We’re Moving!

Sugar & Spice is officially moving! Per my previous post, the time has come for Sugar & Spice to evolve and undergo some changes. I have purchased my own domain and have completely redesigned my blog, including my name. I am so excited about the new blog, and hope that you will come on over and join me at…

Brown Eyed Baker

Leaving Sugar & Spice behind is bittersweet, but change is good and it is what keeps us growing and keeps us from getting stagnant and boring. Please head on over to the new site and check it out! Please be sure to update your reader subscription, which you can easily do by clicking the appropriate button below:

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I’ll see everyone over at Brown Eyed Baker – I’m looking forward to sharing even more kitchen adventures with you and hope that you enjoy the new site!

A Change is Gonna Come…

Be prepared, loyal Sugar & Spice readers, that a change is imminent. I have purchased my own domain and have completely redesigned my blog, which includes a new name! The switchover is likely going to take place in the next couple of days so please be on the lookout.

Why, you may ask, am I changing my blog? Well, first of all, hosting it on my own domain gives me a much greater deal of flexibility in both design and functionality. I can make my blog do exactly what I want it to do, without limitation. And as for the name change, I truly struggled with this one. In the end, it came down to the fact that there are now multiple “sugar & spice” blogs out there in the blogosphere and as I take my blog “to the next level” I wanted to be truly unique.

It’s taken a good bit of time and work to get the blog up and running and although there are a few kinks, I think you all are going to love it! Hopefully you’re as excited as I am about the new changes and will follow me over to my new blog and continue reading and cooking and baking with me!

Stay tuned for the big announcement in a few short days!

Barefoot Bloggers: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This installment of the Barefoot Bloggers comes courtesy of Sabrina and Alexander of Cooking with the Kids, who have chose Ina’s Jalepeño Cheddar Cornbread, which is featured in the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. I was really excited to make this, as it came from a cookbook I already own, and cornbread sounded so good, even though it wasn’t fall and I wasn’t serving it with chili! This is only the second cornbread recipe I have made (the first was made last fall and came from Cook’s Illustrated), but I have to say, this was phenomenal. It produced a light and tender crumb, a slightly crisp crust, and the inclusion of the green onions gave it a nice zip, and really, you seriously can’t go wrong with adding cheddar to anything!

More talk about the cornbread, the recipe, and maybe another picture or two after the break.

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Look out Panera, there’s a new bagel maker in town! I do love Panera bagels and usually always get one whether I’m there for lunch or dinner, and multiple stops at the breakfast mecca while on vacation left me really wanting to try my hand at making them from scratch. I put it off for a couple of months until I found myself with an extra block of cream cheese and it gave me the nudge I needed to make a batch of bagels to slather it on. My friend (and new baking buddy) Annie baked these with me, and although our KA mixers almost died a fiery death, we had a great time comparing notes and then partaking in what was a truly satisfying accomplishment!

Much more on the process, recipe, and pictures after the break.

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Fresh Blueberry Pie

Everyone seems to go crazy for blueberries and strawberries around the 4th of July holiday, so it seemed like the perfect weekend to whip up a blueberry pie with one of my favorite people, Annie. Annie, by the way, appears to be superhuman – she gave birth only a little over 2 weeks ago and has been in the kitchen whipping stuff up left and right. She is definitely my hero! I have only made pies twice before (an apple pie and lemon meringue pie) and was anxious to give it another go and, more importantly, I wanted to try making a lattice top. After finally settling on a recipe, we were off to gather blueberries and assemble this beautiful pie!

More about assembling the pie and recipes after the break.

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Classic White Bread

After having owned Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice for over four months now, I finally got around to cracking it open and breaking it in with a classic recipe for white sandwich bread. I was amazed at how incredible the dough was to work with – soft, easy to shape, and behaved just as it should. And the resulting loaves? Pure heaven. I do love my rustic Italian and French breads, but for the most part I’m a minimalist when it comes to bread – hand me a loaf of simple white bread and I’m absolutely content. No grains, no seeds, no nuts, just a perfectly baked loaf of bread. And that’s exactly what this is.

Another recipe I have made from this book: Cinnamon Rolls, completed for my very first Daring Bakers challenge.

More about the bread, process photos, and the recipe after the break.

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Wedding Shower Cake

My first “official” cake for an event, and it was a huge success! I made this cake for the wedding shower of one of my sister’s best friends. There were approximately 35 people in attendance, and two of them approached me for business cards, and a good many more gave me many compliments on the cake. The bride’s colors are sage green and silver and her invitation “theme” was circles and squares. I tried to incorporate all of those elements into the cake and I think I succeeded, as the bride was extremely happy with the cake. I wish the lighting would have been better (or that I had a better camera), as none of my pictures really turned out all that well, but they do the job 🙂

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Daring Bakers: Danish Braid

I did a little dance of joy when I saw what the June challenge would be for Daring Bakers. I have been wanting to make a homemade danish (or really any pastry) for quite some time now, but had never taken the plunge before now. So thank you to this month’s hosts, Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin’, for choosing such an awesome challenge! I am not sure what I waited so long for, because this was definitely not as difficult as I envisioned it might be. The process for making the dough was much the same as bread, with the added step of rolling a block of butter into it (the key to the flaky dough that is characteristic of pastries). The results were fabulous! I made this early in the month for a visit by my mom and sister and made three varieties: the apple in the recipe, peach (my mom’s favorite), and cream cheese (MY favorite).

More about the braids, the recipe, and more pictures after the break…

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Barefoot Bloggers: Parmesan Chicken

Another Thursday installment of the Barefoot Bloggers, and this Thursday features Ina Garten’s Parmesan Chicken, a wonderful selection from Megan of My Baking Adventures. Chicken pounded thin, coated in a traditional breading of flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs/Parmesan, and then sauteed in a combination of olive oil and butter – this is a classic dish that Ina has managed to perfect. Served over a bed of greens, this is a wonderfully satisfying meal.

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Basic Pizza Dough

Dressed up as a Mushroom, Sage, Fontina, and Parmesan Pizza.

The search for a great pizza dough recipe is very similar to the one I just discussed regarding the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. There always seem to be new recipes making the Internet circuit before fading out when another one comes along. Last year I tried a recipe that was all the rage; it was from Allrecipes.com, and I had blogged about it, but that post has mysteriously gone missing. No matter, I wasn’t much of a fan – I found it to be much too doughy. I then moved on to Cooking Light’s Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust, which, while not doughy, seemed to err too much in the other direction. Likely because it is a “light” recipe, the crust was paper thin. Tonight, I think I hit the jackpot. Yet another winner from my Baking Illustrated cookbook from Cook’s Illustrated magazine. This crust is the perfect combination of a wonderfully crisp outer crust and chewy interior.

What’s behind the perfect pizza crust and recipes after the break…

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