Allison Day
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Archive for September, 2011

Mini Espresso Bundt Cakes

Mini bundt cakes in the pan




I have a weird sort of relationship with coffee. I like coffee. I really do. Except I can never make it to my liking at home.

Office coffee? Yes, please. Hotel coffee? Sure, why not? Starbucks? Mmmm, yes.

The coffee I make at home? Bleh. Gross. Fail. I’ve tried using a regular coffee maker, I’ve tried instant (ew), I’ve tried using a French press… *sigh*. I have no talent for coffee making.

Pouring the frosting over the bundt cakes

Luckily my inability to make good coffee at home has no bearing whatsoever on whether I’m able to make good coffee-flavored baked goods. Thank goodness.

I first tried these mini espresso bundt cakes when I bought one that The Food Librarian made for the Food Blogger Bake Sale earlier this year. I couldn’t stop raving about them, so when Mary replied to me with a link to the recipe she used, there was no doubt I’d be making them soon.

My little sister, who’s almost as much of a coffee-lover as I am (who am I kidding, she’s way much more coffee-crazy than me) graduated from college this year. So, like the loving sister I am, I baked her a box full of delicious things as her graduation present. This box included some delicious Churro Cookies, some ridiculously simple but so freaking good Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies, and, of course, these mini espresso bundt cakes.

They were a total hit, of course.

To be honest, I’m craving them right now… espresso bundt cake is an acceptable replacement for morning coffee, right?

Don’t judge. Just make them. You’ll see…

Mini espresso bundt cakes

Visit The Food Librarian for the recipe!

Blueberry and Pluot Crumble FAIL

Blueberries, pluots, and candied ginger

If, on a whim, you decide that it would be totally awesome to walk five miles along the beach to the semi-annual Memorial Day/Labor Day weekend faire… do not, I repeat, do not wear sandals. Especially if you’re not used to walking long distances in sandals.

If you already made the poor choice of wearing sandals, and you’re beginning to get blisters on the bottom of your feet, leaving the bike path to go walk barefoot on the sand will not make them feel better.

Mixing in the sugar

If you did decide to walk barefoot on the sand, and you find your blisters are getting worse, you may find that walking in the water relieves the pain temporarily. You may also find that the occasional unexpected larger than usual wave may make it look like you had a rather unfortunate accident.

However, if it so happens that due to certain poor choices on your part, you have ended up with blisters on your feet and a large splash of ocean water up the skirt of your dress, just own it. Totally own it. If you’re like me, then remember that you’ve definitely had far worse blisters from your pointe shoes, and had to keep dancing through the pain. So this? This, where your feet hurt like crazy and your butt is still damp? Yeah, this is nothing. (Keep telling yourself that until you believe it.)

Crumble filling

But even once you’ve totally owned the pain, and you’re rocking the damp dress, you really don’t want to make the long, painful 5-mile walk home. Especially now that it’s getting cold outside and starting to rain (wait, what? This is Southern California, what’s that wet stuff coming from the sky?) So be smart and call your mom to come pick you up. Because that’s what mothers are for, right? (I love you, Mom! Don’t worry, I bribed paid her with kettle corn.)

Just out of the oven


On a completely unrelated note, if you decide to make a crumble, it may not be the best choice to make it with the first pluots of the season. (Ohmygosh sour.)

And apparently you’re supposed to cook certain fruits, such as pluots, before you put them in said crumble, else you may end up with something that’s more of a soup than a crumble-ish dessert.

But if all else fails (and this applies to both soupy crumbles and unhappy feet), a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream makes everything better. Promise.

Crumble soup

(No recipe today, because I promise you, you don’t want to be making an epic fail of a dessert like this!)

Chicken with Curry Dill Sauce

Pouring the sauce over the chicken

Do you remember when you were little, and your parents would eat peas and tofu and cabbage and tomatoes and all sorts of other disgusting things? You would look at them with your nose scrunched up and wonder, “How can you possibly like that stuff? It’s so gross, it doesn’t taste good at all!” And they would smile and tell you that liking icky vegetables is the sort of things that happens when you grow up and your tastes change. So you always wished your tastes would just change already, so dinnertime wouldn’t always be such a battle between you and those horrible vegetables your parents would make you finish before you got to have anything else.

(…or maybe that was just me. I always was an exceedingly picky child.)

Well… it seems my tastes are finally changing.

Fresh out of the oven

Case in point: a few years ago, I wouldn’t have hesitated to inform you that I absolutely, positively hated dill. Yuck. Gross. How could anyone possibly like it?

Now, well, I’m kind of addicted. The scent makes me want to bury my face in a dill plant and inhale. It’s amazing.

(Sound familiar? Yeah… it’s been happening more often in the last couple of years.)

So pretty!

I think this chicken is one of the best possible applications for dill. It’s spicy, creamy, hearty, and of course dilly (yes, I looked it up, and realize that doesn’t mean what I intended it to mean, however both meanings apply beautifully here. Go look it up… you’ll see what I mean.), and altogether awesome. I discovered this recipe when my dear mother gifted me with a bunch of dill (this was back when I still thought I hated dill – she had used a third of the bunch in a recipe, and didn’t have any way to use it up, so of course she gives it to me) and I did a half-frantic AllRecipes search trying to figure out how on earth I was supposed to use all that dill.

That was the turning point. Now I love dill, and make this chicken again and again and again… Love, love, love.

Om nom

Chicken with Curry Dill Sauce, adapted from AllRecipes


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • a dash of pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp fresh dill weed, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 6 chicken breast halves
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Cooking Directions

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour, salt and pepper; stir until smooth. Gradually add milk and bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the mayonnaise, dill and curry; stir until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in oil. Place in a greased 9×13″ baking dish. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 50-60 minutes or until meat juices run clear.