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Showing posts from November, 2021

Great British Baking - Week Nine

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It's hard to believe that this season of Great British Bake Off is officially over! I watched the finale over the weekend and now I can definitely say that this was my favorite season ever. I loved the contestants, the challenges- everything! I'm getting ahead of myself though, because I'm a few weeks behind on my baking posts. Today I'll be talking about the Semi-final, which was P√Ętisserie Week. The bakes in this week are all about technique and skill- it's always such a big challenge but fun to watch. The Signature Challenge was to make 8 P√Ętisserie-style slices (think layered cake with different types of filling, but very fancy), and the Showstopper was a themed banquet display. They all looked amazing, and I personally loved what Juergen made! The torii gate was incredible. The Technical Challenge that I made was called a Sable Breton Tart, which I had never heard of before! Apparently the bakers hadn't either, because none of them really nailed it. Luckily

Great British Baking - Week Eight

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It's getting down to the wire on Great British Bake Off- we have sailed on into the quarterfinals and the competition is getting FIERCE. This week was a very fun theme called "Free From Week". Odd wording, but each bake was a different challenge that removed a common ingredient. For the Signature, the bakers had to do a dairy free ice cream sandwich. There were some coconut, soy, and tofu ice creams and some looked absolutely divine! The Showstopper was a gluten-free Celebration Cake, so the bakers had to use a grain-free substitute (like rice flour, coconut flour, etc) to make a beautiful and intricate cake. And finally- for the Technical Challenge the bakers removed all animal products in order to make a vegan Sausage Roll. I was so excited to make this and got started right away! The first step was making a vegan puff pastry. I've never made this before but always thought the process looked like fun. Using vegan butter, I made a basic pastry, then grated on even mo

Wilmington Highlights

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Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great week-mine was so much fun and very busy. I mentioned in my monthly goals post that November would be busy and full of trips, and we had our final one last week. I thought it would be fun to recap in a highlight post to share what we did and some other random fun things that happened this week. Here's what my week looked like- Monday Plans for the day (outside of work): Made last week's Great British Bake Off recipe (vegan sausage rolls- yum!) and watched Dancing with the Stars semi-finals. Plus- lots of cleaning and laundry after a weekend trip. One thing that went unexpected: Dan agreed to go on a run with me! And the fall colors right now are AWESOME. Best part of the day: Relaxing after a busy weekend and getting back to my routine. Best thing I ate: The sausage rolls were amazing, especially the flaky crust. Tuesday Plans for the day (outside of work): 6AM 6-mile run with Erica started my day on the right foot. Then we too

Great British Baking - Week Seven

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I'm a bit behind with my Great British Bake Off baking and watching, but I'm back today with Week Seven! This was Caramel Week, which intimidated me a bit because caramel is VERY hard to get right. I've only been able to make it properly once before (when I had to make sticky toffee puddings ), and even then I got it wrong a few times. The challenges for this week were tough, since we're getting towards the end of the series. The Signature challenge was caramel tart (sign me up for that!) and the Show Stopper was a domed or sphered caramel dessert. Both of these really seemed to trip up the bakers, and there were a lot more fails than usual! Even the Technical Challenge (10 caramel biscuit bars...aka a Twix) really messed them all up and there were no stand outs. The process itself wasn't too challenging, and it mostly came down to timing it properly and making everything very neat. We started by making the shortbread biscuits for the bottom of the bars, which were

Denver Highlights

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I knew that November would be a packed and busy month, and so far it is definitely delivering! Last week I went on a long-weekend trip to Denver to meet up with two of my very best friends (Jessie and Kelsey) from Pittsburgh. The only plan for our trip was going to a University of Colorado Boulder football game and visiting Kelsey's brother who works at the school, but otherwise everything was open. We were definitely lucky with some gorgeous clear and warm days, and here's a look at what we did! Thursday After landing and picking up the rental car, we made our way to Denver Central Market for some breakfast! There were a few options in the market and a coffee shop, and I ended up getting a breakfast burrito and Americano. We made our plan for the day while strolling around RiNo Art District and enjoying all of the beautiful murals! We decided to head to Golden next since we still had some hours to kill until checking into our Airbnb. There were some free museums in town, so we

October Reads and Reviews

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Hello everyone! Today I'll be sharing the books that I read in October, which was less than usual. I had a little slump in the middle of the month when I didn't read much, but I still managed to get in three books. Unfortunately they were all kind of duds and just didn't do it for me (but that happens some months!). It's just about that time of year for cozy holiday books which makes me really excited, so if you have any suggestions for what to read in the next few months please leave them below! Delicious! by Ruth Reichl Billie Breslin has traveled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious, the most iconic food magazine in New York and, thus, the world. When the publication is summarily shut down, the colorful staff, who have become an extended family for Billie, must pick up their lives and move on. Not Billie, though. She is offered a new job: staying behind in the magazine's deserted downtown mansion offices to uphold the "Delicious Guarantee&

Great British Baking - Week Six

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It's Pastry Week on Great British Bake Off, which is synonymous with the famous "Soggy Bottom" saying on the show. We only got a few mentions of that, but back in the day it was a very popular thing for the bakers to worry about and mention a lot. Luckily, it seemed like most of them did pretty well this week (minus a few collapsed pies at the end). I definitely want to try to make a chouxnut like the bakers made for the Signature- they looked so fun and delicious! The Technical Challenge is a Baklava, which is something I've tried many times in the past but have never even wanted to try to make. It seemed very daunting and time consuming, even if you use a pre-made filo pastry dough. But of course, since this is Great British Bake Off, we had to make our own! The process to make the filo was actually pretty simple and a bit therapeutic. Lots of kneading the dough, followed by dividing into 6 equal pieces, and folding it into a smaller and smaller square to get those

November Goals and Highlights

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Is it just me, or did October not happen? I seriously feel like this month passed by in a blink, which is weird because I don't feel like anything big happened. Usually months like this seem to drag on, but somehow this one flew by! It was such a great and relaxing month, which is needed because my November is going to be crazy with a few trips coming up. Since I haven't been traveling much at all in the past two years it's going to be a bit stressful but I'm really looking forward to seeing some friends and family, along with a trip to the beach. Can't wait to share! My highlight of October was visiting the North Carolina State Fair! This is an event I've heard about since we moved here and I knew I wanted to go since I've never been to one before. It was so much bigger and more amazing than I expected- there were food vendors serving up everything you can imagine, amazing music acts constantly playing, fun rides and roller coasters that would compete with