I got two of the best Birthday presents ever this year.
I think my friends and family have noticed my obsessive baking and cooking. I love baking and cooking because they are relaxing and a great way to unwind after a long day. I'm also one of those people who loves instructions and lists, so I derive some weird satisfaction from following recipes.
I was wonderfully happy when I unwrapped a copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" volume 1 by Julia Childs from my parents (well, I unwrapped a copy of the Amazon order as the book hasn't actually arrived yet...)
I have watched "Julie and Julia" three times now and I have read Julia Child's book "My life in France" and loved them both. I won't be cooking all of the recipes in a year, like Julie Powell, but I am excited to finally flip through the book and attempt some of the recipes.
And then, my fiance's Mom got me a KitchenAid 9-speed hand mixer. I didn't even know hand mixers could have 9 speeds.
Before, everytime I baked or made icing, my arms felt like they were going to fall off. Now, my baking will be smooth and lump-free. I must be an avid baker now if I get excited over a hand mixer!
There's another Birthday coming up this weekend, so I will probably be slaving away over a cake again this week.
And, tonight I am buying all of my ingredients for my first ever Hay Hay it's Donna Day cooking event
Basically, this year is the 50th edition of Donna Hay magazine. So food blogger, Chez Us started up this monthly event where food bloggers all cook/bake one recipe, send in a picture of their interpretation and then the host blogger and participants judge the recipes. The winner hosts the next event and picks a new recipe. Sounds cool, right?
This month's event is hosted by Eat live travel write and she chose Blackberry Cheesecake Pots.
250g cream cheese
¼ cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
¼ cup (60ml) pouring (single) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120g fresh blackberries
8 biscotti, to serve
Process the cream cheese, sugar, cream and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. Add half the blackberries and process until just crushed. Spoon into 4 x ½ cup-capacity (125ml) dishes and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Serve with the biscotti and the remaining blackberries. Serves 4
To enter, check out her event page.
I'll post my interpretation in a few days and then I will cross my fingers to see how I do in the competition!