Archive for April, 2011

Blogaversary (!!!) and Strawberry Pie

Monday, April 25th, 2011

On this day, one year ago, we put up our very first blog post and subsequently entered into the world of food blogging. How crazy is it that it’s already been a year? Ridiculously so. In fact, it went by so fast that we almost didn’t even realize it. Last Thursday I had already climbed into bed and was going through my right-before-sleep routine: check work email, check personal email, check Facebook, check Foursquare check-ins, check blog comments…when…

[What follows is an actual internal conversation I had with myself. This is just a small glimpse into what goes on inside my mind. You're welcome.] OMG. IT’S APRIL. DID WE MISS OUR BLOGAVERSARY? When did we start the blog? Please tell me it was May. It wasn’t. It was definitely before Mother’s Day. Why isn’t the page loading? Scroll…scroll…click. Pizza post was the first one…okay…PHEW. April 25. Need to put this on a sticky note on the calendar, or I’ll forget. “Blogaversary is Monday!”

If you’ve learned anything about us over the course of the last year, you’ll understand why missing this day would have been catastrophic. We are a people that LOVE to celebrate. Any event, any time, any place, anywhere. Tell us the occasion – we’ll bring the dessert and champagne.

Truth be told, we celebrated last night. After all, Easter is a cause for celebration all by itself, and let’s face it…there’s no way this Strawberry Pie was going to last through the night. We wish we could have a huge party, though, and celebrate with all of you! This year has been so. much. fun. It has been awesome to meet all of you. Seriously. I cannot tell you how much your comments, emails and food-blogger friendships mean to us. Every single one is like a little sprinkle of confetti on our day.

So, it stinks that we couldn’t celebrate together, but you can think of this recipe like a “some assembly required” goodie bag. (And I don’t mean that in the IKEA way…this is actually a small job…no cursing required.) This Strawberry Pie comes together super fast, and it’s absolutely delicious. A very merry un-Blogaversary to you!

Gather Up:
1 9-inch pie crust, pre-baked
3 quarts sliced strawberries
1 cup powdered sugar

For the vanilla-flavored whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. + a couple pinches of powdered sugar (additional pinches unnecessary, but I love a sweet whipped cream!)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Fill a baked pie crust with sliced berries piled as high as possible. (Really, the more ridiculous, the better.)

Top berries with 1 cup of powdered sugar.

Cover with vanilla-flavored whipped cream.

Refrigerate for several hours.

Enjoy! (Champagne is optional but highly encouraged.)

Easy Swirl Pound Cake

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Like most everyone else, I can find very little not to like about the taste of Nutella spread! Until now, the most exciting way I have eaten it is on Belgian waffles, (with maple syrup on the side), a treat I have always found most satisfying and decadent!

A few weeks back Working Girl and I attended a food bloggers event here in Austin (our first such event), and much to our delight they gifted us with goodie bags! Always a classy move and so much fun!

One of the food treats was a Belgian chocolate hazelnut spread, this one made with Fair Trade cocoa, another quite classy move… (College Girl has worked tirelessly to educate me on the injustices of the worldwide chocolate industry, among others…) Because we make so many desserts at our house, I was a little thrilled to be able to use this particular product!

I settled on a pound cake, and it did not disappoint! There is a whole jar of chocolate hazelnut gooey-ness in there and the batter has an especially good pound cake flavor!  Bottom line: It didn’t last long!

P.S. Of late I have really missed reading all of your blogs, sharing yummy recipes and otherwise cooking and chatting my way through each and every day! My recent trip to Florida ended up a little different than I thought – the changes my folks are going through are difficult ones. (What’s that saying, “GETTING old isn’t hard; BEING old is hard!) Although my blogging might be a little sporadic right now, please know that I appreciate each and every person who visits our blog! You all are truly a bright spot in my day!

Gather Up:
1 ½ cups flour
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
One 12.3-ounce jar CocoaHaze (or one 13-ounce jar Nutella)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour.

In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar at medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

With the mixer at medium low, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated.

With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating until just incorporated. Beat an additional 30 seconds.

Spread one third of batter in prepared pan. Cover with one half of chocolate hazelnut spread. Add another one third of the batter and a final layer of chocolate hazelnut spread. Top with the remaining one third of the batter and smooth.

Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes, and then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from: FoodAndWine.com

Thumbprint Cookies

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

I foresee a lot of afternoon tea in my future! That is to say, with all the wedding activity, I find myself dreaming of cookie-infused ways to make the most of our potential girl time. But mostly I plan menus in my head…

This is endlessly enjoyable and entertaining, and usually involves sunny afternoons, plates of homemade treats, lots of laughing and a photographer taking super flattering photos of the – ahem – older members of the group! (That last part IS a dream!)

And because jam is ever-present at tea time, and because buttery, crumbly cookies are absolutely necessary, thumbprint cookies naturally come to mind. They make a lovely spring goodie, especially when served with different flavors of jam. (And if you are crazy like us, jam that might even match your decor.) And because the mother of the bride must be flexible in all things (especially when she is mom to a bride who is doing ALL the planning herself) we added chocolate into the mix. Although not quite traditional for tea time, I agree that nothing says “scrumptious” like a big plop of chocolate!

So I’ll keep dreaming, and occasionally executing, and when I find the photographer who brings it all together, y’all will be the first to know!

Gather Up:
2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
2 egg yolks (save egg whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
2 slightly beaten egg whites (from yolks above)
1 cup toasted, finely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
Assorted jams, frosting and spreads

Beat butter with electric mixer on medium high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined, scraping bowl several times.

Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined.

Beat in flour until combined.

Cover and chill dough for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.

Roll dough into one-inch balls. Dip balls in egg whites and then roll in nuts.

Place one inch apart on cookie sheet and gently press your thumb into the center of each ball.

Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until edges are just turning light brown. Remove from oven and gently press the center if needed to re-form the little indentation.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Just before serving, fill each cookie with a small dollop of jam or frosting.

Recipe from BHG New Cookbook

Springtime Egg Salad

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Flying alone clears my head. I can’t sleep. At dawn, I prefer to watch over an endless sea of clouds. If I stare long enough they become a vast jagged glacier – well, a vast glacier that is my 10 miles of visibility… Underneath this glacial blanket, my world in Texas sleeps. Who but God creates such moments? Pink, silver, white, stillness, quiet. There is a daunting comfort in a scene so completely unscripted.

At my house today, homework is done, allergies are tended, numbers are crunched, meals are cooked… I’m thinking about you, Family, even as my focus shifts, as it must…

I’ll meet my sister in Tampa, and we will drive to my folks’ place in Venice. We will eat icecream and caramel corn, wish for air conditioning and always wear our cover-ups at the beach! We will invade my parents’ quiet world and hustle them around until they are ready for us to leave (and take our weird modern food with us!).

But, I did not forget to leave a tub of egg salad in the fridge – it’s old-fashioned and dreamy, kind of like the week I’m about to have! And did you know, it’s one of the dishes my mom used to make. Although she did not bake bread, it is something I really enjoy doing. The bread you see is Classic 100% Whole Wheat, from King Arthur Flour.

PS – Thanks for the bluebonnets along the runway. Still smiling.

Gather Up:
10 eggs
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground white pepper

Place eggs into a large saucepan in a single layer. Add enough cold water to just cover the eggs. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat (water will have large rapidly breaking bubbles). Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes.

Drain eggs. Run cold water over eggs and place them in ice water until cool.

Peel eggs by gently tapping on countertop and then rolling in the palms of your hands. Peel off eggshell starting at the large end.

Chop eggs and place in mixing bowl. Mix in celery, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, dill and seasoning.

Serve with a hearty brown bread, toasted if you like! Egg salad is also great in a wrap with fresh greens or on seeded crackers!

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Welcome to Like Mother Like Daughters...career gal, stay at home mom, college student. Just 3 girls who love to eat and are dedicated to doing it the old-fashioned way! Plan, shop, cook, bake, clean, sleep, repeat. Hope you enjoy - we are so glad you are here!
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