Monday, December 8, 2014 Thanksgiving Cinnamon Rolls

Has it really been over two months since I've posted anything? A lot has happened in two months, I guess. Most of October was spent studying (AND PASSING!) my final Architecture exam. Which means, I am an Architect, capital A, no qualifying statement or calling myself an 'almost architect' or 'architect-ish'. It's a long process, you can see from the dates on the previous posts about my exams (Testing Break, .325 Architect, .625 Architect & .875 Architect) or I can walk you thru the process over coffee sometime.

November, was one giant *sigh* of relief to be done with testing and the month got away from me. I applied for a promotion at work and had to prepare for a week long training class too. And then Thanksgiving and the month was over. I hosted the dinner at my house with CPB, my mum, HLCIII, MMcK, her mom and her roommate Carmen. We managed to cook the turkey right-side-up this year (last year we were certain we had picked the turkey with the world's boniest breast meat), I made JHP's homemade cranberry sauce & these wonderful browned butter, parmesan mashed potatoes.

Usually for holiday breakfast we make beignets, Christmas beignets, birthday beignets, Easter beignets, Flag Day beignets, etc. (I did extensive research for the perfect beignet recipe, if you haven't yet you should really try it, it's almost NOLA worthy.) This year for Thanksgiving I did something way outside the box and made Cinnamon Rolls for Thanksgiving Breakfast. I made the dough the night before and put it in the fridge overnight. I made sure to let it sit out on the counter in the morning so it could come to room temperature before I rolled it out. The amount of cinnamon in the filling sounded monstrous but I followed the Candid Appetite recipe and love the outcome. Maybe I'll be back to beignets for Christmas but this has definitely earned a spot in the holiday breakfast rotation.

Monday, September 29, 2014 Feta & Grilled Onion Sandwich

About six weeks after I met CPB, I moved to Seattle(ish). I planned on the move for almost a year, everything was booked, rented and set for one year working in the Pacific Northwest. While I would never (ever) recommend a long distance relationship we did come up with a few things I really enjoyed during my time away. We were able to see each other almost once a month, I came here, he went there, we met in Denver one time and spending time together was wonderful. We would talk on the phone most days, even if it was only a few minutes on the way to or from work, it's not the same as being together in person but it was nice to hear his voice. We also took pictures throughout our day and emailed them with a few captions, something I eventually turned into an adorable set of Blurb Books. And, my favorite thing we did, long distance date night, or dinner 'together apart'.

Every week we would take turns picking a recipe. Mine tended more towards a California fresh theme and his choices were usually a southern soul food variation. (You can see most of the recipes here and probably figure out who chose which dish.) We would make dinner together, over the phone, sit down and eat together-apart, usually with a nice beer. It's harder to have a natural conversation over the phone, 'how was your day?', 'how was work?', and 'how's the weather?' become a little redundant. (Especially when it was always grey where I was and always perfect in southern California.)

What does this all have to do with a Feta & Grilled Onion Sandwich, you may ask?
This sandwich is the second long distance date night CPB & I made together-apart. (Only with better pictures, you can see our original creations here.) 
I think it tasted better making it together in the same kitchen.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 the Heart of the Artichoke

Today is an exciting day! I'm heading up to Sacramento with CPB to meet up with my little brother, HLCIII & his lovely girlfriend HV, to go to our cousin's wedding in Sonoma. More on that later, I was lucky enough to help her with some fun wedding projects I'll share soon.

This past July our other Hamilton girl cousin, Cassie, got married! It was a beautiful day and we had a great time celebrating Cassie & Todd. We also got to spend some time with Ashley & her fiancé Joe, and one evening we had a wonderful dinner party with them, HLCIII, HV & two of Joe's friends that live in San Diego. After a great morning with Ashley, including a yoga class at Mosaic, lunch at Mona Lisa Deli, and a beer from bottlecraft. We used my other David Tanis cookbook, Heart of the Artichoke, to help inspire the menu. (When the Cook's visited I used his 'Platter of Figs' cookbook the whole weekend, you can see Menu One & Menu Two.)

Tonights Menu:
Greek-ish Salad
Grilled Squash & Mozzarella
Herbed Rice
Grilled Salmon with Rosemary & Lemon
Dutch Oven French Bread

Monday, September 15, 2014 Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers

Apart from one day in May yesterday was probably the hottest day of the summer and coincidentally the sdame day CPB and I decided Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers sounded like an amazing lunch. Why I thought turning on the oven was a good idea is beyond me. The living room did not cool off until after 9pm. September 14th might not seem like summer to most of the country but in San Diego we were holding strong at 90 degrees on the coast (and 100+ inland), extremely unusual for this time of year. 

The Jambalaya takes about an hour from beginning to end and then the stuffed peppers another 30 minutes finished in the oven. And while I don't recommend using an oven when your house has poor ventilation and lacks air conditioning, it was a sucessful dish. There will be plenty of leftover Jambalaya, you can probably make 12 or so stuffed peppers with the below recipe. The Jambalaya recipe is a cumulative recipe from CPB's family and some of the New Orleans cookbooks we own. It is lovely on its own, with a little chipotle tabasco or cajun garlic sauce sprinkled on top.

Friday, August 22, 2014 Tea & Crumpets

Last year I made Buttermilk Crumpets, the first and only time I've made them and when they came up in conversation with MMcK on what to bake next I decided it was time to tryagain but with a new recipe. It wasn't that the buttermilk crumpets were bad, they just didn't quite fit the memory of afternoon crumpets with my Aunt. I found this Bobby Flay recipe that appeared to be a little more traditional and decided to give it a try. They were soft and airy but didn't brown or get a light crust quite the way I expected. I prefered these over the buttermilk ones but I will have to keep trying new recipes.

Serve topped with butter, honey and a mug of warm tea & milk. Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2014 a Burger with Pickles

There are only a few things more 'summery' than burgers off the grill. These tasty patties are lightly seasoned with salt & pepper, and packed with thin slices of green onion & minced garlic to add a little bite. I served them on homemade dutch oven herb bread rolls with white cheddar, slices of pearl tomatoes and bread & butter pickles.

Oh these wonderful pickles, Cuchon Butcher Bread & Butter Pickles (recipe below). They are delicious, sweet & crunchy, perfection. CPB & I brought back a jar from ouir trip to New Orleans last year. We devoured them quickly and then set out to make out own. I tried a few other recipes before I found the Cuchon recipe and this is definielty the best, but then again I have a food crush on Don Link.

Friday, August 15, 2014 Tripple Chocolate Cookies

Happy Friday! It's a super chocolate cookie day today and these Triple Threat Chocolate Cookies are perfect!! The original recipe has a ganache too, used to sandwich two cookies with gooey chocolate center. I think the richness of this cookie goes best with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. However you use it this cookie is the best way to start the weekend. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 a Summer Plate for Dinner

When it's too hot to turn on the oven or stand over the stove this is dinner in my house.  We refer to it as 'a plate'. It's a simple dinner of fruits, vegeatables, cheeses, meats, olives, slices of bread or whatever we have lying around. It's great for the heat of the summer because it's quick, easy & delicious. And it isn't heavy, when the plate is cleared I'm satisfied but I don't feel stuffed. The 'plate' works as an appetizer for a larger group too, similar to a meat and cheese board you would find in restaurants.

Monday, August 11, 2014 Green Beans & Poach Egg

Yesterday CPB & I set out to make eggs benedict. CPB found a recipe for hollandaise sauce and I've become reasonably good at poaching eggs, so this should have been a slam dunk.

And then everything went wrong.

The hollandaise sauce would not thicken. It was a soupy yellow mess one moment and a broken, scrammbled egg custard the next. Then, I used six eggs to get three reasonably well poached eggs. Two of those three broke the instant they hit the englilsh muffin, and the whites were more of a 'soft poach'. I even switched out the water, after egg fail number 3 made egg flower soup of my poaching water. Our 'eggs benedict' ended up and english muffin with bacon and a soft poached egg, no hollandaise sauce.

This experience reminded me not to get cocky when it comes to new recipes or egg poaching. I like to think I can do everything right the first time but getting my butt kicked by a half a dozen eggs is a refreshing reminder.

The green beans and poached eggs pictured here was from a more sucessfull egg poaching experience. I blanched the green beans and lightly sauteed the plum tomatoes and topped the dish with a drizzle of olive oil and salt & pepper. When punctured the egg yolk created a creamy sauce for the vegetables and made this vegetarian friendly dish rich and delicious.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 a Platter of Figs, Menu Two

I love love love cookbooks with interesting graphics or layouts.
I have been known to buy books for those two reasons alone, a well thought out book graphically can even trump content. I have a book called 'How to Drink' where all of the graphics are made only of letters and punctuation, it's wonderful. But I have a habit of collecting cookbooks and using the internet to find recipes instead. I've decided to make a concerted effort to use my cookbooks as more than bookshelf artwork. What better way to start than when cooking for company?

The second evening with the Cooks included more delicious food from a platter of figs. 
The pork loin seasoning was great but it turned out a little dry (I think I cut into it too soon). I added the potatoes & onions to the same baking dish and cooked them with olive oil & rosemary. The same way I remember my grandparents cooked them for sunday dinner when I was little. 

For a side we had tomato & ricotta crostini. Surpisingly tomatoes are a summer fruit, they don't need anything more than a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to be perfectly sweet and delicious. Of course, anything used to top toasted bread and cheese can't be bad.

I loved our weekend with the Cook family and I hope we can spend time with them again soon!

(Click the link to see the dinner from Platter of Figs, Menu One.)

Monday, August 4, 2014 a Platter of Figs, Menu One

After a lovely week in Memphis, with a whirlwind trip to Louisville & Nashville and a day playing hookie with CPB full of good food, beer & baseball I'm back at work today. And back to posting here, this menu is from a few weeks ago when the Cook's came to visit. Mrs. C (aka Pookie), was one of my college roomates, there were 5 of us original to the Harvard House and since then we've been spread across the country but we've still mananged to stay in touch.

The weekend the Cook's came to town was full of good company, including the adorable T-Rex, and meals planned entirely from the cookbook 'A Platter of Figs'. This book reads more like a letter from a friend than a cookbook, the recipes are organized by season and focus on simple preparation emphasizing the key ingredients with minor accents. The title recipe, a platter of figs, describes how much goes in to knowing how to chose the right fig. When you know what to look for, the fig needs little else to showcase it's sweetness and flavor. As the summer heats up I wanted to use the oven as little as possible (the berry crumble is an exception). I looked for recipes that required minimal heat or could be cooked on the grill.

(Click the link to see the dinner from Platter of Figs, Menu Two.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Granola & Yogurt

There's a lot of premade Granola out there, in addition to the first 3/5 ingredients being types of sugar I can't pronounce half of the ingredients listed on the nutrition label. What is thiamine hydrochloride, niacinamide, d-calcium pantothenate or pyridoxine hydrochloride? (Google tells me they're vitamins but they don't sound like they would taste very good.)

I set out to make my own granola with just a few basic ingredients. I've started to keep an assortment of nuts and dried berries in the pantry to easily create a weeks' worth (or more!) of granola at a time. It's made for a quick snack or an easy breakfast. My new favorite breakfast is granola mixed into plain greek yogurt with some fresh blueberries and figs & a drizzle of honey.

Monday, July 21, 2014 Huevos Rancheros Reprise

When I haven't been to the grocery store in a while I start to play the dinner game 'what's in the fridge?' (this happens frequently, see couscous, pizza, vegetables, salad and a special cabin edition). I almost always have eggs, flour and butter (necessities of baking). Ususally this results in biscuits and eggs sandwiches, on this lucky occasion I had tortillas and an assorment of produce that needed to be used before it wilted. I've previously posted a recipe for Huevos Rancheros, but it's been a while and every version is a little different. Try it for breakfast, dinner or make a huevos rancheros bar with company and let everyone build their own!

Friday, July 18, 2014 Green & White Pizza

Another wonderful recipe on the best pizza dough recipe I've found yet. 
The key to a good pizza crust:
Let is rest in the fridge, in plastic wrap, for at least two hours.
Press & toss it into shape, a rolling pin will smush out the chewiness.
A hot hot hot pizza stone, in the oven for at least an hour while it preheats.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 Spaghetti & Asparagus

Here's a summer pasta recipe that's quick and delicious. I poached my first egg almost a year ago and I keep finding new ways to use this culinary trick. I really enjoy it with pasta and in this case the poached egg yolk blends with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar to create a rich coating for the noodles. (I also love to top Pasta Carbonara with a poached egg, in case the bacon isn't rich enough.) I like my asparagus blanched so it retains just enough crunch and doesn't change to a sickly green color. Rather than use a second pot I drain the pasta directly over sliced asparagus and it cooks just the right amount. It's a simple meal that comes together in no time at all. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 Peanut Butter & Bacon Cookies

A few weeks ago our long time family friends, Mr. & Mrs. H and a number of others, helped my mom with her yard. A lot of people put in a lot of hours and I know it meant a lot to her. As a thank you she wanted to make cookies for the family so I offered my baking services. She told me Mr. H's favorite cookie was peanut butter chocolate chip and he loved bacon, I found this Food Network recipe and made a few alteration. I used the rendered bacon fat but no bacon pieces in the cookie because  they tend to get soggy when baked. I candied the cooked bacon before using it as a topping on the cookie so it would stay crisp and protect it from burning. (And I didn't have enough peanut butter so I had to do half almond butter as well.) There is a lot going on in this cookie, if I make them again I would be inclined to make them with only two of the three key flavors, I think it would simplify the cookie for the better. They were rich and delicious but one less ingredients would have helped the flavors blend together better.

Thanks again to everyone that helped my mom, the yard looks so much better!
(If you didn't get a cookie I take requests but for take out only, I'm not set up for delivery.)

Monday, July 14, 2014 an Open Faced Meatball Sandwhich

Today's post is not much of a recipe, instead it's another way to use the Meatball recipe I enjoy so much. (It's also about better pictures for this delicious dish.) My favorite way to eat meatballs is an open faced sandwhich. The Dutch Oven Bread I make is ususally stiry enough to stay intact while the meatball is being eaten. I like to serve it rolled in alittle bit of sauce, sprinkled with parmesan and sometimes with a side salad. This is a great way to eat them straight out of the oven or I like to make a double batch and use them for lunches throughout the week.  Enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

Friday, July 11, 2014 a Big Dutch Baby

The Big Dutch Baby is a wonderful morning treat, it's incredibly easy to make and pops up like magic in the oven. I've made a Pear Dutch Baby before but I decided to try a slightly different recipe this time. I also added apples to the new recipe. 

The Dutch Baby is a large eggy pancake with a crisp crust. The batter doesn't have any sugar so the fruit adds a little sweetness. It is usually dusted with powdered sugar and, in this case, a drizzle of honey. It's a quick, delicious, easy to fix breakfast with basic baking ingredients. The batter can be used without fruit or with whatever fruit you have available. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014 Italian Turkey Burgers

I like a good burger but sometimes they can feel a little heavy, I found a recipe for Italian Burgers that sounded wonderful but I decided to lighten it with ground turkey & by using a greek yogurt mixture in place of mayonnaise. I'm really happy with how they turned out, the balsamic added a nice flavor and the greens and avocado are the perfect topping for summer.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 The Ginger

Usually when I'm referring to 'The Ginger' it's my lovely redheaded college roommate & cohort, SEF. Today The Ginger is a delicious incredibly gingery ginger cookie. I made a double batch but only one cookie lasted long enough to be photographed and it was immediately eaten after I captured this image (but before I ate breakfast). 

MMcK & I made Ginger & Molasses Doodles as part of our christmas baking day and they were wonderful. When I read the "50 all-time best Sunset Test Kitchen recipes" and saw they only included two cookie recipes I had to make these. (Also on my list from this article are the Triple-Threat Chocolate Cookies & Molten Chocolate Mousse Cups)

Much like the Ginger & Molasses Doodles, The Ginger develops more flavor and chewiness the next day than it has fresh out of the oven, that little fact did not stop anyone from trying a few of the fresh baked cookies. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 Grilled Pork Tendeloin

This Grilled Pork Tenderloin became a fast favorite in my house, the recipe comes from Down South, the new Donald Link cookbook CPB gave me for my birthday. I gifted CPB with his first cookbook, Real Cajun, last year and we absolutely love everything we've tried to make. From that first book we've made (multiple times) Braised Sausages & ChilesCajun Pizza and a Fried Chicken & Biscuit Sandwich. The first recipe I made from this book was the Braised Chicken with Salami & Olives but I forgot to take pictures (the same goes for the first two times we made the pork tenderloin, luckily we keep on making it). It was also the main dish for our Fourth of July celebration. The meat can marinade for anywhere from two to eight hours and I'm sure you could get away with alittle more or a little less if needed. It's paired with the arugula and parmesan salad, which is light and summery in contrast with the savory and lightly charred meat.

Monday, July 7, 2014 the Fourth of July with Red, White & Blueberry Sangria

Happy 7th of July! I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend. I had a long four days off and I know it will be really hard to wake up early to go into work tomorrow. (CPB & I had a productive but not particularly exciting Saturday & Sunday spent painting the kitchen & moving furniture to clean the carpets.) On the Fourth of July we had a lovely time with work friends, MMcK, LW & CRV on our patio and watching fireworks. We unintentionally saw two fireworks shows from a hill overlooking La Jolla. A house not to far from the official fireworks was competing (and possibly winning) the fireworks show. Here's a look at the tasty treats we had for the holiday, including the recipe for Red, White & Blueberry Sangria!

Charcuterie Board
Red, White & Blueberry Sangria
Potato Salad
Salt & Pepper Chips

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 a Magnetic Chalkboard (Part II)

A few years back I helped Mrs. M make a magnetic chalkboard. We found the perfect frame at an antique shop near my house at the time, we cut down sheet metal to fit the frame, made our own chalkboard paint and voilà! Her Magnetic chalk board was complete. I intended to immediately make one for myself & CPB, and I did (eventually) this past Christmas. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 a Golden Birthday Party with Homemade Marshmallow S'mores!

Earlier in the year I was at happy hour with Janae where discussions turned to our upcoming birthdays. We met in school at UC Davis and quickly bonded over glitter, San Diego and our shared March birthdays. (She is also the reason I made Tutus for Bachelorette Bowling and this wonderful Save-the-Date, one of my favorite projects to date.)

In college our birthdays fell near the end of spring break and for four years we held joint celebrations at home withour families and back at school in the first week of Spring Quarter. For the few years I was away for our birthdays, thru grad school and for work we always managed to have a shared birthday celebration. One year we had 'March in May' and went out to celebrate two months later. Together we have shared many messy sundaes, pizzookies and sparkles.

This year was a special year for Janae, her Golden Birthday! (Golden Birthday: When the year and the birthday day match.) We again decided to combine celebrations and I adopted her Golden Birthday as my own. My Golden Birthday was spent huddled over a studio desk int he last few weeks of grad scool preparing for my final review. This celebration was bound to be much more fun, gold & glitter filled than my actual Golden Birthday.

Naturally, we started planning months in advance with a shared Pinterst Board:

Our men were even kind enough to humor us by wearing sparkly gold suspenders!
Here's some of what we created to shamelessly celebrate ourselves, glitter & all things golden.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 Coq au Riesling

May Grey is finally here in San Diego, I ususally grumble thru the cloudy start to summer (May Grey followed by June Gloom and occaisionally a misty July). But, it's a welcome change to the 100 plus degrees and wildfires we had last week. I used the oven and stove sparingly during the Santa Ana heat wave. We don't have air conditioning or even good cross ventalation to help cool the kitchen. Luckily San Diego tends to cool off in the evening and helps keep our home (with the help of a few fans) relatively comfortable.

This past winter I learned about braising, the slow simmer allows flavors to develop and keeps meats tender & juicy. So, I took the break from the heat to make Coq au Riesling, a heart warming and delicious meal. There are typically three parts to braising, the ingredients can vary but the result is always wonderful.

1. Brown the Meat
(and set aside)
2. Saute Aromatic Vegetables
3. Add Liquid
(bring to a boil & simmer)

I'm heading up to Sacramento today. I'm meeting my brother & cousin up there to visit family and I get the added bonus of visiting with a few of my college roomates. Over the weekend I plan to make this dish and a big batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies to share.

Friday, May 9, 2014 Samoa Adjacent

It was a bitter sweet moment when I realized Girl Scouts were no longer standing outside every grocery store tempting me with cute smiles and devilish boxes of deliciousness. I waited, maybe a week, to scour Pinterest trying to find a recipe for homemade Samoas. I love these cookies, they are my favorite second only to the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie but I will probably leave them to the Little Brownie Bakery from now on. There's a lot of time between each step and I like the two steps it takes to open the box and eat a cookie. I did learn how to paint with caramel & chocolate when dipping was too difficult. I got to choose the shape of my Samoa, a circle, a dog, a star & a fleur de lis. (Why do they cheat you out of the hole in the center? That's just more room for caramel, coconut & chocolate!) Overall it was a lovely afternoon with MMcK, while I waited for the cable company.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 Béchamel, Sausage & Peperoncini Pizza

Two weeks ago I celebrated my birthday (with an amazing shared Golden Birthday party!) and this post features two of the lovely gifts I received. CPB found a cookbook for a pizza place in New York, Roberta's, the pictures and recipes are wonderful and the stories of their adventures starting a restaurant are entertaining. This is the best dough recipe I have yet to make. I usually have to par-bake the pizza without the toppings but this one was the perfect amount of crunch and chew baked with the toppings. It was so good we've made this pizza three times since I got the book. 

We made it the third time this weekend so I could get pictures in daylight and have a chance to try out my new lens from Pops, he may have received an anonymous tip in his inbox but it was the perfect gift. I'm still learning the manual setting on my DSLR (most of my blog pictures are taken with my iPhone, for convenience) but from my first attempt I already have a crush on this lens.
(Thank you Lauren for the recommendation! Side note: If you're looking for a photographer in San Diego or Texas check out her blog, she captures amazing moments from military homecomings, family sessions, weddings and underwater photography!)

Monday, March 17, 2014 Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

I squash season over already?!
This winter I fell in love with roasting vegetables. They are just as wonderful by themselves but I would use them in salads or pasta too. I even had Spaghetti Squash for the first time! (I'm a little behind on this wonderful gourd.) I completely undercooked it the first time I tried roasting one. The oven temperature was too low and I may have been  definitely was impatient with the roasting process. 

The first recipe I made was literally turning the squash into a classic spaghetti dish. Roasted Squash, filled with Red Gravy (also known as spaghetti sauce) and fresh Mozzarella. The squash roasts alone until tender and then again with sauce and cheese is warm and until it's wonderfully melty. The 'pasta' is eaten right out of the half of squash, the scooped out center serves as a bowl for the red gravy & cheese. After a few times attempts at this meal, I learned a helpful tip to roasting the Spaghetti Squash perfectly. Roasting it upside down lets the water from the Squash it turn to steam and speeds up the cooking process.

One afternoon, I was talking to Mrs. S on the phone about life and squash recipes (a fairly normal conversation). I asked for her favorite Spaghetti Squash recipe. She didn't have a specific recipe but she loves using the squash to make a gluten free Pad Thai (my recipe was inspired by version I found on the blog 'A Couple Cooks'). The Squash works just like noodles and does a wonderful job holding onto the Thai spices and flavors. I couldn't wait to give it a try!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 King Cake for Mardi Gras

Happy belated Mardi Gras!
To celebrate last week I decided to make a King Cake. I was a little nervous so about making this for CPB (a New Orleans native) even though I've had good luck with some of their other classics like Beignets, Gumbo and Jambalaya. A King Cake is essentially a Brioche Cinnamon Roll, instead of cutting the roll and baking individual slices spiral side up the roll remains intact, is formed into a ring and baked. I tried to find a recipe with only basic ingredients, some call for sour cream or cream cheese filling, but I wanted to go a more traditional route. There are a few notes I have that will hopefully help anyone trying to make this for the first time.

1. The Sanding Sugar is the only item I couldn't find in a typical grocery. I located it in a specialty baking shop (Do It with Icing), it's finer than typical sprinkles, which will work just fine or there are a few recipes online that show how to color granular sugar for the topping.
2. Creating a King Cake requires some waiting time, I recommend making the dough the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight. Just let it sit out on the counter to warm up slightly before rolling out the dough.
3. The tradition includes placing a plastic baby (represnting baby Jesus) into the cake. Whoever ends up with this slice is supposed to hold the King Cake Party the following year. Instead of a figurine, I chose to use a pecan half BUT if you are using a plastic baby, put the baby in AFTER you've baked the cake. No one wants to bite into a melty baby Jesus.

It took a little more patience than I expected but the result was wonderful. This is a delicious tradition I plan on repeating next year!


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