..Miss Gracie's Sweet Shoppe..
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Culinary Taste Test #1: Pumpkin vs. Butternut

Have you ever heard that butternut squash tastes more like pumpkin than pumpkin? Well that is just what I had to find out yesterday. I had also heard that butternut squash make an awesome pumpkin pie - was it true? Well after a couple of hours of cooking, cooling, pureeing, running to the store, etc. I finally had something that we could test. Here are the pros and cons:

Pumpkin Pros:

  • Tasted like "pumpkin" since that is what it actually is!

  • Had a little more 'watery' consistency - which could be a pro or a con depending on your taste

Pumpkin Cons:

  • Far too often you cut open a very stringy pumpkin that takes too long to process and even then it still doesn't taste very good.

  • Pie Pumpkins can be harder to find

Butternut Pros:

  • Thick consistency which I liked, but not everyone else.

  • Butternut is more predictable as far as stringiness goes.

  • There are less seeds and they are easier to remove.

  • Butternuts tend to be available almost year round.

Butternut Con:

  • Thick consistency (described as 'gluey' but that could probably be gotten over if you added a little water to the puree)

The final decision: well, there isn't enough of a difference to go to a bunch of work either way. I will probably go with the butternut since I won't have the problem of stringiness and they just seemed easier to prepare. As a side note: I made the pie filling without the pie for my testing - sometimes I wonder why I even bother with a crust because the filling is so good by itself!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Here are some pictures of a birthday gift for my occasional partner in crime( er, I mean cooking ;-). I found a darling vintage apron and a William-Sonoma cookbook that I think she will love! I think this gift was too much fun for me though - I got to model for the pictures and I even bought copy of the cookbook for myself!

Molten Lava Cakes

How could this little cake appear so innocent ...

... but yet be so SINFUL!!!!

Molten Lava Cakes for my Mom's birthday treat - 1 week late!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blackberry Pie

I love pie... flaky & tender crust, sweet-tart fruit filling, a cloud of whip cream... what could be better?! I made 2 blackberry pies for Abigail's birthday celebration. She really wanted peach, but since we are past peach season she had to settle for frozen blackberries. I don't think she was too disappointed, or anyone else for that matter!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Special Requests: Carrot Cake

To all my friends and family out there: special requests are always welcome. It means trying something new... experimenting! This was a new recipe I tried from my ever trusty Baking Illustrated for a friend that said she was dying for some Carrot Cake. So if any of you just need me to make you tiramisu( or whatever you might be craving), just call me up and I would love to assist you in that area!

Carrot Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Pecans