Author Archives: wallflourgirl

About wallflourgirl

Hi! I'm Ala, an English grad student who loves to tell stories through half-baked ideas and fully-baked treats. My motto? The plot thickens. Just add cornstarch.

Friday Wallflavourites: Edition 11

I’ve decided that I have more to say and share when I update my Wallflavourites biweekly rather than weekly–and I’m nothing if not flexible, so here’s a biweekly edition of Friday Wallflavourites! Hallooooo, happy Friday!

This has been an amazing week–especially with my very first #SundaySupper. You can read about and meet the lovely SS folk in this blog post! AND it was my 2nd blogiversary, which I missed–what what?

For daily updates about my favorite recipes and bloggers each week, follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. If it’s your first time here–welcome, I love meeting new faces! I hope you poke around my blog to see more fun features and lively recipes.

I could do with more Meatless Everyday recipes like this one! I was kicking floorboards with joy over this awesome Vegan Meat(less) Sauce via One Ingredient Chef!

Vegan_Meat_Sauce

UM. So if you’ve been here any amount of time, you’ll know I’m obsessed with cookie butter. Well, Amanda from A Cookie Named Desire has lived up to her blog name, because this Snickerdoodle Cookie Butter is nothing but pure desire in my books…

Snickerdoodle Cookie Butter

Salted Caramel Pots de Creme that should really speak for themselves. I mean, look at this gorgeous photography (and recipe) from Adventures in Cooking!

Salted Caramel & Apricot Pots de Creme | Adventures in Cooking

It’s been such a no-bake month around here. Have you noticed? Ergh. That’s why I was totally inspired when I caught this Healthy No-Baked Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars via Half-Baked Harvest–plus I’ve been addicted to the salted cookie scene!

 Healthy No-Bake Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

And I really can’t get over Shelley’s gorgeous photography–I’m so glad I met her over at Bacon, Egg, Cheese(cake) because she’s a lovely writer & blogger to boot–and who wouldn’t NEED these delectable Strawberry Scones, amIright?

Recipes I’m digging this week:

Asian Orange Glazed Tofu via Jessiker Bakes

B52 Layer Cake via Gotta Get Baked

Brioche Plum Tart via East of Eden Cooking

Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake via Averie Cooks

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Stack Cake via Top with Cinnamon

Creamy Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta via Minimalist Baker

Healthy Berry Streusel Bars via Sally’s Baking Addiction

Pineapple Strawberry Smoothie via Jelly Toast Blog

Profriteroles with Bourbon Ice Cream and Berry Coulis via A Cookie Named Desire

Salted Bourbon Vanilla Granola and Caramlelized Figs Parfaits via How Sweet It Is

Shakshuka (Vegetarian) via Neighbor Food

Blogs I’ve recently discovered and LOVE:

A Cookie Named Desire

A Mama, Baby, and Shar-pei in the Kitchen

Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen

Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos

La Bella Vita Cucina

The Messy Baker

Rhubarb and Honey

Simply Gourmet

In case you missed recipes featured on Wallflour Girl these past weeks:

Happy 2nd Blogiversary to Me!

Gochujang Peanut Asian-Style Pasta: A #SundaySupper Post

A Guest Post from Jessiker Bakes: Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

A Guest Post from Neighbor Food: S’more Cake Pops

Thank you for stopping by! If you have favorite blog recipes from this week that you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a link or two of loving in the comments!

Ala

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Guest Post from Jessiker Bakes: Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

So about three weeks ago I reached out to the inestimable Jessica from Jessiker Bakes about doing a guest post for me because I was going a little cray-cray with my personal life. Two weeks later, I click through my blog feed and read this post and immediately start shrieking at my computer, “Oh my gosh, girl, CONGRATS. AHHHH!!!” (For those of you who didn’t click through the link: yes, Jessica is ENGAGED!)

So that’s the sort of relationship I have with her blog. Unparalleled and borderline hysterical adoration.

I’m so lucky to bring her over today to post for you guys! She is a psychic superstar because I have had lemon on the mind all. Week. Long. No joke. And she’s one of the most personable folks on the blogosphere ever, period, so you definitely need to check out her blog if you know what’s good for you!

But let me shut my drooling trap before I get myself into a wagonful of trouble. Here’s Jess for ya, folks!

Blueberry Scones 1

Hey there, I’m Jessica from Jessiker Bakes! Over on my blog I love sharing simple, healthy and delicious recipes. I’ll be sharing one of my favourite scones with you that I managed to cut the fat in half but keep the ridiculously delicious flavour – these Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze. These scones mean business. They are so moist, and packed with the flavours of lemon and blueberries. And I love me some lemon. I think the addition of the yogurt in place of fat made a huge difference in the moistness level that I loved completely, as well as making this seem even more suitable to chow down on of breakfast.

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I used half whole wheat flour and half pastry flour, which I think added even more to the feel of a breakfast pastry over cake, making this a hearty and delicious meal. Oh I mean, dessert. I mean breakfast. I had it for breakfast. Yes, breakfast! But this was not only perfectly suitable but so delicious!

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I don’t even need to justify it to you. You just need to try it. It’s delicious with or without the glaze, but the glaze added that extra touch of new-favourite-scone to it. Enjoy!

Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pastry or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1⁄3 cup) and zest
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
  • 1⁄4 cup yogurt, plain or greek
  • 1⁄2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pastry or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Glaze
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 cup sifted powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Whisk together the flour (except the 1 tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry/dough blender, cut in the butter until butter is incorporated except for a few spots of butter. You could also use a fork to cut the butter in.
  4. Add the lemon juice, yogurt, milk and egg in a separate bowl, mixing.
  5. Add this mixture to the dough and mix until it just comes together. The dough should be thick.
  6. In a separate bowl, toss the blueberries with the 1 tablespoon of flour to coat. Stir in the blueberries carefully into the dough.
  7. Place dough unto cookie sheet and form into a circle, evening out the dough until it is about 1 inch thick.
  8. Cut the dough equally into 8 pieces (I usually cut in half, then into four, then six, then eight).
  9. Bake for 17 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and prepare glaze.
  11. Glaze
  12. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth (run through a food processor if necessary). If too runny, add 1 tablespoon at a time of powdered sugar. If too thick, add 1 teaspoon at a time of milk.
  13. Drizzle over the scones.
  14. Enjoy!
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/22/guest-post-jessiker-bakes-healthier-lemon-blueberry-scones-lemon-cream-cheese-glaze/

If you are not dripping saliva all over your keyboard, I will slap you silly with what is left of my unfrosted dignity.

A huge THANK YOU to my loveliest newly-engaged friend Jess–congrats, you wonderful woman, you!

Loving what you read today? Connect with Jessica!

Blog: theblog.jessikerbakes.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessikerbakes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessikerbakes

Instagram: http://instagram.com/jessiker101

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jessikerbakes/

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Gochujang Peanut Asian-Style Pasta for #SundaySupper

It’s my first post as part of the Sunday Supper family! If you are stopping by because you’re a #SundaySupper member, be warned: I MIGHT  LOVE YOU ALREADY.

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 2--070814

Remember how I told you guys about my Smile a Day wall over on my good friend Nancy’s blog? Well, this group most certainly qualifies for an entire Smile-A-Day wall of its own–I hadn’t even officially scheduled my first post and last Wednesday I received this outpouring of #SundaySupper love:

sundaysuppertweets

 

They’re like the children’s lit scholars of the academic world: bubbly, personable, excited about what they do, and thrilled to share the experience with everyone they know. Forget Platinum Club Exclusive Blogging: these folks want their members to feel welcome–and what’s more, they’re eager to be all like, “Hey, we’re pretty cool, mebbe you should join us?”

So yeah, I’m pretty stoked to be here–oh and if you are pumped as well, you can learn all about Sunday Supper here. The actual logistics are a little confusing at first, so feel free to message me if you have questions!

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 14--070814

Each Sunday, the group gathers virtually to share a bunch of awesome recipes based on the week’s theme. Today’s theme calls for firing up those grills and embracing the lackadaisical summer heat: it’s Summer BBQ!

I first discovered #SundaySupper through the inestimable Liz, whose blog That Skinny Chick Can Bake I’ve been following since the dawn of time (or like a year ago). She’s been my awesome mentor and walked me through every step of Sunday Supper, so here’s my yodel to her! Yodelethankyou! My good friend Courtney from Neighbor Food has also been super helpful–thanks, girls!

My inaugural host: Melanie from Melanie Makes. THANK YOU. You will forever go down in history as the wonderful blogger who paved my foray into the wonderful world of Sundays. (Yeah, I told you I’d get creepy!)

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 4--070814

The skies are screaming sunshine like a hyper five-year old kid after ten pounds of sugar on Halloween, but I’ll be honest: it doesn’t feel like summer. It felt like summer three months ago, when I moseyed down to the farmer’s market every week loading up my hardcore backpack and bike basket with an overflowing abundance of fresh fruits and veggies.

Ahh, the paradoxical life of a grad student. Now that summer is officially in full swing, things are busier than ever! Apart from trying to crank out research and recover from the post-conference travel slump, circumstances have mandated that I am no longer cooking any of my own meals on the weekdays. Without the kitchen in my everyday life, cooking has become to me what flying is to this kiwi. And I make every excuse I can to make this pasta when I cook these days.

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I am dreaming of summer BBQ’s.

And guys, I am 110% dreaming of this fusion dish, which takes all of 20 minutes to whip up and is hands down one of my favorite go-to recipes on this blog. I have yet to make it for a BBQ, but the endless combination of fresh produce and refreshing, lighter fusion flavors make it an instant recipe-requested hit at any event your little heart desires/requires. And right now, my heart desires a lot of summer BBQ’ing before the summer whisks itself away again.

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 9--070814

The vegetables you use in this pasta are pretty much up to you: I used sweet potatoes (a great choice–totally different and recommended!), onions, green onions, wilted kale, and baby carrots–but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. The hearty, nutty taste of the whole wheat pasta is also a great idea!

But the sauce is what sends this recipe over the top, making it one of my most requested recipes ever: it’s a

creamy

nutty

mildly

sweet

subtly tangy

sauce with a kick

from the Korean red pepper / gochujang sauce that I did not own until this year and now LOVE. I use it in everything except my cookies, and those may become my next gochujang victim (because siracha cookies are already a thing, right?). You guys need to order a tub if you’ve never used it (though for those of you who wouldn’t buy a tub just for this recipe, you can sub dried red pepper flakes and a smidge of chili sauce/sweet chili sauce or omit the heat completely).

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 11--070814

But here I am singing praises over this ol’ humble superstar dish when you have loads of fellow #SundaySupper folks’ recipes to check out–and speaking which, I have a monumental task ahead of me getting to know all these lovely new friends. So toodles for now–and have yourself a very merry summer!

Gochujang Peanut Asian-Style Pasta

This recipe is a cinch to pull together in 30 minutes and a perfect twist on ordinary, boring pasta! With a slightly sweet, definitely nutty taste, the small kick of spice from gochujang sauce lends it a unique flavor that will have folks lining up for your recipe! Note: Use any produce you have on hand for this dish!

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. whole wheat pasta
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 onion
  • 3 stalks green onion
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 cup baby carrots
  • Other produce/ingredient ideas: tempeh, tofu, broccoli, spinach, bell pepper
  • For the gochujang peanut sauce:
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cuip honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang sauce (if you absolutely cannot purchase gochujang, you may substitute a smidge of red pepper flakes and chili sauce--taste may change)
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked al dente. Strain and set aside.
  2. As your pasta cooks, prepare and slice up all of your produce into bite-size pieces.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sweet potato strips onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and basil as desired. Set aside.
  4. Set a large saucepan over medium heat and cook onion, green onion, and kale (you may use a tablespoon of vegetable oil to cook if you'd like--I simply used a dry saucepan and stirred frequently to prevent burning.) Set cooked vegetables aside.
  5. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Boil baby carrots until tender. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, toss together cooked pasta, vegetables, and sauce (recipe below). Serve and enjoy your summer BBQ!
  7. For the sauce: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Feel free to double recipe if you'd like for a creamier taste--I frequently do!
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/20/gochujang-peanut-asian-style-pasta/

So if you’re as creepily in love with the idea behind #SundaySupper as I am, you’ll definitely want to check out these features from other SS folks! I will be. Every. Single. One.

Beverages

Appetizers

Sides and Accompaniments

Main Dishes

Desserts

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Filed under Lunch & Dinner

A 2nd Blogiversary Post & A Huge Wallflour Girl Thank You

Raise your hand if you completely missed your two-year blogiversary and didn’t even notice. Anybody? Nobody?

Oh. Oh.

Whoops.

Baked Brownie 2--050914

Not that I had anything crazy awesome-killer-fantastimazing up my sleeve with which to wow y’all anyway (do I ever?), but it would’ve been nice to celebrate my blogiversary properly on July 7th. As things go these busy days, however, I resent that it’s mid-July without my knowing how it came to be that way already. If America was really the democratically-premised republic it claims to be, we’d all vote for it to be early June again and that’d be that. None of this summer-is-half-gone hodge-podge I hear from the mindless masses whom I call my friends these days.

Anyway….happy belated 2nd blogiversary to me?

BEST Tiramisu from America's Test Kitchen 2--101913

I did a Google search for what bloggers do to celebrate blogiversaries. I actually typed that in the search bar: “what do bloggers do to celebrate blogiversaries?” Well, remember how everyone loved you if you brought birthday cupcakes to class when you were little, and how starting around age 13 (about the same time Halloween became off-limits) it was suddenly uncool to bring cupcakes to celebrate a day that’s all about you, you, you?\

And then remember how as bright-eyed new participants in the food bloggy community, we all suddenly realized how stupid our 13 to pre-blogging-day-selves were for thinking cupcakes weren’t an acceptable celebratory treat, and rose up in a tidal mass to spread the Cupcake Gospel once more?

Healthy Raw Vegan Fudgy Bars Gif 1

Well, I’ve decided I don’t want cupcakes.

I don’t even like cupcakes all that much, really. GaspIknowwhatdidshejustsay.

Sweet treats are awesome, but I didn’t feel like making any for you today. Ohnoshedidn’tjustsaythat!

Chyeah. I did. And it’s my blogiversary-ish-sort-of, so I’ll say what I like, thank ya very much.

Caramel 'Could Be Crack' Snack Mix 2--111113

Instead, my treat to all you lovely readers today (did I say thank you, by the way? Thank you!) is not an edible goodie but a collection of my favorite recipes (displayed in the photos throughout this post–they’re all clickable) and thoughts about why I do what I do. Because let’s face it…

Blogging is kind of an amazing thing.

My blog is a space where I get to do what I would normally do to people IRL, which is talk, share my half-baked ideas, and talk some more until somebody either implodes or sets loose an army of adorable orange kittens to march by right under my nose and distract me from my ceaseless chatter.

I enjoy blogging because it reminds me that I’m worth talking about

even if that is one of the hardest realizations I have had to face as a budding wallflour writer these past two years and eleven days. I love writing–I consider myself a writer first, baker/photographer/designer second–but I don’t like the thought of opening up more than needed, and certainly not to a bunch of sketchy web strangers–or so I thought.

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Biscoff Oatmeal Cookie Pies with Whipped Coconut Filling 13--042414

Wallflour Girl has gone through some extraordinary changes in the past 2 years. Starting with my very first post published for a New Media class on July 7, 2012, Wallflour Girl has since attracted the eyes of tens, bordering on hundreds of thousands of readers, bloggers, and avid foodies from around the world. And it has opened its own exciting album of new, unforgettable memories that I’ll try to condense here into a few short lines:

Favorite Post: Mom’s Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

This past Mother’s Day, I wrote a piece dedicated to all the things I haven’t said but wanted to put into words for my mom. She read every word, and what’s more: she liked loved it.

Mom's Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie 12--050914

Most Popular Recipe: Favorite Puffy Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

By far the most pinned, shared, viewed, and popular post on my blog to this day.

My Favorite Puffy, Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie 2--022114

Most Requested Recipe (by Friends): Saltine Toffee ‘Crack’-ers

The most addicting combo of salty, crunchy, & sweet–still the most requested recipe at all my family/friend gatherings.

Saltine Toffee 'Crack'-ers 4 (12.29.12)

Most Memorable Blogging Moment: This Meeting with One of My Readers, K (and the Coffee Cheesecake-Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Kahlua Biscoff Frosting I made for her)

An amazing testimony to what a little bit of generosity, sharing, and luck can bring to our lives.

Coffee Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Mocha Biscoff Frosting 2--042914

 

Proudest Blogging/Baking Achievement: The Edible Book Festival 

Where my Calvin & Hobbes interactive cake entries won two awards: “Best Tasting” and “Best Student Entry.” Also, getting to meet the famed LA Times critic Jonathan Gold in person and receive his congratulations.

Edible Book Festival 6

 Other Memorable Posts:

  • WALL OF SMILES: Every night before I go to bed, I write down one thing that made me smile–just one tiny thing with an enormous meaning. (A guest post for my dear blogging friend Nancy at Gotta Get Baked)
  • THE WORLD’S GREATEST DAD: No other dad I know would take pride in waiting hour after hour, content, for his daughter–on the sidelines, my biggest fan.
  • DEFINING MY SELF-WORTH: One of my most honest posts to date–four years in the making, about my struggle to define self-worth during a period of my life haunted by doubt.
  • THE UN-RELATIONSHIP: On what it means to erase meaningless relationships and focus on yourself–just you.
  • SOME THOUGHTS ON LIFE: On fear, what it means to be afraid, being okay with insecurity, imposter syndrome, and every other conceivable thing that needs to be written about on a blog.
  • THE IMPORTANCE OF MEETING STRANGERS: It’s difficult to open up, but with cautious care, the worlds I have encountered through people I’ve never met before are boundless.

**********************************************************************************************

I can hardly admit it even now, but I’ve grown so much in the past two years–as a writer and baker, but also as a friend and individual. I’ve noticed that my writing has evolved along with my thoughts, so that I’m spending more time thinking through longer, more serious, but also more humorously and whimsically delightful (I hope) posts that showcase my love for written expression.

I’ve taken one of the biggest exams of my life, started my own care package order delivery service, experienced approximately 1,729 existential crisis attacks, spilled my guts about things that I thought would follow me to the dirt-and-mortar of my grave, and most of all I’ve learned that while my motives for starting blogging may have been purely selfish, blogging itself isn’t inherently selfish.

In fact, blogging is one of the most generous things anyone can do for the world, ever.

It’s like trusting tiny fragments of your soul with people you’ve never imagined from places you’ve never envisioned, and having faith that they’ll keep it safe in that tiny corner that you call your virtual home.

To put it less poetically: it’s like hacking your soul into a bunch of Horcruxes and praying to the dear gods that Voldemort won’t be the next one to mosey along the road.

And it’s something I’m privileged, glad, and completely honored to be able to share with you all today.

So let’s not talk about the 2 years that have led us to where we are–let’s raise a glass to the unforeseeable future and plenty more shared memories to come! Thank you all, dear readers, for your generosity and spirit!

Love,

Ala

“Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few minutes to burn, but it takes years to write.”

“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles–it takes away today’s peace.”

 

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Guest Post from Neighbor Food: S’more Cake Pops

It’s only Tuesday, but T.G.I.C.: Thank goodness it’s Courtney from Neighbor Food!

This girl is a lifesend and a lifesaver, period. It has been nearly one–count it, one–full month since I’ve last had a chance to bake. Cue brief flickers of bloggy unease, followed by a 9.6-magnitude shock of panic, immediately assuaged by the soothing tones of Courtney’s calm, smiling (I imagine) assurance that she could write this guest post for me.

You’ll see why I love her, her blog, her recipes, and just everything about her so much once you read on! Plus, since I haven’t had time to do baking of my own, I had my face plastered to the screen as I attempted to lick the pixels clean off while writing a coherent introduction. The results are disappointing, but that’s why I’m handing this space over to Courtney, who has her stuff together way better than I do today.

So without further ado–here’s Courtney!

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Hey Wallflour friends! I’m so excited to be visiting today from my little cozy Internet home, Neighborfood. The World Wide Web can be a royal World Wide Pain at times, but it’s things like this that make me incredibly thankful for its existence. Thanks to Ala for inviting me to share this virtual space with all of you today!

S'more Cake Pops- An easy bite-sized treat!

Let’s talk about cake pops. Are they out of style? I seem to always be about 8.5 months behind the food trend curve. I’m just now getting into donuts, and I feel like everyone’s already moved on to ice cream sandwiches. Don’t mind me. I’ll just be the one raving about the cronut two years from now, when I’m sure some other bizarre hybrid food (pizztacos? waffleburgers?) will have taken the blogosphere by storm.

Frankly, the reason I never got into cake pops is because I simply didn’t like them. I always thought they were sickly sweet and required way more work than their taste was worth. But sometimes you bake too much cake, and as much as I’m not a fan of cake pops, I’m even less a fan of wasting cake. So there I was with a big ol’ bowl of yellow cake crumbs and nothing to do but craft a cake pop.

s'more-cake-pops-7

Friends, I’m happy to tell you I’ve had a change of heart. These cake pops are different. Easy to make. Not overly sweet, and covered in chocolate. They’ve got a lot going from them.

Let’s start with the cake itself. The typical cake pop is made with a combination of crumbled cake crumbs and canned frosting. Until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t questioned this formula, but since I don’t normally stock canned frosting, I found myself scrambling for another option. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and I’ve found this to be absolutely true in my kitchen endeavors. It’s amazing the creative juices I can work up when it means I can avoid an extra trip to the store.

A little pantry searching led me to a half opened jar of marshmallow creme just begging for its time to shine. I snatched it up and added it to the cake crumbs until they adhered to each other and could be rolled into balls.

S'More Cake Pops

Of course, the moment the marshmallow creme hit the crumbs, these cake pops were destined for smoredom. After being rolled into balls and frozen so they stayed together, the balls got dipped into melted chocolate then rolled into crushed honey grahams. Of course, you can use regular graham crackers as well, but the honey grahams stayed crunchier, which I liked.

Now this is a cake pop I can’t resist. The marshmallow creme and chocolate keep these from becoming overly sweet, and the grahams add a nice unexpected texture I appreciated. These disappeared at my work, and when coworkers requested the recipe I was happy to tell them it was only 5 ingredients and easy peasy.

S'more Cake Pops

If you’ve never made cake pops before, here are my suggestions. Cake pops are made more on feel than precision. What I mean is, don’t get caught up too much in specific amounts, especially when it comes to the crumbs and the marshmallow creme. You can easily adjust this based on the amount of crumbs you have. The important thing is to add just enough creme to get everything to stick together.

My second tip? Always, always freeze the balls before dipping. I usually put the sticks in them then freeze for at least a half an hour. A little shortening in the melted chocolate will help keep it nice and smooth and make it easier to dip.

And finally, I find the easiest way to store these is to punch the sticks through an empty egg carton once they’re dipped. They’ll be able to dry without touching. Recycling is awesome isn’t it?

S'mores on a stick!

I really hope you’ll give these summery treats a try! And if you’re not a cake pop lover, I think a change of heart might be in your future.

S’more Cake Pops
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 4 cups yellow cake crumbs
  • 1/4-1/2 cup marshmallow creme
  • 12 ounces milk or semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup honey graham cereal, crushed
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cake crumbs and marshmallow creme. Add just enough marshmallow creme to get the mixture to stick together. You should be able to roll it into a ball without it falling apart.
  2. Roll the mixture into 1-2 inch sized balls and place on a baking sheet. Place the popsicle sticks three quarters of the way through the balls then freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and shortening together in the microwave (in 30 second increments) or in a double boiler. Place in a deep bowl for dipping. Place the graham cracker crumbs in another bowl.
  4. When the balls are frozen, dip them into the chocolate, making sure it overlaps the stick slightly. You can use a toothpick to get rid of excess dripping chocolate. Immediately roll the balls in the crushed graham crackers then place right side up in an egg carton or foam core board to dry. Store in a cool, dry place.
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I am 11005% behind Courtney on this one–I’m not usually a cake ball fan either, but with this killer s’mores combo, how could anyone resist? My choco-graham-mallow senses have been set ablaze with the fire of a really big flaming star called da Sun. And luckily, this s’mores-inspired recipe doesn’t require a single flame in this godforsaken hot weather. Win-win? I think so!
Thank you, Court, for guest posting today–ISN’T SHE LOVELY FOLKS?

Loving what you read today? Connect with Courtney!

Blog: http://www.neighborfoodblog.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NeighborFoodie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Neighborfoodblog

Instagram: http://instagram.com/neighborfoodie

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/neighborfood/

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Filed under Cakes & Cupcakes

Friday Wallflavourites: Edition 10

I missed out on last Friday again…guess I got caught up in the July 4th festivities, whoops! The good news: I’ve got double the Friday Wallflavourites this week to make up for the post-4th weekend, which should be just as epic in every way.

For daily updates about my favorite recipes and bloggers each week, follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. If it’s your first time here–welcome, I love meeting new faces! I hope you poke around my blog to see more fun features and lively recipes.

What better way to retroactively celebrate July 4th (or celebrate it for next year?) than with this GORGEOUS flag cake via my very good friend Zainab over at Blahnik Baker?

Red white and blue layered flag cake

These heathily sweetened Cherry Chia Tarts are the way I’d love best to spend my 4th of July weekend, though. I’m so glad I discovered them over yonder at Can Caramelo!

1pieceout

I rarely fall so hard so fast for a dessert recipe, but this Salted Caramel and Chocolate Pecan Pie Bar recipe via Averie Cooks is the epitome of every flavor I want to eat right now!

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars - You'll never want plain pecan pie again! Caramel and chocolate makes the bars taste amazing!

Cynthia from over at Two Red Bowls has me eyeing goat cheese in a whole new way–these Blackberry Goat Cheese Thumbprint Cookies look divine!

Blackberry-goat cheese thumbprint cookies

I think this would make an awesome dessert tray–Creme Brulee Stuffed Strawberries via Sprinkle Bakes!

I bookmarked this Kahlua Crunch Cake via Baker’s Royale as soon as I saw the title. Because I’m that sort of an addict.

Kahlua Crunch Cake with Bakers Royale

And last but most definitely not least…THIS. This this this. This thing. From Izy over at Top with Cinnamon so it’s gotta be amazing, right? Riiiight.

Bumpy Cherry and Almond Pie

Bacon Sweet Corn Ice Cream Sandwiches via Two Red Bowls (and My Name is Yeh)

Blueberry Vanilla Lemon Ice Cream Cake via Life Made Sweeter

Brownie Batter Spread via Minimalist Baker

Chaussons aux Peches (Peach Turnovers) via That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Chocolate Syrup Brownies (#SundaySupper) via That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Fluffernutter Brownie Cupcakes via Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Iced Tea with Medjool Date Syrup via Je Suis Alimentageuse

Loaded Sweet Potato Fries via Neighbor Food Blog

Peach Melba Yogurt Crunch Popsicles via What Jessica Baked Next

Peach Streusel Muffins via Sally’s Baking Addiction

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Pretzel Skillet Cookie via A Cookie Named Desire

Peanut Butter Ice Cream (No-Churn, Low Fodmap) via Strands of My Life

Rose Marigold Flowerfetti Cake via East of Eden Cooking

Sweet Cherry Crumble via Cooking with a Wallflower

Vegan Creamy Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream via Jessiker Bakes

Blogs I’ve recently discovered and LOVE:

Can Caramelo

Cooking with a Wallflower

Cravings of a Lunatic

Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Jelly Toast

Life Made Sweeter

Veggie and the Beast

In case you missed recipes featured on Wallflour Girl these past weeks:

Hot Fudge Chocolate Brownie with Killer Chocolate Frosting (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw)–and Meeting Strangers

Raspberry Orange Muffins–and a Kooky Children’s Literature Conference

Thank you for stopping by! If you have favorite blog recipes from this week that you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a link or two of loving in the comments!

Ala

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Guest Post from Blahnik Baker: Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

Folks, I haven’t felt this excited since I heard that these brand spankin’ new episodes of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon would be hitting the screen after nearly a decade of muffled silence. I told Zainab I’ve been crazy busy lately doing Grown-Up World things–like maniacally hurling homemade spiky shells at my fellow street-sharers on a FIVE-hour commute–but really I’d rather just lock myself in my dust-infested closet with my laptop and gorge on unhealthy amounts of Sailor Moon.

And maybe try like the moron I am to eat the pixels right off these gorgeous macaron photos Zainab sent me.

Have you met the stunning Zainab from Blahnik Baker? She’s the grad student baker blogger who knows what’s up. As a crazy Legilimency expert As a crazy someone who read Zainab’s post before posting it (duh), I know what she’s going to say about me and would like to add that I say the same about her, except times about a bazillion and forty. I admire her work, her dedication, and most of all her ability to excel as a fellow grad student while somehow managing to keep her marbles all where they belong: in her brilliant noggin of Nogginness.

So before I get carried away by my effusive praises (which are, by the way, super deserved), I’m turning over the floor to the lovely lady herself!

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache via Blahnik Baker_3

Hello everyone!! My name is Zainab and I am so excited to be here today. I am a HUGE fan of Wallflour Girl and she is one of my favorite blogs to read. I’m sure she is one of yours too because you are here :) I blog over at Blahnik Baker where I love sharing easy but creative desserts.

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache via Blahnik Baker_1

I just recently met this wonderful lady through a guest post she did over on Nancy’s blog. That post resonated so much with me that I spent all morning checking out her blog, writing and recipes!! Only to discover she is a PhD student like me and a passionate, honest and intelligent lady!! On her guest post, she wrote about her “Wall of Smiles” and I’m in love with her idea. I struggle very much with finding the happy moments in my daily life being a graduate student (it’s really hard) but ever since I read her post, I’ve been trying hard every day to pause and notice the little things. And at the end of every night, I think of one thing, event or person that made me smile and write it down in a notebook (or make a mental note if I am really tired and in bed already. I really need to move that notepad to my nightstand).

Thank you Ala! You inspire me daily :)

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Chambord  Ganache

Anyway enough small talk, on to the sweets now. Macarons!!! I love making macarons and have fallen madly in love with these French delicacies. I make them just for fun most times and I experiment a lot with flavors, texture and fillings.

Funny thing, when the husband walks in and I am making macarons, he can almost assume I had a long hard day at work and just need some peaceful baking time. And macarons do that for me. I know people think they are temperamental and hard to make, but to be honest they are actually very easy cookies to make.

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Chambord  Ganache

These hazelnut macarons were an attempt to make macarons with hazelnut flour instead of the traditional almond flour. The macaron shells are pillow-y soft and are filled with a sweet chocolate ganache spiked with Chambord.

I hope you enjoy these macarons! And thank you for having me today. Let’s all take a page from Ala’s book and enjoy the small things and moments in life. (Including these cookies!!)

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache via Blahnik Baker_5

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Chambord Ganache

Ingredients

    For Macarons
  • 125g hazelnut flour
  • 175g powdered sugar
  • 105g egg whites
  • 75g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • For Chocolate Chambord Ganache
  • 1⁄2 cup bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (plus more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Chambord (raspberry liqueur)

Instructions

  1. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. I used a 11⁄2-inch round cookie cutter to draw circles on the parchment paper and flip over the paper (drawing side down). Prepare a pastry bag with a round tip. I used Wilton 2A.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar and hazelnut flour into fine powder. Sift several times until there is less than 2 tablespoons of hazelnut bits left. Add these to the mixture.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a rubber spatula. Gently fold to deflate the meringue by pressing against the side of bowl and scooping from bottom until batter is smooth and shiny; about 20-25 folds. To check consistency, drop a spoonful of batter and it should have a peak that quickly relaxes back into the batter. Start checking the batter after 20 folds.
  5. Transfer batter into pastry bag and pipe the batter into the pre-traced circles on the baking sheet. Tap baking sheet hard on counter to release any air bubbles trapped in the batter. Let shells sit on counter for 20-30 minutes to dry, until a slight skin forms.
  6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until shells hard, rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking time. You should be able to peel off the macaron from the parchment. Cool completely on cookie sheets before peeling from the parchment.
  7. For the Ganache:
  8. Combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30-45 seconds and stir until chocolate melts. Remove from microwave and stir in butter until melted and chocolate is smooth. Whisk in Chambord with butter. Match same size cookies; pipe a little mound of buttercream onto flat side of one cookie and top with another. Store refrigerated for at least 24 hours before serving.
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/07/guest-post-blahnik-baker-hazelnut-macarons-chocolate-ganache/

I’ve never made a macaron in my life–commitment issues are the least of my problems–but you can bet your holy eggbeaters that I’m going to make this recipe ASAP. Thank you, you wonderful lady!

As if we needed more proof that Zainab is Wonder Woman in civilian disguise, I’ve taken a leaf out of her book by recruiting quite a few lovely guest posters for July and some of August. With life spinning out of control faster than a Mario Kart hit by ten red shells in succession, I’m up to my nose in sleepless work and am incredibly grateful for this wonderful crew that will be helping me survive. Look forward to meeting them all over the next few weeks–you’re going to love them all!

Oh, and for the record: Zainab, you totally made my Wall of Smiles today. Just FYI. ;)

Loving what you read today? Connect with Zainab!

Blog: www.blahnikbaker.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blahnikbaker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlahnikBaker

Instagram: http://instagram.com/blahnikbaker

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/zmansaray/

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cookies

Hot Fudge Chocolate Brownie with a Killer Choco Frosting (V, GF, Raw, No Added Sugar)–And the Importance of Meeting Strangers

My earliest memory of talking to a stranger goes back to Ala at age 6, standing in a ballet class, chatting happily and obliviously in her pink tutu to one of the nice ladies sitting near the side of the room.

Hot Fudge Larabar with Killer Choco Frosting 8--062914

“My mom told me not to talk to strangers,” I confidentially informed the lady, whom I remember now as friendly-faced and quite tall. “I’m Ala,” I continued, holding out my hand and solemnly shaking her, which was proffered with a smile. Then I added, just in case she didn’t understand, “Now we aren’t strangers anymore.”

And then I went right on chatting.

Hot Chocolate Larabar 2--051614

My mom still laughs about this incident now, but in many ways it foreshadowed my later affinity for striking up random conversations  in the most unexpected places. Some of my closest friends or most interesting memories today have emerged from chance encounters of the Love Actually sort: getting a ride with another grad student to a surprise banquet, sitting down at a conference table with a Disney Imagineer, chatting with the night shuttle officer on my way back from school, catching public transportation and whiling away the time with surprisingly fun conversation.

Hot Fudge Larabar with Killer Choco Frosting 5--062914

Though I don’t consider myself particularly confident (blog name, anyone?), I still love love love to meet random people. One of my best grad school friends is a bright, energetic gal I met in a Zumba class my first year: we spent the entire quarter beaming at each other in the mirror as we grooved and moved and body rolled with as much grace as flopping fish–and when we both arrived on the “last day of class” only to realize that the last day had been last week, we ended up jamming to our own tunes by setting up an improv class with her friends. Anytime anyone asks us how we met, we turn and positively grin at each other before launching into one of our favorite stories.

Hot Fudge Chocolate Brownie gif

Meeting strangers isn’t only an exciting way to make new friends–it’s good for you, too. Friends frequently ask me how I manage to stay so friendly and open to meeting new folks all. The. Time.  Well, a) I am not friendly and positive and open all the time. Just this week I had a total meltdown at 1 AM and practically shook my parents with my not-too-generous hysteria over the phone for 90 minutes. (Thank you, Mom!) b) When I am friendly, though, and that’s most of the time–it pays off. And it’s addicting. This month alone, I’ve met three people while standing in lines for things and actually managed to stay in touch with them. And most of the time, if they’re willing to engage in a random conversation with you, chances are that they’re lots of fun to be around, too.

Hot Fudge Larabar with Killer Choco Frosting 12--062914

Like any book-crazy kid, I distinctly remember reading this book about the Berenstain Bears and stranger danger. I’m not advocating dumb, reckless danger-seeking encounters with sketchy people–I’m talking about putting away your cell phone as you wait for the cashier to ring you up and asking them if they still have a long day ahead of them. 95% of the time that’s where the conversation ends, but trust me: for the tiny amount of effort it takes on your part, other people sure notice it a lot.

Recently, a friend asked me where I get my endless stream of conversation starters from. How do I keep a conversation going organically? My answer was first, nervousness–I’m really not a “casual silence” kind of person, so if I sense the end of a conversation coming up, chances are I’ll already be thinking ahead to the next tangentially related thread. Second: questions. I once attended a keynote about the art of communication, and the speaker made a point that has resonated with me ever since. Do you ever notice how nervous we get when we get up to speak in public, but how comfortable we are listening?

Well, the same goes with conversations. If you’re nervous, ask a question and make the other person do the talking. They’ll feel like you’re genuinely interested in their lives (and hopefully, you are), and you’ll feel much more at ease for having got the ball rolling. You may brush off your hands and congratulate yourself on a job well-done now!

Hot Fudge Larabar with Killer Choco Frosting 14--062914 It takes some time to adjust, but as I’ve grown more comfortable reaching out to more and more strangers, I’ve found myself encountering an incredible new circle of acquaintances and–I’m proud to say–even friends. For 30 minutes every morning this month, I chatted with a bus driver named David, who turned out to be one of the most intelligent, gracious, and knowledgable people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Forget my preconceptions about what bus drivers do–this man, who has an oldest daughter my age–even gave me some of the best advice for dealing with rambunctious neighbors that I have ever received. He transferred bus lines recently, but it’s still amazing to think that our paths still have every chance of crossing again in the future, and in the most unexpected circumstances.

More recently, I got to know a guy on the airport shuttle and we got dinner while talking about our PhD programs, vegetarianism, and cooking. I befriended so many children’s literature conference folks that I probably wouldn’t have met had I mummed up and kept to myself during the breakfast lines. I met another vegan friend while waiting to get airbrush tattoos drawn at a festival. I met yet another acquaintance while lining up for cake at an event.

And yes, I’ve kept in touch with all these people that I have met in the past 30 days: people who may end up flitting in and out of my life eventually, but are for the present moment at least such important, fun players in my daily excitement. You never know if the next person you meet may be your future employer, a great friend, a romantic interest, or just a plain pleasant person to chat with.

Hot Fudge Larabar with Killer Choco Frosting 17--062914

While I’ve singing all these preachy praises about de-dangering strangers, however, you’ve probably been wondering about these brownies–these wonderful, gorgeous, delectable little bites (or huge hunks) of raw brownie. Many folks I know think that “raw,” “vegan,” and “gluten-free” are crazy fad words accompanied by terrible food. If you haven’t met raw bars like these before though (and I’m betting you haven’t, though you may have seen similar versions like my recipes for this and this)–keep an open mind and try them out. They’re sweet but only naturally so–they satisfy all those processed-sugar cravings you’ve been getting and trying to deny–and they’re actually insanely delicious. They taste more like chocolatey larabars than brownies, but the raw chocolate frosting sends these bars over the top.

In short, these are probably the best strangers you’ll ever meet in the food spectrum. Make them! And don’t forget–every person (and recipe) you pass could be the next connection you’ve been waiting to meet!

Ala

Hot Fudge Larabar with Killer Choco Frosting 10--062914

This week, I challenge you to put aside your phone, book, distractions, whatever–and to meet one stranger. Try striking up conversation in the supermarket or ask them a question about the book they’re reading, and then report back here. What was your experience like? Was it a positive, negative, or neutral one? How did you feel afterwards?

Hot Fudge Chocolate Brownie (V, GF, Raw, No Added Sugar)

The perfect chocolate fix without any of the guilt--a refined sugar-free, no-bake, 3-minute recipe that my friends have been requesting left and right. Perfect for the vegans, chocolate-lovers, or general human beings in your left!

Ingredients

    Raw Brownie Recipe:
  • 35 pitted dates, any variety (I used pitted deglet noor dates)
  • 1 1/4 cup almonds (or your preferred nut)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Chocolate Frosting Recipe
  • 15 dates
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Instructions

    For the Brownies:
  1. Throw everything in the food processor and pulse until dough comes together.
  2. Pour dough into aluminum foil, smushing dough until it forms a rectangle about 2/3-inch thick. Pour or spread chocolate frosting (recipe below) evenly on top. Chill in fridge until ready to cut into bars.
  3. For the Frosting.
  4. Blend dates in food processor until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and cocoa powder; continue blending until completely smooth, to a thick liquid state. Pour evenly over brownies.
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/02/hot-fudge-chocolate-brownie-v-gf-raw-added-sugar/

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Orange Raspberry Muffins–And one kooky Children’s Literature Conference!

I get questions all the time from readers about what I do as a children’s literature researcher in an English PhD program, so today I’m taking the opportunity to tell you all a bit more about my lovely, non-blogging job!

Orange Raspberry Muffins 2--062514

I spent last weekend at my first ever Children’s Literature Association conference in South Carolina. And excuse my language when I say lordie oh lord: after five amazing days with this bunch of nonsensical ninnies and silly scholars, I am unofficially allowing ChLA and all its wonderful members to adopt me. These people are like human versions of these muffins I’m sharing with you today: the funnest, brightest, warmest, most unique bunch of (raga)muffins I’ve ever met!

This conference primarily features scholars, professors, and the occasional grad student. We present our research and findings on various aspects of children’s lit at this four-day conference through a series of panels, talks, and banquets. We are a kooky, Kool-Aid kind of cult, minus the cult and probably minus the Kool-Aid (we prefer tea and fun muffins like these, though I do recall someone making a Kool-Aid reference at one point). I was hugged more times by complete strangers at this conference than I have been by the academics in my English department for my entire three years as a grad student (at one point, the chair of the ChLA award committee turned around, gave me a giant bear hug, and then shouted to the room, “It’s a new one!”) . We basically staked out an entire hotel in Columbia, dominated its conference rooms, and sat back to enjoy a 4-day carnival that involved lots of networking, lots of meeting & greeting, lots of brilliant (or at least interesting) research, and a heck of a lot of food.

Orange Raspberry Muffins 11--062514

If you know anything about academic institutions, you’ll know that academia can be both an awesomely intelligent field and a frigid rat race. The children’s lit folks are (I am happy to report) only of the first sort–there’s something about being a member of a field that has a long history of marginalization that brings out the team spirit in us.

And let’s face it: a bunch of geeky weirdos who devote their lives to reading Dr. Seuss? If that sounds UN-fun to you, then your fun-o-meters seriously need tweaking. Perhaps the Doc should be a-paying you a visit…

Speaking of the fun doctor, this conference also meant meeting an eclectic group I’ve affectionately dubbed The Boys of Nun-sance (let’s hope they never see this)–a handful of nonsense literature scholars who love Dr. Seuss and all whimsical wit abounding to the upperest heights of Nooper. And yes, this is how they would describe themselves if you ran into them in real life, except they’d probably throw in a few coordinated jigs and hops and head bops for good measure as they said it to you.

(How do I know? They did this to me on the last night of the conference after our big banquet, and we all hopped and jumped around together like a bunch of confused grasshoppers before saying our garbled goodbyes.)

Orange Raspberry Muffins 5--062514

The other amazing point of the conference was that I finally delivered my first paper at a major conference last week. I was moderately nervous, but after listening to one paper and another and another, I realized that this incredibly bright bunch of scholars act more like Southern mothers (or jovial pops) who just want to invite you in for homemade buttermilk biscuits all the time. 

So at some point during the presentation, as I stood up there speaking to a packed room of nonsensical listeners about Dr. Seuss’s And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (anyone else remember this one?), the thought suddenly hit me like a rogue tetherball: I wasn’t nervous. I was talking about something I loved, and what’s more–people were actually listening to me. I quickly scanned the room as I spoke and found a particularly attentive listener I could look at when I wasn’t sure where to look–he was nodding along, not in a glazed-eyed kind of way, but in genuine agreement at the strongest points of my paper. My voice grew stronger as I plowed through my final arguments about narratorial authority, and before I knew it I was beaming at the room and moseying with a sprightly step back to my seat, where the rest of my panel patted me on the back and the panel chair (who is also a tenured professor at the local university) actually whispered in my ear, “Great paper!” before taking the podium.

The best part, however, is what happened next.

Orange Raspberry Muffins 8--062514

At one point during Mark’s presentation, he hesitated over the pronunciation of a name from Dr. Seuss’s biography and addressed the crowd: “Perhaps Phil knows?” he said. My head snapped around so fast I almost twisted it Easy-Twist-style clean off my neck. Phil. As in the Phil I’d cited in my own paper as one of the authoritative Seussian scholars? Of course, I’d had an inkling he might come (we were, after all, treading the same terrain), and another great nonsense friend had mentioned he might, but it was still very cool to see that he could blend right in with the crowd,  and amusing to think that I had once again–in my typical oblivious fashion–managed to bumble through an entire paper without realizing that one of my own was sitting in the room listening.

As it turns out, he tossed me my first comment and question of the Q&A: while I don’t consider myself starstruck (the only person who’s ever been able to elicit that effect from me is Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted), I was definitely pleased by his amiable response. He thanked me for my paper, told me he enjoyed it, then recommended I visit the Dr. Seuss archives at UCSD for some really interesting versions of Mulberry Street. He also asked a question that I ended up clarifying, and so he left it at a comment and another thank you before we moved onto the rest of the session.

Orange Raspberry Muffins 13--062514

I didn’t bother trying to track him down afterwards to thank him: the amusing thing is that even in scholarly communities we have our big-named celebrities, and after seeing a few folks craning this way and that to talk to him, I decided he’d probably had enough attention for a weekend and figured I’d thank him via email or something.

As it turned out, though, we ran into each other at a panel the next day and he actually came over to let me know again that he enjoyed my paper, and in his down-to-earth way told me that I should “definitely do something with it.” We chatted for a while about the SD archives and some mutual acquaintances (in my geeky fashion, I scribbled down a transcript of our conversation as soon as I got back to my hotel room that night), and before I knew it we were exchanging hugs all around–doing some nonsensical jigs–and packing up to leave. And when everyone waved with shouts of, “See you next year!” I felt a little tug that extended from the corner of my lips to my sentimental heartstrings, and I had to grin back and yell, “Next year it is!” (And this was to established professors and fellow serious scholars, mind you. Talk about positively disrupting academic stereotypes!)

Orange Raspberry Muffins 15--062514

I’ll be counting down the months until then–and though I realize that my experience may not always be as bright-eyed and as wondrous as this first time, I’ve fallen madly and deeply in love. As a children’s lit scholar, I’ve never felt like part of a real, welcoming scholarly community until now. Which is why I’m celebrating with the brightest, best summertime muffins I know.

I made these for a friend’s care package and they are a superb way to kick off the warm weather. If I’d brought them to the 100-degree humidity of Columbia, I’m pretty sure they would have been gobbled up in a gobbling flash. As it happens, though, these were gobbled up anyway–and with a perfectly moist crumb that just beams with the brightness of citrus and the sweet tang of ripe raspberries, I have no doubt they’ll become a go-to favorite in this household.

Orange Raspberry Muffins gif

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past month or so: prepping, preparing, worrying, then laughing, beaming, jigging, nonsensing. I am still caught up in the post-conference flurry and getting very little in the way of rest, but I wouldn’t have it any other way–though I’ll be working extra-hard to resume more quality posts (because I realize that the last few sham posts have been pretty shoddy), and you may see some fantastic guest posters helping me out in the coming weeks. Until then!

(And for the record, throwing a bunch of wet raspberries at your camera lens is a bad idea. But I did it, so I had to share it…)

Orange Raspberry Muffins–And one kooky Children’s Literature Conference!

Bright and light, this orange raspberry muffin recipe is for the summer lover in your life! The perfectly moist crumb and no-frills citrus flavor compliments the tanginess of sweet raspberries. Awesome for weekend brunches and care packages! Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and egg. Stir in orange juice until combined.
  3. Gently stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest until just incorporated. Fold in raspberries.
  4. Divide batter into 12 liners. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean with moist crumbs clinging to it.
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/06/29/orange-raspberry-muffins-one-kooky-childrens-literature-conference/

With nonsensical love,

Ala

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” –Dr. Seuss

 

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Filed under Muffins, Uncategorized

Friday Wallflavourites: Edition 9

Hello hello! Another week come and gone–but thank goodness it’s Friday, eh? And you know what that means–some favorites from around the web this week, for y’all!

For daily updates about my favorite recipes and bloggers each week, follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. If it’s your first time here–welcome, I love meeting new faces! I hope you poke around my blog to see more fun features and lively recipes.

It’s summer at last, which has got me excited about one of the freshest salads I’ve seen so far: this Summer Chickpea Salad with Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette via How Sweet It Is.

summer chickpea salad with honey garlic lime vinaigrette I howsweeteats.com

Erika’s outdone herself again with this awesome comfort food: Piadina Grilled Cheese via The Pancake Princess! Isn’t it gorgeous?

Piadina Grilled Cheese // The Pancake Princess

 Also, breakfast. I want to wake up every morning to this Roasted Strawberry and Nutella Dutch Baby via Bacon, Egg, & Cheese!

Dutch Baby with Roasted Strawberry and Nutella.jpg

And speaking of roasted strawberries…how about this fantastic Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream via Brown-Eyed Baker?

 Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

And finally, Brioche Buns via Adventures in Cooking. Because why not?

Brioche Buns | Adventures in Cooking

Other amazing blog recipes on my radar this week:

Cheesy Mexican Cornbread via Mom on Timeout

Cherry Almond Cheesecake Twists via Barbara Bakes

Coconut Marscapone Mousse via Blahnik Baker

Carrot Quinoa Soup with Chickpea Croutons via A Clean Bake

Creamy Greek Zucchini Patties via The Iron You

Earl Grey Rum Cake and the Dying Art of Conversation via Gotta Get Baked

Ganache-Topped Chocolate Tart via That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Garden Harvest Veggie Bowl and Honey Mustard Dressing via In Pursuit of More

No-Churn Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate via Kitchen Riffs

Whipped Feta Cheese Dip with Garlic Pita Chips via Jessiker Bakes

In case you missed recipes featured on Wallflour Girl this week:

Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Thank you for stopping by! If you have favorite blog recipes from this week that you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a link or two of loving in the comments!

Ala

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