Wrap up a hot dog in true ‘mummy’ fashion in this fun Halloween take on classic Crescent Dogs.  This morning I wanted to surprise my ‘lil guy, so I made these before he got up for breakfast…

Here’s another great recipe adapted from the art of real food Seasonal Recipes for Every Week of the Year.  I really love meringues as you may have read from my past posts and/or those of you who are following @thecookingapprentice on Instagram!  It’s been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl.  Here’s an easy recipe you will love if you also enjoy pistachios–which is also big in our household!

After a few trials and minor errors (but I’m not counting), I can finally proudly present my first successful Macarons! (Macarons á la vanille) with a mascarpone cream filling.  The macaron recipe is inspired from The French Kitchen Cookbook and the filling recipe is from Cupcakes Galore cookbook.

I have grown to love the many cookbook collections that surround my home.  One in particular is A Country Cook’s Kitchen by Alison Walker.   From the simple pleasures of making artisanal hearty breads, experiencing the delights of churning butter, making the most of seasonal fruits, enjoying the aroma of freshly baked pastries, biscuits and so much more I have yet to discover…this maybe a great addition to your cookbook collection, as well!

I was excited to try my new cookbook ‘macaroons30 recipes for perfect bite-size treats so I flipped through the pages and thought to find the ideal and most delectable treat to bake–well, I was hopeful anyway.  So once again, off to our kitchen pantry I go, as well as, to the refrigerator , taking out everything I need.  Everything was going smoothly BUT somewhere along the way, the texture of the meringue just didn’t look right.  Instead of a thick, ribbon-like consistency, I got more of a cookie dough texture.  Not sure where things went wrong, but rather than tossing everything out and starting over, which I would never do, I simply scooped the cookie dough-like meringue onto the baking sheets and followed the remaining instruction for the meringue recipe from the cookbook.  The results, well…you tell me 😉

So in the back of my mind I’ve had this pending goal that one day I will make pistachio ice cream from scratch.  Two weeks ago I got around to buying the pistachio nuts from the grocer and placing it at the usual spot in the pantry for later use.  But of course, my hubby and the ‘lil guy kept munching on them i.e., for a TV snack.  So much for THAT bag of nuts.

Again, this week, another attempt to buy a bag of pistachio nuts–this time I had the ‘lil guy with me, so I specifically told him that I would make some ice cream with those nuts–hint, hint.  In an effort to end my endless plea of please don’t eat the pistachios, I finally decided to make some yesterday!  Yesiree…Egg-less Pistachio Ice Cream, made especially for my hubby. It is his favorite after all.

Since I watched the last episode of Master Chef (currently on FOX Season 3) when Monti Carlo (one of the home cook contestants and…that’s probably not her real name, really?  Monti Carlo, anyway…) made a Scotch Egg on one of the challenges; and actually got great accolades from Chef Gordon Ramsay, I have had an inkling to make them.  Well, today (Sunday) was the day!

I woke up this morning with a mentality of kitchen play.  I had a lot of fruits in the fridge and always a pantry full of baking ingredients.  My idea was to make pies in jars because I had a lot of mason jars just lying around in the garage.  I set everything up–mise en place and was rearing to go. 

Saturday late afternoon, hubby, my 9-year old and I were invited to a friend’s house to shoot the breeze–both metaphorically and literally!  George, our friend, who was also our realtor when we initially met, (We met George when we were house hunting summer of last year) invited us to come over, meet the girlfriend, meet the family and do some target shooting in their property.  So what does all this have to do with fruit tarts?