my new blog page!

my new blog page!
will garden for cake, my new blog page is live! please be sure to visit it and see what is going on in the garden.

Monday, June 2, 2014

sunday mornings are perfect for gardening.  there is a certain sense of peace that the demonstration garden has early in the day which i find comforting.  today i went out to the garden with a chocolate chip bundt cake and spent a few hours weeding the beds and chatting with my fellow master gardeners. as master gardeners, we spend time preparing gardens for tours and on occasion,  those gardens are our own.  it is a chance to share our most prized possession with fellow gardeners.  this afternoon, i had the pleasure of visiting the garden of one of my fellow demonstration garden volunteers.

to read the whole post, visit my new blog page

roasted radishes with wilted greens

spring gardening means lots of radishes.  the familiar red spheres are so pretty and colorful; a perfect accent or garnish.  radishes are enjoying a moment now and there is no shortage of shapes or colors available to dress up your salad or hors d'oeurves .  the entire plant is edible though so think twice about discarding the leaves and flower stalks as you pick them from the garden.  

to read the whole post, visit my new blog page

let the broccoli harvest begin!

we plant broccoli in the garden for the spring and fall seasons.  it is one of the few plants that we purchase without considering the variety.  whether it is a hybrid or an heirloom, we aren't concerned; we just want healthy plants to give us a head start since both spring and fall are pretty short seasons here in nashville.  this is especially true for the spring season.  while this past winter seemed like it would never end and as cool as the spring was, the cold weather crops began bolting quickly.  we were late getting plants into the ground because of the unusually colder weather and by the time we got things going, the days began getting longer and some plants began bolting.

to read the entire post, follow this link to my new blog page

strawberry cake

strawberry season sneaks up on us and does not linger; it is sensitive to the cold and it is fleeting.   the berries can be quickly saturated, left waterlogged and tasteless by a day of rain.  gardeners with strawberries generally keep close watch on the berries as they ripen with daily trips to the bed to gather the ripest, reddest, plumpest fruits.  those that make it back to the kitchen may become any number of treats.  sorbet, ice cream, jam or cake-too many choices and honestly, most are consumed as they are picked; who can resist just picked berries?  not me, that is a fact.

to read the entire post, follow this link to my new blog page

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

pussycat, pussycat, where have you been???

well, i can assure you that i haven't been in london visiting the queen.  where i have been is the garden, the demonstration garden to be exact.  those of you that know me, know all about my involvement with the master gardeners and this past weekend we held our annual festival which is also our main fundraiser for the year.  to see some photos, check out the blog page i keep for the garden, the view from the demo garden.  for additional photos, check out the facebook page.

between my full time job and my involvement with the garden and festival, i have had little time to post things here.  it also seems that most of the gardening topics are out of place on this page so i tend to leave them out.  for a while, i kept two separate pages; one on gardening, one primarily on baking with a little cooking thrown in.  it just did not work.  one page would get updated, one neglected.  then came an idea-merge the two in a new page and let the others become archives for now.  so that is where i am headed-to a new page.  a blog page that combines the two things i love to do; bake and garden.

allow me to introduce my new page, will garden for cake.  stop by and see what i am up to in the garden and whether or not a cake has just come out of the oven.  and if you need to find me, visit the garden where you will most likely find me with a slice of cake in one hand and a camera in the other!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

how time flies! a foodie penpal post

somebody slow this thing down-how did it suddenly become the last day of april???  last month, i signed up for the foodie penpals exchange and enjoyed it so much that i did it again this month.  my partner rachel and i sent each other boxes full of goodies.  this was the first time i had to pack a box that was diet specific, rachel is sensitive to gluten and i had to choose items carefully.  to see what was in rachel's box, visit her blog, running rachel.
 my box was packed with treats!  the week it arrived, my daughter came home from atlanta, she grabbed the trail mix and the fruit strips for the ride back.  while she was visiting, we made a batch of rice crispy treats with the coconut marshmallows.  and that bag of apple chips, i ate the whole thing by myself-i love apple chips!

 cats have a thing for boxes.  this is ginger and she is carefully inspecting the loot!

 and here she is photo bombing the loot

a big thanks to rachel for such a fun box of treats!  want to give it a try, visit the website and sign up!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

semolina-pistachio cantuccini; tuesdays with dorie

a day late and a dollar short-almost.  thought this challenge was next week and nearly missed it. luckily, cantuccini are easy to make with this recipe from nick malgieri and the recipe from baking with julia is the same as this recipe on his website.  since i really did not want approximately 80 cookies in the house, i made one third of the recipe.  still, i ended up with about two dozen small, crispy cookies.

honestly, i am a bit of a biscotti snob.  when i first opened my wholesale only bakery in 1997, all i made were biscotti.  my husband and i sold them to nearly every coffee house in town.  my preference is for a softer texture and by softer i do not mean chewy or moist.  my biscotti are dry like a biscotti should be; the difference is that they do not need a soaking to bite into.  luckily, neither did these cantuccini when sliced according to nick's directions-1/4" thick.

 today also happens to be my husbands birthday.  he loves biscotti and i knew he would enjoy these.  to bake a cake for just the two of us is really a waste and with a cookie like these, i knew they weren't going to get stale before they were gone.  the recipe calls for whole almonds and since i was making just a third of the recipe, i only needed 1/2 cup.  and of course, i didn't have that many.  they quickly became almonds and pistachios.  just to make it interesting, i subbed semolina flour for half of the all purpose flour and added a little kewda water.  if you have never heard of kewda water, it is a floral flavoring similar to rose water and is quite common in indian cooking.  to find it, visit and indian or pakistani market, they are sure to have some.

 nick takes one step in slicing the biscotti that very few recipes follow and it is also something i learned on my own many years ago just by trial and error.  to get perfect slices with almost no breakage, you must let the baked cookie log cool completely.  wrap it up and slice it tomorrow if you have to.  the reason is that the internal moisture will distribute as the biscotti cools and when completely cold, the crispy outer crust will soften and prevent the edges from breaking as you slice through the log.  so listen to nick and listen to me-let it sit!!!

 beautiful, clean slices.  love the color that the semolina and the pistachio give the cookies slices.

 and this is how the log looked after i sliced it-see, no broken pieces!

the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee in the late afternoon.  too bad the husband wasn't here to share them-he went morel hunting instead.  what can i say, it is his birthday-and i have a feeling i know what we are having for dinner tomorrow...happy birthday darry!

to see what the other bakers came up with, visit the tuesdays with dorie page!