Roasted Corn and Shishito Pepper Pizza

Roasted Corn and Shishito Pepper Pizza

Another summer, another year to roast the heck out of shishito peppers. 

Since my first introduction to these funny little peppers, I can't help but roast pints of them when they are in season. Usually I opt for some variation of this super simple method, and this year is no exception—they are best simply charred with a little bit of sea salt. 

So why not top them on pizza? 1 in 10 of these peppers has a bit of a fire, although for the most recent basket I bought it was more like 1 in 3. As a person who is still working on being comfortable with spicy foods, I'll eat them like chips until I get a particularly spicy one. Luckily, the fire from shishito peppers quickly fades away. This spice lends a similar kick to topping your pizza with crushed red pepper flakes but with more of a fresh pepper taste.

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Plum Upside-Down Cake

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Stone fruit upside-down cakes and I don't always get along.

There was one really spectacular one I made three summers ago and since then, I haven't made one as tasty as that one except for this winter Mandarinquat Upside-Down Cake. Or perhaps I should say, I've been afraid to make one again in fear of it being exceptionally soggy or having a really gnarly top. Trying to get an upside-down cake to both look beautiful and to be baked just right is a challenge that is quite difficult to achieve. 

Although I prefer fresh cherries over cooked cherries, I prefer cooked plums over fresh plums. Sometimes the skin on plums can be too sour or bitter and I much prefer the sweetness and texture of peaches, nectarines or apricots. So plums get deemed as fruit that I will bake with or use as smoothie options.

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Strawberry Cream Cheese Scones II

Strawberry Cream Cheese Scones II

If you've been around here a while, you'll know that I posted about these scones two years and some months ago

And... I haven't made them since then. Not because they are horrible but because I get on these waves of making new foods that are often using up other foods that I forget about some really great recipes I have already written about. This recipe is still solid but the photos needed a major refresh. I'm at the point now where I can tell how my food styling and photography has changed as I've started to develop my style. I'm still figuring that out but I think these photos are 100% better than the ones I took two and a half years ago. You can find the original recipe here

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Summer Fruit Cobbler

Summer Fruit Cobbler

Summer—It's here to stay until at least October by Sacramento Valley standards.

I am slowly accepting that the 80ºF we got on 4th of July was a miracle and that the 90º-112ºF is here to stay for the next few months. With my black car's AC not working, it's been extra fun, I mean extra training. Today, I went to Costco and was very, very concerned that the butter I got was going to melt by the time I got home (I forgot my freezer bag) but thankfully it survived. I also barely survived and basked in the glory of my apartment's AC before finding energy to get food. One day I'll look back on this and either think I was crazy for not getting my car fixed sooner or pat myself on the back for enduring the Valley heat in a black car with no AC. Thankfully my commute to and from work is only 15 minutes and I have become more experienced in figuring out how the rising sun will affect shadows over the course of a day. It's good photography practice. 

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Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

I'm continuing my newfound appreciation of cake with some cupcakes!

After making this Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake a few weeks ago, it lead me to think about making a Neapolitan Checkered Cake which lead me to wonder how to make a strawberry flavored cake. Sometimes the paths that lead me to things of inspiration are very, very random. 

To celebrate strawberry season even more, I did some research and stumbled upon Sally's recipe which seemed to encompass all of the baking ideals I hold dear. This means no artificial flavored anything. All of the strawberry flavor comes purely from the fruit itself. The cake batter contains a strawberry puree and the frosting incorporates freeze dried strawberries. 

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Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake

This is the cake of my mint chocolate chip dreams. 

If you are a newcomer around here, mint chocolate chip is one of my favorite flavors and has been since I was a kid. It's always and absolutely mint chocolate chip ice cream, especially if it's the green kind. You might also not know that I'm very, very much a big fan of #teampie. Generally, cakes are for special occasions and I am very picky when it comes to cake texture, frosting, the combination of flavors... so basically everything. Cakes don't show their face around here too much and the last cake I baked was for my birthday in October.

So is this a special occasion? In a way, yes. I had intentions of making this cake to celebrate this blog's 3rd year of existence but then it turned into making a cake for the joy of making a cake and that felt more appropriate. 

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Upside Down Lime(quat) Bars

Upside Down Lime(quat) Bars

As I suspected, if you Google "upside down", one of two things shows up.

It is either Jack Johnson's song Upside Down or (and most obviously to me) anything and everything Stranger Things. Although I watched Stranger Things 2 months ago, I'm currently watching Beyond Stranger Things and it is the greatest. I love behind the scenes anything. As someone who is creating constantly, it's interesting to see how others go about their creative methods. What are their stories, their processes, their ups and their downs? 

So, here, I'll walk you through what goes on in my kitchen and how I decide to make the things I make even if they turn out to be a complete and utter mistake like these bars. 

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The Pink Pie

The Pink Pie

For the past few months, I wondered how a Pomegranate Meringue Pie would look and taste.

Lemon Meringue Pie (or this Yuzu rendition that is on this blog), is my all-time favorite type of pie. After a short period over the holidays of not being happy with meringue pies because of my soggy crust insecurities, I was ready to bake a meringue pie again. I needed a bit of a break after the four I made during the holiday season, and Pi Day (that's March 14th aka 3.14 for all you math fanatics), seemed like the most obvious day to try my greatest food curiosity as of late. The day before, I decided this was the day to figure out all of the questions I ever had about Pomegranate Meringue Pies.

Some of these questions included the following. Would the filling turn brown or pink? Would pomegranate juice be tart enough to counterbalance the sweetness of the meringue as lemon juice does? Would it lack flavor without any citrus zest? How to differentiate this pie from its classic lemon counterpart? 

 

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