About time too, you say! :-) But here it is. After much anticipation and unintentional delays, I present to you the round-up for this, the fourth edition of Jennifer's--Domestic Goddess-- Sugar High Fridays.
The purpose of this monthly event is to encourage the food blogging community to get together and come up with something sweet, a little baked good perhaps, a confection, a chocohalics dream, a sugary treat to photograph, write about and share with others.
For this particular SHF it occurred to me to approach Jennifer with a theme proposal that had not been already covered in the two previous installments--white chocolate and apples-- or that no future host had already come up with.
I had initially thought of Spices only to be told that the lovely ZarahMaria of Foods & Thoughts had already requested it for her SHF # 3: Spice up your Winter! So it was back to the drawing board for me. ;-)
Okay! I've always been nuts for nuts and a little nutty myself so I emailed Jennifer again and proposed Nuts! for my theme. And luck of lucks, on November 17th, Jen gave me the green light when she agreed that January's SHF would be a very nutty affair hosted by little nutty moi.
The emails started coming in early Thursday morning and as the day went on--especially on Friday--it got more and more exciting to hear my Gmail Notifier's tone announcing yet another recipe coming in and to come home from work to find the inbox inundated with emails.
By the time the last email came in, we were up to 26 nutty entries. Here they are, posted in the order in which they were received.
1-The first email to come in was from Daffy (Daphne) of KiTcHeN cRaZy. She whipped up some Chinese Pancakes with Peanut Filling. She said to me on email that this was to be her first time participating in SHS, that she was making the best of her hols in the UK, that she thought nuts was a fantastic theme and that she had made a huge Singaporean favorite snack. And upon looking at her pics I wished I was in Singapore for breakfast and happy I was no longer an Uni student, enduring Chemistry lectures (HCL (acidic ingredient) + NaHCO3= H2O+NaCl+CO2). Ha Ha! God job Daphne!
2-Mia of The Skinny Epicurean wrote me about how she had just started her food blog too and how this was to be her first SHF event! She was so excited about participatign in her first SHF too! Mia chose to combine walnuts and almonds for her Almond Walnut Cake, something her dad to take to work.
3-ZarahMaria of Food & Thoughts managed (phew!) to steer herself away from her desk to join us in this “great - and challenging – theme” with Zarah's Very Own Nutella!. How fabulous is that! It hit her "from out of nowhere" and it just could not be any nuttier than a jar full of nutty chocolate. Look at all her comments! This was a hit indeed!
4-Bonnie, my neighbor on the Eastside, of Belle On Her Toes, who is as busy as one person could ever be, with a lovely and numerous family, baked not one but two Epiphany Cakes, “one for the boys and one for the girls” (11 children total!). Not content with that, she proceeded to offer a few very interesting facts about Bondone’s The Adoration of the Magi and the story behind her cake (also known as Galette des Rois, Feve Cake, King Cake, and Twelfth Night Cake). Bonnie, you are a doll! Hail King Wesley and Queen Maddie!
5-Dear Stef, a fellow Seattleite--of Da*Xiang -- went for almonds and made Linzer Torte Bars for this, her first SHF, with some slivered almonds left over from the Mexican Wedding Cookies she made to take on her Christmas San Diego holiday. How I wished I had some of these! Look at that raspberry jam in the photo, so shiny and scrumptious looking! Got any left Stef? I can be there in two shakes! ;-)
6-Carolyn of 18thC Cuisine also chose almonds and took us all on a a trip to Aix-en-Provence with her Calissons and even when she goes on to comment on her cracked and less than smooth royal icing I think these lovely Calissons are perfect enough for any of us any day! And how about that with that lovely pink plate in her photo? Merci Carolyn!
7-Nikki of Esurientes - The Comfort Zone, all the way from down under, sent in her entry (she “nearly went bonkers trying to make this damn thing", complete with tough nuts to crack and a kitchen full of shell bits: Engadiner Nusstorte or what she would rather call Disaster Cake which was not such a disaster after all as Nikki ultimately declared it “one of the best things I have ever tasted”. This was by far, the most hilarious of all entries submitted and in many ways reminded me of one my own comedic mishaps in the kitchen and previous SHF's (cue in Jennifer' laughs).
8-Nicole of Baking Sheet
made these beautiful and health consciousLemon Squares with Walnut Crust and sent her entry all the way from Sydney, Australia. How’s that for dedication? She is safely back in Los Angeles now and by the looks of her blog, already on West Coast time. Welcome home Nicole and thanks again for participating. These bars look great and just the right thing to have after holidays season overeating! I happen to love lemon bars and these are calling my name!
9- Christine of I like to do stuff.... originally she wanted to bake a cake or make some baklava but she opted for Hazelnut-Cashew Brittle. Look at that lovely color and perfectly broken up pieces. She told me she had fun doing it and could not wait to see the round-up. Thanks for joining us Christine and see you next month!!!
10- From San Francisco, Sam of Becks & Posh went ultra nutty, above and beyond the call of duty, turning this SHF into an opportunity to bake for a cause. Her entries would be sold with the proceeds going towards Tsunami Relief. She titled her entry Nuts once, Nuts twice and Nuts once again!. She baked a lovely Divinity, a Chocolate Almond Torte and the cutest Marzipan Pine Nut Cookies (Panellets de Pinyons). Everything looks scruptious and the cause behind the bake sale could not be any more poignant. Thank you Sam for your good heart and fabulous entries!
11- Molly of Orangette baked the most beautiful looking Pain de Gênes I’ve ever seen. And her recipe came with a lovely story too. She takes us back a multi-city trip, from Oklahoma City to Paris to Seattle over what it seems ten years or so and described her love for this particular cake, the recipe coming out of Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets. This is an almond paste extravaganza and one I too plan to bake very soon. Molly, thank you so very much for a beautiful post and lovely photo!
12- From our neighbor to the south, Alice of My Adventures in the Breadbox baked an Almond Puff Loaf that was jammy, rich and loaded with sliced almonds. We should all have something like this waiting for us early in the morning. And she posted four great photos to accompany her post. Well done Alice!
13- Debbie of words to eat by regaled us with one of the most beautiful entries for this SHF. Her Roasted Pears with Sugar & Spiced Pecans and Poire William Caramel Sauce had me drooling in front of the computer monitor, wanting to get my hands on a small portion of that gorgeous dessert. Go take a look and you’ll see what I mean! Deb, thanks again for the hard work!
14- Jocelyn of Brownie Points brought us with a mélange of ganaches, nuts and whipped cream, an aptly named Chocolate in the Clouds. Considering she initially thought about naming it Cat Plop in Snow, I am happy she opted for the chocolate cloud imagery instead. Now if only we could get the recipe! ;-)
15- Yet another entry from the city by the bay, San Francisco, Jeanne of the lovely and always informative World on a Plate who is nuts for pistachios came up with Pistachio Chocolate Chip Biscotti. Judging by the photo, they must have been amazing. All chocolaty and nutty, loaded with loads of pistachios and shaved bittersweet chocolate. Yum!
16- Andy, of Minor Gourmandry who until recently had relegated himself to being yet another “salivating bystander” finally (yay!) decided to join fellow bloggers this time around, offering us a SHF first, White Chocolate Macadamia Brownies. What a clever combo! He also made some Espresso-Chocolate Macadamia Cookies that he declared exquisite and sophisticated. Thanks so much Andy!! Already looking forward to your next SHF contribution next month! :-D
17- Dear Ronald, of Love Sicily and Is My Blog Burning? made a Home-Made Almond Granita as he was full of ideas but short of time. Aided by his trusty Bimby, "a very, very powerful mixer" he combined almond, water, sugar and ice to bring about this cool and refreshing concotion. Bravo!
18- From Sweden, Anne of Where's My Dinner? shared with us a recipe for Tosca Cake--a fairly heavy sponge with a caramel nut topping-- that came right of her grandmother's "old and big cookbook that she got for Christmas 1953". This cake calls for chopped and sliced almonds, and hazelnuts and while she did not bake it or phographed it for SHF#4 she had a very good excuse, she was off enjoying dinner and dessert with friends. Good enough for me! Tack så mycket Anne! :-)
19- From Michigan, Allison, of the colorful and cute Jinjurly went all out photographing her entry. There are 11 fabulous photos of the making of her "homemade sugary pecan thingies" and "the best oatmeal cookies ever". Her photographs make you feel as if you are in the kitchen with Allison, mixing and stirring and hopefully eating. Brilliant and funny Allison! Thanks a bunch!
20- From Germany, Mia, of NOSH made not one but two recipes! Coconut Cookies and Sweet and Spicy Almonds. so oconut is not a nut but a fruit you say? Well, Mia had the same dilemma but... Coco-nut, get it? So it was in! She wrote me an email saying she had typed in her "entry while her dinner guests were blabbering in German (at 1 a.m no less)". She hopes to host one of these things too. Jen, can you hear her? ;-)
21- Donna, of There's a Chef in My Kitchen, who's been a member of the blogging community for a long time now and "happy to be back on the blogging scene" contributed a 'luscious" Nut Brittle made with toasted Marcona Almonds and a very pretty picture. Just lovely! Thanks Donna!
22- Cathy, of My Little Kitchen made a beautiful Pistachio Gelato using a recipe from Leite’s Culinaria. It had me wishing I was somewhere near Maryland to go beg her for a scoop. I mean, look at those pictures! Is that perfection or what?
23-Emily, of Baking Beast made Pierre Hermé's Nutella Tart, one of the recipes I've had on my to bake list for the longest time. I was so happy to see this had been her choice. What a surprising treat to all of us Hermé fans! Look at it, it is gorgeous! She liked it warm and loved it cold, the next day! Thank you so much Emily! Well done!
24- From Singapore, ST, of Cheat Eat "was tired and had to go to the airport to pick up the parents and her electric mixer died" but still found time to come up with a Nutella Semifreddo garnished with pistachios. Take a look at her photo. Isn't it lovely? And stef, did you see her Hello Kitty PEZ dispenser? Too cute for words!
25- All the way from chilly Canada, Jennifer, the recently wedded Domestic Goddess extraordinaire created a Pecan Caramel Chocolate Tart. "Lke a pecan pie that got all dressed up in her little black dress to go out on the town". What else could I want? Nothing at all my dear. This made all my dreams come true! ;-D And it came in with plenty of comic relief! Now I was the one giggling at home, reading about oyur baking predicament. Sounded so familiar and too darned funny! See? I happens to the best of us! Here is wishing you for more of these adventures and for the Mr. to be all better by now.
26- Finally, from Seattle, yours truly, nutty Viv offers a trio of nutty entries, two of which are taken from two of Pierre Hermé's books, translated by the lovely Dorie Greenspan. First comes Croccantini Di Miele Al Timo a hazelnut, sugar and fresh thyme concotion that was a hit with Mr. C, a recipe I found while reading Spazio cucina, my fave Italian food zine.
Next, Pierre Hermé Dried Fruit And Nut Mendiants, my favorite of the evening. Chocolate, nuts and dried fruit, super easy to make. What can be better than that? Cute too! I put them in little cello bags I got at the market Saturday afternoon and have been enjoying and sharing them --and I admit, also staring at them as they are too cute not to-- ever since.
Last but not least, I baked Pierre Hermé's Chocolate Nut Loaf which was the all around winner around these parts. Forget about the recipe hinting at beign able to eat this loaf over a week or so. This ended up in Mr.C's belly in just a couple of days. It was nutty and rich and just fabulous to make and smell and eat and look at.
***A Nutty Epilogue:
This was so much fun to host and I thank Jenifer for the opportunity to host #4. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that submitted an entry, a recipe, a brand new creation, a photo and a little story. It is so nice to see our little community coming together, supporting each other in this fashion.
My hope is that more bloggers--Angela, Melissa, Estelle, Clement, Renee, Pascale, Heidi, Owen, Pim, Clotilde, Derrick, yoohoo, where are you?--participate in future Sugar High Fridays just as, most of us, anyway, come together once a month for Is My Blog Burning? or Wine Blogging Wednesdays. Thanks everyone and see you next month! :-)