Tag Archives: Baking and Confections

missjunebug’s Latest Love: Bottega Louie

Bottega Louie has it going on. Photo by mjb2014
Bottega Louie has it going on. Photo by mjb2014

“Je t’aime, je t’aime toujours, Monsieur B. Louie!” says missjunebug.

All her ladies-who-lunch dreams came true recently at 700 South Grand Avenue where Bottega Louie holds court over downtown Los Angeles. The physical space is large and white; the atmosphere,  lively and inviting. For just a brief moment, missjunebug thought she had been transported to Paris, especially when she got a good look at the patisserie. Row after row of exquisitely decorated desserts and pastries, creamy, fruity, flaky, fabulous!

Just take a look:

A patisserie in Los Angeles worthy of Paris! Photo by mjb2014
A patisserie in Los Angeles worthy of Paris! Photo by mjb2014

Of course, Bottega Louie presents more than pastry. The café has salads, soups, pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches.  missjunebug delighted in the Caprese salad (tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil, fleur de sel, cracked pepper & extra virgin olive oil) and the Asparagus and Poached Egg small plate. Believe missjunebug when she says the flavors were not small, nor the portions! missjunebug’s lovely companion (who introduced her to Bottega Louie on their recent field trip) enjoyed the savory Club sandwich. 

Happily, mjb and her dear friend saved room for dessert from the très jolie patisserie! Imagine whipped cream, flaky pastry, vanilla, caramel, and more! Fruit tarts! Eclairs! Beignets! Macarons!  Here’s what they enjoyed:

Oh. my. yes. De. Licious. Photo by mjb2014
Oh. my. yes. De. Licious. Photo by mjb2014

Note the prayerfully folded hands of mjb’s dear friend! Yes! They were thankful to God in heaven for these heavenly desserts!

Brave the 101 and the 110 and get yourself downtown. missjunebug promises you will be transported to another world in of all places downtown L.A. Things are looking up in the City of Angels!

mjbTip: check out Bottega Louie’s welcoming website for further details: www.bottegalouie.com

Mini Cheery Cherry Pies

Miniature Pie, Maximum Flavor! Photo by missjunebug 2013

missjunebug woke up this morning and got a cheery, cherry idea. She had one, lone roll-up Pillsbury pie crust in her frig, and thought she better use it or lose it to the rapidly approaching expiry date. After a quick pantry forage, she found a can of that blissfully sweet Cherry Pie Filling to help her seal the deal on this Semi Delicious, Mega-Not Healthy breakfast idea.

She grabbed a pint glass–perfect round mini pie crust cutter–and managed to form eight tiny crusts, the perfect size for muffin tins. She carefully placed them in the tins and spooned in a generous dollop of cherry filling into each Mini Cheery Cherry pie-to-be. With the leftovers she cut a few lattice top strips (as easy as pie to do!) and placed them over the cherry filling in a not quite perfect woven top crust. missjunebug might even call the top crust “rustic”–that word covers over many imperfections without losing any flavor!

missjunebug popped those precious mini pies in a hot 425° oven and baked them until they were golden brown and bubbly, about 2o or so minutes. After a quick sprinkle of granulated sugar over the top–(also helpful in covering over any rustic crust imperfections!), she popped them out of muffin tins and placed them on plates for breakfast for her and her dear MrJB who was happy to help taste test her Mini Cheery Cherry Pie experiment.

What a fun way to start the day: A cold glass of 1% milk (missjunebug is, of course, always watching her calories!) and a Mini Cheery Cherry Pie…or two. Double delicious! The next time you find yourself with a lone roll-out pie crust, turn it into the mini pies of your choice! Super easy to make. Super delicious to eat.

missjunebug will think about eating Mega-Healthy tomorrow.

MiniPie in a Muffin Tin: Oh. Pie. Yes. Photo by mjb2013
Enhanced by Zemanta

missjunebug’s Holiday Bars

Holiday Still Life! Photo by mjb2012

No, this is not a post about the best place to imbibe alcohol during the holidays! missjunebug wants to share with you her recipe for fruity and nutty Holiday Bars. If you never got into fruitcake but enjoy dates, raisins, and walnuts, this holiday cookie is for you. Mega Delicious and Semi Healthy describes this bar perfectly. Easy to make, easy to freeze, easy to take to any party or cookie exchange, and very, very easy to eat!

missjunebug’s Holiday Bars

(adapted from an ancient but beloved cookbook entitled Cookery for Entertaining)

Ingredients

1 (8-oz.) package Sun Date California Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 cup raisins, Trader Joe’s golden or SunMaid regular or a mix of both kinds

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup sugar, divided

1 stick butter (1/4 lb.), room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, organic

2 cups unbleached flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 tablespoons orange juice

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 2 baking sheets (or use Silpat liners or parchment paper); set aside. Stir together in a large bowl dates, raisins, walnuts, orange peel, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup sugar until the fruit is well coated; set aside. In a separate bowl or Kitchen Aid mixer (best choice!) cream butter and the remaining sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Whisk together in a small separate bowl the flour, baking powder, salt, and orange juice. Then add this flour mixture to the sugar and egg mixture. Add the dates, raisins, and walnuts mixture and stir until blended. The dough will be stiff.

Divide dough into four equal portions and shape two logs (12″ x 2″ x 1/2″) on each prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes until slightly brown. The logs will feel soft but they will firm as they cool. Cool for 15 minutes. Cut diagonally into 3/4″ bars. Dust with powdered sugar. These freeze well in Zip-loc freezer bags or cookie tins. Makes approximately 64 delicious bars!

After you make these, you can head to your fav holiday bar and celebrate! Cheers!

Don't these look yum x tum! Photo by mjb2012
Enhanced by Zemanta

Cow Cookies! missjunebug Loves These!

The other day missjunebug had a few pieces of art work to pick up from her fave framer in Ventura: Gonzalez Framing. They’re located on 4160 Market St. #4 Ventura, CA 93003 (805) 477-0749. She’s had many, many pieces framed here and has never been disappointed in their work. They are perfectionists, and they use the best materials to protect and to enhance special art pieces.

Here’s one she recently had framed. Won’t it look great in her newly painted kitchen? Oh. my. yes.

What a great framing job for missjunebug's chickens! Thanks Gonzalez Framing!

So what does this have to do with Cow Cookies? Well, right after missjunebug picked up her awesomely framed art works, she realized it was time for a little lunch. Right around the corner (practically) from Gonzalez Framing is Royal Bakery & Cafe. This little gem of a lunch spot is located at 4726 Telephone Rd. Ventura, CA 93003 (805) 658-6030. They have a wonderful menu including soups, salads, sandwiches, quiches, pizza, desserts, and coffee. What more could you ask for on a cafe menu? missjunebug had the divine Tuna Pesto Melt on French bread. Such a delicious mix of tuna, red onion, celery, and pesto, topped with melted cheddar and toasted to perfection. She suspects all the menu items are equally delightful to the taste buds.

Which does finally bring her to the Cow Cookies. These big and tender iced gems are shaped like dairy cows each marked with its own pattern of cow spots. Cute! Clever! Fun! and Delicious! She took six of them home with her in a congenial little box.

Check out two of her Cow Cookies and then check out Royal Bakery & Cafe a.s.a.p. You won’t be sorry. Especially if you rustle up some Cow Cookies to take home with you!

Cow Cookies Rule! Photo by mjb2012
Each Cow Cookie has its own unique design! Photo by mjb2012

 

A nifty box for Cow Cookie transport! Photo by mjb2012
Enhanced by Zemanta

missjunebug’s Not Key Lime Pie

Oh. My. Yes. Not Key Lime Pie Perfection! Photo by mjb2010
Oh. My. Yes. Not Key Lime Pie Perfection! Photo by mjb2010

missjunebug thinks the lazy days of summer call for lazy desserts like her missjunebug’s Not Key Lime Pie, a cool and citrusy dessert that’s…well…as easy as pie!

Here’s all you need to do to make a delightful summery dessert that’s fresh and delicious!

Everything you need for your crust! Photo by mjb2010
Everything you need for the crust! Photo by mjb2010

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

1 pkg. graham crackers (1 ¼ cups)

3 T. sugar

5 T. butter, melted

Rolling pin the graham crackers into crumbs in a large Ziploc bag. Pour into 9” pie plate. Add sugar and blend with crumbs. Add melted butter and press down into pie pan as well as up the sides of the pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes.

Not Key Lime Pie Filling

3 eggs yolks

1 can Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk

½ c. lime juice (Larger Persian limes work just fine for Not Key Lime Pie!)

2 tsp. lime zest

Beat egg yolks with hand mixer until smooth and creamy looking, about 2-3 minutes.

Add condensed milk slowly, using hand mixer to incorporate, about 3-4 minutes.

Blend in the lime juice and zest. Pour into pie filling and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until firm.

Add three egg yolks and voila! Photo by mjb2010
Add three egg yolks and voila! Photo by mjb2010

Separate yolks in the palm of your hand. Photo by mjb2010
Separate yolks in the palm of your hand. Photo by mjb2010
Mix until smooth. Photo by mjb2010
Mix until smooth. Photo by mjb2010
Mix in the sweetened condensed milk! Photo by mjb2010
Mix in the sweetened condensed milk! Photo by mjb2010
Add the not key lime juice. Photo by mjb2010
Add the not key lime juice. Photo by mjb2010
Don't forget the not key lime zest! Photo by mjb2010
Don't forget the not key lime zest! Photo by mjb2010
Pour into graham cracker pie crust! Photo by mjb2010
Pour into graham cracker pie crust! Photo by mjb2010
Ready for the oven! Photo by mjb2010
Ready for the oven! Photo by mjb2010
The delightful result: Not Key Lime Pie! Photo by mjb2010
The delightful result: Not Key Lime Pie! Photo by mjb2010

Optional Topping

1 cup Horizon Organic Heavy Whipped Cream

2-3 T. granulated sugar

Whip up the cream with a hand mixer. Gradually add the sugar and whip until the cream forms soft peaks. Slather on top of the Not Key Lime Pie and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yum x 10!

Enhanced by Zemanta

missjunebug’s Lemony Good Sour Cream Muffins!

Lemony x 10! Photo by mjb2010
Lemony x 10! Photo by mjb2010

missjunebug loves muffins and occasionally indulges in the semi-healthy mega-delicious varieties. The missjunebug Lemony Good Sour Cream Muffin recipe definitely qualifies for that designation. For all health foodies out there, please feel free to adapt away with whole wheat flour and less sugar and no butter, but for missjunebug, she’ll keep the white ingredients and only eat these delicious lemony treats every once in a while! The perfect compromise for optimal eating! And missjunebug can’t think of a better spring or summer breakfast treat served along side a slab o’ slices of Farmer John’s Classic Bacon, cooked up crisp-delicious! (jk, health foodies!)

missjunebug’s Lemony Good Sour Cream Muffins

(adapted from 1-2-3 Bake in Parade July 11, 2010)

2 cups King Arthur unbleached white flour or white whole wheat flour (for your h.f’s out there)

2/3 cup C & H sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. Kosher salt

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3/4 cup Daisy or TJ’s sour cream

2 large organic eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. lemon extract

1 stick butter, melted

India Tree Sparkling Sugar-Bright White (optional)

Prep dry ingredients first: Mix together with a whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.

Prep wet ingredients next: Mix together lemon juice, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and lemon extracts, and melted butter.

Prep dry and wet ingredients separately! Photo by mjb2010
Prep dry and wet ingredients separately! Photo by mjb2010

Mix the dry and the wet ingredients together. Stir in a kind and gentle way, just enough to combine. Don’t worry about any tiny lumps!

Mix Gently! Tiny Lumps Allowed! Photo by mjb2010
Mix Gently! Tiny Lumps Allowed! Photo by mjb2010

Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tin. Sprinkle with India Tree Sparkling Sugar-Bright White for a bakery finish! Bake 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees. Let rest five minutes before sampling! Enjoy!

Any Old Muffin Tin Will Do!! Photo by mjb2010
Any Old Muffin Tin Will Do!! Photo by mjb2010

Let rest five minutes before sampling! Enjoy!

The Perfect Summer Muffin! Photo by mjb2010
The Perfect Summer Muffin! Photo by mjb2010
Enhanced by Zemanta

missjunebug’s Homemade Breakfast Bars: Semi-Healthy, Mega Delicious!

A Plateful of Goodness: missjunebug's Homemade Breakfast Bars!! Photo by mjb2010
A Plateful of Goodness: missjunebug's Homemade Breakfast Bars!! Photo by mjb2010

missjunebug has been comfort cooking lately and one of her fav comfort foods is a little breakfast treat called missjunebug’s Homemade Breakfast Bars which she adapted from a recipe given to her by one of her best students at the community college where she taught a long day ago.

missjunebug can’t say enough good things about these treats: grainy, sweet, easy to make and oh so easy to eat! Without further ado, missjunebug introduces you to

missjunebug’s Homemade Breakfast Bars

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (mjbTip: store in frig to keep fresh!)

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups Quaker Oats Old-Fashioned Oatmeal

1/4 cup Kretschmer Wheat Germ (Also store in frig after opening!)

1 1/2 cups jam of your choice (mjbFavs: boisenberry, raspberry, red plum, and blackberry)

Directions

Cream butter and sugar until well blended in your Kitchen-Aid mixer…you have one, don’t you? Mix in remaining ingredients except for the jam.

Press down well 1/2 the mixture into a buttered-down 13″ X 9″ glass baking dish. Spread jam evenly over the top using an offset spatula for smooth and even distribution of the jam.

Top with remaining crumble mixture, pressing lightly.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until light brown. While warm, cut into bars, 2″ X 1 1/2.” As they cool, they will set up nicely.

Enjoy for breakfast with a big glass of milk or a warm cup of coffee. Delicious!! You’ll never need to buy Nutri-Grain bars again…no offense NG.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]