomy mold and ash rind are edible but fairly tasteless. The cheese is creamy, light, and mildly acidic with a stronger flavor near the rind."


Saturday, March 3, 2012

sour cream pound cake

This recipe for sour cream pound cake has been in my hand written recipe file since the early 1980s. I must confess I didn't know such cake existed until requested by one who passed through my life for a time.

Sour cream...I'm not a fan.  As a young, country homemaker, I could not imagine a cake made with this ingredient. My pallet has developed extensively over the years.  And, it all began with this cake.

The sweet, cracked, crunchy top of the sour cream pound cake is extraordinary.  It's delicious!  The pound cake shines with a hint of lemon and a soft texture.

This sour cream pound cake is delicious eaten alone; however, topped with fruit or jam or caramel or ice cream or chocolate sauce or-or-or.... would be delicious.

 gently fold in beaten egg whites:
 sour cream pound cake batter ready for the oven:

Sour Cream Pound Cake
(unknown original source from 1980)

  • 1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 1/3 cups sifted all purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour a 10" x 4" tube pan
  3. Cream butter and 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar until creamy; about 7 minutes
  4. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing at least 30 seconds between yolk additions
  5. Add extracts and beat until mixture is light and creamy
  6. In a separate mixing bowl, add egg whites; whisk until foamy
  7. Gradually add 1/2 cup granulated sugar to egg whites; whisk to soft, glossy peaks; sit aside
  8. Stir baking soda into sour cream
  9. Add flour and sour cream alternately to butter/sugar mixture, mixing well between each addition
  10. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into cake batter to lighten batter
  11. Fold in remaining egg whites, turning carefully
  12. Bake 1 1/2 hours, or until cake tests done
  13. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely
  14. As cake cools, the top will crack and become crunchy - this is the best part!!!! 

My brother cut and served the sour cream pound cake cake.  His version - the manly version...
(quick, iPhone photo while serving)

Friday, February 24, 2012

roasted bell peppers

...they will be delicious mixed into a basic hummus mixture

split and seeded
sprinkled with salt and pepper
splashed with olive oil at
roasted at 400 degrees F
for about 40 minutes
then removed from oven and steamed in aluminum foil


Recipe adapted from Here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

chocolate shots

The dough didn't come together.
I thought the recipe was a disaster.
As a last effort, I poured the batter into mini cupcake liners and baked 14 minutes as instructed.

They were a hit!
Oooey  goooey in the center, the trick to eating these was to squeeze the molten chocolate out of the mini liner and directly into the mouth.

I'm sure that was not the intent of the recipe, but it works!
(Sorry, no pictures of the real thing...I thought they were a disaster....but they weren't.)

Chocolate Shots
(adapted from here)
  • 12 oz powdered sugar
  • 2 oz cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine powdered sugar, cocoa, salt and chocolate chips.
  3. Add egg whites and vanilla and stir well
  4. Pour into 24 mini muffin cups, almost to the top (there may be a little extra batter)
  5. Bake for 14 minutes, then remove from oven and cool (top may crack; center will be gooey)

snow dusted Christmas cheese wafers

...or, more commonly named Val's Cheese Biscuits
...and, Val has named them Maggie's Cheese Biscuits's a tradition....pass it on.....
The cheese crackers are crispy, yet rich with butter and cheese.  Don't skip the light dusting of powdered sugar; it's great on these crackers.


  • 8 oz all purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 8 oz butter, cut into cubes (2 sticks)
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Toss the cold butter cubes into the flour in a medium bowl.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips.  
  3. Lightly toss the mixture with your hands to aerate 
  4. Continue to rub the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of large peas
  5. Add the grated cheese and toss well
  6. Continue to mix with your hands until you can squeeze a handful of the mixture and it holds together.
  7. Pour the lumpy, powdery mixture into a saran lined dish (I used an 8" cake pan)
  8. Press the mixture firmly into the pan and refrigerate for an hour
  9. Preheat oven to 345 degrees
  10. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into 4 pieces
  11. Roll one piece on lightly floured surface to 1/4 " thick
  12. Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes.
  13. Remove to wire rack to cool
  14. After completely cooked, dust lightly with sifted powdered sugar

(cut them in the shape of hearts and call them Valentine's cheese biscuits...)