bites out part two: near and far

Food photos speak to me. When I peruse a recipe, I can usually imagine what it will taste like and whether or not I’ll like it. However, when I look at a photo in food magazines or see a dish … Continue reading

summer food…a feast for the eyes

Lately, I haven’t had much time to invest in blogging. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating, obviously. Here are a few of my food memories from summer. And because pictures say more than my words can, here goes. … Continue reading

keeping it real: pie splat

keeping it real: pie splat

Every summer, we head north to New Hampshire. Each year unfolds with expected tradition and unanticipated surprises. The crisp summer evenings linger with outdoor meals lit by wavering candles as the last of the sun’s glow surrenders to starry skies. … Continue reading

the blueberries saved us

the blueberries saved us

Summer has swept past me in a blur. But fortunately I have some of its sweeter moments frozen in time thanks to my trusty camera (which is much more reliable and accurate than my brain). This year, we took the … Continue reading

better late than never, a visit to sweet melissa’s

Many know that I have a daughter who wants to go to Yale and open a bakery. And while G and I ponder how those two things will work together, we continue to enjoy her experiments in baking.

The cookbook that started this welcome obsession was Sweet Melissa’s Baking Book. So a few months ago (maybe about 10 months to be exact), I took the little baker on her birthday to the source of all things Melissa – the Brooklyn patisserie itself.

We arrived an hour late due to traffic, but Melissa was gracious enough to wait for us at her charming shop to show us around the kitchen. She even signed K’s book and wrote her a note, including her cell phone number if K ever had any recipe emergencies.

After Melissa left to tend to business at her other store, the little baker and I got down to business ourselves and ordered a light lunch, knowing we’d need room for desserts.

After lunch, we ordered a brownie sundae, which came topped with a candle and crammed with enough brownies and chocolate to serve a football team. The brownie induced a kind of wild-eyed chocolate panic, which you can see as K had her first taste and grabbed her spoon to make sure she had her fair share.

And THEN, these little treats arrived, unsolicited. Just Melissa’s way of showing her love. Sugar never fails.

After we rolled out of the dining room, we ventured into the bakery storefront to bring home some goodies. It was a tough choice.

But ultimately, we chose the Bee Stings, a recipe that K had been contemplating from the baking book. We were not disappointed.

We figured three would be more than enough for the six of us to split.

We were so wrong.

finland and all its beauty

I took hundreds of photos while in Finland, most of which were not of food. The architecture and color schemes are so different than what we find in most neighborhoods in the states that I couldn’t stop snapping pics. I particularly loved the colorful houses trimmed with woodwork. And even the smallest homes had meticulously maintained yards and beautiful gardens. Maybe it’s the short season that inspires people there to diligently work the land. Whatever the reason, the landscape and even the towns were a feast for the eyes.

 

The interior of a local church. There are small radiators under each pew for warmth in the winter.

 

A graveyard tucked away off a country road.

 

An example of the colorful buildings and tidy lawns

 

Beautiful fences blended in with the landscape.

 

Small sheds in each field stored the hay harvest.

The cafe at a community garden

 

Our little friend at the community garden

Charming shingled cupola

 

An old neighborhood that used to house a community of workers

 

Love this color and the window detail.

 

Lovely and playful blue door

 

Again, fantastic woodwork and vibrant colors

 

Sunset around 11p.m.

finnish finds part 2: the pastries

One day, Cyndi decided I needed to taste all the delectable Finnish pastries I’ve been missing. In one sitting. We kept it small and only ordered four treats with our coffee. But we did get a few stares as we sat down to our dessert (it was lunch time).

Cakes that look perfect usually lack in flavor and freshness in the States. Not so in Finland. Not only were these little darlings dressed to impress, the tender crispness of the meringue and the creamy goodness of the filling were equally beautiful to my tastebuds.

Princess cake (with green marzipan)
Kinuski/tjinuski (caramel cake)
Budapest (chocolate hazelnut meringue with mandarin orange creme filling)

Just recalling this next one is making my mouth water. It was my favorite.

Märäng-banan rulltårta (banana white-chocolate meringue swiss roll)

And if I remember correctly, we prepared for this outing by wearing clothing with elastic waistbands. It was worth it.